The Advance of Anti-Hitler Coalition in the West and East Part III
July 20, 1944: During the catastrophic defeat of Army Group Center and in anticipation of the inevitable collapse of the German front in Normandy, C. Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg carried out an assassination attempt on July 20, 1944 in the Wolfsschanze headquarters (near Rastenburg) on Hitler (July 20th). By removing it, the end of the war was supposed to be reasonably speedy, v. a. but a self-purification of Germany can be initiated by the criminal National Socialist leadership. The company failed. In reaction to the attempted military coup, Hitler appointed H. Himmler, the Reichsführer SS and chief of armaments, as the commander of the replacement army.
Goebbels proclaimed the “total war” for the second time on August 3, 1944, as the newly appointed general plenipotentiary for the total war effort. On September 25th, all men between the ages of 16 and 60 who were capable of weapons were called to join the German Volkssturm.
From the defection of Romania to the failure of the German Ardennes offensive: The looming final German collapse caused the smaller allies to withdraw from the war or to change front. After the Red Army launched a major offensive against Romania on August 20, King Michael I had Antonescu arrested on August 23 and appointed a new government, which declared war on the German Reich on August 25 and which was replaced on August 12. 9. In 1944 Moscow signed an armistice with the Allies. On September 5th, after the USSR declared war, the Red Army entered Bulgaria, which changed front on September 9th, 1944 (armistice on October 28th, 1944 in Moscow). The Hungarian Governor M. Horthy who also tried to change the front of Hungary on October 15, 1944, was forced to abdicate by a German counteraction. The Arrow Cross regime installed by Germany afterwards (under F. Szálasi) continued the fight on the German side. While a counter-government was formed in Debrecen on December 5, 1944 under Soviet protection, the capital Budapest, which had been besieged by the Red Army for two months, did not fall into their hands until February 11, 1945. German troops were able to suppress an uprising in Slovakia from August 29, 1944 until the beginning of November 1944. After the defection of Romania and Bulgaria, the German withdrawal from Greece was initiated (from October 3rd). It was carried out with defense against partisan attacks from Albania, Macedonia and Serbia (October 20, 1944 capture of Belgrade by the Red Army and Tito’s partisans).
On September 19, 1944, according to ITYPEJOB,Finland had signed an armistice with the USSR and Great Britain. The deadline set therein for the withdrawal of German troops (15 days) could not be met in the north. The 20th Mountain Army began withdrawing from the front west of Murmansk on October 7; she vacated Petsamo on October 15 and withdrew from the northernmost part of Norway. Due to the armistice, the Finns were forced to fight the German troops.
As in 1943, the problem of the future government of Poland was the worst burden for the anti-Hitler coalition in 1944. In Cholm, the USSR formed the Polish Committee of National Liberation, the Lublin Committee, with which it formed on July 22, 1944 signed a contract on July 26th, including envisaged the Oder-Neisse line as the future Polish western border. The formation of this committee triggered the uprising of the Armia Krajowa (AK) in Warsaw on August 1, 1944 as a reaction on the national Polish side. However, since the Red Army was on the east bank of the Vistula, the German armed forces were able to prevent the Warsaw Uprising 2) prostrate (until October 2, 1944). Warsaw was then razed to the ground. Difficulties between the powers of the anti-Hitler coalition in south-eastern Europe were for the time being cleared up by agreeing on zones of operation or influence. Except in Greece, where the British a tripped at 3. 12. 1944 uprising of the Communist-dominated E. A. M. prostrated, and in Yugoslavia, where Soviet and Western influence should be balanced, has been confirmed all over the Balkan Peninsula, the dominance of Soviet influence.
In December 1944, Hitler tried to use the last German reserves to force a breakthrough across the Meuse to Antwerp and to separate the British and American troops on the western front. On December 16, the Allied Forces began with the Battle of the Bulge the last German offensive of this war. After initial successes and penetration as far as the vicinity of Dinant, the attack stalled after a few days in view of the Allied air superiority and lack of fuel. The use of “V 2” rockets against London from September 8, 1944 – as an increase in fire with “V 1” aerial bombs – was now also used against Antwerp and Liège. The important Allied supply port of Antwerp was the target of 8,696 flying bombs and 1,261 missiles. Although more than 60% of the bombs could be shot down by the Allied defense (there was no remedy for the missiles), almost 100,000 buildings were destroyed or damaged, and more than ten thousand people were killed or seriously injured. The consequences of the attacks on London were similar.