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1943

Operation Corkscrew is launched by Britain

On this day in 1943, after 10 days of bombing runs, Britain lands troops on the Italian island of Pantelleria, off the southern coast of Sicily, in Operation Corkscrew. The Italian garrisons surrenders upon orders from Mussolini, who would later deny the order when the Germans express outrage. This defeat shakes the confidence of many in Mussolini’s cabinet, since they had been assured that Pantelleria was impregnable.

Britain would continue its collection of Italian islands over the next two days, with the occupation of Lampedusa and Linosa—all in preparation for the Allied invasion of Sicily itself in July.

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