bigpigeon.us webpage WW II - Germany >MTO > Italian Mainland, updated by RAC 2 Aug '19.
The Italian Campaign - July 1943 to May 1945
The Italian campaign began with the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943, followed by the Allied invasion of the southern end of the Italian peninsula in September 1943.
Between the invasion of Sicily and the invasion of the Italian mainland, Benito Mussolini was deposed as leade of the Fascist party and the Italian government. Soon thereafter Italy left the war. Meanwhile Germany sent troops into Italy and disarmed the Italian Army.
Subsequently a new Italian government joined the war against Germany, while Benito Mussolini escaped to northern Italy where under German patronage he organized a new Fascist government called the Italian Socialist Republic.
An Italian Timeline Part 1 - The Mussolini Era, 1922 to 1943
An Italian Timeline Part 2 - Italy Leaves the Axis, July - October 1943
An Italian Timeline Part 3 - The Allied Campaign in Italy, July 1943 - May 1945
Sources for the The Italian Mainland webpage
- The header page map Regions of Italy is courtesy of italiantourism.us.
- The Physical Map of Italy is courtesy of privateinternetaccess.com.
- The The Italian Campaign in Sicily and the Mainland map is courtesy of Infobase Publishing.
Extended Family Members Who Served in the Italian Campaign:
- Roland and Rodney Paulson, my uncle's nephews, were identical twins from Ames, Iowa who served together on a B-17 flying from the Foggia area. Their squadron used Azon, the Air Force's first guided bomb. Roland, as the lead bombardier, once disabled the Avisio viaduct on the main German supply line to Italy for several days.
- Ralph Shower of Terre Haute, Indiana, my wife's uncle, was a member of a port battalion stationed in Naples. Companies from his battalion would load ships in Naples, and then accompany the ships to the Anzio beachhead, where they would unload the ships while under fire.
- Ralph Edward Spencer, Jr. of Boomer Township, my stepuncle, served with the 3rd Infantry Division in North Africa, Sicily, the Italian mainland, and then in southern France.