The Invasion Of Sicily July 1943, Troops wade ashore from landing ships, 10 July 1943. Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

By Mark McConville

 

THE BRAVERY of British troops during the invasion of Sicily in World War Two has been brought to light in a series of colourised images released to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the action which eventually led to the grizzly end of infamous dictator and architect of fascism Benito Mussolini.

Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

Known as Operation Husky, stunning pictures show British troops in Pachine during the advance through Sicily, a 5.5-inch gun of 212nd Medium Regiment of the Royal Artillery in action and men of the Highland Division up to their waists in water as they unloaded stores from landing craft tanks.

US troops make their way through the smoke to Fontainebleau, en route to Paris, during World War II.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

Other striking shots show US Sherman M4 tanks landing during Operation Husky, Private Roy Humphrey being given blood plasma after he was wounded by shrapnel and the Liberty ship Robert Rowan as it was hit by a German Ju 88 bomber and its cargo of munitions exploded.

Eagles getting ready for Operation Husky.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

The original black and white photographs were painstakingly colourised over a number of months by electrician Royston Leonard (55) from Cardiff, Wales.

Private Roy W. Humphrey of Toledo, Ohio is being given blood plasma after he was wounded by shrapnel in Sicily on 9th Aug 43.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

 

“These images show young people getting ready to face war to bring freedom back to Europe,” he said.

Italians waves an American flag as Allied troops walk past.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

 

“When you look at these pictures you can see fathers, sons, brothers not soldiers. Yes they are soldiers but only a short time before they had been neighbours and friends or family.

British troops in Pachine during the advance through Sicily.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

 

“The pictures show what had to be done and by looking at them we can keep in mind to please never let it happen again.”

5.5-inch gun of 212nd Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, in action, 23 July 1943.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

 

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 (Italy and Nazi Germany). It began with a large amphibious and airborne operation, followed by a six-week land campaign, and initiated the Italian Campaign.

US Sherman M4 Tank Lands during Operation Husky in Sicily 1943.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

 

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.

Just after dawn men of the Highland Division are up to their waists in water unloading stores from landing craft tanks. Meanwhile beach roads are being prepared for heavy and light traffic during dawn of the opening day of the invasion of Sicily.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

 

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, cancelled 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.

Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery is bid a jolly farewell by Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., at the Palermo, Sicily airport after a visit by Gen. Montgomery. Date28 July 1943.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

 

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.

During the invasion of Sicily, the Liberty ship Robert Rowan (K-40) has been hit by a German Ju 88 bomber and its cargo of munitions explodes off Gela, Sicily; In case of accidental explosion of this type, the ship is destroyed, the crew, if he had no time to flee away and killed, and the plume contains a significant amount of toxic substances (explosives residues and mercury from primers for example) – 11 July 1943.
Royston Leonard / mediadrumworld.com

 

For more information see www.mediadrumworld.com

 

 

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