||Mussolini sacks his son-in-law, Count
Ciano from Foreign Ministry and takes control himself.
||Greek partisans temporarily take over
Samos Island from the Italian garrison.
||The Royal Navy begin the bombardment
of Pantelleria Island, between Tunisia and Sicily.
||The Germans launch a fifth offensive
to destroy Tito’s partisans in Yugoslavia.
||The Luftwaffe carries out a raid by
FW-190 fighter bombers against Malta.
||The first British ‘liaison’ team
is dropped into Yugoslavia to join up with Tito’s partisans.
||Tito is wounded during a German air
||Operation 'Corkscrew', the invasion
of Pantelleria meets little resistance after a 20-day aerial
bombardment of the island.
||Greek guerrillas to come under the
direct control of the supreme allied command in the Middle
||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
||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.
||The British advance into Sicily continues
with the capture of Augusta and Ragusa.
||British and German paratroops fight
for key Primosole bridge in Sicily.
||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.
||An allied military government (Amgot)
is set up in Sicily.
||The Italians surrender to U.S. forces
en masse in western Sicily. The Canadians start to push around
Mt. Etna as Catania drive falters.
||Patton’s 2nd Armoured Division
captures Palermo and surrounds 45,000 Italian troops in western
||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.
||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.
||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.
||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.
||Increasingly heavy fighting continues
on Sicily, with some of the fiercest fighting yet seen.
||The Italians begin evacuating Sicily.
||U.S. troops are halted by fierce opposition
at Furiano River and at Troina, Sicily.
||Germans evacuate Troina in Sicily
after a six-day defence. The Eighth Army takes Catania.
||German troops pour into Italy as Axis
foreign ministers meet at Treviso.
||A Royal decree places Italy under
a state of siege.
||German night evacuation of Sicily
begins, using 134 small craft covered by 500 AA guns.
||The Eighth Army is now only 29 miles
from Messina. Italy declares Rome to be an open city.
||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.
||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.
||The Bulgarian King, Boris III dies
under mysterious circumstances.
||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.
||The Eighth Army captures San Stefano,
10 miles inland in Calabria, Italy.
||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.
||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.
||German troops occupy Rome and disarm
all Italian troops in Italy and Greece.
||British 8th Army occupies Brindisi
in southern Italy.
||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.
||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
||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.
||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.
||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
||The Germans begin a withdrawal from
Salerno as the British 8th Army joins forces with British and
U.S. troops in the Salerno bridgehead.
||Germans are reported to have been
forced out of Sardinia by the Italian resistance.
||The British 8th Army occupies Bari
in southern Italy. The allies also bomb Venice.
||The British 78th Division begins landings
at Bari on the South East coast of Italy.
||Germans anti-partisan forces retake
Split from Tito's partisans.
||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
||The British announce that 5,211 casualties
were suffered at Salerno.
||The allies capture Naples, although
the Germans thoroughly demolish its harbour facilities. Hitler
orders a defence of Italy to the South of Rome.
||The British 2nd Special Service Brigade
lands at Termoli on East coast of Italy and links up with troops
moving North from Foggia.
||The Germans invade Kos with the assistance
of massive air support.
||Organised British resistance ends
on Kos. The French complete their take over of Corsica.
||German troops complete the evacuation
of the island of Corsica.
||The U.S. Fifth Army takes Capua and
||The U.S. Fifth Army is halted by German
defences along River Volturno, 20 miles North of Naples.
||The U.S. Fifth Army begins an offensive
along the Volturno river.
||The new Italian government of Marshal
Badoglio declares war on Germany. The U.S. Fifth Army crosses
the Volturno River.
||The offensive by the US 5th Army along
the Volturno river bogs down due to bad weather and a skilful
||Montgomery resumes the offensive in
||The U.S. Fifth Army resumes its offensive
to the North of the Volturno.
||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.
||The US Fifth Army reaches the Sangro
river in southern Italy.
||The Eighth Army gains the heights
on the Sangro less than 100 miles East of Rome.
||German troops invade Leros by sea
and drop 500 paratroops.
||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.
||Leros surrenders to the Germans.
||The Eighth Army crosses the Sangro
River for first time. 4,800 British prisoners are taken at
Samos in the Aegean.
||Field Marshal Kesselring is appointed
commander-in-chief of all German forces in Italy, while Rommel
leaves his command to organise the Atlantic wall.
||German troops complete the occupation
of the islands of the Dodecanese in the eastern Mediterranean.
||The allies cross the Sangro in strength.
||The British 8th Army begins an offensive
across the Sangro river.
||The Eighth Army offensive on Sangro
continues, with a second bridgehead being established.
||The British 10th Corps opens the U.S.
Fifth Army's offensive on the Garigliano.
|| German forces in Yugoslavia begin
a major operation against Tito's partisan's.
||Tito’s Partisans set up a provisional
government in the liberated part of Yugoslavia.
||Monte Carnino is finally taken by
U.S. Fifth Army.
||The British Eighth Army crosses the
||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
||The U.S. Fifth Army captures the village
of San Pietro in central Italy after 10 days of heavy fighting.
||US counter intelligence reports the
smashing of a Nazi spy ring in Sicily. A 19-year-old ringleader ‘Grammatico’ and
27 others are arrested.
||The Eighth Army’s 1st Canadian
Division battles to capture Ortona in central Italy.
||The allies announce that Tito is to
be the allied commander in Yugoslavia as his partisans are
now estimated at 250,000 men.
||Sir Henry Maitland Wilson is made
Supreme Commander in the Mediterranean and Alexander is C in
C Allied Armies, Italy.
||The Eighth Army finally clears Ontona
after bitter street fighting.