Europe 1945: Invasion of Germany
In early 1945, the Soviets pushed through Poland, breaching the pre-War German border and closing in on Berlin. Meanwhile, the Western Allies had defeated the German counteroffensive in Belgium and were ready to invade Germany in force, crossing the Rhine in March.
12 Jan–2 Feb 1945 Vistula-Oder Offensive▲
Soviets invade Poland and eastern Germany
4–11 Feb 1945 Yalta Conference▲
13–15 Feb 1945 Bombing of Dresden▲
The United States and the United Kingdom launched four aerial raids on Dresden, Germany. Using 722 Royal Air Force and 527 US Army Air Forces heavy bombers, they dropped over 3,900 tons of explosive and incendiary bombs. The results were a firestorm which destroyed the city center and left up to 25,000 dead.
23 Feb 1945 Turkey enters World War II▲
Turkey declared war on Germany and Japan, joining World War II on the side of the Allies. This was in response to the Yalta Conference declaration that only states formally at war with the Axis by 1 March 1945 would be admitted to the United Nations. Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran followed suit in the following days.
1–7 Mar 1945 Operation Lumberjack▲
The First United States Army launched Operation Lumberjack, capturing the German cities of the west bank of the Rhine north of Mosel and preparing the way for a full-scale invasion of Germany from the west.
22 Mar–8 May 1945 Western Allied invasion of Germany▲
The Western Allies - led by the United States and the United Kingdom - crossed the River Rhine, fanning out to overrun western Germany from the Baltic Sea in the north to Austria in the south. By the end of April, they had linked up with Soviet forces advancing from the east, forcing the Germans to unconditionally surrender in early May.