Italy Surrenders Attention was next turned to Sicily. It was pounded day and night with bombs, and on July 10, it was invaded from the air by gliders and paratroopers. This was the first large-scale airborne operation undertaken by the Allies in World War II. Assault forces were then landed on the beaches under air cover and during the next two months, German and Italian troops gradually withdrew from the island. The Allies achieved complete air superiority over Sicily and began expanding air operations over Italy. On July 19, the AAF bombed Rome for the first time. The Italian people, who had become disenchanted with the war, lost their will to resist and on Sept. 3, 1943, withdrew from the conflict. German forces, however, still had to be driven from Italy. Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.