Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 20 June 1944 (Normandy Landings): Despite Allied successes, Western Europe had remained firmly under German control since 1940 (Battle of France). By June 1944 the Americans and British were ready to change this, landing 45 000 troops in northern France (Normandy landings). The Second Front (Western Front (World War II)) that Stalin (Josef Stalin) had been demanding since the launch of Barbarossa (Operation Barbarossa) was open.