Northern Eurasia 1944: Relief of Leningrad
The Soviet Red Army continued to roll forward throughout 1944. In the north, it broke the two and a half year German siege of Leningrad. In the south, it pushed on to liberate the rest of the Ukraine and break into Romania.
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.
19 Mar 1944 Operation Margarethe▲
Learning of plans by Hungarian Prime Minister Miklós Kállay to agree to an armistice with the Allies, Germany occupied Hungary, removed Kállay from office, and deported the country’s 500,000 Jews to concentration camps. Though the Wehrmacht had planned to disband the Hungarian Army, they merely assumed command in order to defend against the Soviet advance through Ukraine and Romania.
2 Apr 1944 Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive▲
After liberating Kiev, the Soviet Union focused the bulk of its efforts on crossing through left-bank Ukraine and neutralizing Axis-aligned Romania. Vastly outnumbered and crippled by the Soviet winter, the Germans largely retreated to Poland. By 2 April 1944 the Soviets had entered Romania itself, prompting Romania to enter secret peace talks with Moscow.
4 Jun 1944 Allies enter Rome▲
While breaking the Italian stalemate at Anzio, the Allies fought repeatedly to open the road to Rome by capturing the hilltop monastery of Monte Cassino. After four attempts and heavy casualties, the Allies were victorious, linking with the beachhead at Anzio and entering Rome on 4 June 1944, but failing to capture the German 10th Army.
6 Jun 1944 D-Day▲
After extensive aerial and naval bombardment, including the landing of 24,000 airborne troops, 156,000 US, British, and other Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, German-occupied France, in the largest seaborne invasion in history. The landings began at 06:30 and met heavy fire from gun emplacements overlooking the beaches, along with numerous mines and obstacles. Over the day, the Allies suffered at least 10,000 casualties vs about 1,000 for the Germans, but secured their beachhead.