ALLIED INVASION OF ITALY
By 1943 of World War II, Nazi Germany controlled most of Europe, including France, and huge sections of the Soviet Union. Both the Soviet Union and Germany were engaged in a massive series of battles on the eastern front following the failure of Germany's Operation Barbarossa. However, the Allied powers of Britain, Canada and the United States did not yet have a foothold in main land Europe. This would change with the Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy, which began on July 9th, 1943.
The Allied powers planned its invasion of Sicily, code-named Operation Husky, such that it could open a second front in Europe and begin the process of liberating European countries from Nazi control. Before the operation could begin, the Allied powers devised a plan to distract and confuse the Germans on the intentions of the Allies. The plan to deceive the Nazi's was called Operation Mincemeat, and involved confusing or misleading the Germans as to where the Allies would carry out their invasion of Europe. To achieve this the British dressed a corpse as a British officer and had it released into the Atlantic Ocean such that it would wash ashore in Nazi controlled Spain. The corpse had a briefcase with fake "top secret" documents handcuffed to it and when washed ashore, the Nazi's believed they had gained access to the true plans of the Allied powers. However, the fake documents stated that Operation Husky would take place at Greece instead of Sicily. This caused the Nazi's to turn their attention away from Italy and Sicily and towards Greece, which allowed the Allies more ease in gaining a foothold in Europe.
In general, the Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy was incredibly successful and achieved what it set out to. The Allied armies were able to force Axis naval, air and land divisions out of the area and allowed Allied merchant ships into the Mediterranean for the first time since 1941. As well, it led to the end of Benito Mussolini in Italy and forced Nazi Germany to divert troops from its battles against the Soviet Union as it had to grapple with a two front war.