Remember the Allied assault on Cassino? If not, I suggest re-reading Stopping the Italians. Well if you do remember it, it failed. The Allied forces at Anzio had also been contained. The Allies needed to get something done in Italy and fast.
The Allies reinforced the Anzio beachhead, moved the U.S. Fifth Army to the Tyrrhenian Sea and instead of the Fifth Army in Cassino, the British Eighth Army was ordered to swarm around Cassino. Why was all this being done? The Allies believed with all these changes, a powerful assault on Rome would be possible.
Operation Shingle was then thought up. In April of 1944, the operation was underway as rail lines, roads, bridges, aqueducts, and other supply routes were destroyed. The Germans had their own plan. Under Field Marshal Albert Kesselring, the Gustav Line around Cassino and Adolf Hitler Line from Pontecorvo to Aquino to Piedemonte, were greatly strenthened. This wouldn't help the Axis though.
On May 11th, 1944 the U.S. Fifth Army and the British Eighth Army crossed the Garigliano and Rapido Rivers, and broke through the Gustav Line. The British surrounded the town of Cassino and the Poles(who joined up with the British) surrounded the mnnastry. The Allies took the town and monestry along with 1,500 prisoners. The Fifth and Eighth Armies split up.
The Eighth Army headed towards the Adolf Hitler line, while the Fifth Army headed to reinforce Anzio. On May 23, 1944, the Allies launched an offensive from the Anzio beachhead and broke through the German lines enabling the Allies to advance into Liri Valley. Allied aircraft destroyed German supply cars, and softened up the city of Cisterna, where a lot of German power was. The Allies moved in on the town where their giant field guns pounced on the German fortifications. By May 25th, over 1,170 German vehicles were put out of service.
The Americans later captured Velletri and Valmontone, only 20 miles from Rome. Rome was evacuated by the Germans, and on June 4, 1944, the 88th Division of the U.S. Fifth Army reached Rome under Lieutenant General Clark. The city rejoiced as Allied troops poured into city. This was the first Axis capital to fall. "One up and two to go!" quoted Franklin Roosevelt.
The U.S. Fifth Army left Rome to the sabotaged and mined roads north of Rome. On June 17, 1944, the Fifth Army reached Leghorn, and found the city heavily damaged by the Germans. The cities port was rebuilt for Allied use.
The British reached Florence on August 4, 1944. The city was also severely damaged. The Allies took the city, repaired it, and prepared it for use. The Allies were finally getting things done. They finally took Cassino and advanced from the Anzio beachhead and took Rome. But the Allies weren't done by a long shot.
On April 12, 1945, the U.S. Fifth Army launched an offensive at the Appennines. A week later, they broke into Po Valley and stormed the city of Bologna. The U.S. Fifth Army took Milan in the Po Valley on April 29, 1945. The British Eighth Army took Padua, Venice, and Mestre. The British also took Trieste. The Germans were cracking.
The Germans finally surrendered in Italy on May 1, 1945. The Italian campaign was very successful, although bloody, because 14 German divisions that could've been fighting in Germany, were in Italy. This weakened Germany to it's final collapse. But that would come later.
Mussolini was hiding in a farmhouse near Giulano di Mezzegere on April 28th. His rival, Lieutenant Colonel Valerio, caught him and his mistress there. Valerio led the two out and claimed he was there to free them, but he was really there to kill him. Mussolini realized this. He ordered Mussolini and his mistress into a car and drove them awhile. He then put them up against a wall and shot them both to death.
Both their bodies were hung at Piazza Loretto and beaten, spit upon, and mutilated by angry Italian mobs. A bad way to die for a bad leader.