South African prime minister, General J.C. Smuts, asked parliament's approval to send troops to Europe, contrary to his promise in 1939 that SA troops would only fight in Africa. The Sixth South African Armoured Division, the most powerful and best equipped of the South African divisions, commanded by Major-General W.H. Evered Poole, entered the war in Italy in April, 1943. For the rest of the war the Sixth Division served as part of the British Eighth Army and the American Fifth Army. From time to time the South African troops were involved in heavy fighting. They were the first to enter Rome and cleaned up the last pockets of German resistance in the Po valley at the end of the war. 753 South Africans were killed in Italy.
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• Muller, C.F.J. (ed)(1981). Five Hundred years: a history of South Africa; 3rd rev. ed., Pretoria: Academica, p. 444.
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