Could it be this easy?
As Sicily fell to Allied forces, Italian strongman Benito Mussolini was deposed. Rumors circulated that he was being held by the Italian Army or was about to be turned over to the Allies for trial as a war criminal.
Hitler was convinced that invasion of Italy was a feint and the true blow would fall in Greece. He dispatched General Rommel to shore up the situation there.
As the war had progressed, the destructive technology of bombing had as well. Rotterdam and London and other locations had suffered under Axis wings, and now the debt was being repaid.
The U.S. Army Air Force flew during the day and attempted to hit targets with precision. A raid Aug. 1 would cause heavy damage an Axis oil refinery in Ploesti, Rumania, but of the 178 planes dispatched, 41 were shot down and 13 lost for other reasons.
The Royal Air Force had suffered horrific losses like these in daylight raids and had switched to nighttime area raids. They had conducted studies that showed the most destructive attacks had a mixture of fire bombs and explosives.
Now with Germany under a combination of day and night attacks from the west, the Luftwaffe would be placed on the defense. Allied bomber generals argued that they would win the war without a costly invasion by ground troops.
A series of devastating raids against Hamburg were launched at this time, setting off firestorms that killed thousands of civilians in addition to destroying war factories. The damage was so severe that Hitler refused to visit.
On the home front Lt. Bob Zoppi talked about harrowing missions while on leave at a barbecue in Cambria. He had flown 51 missions over Europe as a bomber co-pilot and said the crews overcame fear to complete their missions. He said, "You never know what will happen this time."
Zoppi said a letter from home is more prized than food.