By 1942, the war had assumed global proportions. The United States, after an attack by Japan, had entered the confl ict in December 1941. Together with Great Britain and the Soviet Union, a coalition was formed with the purpose of defeating Germany as the fi rst priority. Up to this point, Hitler’s successes had been dramatic and impressive. To many of the conquered peoples of Europe, it truly appeared as if the Third Reich was going to last a thousand years. Now, however, with the formation of the Allied crusade, new hope was born. The decision to defeat Germany fi rst was a momentous one, for it meant the concentration of major Allied resources upon that country, and during 1942-1943 Hitler began to suffer severe reversals. Although the war continued until 1945, the potential of Allied power to determine the military outcome of the confl ict was clear.