Allied assault on Cherbourg has begun with bombardment by UK & US Navy; large warships in duel with German coastal guns, while smaller ships provide focused fire support for American infantry assaulting French port.

French Resistance are calling on Nazi-occupied nation to rise up, unite with Allies & crush fascism "between the hammer & the anvil".

Red Army summer offensive, Operation Bagration, is smashing German lines in north-east Europe, from Poland to the Baltic coast. New York Times map shows enormous Soviet advances of the last year:

Polish troops of the 1st Armoured Division in UK, ready to head to France- one of Free Europe forces fighting for Allies.

Allied troops have reached the outskirts of Cherbourg, a vital Normandy port that Hitler has ordered Germans should defend to the last man.

Across western France, Resistance fighters are uniting with advancing Allied troops, sabotaging & attacking German occupiers.

Weeks of military deception by Soviets have left Germans expecting an attack in south, through Ukraine; instead, Operation Bagration (named after Russian general who fought Napoleon) aims to crush Axis Army Group Centre, stationed around Poland.

After colossal overnight artillery barrage, the largest so far in history, over 1.6 million Red Army troops are advancing into east Poland & Belorussia, dwarfing scale of Allied landings in France on D-Day.

Three years to the day after Germany launched an invasion of the USSR, Red Army have begun Operation Bagration: a huge offensive in east Europe, aimed at enveloping & crushing German Army Group Centre.

10,000 explosions rip across Byelorussia: a massive campaign of sabotage has begun in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, as Soviet partisans prepare way for planned Red Army offensive by dynamiting railways, roads & German transport depots.

American aircraft are more numerous & equipped with better weapons & fuel, including new proximity-fuze cannons; US Navy pilot Alexander Vraciu celebrates six Japanese planes shot down in one sortie:

750 Japanese planes have been shot down over Philippine Sea; one American pilot declares: "Why, hell, it was just like an old-time turkey shoot down home!"

Japanese Operation A-Go, plan to wreck US Navy off Saipan, ends in disastrous failure, with 3 carrier ships sunk. Battle of the Philippine Sea is the largest clash of aircraft carriers in history, with 24 carriers launching 1350 American & Japanese warplanes.

American battleship USS Texas, off the Normandy coast, provides artillery support to Allies fighting inland. As front line moves out of range of 14-inch naval guns, crew flood ship's starboard torpedo blister, tilting vessel to increase elevation of guns: wearethemighty.com/mighty-hist

This man's wife was killed by a German V-1 missile as he was out walking their dog. He's returned to find his house destroyed, & the whole street devastated. PC Fred Godwin comforts him as rescue workers search the rubble for survivors.

London is facing a new Blitz, with over 100 German V-1 flying bombs- nicknamed "doodlebugs" or "buzz bombs" from the droning sound of their engines- hitting the city each day.

Hitler claims new V-1 rockets, now being launched on London "will prove decisive.. the British will be forced to make peace."

Rommel to Hitler: "Struggle is hopeless if faced with Allied superiority in air, on sea & on land". Demands to withdraw troops out of range of Allied naval guns, being fired from along the coast. Hitler instead demands fresh counter-attacks.

Hitler is making a rare visit to France, sleepless from worry & bitter at German generals Rommel & Rundstedt, blaming them for the success of Allied landings & failure of "Atlantic Wall" defences in Normandy.

US forces in Normandy are driving west across Cotentin peninsula, hoping to cut off & capture vital port Cherbourg:

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