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British troops walk through the streets of Pachino, Sicily.
Southern Europe!
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05/02/1943 Mussolini sacks his son-in-law, Count Ciano from Foreign Ministry and takes control himself.
 
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25/03/1943 Greek partisans temporarily take over Samos Island from the Italian garrison.
 
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13/05/1943 The Royal Navy begin the bombardment of Pantelleria Island, between Tunisia and Sicily.
17/05/1943 The Germans launch a fifth offensive to destroy Tito’s partisans in Yugoslavia.
21/05/1943 The Luftwaffe carries out a raid by FW-190 fighter bombers against Malta.
27/05/1943 The first British ‘liaison’ team is dropped into Yugoslavia to join up with Tito’s partisans.
 
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09/06/1943 Tito is wounded during a German air attack.
11/06/1943 Operation 'Corkscrew', the invasion of Pantelleria meets little resistance after a 20-day aerial bombardment of the island.
 
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02/07/1943 Greek guerrillas to come under the direct control of the supreme allied command in the Middle East.
09/07/1943 Operation 'Husky' begins, with the US 82nd and the British 1st Airborne Divisions making the first landings on Sicily at night. However, due to navigational errors, hundreds of U.S. paratroopers are dropped in the sea and are drowned, while many others are widely scattered and miss their assigned targets.
10/07/1943 Operation 'Husky', the Allied invasion of Sicily, is now fully underway with 12 divisions (160,000 men and 600 tanks) of the British Eighth and U.S. Seventh Armies being brought ashore by 3,000 landing craft (200 sunk by rough seas) on the south-east coast of Sicily. The British approaching Syracuse meet with little German resistance, the U.S. forces are held back by strong counter-attacks of the Hermann Goring and the Italian Livorno Divisions.
13/07/1943 The British advance into Sicily continues with the capture of Augusta and Ragusa.
14/07/1943 British and German paratroops fight for key Primosole bridge in Sicily.
16/07/1943 Canadians forces take Caltagirone, 40 miles inland from Syracuse. The Americans take Agringento, before beginning their drive for Palermo. The British finally secure Primosole bridge and Montgomery advances on Catania.
17/07/1943 An allied military government (Amgot) is set up in Sicily.
20/07/1943 The Italians surrender to U.S. forces en masse in western Sicily. The Canadians start to push around Mt. Etna as Catania drive falters.
22/07/1943 Patton’s 2nd Armoured Division captures Palermo and surrounds 45,000 Italian troops in western Sicily.
24/07/1943 A 10-hour meeting of fascist grand council passes a motion, 19 votes to 7, asking that the King of Italy takes over command of all Italian forces from Mussolini.
25/07/1943 Benito Mussolini is arrested by order of the Italian King. Marshal Badoglio, a First World War hero becomes Prime Minister, introduces martial law and incorporates the Fascist militia into the ordinary armed forces, thus ending the Fascist regime in Italy. Hitler orders German divisions rushed South in to Italy to disarm their former allies. Allied forces begin to face stiff resistance as they approach Messina.
26/07/1943 Marshal Badoglio is appointed head of Italy by the Italian King after the arrest of Benito Mussolini. The Marshal immediately excludes all Fascists from his new cabinet and dissolves the Fascist Party.
27/07/1943 The liberation of Mussolini, the occupation of Rome and Italy, plus the capture of the Italian fleet is decided upon by the German High Command. Mussolini himself is transferred from Rome to the Island of Ponza. Heavy fighting continues in Sicily, leading Kesselring to order preparations for the evacuation of the island.
 
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01/08/1943 Increasingly heavy fighting continues on Sicily, with some of the fiercest fighting yet seen.
03/08/1943 The Italians begin evacuating Sicily.
04/08/1943 U.S. troops are halted by fierce opposition at Furiano River and at Troina, Sicily.
05/08/1943 Germans evacuate Troina in Sicily after a six-day defence. The Eighth Army takes Catania.
06/08/1943 German troops pour into Italy as Axis foreign ministers meet at Treviso.
08/08/1943 A Royal decree places Italy under a state of siege.
11/08/1943 German night evacuation of Sicily begins, using 134 small craft covered by 500 AA guns.
14/08/1943 The Eighth Army is now only 29 miles from Messina. Italy declares Rome to be an open city.
16/08/1943 U.S. troops enter Messina in North eastern Sicily in a final push to clear the island. Axis evacuation of 100,000 troops has been completed.
17/08/1943 German and Italian forces successfully evacuate Sicily across the Strait of Messina, with little interference by the Allies. This allows Montgomery and Patton enter Messina. The whole of Sicily is now in allied hands. The shelling of the Italian mainland from Messina begins.
28/08/1943 The Bulgarian King, Boris III dies under mysterious circumstances.
 
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03/09/1943 The new Italian government under Marshal Badoglio signs an armistice with the allies in secret. This allows the allies to launch Operation 'Baytown', the invasion of mainland Italy. The British Eighth Army crosses the Strait of Messina unmolested.
05/09/1943 The Eighth Army captures San Stefano, 10 miles inland in Calabria, Italy.
08/09/1943 Eisenhower announces the Italian unconditional surrender. German reserves are rushed to Italy in the wake of the cease-fire between the Badoglio government and the Allies.
09/09/1943 All Italian forces within the German-controlled areas of Italy, southern France, Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece are disarmed without opposition and made prisoners of war. Operation 'Avalanche' sees the U.S. Fifth Army land at Salerno, South East of Naples. Taranto is occupied by the British without resistance. Formation of an anti-Badoglio, Republican Fascist Government is formed in northern Italy.
10/09/1943 German troops occupy Rome and disarm all Italian troops in Italy and Greece.
11/09/1943 British 8th Army occupies Brindisi in southern Italy.
12/09/1943 Mussolini, held prisoner by the Badoglio government on the Gran Sasso, is rescued by German paratroopers who land in gliders on top of the mountain. SS major Otto Skorzeny, leads a daring glider attack on the hotel where Mussolini is being held. The Duce is freed and taken to Germany. Hitler signs decrees appropriating Italian industry for German uses as well as annexing the German-speaking regions of northern Italy to the Greater German Reich. The latter violates the undertaking Hitler gave to Mussolini in 1940 that Germany had no territorial ambitions south of the Brenner Pass.
13/09/1943 Heavy German counter-attacks by six divisions round Salerno, forces the Fifth Army back to within five miles of beaches. The allies consider an evacuation. The battle for supremacy in the Aegean begins with an Allied raid on Rhodes.
14/09/1943 Heavy fighting continues in the Salerno bridgehead, with another German counter-attack. A U.S. paratroop battalion is dropped behind German lines. French commandos land in Corsica to help patriots fighting the Germans. British Special Boat Squadron occupies Kos in Aegean.
15/09/1943 Mussolini proclaims his return to power and re-establishes fascism in northern Italy. The Axis is resumed and the death penalty introduced for all Italians carrying arms in German occupied areas.
16/09/1943 British occupy Leros in Aegean. German counterattacks against the U.S. bridgehead at Salerno are halted. Tito's partisans are reported to have captured Split on Yugoslavia coast.
17/09/1943 The Germans begin a withdrawal from Salerno as the British 8th Army joins forces with British and U.S. troops in the Salerno bridgehead.
19/09/1943 Germans are reported to have been forced out of Sardinia by the Italian resistance.
20/09/1943 The British 8th Army occupies Bari in southern Italy. The allies also bomb Venice.
22/09/1943 The British 78th Division begins landings at Bari on the South East coast of Italy.
28/09/1943 Germans anti-partisan forces retake Split from Tito's partisans.
29/09/1943 The allies take Pompeii, between Salerno and Naples. Marshal Badoglio and Eisenhower meet aboard HMS Nelson, where a full armistice signed and also discuss war plans.
30/09/1943 The British announce that 5,211 casualties were suffered at Salerno.
 
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01/10/1943 The allies capture Naples, although the Germans thoroughly demolish its harbour facilities. Hitler orders a defence of Italy to the South of Rome.
02/10/1943 The British 2nd Special Service Brigade lands at Termoli on East coast of Italy and links up with troops moving North from Foggia.
03/10/1943 The Germans invade Kos with the assistance of massive air support.
04/10/1943 Organised British resistance ends on Kos. The French complete their take over of Corsica.
05/10/1943 German troops complete the evacuation of the island of Corsica.
06/10/1943 The U.S. Fifth Army takes Capua and Caserta.
07/10/1943 The U.S. Fifth Army is halted by German defences along River Volturno, 20 miles North of Naples.
12/10/1943 The U.S. Fifth Army begins an offensive along the Volturno river.
13/10/1943 The new Italian government of Marshal Badoglio declares war on Germany. The U.S. Fifth Army crosses the Volturno River.
19/10/1943 The offensive by the US 5th Army along the Volturno river bogs down due to bad weather and a skilful German defence.
27/10/1943 Montgomery resumes the offensive in Italy.
31/10/1943 The U.S. Fifth Army resumes its offensive to the North of the Volturno.
 
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04/11/1943 The U.S. Fifth Army capture Isernia, 50 miles North of Naples and link up with Eighth Army moving North West from Foggia. US casualties in Mediterranean since the landings in North Africa is given as 31,126.
05/11/1943 The US Fifth Army reaches the Sangro river in southern Italy.
08/11/1943 The Eighth Army gains the heights on the Sangro less than 100 miles East of Rome.
12/11/1943 German troops invade Leros by sea and drop 500 paratroops.
15/11/1943 Mark Clark calls off the U.S. Fifth Army's offensive. The British counter-attack on Leros fails as the Luftwaffe flies 600 sorties a day. A State of emergency is declared in Milan as unrest in northern Italy continues. The Germans take 1,750 hostages, machine guns are in the streets and 8pm curfew enforced.
16/11/1943 Leros surrenders to the Germans.
20/11/1943 The Eighth Army crosses the Sangro River for first time. 4,800 British prisoners are taken at Samos in the Aegean.
21/11/1943 Field Marshal Kesselring is appointed commander-in-chief of all German forces in Italy, while Rommel leaves his command to organise the Atlantic wall.
22/11/1943 German troops complete the occupation of the islands of the Dodecanese in the eastern Mediterranean.
23/11/1943 The allies cross the Sangro in strength.
27/11/1943 The British 8th Army begins an offensive across the Sangro river.
28/11/1943 The Eighth Army offensive on Sangro continues, with a second bridgehead being established.
 
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01/12/1943 The British 10th Corps opens the U.S. Fifth Army's offensive on the Garigliano.
02/12/1943 German forces in Yugoslavia begin a major operation against Tito's partisan's.
04/12/1943 Tito’s Partisans set up a provisional government in the liberated part of Yugoslavia.
06/12/1943 Monte Carnino is finally taken by U.S. Fifth Army.
10/12/1943 The British Eighth Army crosses the Moro.
15/12/1943 Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union all break off diplomatic relations with the Yugoslav government in exile and recognize Tito's Communist Popular Liberation Committee as the Yugoslav government to be.
17/12/1943 The U.S. Fifth Army captures the village of San Pietro in central Italy after 10 days of heavy fighting.
20/12/1943 US counter intelligence reports the smashing of a Nazi spy ring in Sicily. A 19-year-old ringleader ‘Grammatico’ and 27 others are arrested.
21/12/1943 The Eighth Army’s 1st Canadian Division battles to capture Ortona in central Italy.
22/12/1943 The allies announce that Tito is to be the allied commander in Yugoslavia as his partisans are now estimated at 250,000 men.
24/12/1943 Sir Henry Maitland Wilson is made Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean and Alexander is C in C Allied Armies, Italy.
28/12/1943 The Eighth Army finally clears Ontona after bitter street fighting.
 

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