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July 10, 1943 – War Telescope – Morgan Beatty – NBC Red Network – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
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July 10, 1943 – News from Europe this day and it was all about the invasion of Sicily which took place in the early hours of the morning. The initial communiqué didn’t elaborate, so it was up to the newscasters to supply at least some of the speculation surrounding this milestone event in the war.
The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major campaign of World War II, in which the Allies took the island of Sicily from the Axis powers. It began with a large amphibious and airborne operation, followed by a six-week land campaign, and initiated the Italian Campaign.
To divert some of their forces to other areas, the Allies engaged in several deception operations, the most famous and successful of which was Operation Mincemeat. Husky began on the night of 9–10 July 1943, and ended on 17 August. Strategically, Husky achieved the goals set out for it by Allied planners; the Allies drove Axis air, land and naval forces from the island and the Mediterranean sea lanes were opened for Allied merchant ships for the first time since 1941. The Italian leader, Benito Mussolini, was toppled from power in Italy and the way was opened for the Allied invasion of Italy. The German leader, Adolf Hitler, “canceled a major offensive at Kursk after only a week, in part to divert forces to Italy”, resulting in a reduction of German strength on the Eastern Front. The collapse of Italy necessitated German troops replacing the Italians in Italy and to a lesser extent the Balkans, resulting in one fifth of the entire German army being diverted from the east to southern Europe, a proportion that would remain until near the end of the war.
And that’s what was going on this July 10th, 1943 as reported by Morgan Beatty and NBC’s War Telescope.