15th Army Group
The 15th Army Group was activated in 1943 in Algiers, North Africa, with the responsibility of planning the invasion of Sicily. It was comprised of the British 8th Army and US 5th Army. What started as a limited Allied assault on the "soft underbelly of Europe" in mid-1943, an invasion to tie down Axis forces and push Italy from the war, by 1944 had become a full operational theater of its own. By mid-1944 these forces had ended the stalemates on the Gustav Line, advanced up the Liri valley, captured Rome, and pursued retreating Axis forces north across the Arno River into the northern Apennines Mountains, on the very edge of the Po Valley, in the heart of northern Italy. In December 1944 Lt. Gen. Mark W. Clark became the new 15th Army Group commander. By April 1945 the superbly led and combat-hardened Allied 15th Army Group, a truly multinational force, enjoyed an overwhelming numerical superiority on the ground and in the air.
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