The German disasters of November, 1942, changed the character of the war. Hitherto the pace had been dictated by Germany; from now on it was dictated by the Allies. In the east the whole German 6th Army of General Paulus was gradually starved into surrender, and by the end of January, 1943, its resistance was over. Hitler was rightfully outraged when the Paulus himself surrendered instead of committing suicide, and declared three days of national mourning for the loss of the Army. When spring came, it was no longer a question of continuing the advance, as in 1942: Hitler's orders were to be ready for resumed Russian attacks, and to protect a German retreat by leaving devastation behind. In Africa the British Eighth Army cleared the Germans out of Libya and captured Tripoli on 23rd January, 1943; in Tunisia Rommel was able to make a stand with reinforcements from Italy, but by 12th May Tunis and Bizerta had fallen and the Axis no longer had an inch of territory in Africa. Allied landings on the Mediterranean coast were now expected, and further orders were given to strengthen its defences everywhere, but especially in the Peloponnese, where the blow was most regularly expected. By this time the Italians were demoralised, and on 19th May a The Leader's Directive was drafted on the assumption that they would no longer be able to contribute to the defence of Greece: the Germans would have to rely on themselves and the Bulgarians alone. This Directive seems never to have been sent. On 10th July the blow fell, not in Greece, but in Sicily. In just over a month the whole island was occupied. Meanwhile, on 25th July, Mussolini was overthrown by a palace revolution, and the attitude of the new Italian government of Marshal Badoglio, though it professed loyalty to the old Axis, was unpredictable. It was in these delicate circumstances that Hitler, on 26th July, issued his next Directive, which still presumed that the Allies would land in Greece.