Operation Fracture

This was a British naval gunfire bombardment of Trapani on the north-western tip of Sicily, and of the islands of Favignana and Levanzo to the west of it (12 July 1943).

Designed to persuade the Germans and Italians that the Allies were about to undertake an amphibious assault in western Sicily to supplement the recently committed 'Husky' (i) landing on the south-east tip of the island, the operation involved the battleships Howe and King George V, together with the light anti-aircraft cruisers Dido and Sirius, and the destroyers Jervis, Paladin, Panther, Pathfinder, Penn and Petard.

While the battleships were attacking Trapani, Dido and Sirius carried out a bombardment of the port of Marsala to the south of Trapani.