For over a month the Badoglio Government in Italy outwardly preserved the alliance with Germany. But secretly Badoglio was seeking to make peace, and his agent was negotiating with the western allies in Lisbon. Meanwhile, the Germans were making immediate preparations for the defection which they expected but did not wish to provoke. A series of plans were drawn up, which were to be carried out on the release of the codeword Alaric, later changed to Axis. Italian positions in France and throughout the Balkans were to be taken over; important installations and positions in Italy were to be seized; the Italian fleet was to be captured; and German forces were to take up new defensive positions. These details originally formed the substance of Directive No. 49. But in fact this directive was never issued, and the text does not survive. Instead, on 31st July, 1943, a series of individual orders were issued, dealing with separate areas and problems. Then, on 3rd September, the Allied forces crossed from Sicily, now completely conquered, to the mainland of Italy. Five days later Badoglio's surrender to the west was confirmed. Hitler's response was dramatic. On the same day the codeword Axis was released. Four days later a party of German parachutists landed on the rock in the Abruzzi where the fallen Mussolini was imprisoned and carried him off by air to join his rescuer. Under Hitler's protection, Mussolini now became the ruler of German occupied Italy.