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Consolidating Gains in Large-Scale Combat Operations: Operation Husky

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2018,31 May 2019

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Operation Husky remains a significant example of the trials and tribulations of large-scale combat operations LSCO during World War II. The Allied force initial assault consisted of more than seven divisions, preceded by two airborne divisions coming ashore simultaneously along a front of one hundred miles. Operation Husky would eventually become the largest and most dispersed amphibious assault with the Seventh Army being the first US field army to fight as a unit in World War II. The Seventh Armys success in Operation Husky was attributed to the initiative of aggressive commanders and soldiers and the Seventh Armys ability through effective Civil Affairs Officers CAO and American Military Government AMG operations to quickly consolidate gains. The area security and stability tasks accomplished in the consolidation area contributed significantly to Allied success in Sicily. The Italian Fascist government under Mussolini began to crumble under the weight of Allied pressure. Increased civilian unrest, scattered enemy remnants fighting in the rear area, staggering numbers of prisoners of war, and threats of counterattack penetrations became a concern that General George S. Patton Seventh Army Commander and his Division commanders planned for and reduced in execution. The lessons learned during Operation Husky were applied to the follow-up operation in Normandy one year later, and still apply today. Given a renewed emphasis on LSCO, this paper examines how consolidation area operations during Operation Husky added to the cumulative effects required for success in LSCO. This paper will address elements of operational art that were most significantly improved because of effective consolidation area operations operational reach, tempo, and phasing and transitions. The research and findings from this paper will assist future commanders and operational planners in planning for large-scale combat operations.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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