The Mediterranean theater in World War II has long been overlooked by historians who believe it was little more than a string of small-scale battles and sideshows that were of minor importance in a war whose outcome was decided in the clashes of mammoth tank armies in northern Europe and the sea battles and island battles of the Pacific. However, from the beaches of northwest Africa in 1942, to the Italian Alps with the German surrender of May 1945, others argue that the Mediterranean was World War II's pivotal theater.
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