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Roma Liberata

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Roma Liberata

June 5, 1944 Rome was liberated by the Allies. This was a big deal, although it did not mark the end of the Italian campaign.

The Allies invaded the island of Sicily in early July 1943. On July 24, Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was deposed and then arrested. By August 17, Sicily was secured although a large number of German and Italian troops had escaped to the mainland.

On September 3, British troops landed on the tip of the Italian “toe.” On September 8, and armistice between the  government of Italy and the Allies went into effect.

On September 13, Mussolini was rescued by German Commandos from his prison in the mountains.  He fled to Germany, came back to Italy where he declared a new government. Things went from bad to worse for Mussolini and on April 27, 1945 he and his mistress were arrested trying to flee to Switzerland.

Mussolini, his mistress, and a number of other members of his government were shot the next morning.

Back to the Liberation of Rome.

On October 13, Italian government in exile declared war of Germany. Italian troops joined the Allies to fight their former partner.

From that point on, it was the German Army fighting against the Allies. Italy had gone from being a partner with Germany to a conquered territory.

The campaign to liberate Rome went on through the fall, winter, and into spring 1944. Finally on June 5, 1944 Allied troops marched into Rome. Which the Germans had declared an open city and evacuated from previously.

After Rome was liberated, the Allies continued advancing north throughout the rest of the year and into 1945.

The fighting was vicious and the Germans weren’t expelled until April of 1945, about a month before Germany surrendered.

A good example of how vicious the fighting was can be found in this documentary,

Although it was filmed very shortly after the battle, the film is true to the events of the battle. Fighting in Italy was like this or worse for almost two years.

In general, the fighting in Italy and southern France was overshadowed by the Invasion of France and subsequent march on Berlin.

Ironically, the invasion of France was originally intended to take place on June 5, so no matter what the Liberation of Rome would be overshadowed by events in western Europe.

 

 

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.

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