After the liberation of Paris and Brussels in the late summer of 1944, the western Allies still faced determined German resistance. A brave British attempt to turn the Germans northern flank in Holland by means of an airborne landing codenamed Operation Market Garden. At Arnhem they were defeated by the unexpected presence of an SS armoured division. In December the Germans struck back through a snowy Ardennes forest in a three-pronged counter attack ‘the Battle of the Bulge’ that soon ran out of steam. Early in the New Year, the Allies leap-frogged the Rhine and advanced into the German heartland as the USAF and RAF pounded the German cities to rubble. Meanwhile Soviet forces had encircled and seized Berlin, Hitler had committed suicide in his bunker, and the war in Europe ended in May 1945.
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