The American Fifth and the British Eighth Armies landed in Sicily in July 1943 and began the long and bitter campaign for the liberation of Italy which was to last almost to the end of the war in Europe in summer 1945. Naples was liberated in October 1943, Rome in June 1944, Florence in August, while the general rising of the Italian partisans that drove the Germans out of the cities of the Po valley, was brought to a victorious conclusion on 25 April 1945. Mussolini was ousted by a palace coup on 25 July 1943 and replaced by Marshal Badgoglio. The new government dissolved the Fascist Party and made contact with the British and Americans to negotiate a secret Armistice. The Armistice, which imposed unconditional surrender on Italy, was announced on 8 September 1943. The Soviet Union, which was a party to the terms, did not take part in the negotiations. Moreover, the night before the Armistice was announced the King and the government fled from Rome to seek Allied protection and were settled in Bari. The Germans reacted to the Armistice by occupying the non-liberated part of the country, and, having rescued Mussolini, they set him up in a puppet regime: the Republic of Salò.
KeywordsProgressive Democracy National Unity Milan Centre Government Participation Communist Leader
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