Europe 1943: Fall of Mussolini
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.
12 Jul–23 Aug 1943 Soviet counterattack defeats Germans at Kursk▲
Soviet counterattack defeats Germans at Kursk
24–25 Jul 1943 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.
24 Jul–3 Aug 1943 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.
24 Aug–28 Sep 1943 Lower Dnieper Offensive▲
Soviets push Germans back to Dnieper
3 Sep 1943 Allied Invasion of Italy▲
Allies cross Straits of Messina without opposition
3 Sep 1943 Armistice of Cassibile▲
Walter Bedell Smith, representing the Allies, and Giuseppe Castellano, representing the Kingdom of Italy, signed an armistice at a conference of generals from both sides in an Allied military camp at Cassibile in Sicily, which had recently been occupied by the Allies. The armistice was approved by both King Victor Emanuel III and Prime Minister Pietro Badoglio of Italy and made public on 8 September.
8 Sep–22 Nov 1943 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.