A map shows the war in North Africa.
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The Allies had tremendous challenges to overcome in order to regain control of western Europe and Africa from the Axis.

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By what two routes did the Allies meet in Tunisia? What do you think was their reason for meeting at this location?

Corpses “are strewn in the cellars, on the landings and the staircases,” he said. In November, the Soviets encircled their attackers. Trapped, without food or ammunition and with no hope of rescue, the German commander finally surrendered in January 1943.

After the Battle of Stalingrad, the Red Army took the offensive and drove the invaders out of the Soviet Union entirely. Hitler's forces suffered irreplaceable losses of both troops and equipment. By early 1944, Soviet troops were advancing into Eastern Europe.

A Second Front in Europe

By 1944, the Western Allies were at last ready to open a second front in Europe by invading France. General Dwight Eisenhower was made the supreme Allied commander. He and other Allied leaders faced the enormous task of planning the operation and assembling troops and supplies.

To prepare the way for the invasion, Allied bombers flew constant missions over Germany. They targeted factories and destroyed aircraft that might be used against the invasion force. They also destroyed many German cities and bombed railroads and bridges in France that could carry German troops and supplies to the front.

The Normandy Landings

The Allies chose June 6, 1944—known as D-Day—for the invasion of France. Just before midnight on June 5, Allied planes dropped paratroopers behind enemy lines. Then, at dawn, thousands of ships ferried 156,000 Allied troops across the English Channel. The troops fought their way to shore amid underwater mines and raking machine-gun fire, and the casualties mounted as they reached the shore.

It all seemed unreal, a sort of dreaming while awake, men were screaming and dying all around me… I honestly could have walked the full length of the beach without touching the ground, they were that thickly strewn about.

—Melvin B. Farrell, War Memories


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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments