Following the Allied landings in Italy at the beginning of September, the new Italian leadership reached an armistice with the Allies on 3 September, following the ousting of Mussolini on 25 July. This left the Germans to retreat northwards as the Allies made quick progress through the southern regions of the country. Once forces that had landed at Salerno were able to link up with the 8th Army and form a continuous front across the country, they pursued the Germans north. Italy’s central mountainous terrain proved a tough obstacle to navigate with progress being quicker towards the coasts. The Germans prepared a series of defensive lines across the country, ending in the Gustav Line, which was part of the larger Winter Line. As winter itself drew nearer the Allies found themselves entering a stalemate against the Germans, suffering significant losses in a series of bloody battles as they attempted to breach the formidable fortifications.
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