A confirmation telegram was sent to the Allies. The message, however, was intercepted by the German armed forces, which had long since begun to suspect that Italy was seeking a separate armistice. The Germans contacted Badoglio, who repeatedly confirmed the unwavering loyalty of Italy to its German ally. His reassurances were doubted by the Germans, and the Wehrmacht started to devise an effective plan (Operation Achse) to take control of Italian soil as soon as the Italian government had switched allegiance to the Allies.
On September 2 Castellano set off again to Cassibile, with an order to confirm the acceptance of the Allied conditions. He had no written authorisation from the head of the Italian Government, Badoglio, who wanted to dissociate himself as much as possible from the upcoming defeat of his country.
The signing ceremony began at 2:00 p.m. on September 3 aboard HMS Nelson: Castellano, in lieu of Badoglio, and Bedell Smith, in place of Eisenhower, opposed their signatures to the accepted text. A bombing mission on Rome by 500 airplanes was stopped at the last moment: it had been Eisenhower's deterrent to accelerate the procedure of the armistice. Harold Macmillan, the British representative in the Allied Staff, informed Winston Churchill that the armistice had been signed "without amendments of any kind".
Only after the signing had taken place was Castellano informed of the additional clauses that had been presented by general Campbell to another Italian general, Zanussi, who had also been in Cassibile since August 31. Zanussi, for unclear reasons, had not informed Castellano about them. Bedell Smith, nevertheless, explained to Castellano that these further conditions were to have taken effect only if Italy had taken on a fighting role in the war alongside the Allies.
In the afternoon of the same day Badoglio had a briefing with the Italian Ministers of Navy, Air Forces and War, and with the King's representatives as well. However, he omi...