This bloody struggle eventually ended in the final defeat of Nazi Germany. There was even pressure from some Latin American countries to stage an invasion of Spain, which under Francisco Franco was friendly to the Axis nations, although not a participant in the war. Allied air forces were reorganized.  General Heinrich von Vietinghoff, who had taken command of Army Group C after Kesselring had been transferred to become Commander-in-Chief of the Western Front (OB West) in March 1945, signed the instrument of surrender on behalf of the German armies in Italy on 29 April, formally bringing hostilities to an end on 2 May 1945.. In this region, the Germans had created a fascist puppet state, the Italian Social Republic (ISR). In the final push to defeat the Axis powers of Italy and Germany during World War II (1939-45), the U.S. and Great Britain, the leading Allied powers, planned to invade Italy. There was to be no ‘soft underbelly’. Cutting through enemy resistance, the attacks converged on Bologna, which fell on 21 April.  On 21 April, Bologna was entered by the Polish 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division, the Italian Friuli Group (both from Eighth Army) and the US 34th Infantry Division (from Fifth Army). As the Allies advanced, they encountered increasingly difficult terrain: the Apennine Mountains form a spine along the Italian peninsula offset somewhat to the east. National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HTRegistered Charity Number: 237902. General Wladyslaw Anders' 2nd Polish Corps secured it on 18 May. Success in Italy would bring new hope to the many nations under Nazi rule and also secure new airfields from which to intensify the bombing of Germany and the Balkans. Over 180,000 soldiers went ashore on 10 July 1943, compared with the 156,000 troops who landed in Normandy on 6 June 1944. Articles with unsourced statements from November 2014, Articles with Portuguese-language external links, Articles with Italian-language external links, Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, Battles and operations of World War II involving Brazil, Battles and operations of World War II involving Canada, Battles and operations of World War II involving France, Battles and operations of World War II involving Greece, Battles and operations of World War II involving India, Battles and operations of World War II involving Italy, Battles and operations of World War II involving Poland, Battles and operations of World War II involving New Zealand, Battles and operations of World War II involving South Africa, Battles and operations of World War II involving the United States, Battles and operations of World War II involving the United Kingdom, World War II campaigns of the Mediterranean Theatre, Military history of Italy during World War II, http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.geocities.com/limeydvr/italycamp6.htm&date=2009-10-26+01:50:36, http://www.archive.org/details/gov.archives.arc.39132, "Chapter 12: Hitler's Decision on the Defense of Italy", United States Army Center of Military History, http://www.history.army.mil/books/70-7_12.htm, "Chapter 14: General Clark's Decision to Drive to Rome", http://www.history.army.mil/books/70-7_14.htm, The Loyal Edmonton Regiment at war, 1943-1945, Ortona and the Italian Campaign - 65th Anniversary, Italy volume I: From The Sangro to Cassino, Memoirs of Lt-Col Donald, NZEF (Italy, Chapters 8-15), Dal Volturno a Cassino, website (in Italian) covering the autumn /winter of 1943 - 44, World War II propaganda leaflets - use in Italy, BBC's flash video of the Italian Campaign, Canadian Newspapers and the Second World War - The Sicilian and Italian Campaigns, 1943-1945, CBC Digital Archives - The Italian Campaign, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Italian_Campaign_(World_War_II)?oldid=4526528. 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