On the 80th anniversary of the invasion of Sicily and the mainland battles at Salerno, the Sangro and Ortona, Terry Copp examines the effects of Anglo- American strategic conflict on the operations of both Fifth and Eighth Armies, with special reference to the Canadian experience. While there is agreement that the primary purpose of the campaign was to establish airfields for the strategic bombers on the Fogia plain and contain German Divisions that might otherwise join in the defence of Normandy the question of how best to accomplish this remains open. An epilogue comments on the problem of strategic conflict and operational uncertainty in the war in Ukraine. This lecture is adapted from Terry Copp’s closing plenary at the 2023 Canadian Military History Colloquium.
Terry Copp is Director Emeritus of the Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada.