In Europe, however, 1943 was the year of decision. By May, German and Italian troops in North Africa had surrendered in numbers greater than the total loss suffered at Stalingrad. The failure of the Western Allies to launch the cross-Channel assault in a timely fashion would lend credence to a possible post-war scenario that would favour the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union could also claim all of the credit for the defeat of Germany and be in a correspondingly strong position to determine the state of the post-war world. The Germans constantly constructed appreciations of Allied troop strength and of where they expected the assault to land, and adjusted their defences and troop deployments accordingly. On 16 April, the Soviets launched their final thrust against Berlin. They reached the suburbs less than a week later. American forces mopped up resistance in southern Germany and Austria, and they crossed the Brenner pass into northern Italy.