Following up their success in North Africa, the Allies continue the task of securing the Mediterranean Sea by making an amphibious assault on Sicily, and then into the Italian mainland itself. The fascist government of Italy falls as Allied troops capture Rome, and Germany finds itself alone to defend the ground of its former partner. When the Italian fleet finally surrendered at Malta, Generals Patton and Montgomery began the attack on Sicily. After three long months of deadly fighting, the 30,000 remaining German troops surrendered. In January 1944, the Allies took Rome and the people of Italy rejoiced as freedom finally arrived.