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Drastic reversal in the war
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Liberation of the USSR and European countries

The most important events of the period were defined with growing mightiness of war-and-economic potential of the anti-Hitler coalition, with Soviet Army energetic victorious actions and with struggle activation of the British-American side.

By the beginning of the 1944 the situation in Germany worsened sharply: the material and manpower resources were speedily running out. Nevertheless the enemy was strong yet. Armed Forces of Germany and its satellites came up to 5,000,000 in manpower (236 divisions and 18 brigades), 5400 tanks and assault guns, 55,000 cannons and minethrowers, over 3,000 aircrafts. Vermaht proceeded to tough position defence. The USSR Army by 1944 had had over 6,300,000 in manpower, over 5,000 tanks and self-propelled cannons, over 95,000 cannons and minethrowers, 10,000 units of aircraft. Arms manufacturing was in 1944 at its peak.

The USSR HQ set a problem before the Army: to sweep the native land from the enemy, to start liberation of European countries and to finish the war by putting the adversary to rout at its territory. The main substance of 1944 spring-summer campaign was carrying out of consecutive strategic operations of Soviet troops, in course of which the main units of adversary's troops were routed so as a path to the federal border was open. In 1944 spring the Crimea was swept up from the enemy. As a result of a four-month campaign Soviet Armed Forces liberated 329,000 square kilometres of Soviet territory, put to rout over 170 enemy's divisions of up to 1,000,000 in strength.

In those favourable conditions Western Allies, after a two-year preparation period, opened the Second Front in Europe (North of France). Supported by French Defence, British-American troops on 25 June 1944 started an offensive operation targeting Paris, where on 19 August an uprising began against the occupants. When the allied forces came into Paris, it had already been in the hands of patriots. At the same time (15-19 August, 1944) British-American troops, consisting of seven divisions, landed in the region of Cannes city, in the South of France, and practically without any resistance, made for the centre of the country. Anyway, Vermaht commanders managed to escape encirclement and succeeded to bring the units to the western borders of Germany. Moreover, on December 16, 1944, having begun an offensive in Ardennes, German troops overwhelmed the First American Army and by that manoeuvred the whole British-American group of armed forces into an awkward position.

In 1944 summer Soviet troops developed a broad offensive operation in Karelia, Belorussia, the West Ukraine and in Moldavia. As a result of offensive in the North of the country Finland came out of the war with the USSR (19 September, 1944) and declared war to Germany (4 March 1944).

Victories of Soviet Army in the South direction in Autumn of 1944 helped Bolgarian, Hungarian, Yugoslavian and Czechoslovakian peoples in their liberation from fascism. On 9 September 1944 government of "Motherland Front" came to power in Bulgaria, that declared war to Germany. In September-October Soviet troops liberated a part of Czechoslovakia and supported Slovak national uprising.

"Liberating" campaign of the Red Army into the Eastern Europe countries caused some tension of geopolitical contradictions between the USSR and its western allies. W. Churchill was very much irritated by growing USSR's influence in the region. On 9-18 October 1944 he undertook a visit to the USSR and had negotiations with J. Stalin. He suggested to sign a British-Russian agreement about "spheres of influence" division in the countries of Southeast Europe, which was supported by Stalin. Nevertheless the document wasn't signed, since American ambassador in Moscow A. Harriman opposed that aggressively. Anyway the secret "gentlemanly" agreement between Churchill and Stalin played an active role in farther events in the region.

In winter 1944 campaign coordination between the anti-Hitler coalition allies developed deeper. In early April 1945 Western allies' troops successfully encircled and then took captives about 19 German divisions in the region of Rur. After that operation Nazi defence on the Western front was practically broken up.

On 2 May 1945 group of units "C" in Italy capitulated. On 4 May Act of German troops capitulation in Holland, Northwest Germany was signed.

In January - early April 1945 as the result of broad powerful strategic offensive along the whole Russian-German front Soviet Army crushed the main forces of the adversary. The road to Berlin was practically free.

Attempts of the new German government (after Hitler's suicide it was headed by admiral K. Denits) to reach a separate peace with the USA and Britain failed. Decisive victories of the Red Army in Europe influenced in some way results of Yalta Conference (4-11 February 1945), on which problems of the final stage in the fight against fascism were discussed. The USSR acknowledged its obligations about coming into war against Japan in 2-3 months after the war in Europe is over.

In cause of Berlin operation (16 April-8 May 1945) about 480,000 soldiers were taken prisoners, as well as great many pieces of arms. Victorious finish of Berlin operation created favourable conditions for putting the last German large-scale group of troops in Czechoslovakia to rout. The day of liberating Prague from fascists - 9 May 1945 - became the Day of Victory of Soviet people over fascism.

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