The battalion had been withdrawn from 128th Brigade in May with two companies being assigned to each of the newly-formed 20 Beach Group and 21 Beach Group which were tasked with moving supplies from the beachheads. [25] In Calabria, Herr's LXXVI Panzer Corps had two divisions concentrated in the Castrovillari area. Advice from superiors and subordinates convinced Clark to continue fighting, and he later denied seriously considering evacuation.[54]. [47] By contrast, the Allied build-up was constrained by the limited transport available for the operation and the pre-determined schedule of the build-up based on how, during the planning phase, it had been anticipated the battle would develop. [45] On 10 September, Clark visited the battlefield and judged that it was unlikely that X Corps would be able to push quickly east past Battipaglia to link with VI Corps. On the left, meanwhile, a battle raged for the terraced hill of San Martino and the church perched on top. They found themselves attacked from the north by a mobile force from 26th Panzer Division and from the south by the Krüger Battle Group which was withdrawing from the Nicotera position. 37, The Invasion of Italy Landing at Salerno (“Avalanche”), 1946, 82. The Allied troops attacked nonetheless. However, with the signing of the armistice with the Italians on 3 September the picture changed. But 1st Parachute could do little but skirmish and fall back because most of its strength was attached to the 26th Panzer and Herman Göring Divisions at Salerno. The naval task force of warships, merchant ships and landing craft totaling 627 vessels came under the command of Vice Admiral Henry K. Part of 46th Division, the Brigade attacked on X Corps left, nearest to Salerno itself, while 56th Division (including 2/4th Hampshire) landed on the right. At the time of the Salerno landings, the 16th Panzer Division, commanded by Generalmajor Rudolf Sickenius, was the only fully equipped German armored division in southern Italy, and was well positioned to meet the invading force. This would reduce the amount of shipping capacity needed to supply Allied forces in the Middle East and Far East,[3] at a time when the disposal of Allied shipping capacity was in crisis,[4] and increase British and American supplies to the Soviet Union. Instead the Allies were now committed to a long slog fighting up the boot of the Italian peninsula from toe to top. The Italians capitulated just as the Allies advanced on mainland Italy following their successful invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky.Some landings on the mainland were unopposed but in the case of Operation Avalanche, the landings at Salerno, there was strong opposition. The Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943, codenamed Operation Husky, was highly successful, although many of the Axis forces managed to avoid capture and escape to the mainland. Over the next three days both sides built up their strength but on 13th September the Germans counter-attacked in the region of Battipaglia, with the intention of dividing the British and American forces. He had already therefore ordered General Traugott Herr's LXXVI Panzer Corps to pull back from engagement with the Eighth Army, leaving only 29th Panzergrenadier Division's 15th Panzergrenadier Regiment in the 'toe' of Italy. After some confusion – 2nd Battalion landed on the wrong beach and 5th Battalion on the wrong side of the Asa river – much of the Brigade initially made good progress against strong German resistance. The initial plan to land glider-borne troops in the mountain passes of the Sorrento Peninsula above Salerno was abandoned 12 August. On 8 September (before the main invasion), the surrender of Italy to the Allies was announced, first by General Eisenhower, then in the Badoglio Proclamation by the Italian government. In mid-August, the Germans had activated Army Group B (Heeresgruppe B) under Erwin Rommel with responsibility for German troops in Italy as far south as Pisa. It swept northwards, pushing back the Germans and enabling the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards to enter Naples on 1 October. Luftwaffe planes began strafing and bombing the invasion beaches shortly after 04:00 on the morning of 9 September[34] before X Corps seized the Montecorvino airfield 5 km (3 mi) inland later that day destroying three dozen German planes; but failure to capture the high ground inland left the airfield within easy range of German artillery and therefore unusable by Allied aircraft.