USA and UK/Sicily

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,970
Dispargum
Italy was out of range of airbases in North Africa and Malta. German and Italian airbases in Sicily would still be a threat to Allied convoys crossing the Mediterranean. One reason for taking Sicily was to open the Med to convoys and save the long trip around Africa.
 
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Mar 2015
1,483
Yorkshire
Italy was out of range of airbases in North Africa and Malta. German and Italian airbases in Sicily would still be a threat to Allied convoys crossing the Mediterranean. One reason for taking Sicily was to open the Med to convoys and save the long trip around Africa.
Even worse was the fact that only the South of Sicily was in range of Allied fighters and and the Straits of Messina could only be reached once airfields in the South had been taken. Thus the obvious strategic move of closing off the Straits of Messina with combined air and naval power was impossible or at least the Navy refused to do it without air cover.

This allowed German forces in Sicily to escape encirclement, cross to the Mainland and conduct a prolonged fighting retreat up the boot of Italy.