This volume has been written on the basis of extensive research in the voluminous mass of documentary material held by the World War II Records Division, National Archives and Records Service (NARS), Alexandria, Virginia, supplemented by collections of documents held at the Federal Records Center, GSA, Kansas City, Missouri; the Division of Naval History, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C.; the Archives Branch, U.S. Air Force Historical Division, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama; and the Office of the Chief of Military History (OCMH), Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. This official material has been further supplemented by the private papers of Generals Eisenhower, Smith, Ridgway, and Gavin; by General Lucas’ diary; by interviews with Allied and Axis leaders; by published histories and memoirs; and by detailed comments by persons to whom the manuscript was presented for review.
The Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ) records constitute the most important single collection of records used in the preparation of this volume. The collection consists of reports, messages, correspondence, planning papers, and other material on all phases of Operation HUSKY and the subsequent campaign in Sicily. According to a 1945 bilateral agreement, most of the original documents in the AFHQ collection were sent to the United Kingdom. Microfilm copies of these documents were made and are located in NARS. The remainder of the original documents came to the United States, and they, too, are located in NARS. The latter group contains the records of the Allied Screening Commission (Italy), the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces Headquarters (except the Target Analysis Files), the Mediterranean Allied Photographic Reconnaissance Wing, the Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force, the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force, the Mediterranean Air Transport Service, and the records of Allied Military Government, the Allied Commission (Italy), and other Allied control commissions.
A large number of the microfilm documents in the possession of NARS have been photo-enlarged and arranged in file folders. Both the microfilm and the photo-enlarged documents are organized by job and reel number, as well as by a file classification. Where the authors have cited a document seen on a microfilm reel, the job number and the reel number are given, i.e., job 10C, reel 138E. Where the cited document was seen in a folder of photo-enlarged documents, the catalogue number and the folder number are indicated, i.e., 0100/12A/177. The original documents of the various Allied air commands deposited in NARS are in files prefixed with the catalogue numbers 0401, 0403, 0406, and 0407; of the Allied Control Commission, with the catalogue number 10,000. Use of these records is greatly
facilitated by two finding aids: Kenneth W. Munden’s Analytical Guide to the Combined British-American Records of the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in World War II, prepared in 1948; and a more detailed three-volume Catalogue of the Combined British-American Records of the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in World War II. Both of these items are in NARS.
Two collections subsidiary to this larger one are the Smith Papers and the Salmon Files. The Smith Papers, a collection of documents and books belonging to Gen. Walter B. Smith, has been given to the Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. When last used by the authors, it was split between NARS and the Army War College Library, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Of particular importance in this collection is the file designated Capitulation of Italy—a bound file of copies of telegrams and other documents relating to the Italian surrender. A microfilm copy of this file is part of the AFHQ collection. The Salmon Files, stored in OCMH, consist of a body of papers and other materials collected at AFHQ by Col. Dwight E. Salmon.
The records of the Operations Division, War Department General Staff (OPD) are of the utmost importance for determining Allied strategic planning and decisions. These records, described in detail in Federal Records of World War II, vol. II, Military Agencies (prepared by the General Services Administration, National Archives and Records Service, The National Archives, Washington, 1951) fall into four main categories:
The official central correspondence file (OPD), arranged according to the Army decimal system;
The message center file, arranged chronologically in binders;
The Strategy and Policy Group file, arranged according to the Army decimal system and identified by the letters “ABC” (American-British Conversations); and,
The Executive Office file, an informal collection of papers on policy and planning compiled in the Executive Office of OPD, primarily for the use of the Assistant Chief of Staff, OPD.
The latter two collections were of particular importance to this volume. The ABC file contains an almost complete set of papers issued by the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff and their subcommittees. The file also contains the important studies on plans and strategy developed by the Strategy Section of the Strategy and Policy Group. The Executive file contains many documents which cannot be found elsewhere in Department of the Army files. This file was informally arranged after the war and assigned item numbers to permit easier identification. The entire OPD collection of records is in NARS. For additional information on the OPD collection, see the bibliographical note in Maurice Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1959), p. 557.
The files of the Office of the Chief of Staff were of limited value to this volume. Arranged according to the Army decimal system, the files are not large in comparison with the AFHQ or OPD collections. But they do contain some papers that cannot be located elsewhere in the Department of the Army collection. These files, like those of OPD, are located in NARS.
Interviews and comments on the manuscript of this volume are in OCMH. Other files and documents which were
of importance for the planning, strategy, and high policy are:
AFHQ Chief of Staff Cable Log, which was brought up to date daily by the secretary of the general staff. It contains typewritten paraphrases of cables addressed to General Eisenhower or sent in his name which his subordinates felt he should see. This log is presently a part of the Smith Papers.
Commander in Chief Allied Force Diary, deposited in Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas. On this diary, see the bibliographical note in Forrest C. Pogue, The Supreme Command, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1954), pp. 559–60.
NAF-FAN messages. These are the messages between General Eisenhower and the Combined Chiefs of Staff. They may be found in several locations, one of which is the AFHQ files.
The official dispatches of General Eisenhower, General Alexander, and Admiral Cunningham. These dispatches may be found in the AFHQ files, and in other groups of the files mentioned above. In addition, parts of the Alexander and Cunningham dispatches have been published in the London Gazette.
The campaign in Sicily has been reconstructed largely from the records of the units involved, supplemented by records in the AFHQ G-3 collection, and from published materials. Unit records include journals, war diaries, after action reports, field orders, situation reports, and, at the higher levels, combined situation and intelligence reports and operations instructions. The records vary from unit to unit, from excellent to poor. They comprise a special collection of combat operations records for World War II in records of The Adjutant General’s Office, in NARS. If one remembers that the Sicilian Campaign was the first serious action for many of the American units involved, the fact that the records for Sicily are not as good as those maintained later in the war is not surprising. In general, the II Corps G-3 Journal and the 1st Division G-3 Journal are the best unit records available. The after action reports of all units are usually skimpy and provide little detailed information. The information in the unit records has been amplified and clarified in the light of the authors’ interviews and correspondence with participants.
Details concerning the activities of the British Army have been largely taken from two published accounts: Nicholson, The Canadians in Italy, and Montgomery, The Eighth Army: El Alamein to the River Sangro. Another valuable source of information on British operations is the collection of AFHQ daily G-3 reports.
For the activities of the Allied air forces, the authors have relied heavily on two studies: USAF Historical Study 37, Participation of the Ninth and Twelfth Air Forces in the Sicilian Campaign, and USAF Historical Study 74, Airborne Missions in the Mediterranean. In addition, the official Air Forces history—Craven and Cate, eds., Europe:—TORCH to POINTBLANK—is valuable.
Morison’s Sicily–Salerno–Anzio has proven indispensable in presenting the activities of the U.S. and British naval forces in Sicilian waters. This published volume has been supplemented by an unpublished ONI pamphlet which covers the same general material.
The account of German and Italian operations has been based principally on four groups of sources: (1) Italian wartime records captured first by the Germans
and subsequently by the Allies; (2) German wartime records captured by the Allies; (3) Foreign Military Studies written by former German officers between 1945 and 1954 under the auspices of the Historical Division, Headquarters, United States Army, Europe, 1954; and (4) Italian and German publications.
Groups (1) and (2) are located in NARS, and in the Classified Operational Archives of the Department of the Navy, (referred to in the footnotes as COA/Navy). The Italian records consist of Italian documents captured by the Germans after September 1943 and catalogued by them under the designation AKTENSAMMELSTELLE SUED. This collection was later captured by the U.S. Army and redesignated as the Italian Collection. The collection is incomplete and not fully catalogued. Its most valuable item for the Sicilian Campaign is IT 99a, b, and c, a narrative written within and upon an order of Comando Supremo during the operations in Sicily. The narrative is based on daily reports from the front. Situation maps, copies of messages and orders, and intelligence estimates are included as annexes.
The collection of captured German documents contains three series of particular value. These are the war diary of the German Armed Forces Operations Staff (OKW/WFSt, KTB) reporting the developments on all fronts as well as considerations and decisions influencing these developments; the German Army High Command daily reports (OKH, Tagesmeldungen) giving very brief summaries of operations on all fronts; and the reports of the Commander in Chief, South (Oberbefehleshaber Sued) to higher headquarters giving the situation in his area two or three times daily and one intelligence survey per day (OB SUED Meldungen). Also contained in (2) are records of the German Navy. They provide insight into the German decisions on the highest level through minutes of conferences in Hitler’s headquarters (ONI, Führer Directives and ONI, Führer Conferences), and also serve to corroborate information garnered from secondary sources.
The manuscript collection mentioned under (3), now in OCMH, provides narrative descriptions of the entire campaign as well as reconstructions of activities down to divisional and lower level. They were written from memory by former German officers who participated in the action, and, generally, give an accurate picture of the events. These manuscripts serve as an excellent supplement to the documentary evidence, although caution must be exercised in regard to dates and to biased views.
Among the published works (4), Gen. Emilio Faldella’s Lo sbarco e la difesa della Sicilia served as the one, outstanding source covering the entire campaign in Sicily. General Faldella, Sixth Army chief of staff, wrote his book with the full approval of the Italian Army Historical Office. As the chief of that office assured Mrs. Bauer during several lengthy personal interviews in Rome, Faldella’s book may be considered authoritative and will probably be fully corroborated in the official Italian Army history now in preparation. Faldella’s most recent publication appeared too late to serve this volume; it does not, however, contain information materially changing the narrative.
Personal interviews in Rome by Mrs. Bauer with Generals Guzzoni and Faldella, with the commanding generals of two of the Italian divisions that fought on Sicily,
and with the director and members of the Italian Army Historical Office provided valuable supplementary information, while similar interviews with Admiral Pavesi, the commander of Pantelleria, and with Admiral Fioravanzo, the director of the Italian Navy Historical Office were invaluable in reconstructing the events connected with the fall of Pantelleria.
Otherwise published works are listed only in the footnote citations.