The Jump Into Sicily


While the battle of Biazza Ridge was taking place between Gavin’s troopers and a tank-supported regiment of the Hermann Goering Division, another German column was attacking the 1st Infantry Division with more success near Gela. At this point, however, the German resistance at Biazza Ridge collapsed. As reported later in the official U.S. Army history of the war, “The paratroop stand on Biazza Ridge prompted Conrath to change his plans” and pull out not only the mauled survivors of that battle, but also the other German column pushing toward Gela. This respite for the Americans, still struggling to hold a beachhead, contributed substantially to the capture of Sicily. The 82nd Airborne Division had passed its first test with honors.