Edited by Gerald Boerner
Today marks the anniversary of the first trip of a U.S. President being transported in an airplane while in office. What was the occasion? FDR was travelling to North Africa to meet with Winston Churchill at the Casablanca Conference in 1943. This conference would make several decisions related to the conduct by the Allies of World War II. Probably the most important of these was the decision to invade Sicily and Italy before landing troops in the north of France.
The Invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was planned for July, 1943. This was to be a joint effort by British and American troops under the leadership of Montgomery and Patton, respectively. The antagonism between these two generals would foreshadow the conflict between the two during Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy during the D-Day landings. General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the Commander-in-Chief during both operations. It is to Eisenhower’s credit that he was able to get these two “head-strong” leaders to work in basic harmony.
Not discussed at the Casablanca Conference, but important to the success of Operation Husky. This was the deception scheme incorporated into Operation Mincemeat. This involved using a dead body carrying fictitious letters to North African leaders. This body, a “Major William Martin,” was a man with a carefully created life who was to wash up on the Spanish shore with the intent that the German spy machine flourishing in Spain during 1943. If the Germans believed the deception, which they did, would save lives during the invasion of Sicily.
Now is the time to proceed with our exploration of this Allied conference… GLB
These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved
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