The Allied invasion of Sicily was codenamed Operation Husky. The deception of Axis intelligence, including the strategic dumping of a body dressed as a British officer carrying fake documents, enabled the offensive to go ahead against reduced enemy defences. The attack began on the night of 9–10 July 1943 using a large combined forces operation. An initial offensive using paratroopers dropped inland behind target beach landing sites was effective in causing disruption amongst the defending forces before a large amphibious assault began. Heavy bombing prior to the offensive had all but wiped out Axis air capabilities, ensuring the initial landing phase was reasonably unscathed by air attack. Aiming to secure a stronghold position between Licata and Catania, Allied forces concentrated their efforts on securing the small port towns, enabling the remaining forces to go ashore more easily. Counterattacks by Italian and German forces were repulsed as the Allied pockets from the 26 landing beaches linked up.
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