Advance on the Rhine

World War II: Fall of the Third Reich

Europe 1944.1017

Advance on the Rhine

World War II in Europe from Stalingrad to the fall of Berlin (17 October 1944)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

With Paris liberated, the Allies pushed on into Belgium and towards the Rhine. In an attempt to win the War in 1944, they tried to invade Germany by seizing the Rhine bridges in the Netherlands but were repelled. Even so, by the end of October, the Allies had crossed the German border and captured their first German city. Meanwhile in the east, Soviet advances forced Romania, Finland, and Bulgaria to come to terms.

Main Events

Warsaw Uprising

Expecting Soviet troops to arrive soon, the Polish resistance Home Army leads a revolt to liberate Warsaw from Germany. However, the Soviet advance stops short, enabling the Germans to counterattack and defeat the resistance in a 63 day battle. The result is the destruction of Warsaw, the loss of over 150,000 Polish civilian lives, and the expulsion of up to 700,000 remaining civilians from the city.

Fascist regime overthrown in Bulgaria

Lapland War

Finland, in process of forced demobilization following ceasefire with Soviet Union, fights German forces in its Lapland Province in an attempt to hasten their withdrawal to Norway

Operation Market Garden

Allied forces under British Field Marshal Montgomery attempt to outflank Siegfried Line and invade Germany by seizing bridges near Eindhoven, Nijmegen, and Arnhem in the German-occupied Netherlands. Three airborne divisions are dropped to capture these bridges, with armored units sent through after them. However the armor is unable to reach the division at Arnhem before the Germans counterattack, forcing the Allies to withdraw and abandon hopes of ending the War in 1944.

Moscow Armistice signed between Finland and Soviet Union

Battle of Aachen

United States forces attack Aachen, Germany, finally capturing it after three weeks of heavy fighting. The city is part of the Siegfried Line - Germany's main defensive network in the west - and is the first city on German soil to fall to the Allies.

Petsamo-Kirkenes offensive

Soviet 14th Army under K. A. Meretskov attacks German 20th Mountain Army under Lothar Rendulic, defeating their forces in the Arctic and driving them from Pechenga/Petsamo, Finland, and Kirkenes, Norway

Operation Manna

British airborne forces land in Athens

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