Lieutenant General Patton's Seventh Army in Sicily 1943: The Maturation of an American Operational Artist
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The Sicilian Campaign, codenamed Operation HUSKY, lasted from 10 July to 17 August 1943, and was an important evolutionary step in George S. Patton s maturation as an operational artist. The study of his operational art in Sicily leads to two questions. How did Patton s experience during the Sicilian Campaign influence his ability to understand an operational environment and accurately visualize operations Furthermore, how did Patton s personal and professional military development prepare him for operations in Sicily Patton s personal and professional development enabled him to visualize the Seventh Army s advance on Palermo and Messina the strategic objective in Sicily prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily, despite his initial limited role in the campaign. In Sicily, Patton s ability to understand and visualize operations allowed him to deviate from the original Allied operational plan to rearrange tactical actions in time and space to seize Messina using several of the elements of operational art. The analysis of Patton s operational art in Sicily considers his professional military development and the Seventh Army s participation in Operation HUSKY during the planning and execution of the campaign. Patton s personal and professional officer education provided a knowledge base grounded in theory, history, and doctrine. The practical application of his education during his training and operational experiences further developed Patton s ability to understand and visualize operations. Patton used his training and operational experiences in the Mexican Punitive Expedition, World War One, and the interwar maneuvers to develop an understanding for what are now called the elements of operational art. From these experiences Patton gained an appreciation for tempo, operational reach, culmination, lines of operation, basing, and risk which he experimented with throughout his early development.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics