Kursk and Sicily

World War II: Fall of the Third Reich

Europe 1943.0712

Kursk and Sicily

World War II in Europe from Stalingrad to the fall of Berlin (12 July 1943)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

By mid-1943, the Axis situation was rapidly deteriorating with Germany losing its foothold in North Africa and being forced to put its submarine campaign on hold while Allied bombers brought increasing terror to the Fatherland. Hitler's solution was a new offensive in the East, but the Russians were ready for his assault on Kursk and the Western Allies diverted his attention by invading Sicily.

Main Events

Battle of the Ruhr

Allied strategic bombing campaign

Fall of Tunis

Following a month of bitter fighting in Tunisia, the Allied forces broke through in early May 1943. At dawn on 7 May armor of the British Eighth Army rolled into Tunis; a few hours later the American First Army entered Bizerte. The remaining German and Italian forces in North Africa would surrender to the Allies over the following week.

Black May

German offensive against Kursk salient

Operation Husky

In Operation Husky, an Allied invasion fleet landed 160,000 troops of the US Seventh Army and the British Eighth Army on the southeast coast of Italy in the largest amphibious invasion to date. Despite facing some 300,000 Italian and German personnel, the invasion proceeded quickly. The British advanced through the eastern half of the island while the Americans swept through the west, with both forces meeting at Messina on 17 August.

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