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A Nation Collapses revises the traditional understanding of a critical moment in the history of World War II: the collapse of the Italian fascist regime and Italy's unconditional surrender in September 1943. Drawing on mostly unpublished documents, the book analyses the secret negotiations between Italy and Britain before the overthrow of Mussolini in July 1943 and finds that both parties negotiated in bad faith and with a great deal of duplicity. The Italians therefore both underestimated the extent of the Allies' strategic commitment in Italy and promised their conquerors a degree of military assistance which they were in condition to deliver. The situation disintegrated into a civil war as the Anglo-American military government which controlled southern Italy invaded the German-occupied rth. Already traumatized by unconditional surrender, Italy w endured a civil war waged by foreign powers on both sides for twenty long and brutal months.