What is the significance of the invasion of Italy?italians surrender to Allies, september 1943

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Allied invasion of Italy was significant for several reasons. One reason was that the invasion of Italy meant that the Allies were successful with their invasion of North Africa. The Allies wanted to control North Africa before invading Italy. Once the Allies had secured North Africa, they were able to invade Italy. It also allowed the Allies to secure the Mediterranean Sea. This showed people back at home in the Allied countries that the Allied plan was working.

Another reason why this invasion was significant was that it got the Allies closer to Germany. The Allies wanted to bomb Germany. By controlling Italy, the Allies were able to begin the bombing of Germany. Planes could fly to and from Italy to bomb southern Germany without having to refuel.

The invasion of Italy also forced Germany to move some of its troops from the Eastern Front to Italy and from northern France to Italy. This was necessary because the Germans didn’t want the Allies so close to Germany. Moving these troops to Italy weakened the German presence in the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. There also was a belief that the presence of Allied troops in Italy would help the Allies with the invasion of Normandy.

The Allied invasion of Italy was an important event in World War II.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Italian surrender to the Allies did not have that much of an effect on the war.  The Germans held all the defensive positions in Italy anyway and they were the major problem for the Allies even before the Italians surrendered.

The invasion was significant mostly for the following reasons:

  • It was practice for the D-Day landings, which would be much more important.
  • It boosted morale in the military and at home -- we were doing something to push the enemy back.
  • It opened a second front on the continent of Europe to help take some pressure off the USSR, which had been the only country left fighting Germany (on the ground) since 1940.
krishna-agrawala | Student

I believe the question relates to invasion of Italy by Allied forces during World War II.

Axis planes based at Sicily bombed Allied ships in the Mediterranean, Therefore they wanted to capture Sicily to make the Mediterranean safe for their ships and to possibly force Italy out of the war. With this objective Allied forces landed along Sicily's south coast on July 10, 1943.  They engaged in bitter fighting with German troops over rugged terrain for 39 days forcing last Germans to leave Sicily on August 17, 1943.

In the meantime fell from power on July 25, 1943. Perhaps fall of Sicily contributed substantially to his fall.  Finally Italy surrendered on September 3, 1943.

However, Germany was determined to fight the Allies for control of Italy. To counter the Germans, Allied forces landed at Salerno, Italy, on Sept. 9, 1943.  this was preceded by another Allied force landing farther south. The German Positions in Italy were well defended and Allies forces had to struggle in a series of head-on assaults on them. Thus progress of allied forces was slow, but by early November, they nearly reached Cassino, about 120 kilometres south of Rome.

In January 1944, the Allies landed troops at Anzio, west of Cassino, to attempt an attack from behind.  However, it took them four months and sacrifice of thousands of Allied soldiers to break through German defences. Finally Rome fell on June 4. Still the Germans held their positions in northern Italy for a long period, and it was only in May 2, 1945, that German forces in Italy finally surrendered.

The main impact of all these evens on war was to secure Mediterranean sea secure for allied forces, and engaging part of Axis forces in defense of Italy. In a way fall of Mussolini also prevented Italy from collaborating with Germany. surrender of Italy to allied forces was a blow to the German morale.