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Operation Hucky Case Study

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Operation HUSKY was a dismal display of mission command and integration at the operational level. GEN Eisenhower’s unwillingness to get involved in the planning and execution led to a lack of understanding and mistrust among subordinate leaders ultimately allowing German forces to evacuate to Italy. This essay will evaluate mission command by examining first Eisenhower’s leadership, or lack thereof, and the resultant lack of involvement by his ground commander, GEN Alexander. Resultantly, the two subordinate commanders, Patton and Montgomery, developed their own uncoordinated maneuvers. The essay will apply the joint attributes of commander’s intent, mutual trust and understanding as evaluation criteria to analyze the impacts of poor mission…show more content…
This operation proved to be the one outlier that included coordination across the functional commands. The logistical support, itself, included over 3,200 ships and was the largest amphibious operation to date. The operation also consisted of both airborne and glider landings. Despite difficulties presented by weather and beach conditions, the allies were able to quickly establish their landings and advance inland on the first day. The movement of allied forces into Sicily was the one bright spot in their ability to integrate movement; this could not have been done without the support of all the services. The complimentary function of maneuver was, however, a…show more content…
This fault rests with GEN Eisenhower, himself. Although HUSKY provided both positive and negative examples of fires integration, the individual service commanders were the ones who actually determined the level of cooperation. The Navy provided integrated fire support; the Air Forces did not. Naval gunfire supported U.S. beach landings allowing the Americans to get their Sherman tanks ashore and also proved necessary in helping to repel the Axis counterattack at Gela. Later, Patten primarily employed naval gunfire to support his advance along the northern coast to Messina. Similarly, British forces also relied heavily on naval gunfire. When they began to maneuver west away from the coast line, the XXXth Corps moved beyond the range of the naval gunfire and was unable to get air support in its place. One of the reasons ground forces relied so heavily on the Navy was out of necessity- Allied air forces refused to relegate themselves to a supporting role. Air Marshal Coningham “established a cumbersome and unresponsive system” that failed to provide air support to ground and naval operations. Although Allied air forces had air superiority, Coningham’s refusal to subordinate his forces in support of another service allowed Axis aircraft to operate unopposed against the allied ground forces during much of the operation. One of the few times the air forces did provide support, they were unable to
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