Europe 1944: Soviet Breakthrough
The latter half of 1943 saw the Soviet Red Army push inexorably westwards. By the end of the year they had broken through German defences on the Dnieper and liberated two-thirds of the territory they had lost in the war. In early 1944 they ended the 900 day Siege of Leningrad.
1 Oct–6 Nov 1943 Kiev Strategic Offensive▲
At the beginning of October 1943 the Soviets sent the Central Front and the Voronezh Front to force crossings of the Dnieper, but were unable to break through the German defenses. Early the next month the 1st Ukrainian Front took over the offensive and successfully secured bridgeheads north and south of Kiev, with some support from the 2nd Ukrainian Front. Overrunning the German positions in the city, the Soviets liberated Kiev on 6 November.
28 Nov–1 Dec 1943 Tehran Conference▲
The “Big Three” Allied leaders—Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Franklin Roosevelt of the United States, and Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom—met at the Tehran Conference (codenamed ‘Eureka’) to discuss strategy against Germany. The meeting occured in the Soviet embassy in Tehran, Iran, and concluded with an American and British commitment to open a second front in Western Europe by 1 May 1944.
22 Jan 1944 Operation Shingle▲
Having become bogged down in the mountainous Gustav Line crossing southern Lazio and Abruzzo, the Allies attempted to break the stalemate by landing at the low-lying area of Anzio and Nettuno and ultimately capturing Rome.
27 Jan 1944 Relief of Leningrad▲
In January 1944 the Soviets launched the Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive, with the goal of completely lifting the German siege of Leningrad. Breaking through German lines, the Red Army regained control of the Leningrad–Moscow railway later that month. On 27 January the 900-day-long siege was declared to be ended, although follow-up operations continued in the area until the beginning of March.