With Utmost Spirit
Allied Naval Operations in the Mediterranean, 1942-1945
Publication Year: 2004
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
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This study would not have been possible without the assistance and encouragement of many persons, especially the veterans of World War II who shared with me their memories, experiences, diaries, news articles,...
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As in ancient times, during World War II the Mediterranean Sea was the setting for an epic struggle. From June 1940 to November 1942 Great Britainâs Royal Navy fought Italian naval and air forces, then German submarines and the German air force, to...
1. A New Chapter in the Struggle for the Mediterranean
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With the exception of two aircraft ferry operations by the carrier Wasp in the spring of 1942, American naval and military forces did not join their British allies in the struggle against the Axis in the Mediterranean until November 1942. By then British forces...
2. Operation Torch: The Landings in French Morocco
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By the morning of D-day Minus One, November 7, 1942, the Western Naval Task Force was nearing the Moroccan coast. The storm had abated, and early that morning Admiral Davidson's Southern Attack...
3. Operation Torch: The Mediterranean Landings
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While the Americans were landing along the coast of French Morocco, Allied troops were coming ashore inside the Mediterranean at Oran and Algiers. The capture of Oran and its naval base at Mers el-Kébir was the...
4. The Race to Tunis
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With the capture of Oran, Algiers, and Casablanca, the Allies had established a strong foothold in North Africa and secured three major ports to support their offensive eastward into Tunisia. Although the Allies were intent upon securing Bizerte and Tunis...
5. The Tunisian Campaign
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Allied prospects as of New Yearâs Day 1943 were mixed. Although they had lost the race to Tunis, the British had won a major victory in North Africa at El Alamein and were pursuing Rommel's forces westward toward Tripoli. On January...
6. Gearing Up for Operation Husky
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Although the Tunisian campaign had officially ended, British Coastal Forces and Allied air forces remained active in the Sicilian Channel for several weeks, and convoys continued to come and go escorted by destroyers and other escort...
7. Operation Husky
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From the bridge of his flagship, the old Belgian cross-Channel steamer Antwerp, Adm. Sir Bertram Ramsay RN could see the first landing craft of the slow convoy struggling toward him in the choppy seas. This was the wartime debut...
8. The Sicilian Campaign
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As night fell on D-day, Adm. Alan Kirk's bridge announcer, John Mason Brown, told his flagship Ancon audience, "Herewith . . . some of the news you helped to make. Admiral Hewitt, in a dispatch to Admiral Cunningham, reported that the...
9. The Race to Messina
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Palermo's capture eased the burden of supplying Seventh Army from North African ports and also gave the Allies a base from which to support army operations along Sicily's north coast. To that end, on July 27 the U.S. Navy organized...
10. Operation Avalanche
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The Italians were preparing to surrender, Allied convoys making up Vice Adm. H. Kent Hewittâs Western Naval Task Force (Task Force 80) were getting under way from half a dozen ports for an invasion of the Italian mainland at Salerno. Hewitt and Fifth Army commander Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark sailed...
11. The Battle for Salerno
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Except for sneak air raids on the transport area, D-day Plus One, September 10, 1943, was a quiet one on Salerno beachhead. In VI Corps sector, the Americans spent the day unloading and regrouping. PC-542 was patrolling off the beachhead. By afternoon, Radioman Second Class Joseph J. Smith wrote...
12. Supporting the Italian Campaign
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Although the Salerno campaign officially came to a close with the Allied breakout from the Salerno plain on September 20, naval support for troops in Italy continued on a reduced scale throughout the autumn of 1943 as tankers, repair ships, and ammunition and provisions ships crossed and recrossed the...
13. Operation Shingle
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With the fall of Naples and the German withdrawal to the Volturno Line, the battle for Italy entered its third phase--the drive to Rome. Unaware that on October 4 Hitler had ordered Field Marshal Albert Kesselring to delay...
14. The Anzio Campaign
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January 29, 1944, marked the end of the first week of Allied operations at Anzio-Nettuno. The Luftwaffe observed the occasion with several air attacks including...
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By early spring of 1944 the struggle at Anzio beachhead had become a stalemate destined to last until May when Allied forces were finally able to break out from the beachhead and link up with Fifth Army forces advancing northward. Allied...
16. Preliminaries to Operation Dragoon
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The Allies began their fourth summer of World War II in the Mediterranean in dramatically different circumstances from those of the first three summers. Unlike the dark days of 1940-41, the United States was now firmly in the...
17. Operation Dragoon
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The Western Naval Task Force, or main assault force for Operation Dragoon, was mounted in the Naples area and left in convoys at intervals beginning on August 9,...
18. Operation Dragoon: Final Phase
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Although by the morning of D-day Plus One VI Corps was poised to secure the Blue Line, Gen. John Dahlquist's decision to land on Green Beach instead of Camel Red, or Beach 264A, had affected Gen. Lucian Truscott's plan. The landing...
19. Mopping Up in the Med
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With Operation Dragoon successfully completed and Gen. Alexander Patch's Seventh Army moving north, the war in the Mediterranean began winding down and the Allies started closing bases and transferring ships and resources...
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Allied victory in the Mediterranean theater in World War II was achieved not only by the courage, determination, and skill of Allied soldiers, sailors, and airmen but also by the cooperative efforts of British and American military forces...
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Page Count: 608
Publication Year: 2004