Catalogue ref: BP060743108903
Courtesy of ITN/Source
This is an extract from a British newsreel broadcast in 1943.
Official camera operators would have shot this footage. It would then have been brought back to England to be edited and to have a commentary added.
After defeating the German and Italian forces in North Africa in 1943, the Allies launched a new attack on their enemies. Combined land, sea and air forces attacked Sicily in July 1943 and the island fell in August 1943. The British 8th Army under Montgomery landed in Italy in September 1943. Soon afterwards US forces landed at Salerno. The Italian government surrendered on September 8th but German forces continued to hold Italy and resist the Allies. There would be continued hard fighting through Italy until April 1945.
The terrain of Italy was especially well suited to defending, and the German forces were well led by Field Marshal Kesslering.
Montgomery commanded the British 8th Army in the invasion of Sicily and then Italy in the summer of 1943. For most of the campaign in North Africa he had been the leading figure in the British war effort. However, in the invasion of Sicily and Italy he had to work with the US generals Patton and Bradley. The relationship was very difficult.
Montgomery was called away from the Italian campaign in December 1943. In his view the Allied forces were badly co-ordinated and the planning was not thorough enough. He said he was glad to leave the 'dog's breakfast' of a campaign.
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