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By the third year of the war, everyone in the fighting countries was experiencing shortages and hardships of all kinds. Hitler's "guns, not butter" campaign ensured that food and other necessities were difficult to get. And as the fighting raged, people came to realize that many of their sons--already gone for a long time--would not return. In such circumstances, internal chaos can threaten the stability of countries at war. That was one big reason why Italy surrendered. In Holland, the strikes that Anne mentions are a sure sign that morale was low among the Dutch.