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The Soviet Offensives of 1944-45


On the Eastern Front, the major Soviet offensive of December 1943April 1944 routed the German armies in western Ukraine and allowed the Red Army to reach the Soviet western border. The Red Army then pursued the enemy by advancing into Romania at the end of March 1944 and Poland at the end of July of that year.  

Military operations were now increasingly planned in coordination with the Western Allies. Following the opening of the second front in France, the cooperation between the Allies entered its most fruitful stage. By 6 June 1944the day of the Western Allies landing in Normandyabout two-thirds of the more combat-worthy Wehrmacht divisions were striving in vain to defend against the Red Army offensive in eastern Europe. In the autumn of 1944 the German troops were expelled almost entirely from the Soviet territory, and the Red Army advanced into Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Norway.

In the winter of 194445 the war against Germany and its allies in Europe entered its final phase. Squeezed between the two fronts, Germany had to counter the concerted assaults of the Allies. By mid-April 1945 the Soviet troops had pushed the Germans out of Poland, Hungary, and the eastern parts of Czechoslovakia and Austria, and occupied the eastern one-third of Germany.

The last-ditch Battle of Berlin, despite the fierce resistance of the million-strong German forces, failed to repel the Soviet onslaught. At the climax of the German collapse, with Berlin encircled by Soviet troops, Hitler committed suicide on 30 April; two days later, the Berlin garrison capitulated. On 8 May the surrender of all German forces was signed.

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USSR in World War II


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