The joint force of British and Canadians (both under the command of General Bernard Montgomery) and Americans (commanded by Lieutenant General George Patton) landed on the southern shores of the island and began fighting their way north, aiming in the end for the Straits of Messina that separate Sicily from the ‘boot’ of Italy. Most of the troops opposing the Allies were Italian. Although smaller in number, the German forces included the Hermann Göring panzer division and the 15th Panzer Grenadiers.For the soldiers of Montgomery’s Eighth Army, Sicily was a change from the desert. There were orange and lemon trees and wine aplenty, courtesy of a friendly population. There were also mosquitoes that carried malaria and caused many casualties amongst the troops, despite preventive measures.
Victory for the Allies was achieved by 17 August but most of the German forces were able to escape across the water to the Italian mainland.