Once the Allies (led by the Americans and the British) secured the beaches at Normandy, the race was on to occupy as much of Europe and Germany as possible. The Russian Army was rapidly advancing from the East and Russia wanted as much territory as possible to be under communist control.
As the Allies got closer to Berlin, the Germans fought with even more ferocity, as they were now defending their homeland. Hitler ordered a large counter attack that forced the middle of the allies' line to withdraw; this counter attack was known as the Battle of the Bulge. The Allies prevailed, and again, the race was on to capture Germany, and to occupy the capital city of Berlin.
Russia had lost millions of soldiers and civilians in the German occupation of their country. Many had starved to death and the Germans had committed terrible atrocities throughout Eastern Europe. The Russians took revenge on both German soldiers and civilians. Many Eastern European people including German civilians and soldiers, fled toward the Allied lines hoping to gain refuge.
On May 7, 1945, the Germans surrendered to the Allies, and on May 8, to the Russians. The big three; America, Britain, and Russia began the process of dividing the world along ideological boundaries. The entire globe would be divided between democratic free countries, and communist dictatorships. Russia (later known as The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR) would have authority over Eastern Europe and half of Germany. Western European countries and the western half of Germany would be free to determine their own governments.
The elements of the Cold War began to take shape.
South America is southwest of Europe.