The End of World War Two

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The End of World War Two : 

The End of World War Two Defeat of the Axis, 1943-45

Stalingrad and Kursk: Russia 1943 : 

Stalingrad and Kursk: Russia 1943 1943 was the beginning of the end for the Axis. Germany had just suffered its worst-ever defeat at Stalingrad, and for the first time was on the defensive in Russia. The fighting culminated in a gigantic tank battle that summer in Kursk. Meanwhile, on the home front, the British were inflicting terrible damage on German industrial cities such as Hamburg. Feb 2: German surrender at Stalingrad July 5: Massive tank battle at Kursk July 27: Huge bombing raid on Hamburg Nov 6: Russians recapture Kiev

The Second Front: Italy 1943 : 

The Second Front: Italy 1943 After winning the Battle of El Alamein the previous October, the Allies pushed on into Libya and Tunisia. By the middle of the year, the Anglo-Americans were able to launch an invasion of Italy. The fighting was difficult, but the opening of a second front relieved some of the pressure on the Soviets. May 13: Afrika Corps surrenders in North Africa July 10: Allies land in Sicily July 26: Fascist government falls; Mussolini arrested Sept 8: Italy surrenders Sept 11: Germany occupies northern Italy Sept 12: Mussolini rescued by German commandos; forms a puppet government

‘D’ Day and the Liberation of France: 1944 : 

‘D’ Day and the Liberation of France: 1944 By 1944, the Axis was clearly losing the war. For the knockout blow, the Allies launched the invasion of France known as ‘D-Day’. This landing of several hundred thousand Allies troops drew German strength away from the Eastern Front, enabling the Russians to rapidly advance. It also enabled the liberation of France after four years of Nazi occupation. June 6: D-Day landings at Normandy June 13: First V-1 rocket attack on Britain June 24: Assassination attempt on Hitler Aug 25: Paris liberated Sept: Belgium liberated Nov: Allies reach German border

Russian Offensives 1944 : 

Russian Offensives 1944 The Russian steamroller advanced with increasing speed in 1944, pushing the Nazis from Russian territory, and advancing almost to the German border. 1.2 million Red Army soldiers took part in Operation Bagration. Jan 6: Soviets enter Poland Jan 27: Leningrad siege lifted after 900 days Jun 9: Soviets advance into Finland June 22: Operation Bagration – the Russian summer offensive July 24: First concentration camp liberated Aug 19: Soviets advance into Romania Sept: Baltic states liberated Dec 27: Siege of Budapest

Battle of the Bulge 1944 : 

Battle of the Bulge 1944 Staring defeat in the face, the Germans mustered all of their remaining strength for one last offensive. The Ardennes Offensive, known as the Battle of the Bulge, lasted around a month, and saw fierce fighting between American and German troops. The offensive failed and left the way clear for the Allies to march into western Germany. Dec 16: Ardennes Offensive begins Dec 26: Allies begin counterattack Jan 25: Official end of the battle

Road to Defeat: 1945 : 

Road to Defeat: 1945 At the beginning of 1945, Germany was hanging by a thread. Vast numbers of Allied troops surrounded her borders, and unconditional surrender was the only acceptable outcome. Hitler vowed to fight on, and so German civilians bore the brunt of the tough fighting of early 1945. Jan 17: Warsaw liberated Jan 26: Auschwitz liberated Feb 13: Dresden destroyed in firebombing March 6: Final German offensive to guard Hungarian oilfields April 1: US troops encircle the Ruhr April 21: Red Army reaches Berlin

Collapse: April/May 1945 : 

Collapse: April/May 1945 By April the war was lost. The Soviets fought street by street to capture Berlin, as Hitler cowered in his bunker. At the end of the month, he killed himself. A week later, his successor, Admiral Doenitz, signed the surrender. The most destructive war in human history was over. April 28: Mussolini is captured and hanged April 30: Hitler commits suicide May 2: German troops in Italy surrender May 7: Unconditional surrender of all German troops May 8: V-E (Victory in Europe) Day June 5: Germany is divided between the Allies Nov 20: Nuremberg War Crimes Trials begin

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