Germany’s defeat at Kursk in July 1943 was almost simultaneous with the Allied invasion of Sicily, and Hitler was forced to withdraw some generals and forces to fight the new threat in Italy. This multi-front war began to take a serious toll on Germany’s capability to control the territory it had seized over the previous four years. As Soviet forces advanced farther west during early 1944, the German military leadership also had to prepare for the expected British and American invasion of France. Consequently, Germany withdrew still more forces from the collapsing eastern front. Although Hitler was still far from giving up, his conquests were clearly in decline and his war machine gradually collapsing.