Some points learned from the Sicilian operations are briefly listed in the
a. Mechanical Equipment
(1) Division rear area operators of mechanical equipment require further
training to bring them to a satisfactory standard of efficiency.
(2) Due to faulty waterproofing and minor mechanical defects some
bulldozers were laid up for repairs as long as 24 hours.
(3) Blades should be fitted to all bulldozers before landing.
(4) To give sufficient night vision a window with a steel shutter which can
be opened is required for armored bulldozers.
b. Beach Tracks
(1) Beach tracks must be wide enough to allow two way traffic, so that an
exit is not blocked by one damaged vehicle.
(2) Fascine or corduroy mats must be provided to prevent the track from
being torn up by tracked vehicles.
c. Engineer Reconnaissance
(1) Houses required for dressing stations and the like, must be thoroughly
searched early for booby traps of which many may be expected.
(2) Enemy minefields must be more clearly marked, once their locations
have been determined.
d. American Naval Pontoon Piers
(1) These piers were an undoubted success. They were used in two ways:
With both ends fixed. In this case the sea end is attached to a tank landing
ship which is "flooded down" (bottom resting on sea bed) to form a stable pier to
which incoming ships can tie up and unload. The shore end of the pontoon pier is
also flooded to rest on the bottom to give a firm footing.
With the sea end free. In this case the pier has to be moved or swung to
tie up with the incoming craft. Using this method it is essential to have a
compressor available to blow out the water in the flooded pontoon at the shore end
before the pier is moved.
(2) The surface of the ramps must be of a type that remains non-skid
e. Mine Detectors
It is stressed again that mine detectors (and radio sets) must be
waterproofed to prevent them becoming unserviceable during landing.
f. Engineer Tools
All tools brought ashore must be in first class order to avoid, for example,
heads of sledge hammers coming off.
g. Landing of Supplies
In some cases Bailey bridges, pipelines, and bulk fuel storage material
were loaded with vital small parts missing. Loading of engineer supplies must
be supervised by engineers.