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70th Anniversary Spotlight: the Invasion of Sicily — July 10, 1943

By May 1943, the United States Army had acquired hard-won experience and tasted success in North Africa as Axis forces composed of more than 250,000 German and Italian troops surrendered at Tunisia. Through intense debates in the previous months, it had become apparent to the Allied leadership that the next step taken by the Allies would not be a cross-channel attack into northern France, as preparations for such an expedition would be inadequate and premature. Instead, the next major initiative against the enemy would come in a Mediterranean crossing which would seek the first defeat of one of the three Axis powers — Fascist Italy.

Sicily was a natural route to mainland Italy and the European continent going back in history to the Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome. The Allies could count on air cover from Malta for a Sicilian invasion. In an elaborate espionage operation known as Mincemeat, designed to divert German defenses, British intelligence dressed a suicide victim as a Royal Marine, planted false papers on the corpse and deposited the package off the coast of Spain for the Germans to find and interpret. The ruse proved successful, and German resources were shifted to the islands of Sardinia and Corsica.

Read more of this article, written by Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Director of History and Research Keith Huxen, in our V-Mail mailing.

For more 70th anniversary news, follow our blog at www.nww2m.com.

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Invasion of Normandy: 70th Anniversary Cruise

Featuring Tom Brokaw, Rick Atkinson and Don Miller
Aboard the Silver Cloud
May 30, 2014 – June 9, 2014

June 6, 2014 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Allied Invasion of Normandy. To recognize the occasion, The National WWII Museum is hosting an exclusive educational travel program and charter of the luxurious Silversea ship, the Silver Cloud.

The cruise will start in Lisbon, a center for espionage during the war, and will visit many of the historic sites that remain in the old city. We will then set sail north to St. Nazaire, on the Brittany Coast. This port acted as a major submarine base for the German Wolfpack, and was also the site of the daring British Raid in 1942.

Cruising into the English Channel, we will stop at the small Guernsey village of St. Peter Port, to see the many German installations that remain and enjoy a social gathering with locals who survived the war under German occupation. We will also visit the English ports of Portsmouth and Dover.

The ship will then dock for five nights in the Caen Canal in the heart of Normandy with daily touring opportunities including the D-Day Invasion landing beaches, chateau visits, trips to the Abbey de Caen, Memorial de Caen, Airbourne Museum and Hill 314 at Mortain. We will also take part in 70th Anniversary ceremonies at the American Cemetery near Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc, Utah Beach and Sainte-Mere-Eglise and British & Canadian beaches including Pegasus Bridge. Additional cultural tours will include Bayeux and Mt. Saint Michel, and more.

For more information on this exclusive travel opportunity, please visit our website at www.ww2museumtours.org, call 877-813-3329 X 257 or email travel@nationalww2museum.org.

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Electronic Version:

View the full summer 2013 V-mail — before anyone else!

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