America at War: The End Begins


IN the summer of 1944 the American Army came of age. The successful invasion of Normandy and the quick capture of Cherbourg in June meant the negation, in a strategic sense, of all Hitler's hopes and marked the beginning of the end for Germany. In rapid succession, in late July and August, the forces of the Allies broke out from the Cotentin peninsula, smashed much of the German Seventh Army, overran Brittany, captured Paris and reached the Meuse at Sedan. Simultaneously, they invaded southern France. Coupled with great German defeats on the Eastern Front, the defections in the Balkans and convulsions within the Nazi Reich, these victories put the unmistakable stamp of success on an American "amateur army," raised, organized, trained and equipped within five years.

The summer of 1944 was also a season of American triumphs in the Pacific. The conquest of the Marianas was almost as important a milestone in

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