American forces landed at Anzio, just south of Naples, in an attempt to out flank the Germans. German resistance was fierce, and there were fears that the beachead would not hold. Determined fighting by American forces ultimately secured the beachead.
Advancing Russian troops, led by General Vatutin, crossed the Polish frontier from the Ukraine. The German forces, which were severly depleted, could do little to halt the Soviet advance.
On June 4th, American forces, under the command of General Mark Clark, entered RomeÐ from which the Nazis were quickly retreating. The capture of Rome marked the first Axis capital captured by Allied forces.
On June 6th, 1944, 45 Allied divisions with almost 3 million men, led by General Eisenhower, began landing on Normandy Beach, in France. Within three weeks, Allied troops had captured all of the Normandy peninsula and port of Cherbourg. By the end of August, Paris was liberated, and Allied forces continued toward Germany.
On October 20th, 1944, American forces began their return to the Philippines by landing on Leyte. In January, they landed on the main island of Luzon. After a bitter battle, they reached the capital, Manila, on February 2nd. The Japanese lost 170,000 men in the Philippines, compared to American casualties of 8,000.
NOVEMBER 29th 1944
The US airforce, flying B-29 bombers- the most poweful planes of the war, began strategic bombing raids against Japan. The raids, which grew in size, slowly destroyed all of Japan's industrial capabilities.
The German forces made a surprise attack against US forces in Belgium. The Germans made rapid progress, but were unable to capture the city of Bastogne, where Ameican forces were encircled. The US and the Brtish were able to counterattack, and the Germans were forced to withdraw, but not before US forces lost 35,000 men.