After landing in Sicily and defeating the Italians Patton's forces halt a German counter attack. Then, unwilling to stand by while the British move North to Messina, Patton leads an attack ... See full summary »

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Episode credited cast:
John Antal ...
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Rick Atkinson ...
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Walter Ehlers ...
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Austin Fernald ...
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Peter Havale ...
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Kevin Hymel ...
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Andrew Jacobson ...
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H.R. McMaster ...
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Martin K.A. Morgan ...
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Carl Petersen ...
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Teaford Roebuck ...
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Erik Thompson ...
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After landing in Sicily and defeating the Italians Patton's forces halt a German counter attack. Then, unwilling to stand by while the British move North to Messina, Patton leads an attack and conquers Palermo then heads east to re-enforce the British still fighting for Messina. Written by David Foss

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TV-PG
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Release Date:

24 April 2009 (USA)  »

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Palermo Falls.
23 November 2015 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

In this episode, Patton's Seventh Army has landed on the southern coast of Sicily and his rival Montgomery has landed on a peninsula in the southeast. The plan is to have Montgomery move by the shortest route northward, past the volcanic Moun Etna, take the city of Messina, and cut off the escape route of the German and Italians. With Messina in Allied hands, the Axis powers are stuck on the island of Sicily.

Monty gets bogged down at a bottleneck involving a highway and a bridge just at the base of Mount Etna. Patton's role has been to advance along Monty's west and protect his flank, but Patton get permission to make a reconnaissance in force towards the Sicilian capital of Palermo on the north coast.

It's a little difficult to describe without maps, but the general picture is one of Patton abandoning his role as Monty's protector and barreling off towards Palermo on his own. He takes the city too, which, the narration suggests, makes up for the disastrous failure of his command to warn the anti-aircraft batteries of a huge flight of C-47s carrying paratroopers and towing gliders. The unwitting pilots fly into a barrage and the flight is broken up with many casualties.

So the situation is this. There are two cities on the important northern coast of Sicily -- Palermo and Messina. The latter lies only a few miles from the tip of the Italian mainland.

Montgomery and Patton are rivals and both are determined to take Messina. Patton is farther away but hasn't yet met much resistance. Monty is closer but the fighting along his highway is fierce. Each wants to beat the other to Messina. Patton seems to be rather enjoying himself. He's rushed in a kind of cavalry charge across the entire island while Monty has been slogging it out around Mt. Etna. It's a ridiculous game but for both leaders Messina is a cathexis.

Patton, now unleashed, begins another mad rush across Sicily's northern coast but this time the skillful German general in charge -- Kesselring -- has established a firm defensive line around Messina and the American charge is blunted, much to Patton's frustration.

The series continues to be reasonably accurate and informative and the editorial techniques distracting and sometimes insulting to an adult viewer.


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