The Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of World War by Peter Young

By Peter Young

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By Peter Young

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XIV Panzer Corps, back from Sicily, had its 15th Panzergrenadier at Formia, its "Hermann Goring" Panzer Division in Naples, and its 16th Panzer Division (Major-General Sieckenius) in the Salerno area (by August 22, Hitler had told VietinghoflFto regard Salerno as "the centre of gravity", and this was why 16th Panzer had been moved there); 2. LXXVI Panzer Corps, as we have seen, was engaged in Calabria; and 3. Though earmarked for Operation "Achse", the 2nd Parachute Division and the 3rd Panzergrenadier Division were well placed to cover the Italian capital.

Mussolini was thus able to proclaim the Italian Socialist Republic on September 18. But none of the neutrals, not even Spain, agreed to set up diplomatic relations with it; in Rome Cavallero committed suicide after Kesselring had officer offered I him the command of a new Fascist army; when the snow had made the Alps impassable no fewer than 18,400 Italians in Venetia, Lombardy, and Piedmont had got themselves interned in Switzerland; and in Italy some opposed the new regime by strikes and sabotage, others by armed resistance.

The . A A German wounded await evacuation to the north by Ju 52 transports. ^ An over-hasty assessment, for Italy could never be crossed off -the Germans resisted right up to the end of the war. fortified position at 1194 Pantano was . his first was defended by 305th Division (Lieutenant-General Hauck), a division which, wrote Marshal Juin "could never be caught napping". By December 18 the 2nd Moroccan Division, which had never before been under fire, had got the better of the difficult terrain and the strong enemy resistance.

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