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  Europe and North Africa The Pacific In the U.S. Media

Germany withdraws from the Caucasus.

British forces defeat German troops at Tripoli, Lebanon.

Churchill and Roosevelt agree that the war can end only with Germany’s unconditional surrender.

The US begins bombing raids on Germany.

U.S. troops begin final offensive to clear Guadalcanal. By February 9 organized Japanese resistance on the island is ended. The American victory opens the way for other Allied gains in the Solomons.

Papuan Campaign ends in the first decisive land defeat of the Japanese.

February German forces surrender at Stalingrad — the first major defeat of a German army since the war began.   Shoes are rationed. Soviet soldiers climb over rubble in Stalingrad

Soviet soldiers advance through the rubble of Stalingrad. About the photograph


German U-boats sink 27 merchant ships on the Atlantic between March 16 and 20.

Germans begin withdrawal from Tunisia in North Africa. In April, US and British forces meet in North Africa. From Tunisia, Allied forces can begin an invasion of Sicily and then Italy.

An indecisive naval battle off the Komandorski Islands prepares the way for reconquest of the Western Aleutians. By mid-August Japanese troops have been driven out of both Attu and Kiska. Food rationing is greatly expanded. Ration stamps are now required to purchase meats, cheese, canned milk, butter and other fats, and all canned and processed foods. map of the Mediterranean Basin, 1939

From Tunisia, Allied forces could invade Sicily and then Italy. About the map


Food was rationed in the U.S. in 1943. About the poster

April Jews in the Warsaw ghetto resist their deportation to concentration camps. Hitler’s Waffen-SS attacks on Passover, but resistance continues for a month.   Second War Loan drive begins.  

The Allies take Tunisia. German and Italian forces in North Africa surrender.

The Nazis take the Warsaw ghetto on May 16, and the remaining Jews there are removed to concentration camps.

    A section of the Ghetto wall still stands in Warsaw.

A remnant of the ghetto wall in Warsaw. About the photograph


Allied forces land in Sicily and capture Palermo.

Bombings of Rome begin, while Allies continue bombing Germany. Much of Hamburg is destroyed in a firestorm.

After defeats in Africa and Allied attacks, Italian armies are in disarray. Italian dictator Mussolini is forced from power and arrested, and the Fascist government of Italy falls. The new government begins negotiations with the Allies.

    A political map of Italy.

A present-day map of Italy. About the photograph


German troops evacuate Sicily.

US begins daylight bombing raids on German cities, demonstrating Allied air superiority.

U.S. victories in the Solomon Islands.    
September Italy formally surrenders to the Allies, and Allied troops land on the Italian peninsula. But German forces occupy Rome, and Mussolini re-establishes a Fascist government.   Third War Loan drive begins.  
October Allied troops enter Naples. Italy declares war on Germany.      
November Soviets recapture Kiev in the Ukraine. Central Pacific offensive to reconquer the Marshall, Gilbert, Caroline, Mariana, and Philippine Islands begins with army landings on Makin and Marine landings on Tarawa, the keystones of Japanese defenses in the Gilberts.    
December Soviet troops advance across the Ukraine, then (in January) into Poland. Southwest Pacific offensive to secure the western Solomons, New Guinea, and the Philippines begins with the landings on New Britain, the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago.   map of Soviet advances, 1943-1944

By early 1944, Soviet forces had pushed the German armies out of the USSR and into Poland. About the map