Italians crowd into streets, destroying Fascists icons & cheering. Journalist Paolo Monelli in Rome hears: "Citizens, wake up, they arrested Mussolini, Mussolini to death, down with Fascism!' It sounded like the scream of a mute who gets his voice back after twenty years."

War has made "Il Duce" hugely unpopular- Italian King Victor Emmanuel has made Marshal Pietro Badoglio Mussolini's successor. Listen to radio address now: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rim

With Allied invasion force now occupying Sicily & bombers pounding Rome, Italian government has decided to remove Mussolini & hope to exit war. King Victor Emmanuel & top Fascist generals have begged Mussolini to abandon Germany & seek separate peace.

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini has been deposed in a sudden coup by Italy's Grand Council of Fascism, & arrested, ending 21 years of his as Il Duce.

Allied Operation Gomorrah air raids- named after biblical destruction of a sinful city- has left centre of Hamburg in flames. Additional firefighters are being rushed from across northern Germany to try & save city.

In last 12 hours, 791 bombers have hit Hamburg, killing over 1500 German civilians & blasting city centre; docks set ablaze. American planes followed last night's bombings with a daylight raid aimed at military targets.

Over 400 British & Canadian planes are dropping mix of high-explosives & incendiaries on Hamburg, in new "area bombing" strategy to devastate as much of the city as possible. German firefighters & air defences can't keep up.

Allied air forces have launched Operation Gomorrah: a massive firebombing air raid, aiming to annihilate the German city of Hamburg.

Yugoslavia's Communist Partisans, the most effective anti-Axis resistance force in Europe, regularly capture territory from German & Italian occupiers in pitched battle. German anti-Partisan propaganda claims Tito brings destruction to Yugoslavia (via @propagandopolis@twitter.com):

German occupiers of Yugoslavia, fought to a standstill by guerilla resistance, have offered 100,000 Reichsmark bounty for capture of Josip Broz Tito, leader of Communist partisans. Same for fellow resistance leader, Draža Mihailović, head of ultranationalist Chetniks.

In face of Allied assault, Wehrmacht on Sicily have fallen back to slopes of Mount Etna, fortifying mountain towns:

American, British & Canadian troops are sweeping across Sicily, more than 400,000 Allied soldiers now flooding onto island. Allies are striking towards eastern port of Catania.

Capitalising on success in stopping German Operation Citadel, Red Army is launching a vast offensive from Kursk to the Black Sea: troops on Leningrad & Volkhov fronts join the assault.

German "secret weapons", new Tiger & Panther heavy tanks, are unable to turn tide against heavier numbers of Red Army tanks. Two Soviet tankists examine pierced armour of knocked-out panzer:

Red Army troops are closing in on city of Orel in southern USSR- German attack on Kursk has turned into catastrophic clash with Soviet tanks, with Wehrmacht now forced onto the defensive.

German occupiers of Warsaw have opened a concentration camp in the ruins of city's Jewish ghetto. Based around Gestapo's Gęsiówka prison, the only building left standing in ghetto, its inmates are slave labour to search rubble for valuables & hunt for surviving Jews in hiding.

With Allied advance across Sicily apparently unstoppable, Hitler is mainly interested in discussing whether a German general such as Rommel can take command over remaining Italian forces. Mussolini agrees to hold the "Gustav Line" blocking way to Rome.

Hitler & Mussolini have met for an emergency council between Axis dictators to discuss Allied invasion of Sicily. Mussolini has promised Italian Fascist council to raise topic of Italy withdrawing from war, but fails to mention it.

Pope Pius XII has written personally to President Roosevelt, begging him to ban Allied bombers from targeting Rome & avoid any danger of hitting Vatican City or the many churches in Italian capital.

Rome is being bombed: 521 American planes are attacking "the Eternal City", aiming at vital Italian steel works.

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