The first Allied military actions on Italian territory took place after the war declaration of 1940, with air strikes on industrial sites in the north. The bombing of the entire country intensified over the following years, with the civilian population suffering very heavy casualties (about 60,000 victims).
On July 9th, 1943, the Allies landed in Sicily and reached Salerno and Taranto unhindered; in October they entered Naples. Their progress slowed down with the winter, and reinforcements allowed the Germans to reorganise on the Gustav Line. In January 1944, the Allies landed at Anzio, meeting stiff German resistance. A fierce battle broke out around the medieval abbey of Montecassino.
On June 4th, 1944 Rome was liberated. The Germans re-settled along the Gothic Line, the Eastern part of which was breached in the autumn. In November, the Allies suspended their operations, asking the partisans to do the same (the ‘Alexander Proclamation’). They only resumed in April 1945, completing the liberation of the country by the end of the month.
The Germans were forced to an unconditional surrender, which was signed in Caserta on April 29th, 1945 and came into force on May 2nd. Until January 1st 1946, the liberated regions, with the exception of some territories on the Eastern border, were administered by the Allied Military Government (AMG).