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The Advance of Anti-Hitler Coalition in the West and East Part I

War aims and consolidation of the anti-Hitler coalition: Roosevelt and Churchill announced at the Casablanca conference on January 24, 1943, the unconditional surrender of Germany, Italy and Japan as their war goal; In addition, it was decided to strengthen the Allied bomber offensive against Germany, which now also includes the American Air Force, v. a. in daytime attacks against armaments centers, intervention; the British Air Force continued v. a. Night attacks against large cities. In connection with the discovery of the mass graves of Polish officers near Katyn (April 1943) there was another crisis in the anti-Hitler coalition: the USSR broke off diplomatic relations with the Polish government-in-exile in London (April 25, 1943) and stopped ready a communist Polish committee as the nucleus of a new pro-Soviet Polish government. The conference of the foreign ministers of the anti-Hitler coalition in Moscow (October 19 – November 1. 1943) and v. a. the meeting of the “Big Three” ( Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin) in Tehran (November 28th – December 1st, 1943) brought about a fundamental clarification that by and large lasted until the end of the war in Europe. The final decision was made to land the Western Allies in France in the spring of 1944. It was thus foreseeable that the Red Army advancing from the east would meet the Western Allied invasion troops in Germany. A European Advisory Commission (EAC) should decide on concrete measures for Germany in the post-war period. On September 12, 1944, an agreement was concluded on the future east-west demarcation line for the zoning (London Protocols).

The landing of the Western Allies in Italy and the fall of Mussolini: With their landing mission in Sicily (July 10, 1943), Western Allied land forces intervened on the European continent for the first time.

After meeting only weak Italian resistance, German troops temporarily halted the British-American advance at Catania. In the wake of a bombing raid on Rome (July 19), a vote of no confidence by the Grand Fascist Council forced Mussolini to resign on July 25. King Victor Emmanuel III had him arrested the same day and appointed Marshal P. Badoglio to the head of government. After secret negotiations, he had an armistice signed with the Allies on September 3, 1943 (announced on September 8). On the same day, after all of Sicily had fallen into Allied hands on August 17th, British troops landed on the south coast of Calabria. An American landing near Salerno followed on September 9th.

According to FINDJOBDESCRIPTIONS,the German countermeasures that had been prepared since Mussolini’s fall began as soon as the Italian surrender became known. On September 10th, Rome was occupied by German troops; the Italian troops in northern and central Italy, in the Balkans and in southern France were disarmed if they did not succeed in joining the partisans, as in some cases in Yugoslavia. Any resistance was suppressed with tough measures and acts of revenge. The former allies were not treated as prisoners of war, but as “military internees” who were mostly used as forced laborers. Thousands of Italian officers were shot because their units resisted disarmament. Mussolini was freed on September 12 by a German paratrooper command on the Gran Sasso d’Italia and head of a fascist “Repubblica Sociale Italiana” (Republic of Salò) dependent on Germany. The King and the Badoglio government (in Bari) declared war on Germany on October 13, 1943.

In October 1943, the German Commander-in-Chief of the South, A. Kesselring, succeeded in building a front across the Italian peninsula north of Naples. After both breakthrough attempts by the Allies at Montecassino When the landing operation in the rear of the German front at Anzio and Nettuno (January 22, 1944) had failed, the Allies launched a major attack in Italy on May 12, 1944. With the abandonment of Rome (June 4, 1944) the German troops withdrew to the Apennine position Pisa-Florence-Rimini, which was pushed back several times in autumn 1944, but could not be breached. In northern Italy, stronger Italian partisan forces appeared, which, like the Tito partisans in Yugoslavia and the French Resistance, received material support from the Western powers. The German units tried to put down the uprising with unrestrained reprisals and hostage-taking. Women and children were also murdered (including the shooting of 335 Italians on March 24th).

The advance of the Red Army: the defense of the German company “Citadel” developed into a major Soviet counter-offensive. Kharkiv was recaptured on August 23, 1943, Kiev on November 6, and Crimea was cut off from land connections. In the middle section, the German troops gave up Smolensk on September 24th and took up a position on the upper Dnieper with Vitebsk and Mogilev as pivots. After fighting over the middle and lower Dnieper (October 1943 to February 1944), the Red Army advanced into western Ukraine in March 1944 and reached the eastern edge of the Carpathian Mountains and the area east of Lviv in April. After the Red Army had blown up the German siege ring around Leningrad in January 1944, the German Army Group North withdrew to the Narva – Pleskau – Polotsk line. so that the German Army Group Center on the upper Dnieper had to defend a “balcony” protruding to the east. Hundreds of thousands of people were forcibly evacuated, used to build positions or deported to Germany for forced labor.

The Advance of Anti-Hitler Coalition in the West and East 1