Allied Invasion of Italy (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Allied invasion of Italy is initially planned as a temporary substitute for the cross-Channel invasion of France, but becomes an unexpectedly costly effort surrounded by controversy and mixed results.
Summary of Event
After the American and British leaders had agreed at the Casablanca Conference upon an invasion of Sicily after the Axis powers were defeated in North Africa, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain came to Washington, D.C., in May, 1943, to confer with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Noting the rapidity with which the Axis forces had been driven out of North Africa, Churchill proposed that the Allies invade Italy at the earliest possible moment to take advantage of Italian war-weariness and perhaps force an Italian surrender.
Roosevelt and General George C. Marshall, chief of staff of the U.S. Army, were opposed to the idea of committing large numbers of troops to an invasion of Italy, which they considered a merely diversionary effort. Instead, they proposed that the troops be sent to England to prepare for a cross-Channel invasion of France. Nevertheless, they gave in to Churchill’s urgings and agreed to a limited invasion of Italy, but specified that troops from the Mediterranean were to be transported to England on schedule no matter what occurred in Italy. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme Allied commander in the Mediterranean, was ordered to command...
(The entire section is 996 words.)
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