By the end of 1943, Allied forces had succeeded in stopping the Axis powers’ advancement both in Europe and in the Pacific. Over the next two years, Allied forces seized the offensive and launched a series of powerful drives that helped them defeat the Axis powers.
Early in 1944, United States and British bombers began attacking German industrial installations and other targets almost round the clock. These attacks hampered German production and transportation. In addition, the massive bombing campaigns of the Allied forces devastated German cities such as Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin. For example, a February 1945 incendiary raid on Dresden created an immense firestorm that destroyed three-fourths of the previously undamaged city. The Dresden bombing killed approximately 135,00 people, almost all civilians.
Almost two years before the Dresden bombing, an enormous invasion force had started to gather in England. This force consisted of almost 3 million troops and a great array of naval vessels and armaments. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, General Dwight Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces, sent this vast armada into action. The invasion force included British, American, and Canadian troops and they landed not at the narrowest part of the English Channel, where the Germans had prepared for them, but along sixty miles of the Cotentin Peninsula on the Coast of Normandy.