World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF SICILY: The Passport Is a Gun

A British airman last week coasted high over the Messina Strait between Sicily and the Italian mainland on a mission of photoreconnaissance. The air was clear and still, visibility unlimited. Looking out, the pilot could see the length & breadth of Sicily and, on the other side, the full expanse of the Italian toe. Between the two, the narrow straits looked "so small you could jump across them—a blue ditch."

"In a great semicircle to the north and south," the airman told a New York Herald Tribune correspondent, "the sea was flat...

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