In September 1943 the Allies made their first landings on the European mainland. Although the Italian government capitulated on the eve of the invasion, the German Army did not. The confrontation between Allied and German forces in Italy resulted in some of the most brutal fighting in World War II. The rugged, mountainous terrain which characterizes most of Italy, combined with a determined German defense, made the Allies pay a high price for even the smallest gains. Every new position required troops to dig in quickly in anticipation of a counterattack.