Book Review
Sicily 1943
Sicily 1943 – The debut of Allied joint operations
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by: Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]




** Operation Husky, the Anglo-American amphibious landings on Sicily in July 1943, was the proving ground for all subsequent Allied amphibious operations including Salerno, Anzio, and finally D-Day. Husky’s strategic objective was to knock Italy out of the war, a mission that ultimately proved successful and demonstrated the growing ability of Britain and the United States to conduct extremely complex combined-arms attacks involving amphibious landings as well as airborne assaults. Not only did the Sicily operation represent a watershed in tactical development of combined-arms tactics it was also an important test for future Allied joint operations. Sicily was a demonstration that the US Army had learned the lessons of North Africa and was now capable of fighting as a co-equal of the British Army. **

** Quoted from the back cover of the book.


Osprey Publications Ltd has released Sicily 1943 – The debut of Allied joint operations as Number 251 in their Campaign series. It is a paperback book with 96 pages. Included with the text are personal quotes, black and white photographs and color photographs, color illustrations, color maps and ‘birds-eye-view maps, informational charts and detailed captions. It has a 2013 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-78096-126-2. The book details the command strategies, tactics and battle experiences of the opposing forces throughout the crucial stages of the 1943 Sicily campaign during World War II.


  • Introduction
  • The strategic situation
  • Allied preparations: Operation Corkscrew
  • Allied preparations: air superiority
  • Chronology
  • Opposing Commanders
  • Axis commanders
  • Allied commanders
  • Opposing Forces
  • Axis forces
  • Allied forces
  • Opposing Plans
  • Axis plans
  • Allied plans
  • The Campaign
  • Airborne assault: Husky 1
  • Airborne assault:
  • Ladbroke
  • 8th Army landings
  • Seventh US Army landings
  • The initial Axis response: American sector
  • The initial Axis response: British sector
  • The initial Axis response: air operations
  • Axis reassessment
  • Beyond the Yellow Line
  • The race for Palermo
  • The fall of Mussolini
  • Containing the Allies
  • Operation Lehrgang
  • The final approach to Messina
  • The Campaign In Perspective
  • The Battlefield Today
  • Further Reading
  • Index


Steven J. Zaloga has done an excellent job with the text in the book as it is well written and extremely detailed. Zaloga covers the fighting for Sicily from the preparations for the invasion to the fighting to the outcome of the fighting and goes into great detail about the individuals on both sides of the conflict. Of interest to me was the discussion of the various operations, both allied and axis that took place during the fighting in Sicily such as Operation Husky, Operation Ladbroke and Operation Lehrgang. In addition to the text Zaloga has added personal quotes from individuals involved in the campaign which adds a personal touch to the narrative. This is a well written history that will be of great use and interest to the well-seasoned and knowledgeable World War Two and the Sicily campaign historian or the individual that is new to this area of history and wants to learn about it. As I read through the text I didn’t notice any spelling or grammatical errors. Grammar and spelling might not be an important factor to everyone however it is something that I take notice of and pass on my findings. I feel that if the text is well written then it shows that the author has taken the time to be a professional with their writing. Anyone wanting to add an excellent reference and history book on the 1943 Sicily campaign during World War II to their personal library will be pleased with this very informative and interesting book.

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the text for yourself.


There are a total of 69 black and white photographs and 1 color photograph shown throughout the book. The majority of the photographs are very nice and will help the military modeler well. They range from wide angle photographs to close-up detailed photographs. The majority of the photographs are clear and easily viewable, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark, and some appear too light, which is typical for photographs of that period of time. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason as well as the fact that the photographs are close to 70 years old. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and take away nothing from the book. Steven J. Zaloga has stuck to the title of the book and chose photographs that are specific to the 1943 Sicily campaign during World War II and did not include photographs that strayed from the main subject of the book. There are several excellent photographs that will help out the aircraft, soft skinned vehicle, weapons, and figure modeler. The majority of the photographs will prove to be a wealth of information due to the details they contain.

The photographs contain subjects such as:

  • German Ju-88 aircraft
  • British Universal Carrier
  • Skoda 47mm A5 vz. 36 gun
  • Italian Semovente 90/53
  • German Tiger I heavy tank
  • German PzKpfw IV
  • Italian Cant Z506B float aircraft
  • Italian Vittorio Veneto-class battleship Littorio
  • 51st Highland Division 25-pdr and crew
  • 4e Tabor of Moroccan Goums colonial mountain troops
  • Canadian 1st Army Sherman tank
  • US P-40 Warhawk aircraft
  • Italian coastal defense bunker with twin Vickers 15in. guns
  • World War I Ansaldo 152/45 S. 1911 Italian siege gun
  • Italian Autocarro unificato Fiat 626 truck fitted with a Bredo 20mm mod. 35 gun
  • US DUKW amphibious truck
  • US Waco CG-4A Hadrian Glider
  • US M2 half-tracks
  • Italian strongpoint at Ponte Dirillo with a captured French 75mm M1897 “Typ maroc” gun
  • German Ford V3000S truck
  • German 7.5cm Leichtgeschutz LG 40 gun
  • German Bf-109G aircraft
  • British 40mm Bofors gun
  • Canadian-built Otter reconnaissance car
  • Italian Cannone-mitagliera Scotti 20/77 antiaircraft automatic cannon

Some of the key individuals shown are:

  • Generale d’armata Alfredo Guzzoni
  • Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring
  • General Sir Harold Alexander
  • General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery
  • Lieutenant General George S. Patton Jr.
  • Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham
  • Rear Admiral H. Kent HewittChief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder
  • Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz
  • Major-General G. G. Simonds
  • Italian Commander Generale di Brigata Giuseppe Molinero
  • General Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the photographs for yourself.


There are 3 color illustrations and 3 accompanying black and white illustrations by illustrator Howard Gerrard. Each color illustration is accompanied by a black and white copy of the same illustration that describes the scene and points out and describes key areas of interest. The illustrations are very well done, nicely detailed and are of:

  • Tank Attack At Gela, July 10, 1943
  • The Bomber Menace
  • Operation Lehrgang

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the illustrations for yourself.


There are 6 color maps included in this volume which are well done, nicely detailed and are of:

  • Axis dispositions on Sicily, July 10, 1943
  • Operation Husky, July 101. 1943
  • Beach-head breakout, July 13-18, 1943
  • Patton’s race to Palermo, July 19-23
  • The shift north of Etna, July 23, 1943
  • Operation Hardgate, July 24-August 7, 1943

There are 3 ‘birds-eye-view’ 3-D color maps also included in this volume which are well done, nicely detailed and are of:

  • Axis Counterattack On Gela Beachhead, July 10-11
  • Battle For The Catania Gateway
  • The Race To Messina

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the maps for yourself.


There are 6 informational charts provided which provide information on:

  • Key to military symbols
  • Key to unit identification
  • Axis Ground Forces, Sicily, July 10, 1943 (units involved)
  • British Army (units involved)
  • US Army (units involved)
  • Axis evacuation from Sicily (dates, materials, men)


There are two notes included in this volume. They are:

- Author’s Note
- Artist’s Note


As always, Steven J. Zaloga’s captions are very helpful to the reader due to their detailed content as opposed to other captions I have seen that are very brief and lack detail. The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs in great detail eliminating any doubt as to what is shown and taking place in the accompanying photograph. The captions go into very specific detail as to weapons, aircraft, vehicles and locations as well as specific individuals and other such pertinent information.

Please refer to the scans that I have provided so that you can judge the captions for yourself.

This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.


All in all I am very impressed with the book. This is a very nice reference book that contains many excellent and subject specific photographs and illustrations and well detailed captions. It details the fighting in Sicily in 1943 during World War II very well. This volume will be of particular interest and beneficial to anyone interested in the Sicily campaign. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others as it will be a welcome addition to one’s personal military reference library.


World War II Day by Day
An Illustrated Almanac 1939-1945
Donald Sommerville
Dorset Press

WWII Time-Life Books History of the Second World War
By the Editors of Time-Life Books
Foreword by Eric Sevareid
Prentice Hall Press

The American Heritage Picture History of World War II
C.L. Sulzberger
American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc.

The Military History of World War II
Consultant Editor: Barrie Pitt
The Military Press

Illustrated History of World War II
Ian Beckett
Portland House

The Usborne Introduction To The Second World War
In association with the Imperial War Museum
Paul Dowswell
Designed by Leonard Le Rolland & Karen Tomlins
Edited by Jane Chisholm
Consultant: Terry Harman, Historian, Imperial War Museum
Scholastic Inc.

The Second World War
Martin Gilbert
Owl Books

World War 2 Combat Uniforms and Insignia
Squadron/Signal Publications, #6013
Published in 1977
Martin Windrow with color illustrations by Gerry Embleton

The Military Book Club Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of WWII
Saturn Books Ltd.
Ian V. Hogg

Guns of the Reich
Firearms of the German Forces, 1939-1945
George Markham
Arms and Armour Press

Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles 1940-1965
Thomas Bernt
Krause Publications

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Worlds Tanks and Fighting Vehicles
Christopher F. Foss
Chartwell Books, Inc.

Sicily - whose victory?
Martin Blumenson
Campaign Book No. 3
Ballantine’s Illustrated History of World War II

Great Weapons Of World War II
John Kirk
Robert Young
Introduction by Bernard E. Trainor
Walker And Company

Osprey web site Live links

Osprey Publishing also has Sicily 1943 – The debut of Allied joint operations available as a:

- PDF ebook
- ePub eBook

Look inside the book on the Amazon web site:
Available on Amazon Live links

Kindle Version Live links

Highs: Well written text and captions Useful photographs and illustrations
Lows: Nothing to mention
Verdict: This is an excellent reference book of the 1943 Sicily campaign during World War II that is well researched and written.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-78096-126-2
  Suggested Retail: US $21.95 / UK £14.99
  PUBLISHED: Apr 01, 2013

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy L Harvey (HARV)

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2021 text by Randy L Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.


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