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Key Battles of WWII

            In the beginning of WWII, the Axis was winning major victories against the Allies. The Germans and Italian defeated all of its enemies in eastern continental Europe and were pressing deep into Russia and the Japanese took parts of China and islands in the Pacific, but then, the Allies began hitting back.
             Moscow was the first turning point. During the summer, the Germans had moved their armies deep into Russia. The Russians had been taken aback at first by the Germans" strategy of using large groups of tanks to clear the way for infantry and they lost land. Then, they tried to counter with tanks of their own, but it was too little, too late. The Germans shattered their lines one by one into little pockets. While the infantry was left behind to clear out the pockets, the tanks raced to Moscow, but they were stopped by the mud caused by the autumn rains. The infantry caught up with them and they again tried to advance on Moscow when winter dried the ground, but this time, the Russians were ready. The Germans attacked from the north, west, and south in a three-way pincer movement. The Germans were stalled west of Germany by repeated counterattacks by the Russians, who had more experience fighting in the snow. In the south, the army was unable to take the city of Tula and had to take a detour around it. In the north, the army advanced to the gates of Moscow, but was halted there. On December 6, the Russians launched their winter counteroffensive and drove the Germans back. Both sides suffered heavy losses, but it mattered less to the Russians, who had more men to spare.
             Meanwhile, the Germans and the Italians had been trying to take the Suez Canal in Egypt to block the British Navy and the oil beyond. The Italian forces and the Nazi Afrika Korps entered Egypt in a drive for the Suez Canal in June 1942. The British army held fast at El Alamein, about 60 miles southwest of Alexandria. On October 23, British infantry cut through the Axis lines in a bayonet charge that opened the way for an armored breakthrough.

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