Operation Husky was the title for the first joint executed British-American landing operation, at which the navy, aviation and land forces of both countries cooperated. In short: the word ‘us’ had to be replaced by ‘we’. A joint commando and cooperative army forces were then not yet that obvious. You do not become a general or admiral when you do not have a huge ego as well. General Eisenhower was actually the only one who saw that that was the hurdle for a successful invasion of ‘Festung Europe’.
The focus of this book is centred at the air operations, but it also gives a descent insight in what happened at land and sea. To reveal the end directly: Marshal Kesselring saw chance to withdraw the main part of his – and the Italian- troops and material across the street of Messina. That he took that decision was, by the way, the result of nearly cutting off his supplies to Sicily by a huge number of allied black bombers. That he eventually, without too much hassle, made it of the island was, oh irony! – also thanks to those black bombers, only now by not deploying them against the Dunkirk like operation with which the Germans and Italians were brought to safety. Especially their heavy artillery caused by their next landings in Italy, huge problems! The Germans never ceased to outrage the ‘Dunkirk-parallel’ in their home front propaganda!
The reading of this book was sometimes discouraged by the waterfall of detailed information. But what made the balance right again were the stories about a few key figures from the allied and – As side, from all ranks, thus also the ‘normal’ pilots and crew. Some of them, also from German side, have made it to the highest commando’s in the after war NAVO built up.
The picture material supports the text in this book excellently. Especially the pictures taken from the planes are extra ordinary. For example the pictures of an at sea level flying formation Ju 52’ s and Italian cargo planes that were attacked by American B 25′ s and P 38′ s. It is difficult to imagine how one must have felt in those cargo planes..
In short: a book that is worth its money for ones interested in this episode of WOII.