Northern Eurasia 1944: Lower Dnieper Offensive
After its victories at Stalingrad and Kursk, the Soviet Red Army had the Germans on the run. In an attempt to hold the front, Hitler ordered the construction of the "East Wall" defensive line. This was not enough and the Soviets broke through before the line could be completed.
9 Jul–17 Aug 1943 Operation Husky▲
In July 1943, 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 Sicily, 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.
26 Aug–28 Sep 1943 Drive to the Dnieper▲
On 26 August 1943 the Soviet Union began its move on the Dnieper, advancing with over 2.6 million men, 2.4 thousand tanks, and 2.8 thousand planes on a 1,400-kilometer front that stretched between Smolensk and the Sea of Azov. Despite the Soviet’s substantial numerical superiority, the Germans fought tenaciously and the river itself—up to 3 km wide in places—had been heavily fortified. By late September, however, the Soviets had pushed the Germans back to the Dnieper and established several bridgeheads across the river.
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.