This volume, the second to be published in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations subseries, takes up where George F. Howe’s Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West left off. It integrates the Sicilian Campaign with the complicated negotiations involved in the surrender of Italy.
The Sicilian Campaign was as complex as the negotiations, and is equally instructive. On the Allied side it included American, British, and Canadian soldiers as well as some Tabors of Goums; major segments of the U.S. Army Air Forces and of the Royal Air Force; and substantial contingents of the U.S. Navy and the Royal Navy. Opposing the Allies were ground troops and air forces of Italy and Germany, and the Italian Navy. The fighting included a wide variety of operations: the largest amphibious assault of World War II; parachute jumps and air landings; extended overland marches; tank battles; precise and remarkably successful naval gunfire support of troops on shore; agonizing struggles for ridge tops; and extensive and skillful artillery support. Sicily was a testing ground for the U.S. soldier, fighting beside the more experienced troops of the British Eighth Army, and there the American soldier showed what he could do.
The negotiations involved in Italy’s surrender were rivaled in complexity and delicacy only by those leading up to the Korean armistice. The relationship of tactical to diplomatic activity is one of the most instructive and interesting features of this volume. Military men were required to double as diplomats and to play both roles with skill.
The authors were uniquely qualified to undertake this difficult volume. Rare indeed is the collaboration of an authority on Italian, German, and diplomatic history with an experienced infantry officer who is a Master of Arts in history.
Hal C. Pattison
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Military History.
15 June 1963
Lt. Col. Albert Nutter Garland received a B.S. degree in education and an M.A. degree in history from Louisiana State University and has taught in New Orleans private schools and at Louisiana Polytechnic Institute. A Regular Army officer with more than 20 years of active service, he served during World War II as a rifle company commander with the 84th Infantry Division and participated in the Northern France, Ardennes–Alsace, and Central Europe Campaigns. Since 1945 he has served in Alaska and Taiwan and in numerous assignments in the States. Colonel Garland was a member of OCMH from 1958 to 1962 and is now Assistant Editor of Military Review, the U.S. Army’s professional magazine, which is published at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Howard McGaw Smyth, a graduate of Reed College, received the M.A. degree in history from Stanford and the Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He has taught, chiefly in the field of modern European history, at Reed, Princeton, Union College, American University, and the University of California, where he devoted himself to work in the history of modern Italy. He served a term as a member of the Board of Editors of the Journal of Modern History.
During World War II he served for a time in the Office of Strategic Services and then in the Department of State, working on problems relating to Italy in the Division of Territorial Studies and the Division of Southern European Affairs. Dr. Smyth was a member of the staff of OCMH from 1946 to 1952 when he joined the staff of the Historical Office, Department of State, where he is now Editor in Chief, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945.