Following the amphibious landings at Salerno on 9 September, Allied inroads were made further inland. The bulk of German forces, which had been waiting behind the front line, launched a counterattack on 13 September. This offensive was effective enough to force Allied command to make contingency plans for an emergency evacuation back to the ships. The Germans made a concerted effort to push towards the southern areas of the landing zone near Paestum, as Allied reinforcements had to be deployed from the sea, limiting their numbers. An attempt to drop parachute troops behind the German front line to stop the advance was largely ineffective. On 16 September the Germans ordered a retreat in the north as their attempts at holding back the Allied advance stalled. On the same day some 500 British soldiers in X Corps mutinied upon learning that they were being reassigned to different units.
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