How were the North African and Italian campaigns accomplished?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Allies had a plan for conquering North Africa, the Italian Peninsula, and the rest of Axis-controlled Europe in World War II.  There were several parts to this plan.  The first two parts involved North Africa and the Italian Peninsula. The Allies believed North Africa should be attacked first.  They believed it would be easier (not easy, but easier) to attack what was referred to as the underbelly of the Axis Powers.  The United States would land troops in the western part of North Africa. Then, these troops would head east. Meanwhile, the British would stop the German advance in Africa.  This was accomplished by the British victory at El Alamein in northwest Egypt. Then, the British would push westward. The goal was to encircle the German and Italian troops somewhere in North Africa.  This was accomplished when the Axis troops were surrounded in Tunisia. With their backs to the sea, the Axis abandoned the North Africa Campaign and fled to Sicily and then into the Italian Peninsula.  The Allies pursued the Axis and fought them in Sicily and Italy.  There were many beach landings and a lot of hard fought battles. This fighting lasted for a year mainly because Germany brought some of its troops from the eastern front to fight in Italy.  The Italians had surrendered, but since the Germans were there, the fighting lasted for about a year. Eventually, Sicily and the Italian Peninsula were conquered.  After the Axis defeat on the Italian Peninsula, the Allies could implement the rest of their plan to defeat the Axis Powers in Europe.  Ultimately, they were successful, and World War II ended in Europe on V-E Day, May 8, 1945.

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