The Context

1943: the Allied landings led to a divided Italy with two very different governments

 

After landing in Salerno (south of Italy) on 9 September, 1943 the Allied offensive divided the Italian peninsula into two military territories: the south controlled by the Allies and the north controlled by German-led Axis forces. Italy was also politically divided between  two governments, both of which claimed legitimacy: the pro-monarchist one in the South led by Badoglio and the new fascist government, the Repubblica Sociale Italiana (RSI) or Italian Social Republic, in the German- occupied territories in the North.

The RSI was led by Mussolini, who had been liberated from his prison by SS paratroopers. He was moved to  Salò (Lake Garda, in northern Italy) under the control of German forces.