John Thompson of the Chicago Tribune accompanied the Eighty-Second Airborne’s parachute drop into Sicily in July 1943, making him the first reporter to set foot on the Axis-controlled continent of Europe since the start of the Allied fight back. This paratroop mission was the biggest innovation of the Sicilian invasion, but it only heightened the familiar problem that had hampered reporting in North Africa: how to get stories from the front. Once again, therefore, Allied headquarters in Algiers often became the main source of news. As the Sicilian battle progressed, Eisenhower’s command undertook an impressive effort to improve communications and relax censorship, but two of the biggest stories—Patton’s manhandling of ill soldiers and the friendly-fire deaths of a number of paratroopers—remained firmly under wraps.
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