Records were made wherever and whenever possible – in dugouts, between the battles, on wallpaper, exercise books, office books…
Handwritten partisan journals were kept together with important documents. They contained facts and figures interspersed with stories about the daily grind, battles and heroes. Handmade 'books' were pepped up by pictures and unfailing sense of humor. They were circulated to raise morale. They were read to draw strength.
On the night of 5 to 6 June 1944 the British-American troops began an invasion of Normandy. The Western Allies carried massive air and naval attacks on the main positions of the Wehrmacht.
The air attacks targeted German fortifications, minefields, communication lines and the rear of the enemy, while warships carrying airborne troops were approaching the Normandy coast...
The Normandy invasion codenamed Overlord went down in history as an operation to open the Second Front. In terms of the forces and equipment involved it was the largest airborne operation of World War II.
Normandy landings. France, June 1944
Reference: Overlord was the operation to invade North-Western France by the armed forces of the United States, the United Kingdom and their allies. The operation took place from 6 June to 24 July 1944. In line with the Tehran Conference outcome documents, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom started preparations for the opening of the Second Front in Europe to fight fascist Germany (1944-1945). The united British-American command developed a plan for a seaborne invasion of the Normandy coast (codenamed Operation Neptune) and the further advancement to the Seine and the Loire.
The Normandy landings totaled nearly 2.9 million people. Over 10,000 combat aircraft and over 2,000 transport aircraft, as well as about 7,000 ships were involved in the operation.
The museum's exposition themed "Combat operations by the British-American troops in 1944-1945"
"On 7 June 1944 the radio announced the opening of the second front in Europe, in the west, the landing of a powerful assault force of the allies in Northern France. The amphibious landing is still ongoing. Materiel is being landed, too. A solid platform is being established for the subsequent crushing blow on the enemy."
Excerpt from the Vpered Za Rodinu journal, Issue No. 9, party and Komsomol organization of the HQ company of the Stalin Partisan Regiment No. 208, Mogilev Oblast, June 1944
This was one of the most anticipated and important operations of the Second World War. The opening of the Second Front was reflected in partisan journals. Articles were written to describe the combat situation in Europe. News of the Allied assistance in the fight against Nazi Germany gave rise to hope for prompt and full victory to partisans and civilians in Belarus.
"The Allied troops also achieved good results in Italy. One of the capital cities is now in the hands of the Allied troops from the USA and England. The enemy armies entrusted with defending Rome are fleeing the onslaught of the Allied troops…
"Nazi Germany will soon experience a catastrophe. Time is near when fascist Germany and its vassals will be pushed into an abyss…
"The opening of the Second Front confirms the strength of the union of the freedom-loving countries of the USSR, the USA, and England…"
Excerpts from handwritten partisan journals:
Inspired by accomplishments of the Red Army and the opening of the Second Front in Europe the partisan fighters started socialist competitions. They set out to maintain their weapons and ammunition in perfect order, to have no disciplinary punishments, to stop using obscene words, to keep their tents and canteens in good order, to improve their military and political training every day.
The main task for the partisans was to assist the Red Army. "Our Motherland has not been cleared of the fascists yet. We must help our Red Army to oust the enemy from our land as soon as possible. We must create obstacles for the Nazis every step of the way, make the conditions unbearable for them, prevent them from taking civilians to forced-labor camps in Germany, destroy them wherever possible," the handwritten journals called on.
Operation Overlord completed on 25 August 1944. The allies crossed the River Seine and liberated Paris en route to the French-German border.
From June 1944 to April 1945 the allied troops liberated a number of countries in Western Europe. The major forces taking part in the operation were the armies of the United States, the UK, Canada and the French Resistance.
The meeting of the Soviet and American troops at the Elbe River near the German city of Torgau, 25 April 1945
In the spring of 1945 the allied troops approached the Elbe River to join the Red Army on 25 April.