1943 Allied Force Headquarters Road Map of Sicily

Road Map 1 : 500000 Sicily. - Main View

1943 Allied Force Headquarters Road Map of Sicily


Likely published in the months leading up to the Allied invasion of Sicily.


Road Map 1 : 500000 Sicily.
  1943 (dated)     22 x 28.75 in (55.88 x 73.025 cm)     1 : 500000


This is a 1943 Allied Force Headquarters road map of Sicily. Likely published in the months leading up to Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily, text situated on the upper border states 'For Use of War Air and Navy Depts Only. Not for Distribution'. Red lines mark significant highways throughout the island, allowing Allied vehicles a clear understanding of the best roads to use while fighting in Sicily. Thick black lines and parallel thin black lines trace smaller roads. Cities, towns, and villages are labeled, such as Ragusa, Syracuse (Siracusa), Catania, Messina, and Palermo. Other symbols identify seaplane bases, large and small airfields, and emergency landing locations. Mount Etna, Sicily's famous active volcano, is prominently illustrated on the upper right between Messina and Catania. Insets situated in the lower-left corner and along the right side contain city plans of many major cities, including Agrigento, Palermo, Catania, Messina, and Syracuse. Red lines mark the important highways through each of these cities.
Operation Husky and the Battle of Sicily
Launched on the night of July 9-10, 1943, the Allied invasion of Sicily was codenamed Operation Husky. A combined airborne and amphibious landing, the Allies conquered Sicily in six weeks. Allied planners saw three strategic reasons for capturing Sicily. The first, securing sea lanes through the Mediterranean, meant that Allied shipping would be able to operate in the Mediterranean for the first time since 1941. The second and third were knocking Italy out of the war and diverting German troops from the Eastern Front to southern Europe, thereby taking pressure off Joseph Stalin's Red Army. The second and third goals turned out to be intertwined. Once the Allies pushed all the German and Italian troops out of Sicily, the Italian populace rose and overthrew Benito Mussolini, Italy's fascist dictator. Mussolini's overthrow forced Hitler and Nazi Germany to cancel a planned offensive near Kursk and redeploy a fifth of the troops along the Eastern Front to Italy and the Balkans, which took some pressure off the Red Army and divided Hitler's attention.
Publication History and Census
This map was compiled by the 649th Engineer Battalion of the U.S. Army under the supervision of the Survey Directorate of the Allied Force Headquarters from a Geographical Section, General Staff map. This is the only known surviving example.


Very good. Closed margin tears professionally repaired on verso. Exhibits some soiling. Blank on verso.