BAGRATION: Stalin’s Promised Offensive

As the battle for Normandy gained momentum, the Red Army attacked the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front, writes Phil Loder

Premier Josef Stalin, President Franklin D Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Allied leaders’ conference in Tehran at the end of 1943
US NATIONAL ARCHIVES

While the defeat of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad in early 1943 was arguably the turning point on the Eastern Front in World War Two, and the Battle of Kursk in July 1943 witnessed what Winston Churchill called “the ruin of the German Army” in the East, the Soviet Army still had more than 1,100 miles to advance to reach the capital of Berlin.

Premier Josef Stalin had been pressing the Western Allies to open a second front in northwest Europe to relieve the pressure on the Red Army, and when he, President Franklin D Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill met in Tehran at the end of 1943, the date for the cross-channel invasion was agreed.

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