In the final push to defeat the Axis powers of Italy and Germany during World War II (1939-45), the U.S. and Great Britain, the leading Allied powers, planned to invade Italy. Beyond their goal of crushing Italian Axis forces, the Allies wanted to draw German troops away from the main Allied advance through Nazi-occupied northern Europe to Berlin, Germany. The Italian Campaign, from July 10, 1943, to May 2, 1945, was a series of Allied beach landings and land battles from Sicily and southern Italy up the Italian mainland toward Nazi Germany. The campaign seared into history the names of such places as Anzio, Salerno and Monte Cassino, as Allied armies severed the German-Italian Axis in fierce fighting and threatened the southern flank of Germany. The Allied advance through Italy produced some of the most bitter, costly fighting of the war, much of it in treacherous mountain terrain.