Second Front

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The opening of hostilities by US and UK forces on the mainland of Europe in World War II, when the Allies returned to confront the Germans after the fall of France. The First Front (a term not used) was that on which the Soviet Union fought the Axis Powers in the east. From 1941 the Soviet government pressed for an early opening of the Second Front as a means of relieving heavy German pressure. The hope that it could be opened in 1942 was ended by Churchill's insistence that there was insufficient shipping. The disaster of the Dieppe Raid (August 1942) confirmed this, although the Soviet and the US governments continued to criticize British hesitancy through 1943. When the successful Normandy Campaign eventually opened the Second Front in June 1944 it was clear that the operation was an immense enterprise that could easily have failed had it been undertaken too hastily. In the event it led to the defeat of the German army.

Subjects: World History.

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