Did you know one of the greatest friendly fire tragedies of WWII occurred during the first airborne military offensive of the United States Army?

Marcos Hernandez Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith

Operation Husky was the codename given to the Allied invasion of Sicily and was the first operation to use troops dropped into battle by parachute. 

Before the majority of the paratroopers could be dropped onto Sicilian soil one of the Allied ships on the coast began to fire on the transport plane formation. The other Allied ships in the vicinity joined in and forced the troops to jump from their planes far from their intended drop zones. 

Twenty-three planes were destroyed and the friendly fire accounted for almost 400 casualties, with 81 paratroopers killed.

After such a shaky start the invasion of Sicily was ultimately a success and, after six weeks of fighting, Allied powers took control of the island on August 17, 1943.

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