On this day in history, August 11, 1943, German forces during World War II began evacuating the island of Sicily.
German forces were present in Sicily since the beginning of war but when General George Patton and the 7th Army as well as General Bernard Montgomery and the 8th Army, German forces were forced to evacuate the island.
German forces had to make their way to the Straight of Messina to make their way off of Sicily and get back to the Italian mainland.
Patton succeeded in reaching Palermo, the Sicilian capital on July 2nd, but Montgomery wasn’t able to reach Messina in time after the German 29th Panzergrenadier Division and the 14th Panzer Corps were brought over to stop the progress of the 8th Army.
Germans made it to the strait on August 11 and were able to evacuate over the next six days. Even thought the Allied forces were able to conquer Sicily, German forces were able to get the majority of their soldiers, equipment, vehicles and ammunition across to the mainland.