With the war for Europe over and the U.S.'s Pacific "island hopping" strategy seeing long-range bombers within striking distance of Japan, all that stood between the Allies and and end to World War 2 was taking that tenacious island nation.
This is it. The Allied invasion of Europe and the beginning of its attempt to wrest control of the war-torn continent from Hitler's Nazi regime and a faltering Italian southern front.
The Allies ultimately won World War 2, of course, but at great cost. Nowhere is this more true than the great 1,000-mile Eastern Front, where German and Soviet forces mixed battle, bloodshed and war crimes in equal mix.
Much is known of what happened during World War 2, but what of the actions of the Axis and Allies in the decade before? The most recent In Focus photography selection answers that question and then some.