（初めに右欄で英語を１つ選び、続いて選択肢から１つを選んでください。やり直すときは、英語を選び直すことから始めてください。右の［単語帳］を参考にすることもできます。）British forces had been fighting the Italians and Germans in North Africa since late nineteen forty. They fought the Italians first in Egypt and Libya. British forces had successfully pushed the Italians across Libya. They killed more than ten thousand Italian troops and captured more than one hundred thirty thousand prisoners.
But the British success did not last long. Hitler sent one of his best commanders, General Erwin Rommel, to take command of the Italians. Rommel was brave and smart. He pushed the British back from Libya to the border with Egypt. And in a giant battle at Tobruk, he destroyed or captured more than eight hundred of Britain's nine hundred tanks.
Rommel's progress threatened Egypt and the Suez Canal. So Britain and the United States moved quickly to send more troops and supplies to stop him. Slowly, British forces led by General Bernard Montgomery pushed Rommel and the Germans back to Tripoli in Libya.
In November nineteen forty-two, American and British forces commanded by General Dwight Eisenhower landed in northwest Africa. They planned to attack Rommel from the west, while Montgomery attacked him from the east.
But Rommel knew Eisenhower's troops had done little fighting before. So he attacked them quickly before they could launch their own attack.
A major battle took place at Kasserine Pass in western Tunisia. American forces suffered heavy losses. But in the end Rommel's attack failed. Three months later, American forces joined with Montgomery's British troops to force the Germans in North Africa to surrender.
The battle of North Africa was over. The allied forces of Britain and the United States had regained control of the southern Mediterranean Sea. They could now attack Hitler's forces in Europe from the south.
The Allies wasted no time. They landed on the Italian island of Sicily in July of nineteen forty-three. German tanks fought back. But the British and American forces moved ahead. Soon they captured Sicily's capital, Palermo. And within weeks, they forced the German forces to leave Sicily for the Italian mainland.
In late July, Italy's dictator, Benito Mussolini, was overthrown and placed in prison. The Germans rescued him and helped him establish a new government, protected by German troops. But still the Allies attacked.
They crossed to the Italian mainland. The Germans fought hard. And for some time, they prevented the allied troops from breaking out of the coastal areas.
The fighting grew bloodier. A fierce battle took place at Monte Cassino. Thousands and thousands of soldiers lost their lives. But slowly the allies advanced north through Italy. They captured Rome in June of nineteen forty-four. And they forced the Germans back into the mountains of northern Italy.
The allies would not gain complete control of Italy until the end of the war. But they had succeeded in increasing their control of the Mediterranean and pushing back the Germans.