Operation Mincemeat: The War Against Nazi Germany

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In January 1943, the two western Allied powers met in Casablanca, Morocco to discuss the next step in the war against Nazi Germany. The two parties (The United States and Great Britain) could not, however, come to an agreement on what was the best overarching strategic plan for the war. The British wanted to invade Italy and destroy Mussolini's Italian Empire whilst securing the Mediterranean Sea. On the other hand, the Americans wanted to amass a huge invasion force in Britain and attack France. In the end a compromise was reached; the Allies would invade Italy to distract Hitler, destroy Mussolini and secure the Mediterranean Sea whilst the majority of the forces would gather in Britain to prepare for a massive invasion. The latter of these…show more content…
The Invasion of Sicily was the perfect opportunity to test a D-Day style combined amphibious invasion. The Invasion in Sicily was a massive operation involving 3,000 Allied ships and 7 divisions of infantry, it was vital in honing the amphibious assault strategies used by the British, and the landing squads of the Americans which combined created a lethal amphibious force. The perfection of these strategies allowed for efficient and effective amphibious invasions, as seen later at D-Day. Another very important strategy practiced at Sicily was the misdirection of Axis troops away from the actual Operation. Operation Mincemeat was the Allied plan to trick the Nazis into moving troops away from Sicily and it worked incredibly well, by planting fake plans on a dead body the British convinced the Nazis to move troops anywhere but Sicily the deception all but halved the troops defending Sicily. This deception proved to the Allies the usefulness of misinformation as it, and a similar strategy was used again at D-Day. Some of the most important products of the Italian Campaign were the battle-hardened Allied soldiers who helped secure the Normandy foothold. The Canadian First Division and the American Seventh Army were moved out of Italy after D-Day to secure the Allied landings by invading southern France. These two battle-hardened armies secured the…show more content…
The Invasion of Italy opened a new front with the Nazis and for the first time in the war Hitler was fighting on two fronts. This was a great strategic and psychological blow as the Allies had broken Hitler's “Fortress Europe” and had opened a front close to the German homeland. This new front was a huge distraction for the Germans as they had to supply, organize and lead the troops in Italy while maintaining their bloody battle with the Soviet Union. As the Nazis reinforced Italy they had to take troops out of the battle against Russia and from occupied France. In total 29 German Divisions including the elite Waffen and Wehrmacht - SS Divisions were pulled from other fronts to secure Italy. Overall around 525,000 Nazi troops were pulled out of other fronts to fight in Italy, and this huge distraction meant that even fewer troops were in France to stop the Normandy invasion. Another major distraction for Hitler was the possible destruction of his precious Romanian oil fields and southern German industrial cities. This was a constant worry for Hitler because if the Allies took Italy they would have full access to the airfields which they could use to cripple the Nazi supply chain. This was the primary reason why the Nazis were so fanatical defending Italy, despite incredibly high casualties compared to the Allies. The

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