Fall of Mussolini

World War II: Fall of the Third Reich

Europe 1943.093

Fall of Mussolini

World War II in Europe from Stalingrad to the fall of Berlin (30 September 1943)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

The loss of Sicily led to the fall of Mussolini and his Fascist Party. The new Italian government quickly came to terms with the Allies, but not quickly enough to prevent the Germans seizing control of most of Italy.

Main Events

Soviet counterattack defeats Germans at Kursk

Bombing of Hamburg

In Operation Gomorrah, the British Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces launch strategic bombing missions against the industrial port of Hamburg, Germany. On July 27, the attacks create a firestorm which destroys much of the city. In all, 42,600 civilians are killed and 37,00 wounded.

25 Luglio

In the aftermath of Italy's loss of Sicily to Allied invasion, Duce Benito Mussolini is forced to summon the Grand Council of Fascism for the first time since the start of World War II. After condemning Mussolini, the Council passes a vote to restore the full powers of King Victor Emmanuel III by a 19-8 margin. The following day, Mussolini is summoned to the royal palace by the king, who promptly dismisses the Duce and places him under arrest.

Soviets push Germans back to Dnieper

Armistice of Cassibile

Walter Bedell Smith, representing the Allies, and Giuseppe Castellano, representing the Kingdom of Italy, sign an armistice at a conference of generals from both sides in an Allied military camp at Cassibile in Sicily, which has recently been occupied by the Allies. The armistice is approved by both King Victor Emanuel III and Prime Minister Pietro Badoglio of Italy and made public on 8 September.

Allies cross Straits of Messina without opposition

Dodecanese Campaign

Following the Italian surrender, Allied forces attempt to capture the Italian-held Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea, landing on Kastelorizo. They are preempted by the Germans, who capture Rhodes by September 11, then force the Allies from the remaining islands.

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