Operation Avalanche: First Invasion of Mainland Europe by Allies Hot

Operation Avalanche: First Invasion of Mainland Europe by Allies

Allied Landings in Salerno, 1943

Timeline of History

Political History

Operation Avalanche: The Allies begin their first invasion of mainland Europe during World War II when General Harold Alexander's 15th Army Group lands around Salerno.

This operation follows the very successful invasion of Sicily, which proceeded more quickly than expected. Some, like Winston Churchill, believe that Italy represents the "soft underbelly" of the Axis and that a successful invasion is necessary to relieve some of the pressure being experienced by the Soviet Union in the East.

There are, however, detractors from this plan as well as numerous problems. First, it will force the Allies to provide food and supplies for the Italian people, a responsibility that would otherwise drain the German war economy.

Second, it will pull supplies and troops away from the planned invasion of northern Europe, an operation that is already incredibly risky. Third, Italy isn't as weak and disorganized as it appears — even after Berlin itself falls to the Allies, there will still be fighting going on in Italy.


Battle for Salerno — World War II

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