A bit of history

A lot has been made of Patton’s march through Sicily and how he beat Monty in the race to Messina, but there is a part of that story that has, for some reason, been left out. Patton had a fantastic intelligence unit built into his army. It was the fact that he had a whole bunch of Italian American soldiers, mostly from Sicilian families and not only did they speak the native language; hell, they spoke the native dialect. They all had relatives in the area.

So what would happen was this. Patton’s units would enter a village and everyone would run out to greet the Americans only to discover that cousin Luigi was with them. At that point the liberation turned into a family reunion. Out would come the good Chianti, carefully hidden from the barbarian Germans and amid singing and eating of pasta and dancing the Taratella, cousin Luigi would be told that the Germans had a strong point about three miles outside the village with two reinforced companies and a tank waiting to spring an ambush.

The poor Brits never had that advantage. To the Sicilians, the British were no better than the Germans. No help was coming for them and the reinforced company that would have been bombed to smithereens by the Americans would be intact, waiting to slow down the British.

And that, more than Patton’s planning, was the reason why the British did not fare as well. To the Sicilians, the British were just another invading army. The Americans were family coming home.

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One Response to “A bit of history”

  1. Kittypie070 Says:

    And this is why you don’t mess with immigrants and their kids. They WILL remember how their ‘new’ country treated them.

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