Victory in Europe: D-Day to the Fall of Berlin

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An American soldier, who died in combat during the Allied invasion, lies on the beach of the Normandy coast, in the early days of June Two crossed rifles in the sand next to his body are a comrade's last reverence.

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The wooden structure on the right, normally veiled by high tide water, was an obstruction erected by the Germans to prevent seaborne landings. Reinforcements for initial allied invaders of France, long lines of troops and supply trucks begin their march on June 18, , in Normandy. American dead lie in a French field, a short distance from the allied beachhead in France on June 20, American soldiers race across a dirt road, which is under enemy fire, near St. Lo, in Normandy, France, on July 25, Others crouch in the ditch before making the crossing.

An American soldier lies dead beside water pump, killed by a German booby trap set in the pump in a French village on the Cherbourg Peninsula, on June 18, These five Germans were wounded and left without food or water for three days, hiding in a Normandy farmhouse waiting for a chance to surrender. Acting on information received from a French couple, U. After a skirmish, the snipers were dealt with and the wounded Germans taken captive, in France on June 14, The dead German soldier in this June photo was one of the "last stand" defenders of German-held Cherbourg.

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Captain Earl Topley, right, who led one of the first American units into the city on June 27, said the German had killed three of his men. Helmets discarded by German prisoners, who were taken to a prison camp, in a field in Normandy, France in In the sky above the Netherlands, American tow planes with gliders strung out behind them fly high over windmill in Valkenswaard, near Eindhoven, on their way to support airborne army in Holland, on September 25, Parachutes open as waves of paratroops land in Holland during operations by the 1st Allied Airborne Army in September of Operation Market Garden was the largest airborne operation in history, with some 15, troops were landing by glider and another 20, by parachute.

The haystack at right would have softened the landing for this paratrooper who took a tumble during operations in Holland by the 1st Allied Airborne Army on September 24, In France, an American officer and a French Resistance fighter are seen engaged in a street battle with German occupation forces during the days of liberation, August , in an unknown city. People try to cross a damaged bridge in Cherbourg, France on July 27, Richard Bennett, from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, raise their glasses in a toast.

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A view from a hilltop overlooking the road leading into St. Lo in July of Two French children in the foreground watch convoys and trucks of equipment go through their almost completely destroyed city en route to the front. Crowds of Parisians celebrating the entry of Allied troops into Paris scatter for cover as a sniper fires from a building on the place De La Concorde.

Although the Germans surrendered the city, small bands of snipers still remained. August 26, After the French Resistance staged an uprising on August 19, American and Free French troops made a peaceful entrance on August 25, Here, four days later, soldiers of Pennsylvania's Twenty-eighth Infantry Division march along the Champs-Elysees, with the Arc de Triomphe in the background.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Under pressure from the Trump administration, and its own citizens, the government of Mexican President Obrador is building a response to limit the continued flow of U. A grab bag of interesting, seldom-seen historic images depicting myriad people, places, and things—from epic achievements to small moments. I want to receive updates from The Atlantic about new products and offerings. The push into Italy began in Sicily, but soon made it to the Italian mainland, with landings in the south.

The Italian government having recently ousted Prime Minister Benito Mussolini quickly signed an armistice with the Allies -- but German forces dug in and set up massive defensive lines across Italy, prepared to halt any armed push to the north. After several major offensives, the Allies broke through and captured Rome on June 4, Two days later on D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history took place.

The Fall of Berlin (1945)

Nearly , Allied troops boarded 7, ships and more than 3, aircraft and headed toward Normandy. Some , troops landed on the French beaches , 24, by air and the rest by sea, where they met stiff resistance from well-defended German positions across 50 miles of French coastline. After several days of intense warfare, Allied troops gained tenuous holds on several beaches, and they were able to dig in with reinforcements and bombardment. In September, the Allies launched another major invasion, Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation of its time, in which tens of thousands of troops descended on the Netherlands by parachute and glider.

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Though the landings were successful, troops on the ground were unable to take and hold their targets, including bridges across the Rhine River. In September, Field Marshal Montgomery launched a daring but unsuccessful airborne operation to capture a bridge over the Lower Rhine at Arnhem, and outflank the defences of the Siegfried Line. As winter approached, the Allied campaign ground to a halt. The surprise counter-offensive achieved some initial success, but was soon contained by US forces. When the weather cleared, Allied air attacks completed the destruction of the German spearheads.

The Allies resumed their advance and in March crossed the Rhine - the last remaining obstacle into the heart of Germany.

By late 1944, tide had turned; Allies closed in on victory in Europe

Casualties were heavy among the two airborne divisions which dropped on the east bank, but US forces had already crossed the river at a number of locations further south. The war in Europe ended with German surrender on 7 May Ian Carter. Monday 8 January See object record.

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