1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914 | 1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924 | 1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929
1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934 | 1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944 | 1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949

1 Jan 1941
  • Negotiations began between Germany and Bulgaria to use Bulgarian territory as a staging area for Operation Marita, the German invasion of Greece. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • In Hitler's New Year's Order of the Day, he promised the Wehrmacht the completion of the "greatest victory in our history" on the Western Front. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | TH]
  • The United Kingdom suppressed the Daily Worker, a Communist publication. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British General O'Connor's Western Desert Force in Egypt was reorganized as the British 13th Corps. Meanwhile, in Libya, RAF aircraft continued to bomb the port of Bardia and the airfields at Tobruk, Derna, and Benina. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • In the Gibraltar Strait, British destroyers HMS Duncan, HMS Firedrake, HMS Foxhound, HMS Jaguar, and HMS Hero stopped a French convoy from Casablanca, French Morocco. The convoy was consisted of French ship Chantilly, French tankers Octane and Suroit, and Danish ship Sally Maersk. HMS Jaguar attacked Chantilly, causing 2 killed and 4 wounded, leading to the convoy's capture. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The BBC aired the Brains Trust for the first time. This radio programme which had five men discussing such diverse subjects as philosophy, art and science was surprisingly a great success, frequently having a regular audience of ten million listeners. ww2dbase [AC]
  • George Giffard was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. ww2dbase [George Giffard | CPC]
  • Arthur Coningham was Mentioned in Despatches. ww2dbase [Arthur Coningham | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Andrew Geddes was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. ww2dbase [Andrew Geddes | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Jan 1941
B-18 Bolo bomber port wing with low-drag experimental panel, Langley Field, Virginia, United States, 1 Jan 1941; note P-43 Lancer fighter in background
2 Jan 1941
  • German leaders Himmler and Heydrich categorized concentration camps into three categories for different types of prisoners, but in practice this categorization had little actual effect. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • German bombing severely damaged the Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, British artillery pieces moved into position near Bardia, Libya. During the day, British monitor HMS Terror and British gunboats HMS Ladybird and HMS Aphis bombarded Bardia; Italian aircraft responded without success. After sun down, Wellington bombers of No. 70 Squadron RAF and Bombay bombers of No. 216 Squadron RAF attacked Italian positions at Bardia. Troops of the Australian 6th Division began to prepare for the ground assault. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • German submarine U-65 sank British ship Nalgora 250 miles west of Port-Étienne, French West Africa at 2207 hours. As the military equipment destined for British troops in Egypt went down with the ship, 105 survivors took to lifeboats and would eventually make land at the Cape Verde Islands or rescue by other ships. This would be U-65's eighth and final sinking during the 49-day-long patrol. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 was detected by a convoy escort ship 300 miles northwest of Ireland, which attacked with depth charges. U-38 was slightly damaged but was able to continue with the patrol without needing immediate repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • In Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, a rescue party dug for six hours to rescue a six-year-old child trapped under the staircase where he had taken shelter from German bombing. Throughout the rescue the child was heard singing "God Save the King". He later explained that his father, a coal miner, had told him that when men were buried underground they kept singing to guide the rescuers, and this was the only tune that he knew the words. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 2 Jan 1941
Crew of HMS Ladybird operating a 6-inch 50-caliber Mk XIII gun during the bombardment of Bardia, Libya, 2 Jan 1941
3 Jan 1941
  • Luftwaffe X Fliegerkorps arrived in Italy. ww2dbase [TH]
  • At 0530 hours, the British artillery barrage began, hitting Italian defensive positions at Bardia, Libya. At 0600 hours, Australian 6th Division began its assault from the west, clearing anti-tank obstacles for the 23 tanks of the British 7th Royal Tank Regiment that began attacking at 0650 hours. Between 0810 and 0855 hours, battleships HMS Warspite, HMS Valiant, and HMS Barham, along with destroyers, monitors, and gunboats, bombarded Bardia with 244 15-inch shells, 270 6-inch shells, 250 4.5-inch shells, and many smaller caliber shells. The ground forces would penetrate 2 miles into the Italian lines. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | Warspite | CPC]
  • German bombers attacked Bristol, England, United Kingdom overnight for 12 hours, targeting the docks and the railway station. 149 were killed and 351 were wounded. The granary on Princes Wharf was destroyed, along with most of the 8,000 tons of grain inside. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The Corpo Aereo Italiano, which had been participating in the Battle of Britain alongside Luftwaffe units at Belgian bases, was recalled to Italy after suffering heavy losses. ww2dbase [AC]
Albania
  • The Italians launched a counter-offensive to the north and west of Korcë, Albania; two fresh Italian divisions were committed to the Klissoura sector on the Vlorë road to regain the initiative. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | AC]
Germany Photo(s) dated 3 Jan 1941
Official document signed by Joachim Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano, Hiroshi Oshima, and Bogdan Filov, entering Bulgaria into the Axis alliance, 3 Jan 1941Port quarter view looking forward showing submarines Gar and Grampus fitting out, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 3 Jan 1941
4 Jan 1941
  • After an entire day of fighting, Allied troops reached Bardia, Libya at about 1600 hours, splitting the Italian defenders into two groups, shaking Italian morale, causing large numbers of Italian troops to surrender. Jokingly emulating Winston Churchill, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden said "[n]ever has so much been surrendered by so many, to so few." On the same day, Italian General Bergonzoli and his staff withdrew from Bardia toward Tobruk. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • British torpedo bombers attacked an Italian supply convoy off Cape Bon, Tunisia in failure. ww2dbase [CPC]
China
  • Chinese Communist New Fourth Army moved out of Yunling, Anhui Province, China. ww2dbase [New Fourth Army incident | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Amy Johnson was ordered to fly an Airspeed AS.10 Oxford aircraft from Prestwick, Scotland, United Kingdom to RAF Kidlington, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Amy Johnson | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Jan 1941
Australian troops rushing through the streets of Bardia, Libya, 4 Jan 1941Fort Capuzzo, Libya just after British capture, 4 Jan 1941; note shrapnel damage to the Roman eagle column on the right
5 Jan 1941
  • Australian 6th Division troops, supported by 6 remaining British Matilda tanks, captured the last Italian defensive position at Bardia, Libya, and the remaining Italian force surrendered soon afterwards. In the battle for Bardia, the Italians suffered 1,000 killed, 3,000 wounded, and 36,000 taken prisoner; 2,000 Italians were able to withdraw to Tobruk, Libya. Australians suffered 130 killed and 326 wounded. The Allies captured a large quantity of Italian equipment, including 26 coastal guns, 7 medium guns, 216 field guns, 26 anti-aircraft guns, 41 infantry guns, 146 anti-tank guns, 12 medium tanks, 115 tankettes, 708 trucks, and water pumps capable of producing 400 tons of fresh water per day. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • Italian ship Vulcano hit a mine and sank off Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Cappellini sank British ship Shakespeare 100 miles northeast of the Cape Verde Islands at 1045 hours with her two 100-mm deck guns, killing 20. Before Shakespeare sank, her return fire hit Cappellini's aft gun and killed gunner Sergeant Ferruccio Azzolin. Cappellini rescued 22 survivors and took them to Sal Island nearby. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British sloop HMS Lowestoft, while operating with Allied convoy FS.378, was damaged by a mine in the Thames Estuary in England, United Kingdom. She would be under repair at Chatham, England until 3 Oct. ww2dbase [CPC]
China
  • A 9,000-strong contingent of the Chinese Communist New Fourth Army became surrounded by overwhelming Chinese Nationalist force at Maolin, Anhui Province, China. ww2dbase [New Fourth Army incident | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Amy Johnson, record-breaking aviation pioneer of the 1930s, was killed when the Airspeed Oxford trainer she was delivering as an Air Transport Auxiliary ferry pilot came down in the Thames Estuary in Southern England, United Kingdom, near Herne Bay. It was sadly ironic that a woman who navigated her way solo from England to Australia got lost in bad weather. Running out of fuel, she baled out thinking she was over London. Landing in the freezing water, she was dragged under a rescue boat by her parachute and chopped to death by the propellers. Her body was never found. ww2dbase [Amy Johnson | AC]
Photo(s) dated 5 Jan 1941
Portrait of Alfred Rosenberg, 5 Jan 1941
6 Jan 1941
  • A Free French force under Lieutenant Colonel Jean Colonna d'Ornano attacked Murzuk airfield in southwestern Libya from Chad, capturing the airfield, but d'Ornano was killed in action. ww2dbase [Battle of Kufra | CPC]
  • British 4th Armoured Division advanced 50 miles from Bardia, Libya to capture Belhamed to the east of Tobruk and the airfield at El Adem 8 miles to the south. Patrols were now conducted 10 miles west of Tobruk at Acroma. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • Overnight, Greek destroyers shelled the Albanian port of Vlorë. 20 miles south, Italian destroyers Alfieri, Carducci, Fulmine, and Gioberti, and torpedo boats Partenope, Pallade, Romeda, and Altair shelled Greek positions at Porto Palmermo. The Greek offensive against Italian positions in the mountains of Albania reached the strategically important Klisura Pass on the river Vjosë, which, if captured, would allow Greek forces in the center of the front to link up with troops on the coast, but it was met with stiff resistance. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ship Empire Thunder 200 miles northwest of Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1137 hours; 9 killed and 30 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German raider Kormoran stopped Greek ship Antonis in the Atlantic Ocean 200 miles northwest of Cape Verde Islands. Antonis was scuttled when 4,800 tons of British coal was found on board. All 29 crew and 7 sheep were taken on board Kormoran. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
  • In his State of the Union address, US President Franklin Roosevelt enunciated the Four Freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Neutral Ireland sent a note of protest to Germany after Dublin was "accidentally" bombed three nights in succession by "stray" Luftwaffe aircraft. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The keel of battleship Missouri was laid down. ww2dbase [Missouri | CPC]
Egypt
  • British cruisers HMS Gloucester and HMS Southampton, escorted by destroyers HMS Ilex and HMS Janus, departed Alexandria, Egypt, at 1315 hours to carry 510 Army and RAF personnel to Malta and to meet Excess convoy which had departed from Gibraltar on the same day. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Gibraltar
  • British convoy Excess (British ships Essex, Clan Cumming, Clan Macdonald, and Empire Song) departed from Gibraltar for Malta and Greece, escorted by anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Bonaventure (carrying 400 troops) and destroyers HMS Hereward, HMS Jaguar, HMS Hasty, and HMS Hero. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Puerto Rico
  • US 22nd, 23rd, and 32nd Fighter Squadrons, both operating P-40 Warhawk fighters, was assigned to Losey Field in Puerto Rico. ww2dbase [Losey Field | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British destroyers HMS Mashona and HMS Sikh collided in the naval base at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 6 Jan 1941
A column of Italian prisoners captured during the assault on Bardia, Libya, 6 Jan 1941Greek Army bugler near Kleisoura, northern Greece, 6 Jan 1941Harry Hopkins departing Britain, 6 Jan 1941US President Franklin Roosevelt delivering his annual State of the Union speech to the US Congress, 6 Jan 1941
7 Jan 1941
  • Australian 6th Division and British 4th Armoured Division nearly surrounded Tobruk, Libya after capturing Acroma 10 miles to the west. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Rover attacked an Italian convoy off the coast of Libya 25 miles west of Tobruk. Italian torpedo boats Clio and Castore counterattacked, damaging HMS Rover, putting her out of commission for the following 13 months for repairs at Malta. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German torpedo boats Kondor and Wolf laid a minefield off Dover, England, United Kingdom but Wolf sank in a British minefield north of Dunkirk, France on the way home. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Giacomo Nani attacked Allied convoy HX.99 200 miles south of Iceland without success. British corvette HMS Anemone and French corvette La Malouine counterattacked, sinking Nani; all 58 Italian sailors and officers were rescued and taken prisoner. ww2dbase [CPC]
China
  • Chinese Nationalist forces began attacking the surrounded Chinese Communist New Fourth Army troops at Maolin, Anhui Province, China. ww2dbase [New Fourth Army incident | CPC]
Egypt
  • Admiral Cunningham's Mediterranean Fleet, consisted of battleship HMS Warspite, battlesip HMS Valiant, aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, and 7 destroyers departed Alexandria, Egypt, to meet the Excess convoy. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | Warspite | CPC]
Gibraltar
  • Admiral Somerville's Force H, consisted of battlecruiser HMS Renown, battleship HMS Malaya, aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, cruiser HMS Sheffield, and 7 destroyers, departed Gibraltar to cover the Excess convoy which left Gibraltar on the previous day. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 7 Jan 1941
Aerial view of Ford Island in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 7 Jan 1941. Note the Pearl Harbor Naval Operating Base in the foreground and the carrier USS Lexington (Lexington-class) on the far side of Ford Island.
8 Jan 1941
  • During the night, 7 British Wellington bombers from Feltwell, Lincolnshire attacked battleship Tirpitz at Wilhelmshaven, which suffered light damage from near misses. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • British Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout Movement and hero of the Boer War, died in Kenya at the age of 84. ww2dbase [AC]
  • British Wellington bombers from Malta attacked Italian battleships Guilio Cesare and Vittorio Veneto moored in Naples, Italy. Guilio Cesare was badly damaged by 3 near misses but Vittorio Veneto was hit without serious damage. Both ships would be moved to La Spezia, Italy and repaired, out of the range of the Malta bombers. ww2dbase [Giulio Cesare | CPC]
  • Australian 6th Division began reconnaissance patrols around Tobruk, Libya. Overnight, a patrol reached the Italian defensive perimeter. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
French Indochina
  • Royal Thai Air Force aircraft attacked French positions at Siem Reap and Battambang in Cambodia, French Indochina. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler hosted a two-day military conference at his Berghof residence in southern Germany, where he stated that Germany would continue to support Italian efforts in North Africa despite it being a secondary theater, the Soviet Union must be brought down, southern France might need to be occupied, and, for the first time, told the military leaders to prepare Germany for the possibility of American entry into the war. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Japan
  • Zuikaku departed Hiroshima, Japan for Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Zuikaku | CPC]
Malta
  • British cruisers HMS Gloucester and HMS Southampton arrived at Malta to disembark 510 Army and RAF personnel, escorted by destroyers HMS Ilex and HMS Janus. HMS Gloucester, HMS Southampton, and HMS Ilex continued west to meet the Excess convoy from Gibraltar. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt requested the US Congress to pass a defense budget in the size of US$10,811,000,000 for fiscal year of 1942. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
9 Jan 1941
  • Australian 6th Division and British 7th Armoured Division completed the encirclement of Tobruk, Libya. 25,000 Italian troops were now trapped. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Pandora sank Italian ships Palma and Valdivagna off Cape Carbonara, Sardinia, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Parthian sank Italian ship Carlo Martinolich off Calabria, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian destroyers Ascari, Carabiniere, Folgore, and Fulmine shelled Greek positions on the Albanian coast at Porto Palmermo. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German submarine U-105 sank British ship Bassano 300 miles south of Iceland at 1814 hours; 1 was killed and 56 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Avro Lancaster heavy bomber took flight for the first time. ww2dbase [Lancaster | AC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler and his top military leaders completed the two-day conference at Hitler's residence of Berghof in München-Oberbayern, Germany. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Escort duties for the British Excess convoy was passed from Force H (from Gibraltar) to the Mediterranean Fleet (from Alexandria, Egypt); most of Force H turned back for Gibraltar at nightfall, but cruiser HMS Bonaventure and destroyers HMS Hereward, HMS Jaguar, HMS Hasty, and HMS Hero would remain with the convoy. On the same day, 12 Italian C.200 fighter-bombers attempted to attack Malta; 4 were shot down by defending Hurricane fighters of No. 261 Squadron RAF. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt's personal envoy, arrived in England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Harry Hopkins | AC]
US Pacific Islands
  • US Navy transport William Ward Burrows arrived at Wake Island with the first group of 80 civilian workers who would start to excavate the channel between Wilkes and Wake Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
10 Jan 1941
  • A new German-Soviet treaty was signed confirming spheres of influence and affirming trade agreements. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Greek troops, with the recently arrived Greek 5th Cretan Division, captured Klisura Pass in Albania after 4 days of fighting. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • 300 German bombers attacked Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom overnight, killing 171 and wounding 430. The Guildhall was heavily damaged and would remain closed until 1959. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Peter Drummond was promoted to the rank of temporary air vice-marshal. ww2dbase [Peter Drummond | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Italian torpedo boats Vega and Circe attacked the Allied convoy Excess in the Strait of Sicily at dawn; cruiser HMS Bonaventure's gunfire and destroyer HMS Hereward's torpedo sank Vega. At 0815 hours, the convoy made rendezvous with the Mediterranean Fleet (with two battleships, one carrier, and seven destroyers). Shortly after, destroyer HMS Gallant (H59) hit an Italian naval mine that was laid on 6 Aug 1940, losing her bow and killing 58 and wounding 25; she was towed by HMS Mohawk (F31) to Malta for repairs, beaching in Grand Harbour below Floriana. At 1235 hours, German Stuka dive bombers, newly arrived to the theater, attacked HMS Illustrious, hitting her with 6 bombs, destroying the elevator and starting fires in the hangar deck, killing 124; she also sailed to Malta to receive repairs. Illustrious being out of service meant the Axis now had air superiority in the theater. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | TH, HM]
United Kingdom
  • British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, received confirmation from intercepts of German signals, decrypted at Bletchley Park, that the German build-up in Romania formed a grave threat to Greece. He promptly ordered draft contingency plans for the commitment of a British expeditionary force to the Greek mainland. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | Winston Churchill | AC]
Photo(s) dated 10 Jan 1941
HMS Illustrious under Stuka dive bomber attack in the Mediterranean Sea near Malta, 10 Jan 1941Greek tankers at Kleisoura, northern Greece, 10 Jan 1941Greek troops near Kleisoura, northern Greece, circa Jan 1941
11 Jan 1941
  • During the night 16 British aircraft from Scampton, Lincolnshire attacked battleship Tirpitz at Wilhelmshaven, Germany to little effect. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • Italian 7th Infantry Division Lupi di Toscana and the remnants of Italian 3rd Alpine Division Julia launched a failed counterattack on Klisura Pass in Albania, which was captured by the Greeks on the previous day. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler issued Führer Directive 22, which called for Operation Alpine Violets, which was to deploy German units in North Africa and Albania to aid Italian war efforts. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | TH]
Mediterranean Sea
  • German Luftwaffe Oberst Werner Ennecerus led a dive bomber attack on British cruisers HMS Gloucester and HMS Southampton 120 miles east of Sicily, Italy, hitting Gloucester with one 500kg bomb that failed to explode (9 killed, 13 wounded) and Southampton with two 500kg bombs (98 killed). Southampton was abandoned by the 727 survivors at 1900 hours, then was scuttled by a torpedo from cruiser HMS Orion at 2000 hours. Further east, the Allied convoy Excess, which the cruisers were protecting, reached their destinations of Malta, Egypt, and Greece. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • US Task Force 38 in the South China Sea received orders to bombard a Japanese position on the Cam Ranh Bay in Indochina on the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
12 Jan 1941
  • British armored divisions rushed in their efforts to repair tanks and put them into operational status for the upcoming attack on Tobruk, Libya. Meanwhile, HMS Protector departed Bardia, Libya with 1,058 Italian prisoners of war, sailing for Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
Italy
  • British aircraft based on Malta attacked the Axis airbase at Catania, Sicily, Italy. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Norway
  • In Norway, the Germans began recruiting for the Nordland Regiment of 5.SS-Wiking Division. ww2dbase [TH]
13 Jan 1941
  • Wellington bombers of No. 57 Squadron RAF attacked Ostend, Belgium. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • RAF bombers attacked the German submarine base at Lorient, France overnight. ww2dbase [CPC]
Bulgaria
  • Bulgaria stalled in response to German demand to join the Tripartite Pact. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | TH]
French Indochina
  • Admiral Jean Decoux ordered Capitaine de Vaisseau Régis Bérenger to plan an attack on the Thai Navy within the coming days. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German aircraft dropped 106 high explosive bombs on Plymouth, England, United Kingdom, damaging the Sherwell Congregational Church on Tavistock Road, City Hospital at Freedom Fields, gas works at Coxside, and Corporation electricity works at Prince Rock (26 killed, 117 wounded). Electricity would be restored on the following day, but gas would not be restored for three weeks. Patrol Officer George Wright and Leading Fireman Cyril Lidstone of Auxiliary Fire Service would be awarded George Medals for putting out a fire on an oil tank that might otherwise have exploded. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
14 Jan 1941
  • British Commander-in-Chief Middle East General Wavell met Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas and Greek Commander-in-Chief General Alexandros Papagos in Athens, Greece. Papagos asked Wavell for 9 divisions of British troops plus air support, but Wavell only offered 2 or 3 divisions. Papagos, who thought 2 to 3 divisions was too few to effectively deter a German invasion while still putting Greece in an indebted position, rejected the offer. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin captured almost an entire Norwegian whaling fleet (whale oil tanker Solglimt, factory ships Ole Wegger and Pelagos, and 11 of their attendant whalers) without firing a shot in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica; three whalers escaped and provided warning to another whaling fleet nearby. Pinguin captured 20,000 tons of whale oil and 10,000 tons of fuel oil with this success. ww2dbase [Pinguin | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Cappellini and British auxiliary cruiser Eumaeus engaged in a gun fight for three hours 100 miles west of Freetown, British West Africa. Cappellini suffered three casualties and was badly damaged, but was able to sink Eumaeus, killing 27. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • A memorial service for Amy Johnson was held at the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Amy Johnson | CPC]
15 Jan 1941
  • Overnight, Wellington bombers of No. 57 Squadron RAF attacked Emden, Germany while 76 RAF bombers attacked Wilhelmshaven, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • British minelaying cruiser HMS Adventure hit a mine and became damaged in Liverpool Bay en route from Milford Haven, Wales, United Kingdom. She was towed into Liverpool for repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Luigi Torelli attacked an Allied convoy 350 miles west of Ireland, sinking Norwegian ship Brask (12 killed, 20 survived) and Greek ship Nemea (17 killed, 14 survived). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Japanese Navy formed the 11th Air Fleet with the 21st, 22nd, and 24th Air Flotillas with Vice Admiral Eikichi Katagiri in command and Rear Admiral Takijiro Onishi as his chief of staff. ww2dbase [Takijiro Onishi | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German merchant raider Pinguin captured Norwegian whalers Star XIX and Star XXIV in the South Atlantic 400 miles north of the Azores when the two ships were sailing from Montevideo, Uruguay to South Georgia. ww2dbase [Pinguin | HM]
French Indochina
  • Ships of the French Groupe Occasionnel squadron made rendezvous at 1600 hours 20 miles north of Poulo Condore (Con Dao) archipelago south of French Indochina, and began moving toward the Thai-Cambodian border at 2115 hours. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC]
Greenland
  • The site for the future Bluie West Eight airfield in Greenland was assigned to the First US Army. ww2dbase [Bluie West Eight | CPC]
Iceland
  • In Iceland, 133 miles-per-hour winds sank three PBY Catalina aircraft of US Navy squadron VP-73 and sank two PBM Mariner aircraft of US Navy squadron VP-74. ww2dbase [CPC]
Korea
  • The Japanese Navy Genzan Air Group departed Genzan Airfield, Japanese-occupied Korea for Hankou, Hubei Province, China. ww2dbase [Genzan Airfield | CPC]
Netherlands
  • Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld achieved his second victory, shooting down a British Whitley bomber over northern Netherlands. ww2dbase [Egmont | CPC]
16 Jan 1941

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-96 sank British troopship Oropesa with three torpedoes 150 miles northwest of Ireland at 0616 hours; 106 were killed. Survivors drifted in 6 lifeboats, but only 5 lifeboats, containing 143, were found and rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Luigi Torelli attacked an Allied convoy 350 miles west of Ireland, sinking Greek ship Nicolas Filinis (3 killed, 26 survived). ww2dbase [CPC]
French Indochina
  • French troops launched a successful counterattack against Thai troops at the villages of Yang Dang Khum and Phum Preav in Cambodia, French Indochina, but poor intelligence forced the French to back off from any territory gained. The Thais were unable to pursue the retreating French, as their forward tanks were kept in check by the guns of the French Foreign Legion. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC, AC]
Germany
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille began a period of rest at home in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Malta
  • 80 German Luftwaffe Stuka dive bombers attacked Valletta Harbor, Malta, trying to finish off damaged British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious. HMS Illustrious, British destroyer HMS Decoy, and Australian cruiser HMAS Perth, and British ship Essex were damaged, but none sank. 10 German aircraft were lost. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) was founded in Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Desiree hit a mine and sank in the Thames estuary in southern England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
17 Jan 1941

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-96 attacked British liner Almeda Star 200 miles west of Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0745 hours, firing four torpedoes and her deck gun. Four lifeboats were launched before Almeda Star sank, but when seven British destroyers arrived, none of them were found, thus all aboard were lost (137 crew, 29 gunners, and 194 passengers). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Marcello approached an Allied convoy off the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom, but was detected by an escort destroyer, which attacked the submarine with five depth charges. Marcello suffered damage in her forward trim tank, forcing her end her war patrol to return to base. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank British ship Zealandic off the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom with three torpedoes. 73 survivors took to three lifeboats, but none were ever found. ww2dbase [CPC]
China Malta
  • German Luftwaffe Stuka dive bombers attacked Malta. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Thailand
  • A French naval squadron attacked the Thai anchorage at Ko Chang island near the Thai-Cambodian border, sinking two gunboats, damaging a coastal defense ship, and killing 36 men. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British corvette HMS Rhododendron hit a mine in Liverpool Harbor, England, United Kingdom. She was to remain out of action for three months for repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Harry Hopkins, while at a private dinner party with Scottish officials at the North British Railway Hotel in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, pledged American support for Britain. ww2dbase [M5 | AC]
18 Jan 1941

Atlantic Ocean
  • German cruiser Admiral Scheer captured Norwegian tanker Sandefjord 1,000 miles off the coast of Angola, Portuguese West Africa. The ship, along with her cargo of 11,000 tons of crude oil, was sent to France as a prize ship. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran sank British tanker British Union 700 miles west of the Canary Islands, killing 10. 28 survivors were captured by Kormoran and 7 survivors were rescued by British auxiliary cruiser HMS Arawa on the following day. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
Malta
  • German Luftwaffe Stuka dive bombers attacked Malta for the third consecutive day, destroying 6 RAF aircraft and damaging many more at the Luqa and Hal Far airfields. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | RAF Luqa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British destroyer HMS Castleton was damaged by German bombing while under repair at Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
19 Jan 1941

Abyssinia
  • Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia crossed the border between Sudan and Italian Eritrea, traveling toward his home country behind advancing British and Commonwealth troops. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | Haile Selassie | CPC]
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • British and Commonwealth troops attacked Italian Eritrea. 4th and 5th Indian Infantry Divisions captured the railway junction at Kassala, Sudan, on the border with Italian Eritrea. This allowed the column led by British General William Platt to march south. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Germany
  • Benito Mussolini visited Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden in Germany, accepting German assistance in North Africa, but not Albania. Hitler noted that he would launch an invasion of Greece if British troops there began to threaten the oil refineries at Ploiesti, Romania. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
Greece
  • British transport ships Clan Cumming, Clan MacDonald, and Empire Song departed Pireaus, Greece for Alexandria, Egypt at 0800 hours. At 1153 hours, 25 miles south of Pireaus, Italian submarine Neghelli attacked, damaging Clan Cumming with a torpedo. Escorting destroyer HMS Greyhound sank Neghelli with depth charges, killing the entire crew of 46. Escorting destroyer HMS Janus escorted Clan Cumming back to Pireaus while the rest of the convoy sailed on. ww2dbase [CPC]
Malta
  • German Luftwaffe Stuka dive bombers attacked Valletta Harbour, Malta for the fourth consecutive day in their attempt to finish off the damaged British carrier HMS Illustrious, which was only further damaged with near missed. Destroyers HMS Imperial and HMS Decoy were also damaged by the attack. One Stuka aircraft was shot down by a Fulmar aircraft, which was also shot down later in the battle. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German Luftwaffe aircraft bombed RAF Feltwell in England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
20 Jan 1941
  • The Iron Guard rebellion in Romania was put down by Marshal Antonescu. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Japan expanded annual intelligence budget to $500,000 to gather more intelligence on the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Compulsory Fire Watch duty was instituted in the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [TH]
  • In reprisal for partisan attacks, Germans executed 2,324 males in the Yugoslavian town of Kragujevac, including 144 boys who were herded out of school. Furious at the partisan activity, Hitler had decreed that for every German soldier wounded in attacks, 100 civilians would be executed. ww2dbase [AC]
  • German submarine U-94 sank British ship Florian 200 miles southeast of Iceland at 0042 hours, killing the entire crew of 41. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Kriegsmarine ordered the construction of 75 new submarines. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German cruiser Admiral Scheer sank British ship Stanpark and captured Dutch ship Barneveld 1,000 miles off the coast of Angola. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • In the Atlantic Ocean, Italian submarine Luigi fired a spread of three torpedoes at a group of three Allied destroyers but none hit. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Marcello, en route to Bordeaux, France for repairs, encountered Belgian ship Portugal and sank her with the deck gun. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Relonzo hit a mine and sank off Liverpool, England, United Kingdom, killing 19. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • RAF Wellington and Blenheim bombers, monitor HMS Terror, and gunboats HMS Gnat and HMS Ladybird attacked Italian positions at Tobruk, Libya overnight. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
China
  • Chinese Communist leadership defiantly declared a re-organized New Fourth Army after Chiang Kaishek called for the army's disbanding due to treachery. ww2dbase [New Fourth Army incident | CPC]
Germany
  • At Adolf Hitler's Berghof residence near Berchtesgaden, Germany, Hitler mentioned to Benito Mussolini and Galeazzo Ciano that Germany viewed the Soviet Union as a threat, but did not reveal the plan to invade. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Lieutenant Commander Clement Bridgman was named the equipping officer of HMS Dianthus. ww2dbase [Dianthus | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jan 1941
Inaugural program of Franklin Roosevelt and Henry Wallace, 20 Jan 1941Himmler and Mussert at Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, 20 Jan 1941, photo 1 of 2Himmler and Mussert at Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, 20 Jan 1941, photo 2 of 2
21 Jan 1941
  • The British government suppressed the publication of communist newspaper 'The Daily Worker'. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Allies began attacking Tobruk, Libya, starting with an artillery barrage at 0540 hours. Australian engineers cleared a path for 18 British Matilda tanks and a few captured Italian tanks to pass through, leading infantrymen. Blenheim aircraft flew overhead throughout the day to provide support. 8,000 Italians were captured in overrun defensive positions, including General Petassi Manella. After nightfall, the headquarters of the Australian 19th Brigade offered Manella a ceasefire, but it was rejected, as the Italian general had orders from Benito Mussolini to fight until the last man. Overnight, Italian bombers attacked the British forward base; some bombs fell on the buildings holding prisoners of war, killing 50-300 Italians. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • German bombers sank British rescue tug HMS Englishman 50 miles off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland; the entire crew of 18 were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Commander Arthur Reid Pedder was named the commanding officer of HMS Mauritius. ww2dbase [Mauritius | CPC]
Italian Eritrea
  • The last recorded charge by cavalry against a British battery occurred in Eritrea, Italian East Africa when a battery of the 144th (Surrey and Sussex Yeomanry) Field Regiment Royal Artillery was surprised by about sixty mounted Eritreans, led by an Italian officer, who came on at the gallop firing from the saddle and lobbing grenades as they charged; the Battery replied with shell ands small arms fire, and the cavalry retired leaving about forty of their number killed or wounded on the field. Elsewhere, Indian 5th Infantry Division advanced 50 miles into Eritrea, capturing Aicota unopposed. Finally, Indian 10th Infantry Brigade and 2nd Battalion of the British Highland Light Infantry marched for Keru. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC, AC]
Japan
  • Kamikaze arrived at Moji, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. ww2dbase [Kamikaze | CPC]
22 Jan 1941
  • Italian cruiser San Giorgio was scuttled by her own crew at Tobruk, Libya at 0415 hours. In the afternoon, Brigadier General Vincenzo della Mura surrendered the Italian 61 Infantry Division "Sirte". Meanwhile, Allied troops continued the attacks throughout the day, with monitor HMS Terror and gunboats HMS Gnat and HMS Ladybird continuing to offer support with their guns. British aircraft sank Italian liner Liguria. Before the end of the day, Admiral Massimilian Vietina surrendered to the Australian troops. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau departed from Kiel, Germany for Operation Berlin. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • 4th Indian Division attacked Italian positions at Keru, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, leading to General Fongoli surrendering his 1,200 men. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Luda Lady hit a mine and sank in the Humber estuary in northern England, United Kingdom, without any casualties. ww2dbase [CPC]
Romania Photo(s) dated 22 Jan 1941
Troops of the 11th Infantry Battalion, Australian 6th Division at Tobruk, Libya, 22 Jan 1941
23 Jan 1941
  • Charles Lindbergh testified before the US Congress, recommending that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Allied troops captured Tobruk, Libya, but fighting would continue at outposts outside the city for another day. In the harbor, British minesweeping trawlers HMT Arthur Cavanagh and HMT Milford Countess began clearing sunken Italian ships. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • USS Arizona became the flagship of Battleship Division 1's Rear Admiral Isaac Kidd. ww2dbase [Arizona | CPC]
  • German Fw 200 aircraft bombed British ship Lurigethan 200 miles west of Ireland; 16 were killed in fires while 35 were taken off. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, damaged by Stuka dive bombers on 10 Jan, completed temporary repairs and departed Malta for Alexandria, Egypt with destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Juno, HMS Janus, and HMS Greyhound in escort. ww2dbase [Illustrious | CPC]
  • German pocket battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were spotted in the Great Belt between mainland Denmark and the island of Zealand by a British agent who alerted the Admiralty in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • Destroyer USS Edsall attacked a submarine contact in the Vernon Islands 30 miles northwest of Darwin, Australia; Edsall suffered damage from one of her own depth charges in this attack. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Seeadler began laying mines in the English Channel. ww2dbase [Seeadler | CPC]
Italy
  • Commander Vittorio Moccagatta was made the head of the Special Weapons Section of 1a Flottiglia MAS at La Spezia, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Jan 1941
British 6-inch CWT BL Howitzers attacking Italian positions at Tobruk, Libya, 23 Jan 1941Captured Italian M13/40 and M11/39 tanks pressed into Australian service, North Africa, 23 Jan 1941
24 Jan 1941
  • All Italian outposts surrounding Tobruk, Libya were captured by the Allies. Meanwhile, en route to Derna, Libya, Allied troops encountered units of the newly organized Italian Special Armoured Brigade and defeated them near Mechili, destroying 9 Italian tanks at the cost of 7 British tanks. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • German He 114 seaplane from armed merchant cruiser Atlantis attacked British ship Mandasor 300 miles east of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Atlantis soon arrived, stopping Mandasor with gunfire, killing 6. A launch from Atlantic drove away sharks with machine gun fire as the Germans rescued 82 survivors. Mandasor was eventually sunk with a torpedo. As the He 114 aircraft attempted to land in the water for recovery, the rough seas caused her to capsize and become lost. Four Allied cruisers later arrived on the scene in response, but Atlantis had already departed. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • Lord Halifax arrived at Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, United States aboard battleship HMS King George V. He had arrived to take up his new post as the British ambassador to the United States. ww2dbase [Halifax | CPC]
  • German submarine U-123 sank Norwegian ship Vespasian with a torpedo 200 miles west of Ireland at 2148 hours, killing the entire crew of 18. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Seeadler completed laying mines in the English Channel. ww2dbase [Seeadler | CPC]
French Indochina
  • Thai aircraft bombed the airfield at Angkor near Siem Reap, Cambodia, French Indochina; the resulting dogfights would be the final air battle of the Franco-Thai War. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 Jan 1941
Matilda tank en route into Tobruk, Libya, 24 Jan 1941; note British soldiers displaying a captured Italian flag
25 Jan 1941
  • Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African, and South African troops of 11th African Division under British General Harry Edward de Robillard Wetherall and 12th African Division under British General Reade Godwin-Austen crossed into the Italian Somaliland from Kenya. Italian troops withdrew 100 miles behind the Juba River in response. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • HMS Illustrious arrived at Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Illustrious | CPC]
  • After sundown, British minelaying cruiser HMS Latona and destroyers HMS Hero, HMS Hotspur, and HMS Encounter departed Alexandria, Egypt for Tobruk, Libya. They were discovered and attacked by 10 German Stuka dive bombers and 2 Italian S.79 medium bombers 35 miles away from their destination. HMS Latona was hit by a 500kg bomb and sank at 2230 when the fire detonated the magazine; 27 were killed. HMS Hero was damaged by three near misses. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
China
  • Adhering to orders given by General Yasuji Okamura in which all Chinese villages suspected of harboring Chinese communist guerrilla fighters were to be wiped out, 1,230 residents of Panjiayu, Hebei, China were massacred by troops of the Japanese Army. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British Admiral Sir John Tovey departed Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom with a fleet to intercept German pocket battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau believed to be in the Iceland-Faroes passage. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | Scapa Flow | CPC]
26 Jan 1941
  • In Libya, Italian troops evacuated Mechili while Allied troops captured Derna. General O'Moore Creagh of British 7th Armored Division was ordered to cut the coastal road south of Benghazi. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • German submarine U-105 attacked British ship Lurigethan and the escorting corvette HMS Arabis 200 miles west of Ireland; Lurigethan was already damaged by German aircraft three days earlier. Two torpedoes were fired at HMS Arabis, both of which missed. At 0212 hours, Lurigethan was hit and sank, killing 16. HMS Arabis picked up 35 survivors. ww2dbase [CPC]
Indian Ocean
  • HMS Hermes detected a French blockade runner in the Indian Ocean south of South Africa, but lost the ship in the pursuit. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
27 Jan 1941
  • British troopship Ulster Prince (which would soon depart with Italian prisoners of war) and transports Cingalese Prince, Rosaura, and Chakla (the three brought in supplies and men) became the first Allied ships to arrive in the harbor of recently captured Tobruk, Libya. 100 miles to the northwest, Australian 6th Division captured Fort Rudero near Derna, capturing 290 Italian prisoners and 5 field guns, but the Italian garrison at Wadi Derna nearby continued to pose a serious threat. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • British No. 830 Squadron Fleet Air Arm Swordfish torpedo bombers from Malta sank German ship Ingo 100 miles north of Tripoli, Libya. Survivors were picked up by Italian torpedo boat Orione. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Darogah hit a mine and sank in the Thames Estuary in southern England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark ordered the 3rd Defense Battalion of the US Marine Corps to Midway, 1st Defense Battalion to Johnston and Palmyra, and 6th Defense Battalion to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. ww2dbase [Harold Stark | CPC]
Italy
  • Italian manufacturing firm Caproni delivered midget submarines CB-1 and CB-2 to the Italian Navy at La Spezia, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
28 Jan 1941
  • British cruiser HMS Naiad spotted German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in the Iceland-Faroes passage at 0649 hours. Fearing this might lead to the arrival of a stronger British fleet, Scharnhorst and Gneisenau turned to the north, attempting to enter the Atlantic Ocean via the Denmark Strait instead. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • Italian artillery at Wadi Derna, Libya continued to pin down Australian 6th Division. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Luigi Torelli sank British submarine Urla 250 miles west of Ireland; the entire crew of 42 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Bluebell and destroyer HMS Westcott collided off Ireland; the former would be under repair until 4 Mar. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Upholder damaged German ship Duisberg off Cape Bon, Tunisia. Duisberg was towed to Tripoli, Libya for repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
French Indochina
  • B-10 medium bombers of the Thai 50th Bomber Squadron, escorted by 13 Hawk 75N fighters of the Thai 60th Fighter Squadron, bombed Sisophon, Cambodia, French Indochina. The effective date of the cease fire to be signed on 31 Jan 1941 would backdate to this date. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC, AC]
29 Jan 1941
  • M. A. Korizis took over as the new Premier of Greece upon his predecessor's death. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British forces based in Kenya led by General Sir Alan Cunningham began attacking the Italian colonial garrison. Meanwhile. the South African troops came ashore in Italian Somaliland. This combined with British advances through Eritrea made the Italian armies in the Horn of Africa increasingly in danger of being surrounded. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran sank British ships Afric Star (75 captured) and Eurylochus (11 men killed, 43 men captured, 16 crated engine-less bombers captured) 600 miles west of Freetown, British West Africa. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
  • During the night 25 British Wellington bombers attacked battleship Tirpitz to little effect. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • Ioannis Metaxas died of toxaemia in Athens, Greece. ww2dbase [Ioannis Metaxas | CPC]
  • Elements of British 7th Armoured Division outflanked Italian artillery overlooking Derna, Libya, forcing General Bergonzoli to withdraw the guns overnight. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • Submarine Marlin was launched, sponsored by Mrs. John D. Wainwright. ww2dbase [Marlin | CPC]
  • The prototype Tupolev ANT-58 (which would later be developed into the successful Tu-2 medium bomber) made its maiden flight. ww2dbase [Tu-2 | AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarines attacked Allied convoy SC-19 en route from Nova Scotia, Canada to Britain at about 200 miles northwest of Ireland. Between 0348 and 0405 hours, U-93 sank British ship King Robert, British tanker W. B. Walker, and Greek ship Aikaterini. At 0629 hours, U-94 sank British ship West Wales. At 0715 hours, U-106 sank Egyptian ship Sesostris. U-101 also attempted to attack, but she was chased off by British destroyers. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • Secret US-British staff talks began in Washington DC, United States regarding the possible US involvement in the European War. ww2dbase [ABC-1 Conference | CPC]
30 Jan 1941
  • Rudolf Höss was promoted to the rank of SS-Sturmbannführer. ww2dbase [Rudolf Höss | CPC]
  • German submarine U-94 attacked Allied convoy SC-19 northwest of Ireland at 0310 hours, sinking British ship Rushpool; the entire crew of 40 survived and rescued by destroyer HMS Antelope. Rushpool was the sixth and final ship sunk in a series of German submarine attacks in 24 hours, totaling 33,723 tons. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Upholder attacked Italian ships Motia and Delfin 30 miles north of Zavia, Libya. Italian torpedo boat Aldebaran chased off HMS Upholder before she was able to damage any Italian ships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Otto Skorzeny was promoted to the rank of Untersturmführer; he would not receive the notification for this promotion until Mar 1941, however. ww2dbase [Otto Skorzeny | CPC]
Germany
  • Germany announced that any ship bringing goods into Britain, regardless of nationality, would be attacked. ww2dbase [CPC]
Russia
  • Lavrentiy Beria was promoted to the rank of State Security General Commissar. ww2dbase [Lavrentiy Beria | CPC]
31 Jan 1941
  • In Oslo, Reichsführer-SS Himmler accepted the oath of the first group of Norwegian enlistees in the Waffen-SS. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Free French forces from Chad, French Equatorial Africa attacked the Italian forces at Kufra, Libya, supported by T Patrol of the British Long Range Desert Group. ww2dbase [Battle of Kufra | CPC]
  • Indian 4th Division flanked and then captured Agordat, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. 1,000 Italian troops and 43 field guns were captured. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Italian torpedo boat Francesco Stocco hit a mine, broke in two, and sank off Fiume, Italy (now Rijeka, Croatia). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Dandolo sank British tanker Pizarro 350 miles southwest of Ireland after dark with torpedoes; 23 killed and 6 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis stopped British ship Speybank with gunfire and captured the ship. Speybank would soon set sail for Bordeaux, France where she would be converted into an auxiliary minelayer named Schiff 53/Doggerbank and serve in the German Navy. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • Destroyer USS Edison (DD-439) was commissioned with Lieutenant Commander A. C. Murdaugh in command. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Oberstleutnant Hans Korte stepped down as the commanding officer of the German Kampfgeschwader 55 wing. ww2dbase [CPC]
French Indochina
  • The cease fire ending the Franco-Thai War was signed aboard Japanese cruiser Natori at Saigon, French Indochina, effective 28 Jan 1941. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC, AC]
United States
  • Submarine Grayback was launched in Groton, Connecticut, United States, sponsored by the wife of Rear Admiral Wilson Brown, who was the Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy. ww2dbase [Electric Boat Company | Grayback | CPC]
  • Young-Oak Kim was drafted into the United States Army. ww2dbase [Young-Oak Kim | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 Jan 1941
Launch of submarine Grayback, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 31 Jan 1941
1 Feb 1941
  • At Maug Island in the Mariana Islands, Orion received one Japanese-built E8N float plane, purchased from Japan earlier that year, from German ship Munsterland. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • German submarine U-48 sank Greek ship Nicolas Angelos with a torpedo and shots from the deck gun south of Iceland at 2215 hours. The crew was took to the lifeboat, which was never found. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The US Marine Corps brigades stationed on the east and west coasts of the United States were reorganized as the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisoins, respectively; it was the first time the USMC organized units on the divisional level. To the south on the island of Cuba, the US Marine Corps 4th Defense Battalion arrived at Guantanamo Bay from Parris Island, South Carolina, United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Oberstleutnant Benno Kosch was named the commanding officer of the German Kampfgeschwader 55 wing. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Captain William Derek Stephens was named the commanding officer of HMS Mauritius. ww2dbase [Mauritius | CPC]
Afghanistan Italian Eritrea
  • Indian 4th Division captured Agordat, Eritrea, Italian East Africa while Indian 5th Division captured Metemma, Abyssinia. 2nd Lieutenant Premindra Singh Bhagat of the Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners won the first Victoria Cross for the British Indian Army in WW2 for a "...continuous feat of sheer cold courage" clearing 15 minefields and 55 miles of roads in 48 hours. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • In Britain, the Air Training Corps was established to provide pre-entry training for cadets over the age of 16 intending to enter the Royal Air Force or Fleet Air Arm. ww2dbase [AC]
2 Feb 1941
  • Indian 5th Division captured Italian fortifications defended by 8,000 troops and 32 field guns at Barentu, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. To the east in the Indian Ocean, British aircraft carrier HMS Formidable launched aircraft in the Indian Ocean to mine the harbor of Mogadishu, Italian Somaliland. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Australian troops advanced west from Derna, Libya, continuing to push back the Italian troops. Meanwhile, Richard O'Connor received the authorization from Archibald Wavell to use tanks of British 7th Armoured Division to flank the Italian retreat. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • Torpedo bombers from British carrier HMS Ark Royal attacked the hydroelectric plant at the Santa Chiara Dam on the Tirso River on Sardinia, Italy. The attack failed to damage the facilities. One Swordfish aircraft was shot down, with its crew of 3 taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Ark Royal | CPC]
  • British trawler HMT Almond hit a mine and sank off Falmouth, England, United Kingdom, killing 19. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis stopped and captured Norwegian tanker Ketty Brøvig in the Indian Ocean overnight. With 6,370 tons of fuel oil and 4,125 tons of diesel oil from Bahrain aboard, Ketty Brøvig was to be used as a supply ship for German raiders and warships deployed at sea. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
New Zealand
  • The wreck of the Niagara, which had hit German naval mines in Jun 1940, was found off Bream Head, Whangarei, New Zealand. A salvage team led by Captain J. P. Williams and diver John Edwards "Johnno" Johnstone started the hazardous task of retrieving 590 gold ingot that she was carrying at the time of the sinking. A hole was blasted in Niagara's hull and 555 ingots were successfully recovered, 94% of the total. The remaining boxes, save five, were salvaged in 1953. ww2dbase [HM]
3 Feb 1941
  • Mussolini sent Fascist Party leaders to the Albanian front to bolster morale. ww2dbase [Invasion of Albania | TH]
  • General Erwin Rommel was appointed as the head of an unit temporarily named "German Army Troops in Africa"; it would later become the Afrika Korps. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • Italian troops in Eritrea, Italian East Africa withdrew into towns in the mountains. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Empire Citizen 300 miles south of Iceland at 0223 hours; 77 were killed, 5 survived. At 2333 hours, U-107 struck again, sinking British ship HMS Cirspin; 20 were killed, 121 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-93 attacked British ship Dione II 50 miles northwest of Ireland at 1410 hours; the torpedo missed. A German Fw 200 aircraft arrived later in the day and bombed the ship, causing damage. At 2300 hours, U-93 surfaced near Dione II and engaged in a brief gun battle. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Arctic Trapper was sunk by German bombing off Ramsgate, Kent, England, United Kingdom; 17 were killed, 3 were wounded. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German military leaders presented detailed plans for Operation Barbarossa to Adolf Hitler. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • US Marine Corps Air Station Ewa was commissioned in US Territory of Hawaii after five months of conversion work; it had previously been a US Navy airship base. ww2dbase [CPC]
Hawaii Russia
  • Vsevolod Merkulov was named the People's Commissar of State Security of the Soviet NKGB with responsibilities to oversee espionage and intelligence activities. The new ministry NKGB would last only until the German invasion when it would be merged back into the NKVD. ww2dbase [Vsevolod Merkulov | CPC, AC]
  • Kliment Voroshilov was awarded the Order of Lenin for the third time. ww2dbase [Kliment Voroshilov | CPC]
United States
  • Henry Arnold was promoted to the permanent rank of major general. ww2dbase [Henry Arnold | CPC]
4 Feb 1941
  • The United Service Organizations, USO, was established to maintain the morale of American military personnel. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Italians began evacuating Benghazi, Libya. At dawn, British 7th Armoured Division departed from Mechili, Libya to move across the desert toward Jebel El Akhdar 150 miles away in an attempt to cut off the Italian retreat. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • German submarine U-93, having damaged British ship Dione II on the previous day with gunfire northwest of Ireland, sank the ship at 0440 hours with the deck gun and the anti-aircraft gun; 28 were killed, 5 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-52 sank Norwegian ship Ringhorn 500 miles west of Ireland at 0838 hours; 14 were killed, 5 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-123 sank British ship Empire Engineer 1,000 miles west of Ireland at 1644 hours; the entire crew of 39 was lost, some during the sinking while others, aboard rafts, were never found. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British bombers attacked Düsseldorf, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • German pocket battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau broke out into the Atlantic Ocean via the Denmark Strait undetected by the British Royal Navy. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • Erich Raeder thought that the US entry into the war might be advantageous for the Germans as it would force Japan into belligerency. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
Indian Ocean
  • HMS Hermes set sail toward Kismayo, Somaliland, Italian East Africa. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
United States
  • The American newspaper Chicago Tribune featured an article on the US government's secret plan for war, including details such as a 10,000,000-strong military, half of which were to be destined for the to-be-established American Expeditionary Force for fighting in Europe. ww2dbase [CPC]
5 Feb 1941
  • After crossing 150 miles of desert in 30 hours, armored cars of British 7th Armoured Division set up roadblocks at Sidi Saleh south of Benghazi, Libya, just in time to meet and stop the leading elements of the retreating Italian Tenth Army. In the evening, the British 4th Armoured Brigade reached Beda Fomm 10 miles north of the roadblocks, preventing Italian retreat to the east. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • British and Indian troops attacked Italian-held hills near Dongolaas Gorge en route to Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Sealion sank Norwegian ship Ryfylke 2 miles off the Norwegian coast near Stadlandet. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of submarine Finback was laid down. ww2dbase [Finback | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The Royal Navy 641-ton HMS Tourmaline (T 42) had been taken over by the Admiralty in Nov 1935 and commissioned as an anti-submarine trawler and armed with a 1.4-inch gun. Under command of Lieutenant Henry Patterson Carse RNVR, the ship was patrolling the English Channel when attacked and sunk by German aircraft off North Foreland, Kent, England, United Kingdom. Carse survived the attack and went on to command both HMS Asphodel (K 56) a Flower class corvette and HMS Awe (K526), a frigate. He was one of only six survivors when the Asphodel was torpedoed and sunk on 10 Mar 1944. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
Japan
  • Transport ship No. 74 under construction at Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation's shipyard at Kobe, Japan was named Irako. She was assigned to the Sasebo Naval District. ww2dbase [Irako | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The Air Training Corps was established in Britain as a youth organization whose purpose was to prepare cadets for entry into the Royal Air Force. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 5 Feb 1941
Cruiser Mk IV tank and Light Tank Mk VIB of 3rd County of London Yeomanry of British 1st Armoured Division on exercise at Arundel, Sussex County, England, United Kingdom, 5 Feb 1941
6 Feb 1941
  • Adolf Hitler made his final appeal to Francisco Franco to bring Spain into the war on the Axis side. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The British House of Commons voted for the first £1,600,000,000 war credit of the year. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • On the Benghazi-Tripoli road in Libya, the trapped Italian Tenth Army attempted to break out without success. Australian 6th Division captured Benghazi while 7th Support Group of British 7th Armoured Division captured Sceleidima; these captures further secured the envelopment of the Italian Tenth Army. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • The German High Command issued the order for Operation Sonnenblume, which called for the organization and transfer of a German force to reinforce Italian forces in North Africa. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • Near Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, Indian 3rd Battalion of 14th Punjab Regiment attacked Brig's Peak but was pushed back by Italian 65th Infantry Division "Granatieri di Savoia". ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • German Motor Torpedo Boats S.30, S.54, S.58, S.59 sank British ship Angularity on the east coast of England, United Kingdom; 2 were killed, 1 was captured by S.30. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank Canadian ship Maplecourt 250 miles northwest of Ireland at 1752 hours, killing the entire crew of 37. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel, unexpectedly summoned from leave, was instructed by Adolf Hitler's headquarters that he was to proceed to Libya forthwith, as commander of the German troops which would be shortly arriving there and would be called the German Afrika Korps. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | Erwin Rommel | AC]
United Kingdom
  • HMS King George V arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom after delivering Lord Halifax to the United States. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | King George V | CPC]
  • The British Royal Air Force established the Directorate of Air Sea Rescue (Motto: "The sea shall not have them"). Operationally it was to become known as Air Sea Rescue Services (ASRS), which later became the RAF Search and Rescue Force. The headquarters of the ASRS was co-located with that of Coastal Command with whom it would operate closely. ww2dbase [AC]
7 Feb 1941
  • The Italian Italian Special Armoured Brigade saw some initial success in a dawn attempt to break out of the encirclement of the Italian Tenth Army on the Benghazi-Tripoli road in Libya, but the breakthrough was quickly contained by Allied field guns. The 25,000-strong Italian Tenth Army formally surrendered before the end of the day. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • British and Indian troops continued to hold the Cameron Ridge near Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, which was a ridge named after the British infantry regiment Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders which had initially taken it at the start of the Battle of Keren. On the other side of the Gorge, Indian 4th Division launched an attempt to flank the Italian troops at Dologorodoc Fort by moving through the Scescilembi Valley. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • The first Beaufighter IF fighter (T4623) built at the Fairey factory in Stockport near Manchester, England, United Kingdom made its maiden flight. ww2dbase [Beaufighter | AC]
8 Feb 1941
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau detected Allied convoy HX-106, but did not attack due to the presence of British battleship HMS Ramillies. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • Bulgaria agreed to allow German troops to transit within its borders. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • USS Grampus began patrolling in the Caribbean Sea. ww2dbase [Grampus | CPC]
Canada
  • Mr. Malcolm MacDonald was appointed to be the British High Commissioner in Canada. ww2dbase [AC]
France
  • Philippe Pétain offered Pierre Laval a cabinet seat in the Vichy government, but the offer was declined. ww2dbase [Pierre Laval | TH]
Italy United Kingdom
  • In Britain, Lord Moyle became Secretary of State for the Colonies, Ernest Brown became Minister of Health, and the Duke of Norfolk became the Joint Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture. ww2dbase [AC]
9 Feb 1941
  • Admiral Darlan became the new Vice Premier of Vichy France. ww2dbase [François Darlan | TH, CPC]
  • 13 British aircraft from Scampton, Lincolnshire attacked battleship Tirpitz at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The air crews reported to have caused damage, but in actuality no hits were scored. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • Allied troops captured El Agheila, Libya, marking an end of Operation Compass. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel was promoted to the rank of Generalleutnant. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • British Force H, including two battleships and one cruiser, with carrier HMS Ark Royal supporting from a distance, bombarded Genoa, Italy at 0815 hours. 273 15-inch shells and 782 6-inch shells were fired. Four merchant ships and a training vessel were sunk, 18 ships were damaged, harbor facilities and nearby industrial areas were damaged, and the cathedral was also hit. 144 Italians were killed, most of whom were civilians. The British lost 1 Swordfish torpedo bomber. Italian battleships Vittorio Veneto, Cesare, and Doria, supported by cruiser and destroyers, were launched to intercept the British fleet but failed to find them. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau detected Allied convoy HX-106 off Newfoundland at 0830 hours. Because it was escorted by British battleship Ramilies, the German fleet withdrew at 1000 hours per orders not to engage British capital ships. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 attacked Allied convoy HG-53 435 miles west of Gibraltar at 0430 hours, sinking British ships Estrellano (5 killed, 21 survived) and Courland (3 killed, 27 survived). U-37 had also reported the sighting to aircraft based in Bordeaux, France, which led to the arrival of five Fw 200 Condor bombers, which sank British ships Jura, Dagmar I, and Brittanic and Norwegian ship Tejo. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British cruiser HMS Neptune was damaged by German bombing at Plymouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
10 Feb 1941
  • The Stirling aircraft made its operational debut as bombers of No. 7 Squadron RAF bombed oil storage facilities at Rotterdam, the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Stirling | TH]
  • Werner Mölders claimed his 56th victory. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 attacked Allied convoy HG-53 600 miles west of Gibraltar at 0633 hours, sinking British ship Brandenburg, killing entire crew of 23 plus 26 of the 27 passengers on board. The passengers were survivors of the ship Courland, which had just been sunken by U-37 on the previous day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-52 sank British ship Cranford Chine 200 miles west of Ireland at 1435 hours, killing the entire crew of 35. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 222 British aircraft attacked Hannover, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill ordered General Wavell to prioritize the campaign in Greece over that in North Africa. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • 1st Punjab Regiment of Indian 3rd Battalion captured Brig's Peak near Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. To the south, British General Cunningham launched Operation Canvas against Italian positions on the Juba River in Italian Somaliland. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Italy
  • The first German convoy, carrying German troops and with one Italian destroyer and three torpedo boats in escort, departed Palermo, Sicily, Italy for Tripoli, Libya. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • 6 Whitley bombers of No. 91 Squadron RAF delivered 38 paratroopers of British No. 11 Special Air Service Battalion to the Tragino aqueduct in southern Italy at 2200 hours in what was codenamed Operation Colossus. They were to plant explosives on one of the columns to stop supplies of fresh water to nearby military and civilian centers. ww2dbase [Operation Colossus | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 10 Feb 1941
Canadian troops at their Lewis machine gun position overlooking the main highway at Iceland, 10 Feb 1941Belgian 2-inch mortar team in training, Wales, United Kingdom, 10 Feb 1941
11 Feb 1941
  • Indian 3rd Battalion captured Sanchil hill in the Dongolaas Gorge near Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, but the Italian Savoia Grenadiers conterattack recaptured the hill as well as Brig's Peak by the end of the day. To the South, British troops from Kenya captured the road junction at Afmadow at the north end of the Juba River. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • British monitor HMS Erebus bombarded Ostend, Belgium between 0100 and 0140 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The first German troops arrived at Tripoli, Libya. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Snapper, en route from the River Clyde in Scotland, United Kingdom to the Bay of Biscay off France. The crew of 41 was never seen again. She probably ran into a minefield or was sunk by German minesweepers M-2, M-13, and M-25. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German cruiser Admiral Hipper sank British ship Iceland of Allied convoy HX53 800 miles west of Gibraltar; the entire crew of 23 survived and were picked up by Admiral Hipper. Admiral Hipper would soon detect the rest of the convoy on radar at the distance of 15 kilometers. ww2dbase [Admiral Hipper | CPC]
Germany Italy
  • At 0030 hours, British paratroopers blew up the Tragino aqueduct in southern Italy. All but one were captured during their escape, remaining prisoners of war until 1943. The aqueduct they destroyed would soon be repaired and returned to service. ww2dbase [Operation Colossus | CPC]
Malta
  • British submarine HMS Triumph (Lieutenant Commander W. J. W. Woods, RN) departed from Valetta, Malta for her 11th war patrol. She was to proceed to the Gulf of Salerno to pick up a group of airborne commando troops participating in Operation Colossus, near the mouth of the River Sele. The pick up was cancelled when it was feared that the Italians might intercept the submarine. ww2dbase [Operation Colossus | HM]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Just before 0730 hours, the British submarine HMS Rover, commanded by Lieutenant Commander H. A. L. Marsham, RN heard a loud explosion and observed a destroyer at 8,000 yards moving slowly. The explosion was most probably a bomb dropped by a CANT seaplane of 142nd Squadriglia (Sottotenente di Vascello Tenti). Closing on the submarine was a German convoy: Arta (2,452-ton), Maritza (2,910-ton), and Heraklea (1,927-ton), escorted by the destroyer Baleno which had sailed from Taranto for Naples, Italy. Following the attack on the submarine Salpa, Italian naval headquarters Supermarina had ordered the destroyers Alfredo Oriani and Giosuè Carducci to reinforce the escort and they had joined up after midnight. Oriani had taken over as escort leader and ordered Baleno to zigzag ahead and the latter was probably the destroyer observed by Rover. The submarine dived to 90 feet and heard two destroyers passing over her but was not attacked. The convoy continued undisturbed and the destroyers observed nothing. The submarine chaser Albatros coming from Messina, Sicily, Italy was guided to the scene by the seaplane but failed to find the British submarine. ww2dbase [HM]
  • In operations by the 10th SM Flotilla east of the Tunisian coast, the British submarine HMS Unique commanded by Lieutenant A. F. Collet, RN attacked a large transport east of Kerkenah in Tunisia. The ship was the Arcturus (2,576-ton), she was in company with Alicante (2,140-ton) and the Ankara (4,768-ton) being escorted by the Italian destroyer Turbine and Torpedo Boat Orsa heading for Tripoli, Libya. The Arcturus reported three deep explosions which were the torpedoes hitting the ocean floor. ww2dbase [HM]
United States
  • Wall Street lawyer and Republican Party candidate Wendell Wilkie, who Franklin Roosevelt had soundly defeated in the November 1940 US presidential election, having returned that morning from a fact-finding mission to London at his own expense, addressed a packed meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the US Senate's Caucus room. He warned the Committee that should Britain fall the United States would find itself at war in a month and advocated that every American bomber save training planes should be sent to Britain post-haste together with five or ten destroyers a month. ww2dbase [AC]
12 Feb 1941
  • General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli, Libya, to take command of the Afrika Korps. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | TH]
  • German cruiser Admiral Hipper attacked Allied convoy HX53 800 miles west of Gibraltar at 0618 hours, sinking 7 ships (British ships arlaby, Westbury, Oswestry Grange, Shrewsbury, and Derrynane; Norwegian ship Borgestad; and Greek ship Perseus). At 0740 hours, Admiral Hipper broke off the attack as rain helped the remaining Allied transports escape. Admiral Hipper had nearly expended all of her 203-mm shells in this attack. ww2dbase [Admiral Hipper | CPC]
  • Indian and Italian troops continued the fighting on the north side of the Dongolaas Gorge and in Happy valley on the south side of the gorge near Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • In Abyssinia, Captain Richhpal Ram led an Indian attack despite having his right foot blown off. Even when he was fatally wounded he still encouraged his men on to victory. Captain Ram would be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [AC]
Indian Ocean
  • HMS Hermes captured an Italian merchant ship off Italian East Africa. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
Italy
  • The second German convoy, consisted of ships Adana, Aegina, Kybfels, and Ruhr with German troops on board, departed Naples, Italy for North Africa. Italian destroyer Camicia Nera and torpedo boat Procione escorted the transports. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine HMS Unique attacked a transport in a convoy east of Kerkenah, Tunisia. According to Italian sources these were probably the old Italian merchants Florida II (3,100-ton), completed in 1905, the Audace (1892; 1,446-ton) and Pegli (1910; 1,673-ton) escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Calliope. No hits were obtained probably due to misfunctioning torpedoes. ww2dbase [HM]
  • British submarine HMS Utmost, under command of Lieutenant Commander R. D. Cayley, RN torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Mauly (5,463-ton) off Zuwara, Libya. The Italian transport was initially abandoned by her crew but later re-boarded and salved, taking a week to be towed to Tripoli; she re-entered service as the Manfredo Campiero. ww2dbase [HM]
Russia
  • Viktor Abakumov arrived at Moscow, Russia. ww2dbase [Viktor Abakumov | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British Foreign Secretary and Chief of Imperial General Staff left London, England, United Kingdom for Cairo, Egypt to coordinate military assistance to Greece. They were also trying to create an anti-Axis agreement, which would soon be rebuffed by Yugoslavia and Turkey. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
Photo(s) dated 12 Feb 1941
Rommel arriving at Tripoli, Libya, 12 Feb 1941Italian General Italo Gariboldi welcoming German Generals Erwin Rommel and Johannes Streich to Tripoli, Libya, 12 Feb 1941
13 Feb 1941
  • Two German submarines attacked Allied convoy HX-106 225 miles south of Iceland. U-96 sank British tanker Clea at 1508 hours, killing the entire crew of 59. U-103 stopped British tanker Arthur F. Corwin by two torpedoes, allowing U-96 to sink her at 1950 hours, killing the entire crew of 46. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British carrier HMS Formidable launched 14 Albacore aircraft against Massawa, Italian East Africa, sinking Italian ship Moncalieri and damaging others. Two Albacore aircraft were shot down with six crew members taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • A German Fw 200 aircraft sank British antisubmarine trawler HMT Rubens 275 miles southwest of Ireland, killing the entire crew of 21. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italy
  • German and Italian naval leaders began a two-day conference at Merano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. ww2dbase [Merano Conference | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Canadian Military Policeman James McCallum from Quebec was sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment) for the murder of barman Morris Sholman during an armed robbery of the Coach and Horses pub in Covent Garden, London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 13 Feb 1941
The mooring mast at Ewa Field, Oahu, Hawaii converted for use as a control tower, Feb 13, 1941.
14 Feb 1941
  • Hitler pressured Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite Pact. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | TH]
  • African Commonwealth troops captured the port city of Kismayu, Italian East Africa, with gunfire support from cruisers HMS Shropshire, HMS Hawkins, HMS Ceres, and HMS Capetown. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis, with a fleet of two prize ships and one supply ship, made rendezvous with German cruiser Admiral Scheer. The ships transferred supplies amongst each other while prize ship tanker Ketty Brøvig refueled Admiral Scheer. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • German submarine U-101 sank British ship Holystone 400 miles west of Ireland at 2257 hours, killing 40. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Bianchi sank British ship Belcrest west of Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Grayson was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Grayson | CPC]
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • The 14th Demi-Brigade de marche de la Légion Étrangère under the command of Colonel Raoul Magrin-Vernerey landed unopposed at Port Sudan, Sudan. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British motor torpedo boat MTB.41 hit a mine and sank in the North Sea, killing 8. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italy
  • German and Italian naval leaders concluded a two-day conference at Merano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy. ww2dbase [Merano Conference | CPC]
Japan
  • Food transport ship Irako was launched at the Kawasaki Kobe Shipyard, Japan. ww2dbase [Irako | CPC]
Libya
  • The second convoy of German troops arrived at Tripoli, Libya, which included the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and the 39th Anti-Tank Battalion. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine HMS Rover (Lieutenant Commander H. A. L. Marsham, RN) torpedoed and damaged the Italian tanker Cesco (6,161-ton) south-east of Capo Rizzuto, Calabria, Italy. The tanker ran ashore, and the tug Salvatore Primo (763-ton) was sent to her assistance and was later joined by the tug Titano (788-ton). In the mean time, torpedo boat Pleiadi sailed to hunt the submarine but made no contact. ww2dbase [HM]
United States
  • Kichisaburo Nomura presented his credentials to Franklin Roosevelt at the White House, Washington DC, United States. ww2dbase [White House | Kichisaburo Nomura | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • The rear echelon of the US Marine Corps 3rd Defense Battalion arrived at Midway. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 14 Feb 1941
Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura arriving at the White House with his credentials, Washington DC, United States, 14 Feb 1941
15 Feb 1941
  • The United Kingdom broke off diplomatic relations with Romania. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German submarine U-123 sank British ship Alnmoor 600 miles west of Ireland at 0038 hours, killing the entire crew of 55. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German cruiser Admiral Hipper arrived at Brest, France, after a short but successful cruise that sank 8 Allied ships totalling 34,000 tons. ww2dbase [Admiral Hipper | CPC]
  • British General Platt suspended the piecemeal attacks on Italian positions at Dongolaas Gorge near Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. Instead, he began to plan for a larger offensive. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Germany
  • Emden exited drydocks after completion of maintenance. ww2dbase [Emden | CPC]
United States
  • The US Congress approved the construction of a new base for the US Marine Corps' Fleet Marine Force at New River, North Carolina, United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • An advance echelon of the US Marine Corps 1st Defense Battalion departed San Diego, California, United States aboard USS Enterprise for Johnston Island and Palmyra Atoll via Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Enterprise | CPC]
16 Feb 1941
  • British cruiser HMS Neptune, in dock for repairs, was damaged again by German bombing at Chatham, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Ormonde was sunk by German aircraft 25 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom, killing 19. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Swordfish aircraft of No. 830 Squadron from Malta sank Italian ship Juventus 5 miles off Chebba, Tunisia. ww2dbase [CPC]
Libya
  • The first skirmish between British and German troops in North Africa took place near Sirte, Libya. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 16 Feb 1941
Danish police chief Dahl, Dr. Karl Ritter von Halt, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, Kurt Daluege, and Karl Wolff at the Sportpalast, Berlin, Germany, 16 Feb 1941
17 Feb 1941
  • An Italian Auto-Saharan Company detachment counterattacked Free French and British forces near Kufra, Libya in failure. ww2dbase [Battle of Kufra | CPC]
  • German submarine U-101 sank British ship Gairsoppa 370 miles west of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom shortly after 0000 hours, killing 84. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 damaged British tanker Edwy R. Brown with five torpedoes 100 miles south of Iceland between 0633 and 0833 hours, eventually sinking the tanker. 50 took to two lifeboats, but they were never seen again. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-69 sank British ship Siamese Prince 200 miles northwest of Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom at 2212 hours. 57 took to lifeboats, but they were never seen again. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Turkey and Bulgaria signed a friendship agreement in Sofia, Bulgaria. Under pressure from Germany, Turkey also agreed to not protest German troop movements through Bulgaria. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • British Admiral Sir Percy Noble was appointed Commander-in-Chief Western Approaches. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The decision to despatch a British Expeditionary Force to Greece was communicated to General Bernard Freyberg VC, General Officer Commanding New Zealand Division. The force initially was planned to consist of the New Zealand Division, 1st British Armoured Brigade, 6th Australian Division, Polish independent Brigade Group and 7th Australian Division. However Erwin Rommel's sudden advance into the Cyrenaica of Libya would result in the Poles and 7th Australian Division being held back to defend Tobruk. ww2dbase [Bernard Freyberg | AC]
Italy
  • The 6,161-ton Italian tanker Cesco, damaged by a torpedo from British submarine HMS Rover three days prior, was towed to Taranto, Italy. ww2dbase [HM]
18 Feb 1941
  • The German 5th Light Division (later renamed the 21st Panzer Division) was formed for operations in North Africa. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • Free French forces besieged El Tag fort at Kufra, Libya, bombarding the fort with 75-millimeter field guns (whose range was longer than their Italian counterparts) and 81-millimeter mortars. ww2dbase [Battle of Kufra | CPC]
  • German aircraft mined the Suez Canal in Egypt, forcing the transit of carrier HMS Formidable into the Mediterranean Sea to be delayed. ww2dbase [Formidable | CPC]
  • German submarine U-96 sank British ship Black Osprey 140 miles south of Iceland at 0227 hours; 25 were killed, 11 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank British ship Seaforth 330 miles south of Iceland at 2133 hours. 59 survivors took to lifeboats, but they were never seen again. ww2dbase [CPC]
Abyssinia Germany
  • Adolf Hitler met with tank generals and tank designers at his residence Berghof in southern Germany. He insisted on using larger (either 50-millimeter or 75-millimeter) high velocity guns for Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. He also demanded some soldiers to be released from the front to man tank factories. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler met with tank generals and tank designers at his residence Berghof in southern Germany. He insisted on using larger (either 50-millimeter or 75-millimeter) high velocity guns for Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. He also demanded some soldiers to be released from the front to man tank factories. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
19 Feb 1941
  • The Australian 8th Division arrived in Singapore. ww2dbase [Invasion of Malaya and Singapore | CPC]
  • German bombers began a three-day campaign against the port city of Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, Chief of the General Staff John Dill, Commander-in-Chief Middle East General Archibald Wavell, and Mediterranean Fleet chief Admiral Andrew Cunningham met in Cairo, Egypt to discuss diverting forces from North Africa to aid Greece. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • The name German Africa Korps (Deutsches Afrikakorps) was established for German forces in North Africa. It began to patrol out of Tripoli, Libya. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • German Motor Torpedo Boats S.28, S.101, and S.102 raided the coast of Norfolk, England, United Kingdom, sinking British ship Algarve off Sheringham, killing the entire crew. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Tigris sank French ships Jacobsen and Guilvinec 60 miles west of Bayonne, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-69 sank British ship Empire Blanda west of Scotland, United Kingdom at 0818 hours, killing 39. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank Norwegian ship Benjamin Franklin 360 miles northwest of Ireland at 2222 hours; the entire crew of 36 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine HMS Upholder (Lieutenant Commander M. D. Wanklyn, RN) attacked a convoy West of Tripoli, Libya. Two torpedoes were fired but no hits were obtained. The target was the German transport Heraklea (1,927-ton). She was in convoy with the German merchants Arta (2,452-ton), Menes (5,609-ton) and Maritza (2,910-ton) escorted by the Italian destroyers Freccia and Saetta. Heraklea sighted the two torpedo tracks and turned sharply to starboard to comb the tracks. ww2dbase [HM]
Photo(s) dated 19 Feb 1941
Abyssinian leader Haile Selassie with a British interpreter during an inspection of an airfield in eastern Africa, 19 Feb 1941.
20 Feb 1941
  • Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies arrived in Britain for talks with Winston Churchill. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • The German Africa Korps made contact with British patrols for the first time in North Africa, near El Agheila between Benghazi and Tripoli in Libya. In the sea, British submarine HMS Regent attacked German ships Arta, Heraklea, Menes, and Martiza carrying German Afrika Korps troops from Naples, Italy to Tripoli escorted by Italian destroyers Freccia, Saetta, and Turbine; Menes was damaged by a torpedo hit but was able to be towed to Tripoli; Saetta counterattacked HMS Regent, causing damage. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Ouse hit a mine and sank off Tobruk, Libya; 12 were killed and 9 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian ship Eritrea, Italian armed merchant cruisers Ramb I and Ramb II, and German supply ship Coburg broke out of Massawa, Eritrea, Italian East Africa and sailed into the Indian Ocean. Ramb I and Ramb II were ordered to sail east to raid Allied shipping in the Pacific Ocean. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer sank Greek steamer Grigorios C II (27 survivors were taken prisoner) and captured British tanker British Advocate west of the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. Advocate was to be sent to France as a prize ship. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe bombed Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom for the second consecutive night. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The first Beaufighter IF figher (X7540) built at Bristol's new factory at Weston-super-Mare, England, United Kingdom was completed. ww2dbase [Beaufighter | AC]
France
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille returned to his unit at Berck-sur-Mer, France after a period of rest at home. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Feb 1941
US Senators Meade and Thomas riding a Willy Quad as it climbed steps in front of the US Congress building, Washington, DC, United States, seen on 20 Feb 1941 issue of newspaper Washington Daily News
21 Feb 1941
  • Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom was attacked for the third consecutive and final day as bombers flew over the port city from 1950 hours until after midnight. Over the course of the three days, 35,000 incendiary bombs and 800 high explosive bombs were dropped on Swansea, killing 230 and wounding 409, but the strategically important docks and nearby oil refineries were relatively unaffected. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer sank British ship Canadian Cruiser 575 miles west of the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. Before being taken prisoner, the crew radioed for help, which was received by British cruiser HMS Glasgow. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • British antisubmarine trawler HMT Lincoln City shot down a German bomber but was then bombed and sunk at Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, a constituent country of Denmark, killing 8. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British aircraft carrier HMS Formidable, in the Red Sea awaiting transit through the Suez Canal while it was swept for mines, launched 7 Albacore aircraft to attack the harbor of Massawa, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, causing little damage. ww2dbase [Formidable | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Ursula attacked an Italian convoy it was en route between Trapani, Sicily, Italy and Tripoli, Italy. Italian ship Sabbia was damaged, but Ursula was damaged after being counterattacked by Italian torpedo boat Montanari. ww2dbase [CPC]
Newfoundland
  • Canadian scientist Sir Frederick Banting died in an air crash in Newfoundland. Sir Frederick, who had been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1923 for his work in the development of Insulin, was, during the Second World War, investigating problems of aviators, such as blackout when they were subjected to gravitational forces while turning or diving. At the time of his death he was on his way to England to conduct operational trials on the G-suit developed by his colleague Wilbur Franks. ww2dbase [AC]
22 Feb 1941
  • 430 Dutch Jews were deported from Amsterdam to Auschwitz Concentration Camp as reprisal for the murder of a Dutch Nazi Party member. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau attacked a convoy of unescorted empty cargo ships en route to the United States, sinking three British cargo ships and two tankers, totaling 25,431 tons. 10 were killed and 180 were taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • British 11th and 12th African Divisions attacked and overran Italian positions at Jilib, Somaliland, Italian East Africa. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Greek King George II and Commander-in-Chief General Alexander Papagos met with British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and General Archibald Wavell in Athens, Greece, designing a defense plan that assumed Yugoslavia would remain neutral. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • British monitor HMS Terror was spotted at about noon by a German Ju-88 aircraft off the Libyan coast. 5 Ju-88 aircraft were launched from Sicily, Italy at 1533 hours, and they intercepted HMS Terror 10 miles north of Derna, Libya at 1830 hours. Heavily damaged by near misses, HMS Terror was abandoned by her crew at 2200 hours. Minesweeper HMS Fareham and corvette HMS Salvia attempted to tow her back to port, but this effort would ultimately fail. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German cruiser Admiral Scheer sank Dutch collier Rantau Pandjang off the east coast of Africa. Distress signals were received by British cruiser HMS Glasgow, which was already aware of Admiral Scheer's presence by the sinking of British ship Canadian Cruiser on the previous day. HMS Glasgow launched her seaplane to search for the German raider, but the aircraft would return without any findings. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • Filipp Golikov was awarded the Order of Lenin for the first time. ww2dbase [Filipp Golikov | CPC]
  • Dmitry Pavlov was promoted to the rank of General of the Army. ww2dbase [Dmitry Pavlov | CPC]
Indian Ocean
  • HMS Hermes was ordered to search for German cruiser Admiral Scheer in the Indian Ocean; the search did not yield any results. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
23 Feb 1941
  • British monitor HMS Terror sank off the Libyan coast at 0420 hours after receiving fatal damage from German aircraft on the previous day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A German Fw 200 Condor aircraft led German submarines U-69, U-73, U-96, U-107, and U-123 and Italian submarines Bianchi and Barbarigo to Allied convoy OB-288 300 miles south of Iceland. Just before midnight, U-69 sank British ship Marslew (13 killed, 23 rescued) and U-96 sank British ship Anglo-Peruvian (29 lost, 17 rescued). U-107 and Bianchi damaged and chased British ocean boarding vessel HMS Manistee through the night. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Upright sank Italian ship Silvia Tripcovich 50 miles off Sfax, Tunisia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Prime Minister Alexandros Korizis of Greece accepted British offer of aid, but British and Greek commanders debated on the defense strategy against a German invasion through Bulgaria. The Greeks preferred to dig in along the Metaxas Line, while the British argued for a line further southwest along the Vermion Mountains and the Haliacmon River. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop hosted Hiroshi Oshima in his home in Germany, where Ribbentrop attempted to persuade the Japanese ambassador that it was the time for Japan to strike British territories in Asia. Ribbentrop argued that there was little worry regarding the United States as American possessions in Asia could be bypassed easily, but should the Americans decide to go to war, the Japanese Navy was vastly superior to the US Navy. ww2dbase [Hiroshi Oshima | CPC]
Italian Somaliland
  • British 12th African Division marched up the Juba River in Somaliland, Italian East Africa toward the Abyssinian border while the motorized British Nigerian Brigade of the 11th African Division drove up the coastal road toward Mogadishu. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
United States
  • Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg chemically identified the recently discovered new element Plutonium in the 60-inch cyclotron at the University of California at Berkeley, California, United States. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
24 Feb 1941
  • British Manchester bombers of No. 207 Squadron from Waddington, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom made the Manchester model's operational debut by bombing Brest, France overnight and into the next day. ww2dbase [Manchester | TH]
  • Omar Bradley was promoted to the temporary rank of brigadier general. ww2dbase [Omar Bradley | CPC]
  • Italian ship Sabbia, damaged by a unsuccessful attack by British submarine HMS Ursula three days prior, nearly made it to Tripoli, Libya when she was intercepted and sunk by British submarine HMS Regent. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 300 miles south of Iceland, German submarine U-107 sank British ship HMS Manistee, killing the entire crew of 141, after a chase since the previous day. German submarines U-95 and U-96 and Italian submarine Bianchi attacked the other ships of Allied convoy OB-288 which HMS Manistee was a part of, sinking 7 merchant ships before dawn. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-97 sank 3 British ships and damaged Norwegian tanker G.C. Brøvig of Allied convoy OB-289 south of Iceland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A German patrol with tanks, armored cars, and motorcycles ambushed a British and Australian patrol west of El Agheila, Libya, taking 3 prisoners. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • Three German He 111 bombers attacked British destroyers HMS Dainty and HMS Hasty in Tobruk harbor, Libya at 1900 hours. HMS Dainty was sunk by a 500kg bomb, killing 16. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • On route from Calcutta, India and Table Bay, South Africa for Britain (Oban, Scotland and London, England), the 4,289-ton British steam merchant ship Nailsea Lass was carrying 1,300 tons of charcoal, 1,031 tons of pig iron and 300 tons of iron ore was torpedoed by German submarine U-48 when 60 miles southwest of Fastnet, Ireland. The master Thomas Llewellyn Bradford and the chief officer Alfred Hodder were taken prisoner by the submarine. The second officer E. J. Knight and 18 crew members landed at Ballyoughtraugh, County Kerry, Ireland, and the third officer and nine crew members landed near Berehaven, County Cork, Ireland. ww2dbase [HM]
Photo(s) dated 24 Feb 1941
Buffalo Mark I fighter at Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down, Wiltshire, England, United Kingdom, 24 Feb 1941
25 Feb 1941
  • February Strike: In occupied Amsterdam, a general strike began in response to increasing anti-Jewish measures instituted by the Nazi occupation administration. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German battleship Tirpitz was commissioned to Kapitän zur See Friedrich Karl Topp. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Upright attacked an Italian convoy 45 miles off Sfax, Tunisia at 0343 hours, sinking Italian cruiser Armando Diaz; 464 were killed, 147 survived. The convoy was traveling from Naples, Italy to Tripoli, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Nigerian Brigade of the British 11th African Division captured Mogadishu, Italian Somaliland, Italian East Africa and the 400,000 gallons of fuel in its stores. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Greece
  • Royal Navy Submarine HMS Parthian (Commander M. G. Rimington, DSO, RN) acted as a beacon to guide the ships in that participated in Operation Abstention, which aimed to take control of the Italian-held Greek island of Kastelorizo off the Turkish coast. A raiding party of 200 commandos was landed by destroyers HMS Decoy (H 73; Commander E. G. McGregor, DSO, RN) and HMS Hereward (H 93; Commander C. W. Greening, RN). The gunboat HMS Ladybird (Lieutenant Commander (retired) J.F. Blackburn, RN) landed Royal Marines. However, the operation was a failure as Italian forces led by Admiral Luigi Biancheri reacted with vigour and retook the island. ww2dbase [HM]
Libya
  • Royal Navy submarine HMS Regent (Lieutenant Commander H.C. Browne, RN) attacked a southbound enemy convoy north-west of Tripoli, Libya. Two torpedoes were fired at one of the merchant vessels but they both missed. The convoy attacked was made up by German merchant vessels Ankara (4,768 tons), Marburg (7,564 tons), Kybfels (7,764 tons) and Reichenfels (7,744 tons). They were escorted by the Italian destroyers Aviere, Geniere and the torpedo boat Castore. ww2dbase [HM]
Russia
  • Viktor Abakumov was named the NKVD deputy commissar. ww2dbase [Viktor Abakumov | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • While escorting convoy FN 417, British destroyer HMS Exmoor (Lieutenant Commmander R. T. Lampard) either hit a mine and sank or was sunk by German motor torpedo boat S-30 12 miles off Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom. Exmoor put up a strong defence of her convoy, but after the explosion she sank quickly. Four officers, including her Commanding Officer, and 100 men were lost with the ship; 32 survived. No ships of the convoy suffered loss or damage. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
  • After sundown, torpedo boats Iltis (Lieutenant Commander Jacobsen) and Jaguar (Lieutenant Commander Hartenstein) carried out mining operations off Eastbourne on the Sussex coast of England, United Kingdom. The minefield would be known as "Augsburg A". ww2dbase [HM]
26 Feb 1941
  • Before dawn, British destroyer HMS Decoy, destroyer HMS Hereward, and gunboat HMS Ladybird landed 200 commandos and 24 Royal Marines on the Italian-held Dodecanese island of Castelorizo, off the coast of Turkey, capturing a small Italian garrison. Italian aircraft responded, damaging HMS Ladybird, but was able to retrieve the raiders and sail for the British Crown Colony of Cyprus. The codename for the raid was Operation Abstention. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Werner Mölders claimed his 60th victory. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • American scientists Glenn Seaborg and Arthur Wahl discovered Plutonium. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
  • German bombers sank 4 merchant ships and German motor torpedo boats sank 1 merchant ship at various locations on the British coast. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-70 sank Swedish ship Gotenborg south of Iceland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Francisco Franco refused Hitler's 6 Feb 1941 request for Spain to enter the war. ww2dbase [Francisco Franco | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-47 attacked Allied convoy OB-290 190 miles northwest of Ireland before dawn, sinking 3 merchant ships (5,254-ton Belgian vessel Kasongo, 3,636-ton Norwegian vessel Borgland, and 3,197-ton Swedish vessel Rydboholm) and damage 1 (8,106-ton British vessel Diala). U-47 was attacked by depth charges, which called for assistance in the form of Fw 200 bombers of I. Gruppe KG 40 based in Bordeaux, France. The aircraft attacked from three different directions from 0900 to 1845 hours, sinking 7 ships without losing any aircraft. The victims of the Fw 200 bombers were 4,328-ton British vessel Swinburne (all survived), 7,181-ton British vessel Mahanada (3 killed), 4,966-ton British vessel Llanwern (27 killed), 8,156-ton Dutch merchant steamer Amstelland (1 killed), 4,328-ton Dutch merchant steamer Beursplein (21 killed), 4,340-ton Greek merchant steamer Kyriekoula (all survived), and 2,580-ton Norwegian merchant steamer Solferino (3 killed). ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • In a night-time sortie by the German 1st MTB Flotilla, the boat S28, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Klug, sank the 1,123-ton British freighter Minorca off the Norfolk coast on Sheringham shoal near Cromer, England, United Kingdom. The freighter was carrying 1,350 tons of cement from London to Grangemouth, Scotland, United Kingdom. The captain, 17 of the crew, along with 2 passengers, were lost. Only 3 survivors were picked up. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 5,055-ton Norwegian motor steamer Teneriffa sank in the Bristol Channel, after having been machine gunned and bombed by German aircraft. At 1405 hours, two enemy aircraft machine gunned the ship's decks, coming in for four passes and the ship got three direct bomb hits on her starboard side, where deck plates and several plates in her side were blown out. The first explosion was in No. 2 hatch, the second in the engine room and the third in No. 3 hatch. She had left Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales, United Kingdom, for Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, also in Wales, with a cargo of 2,400 tons of china clay and about 100 tons of general cargo that same morning in order to join a westbound Atlantic convoy for St. Johns, Newfoundland. All 36 crew survived the attack. ww2dbase [HM]
27 Feb 1941
  • During the night, 30 British Wellington bombers from Wyton in Cambridgeshire, Marham in Norfolk, and Stradishall in Suffolk attacked battleship Tirpitz. The 26 aircraft that arrived attacked and reported success, though the actual results were questionable. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • Norwegian tanker Sandefjord, captured by German cruiser Admiral Scheer in the Atlantic Ocean on 18 Jan 1941, arrived in France with the cargo of 11,000 tons of crude oil. She was to be renamed Monsun and pressed into German service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, Italian torpedo boats Lupo and Lince landed 240 troops on the Greek island of Kastelorizo near Turkey, then bombarded British positions after daybreak, killing 3 and wounding 7. The action was commenced to counter the British Operation Abstention. British destroyers HMS Decoy and HMS Hereward, instead of counterattacking the Italian torpedo boats, departed for Egypt. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • New Zealand cruiser HMNZS Leander sank Italian armed merchant cruiser Ramb I 200 miles west of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean; 113 survivors were picked up by HMNZS Leander and taken to Addu Atoll, Maldives. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Remillo hit a mine and sank in the Humber Estuary, England, United Kingdom, killing 17. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Bianchi British ship Baltistan west of Ireland; 51 were killed, 18 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-47 sank British ship Holmelea west of Ireland overnight; 27 were killed, 11 survived. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau refueld from tankers Ermland and Friedrich Breme 1,000 miles west of the Azores. They also transferred 180 prisoners taken from Allied ships sunk on 22 Feb. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | CPC]
  • The former US Ambassador to France made a public announcement in which he accused the United States of not doing nearly enough or working fast enough in the present international crisis. ww2dbase [AC]
France
  • German submarine U-48 landed master Thomas Llewellyn Bradford and chief officer Alfred Hodder of British steam merchant ship Nailsea Lass, sunk by the submarine three days prior, at Saint-Nazaire, France. The two were later taken to the German prisoner of war camp Marlag und Milag Nord. ww2dbase [HM]
Germany
  • Yosuke Matsuoka arrived in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Yosuke Matsuoka | CPC]
Taiwan
  • Vice Admiral Koki Yamamoto was named the commanding officer of the Mako naval port at Pescadores islands, Taiwan. ww2dbase [Mako Guard District | CPC]
28 Feb 1941
  • British destroyers HMS Decoy and HMS Hereward land 200 more British troops on the Greek island of Kastelorizo in the Dodecanese Islands to reinforce Operation Abstention; as the Italians reinforced the two torpedo boats in the area, Lupo and Lince, with destroyer Crispi, destroyer Sella, and two more torpedo boats, the British decided to cancel Operation Abstention; 40 British commandos were left behind and captured in the hastened retreat. To the north, German troops began to across into Bulgaria. Meanwhile, one squadron of RAF Hurricane fighters and one squadron of RAF Gladiator biplane fighters shot down 27 Italian aircraft over the Albanian mountains in support of Greek troops on the ground. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Bread ration was reduced from 350g to 280g in Vichy France. ww2dbase [TH]
  • During the night 23 British Hampden aircraft from Waddington, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom attacked battleship Tirpitz at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Low clouds resulted in only 4 aircraft locating the battleship, and they failed to hit their target. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • Italian forces at Kufra, Libya began surrender negotiations with Free French and British forces. ww2dbase [Battle of Kufra | CPC]
  • British liner Anchises, damaged by a German Fw 200 aircraft of I./KG 40 on the previous day, began sinking slowly at 1130 hours. The remaining 33 crew members took to a lifeboat; 12 of them would be killed when the lifeboat was accidentally sucked under corvette HMS Kingcup's bow, which had arrived to rescue them. In the afternoon, German aircraft returned and completed Anchises' sinking with bombs. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-108 sank British ship Effna 200 miles south of Iceland at 2332 hours, killing the entire crew of 33. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 4,223-ton British merchant steamer Holmelea, owned by Morrison & Son, Cliffside Shipping Co Ltd, was en route from Rosario, Argentina for hull with a cargo of 7,000 tons of grain, linseed and maize when she was attacked by gunfire from German submarine U-47 (Kapitänleutnant Günther Prien) and then sunk by torpedo southwest of Rockall, a granite islet in the North Atlantic. The master, John Robert Potts and 26 crew members were lost from a total crew of 39. ww2dbase [U-47 | HM]
  • The 2,088-ton Egyptian steamer Memphis, on a voyage from Manchester, England, United Kingdom to Vigo, Spain, ran into heavy weather off the northwest coast of Ireland. Soon afterwards her engines broke down and she foundered with all on board being lost, which included 29 survivors from the Norwegian motor vessel Benjamin Franklin that had been torpedoed by German submarine U-103. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 534-ton coaster Cabenda, en route to Briton Ferry near Neath, Wales, United Kingdom from Shoreham, England, United Kingdom with a cargo of scrap metal, hit a mine and sank in Swansea Bay. The Chief Engineer was killed in the blast. ww2dbase [HM]
1 Mar 1941
  • German troops entered Romania. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Navy established the Support Force Atlantic Fleet for the purpose of providing protection for merchant shipping. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Bulgarian Prime Minister Bogdan Filov signed the Tripartite Pact, which gave Germany the option of invading Greece through Bulgaria. Bulgaria was promised territories lost to Yugoslavia and Greece after WW1. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | TH]
  • Bread rations in Italy was halved in order to increase food export to Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Free French forces from Chad captured Kufra in southeastern Libya. The Italians suffered 3 killed (all 3 were Libyan colonial troops), 4 wounded, and 282 captured (29 Italians, 273 Libyan colonial troops); the French suffered 4 killed and 21 wounded. ww2dbase [Battle of Kufra | CPC]
  • German cruiser Admiral Scheer entered the South Atlantic from the Indian Ocean. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT St. Donats collided with destroyer HMS Cotswold and sank 45 miles east of Grimsby, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Larissa, Greece suffered a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. ww2dbase [CPC]
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • In Port Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, as HMS Formidable waited for mine clearing operations to complete in the Suez Canal, she launched 5 Albacore aircraft to bomb Massawa, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, causing little damage. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarines U-95, U-147, and U-552 operated against Allied convoy HX-109 170 miles northwest of Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom. After sundown, the 12,062-ton British steam tanker Cadillac, built in 1917, was on route from Aruba for Avonmouth, England, United Kingdom carrying a cargo of 17,000 tons of aviation spirit when she was torpedoed by U-552. The highly flammable cargo immediately caught fire, causing a massive explosion and when the #8 tank blew up on the port side after about four minutes it illuminated all ships in the vicinity. With the ship settling by the bow and blazing furiously on the port side a lot of the crew perished being unable to leave the ship, 35 crew were lost from a total crew of 42. Meanwhile, U-95 sank the ship Pacific; 34 were killed, 1 survived. ww2dbase [HM]
China
  • Hiroshi Nemoto was named the commanding officer of the 24th Division in China. ww2dbase [Hiroshi Nemoto | CPC]
Germany Italian Eritrea
  • Two battalions of Indian 4th Division and 2 Free French battalions reached Mescelit Pass 15 miles northeast of Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa; lacking artillery, the force's goal was only to tie down Italian forces in the region. On the same day, Italian submarines Gauleo Ferraras, Perla, and Archimede departed Massawa, Eritrea for the long journey around Africa for Europe. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Korea
  • Lieutenant General Hiroshi Takahashi was named the chief of staff of the Japanese Chosen Army in occupied Korea. ww2dbase [CPC]
Norway
  • The 2,112-ton merchant steamer Huldra (2,112-tons), in service on the coast of Norway and under German control from May 1940, struck a mine on and sank at Hustadvika, Norway in the shipping route between the towns of Molde and Kristiansund. ww2dbase [HM]
Poland
  • Heinrich Himmler paid his first visit to Auschwitz Concentration Camp. During the visit, he ordered Commandant Rudolf Höss to expand the current camp to hold a total of 30,000 prisoners, expand the camp to Birkenau with capacity for 100,000 prisoners, supply 10,000 prisoners to work for the nearby I.G. Farben factory, and to expand the camp's agricultural and industrial output. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | Auschwitz Concentration Camp | Heinrich Himmler | CPC]
  • Rudolf Höss and his family hosted Heinrich Himmler for dinner during Himmler's inspection of Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland. ww2dbase [Auschwitz Concentration Camp | Rudolf Höss | CPC]
Taiwan
  • Lieutenant General Takaji Wachi was named the chief of staff of the Taiwan Army. ww2dbase [CPC]
Trinidad
  • Construction for new US military facilities at Chaguramas, Trinidad began. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Mr. John Winant, the new United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom, was greeted by the Duke of Kent on his arrival by air. On his way to London by rail he was met and welcomed by His Majesty the King. ww2dbase [John Winant | AC]
2 Mar 1941

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarines U-552, U-95, and U-147 attacked Allied convoy HX-109 170 miles northwest of Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom since the previous day. Near the end of the day at 2212 hours, U-147 sank 4,811-ton Norwegian merchant steamer Augvald. Augvald was carrying 7,000 tons of steel, scrap iron and tractors bound for Kingston upon Hull in Britain from Halifax in Canada and due to bad weather had straggled from the convoy HX-109. U-147 fired a single G7a torpedo and hit the Augvald at the forward hold. The heavily laden ship sank within a minute. Some survivors climbed onto wreckage and the Germans tried to question them but failed to understand them so sailed off. The master, Rolf Svensen and 28 crewmen died, including the 2 English mess boys, Stanley Scargill, aged 14, and Micheal Gouldon, aged 15. Able Seaman Rasmus Kolstø survived for 11 days alone on a raft before being seen by a Sunderland flying boat that brought the corvette HMS Pimpernel to pick him up. He was taken to hospital in Greenock where he had to have one of his toes amputated due to frostbite. The medical officer on board the Pimpernel reported that Kolstø was very near death whenthey got to him, he had only some moudy biscuits and fouled water left in the raft and had wrapped himself in a sail and fixed a canvas screen to protect himself to a certain degree. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
British Somaliland
  • British 11th African Division began marching from Mogadishu, Italian Somaliland toward Jijiga, Abyssinia in pursuit of retreating Italian forces. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Bulgaria
  • German Twelfth Army moved from Romania into Bulgaria the day after Bulgaria joined the Axis alliance. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
Germany
  • The RAF conducted a heavy bombing raid on Köln (Cologne), Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
Libya
  • At Kufra, Libya, Free French Major Philippe Leclerc pledged not to lay down his weapons until the French flag once again flew over the cathedral at Strasbourg, France. ww2dbase [Battle of Kufra | Philippe Leclerc | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The United Kingdom severed diplomatic relations with Bulgaria. ww2dbase [TH]
3 Mar 1941
  • Erwin Rommel moved German 5th Light Division to a narrow pass 17 miles west of the Allied forward positions at El Agheila, Libya to block any Allied advances toward Tripoli. He also ordered the construction of defensive positions in the desert to the south to prevent the Allies from bypassing the pass. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • Italian aircraft bombed Larissa, Greece; 5 bombers were shot down by RAF Hurricane fighters. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau reached the Cape Verde Islands area in Central Atlantic. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | CPC]
  • German submariner Bootsmannsmaat Artur Mei fell overboard from U-97 440 miles west of Ireland. He was never seen again. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The US Marine Corps set up 8 men (6 Marines and 2 US Navy corpsmen) and 2 5-inch guns on Johnston Island. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • Admiral William Leahy, US Ambassador to Vichy France, secured an agreement from the Vichy government to deny the Axis any oil from French North Africa. ww2dbase [William Leahy | AC]
4 Mar 1941
  • Prince Paul, Regent of Yugoslavia, arrived in Berchtesgaden in Germany where Hitler applied further pressure for Yugoslavia to join Tripartite Pact. Hitler offered to cede Salonika and part of Macedonia to Yugoslavia in return for allowing German troops to transit into Greece. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | TH]
  • Four British freighters departed Alexandria and Port Said, Egypt with men and equipment, escorted by destroyers HMS Hereward and HMS Stuart, for Greece; it was codenamed Operation Lustre. Meanwhile, British General Wilson arrived in Athens, Greece to take command of all Allied ground forces; he discovered the Greek troops were still manning the Metaxas Line on the Bulgarian-Greek border rather than the agreed upon Aliakmon Line. From the sea, Italian warships bombarded Greek coastal positions in Albania. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Australian Walrus seaplane of HMAS Canberra spotted German ship Coburg and captured Norwegian tanker Ketty Brøvig, which was being used to supply German armed merchant cruisers. The German ships escaped HMAS Canberra's interception attempt. ww2dbase [Canberra (County-class) | CPC]
  • Richard O'Connor was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. ww2dbase [Richard O'Connor | CPC]
Ceylon
  • HMS Hermes arrived at Colombo, Ceylon. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
Norway
  • British landing ships HMS Queen Emma and HMS Princess Beatrix, escorted by five destroyers, landed 500 British Commandos, Royal Engineers, and Free Norwegian troops at four ports in the Loftoten Islands, off Narvik, Norway at dawn. Operation Claymore, the first large scale commando raid of the war, saw the destruction of fish oil factories (along with 3,600 tons of fish oil, used for high explosives) and nine merchant ships. An unexpected bonus was the discovery of coding rotors for the Enigma cryptographic sysyem found aboard German trawler Krebs. The raiders withdrew without a single casualty along with 228 German captives. ww2dbase [AC]
5 Mar 1941
  • British reinforcement from North Africa arrived in Greece. On the same day, the British government broke off diplomatic relations with Bulgaria in response to their alliance with Germany. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Hermann Göring met with General Antonescu in Vienna, Austria, demanding Romanian participation in the upcoming German invasion of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Triumph sank Italian ships Marzamemi and Colombo Lo Faro 20 miles east of Catania, Sicily, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-95 sank Swedish ship Murjek, which had been broadcasting its neutral status continuously, with 5 torpedoes 200 miles south of Iceland at 0525 hours. The entire crew of 31 was killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler issued the order to the German Foreign Ministry to try to draw Japan into the war by attacking British possessions in Asia, but it was still important to keep the United States out of the war at this point. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Ten survivors of British merchant steamer Holmelea (sunk by German submarine U-47 on 28 Feb 1941) in a lifeboat were picked up by the Icelandic trawler Baldur and later landed at Fleetwood, England, United Kingdom. The trawler had already picked up 39 survivors from the Dutch merchant steamer Simaloer, which has been bombed and sunk by German aircraft on 2 Mar 1941. ww2dbase [HM]
Photo(s) dated 5 Mar 1941
Antonescu and Göring at the Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria, 5 Mar 1941
6 Mar 1941
  • Two British convoys departed from Alexandria, Egypt for Greece; the first convoy, consisted of British cruisers HMS York, HMS Bonaventure, and HMS Gloucester departed with troops to reinforce Greece; the second, consisted of freighters Clan Macauley and Cingalese escorted by destroyers, departed with tanks and equipment. At 0715 hours, an empty convoy returning from Greece to Egypt was attacked by Italian submarine Anfitrite east of Crete; Anfitrite was counterattacked and forced to the surface and was scuttled by her own crew. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Keryado hit a mine and sank in the English Channel, killing 9. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • New German laws decreed that Polish farm workers were not to complain, were denied from any cultural events, and were forbidden to have sexual intercourse. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
Germany
  • Battleship Bismarck departed Hamburg, Germany. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
Japan
  • Tatsuta Maru departed Yokohama, Japan with new skipper Captain Toichi Takahata. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
7 Mar 1941
  • Battleship Bismarck entered the Kiel Canal. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Günther Prien passed away. ww2dbase [Günther Prien | CPC]
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sighted an Allied convoy near Azores, but did not attack due to the presence of British battleship HMS Malaya. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 sank Greek ship Mentor in the North Atlantic. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarines U-47, U-70, U-90, and U-A attacked Allied convoy OB-293 320 miles northwest of Scotland, United Kingdom. British whaling factory ship Terje Viken (largest in the world) and British tanker Athelbeach were sunk, while two others were damaged. U-47 was lost with all 48 on board to unknown causes on the same day. U-70 was rammed by Dutch tanker Mijdrecht, then suffered a four-hour depth charging by corvettes HMS Camellia and HMS Arbutus, killing 20; the 25 survivors eventually surrendered. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • 12 motor torpedo boats of German 3rd Flotilla attacked British ships of convoys FN.426 and FS.429 off Cromer, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom, sinking 6. The ships lost were 957-ton Norman Queen (by S-101, Christiansen; 14 killed), 2,345-ton Corduff (by S-28, Klug; 7 killed), 1,049-ton Rye (by S-27, Büchting; 24 killed), 1,047-ton Kenton (by S-31, Meyer), 4,805-ton Boulderpool (by S-61, Gernet), and 1,547-ton Togston (by S-102, Töniges; 19 killed). ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
  • The 934-ton merchant steamer Flashlight, carrying 1,150 tons of coal, was attacked by German aircraft 40 miles east of the Humber Estuary on the east coast of England, United Kingdom. The damage of near misses floundered the vessel; the crew all survived. ww2dbase [HM]
Egypt
  • Field Marshal Jan Smuts arrived in Cairo, Egypt where, at an evening conference, he gave his support to Anthony Eden's firm line to commit troops to the Greek mainland. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | Jan Smuts | AC]
Germany
  • German Jews began to be pressed into forced labor. ww2dbase [CPC]
Greece
  • British cruisers HMS York, HMS Bonaventure, and HMS Gloucester arrived at Piraeus, Greece, disembarking troops from North Africa. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
8 Mar 1941
  • The Panzer Regiment of German 5th Light Division departed Naples, Italy aboard freighters Alicante, Arcturus, Wachtfels, and Rialto bound for Tripoli, Libya in two convoys. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • British freighters Clan Macauley and Cingalese, escorted by destroyers HMS Nubian, HMS Mohawk, and HMS Wryneck Prince arrived in Piraeus, Greece with tanks and equipment from North Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-A sank British ship Dunaff Head of Allied convoy OB-293 150 miles south of Iceland at 0119 hours; 5 were killed and 38 survived. Destroyer HMS Wolverine counterattacked and damaged U-A. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Off Western Africa, German submarines U-105, U-106, and U-124 received sighting reports of Allied convoy SL-67 from surface ships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. They searched for the escorting battleship HMS Malaya in failure; instead, U-105 sank British ship Harmodius at 0341 hours and U-124 sank four ships between 0547 and 0608 hours. U-105 received damage from depth charges as she was counterattacked. A total of 62 British sailors were killed; 300 survivors were picked up. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • Erich Raeder warned Adolf Hitler of a possible American landing in northwest Africa should the United States enter the war. ww2dbase [Operation Torch | CPC]
Germany
  • Battleship Bismarck exited the Kiel Canal and entered Dock C of Deutsche Werke Kiel, Germany. ww2dbase [Deutsche Werke Kiel | Bismarck | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • West Indian jazz band leader Ken "Snakehips" Johnson, his musicians and many dancers were killed by a direct hit from a German bomb on the popular Café du Paris night club in London, England, United Kingdom. A total of 34 were killed at the club, while a further 80 were injured. The club had been thought to be relatively safe as it was located underground. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | AC]
9 Mar 1941
  • Benito Mussolini visited Tiranë, Albania; he announced on radio that he would personally lead a renewed offensive against Greece. On queue, 12 Italian divisions attacked Greek lines through the Trebeshinë heights between Osum and Vjosë Rivers, but the Greek First Army was generally able to hold the lines. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • British submarines HMS Unique, HMS Upholder, HMS Upright, and HMS Utmost detected an Italian convoy 35 miles off the coast of Tunisia. HMS Utmost made an unsuccessful attack on the armed merchant cruiser Deffenu but was able to sink the freighter Capo Vita. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Minesweeping work completed in the Suez Canal in Egypt, and British Royal Navy commanders gave aircraft carrier HMS Formidable the go ahead to sail through from the Red Sea into the canal. ww2dbase [Formidable | CPC]
  • German cruiser Scharnhorst sank Greek ship Marathon 250 miles north of Cape Verde Islands after taking the entire crew prisoner. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Gulfoss hit a mine and sank in the English Channel 3 miles south of Dungeness, Kent, England, United Kingdom, killing 10. ww2dbase [CPC]
France Poland United Kingdom
  • German aircraft bombed London, England, United Kingdom overnight, damaging Buckingham Palace and destroying the underground nightclub Café De Paris; 80 patrons were killed at the latter. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • British RAF Bomber Command was ordered to mount attacks on German submarine bases, construction yards and industries associated with their manufacture. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The British minesweeper HMT Gullfoss (FY710) was sunk by a mine 3.5 miles south-south west of Dungeness, Sussex, England, United Kingdom. Ten crew lost their lives. ww2dbase [HM]
United States
  • A Japanese intelligence network was established in San Diego, California, United States to observe the transportation of war materials. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 9 Mar 1941
Adolf Hitler shaking Wilhelm Keitel
10 Mar 1941
  • The German 5th Panzer Regiment arrived in North Africa. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • French diplomat Gaston Henry-Haye was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-552 sank Icelandic trawler Reykjaborg with surface weapons 460 miles southeast of Iceland at midnight, killing 12. Of the 3 survivors, 1 of them would die before being rescued by British corvette HMS Pimpernel four days later. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS H.28 was damaged during a collision with a freighter in the Irish Sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Unique sank Italian ship Fenicia 100 miles northwest of Tripoli, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German bombers attacked Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom overnight, killing 10 people on shore, sinking minesweeping trawler HMT Revello (killing 1) and damaging destroyer HMS Sherwood, destroyer HMS Witherington, destroyer HMS Tynedale, training ship HMS Marshal Soult, and 4 minesweeping trawlers. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Nikolai Voznesensky stepped down as the Chairman of the State Planning Committee of the Soviet Union and took the new role as the First Deputy Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Nikolai Voznesensky | CPC]
  • Maksim Saburov became the Chairman of State Planning Committee of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Maksim Saburov | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • The British Nigerian Brigade engaged Italian units at Degehabur, Abyssinia, about 100 miles south of Jijiga. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Egypt
  • The newly worked-up aircraft carrier, HMS Formidable, passed through the Suez Canal to join Admiral Andrew Cunningham's Mediterranean fleet at Alexandria, Egypt, which has been without an armoured carrier since HMS Illustrious had been withdrawn as a result of the serious damage it had suffered from enemy dive-bombers in January 1941. ww2dbase [Formidable | AC]
Germany
  • The 5,972-ton German steam merchant Widar was mined in the Ems Estuary near the Island of Borkum off the German coast. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 708-ton British armed steamship Sparta, while steaming from Blyth to Southampton in England, United Kingdom with a cargo of coal was sunk by a mine, ten miles off Dungeness, Sussex, England; nine of the crew lost. Nearby, the 700-ton British cargo ship Corinia, built in 1928 and owned by Northwest Shipping Co. Ltd., also struck a mine while sailing from Blyth to Cowes; the ship broke in two and 14 crew lost their lives. ww2dbase [HM]
Photo(s) dated 10 Mar 1941
Cruiser Mk IV tanks parading through Alton, Hampshire county, England, United Kingdom, 10 Mar 1941
11 Mar 1941
  • German submarine U-74 attacked Icelandic trawler Frodi with her deck gun 192 miles southeast of Iceland at 0800 hours. 5 were killed in the attack. Frodi would be able to escape to Vestmannaeyjar Island on the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank British ship Memnon 200 miles west of Senegal, French West Africa, killing 5. Of the 69 survivors, 4 were captured by German battlecruiser Gneisenau, 22 made land in Senegal on 21 Mar, and 43 made land in Sierra Leone on 24 Mar. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Panzer Regiment of German 5th Light Division completed disembarking from freighters at Tripoli, Libya. A parade was staged with the newly arrived tanks, with some of the tanks going around the town multiple times to make their numbers seem greater. The tanks headed east toward Sirte after the parade. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • 135 German aircraft dropped 122 tons of high explosive bombs and 830 incendiary bombs on Birmingham, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
France
  • During the night of 11 to 12 Mar, six British Handley Page Halifax bombers of No. 35 Squadron of No. 4 Group from RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom attacked Le Havre, France. It was the operational debut of the four-engine heavy bomber. It was marred by the accidental shoot-down of one of them by an RAF nightfighter. ww2dbase [Halifax | TH]
French Indochina
  • Japan dictated that France would return parts of Cambodia and Laos, which the French had gained from Thailand about 40 years prior, to Thailand. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC]
Turkey
  • As English diplomats arrived in Istanbul, Turkey, a bomb smuggled into their luggage exploded, killing 2. ww2dbase [TH]
United States
  • US President Roosevelt signed the Lend Lease Act into law, which allowed Allied nations to purchase weapons and other supplies from the United States on credit. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | TH]
Photo(s) dated 11 Mar 1941
Roosevelt signing the Lend-Lease bill, 11 Mar 1941
12 Mar 1941
  • Winston Churchill thanked the US for "a new Magna Carta", referring to the Lend-Lease Act signed into law on the previous day. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • Benito Mussolini visited Italian troops in Albania to bolster morale. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 sank Icelandic trawler Pétursey with surface weapons 300 miles south of Iceland at 1805 hours. All 10 crew members were reported to have taken to lifeboats, but they would never been seen again. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 7,005-ton British cargo steamer Empire Frost was bombed and damaged by German aircraft in the Irish Sea. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers attacked Merseyside (containing the city of Liverpool), England, United Kingdom. 8 merchant ships were sunk, one floating crane was destroyed, and 174 people were killed in the town of Wallasey. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Mar 1941
Letter from President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn seeking appropriations of 7 billion dollars to fund the Arsenal of Democracy, 12 Mar 1941.
13 Mar 1941
  • Germany repeated demands for Yugoslavia to join the Axis alliance. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | CPC]
  • 236 German bombers attacked Glasgow and Clydeside, Scotland, United Kingdom for the first time, targeting munitions factories and docks, sinking 3 cargo ships and damaging 2 destroyers. To the south, German bombers attacked Liverpool for the second night in a row, pushing total casualty to about 500. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler appointed Alfred Rosenberg the minister of the eastern occupied territories, while further conquests would be assigned to Heinrich Himmler. Hermann Göring was given the responsibility of exploiting the resources in conquered Soviet territory. ww2dbase [Alfred Rosenberg | CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel moved his headquarter to Sirte, Libya. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld was wounded in combat. ww2dbase [Egmont | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British sloop HMS Scarborough intercepted Norwegian whalers Star XIX and Star XXIV when these German-controlled whalers were en route to France. Both whalers were scuttled by their German crews to prevent capture. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The 7,005-ton British cargo steamer Empire Frost, damaged by German aircraft on the previous day, was in tow by the Dutch tug Seine when she was again bombed. She sank in the Irish Sea west of Skomer Island with the loss of six crewmen. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 4,738-ton British merchant steamer Tacoma City Sunk on the after being mined in the Formby Channel, River Mersey, northwestern England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 1,307-ton Dutch steamship Perseus (Captain R. Gudde) was attacked by German aircraft and was sunk with an air torpedo, 12 miles north west of Bardsey Island at the tip of the Lynn Pennisula, Wales, United Kingdom. The requisitioned Perseus was on her way from Avonmouth, Bristol to Manchester. All crew were saved the next day by a British ship. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 304-ton British tug Bullger struck an aircraft-laid mine and sank in Druridge Bay near Amble, Northumberland, north east England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 4,891-ton Norwegian steam merchant Ullapool of Allied Convoy SC 23 struck a parachute mine in the River Mersey in northwestern England, United Kingdom and broke in two. Sixteen men, including the Captain, William Thwaites, were lost; 22 survived. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 842-ton Norwegian cargo ship Samlanes, on voyage from Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom to Shoreham, England, United Kingdom with a cargo of 907 tons of coal, was sunk by a mine, two miles off the Lizard peninsula. The whole crew, 15 people in total, were lost. ww2dbase [HM]
14 Mar 1941
  • Battleship Bismarck began embarking supplies at Scheerhafen, Kiel. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Tatsuta Maru arrived at Honolulu, US Territory of Hawaii; among the passengers disembarked was Kita Nagao, the newly appointed Japanese Consul General to hawaii. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
  • Seeing the Greeks had repeated repulsed Italian attacks in the past few days, Italian Chief of the Supreme Command General Ugo Cavallero recommended Benito Mussolini to halt the Primavera Offensive. On the same day, 5 British Swordfish torpedo bombers from Paramythia, Greece struck Vlorë, Albania, sinking Italian hospital ship Po and ship Santa Maria at the loss of one aircraft. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Emo sank British ship Western Chief 250 miles south of Iceland, killing 22. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 203 German bombers bombed Glasgow and Clydebank, Scotland, United Kingdom for the second night in a row, damaging shipyards and the Rolls Royce aircraft engine factory. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The British Admiralty placed an order for a new battleship (to a design by Sir Stanley Goodall) to be built at Clydebank, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
China
  • Wong Sun-sui, flying an I-15III fighter, was shot down by a Japanese A6M Zero fighter over Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He made a successful crash landing, but sustained fatal injuries. ww2dbase [Wong Sun-sui | CPC]
  • Cen Zeliu, flying an I-15III fighter, was shot down and killed by an A6M Zero fighter over Shuangliu Airfield, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Shuangliu Airfield | Cen Zeliu | CPC]
  • Cen Zeliu, flying an I-15III fighter, was shot down and killed by an A6M Zero fighter over Shuangliu Airfield, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Shuangliu Airfield | Cen Zeliu | CPC]
United States
  • USS Haddock was commissioned into service with Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. Taylor in command. ww2dbase [Haddock | CPC]
Uzbekistan
  • An ANT-6 aircraft operated by the airliner Aeroflot crashed near crashed near Begovat, Uzbekistan after stalling. All six aboard were killed. ww2dbase [TB-3 | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 14 Mar 1941
British Hurricane fighter of No. 85 Squadron RAF taxiing at Debden, Essex, England, United Kingdom at night, 14 Mar 1941; note navigation lights on wingtips
15 Mar 1941
  • Indian 4th and 5th Divisions attacked Italian positions at 0700 hours near Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, capturing hilltops on either side of the gorge after an entire day of fighting in which both sides suffered heavy casualties. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • US shipping company American Export Lines announced that it would stop taking orders from Lisbon, Portugal because there were too many refugees waiting in its ports. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese troops launched an offensive towards Shanggao, Jiangxi Province, China. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Belgian politicians formed the cross-party resistance organization Independence Front at Liege. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Battleship Bismarck received two aircraft at Scheerhafen, Kiel. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 made rendezvous with armed merchant cruiser Kormoran 650 miles southwest of Cape Verde Islands and received 7 torpedoes and other supplies. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
  • German submarine U-110 detected Allied convoy-112, consisted of 41 merchant ships escorted by 7 warships, and shared the finding with U-37, U-74, U-99, and U-100. Overnight, U-110 set British tanker Erodona on fire with a torpedo, killing 36, but she would be towed to Iceland for repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau attacked an Allied convoy 950 miles east of Nova Scotia, Canada, sinking 3 tankers (killing 7, most of the survivors were captured) and capturing 3 tankers. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
Italy
  • Italian Navy's Special Weapons Section of 1a Flottiglia MAS, based at La Spezia in Italy, was renamed 10th MAS Flotilla, which served only as a cover name as the special forces function of the unit would not change. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • Benjamin Kelsey was promoted to the war time rank of major. ww2dbase [Benjamin Kelsey | CPC]
  • At a crowded dinner of the White House Press Correspondents Association, President Franklin Roosevelt, in a trenchant speech that was beamed to Europe in fourteen languages, promised America would supply the needs of the British and Greeks with ships, planes, and food. This was fighting talk but specious fighting talk, for that he was making public promises that he was powerless to keep. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
16 Mar 1941
  • At Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, British 2nd West Yorkshire Regiment climbed up the steep mountain to attack Italian positions at Fort Dologorodoc overnight; to the British troops' advantage, some of the Italian troops had departed from the fort to attack Indian 5th Mahratta Light Infantry Regiment at the base of the mountain, allowing the fort to be captured at 0630 hours after about 2 hours of combat, yielding 400 prisoners of war. In British Somaliland, 2 Indian battalions conducted an amphibious landing at Berbera; the port was defended by only 60 Italian troops, who surrendered without resisting. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • German submarine U-100 became the first submarine to be tracked by radar. It was sunk by HMS Vanoc with depth charges. Only 6 of the 44 crew survived; commanding officer Joachim Scepke went down with U-100. In the same action, U-99 was scuttled after being damaged by HMS Walker; most of the crew survived, including the captain Otto Kretschmer. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The Italian Primavera Offensive was called off after 8 days after the Italians had suffered 12,000 casualties. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German bombers sank British anti-submarine trawler HMT Lady Lilian and damaged HMT Angle 85 miles west of Ireland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Parthian damaged Italian steamer Giovanni Boccaccio 50 miles east of Malta. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank Dutch ship Almkerk 220 miles off the coast of Gambia, British West Africa. The entire crew of 66 survived the attack and took to 2 lifeboats, and all would survive. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 162 German bombers attacked Bristol, England, United Kingdom overnight, targeting the docks at Avonmouth and the city center; 257 were killed, 391 were wounded. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau attacked an Allied convoy 950 miles east of Nova Scotia, Canada between 0428 and 1550 hours, sinking or capturing 10 ships. Danish ship Chilean Reefer sent distress signals and returned fire with her deck gun, and was sunk by Gneisenau's 11-inch shells, killing 9. British battleship HMS Rodney received the distress signals, but arrived only after the German ships had already departed the area. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
China
  • Wong Sun-sui passed away from wounds sustained during the aerial engagement two days prior at in Sumatou district, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Wong Sun-sui | CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler predicted that the United Kingdom would fall by 1942. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
17 Mar 1941
  • US Coast Guard cutter Cayuga delivered American representatives to Greenland in search of suitable locations for bases. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Britain, jam and marmelade rationed to 8 ounces per person per month. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarines U-99 and U-100 attacked Allied convoy HX-112 250 miles southeast of Iceland; U-99 sank 2 freighters and three tankers, while damaging another tanker. At 0318 hours, destroyers HMS Walker and HMS Vanoc depth charged U-100, forcing her to surface, then HMS Vanoc rammed U-100; as U-100 sank, 38 were killed, including commanding officer Kapitänleutnant Joachim Schepke. At 0343 horus, HMS Walker dropped 6 depth charges on U-99, killing 3 and forcing her to surface from heavy damage. U-99 was scuttled by her crew. 6 U-100 and 40 U-99 officers and men were captured by the British, including U-99's commanding officer Korvettenkapitän Otto Kretschmer. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel sent a message to the besieged Italian garrison at Giarabub in southeastern Libya, asking the troops to hold on for a few more weeks and promising that his forces would arrive in relief in that time. ww2dbase [Battle of Giarabub | CPC]
  • Frenchman Francois Scornet, 22, became the only civilian to be executed by firing squad in Jersey of the Channel Islands throughout the German occupation. Scornet was one of 16 young Army Cadets who had fled France in a small boat with the intention of joining the Free French forces in England, United Kingdom. Lost in rough weather, they sailed into Guernsey, Channel Islands believing it to be the Isle of Wight and were captured. As an example to other escapees, Scornet was picked out as the ringleader and shot. After the war his remains were reinterred in his home village in Brittany, France. ww2dbase [AC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran and submarine U-124 made rendezvous with cruiser Admiral Scheer 1,150 miles southwest of Cape Verde Islands. U-124 transferred quartz aboard Admiral Scheer for her radar; although planned, the transfer of torpedoes from Kormoran to U-124 was canceled due to rough seas. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • German submarine U-106, after tracking Allied convoy SL-68 for the past two days, struck 250 miles west of Dakar, French West Africa at 2107 hours, sinking British ship Andalusian and Dutch ship Tapanoeli. ww2dbase [CPC]
Abyssinia Poland United Kingdom
  • HMS Dianthus was commissioned into service with Lieutenant Commander Clement Bridgman in command. ww2dbase [Dianthus | CPC]
  • Richard Saul was made Companion of the Order of the Bath. ww2dbase [Richard Saul | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Mar 1941
Bow view of submarine Gar, Groton, Connecticut, United States, 17 Mar 1941
18 Mar 1941
  • Italian troops bombarded Fort Dologorodoc near Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, which British and Indian had only recently gained. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel departed North Africa for a meeting with Adolf Hitler. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • The US Marine Corps 7th Defense Battalion arrived at American Samoa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler met with Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Jodl, and Erich Raeder; Raeder urged Hitler to convince Japan to attack Singapore and recommended Hitler to reveal the plans of the Soviet invasion to Japan. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
Albania
  • British bombers attacked Vlorë, Albania, sinking Italian torpedo boat Aldebaran. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-105 attacked Allied convoy SL-68 west of Senegal, French West Africa at 0400 hours, sinking British ship Medjerda, killing the entire crew of 52 and 2 gunners. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran transferred 7 torpedoes to submarine U-124 1,050 miles southwest of Cape Verde Islands. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
Baltic Sea
  • Battleship Bismarck entered the Baltic Sea for trials. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
Germany
  • Germany centralized all coal mining and distribution. ww2dbase [CPC]
Libya
  • British armed boarding vessel Rosaura, carrying Italian prisoners of war, hit a mine and sank off Tobruk, Libya. 14 crew, 5 guards, and 59 Italians were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Swordfish torpedo bombers of Fleet Air Arm 830 Naval Air Squadron based in Malta bombed the harbor at Tripoli, Libya; 1 Swordfish aircraft was shot down, with its crew of 2 taken prisoner. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The French government-in-exile in Britain established a central bank. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German 1st S-boat Flotilla (with 6 motor torpedo boats) raided shipping on the east coast of England, United Kingdom, sinking French ship Daphne II off the Humber Estuary. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Douglas Bader was promoted to the rank of wing commander. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
United States
  • US and Canada declared a joint defense pact, which included cooperation in ship building efforts on the Great Lakes. ww2dbase [CPC]
19 Mar 1941
  • The French government-in-exile in Britain established a central bank. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Mass-produced vegetable casseroles went on sale in Britain for 8 pence per pound. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel met with Adolf Hitler, Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch, and Chief of Staff General Franz Halder. Rommel was told to expect no reinforcements in Libya until May, when the German 15th Panzer Division would be assigned to him. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler gave Prince Paul of Yugoslavia an ultimatum, asking him to join the Tripartite Pact within five days, or face invasion. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | CPC]
  • German submarine U-105 sank Dutch ship Mandalika of Allied convoy SL-68 350 miles west of Nouakchott, Mauritania, French West Africa. 3 were killed and 62 survivors were rescued by British corvette HMS Marguerite. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Scharnhorst and Gneisenau began their return voyage to Brest, France. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • 370 German Luftwaffe aircraft bombed London, England, United Kingdom, killing 750. Several freighters and auxiliary anti-aircraft ship Helvellyn were sunk or damaged in London docks. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
20 Mar 1941

Atlantic Ocean
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were detected by aircraft of the British Coastal Command; they were met by German aircraft at 1900 hours, escorting them as they headed for Brest, France. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • Tankers Bianca and San Casimiro, which had been captured by German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau five days prior, were spotted by British aircraft from carrier HMS Ark Royal. Battleship HMS Renown would advance in an attempt to recapture. The German prize crews scuttled both tankers before surrendering themselves along with the 46 prisoners of war aboard the two ships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 damaged Dutch ship Meerkerk of Allied convoy SL-68 and escorting battleship HMS Malaya 550 miles west of Nouakchott, Mauritania, French West Africa at 2323 hours. HMS Malaya received temporary repairs at Trinidad and then was sent to New York Naval Yard in the US for permanent repairs which would last for four months. ww2dbase [Malaya | CPC]
British Somaliland Germany
  • Heinrich Himmler, Rudolf Heß, Fritz Todt, Reinhard Heydrich, and other top Nazi German official met in Berlin, Germany to discuss plans for resettling Eastern Europe with Germans. ww2dbase [Heinrich Himmler | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler appointed Alfred Rosenberg the Delegate for Central Planning for Questions of the Eastern European Area. ww2dbase [Alfred Rosenberg | CPC]
Libya
  • Erwin Rommel received Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
Russia
  • Joseph Stalin was assured by this staff that Germany would not attack the Soviet Union until United Kingdom was defeated. Meanwhile, the United States shared the intelligence of a possible German invasion of the Soviet Union with Soviet Ambassador Konstantin Umansky. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • King George and Queen Elizabeth visited Plymouth, England, United Kingdom where they took tea with Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman to take a seat in the commons. The local people took the Royal visit as a "gala day" with bands and dancing on the Hoe, but no sooner had the Royal party departed 125 German bombers appeared overhead causing great damage to the docks (sinking British tug HMS Sir Bevois (9 killed), tug HMS Elan, and transport Mari II) and city centre. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | AC]
  • A flight of three Manchester bombers from RAF Waddington in England, United Kingdom set out to bomb German submarines at Lorient, France. Less than thirty minutes into the mission one aircraft developed an engine fire which forced its captain to order the crew to abandon the stricken aircraft. Four crewmen jumped but only two survived and two others were killed. The pilot (with one other crewman still aboard) then attempted to bring the aircraft home but in attempting to land struck a tree and crashed, killing both airmen. Aircraftsman Charles Leonard Wheatley, seeing that the fire threatened to explode the high-explosive bombs still aboard, bravely fought the fire, from only two yards away, and successfully prevented any further damage to the base. For this gallant action Wheatley would be awarded the George Medal from the King on 4 Nov 1941. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The 174-ton steam fishing trawler Bianca sank in the Irish Sea following an explosion after trawling up a mine or bomb whilst fishing approx 14 miles off Holyhead, Wales, United Kingdom. Five crewmen were lost, and four were rescued. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 1,386-ton Polish cargo ship Cieszyn was attacked by five German aircraft whilst on her way from Falmouth, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom to the Clyde in Scotland, United Kingdom and sank in Coverack Cove on the southern edge of The Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall. All aboard made to lifeboats and survived. The lifeboats were machine gunned briefly by one of the Dornier aircraft, but some of the survivors believed that the German pilots were shooting to scare rather than to kill. The nearby lifeboat house on land was also strafed as the aircraft departed. ww2dbase [HM]
United States
  • Tatsuta Maru arrived at San Francisco, California, United States; among the disembarked passengers was Colonel Hideo Iwakuru, who was dispatched by Prime Minister Hideki Tojo to Washington DC to help the Japanese Embassy in reconciling relations with the United States. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • Rather than accepting dictated German terms, four Yugoslavian ministers resigned their posts. ww2dbase [TH]
Photo(s) dated 20 Mar 1941
Rudolf Heß, Heinrich Himmler, Philipp Bouhler, Fritz Todt, Reinhard Heydrich and Erich Ehrlinger meeting in Berlin, Germany to discuss plans to settle Eastern Europe, 20 Mar 1941C8 prime mover with limber and 25-pdr field gun, Scotland, United Kingdom, 20 Mar 1941
21 Mar 1941
  • Yugoslavians protested Prince Paul's pact with Hitler. Many ministers resigned in protest. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • After laying siege to the Italian garrison at Giarabub in southeastern Libya for the past three months, Australian forces finally gathered enough strength to begin a large scale assault. ww2dbase [Battle of Giarabub | CPC]
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were detected by aircraft of the British Coastal Command. They were met by friendly aircraft at 1900 hours, escorting them as they headed for Brest, France. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
  • German submarine U-105 attacked Allied convoy SL-68 500 miles west of Cap blanc, French West Africa at 0046 hours, sinking British ships Clan Ogilvy (61 killed, 24 survived) and Benwyvis (34 killed, 21 survived). At 2200 hours, U-105 attacked the same convoy again, sinking British ship Jhelum (8 killed, 49 survivors). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German aircraft attacked Allied convoy AS-21 en route between Piraeus, Greece and Alexandria, Egypt, sinking Greek ship Embiricos Nicolaos (2 killed) and damaging Norwegian tanker Solheim (1 killed). ww2dbase [CPC]
Abyssinia
  • Nigerian Brigade of British 11th African Division attacked Italian defenses at Marda Pass east of Hadew in eastern Abyssinia at 1200 hours. Italian defenses held off the attacks for hours before falling back after sundown. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German aircraft attacked British shipping off various ports in England, United Kingdom; minesweeping trawler HMT Asama was sunk near Plymouth, ship Millisle was sunk off Bristol (10 killed), and ship London II was sunk off Swansea (4 killed). ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • Tatsuta Maru departed San Francisco, California, United States; among the passengers was German Army General Werner Thiel. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
  • George Murray was named the commanding officer of USS Enterprise. ww2dbase [Enterprise | CPC]
22 Mar 1941
  • Britain agreed to allow American ships to deliver emergency flour to Vichy France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran stopped empty British tanker Agnita with shellfire in the Mid-Atlantic about halfway between Brazil and British West Africa. After capturing the crew, the Germans sank Agnita with demolition charges, nine 105mm shells, and one torpedo. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
  • The first production Beaufighter IIF fighter (R2270) with 1,280 hp Merlin XX engines was completed. ww2dbase [Beaufighter | AC]
  • Edward Heath, the future British Prime Minister (1970-1974), was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. ww2dbase [AC]
France
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were met by friendly destroyers at 0300 hours as they approached Brest, France. They docked shortly after 0700 hours, ending Operation Berlin. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | CPC]
Italian Eritrea
  • British and Indian troops continued to hold Fort Dologorodoc in Eritrea, Italian East Africa despite repeated Italian counterattacks and shelling. Elsewhere, in Abyssinia, Italian troops declared Harar an open city. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
23 Mar 1941
  • Anti-Axis demonstrations were held in Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | CPC]
  • Australian troops captured Giarabub in southeastern Libya. The commander of the Italian garrison, Lieutenant Colonel Castagna, was captured and would spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war in India. ww2dbase [Battle of Giarabub | CPC]
  • German submarine U-110 fired a spread of three torpedoes at Norwegian ship Siremalm 200 miles southwest of Iceland at 0427 hours. One torpedo hit but failed to explode, while the other two missed. U-110 next attempted to attack with her deck gun, but a crewman had forgotten to remove the water plug from the gun, causing it to explode, wounding three men and causing some damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British anti-submarine trawler HMT Visenda sank German submarine U-551 in the North Atlantic, killing the entire crew of 45. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-97 sank British tanker Chama 600 miles west of Land's End, England, United Kingdom at 2326 hours, killing the entire crew of 59. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Greek submarine Triton attacked an Italian convoy 20 miles east of Brindisi, Italy. The transport Carnia was damaged; she would be towed to Brindisi where she intended to receive repairs, but she would ultimately be lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel departed Europe for Libya. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
British Somaliland
  • South African 2nd Division arrived in the recently recaptured Berbera, British Somaliland by sea. In Abyssinia, Nigerian Brigade of British 11th African Division advanced 36 miles toward Addis Ababa to Babile Pass, where they were paused for several hours by Italian defensive positions. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
24 Mar 1941
  • Axis forces opened Rommel's offensive in North Africa at 0600 hours. Australian troops on the front line destroyed a leading German armored car, but they were soon overwhelmed by German tanks. Axis forces would capture El Agheila, Libya, the furthest point of the British advance against the Italians. British 2nd Armoured Division fell back 30 miles to Marsa Brega. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | AC]
  • Erwin Rommel returned to Libya after a series of meetings in Germany and Italy. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • German and Italian ships continued to leave Massawa, Eritrea, Italian East Africa ahead of Allied advances, while Allied warships attempted to intercept them. British sloop HMS Shoreham intercepted German ship Oder, which was scuttled by her own crew to prevent capture. British Royal Navy aircraft detected Italian freighter India; to prevent capture by British warships that were sure to come, the crew entered the port of Assab nearby. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • German submarine U-97 sank Norwegian ship Hørda 750 miles west of Land's End, England, United Kingdom at 1643 hours, killing the entire crew of 30. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Veniero sank British ship Agnete Maersk in the Atlantic Ocean, killing the entire crew. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank British ship Eastlea 40 miles east of Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands, killing the entire crew of 37. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • It was announced that the Soviet Union had given Turkey an assurance that the USSR would stay neutral if Turkey found herself in conflict with a third power. ww2dbase [AC]
  • James Lacey, flying a Spitfire fighter, damaged a German Fw 190 aircraft. ww2dbase [James Lacey | AC]
Germany
25 Mar 1941
  • British and Indian troops attacked Italian positions on the heights above the Dongolaas Gorge in Eritrea, Italian East Africa at 0300, capturing 2 small hills and 500 prisoners by 0530 hours, gaining control of the road through the gorge. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank British liner Britannia 750 miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa. 203 crew and 281 passengers (most of which were British military personnel) took to lifeboats. Thor began to rescue the survivors, but after taking on only one man, Thor detected British radio transmissions and fled the area before British warship arrived (which never came). 255 survivors of Britannia would be lost. Later on the same day, Thor sank Swedish merchant ship Trolleholm, capturing the entire crew of 31. ww2dbase [Thor | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran captured empty Canadian tanker Canadolite in the Mid-Atlantic about halfway between British West Africa and Brazil; Canadolite was sent to Brest, France as a prize ship. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
  • Italian destroyers Crispi and Sella departed Leros, Dodecanese Islands in Greece, each carrying three 2-ton motor assault boats loaded with 300-kg explosives. At 2330 hours, the destroyers released the motor boats 10 miles off Suda Bay, Crete, Greece to attack British warships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Rodolfo Graziani stepped down as the Governor-General of Italian Libya, succeeded by Italo Gariboldi. ww2dbase [Rodolfo Graziani | CPC]
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • Two Swordfish aircraft squadrons of HMS Eagle were temporarily transferred to Port Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 9,956-ton British steam turbine merchant Beaverbrai was sunk northwest of the Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom after being bombed on a voyage from Liverpool, England, United Kingdom to St John's, Newfoundland with general cargo and mail. ww2dbase [HM]
Austria
  • Prime Minister Dragisa Cvetkovic of Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact at Vienna, Austria; in secret, Yugoslavia had also allowed German troops to travel on Yugoslavian railroads for an attack on Greece. Upon hearing of the signing of this document, anti-Axis demonstrations escalated in Belgrade. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | TH]
Japan
  • Captain Kiichi Hasegawa was assigned the commanding officer of Akagi. ww2dbase [Akagi | CPC]
Romania
  • Petre Dumitrescu was named the commanding officer of Romanian 3rd Army. ww2dbase [Petre Dumitrescu | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Jams and marmalade ration in Britain was reduced to 8 ounces per person per month and meat ration cut to 6 ounces per person per week. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 25 Mar 1941
Greek Army Major Ioannis Paparrodou in Voskopojë (Moscopole), Albania, 25 Mar 1941Pilot Officer Kennedy of No. 47 Squadron RAF Detachment inspecting his Wellesley bomber after engagement with two CR.42 fighters, Agordat, Eritrea, 25 Mar 1941; his gunner Sergeant German was killed
26 Mar 1941
  • British conscripts could now opt for civil defense duties. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto, 5 cruisers, and 10 destroyers sortied out of Naples, Taranto, and Brindisi in Italy to patrol the area of the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt and Greece; the goal was to attack Allied convoys bringing troops and supplies to Greece. ww2dbase [Battle of Matapan | CPC]
  • Anti-Axis demonstrations continued in Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill sent a message to Archibald Wavell, hinting at Wavell's timidity in countering the recent Axis advances in Libya; he said "[w]e are naturally concerned at rapid German advance to El Agheila. It is their habit to push on wherever they are not resisted. I presume you are only waiting for the tortoise to stick his head out far enough before chopping it off." ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • In a radio broad cast to the American people, US Colonel William Donovan said about the East African campaign, "The British have done a superb job, a better job than they have let the world discover". ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Canadian armed yacht HMCS Otter caught fire and sank off Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, killing 19. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • The German Army High Command authorized the RSHA organization to operate death squads (Einsatzgruppen) in occupied Poland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka arrived in Berlin, Germany. He was not met by Joachim von Ribbentrop immediately as his German counterpart was busy with the recent political developments in Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Yosuke Matsuoka | CPC]
Greece
  • British cruiser HMS York was heavily damaged by an Italian torpedo boat raid at Suda Bay, Crete, Greece at about 0445 hours. Two men were killed. All six Italian boat drivers survived the attack, but all were captured. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • The 8,324-ton Norwegian motor tanker Pericles, in British Admiralty Royal Fleet Auxiliary service, was struck by a torpedo during an Italian torpedo boat raid into Suda Bay, Crete, Greece. The torpedo struck the starboard, causing oil to gush out of the damaged tanks and the pump room was partly flooded. She listed about 40 degrees to starboard, but effective damage control prevented capsizing. Naval Control would soon order Pericles to be towed out of Suda Bay for repairs in Egypt. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | HM]
Italian Eritrea
  • Allied troops repaired the road running through Dongolaas Gorge in Eritrea, Italian East Africa. Italian troops at nearby heights only realized this after nightfall, by then it was too late to stop the Allied column that was starting to advance, thus the Italians began to withdraw to Keren. Meanwhile, in Abyssinia, The British Nigerian Brigade captured Harar unopposed. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • The 1,470-ton Italian tanker Ticino was sunk by a mine laid the previous day by the British submarine Rorqual north of Trapani, Sicily, Italy. The 1,450-ton steam merchant Verde following also struck a mine and sank. ww2dbase [HM]
Pacific Ocean
  • The 287-ton fishing vessel Millimumul (Captain Rixom) was on voyage from Sydney, Australia with fish and a crew of 12, when she sank after hitting by a mine, laid by the German raider Pinguin, north-east of Sydney, 33 miles east of Broken Bay. Seven of her crew died. ww2dbase [Pinguin | HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 5,533-ton cable laying ship Faraday was to join a convoy of 25 ships out of Falmouth, England, United Kingdom for Milford Haven, Wales, United Kingdom; due to bad weather only five of the vessels, including the Faraday, set out. Due to fog banks the ships lost sight of each other. At 1945 hours after the cloud lifted, the Faraday came under attack from a single Heinkel 111 aircraft which dropped two bombs and strafed the ship in a low level attack. Eight of the crew were killed, and 25 were injured. One of the bombs exploded in the oil bunker causing a serious fire. The German plane was hit by the return fire and crashed into the sea, never having regained height. The crippled ship ran aground off St. Ann's Head on the Pembrokeshire coast, South Wales. ww2dbase [HM]
Photo(s) dated 26 Mar 1941
Grampus during her trials, off Groton, Connecticut, United States, 26 Mar 1941, photo 1 of 2Grampus during her trials, off Groton, Connecticut, United States, 26 Mar 1941, photo 2 of 2
27 Mar 1941
  • The US Congress approved US$7,000,000,000 for the Lend-Lease program. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-98 sank British ship Koranton 400 miles southwest of Iceland at 1350 hours, killing the entire crew of 34. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered Operation Barbarossa to be postponed due to changing political situations in the Balkan Peninsula. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • Allied tanks and infantry captured heights beyond the Dongolaas Gorge in Eritrea, Italian East Africa. By 1000 hours, Keren was captured without opposition as Italian troops fled toward Asmara. The Battle of Keren ended with 536 Allies killed and 3,229 wounded, while the Italians suffered 6,500 casualties. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Battleship HMS Warspite, battleship HMS Barham, battleship HMS Valiant, carrier HMS Formidable, and nine destroyers of the British Mediterranean Fleet departed Alexandria, Egypt to hunt for an Italian fleet known to have departed bases in Italy. Four cruisers and four destroyers also departed from Piraeus, Greece, launching spotter planes to search for the Italian fleet, locating it at noon. ww2dbase [Battle of Matapan | Warspite | CPC]
  • Oberleutnant zur See Helmut Pöttgen of German submarine U-46 fell overboard from the submarine and was lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka met with German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Berlin, Germany in the morning; Ribbentrop noted to Matsuoka that the United States was intimidated by the Axis alliance thus would not enter into the war even if Japan joined in to strike at British possessions in Asia. In the afternoon, Matsuoka met with Adolf Hitler. ww2dbase [Yosuke Matsuoka | CPC]
  • The first transfers of prisoners out of Oflag IV-C camp at Colditz Castle in Germany took place; 27 Polish officers were moved to Oflag VII-B in Eichstätt, Germany. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
Hawaii
  • Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrived at the US Territory of Hawaii aboard the passenger liner Nitta Maru, under the guise of a diplomat. ww2dbase [Takeo Yoshikawa | CPC]
United States
  • American and British representatives met at Washington DC, United States. ww2dbase [ABC-1 Conference | CPC]
  • Earl Browder, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the United States began a four-year prison sentence at Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Georgia, United States on his conviction on the charge of passport fraud. ww2dbase [AC]
Yugoslavia
  • General Dusan Simovic and other anti-German officers overthrew the pro-Axis government in Yugoslavia, placing Regent Prince Paul with King Petar II and intending to back out of the Tripartite Pact. Upon hear the news, Adolf Hitler ordered an invasion of Yugoslavia; the German foreign ministry prepared messages to Hungary, Bulgaria, and Italy for them to join in the partition Yugoslavia. On the same day, 500 German military aircraft were dispatched for Bulgaria and Romania. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
Photo(s) dated 27 Mar 1941
Matsuoka and Hitler in Germany, late Mar 1941Vittorio Veneto firing during Battle of Matapan near Gavdos, Greece, 27 Mar 1941
28 Mar 1941
  • 150 miles off Cape Matapan, Greece at 0635 hours, Italian seaplane spotted a group of four Allied cruisers, and three Italian cruisers moved in to attack, engaging in combat at 0812 hours, to be joined by the big guns of Italian battleships at 1055 hours; after the morning's exchange of shellfire, all four Allied cruisers were damaged by near misses. At 1200 and 1509 hours, Allied torpedo bombers from HMS Formidable attacked, putting battleship Vittorio Veneto out of action for about 90 minutes at the cost of one aircraft. At 1936 hours, HMS Formidable's aircraft returned, joined by land-based aircraft from Crete, Greece, putting cruiser Pola out of action, but failed to catch Vittorio Veneto as she had received temporary repairs and was already en route back to Taranto, Italy. After dark, British battleships HMS Barham, HMS Valiant, and HMS Warspite moved in within 3.5 kilometers of the Italian cruisers undetected, opening fire at 2330 hours on the unsuspecting Italians. ww2dbase [Battle of Matapan | Warspite | CPC]
  • Armored cars of Indian 4th Division and Indian 5th Division pursued Italian troops withdrawing from Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. Italian rear guards fought a series of delay action engagements, slowing Allied advances by taking advantage of the terrain. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Italian torpedo boat Chinotto hit a British mine and sank off Palermo, Sicily, Italy. The mines in the region were laid by British submarine HMS Rorqual on 25 Mar 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Utmost sank German ship Heraklea and damaged German ship Ruhr off the coast of Tunisia, Italian North Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In atrocious weather, Pilot Officer Gordon Green, flying a photo-reconnaissance Spitfire fighter from RAF St Eval in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, took a brief break in the clouds covering Brest, France to make two swift passes over the harbour. Despite facing ferocious German anti-aircraft fire he managed to bring home precious photographs revealing the location of the missing battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | AC]
Germany
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka again met with German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Yosuke Matsuoka | CPC]
  • Before dawn in Berlin, Germany, General Franz Halder completed the German invasion plan for Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Franz Halder | CPC]
Yugoslavia Photo(s) dated 28 Mar 1941
Vittorio Veneto after being struck by aerial torpedo at Battle of Matapan, 28 Mar 1941Hans Lammers, Wilhelm Keitel, and Georg von Stahmer in conversation with Yosuke Matsuoka at the Japanese Embassy in Berlin, Germany, 28 Mar 1941Damaged Vittorio Veneto after Battle of Matapan, late Mar 1941
29 Mar 1941
  • Vichy France established an office to deal with Jewish affairs, placing Xavier Vallat at its helm. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British battleships HMS Barham, HMS Valiant, and HMS Warspite continued to shell the Italian fleet off Cape Matapan, Greece. Italian cruiser Fiume, cruiser Zara, destroyer Alfieri, and destroyer Carducci were sunk, while destroyer Oriani was heavily damaged. At 0400 hours, British destroyers HMS Jervis and HMS Nubian approached damaged Italian cruiser Pola, captured her crew, and sank her with torpedoes. British ships rescued 905 Italian sailors but hurriedly departed at daybreak, fearing Luftwaffe attack; the Royal Navy would provide coordinates of remaining survivors to Italian ship Gradisca to continue to rescue. The Battle of Cape Matapan would close with 5 Italian warships lost, killing 2,303 men; the British suffered only 3 killed, the air crew of a single torpedo bomber lost on 28 Mar 1941. ww2dbase [Battle of Matapan | Warspite | CPC]
  • After 3 days of inaction caused by sandstorms, German tanks and armored cars advanced at El Agheila, Libya, engaging British counterparts in the desert between El Agheila and Mersa Brega. Behind Allied lines, Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed an Allied train carrying gasoline. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • German submarine U-48 attacked Allied convoy HX-115 120 miles south of Iceland between 0619 and 0806 hours, sinking 3 freighters. Most survivors were picked up by British corvette HMS Dianella. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-46 sank Swedish ship Liguria 300 miles southwest of Iceland at 1750 hours; 19 were killed, 10 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
Abyssinia
  • South African 1st Brigade relieved the Nigerian Brigade in the Allied assault into Italian-occupied Abyssinia, capturing railway town of Diredawa and its airfield. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Germany
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka again met with German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Berlin, Germany. Ribbentrop offered Matsuoka that, should the Soviet Union attack Japan while Japan embarked on a military campaign against British possessions in Asia, Germany would lend military assistance. Matsuoka countered, noting that the Soviet Union seemed to be friendly toward Japan. ww2dbase [Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The 109-ton fishing trawler Kimberley (GY167) was sailing from Grimsby to Hartlepool in England, United Kingdom when she foundered and was lost in the North Sea, due to an attack by German aircraft, near 62D buoy, 22 miles southeast of Flamborough Head. The nine crew on board were rescued. ww2dbase [HM]
30 Mar 1941
  • Construction of defenses for the US Navy base at Palmyra and Jonston Islands began. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • An aircraft carrying British Air Marshal Arthur Tedder crash-landed in the Western Sahara; Tedder was not injured. ww2dbase [Arthur Tedder | CPC]
  • German submarine U-69 sank British ship Coultarn 300 miles southwest of Iceland at 0734 hours, killing 3. 39 survivors were later picked up by British armed merchant cruiser HMS California. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Rorqual sank Italian tanker Laura Corrado 33 miles northwest of Trapani, Sicily, Italy with torpedoes and the deck gun. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel ordered German 5th Light Division commander General Johannes Streich to capture Mersa Brega, Libya. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Dagabur attacked British cruiser HMS Bonaventure, escorting Allied convoy GA-8, in the Mediterranean Sea between Crete, Greece and Egypt at 2027 hours. The attack failed to damage the British ship. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ship Umona 90 miles southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 2300 hours. 102 were killed and 5 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British RAF launched 109 aircraft after sundown to attack German cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at Brest, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British-registered steam fishing trawler Niscus (A 318) was presumed lost by enemy aircraft action in Faroese waters. None of her ten crew members were found. ww2dbase [HM]
Germany
  • In a lengthy speech in the Cabinet Room of the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Hitler told his assembled commanders of his intention to "exterminate" communism "for all time". ww2dbase [Reich Chancellery | Adolf Hitler | AC]
United States
  • At a conference in Washington DC, United States, the US and the United Kingdom agreed on military coordination in the event of US entry into the war. In accordance to another agreement made in the conference, the Americans seized 2 German, 26 Italian, and 35 Danish ships in US ports; 850 Italian and 63 German officers and men were imprisoned. ww2dbase [ABC-1 Conference | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 30 Mar 1941
Starboard quarter view looking forward showing USS Gar and USS Grampus fitting out, 30 Mar 1941Japanese puppet government in Nanjing celebration the first anniversary of its
31 Mar 1941
  • British Army Dental Corps Private Coe arrived in Switzerland after escaping from a German prisoner of war camp. He was the first to successfully do so. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, 109 RAF bombers attacked German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in Brest, France, scoring no hits. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | CPC]
  • German 5th Light Division attacked British 2nd Armoured Division at Mersa Brega, Libya starting at 0745 hours, supported by dive bombers. After holding off the offensive for most of the day, German tanks broke through at 1730 hours, capturing the town by 1900 hours. As the sun slowly set, British commanders decided not to counterattack with their tanks, but instead withdraw 30 miles northeast toward Agedabia. The day's engagement cost the British 60 men killed, 8 armored carriers destroyed, and 1 anti-aircraft gun destroyed. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Ambra sank British cruiser HMS Bonaventure 125 miles south of Crete, Greece at 0244 hours. Bonaventure was escorting Allied convoy GA8 from Greece to Alexandria, Egypt at the time. 138 were killed, 310 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-46 sank Swedish tanker Castor 300 miles east of the southern tip of Greenland at 1033 hours, killing the entire crew of 15. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Rorqual sank Italian submarine Pier Capponi by torpedo 28 miles northwest of Messina, Sicily, Italy, killing the entire crew of 49. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Prince of Wales was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Prince of Wales | CPC]
Hawaii Italian Eritrea
  • British and Indian troops broke through the roadblocks on the road between Keren and Asmara in Eritrea, Italian East Africa, capturing 560 Italian troops; continuing the push south, Indian 5th Infantry Division engaged Italian troops near Adi Tekelezan, which was less than 50 kilometers from Asmara and was the last town before Asmara. To the east, Italian destroyers Leone, Pantera, and Tigre departed Massawa, Eritrea to attack British port facilities at Port Sudan, British Sudan; Leone struck underwater rocks en route, and Pantera and Tigre were forced to sink Leone by gunfire, and the attack was called off with two surviving ships heading back to Massawa. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Trinidad
  • US troops at Chaguramas, Trinidad held a ceremony. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • HMS Howe was completed. ww2dbase [Howe | CPC]
United States
  • The keel of submarine Haddock was laid down at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, United States. ww2dbase [Haddock | CPC]
1 Apr 1941
  • Pro-German officers under Rashid Ali began their move against the government; Rashid Ali declared himself the "Chief of the National Defence Government." ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | AC, CPC]
  • To avoid being captured by the Americans and Canadians, 8 German merchant ships were scuttled by their own crews in various South American ports. ww2dbase [ABC-1 Conference | CPC]
  • German bombers sank British tanker San Conrado and Norwegian tanker Hidlefjord 45 miles west of Milford Haven, Wales, United Kingdom, killing the entire crew of 29 of the latter. Three other tanks were also damaged during this attack. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • George Giffard was mentioned in a despatch for his service in the Middle East between 1939 and 1940. ww2dbase [George Giffard | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Leutnant. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
  • Richard O'Connor was Mentioned in Despatches. ww2dbase [Richard O'Connor | CPC]
Germany
  • Werner Haase joined the Nazi SS organization. ww2dbase [Werner Haase | CPC]
Italian Eritrea
  • In Italian East Africa, advancing British tanks were met by 2 police officers from Asmara, declaring the Eritrean capital an open city; troops of Indian 5th Division entered the city at 1000 hours, accepting the surrender of 5,000 Italian prisoners of war, while British armored cars under Colonel Bernard Fletcher raced toward Adigrat to cut off the Italian retreat into Abyssinia. To the east, German merchant ships continued to leave the port of Massawa; British destroyer HMS Kandahar intercepted German ship Bertram Rickmers, which was scuttled by her own crew. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Puerto Rico
  • 4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of 13th Composite Wing of 72nd Observation Group of US Army Air Corps was assigned to Losey Field in Puerto Rico. ww2dbase [Losey Field | CPC]
Sweden
  • Ten Norwegian ships, collectively named Kvarstad ships, attempted to break out of captivity from Gothenburg, Sweden by sailing for Leith, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [HM]
2 Apr 1941
  • German troops captured Agedabia and Zuetania in North Africa. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Battleship Bismarck received two aircraft. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • German submarine U-48 sank British ship Beaverdale with one torpedo and deck gun 300 miles southwest of Iceland at 0150 hours; 21 were killed and 58 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Canadian armed merchant cruiser Prince Henry intercepted two German merchant ships off Peru; the German ships were scuttled by their own crews to prevent capture. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German bombers attacked Allied convoy AS23 25 miles south of Crete, Greece, sinking 2 freighters and damaging 2 others. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Allied convoy SC-26 ran into a patrol line formed by eight German submarines 460 miles southwest of Iceland. Overnight, German submarines U-46, U-69, U-73, and U-74 sank 6 merchant ships, damaged 1 merchant ship, and damaged the escorting British armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire; 110 men were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany Hawaii Italian Eritrea
  • In Eritrea, Italian East Africa, British troops offered surrender terms to Italian Admiral Mario Bonetti's fleet which had sortied out of Massawa on the previous day; Bonetti chose to press on with his planned attack on Port Sudan in British Sudan. British armored cars under Colonel Bernard Fletcher cut off the Italian retreat from Eritrea at Adigrat. Finally, in Abyssinia, 22nd East African Brigade of the British 11th African Division reached the Awash River. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Hurricane fighter near Tobruk, Libya at 1250 hours. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
3 Apr 1941
  • Overnight, RAF unsuccessfully attacked German cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at Brest, France, but some German naval officers were killed when a bomb struck the Continental Hotel in the city. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | CPC]
  • Axis troops marched toward Benghazi, Libya. British troops evacuated the city per General Philip Neame's orders. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German aircraft conducted a heavy raid on Bristol, England during the night. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Pál Teleki passed away. ww2dbase [Pál Teleki | CPC]
  • Italian Admiral Mario Bonetti's fleet of 5 destroyers and smaller warships, which had sailed out of Massawa, Italian East Africa on the previous day, was detected and attacked by a force of British aircraft. Without air cover, one by one the Italian ships became so damaged by bomb hits that they had to be abandoned. The last survivor, the torpedo boat Orsini, tried to flee back to Massawa but being badly damaged by the British air attacks, she eventually settled and had to be scuttled before reaching the port. With British ground forces only an hour away from entering the port the remaining Italian ships there (Acerbi and half a dozen small MAS boats) were destroyed with demolition charges. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | AC]
  • Winston Churchill recommended Richard O'Connor as the new British commander in Libya, but O'Connor declined. ww2dbase [Richard O'Connor | CPC]
  • German submarine U-76 sank Finnish ship Daphne 150 miles south of Iceland, killing both crew members. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Tigris sank German tanker Thorn 100 miles southwest of Saint-Nazaire, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German bombers sank British munitions ship Northern Prince 17 miles west of Crete, Greece. All crew members survived. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
Iraq
  • The Iraqi Parliamentary government was overthrown by the military coup d’état that began two days prior. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | AC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • HMS Argus and HMS Ark Royal, ferrying 12 Hurricane fighters and 3 Skua dive bombers, successfully launched them to reinforce Malta, completing Operation Winch. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill warned Joseph Stalin (via the Soviet ambassador in London, England, United Kingdom) German troop movements into Poland detected by British intelligence. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • Of the ten Norwegian Kvarstad ships that had escaped captivity from Gothenburg, Sweden two days prior, only two of them successfully reached Leith, Scotland, United Kingdom. They were B. P. Newton and Lind. B. P. Newton had carried on board 71 people. ww2dbase [HM]
4 Apr 1941
  • German submarines continued their attack on Allied convoy SC-26 250 miles southwest of Iceland, which was initially intercepted two days prior. Between 0000 and 0344 hours, U-94 and U-98 sank three ships; 36 were killed and 70 survived. At 1956 hours, U-76 sank Athenic; the entire crew of 40 were rescued. Destroyer HMS Wolverine and sloop HMS Scarborough were able to locate U-76 and launched depth charges, damaging the submarine. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Hitler promised ambassador Matsuoka that in case of war between US and Japan, Germany would lend assistance. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The anti-British propaganda film Ohm Kruger was released. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Axis troops captured Benghazi, Libya, which was evacuated by British forces on the previous day. They pushed further east to the Green Mountain, where they were held by 3 companies of the Australian 9th Division. In the desert to the south, while German 5th Light Division was held in place waiting for a resupply of fuel, the British did not realize the German offensive through the desert had paused and continued to fall back. From the air, German Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed a convoy of 21 trucks, destroying 1,600 gallons of gasoline. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • George Patton was promoted to the temporary rank of major general. ww2dbase [George Patton | CPC]
  • German raider Thor and British armed merchant cruiser Voltaire engaged in a 55-minute gun duel 900 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands at the distance of 9 kilometers. Voltaire was sunk, killing 74; Thor picked up 195 survivors. ww2dbase [Thor | CPC]
  • German submarine U-97 sank British ship Conus 500 miles southwest of Iceland at 2006 hours, killing 59. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ship Marlene 75 miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa; 13 were killed, 47 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British mooring vessel HMS Buffalo wondered into a minefield laid by friendly vessels, struck a mine, and sank off Singapore, killing 32. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian bombers sank Greek torpedo boat Proussa and Greek freighter Sussanna off Corfu, Greece. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German bombers sank Free French sloops Suippe and Conquerant at Falmouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italian Eritrea
  • After securing Asmara, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, Indian 5th Division moved east toward Massawa while Indian 4th Division was withdrawn from the region to reinforce Libya where a renewed Axis offensive was underway. 6 German and 7 Italian freighters were scuttled at Massawa to prevent Allied capture, while British RAF aircraft sank Italian torpedo boat Acerbi in the harbor. In Abyssinia, Italian troops were evacuated out of Addis Ababa as British 11th African Division advanced. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
5 Apr 1941
  • At Moscow, Russia, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union entered into a non-aggression treaty. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Axis forces advanced toward Msus and Mechili in Libya. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Before dawn, shortly after midnight, British destroyer HMS Wolverine, corvette HMS Arbutus, and sloop HMS Scarborough, escorting Allied convoy SC-26, forced German submarine U-76 to surface 250 miles south of Iceland. The German crew scuttled the submarine to prevent capture. During the attack on the submarine, 1 German crewman was killed; the 42 survivors were captured by the British. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-105 sank British ship Ena de Larrinaga 800 miles northwest of Natal, Brazil at 0338 hours; 5 were killed, 38 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The US Congress passed the "Fifth Supplemental National Defense Appropriation Act, 1941", which allocated US$14,575,000 for establishing a Marine Corps training ground on the east coast of the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German embassy in Moscow, Russia reported that Soviet exports to Germany had dramatically increased in the month of Mar 1941, but the flow of goods from Germany to the Soviet Union had slowed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • All British, Australian and New Zealand forces in Greece came under command of the veteran Australian, General (later Field Marshal Sir) Thomas Blamey to form the 1st Australian Corps. ww2dbase [Thomas Blamey | AC]
Italian Eritrea
  • Indian 5th Division reached Massawa, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. Italian Admiral Bonetti, the head of the 10,000-strong garrison who had ignored surrender demands previously, asked for surrender terms at 1330 hours. Before the Allies responded, however, his superiors in Rome, Italy ordered him to fight until the last man. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 5 Apr 1941
German 15 cm sFH 37(t) howitzer shelling Metaxas Line fortifications, Greece, early Apr 1941
6 Apr 1941

Abyssinia
  • British 11th African Division captured the Abyssinian capital Addis Ababa unopposed; the Italian garrison originally based in Addis Ababa had withdrawn north to Gondar and Amba Alagi. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British armed merchant cruiser HMS Comorin, carrying military personnel for British West Africa, caught fire 450 miles west of Ireland; 20 were killed, 405 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-94 sank Norwegian tanker Lincoln Ellsworth 100 miles southwest of Ireland at 1700 hours with 2 torpedoes and 121 rounds from the deck gun. The entire crew survived in 2 lifeboats. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • RAF Beaufort aircraft torpedoed German battlecruiser Gneisenau at Brest, France. During this attack, Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell of No. 22 Squadron RAF Coastal Command, who scored the hit with an Mk XII torpedo, was hit by anti-aircraft fire and crashed with the loss of the entire crew. Campbell would be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his gallantry. ww2dbase [Gneisenau | CPC, AC]
Libya
  • British and Australian troops hurriedly evacuated Barce and Derna, Libya, falling back toward Tobruk to avoid being cut off by the advancing German troops. On the same day, Axis troops captured Msus, Libya, a major fuel and supply dump; the fuel was destroyed by the Allies before German capture. German troops besieged Mechili by 1700 hours. After dark, British generals General Neame and O'Connor began evacuating themselves to Tmimi west of Tobruk. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | Richard O'Connor | CPC]
Poland
  • A transport of 1,021 prisoners from Pawiak Prison in Warsaw, Poland arrived at Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Famous actors Bronislaw Dardzinski, Tadeusz Hertman Kanski, Stefan Jaracz, Zbigniew Nowakowski, and Leon Schiller were among them, arrested for the murder of actor Igo Sym who collaborated with German propaganda efforts. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | Auschwitz Concentration Camp | CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • Before dawn, German, Hungarian, and Italian forces invaded Yugoslavia from Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, and Albania. German Luftwaffe swiftly destroyed Yugoslavian Air Force on the ground and devastated Belgrade with aerial bombing between 0700 and 0830 hours, killing 4,000 civilians; on the ground, German forces spearheaded by armor reached the Skopje and Veles areas in southern Yugoslavia. On the same day, German, Hungarian, and Italian forces invaded Greece from Bulgaria. Unlike the success in Yugoslavia, the invasion was slowed by Greek and British troops at the Metaxas Line. After sundown, a Luftwaffe raid on Piraeus, Greece got an unexpected boost when the ammunition ship Clan Fraser was hit, with the resulting blast doing more damage to the port facilities than the aerial bombs dropped by the Germans; the explosion also caused the sinking of 11 other freighters. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
Photo(s) dated 6 Apr 1941
Philip Neame, Richard O
7 Apr 1941
  • US Navy transferred 3 battleships, 1 carrier, 4 light cruisers, 18 destroyers, and other ships from the Pacific Fleet to the Atlantic Fleet. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British government raised income tax again, by another 1 shilling and 6 pence to 10 shillings in the pound. ww2dbase [AC]
  • British armed merchant cruiser HMS Comorin, damaged by a fire on the previous day, was scuttled by the guns of destroyers HMS Broke and HMS Lincoln 450 miles west of Ireland after all survivors were rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Yugoslavian troops were forced to withdraw to southern Macedonia when the Germans captured Skopje, exposing their flank. German 2nd Panzer Division had reached Strumica, Yugoslavia by the end of the day, which was only 10 miles from the Greek border, from which point it would be able to bypass the Metaxas Line defenses, where German troops conducted a failed frontal assault on this day. The United Kingdom promised aid to Yugoslavia and broke off relations with Hungary; meanwhile, RAF bombers conducted a raid on Sofia, Bulgaria. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • A US Navy base began operations in Bermuda, which was leased to the United States for 99 years in exchange for destroyers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, a motor column containing British military governor of Cyrenaica, Libya Lieutenant General Philip Neame and British Lieutenant General Richard O'Connor got lost and became captured by a German patrol between Mechili and Derna. During the day, Axis troops captured Derna, Libya. 50 miles to the south, British, Australian, and Indian troops prepared their defenses at Mechili, which had been surrounded by Axis troops since the prior day. The Axis forces had not yet attacked Mechili due to sandstorms; Rommel ordered that an attack must be launched on the next day. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | Richard O'Connor | CPC]
  • 229 RAF bombers conducted a raid on Kiel, Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank Canadian ship Portadoc with 1 torpedo and 24 rounds from the deck gun 240 miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 1750 hours. The entire crew fo 20 survived in 2 lifeboats. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British cruiser HMS Capetown bombarded Massawa, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. Italian torpedo boat MAS.213 counterattacked and seriously damaged HMS Capetown with a torpedo at 2315 hours, but Capetown was able to escape despite the damage. She would be towed to Bombay, India for repairs. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • The Gloster E.28/39 jet powered prototype piloted by Chief Test Pilot P.E.G.Sayer commenced taxiing trials at Gloster's Hucclecote airfield in Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Meteor | AC]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers sank minesweeping trawler HMT Rochebonne off The Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, killing 11. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Norwegians John Moe and Tor Glad, who had been recruited by the German Abwehr to conduct acts of sabotage in Great Britain, landed at Crovie on Scotland’s Moray Firth. They immediately approached the local authorities and were interrogated by MI5 and MI6. Both men (codenamed Mutt and Jeff) were turned under the MI5 double-cross programme as double agents. They would conduct staged acts of sabotage on worthless targets and fed false information by radio to the Abwehr before the Allied invasion of North Africa, prompting Germany to keep thousands of troops in Scandinavia. ww2dbase [AC]
8 Apr 1941
  • German bombers conducted a raid on Coventry, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • German 2nd Panzer Division crossed from southern Yugoslavia into northern Greece near Dojran Lake. Elsewhere, German 73rd Infantry Division moved into the Monastir Valley and captured Prilep, Yugoslavia and prepared to move south toward Salonika, Greece. German 6th Mountain Division penetrated the Metaxas Line by crossing a 7,000 feet mountain range. Finally, German bombers attacked Belgrade, Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • British, Indian, and Free French troops captured hill forts surrounding Massawa, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. RAF aircraft sank Italian minelayer Ostia in the Massawa harbor; avoiding capture, Italian destroyer Orsini and 12 other vessels were scuttled, leaving the harbor nearly unusable with so many wrecks. Shortly after, British General Heath accepted the formal surrender by Italian Admiral Bonetti and his 10,000-strong garrison. Prior to the surrender, ammunition and supply dumps were destroyed. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Before dawn, some of the British, Australian, and Indian troops fled from Mechili, Libya, which would be captured by Axis troops by the end of the day. Major General John Lavarack assumed the duties of Lieutenant General Philip Neame as the British military governor of Cyrenaica, Libya; Neame was captured by a German patrol on the previous day. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Eskdene with 2 torpedoes and 104 rounds from the deck gun 200 miles south of the Azores at 0742 hours; the entire crew of 39 survived. At 1940 hours, U-107 sank British ship Helena Margareta in the same region; 27 were killed, 9 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ship Tweed 150 miles off Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 1225 hours; 3 were killed, 22 survived in 2 lifeboats. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Gloster E.28/39 jet powered prototype made a series of short hops along the Hucclecote airfield runway in Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom before being dismantled and moved by road to RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, England where it was felt that the longer runway would be an advantage for flight tests. ww2dbase [Meteor | AC]
  • USS Astoria arrived at Long Beach, California, United States. ww2dbase [Astoria (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
Germany
  • Josias was promoted to the rank of General der Polizei. ww2dbase [Josias | CPC]
9 Apr 1941
  • German troops reached the Monastir Gap in Macedonia, southern Yugoslavia, preparing to cross into Greece to outflank the Metaxas Line and the Aliakmon Line. German troops also arrived at Nis, Yugoslavia and Salonika, Greece on this day. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • RAF bombers attacked the German naval base at Kiel. ww2dbase [TH]
  • 237 German bombers conducted a raid on Birmingham, England, United Kingdom, dropping 285 tons of high explosive bombs and 1,110 incendiary bombs. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Italian 27th Division "Brescia" and German 5th Light Division reached Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Harparthian 400 miles northeast of Canary Islands at 0037 hours; 4 were killed, 39 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-98 sank Dutch ship Prins Willem II 200 miles southeast of Iceland at 0216 hours; 3 were killed, 22 survived in 2 lifeboats. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • North Carolina was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [North Carolina | CPC]
Egypt
  • HMS Eagle departed Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
Italy
  • The P.111 prototype aircraft took its first flight. ww2dbase [P.111 | CPC]
Japan
  • Prince Hiroyasu stepped down as the chief of the Japanese Navy General Staff. ww2dbase [Hiroyasu | CPC]
Russia
  • The head of the Soviet Air Force Directorate Pavel Rychagov complained to Joseph Stalin that his pilots were flying in "coffins", referring to the poor condition of aircraft due to state neglect. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • Danish ambassador to the United States Henrik Kauffmann, on his own accord, invited the United States to send troops to defend Greenland from a possible German invasion. ww2dbase [CPC]
10 Apr 1941
  • The Germany Navy, Kriegsmarine, ordered the construction of 60 submarines. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Yugoslavia, German troops capture the Croatian capital of Zagreb; Croatian Fascist chief Ante Pavelic returned from exile to proclaim the independent state of Croatia. Further South, German 9th Panzer Division and Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment moved through the Monastir Gap, moved across the Greek border, and captured the town of Florina. British troops fell back from the Aliakmon Line southwest of Salonika, Greece. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Franklin Roosevelt approved the transfer of 10 Lake-class Coast Guard Cutters to the British Royal Navy; the transfers were completed between 30 Apr and 30 May 1941. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Seiichi Ito was named the chief of staff of the Japanese Navy Combined Fleet. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 206 Luftwaffe aircraft attacked Birmingham, England, United Kingdom, dropping 246 tons of high explosive bombs and 1,183 incendiary bombs. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Overnight, RAF aircraft attacked German battlecruisers in Brest, France, hitting Gneisenau with 4 bombs and causing extensive damage. ww2dbase [Gneisenau | CPC]
  • The German 15th Panzer Division under General Heinrich von Prittwitz und Gaffron attacked Tobruk, Libya from the west. Prittwitz was killed while personally leading a reconnaissance mission by armored cars. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British tanker Duffield at 0345 hours; 25 were killed, 28 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-52 sank Dutch ship Saleier 500 miles southwest of Iceland at 1955 hours. The entire crew of 63 abandoned ship in 3 lifeboats and were rescued by American destroyer USS Niblack. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American destroyer USS USS Niblack attacked a German submarine off Iceland; the submarine escaped without being damaged. It was the first shot fired between the US and Germany. ww2dbase [Invasion of Iceland | CPC]
  • Chuichi Nagumo was named the commanding officer of the First Air Fleet. ww2dbase [Chuichi Nagumo | CPC]
  • Korechika Anami was made the commanding officer of 11th Army. ww2dbase [Korechika Anami | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • Nigerian troops of the British 11th African Division marched from Addis Ababa toward Jimma in Abyssinia, while Indian 5th Division marched from Massawa, Eritrea toward Amara, Abyssinia. At Assab, Eritrea, Italians scutled 7 freighters to prevent capture. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
China
  • Teiichi Yoshimoto was named the chief of staff of Kenkichi Ueda (Japanese Kwantung Army in northeastern China). ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Overnight, RAF aircraft attacked Berlin, Germany, destroying the historical Opera House. It would be restored by 1943, but would again be bombed in Feb 1945. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • U-132 was launched at the Bremer Vulkan shipyard in Bremen, Germany. ww2dbase [Bremer Vulkan AG | U-132 | CPC]
  • Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Paul von Kleist | CPC]
Japan
  • Akagi became the flagship of the newly organized First Air Fleet and assigned to Carrier Division 1. She spent the next few weeks in and around Yokosuka, Japan and off Kyushu. ww2dbase [Akagi | CPC]
  • Kaga was assigned to Carrier Division 1 of the Japanese Navy First Air Fleet. ww2dbase [Kaga | CPC]
Netherlands
  • Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld shot down a British Wellington bomber shortly after 0000 hours over the IJsselmeer in the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Egmont | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 10 Apr 1941
German vehicles in Yugoslavia or Greece, Apr 1941; sIG 33 self-propelled gun at left, DKW NZ350 motorcycle at right, SdKfz 10 in background
11 Apr 1941
  • Italian forces redoubled their efforts to link up with units in Albania. In northern Greece, German troops captured Vevi. In the evening, British, Australian, and New Zealand troops engaged German troops in Greece for the first time just south of Vevi, stopping the advance of Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment at Klidi Pass. ww2dbase [Invasion of Albania | TH]
  • 153 Luftwaffe aircraft bombed Bristol, England, United Kingdom; it was nicknamed the "Good Friday Raid". The city's docks, St Philip's Bridge, and residential areas were damaged. The city tramways power supply line was destroyed by the bomb that hit St Philip's Bridge; it was decided that the damage was too severe to repair and all the tram cars were soon to be scrapped for the war effort; none of the tram cars were preserved for historical purposes. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • Italy and Hungary joined the German invasion of Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | AC]
  • Erwin Rommel performed a flanking movement in Libya, cutting the road east of Bardia at 1300 hours; all attacks on the city itself, however, were repulsed. On the same day, German aircraft bombed Tobruk harbor, damaging British ship Draco. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • George Patton was made the commanding officer of the 2nd Armored Division. ww2dbase [George Patton | CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank Greek ship Aegeon 200 miles southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 2100 hours; 4 were killed, 27 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armored train Atlas arrived at Mönichkirchen, Germany (occupied Austria) to prepare the village for Adolf Hitler's arrival on the following day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini concluded their four-day meeting at Salzburg in occupied Austria, during which Hitler convinced Mussolini to remain in the war. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | CPC]
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt proclaimed that the Red Sea was to be no longer considered as a war zone so as to enable it to be used by American shipping. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-108 (Kapitänleutnant Klaus Scholtz) spotted the 16,568-ton armed British merchant cruiser HMS Rajputana (F 35) west of Reykjarvik, Iceland at 0945 hours. Rajputana had been patrolling at a high speed and was on a zigzag course. Meanwhile, U-108 was hampered by problems with the periscope, pack ice, and snow. U-108 managed to get in position to fire two torpedoes at 1808 hours, but both of them missed. ww2dbase [HM]
Germany
  • French Lieutenant Alain le Ray became the first Allied serviceman to escape from Colditz Castle, site of the prisoner of war camp Oflag IV-C, in Germany. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
Greece
  • The damaged 8,324-ton Norwegian motor tanker Pericles, in service with the British Admiralty Royal Fleet Auxiliary, departed Suda Bay, Crete, Greece in tow at 1130 hours for Port Said, Egypt as a member of a convoy. ww2dbase [HM]
Malta
  • Destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Janus, HMS Nubian, and HMS Mohawk of the British 14th Destroyer Flotilla arrived in Malta to act as a night striking force. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | AC]
United States
  • Fearing that Britain might be invaded, the US Army Air Corps invited designs for a bomber capable of carrying out missions against Europe directly from the continental United States. The chosen design, the massive Convair B-36 Peacemaker, however, would not be completed until 1946. ww2dbase [AC]
12 Apr 1941
  • German troops captured Belgrade in the Serbia region of Yugoslavia as Hugarian troops also crossed the border into Yugoslavia, joining the invasion. On the Danube River in Yugoslavia, German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers, sinking river monitor Drava (54 were killed, 13 survived) while forcing three others, Morava, Sava, and Vardar, to be scuttled. To the south in Greece, German SS troops overran British and Australian troops south of Vevi, forcing the Allies to fall back from the Aliakmon Line to the Mount Olympus Line to block the German troops at Vevi from advancing further. On the same day, British anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Coventry, destroyer HMS Decoy, destroyer HMS Encounter, and troopship Glenroy evacuated a battalion of troops, 1,000 tons of supplies, and 40 vehicles from the Greek island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea near Salonika. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ship St. Helena 100 miles southwest of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 0509 hours; all 41 aboard survived and were rescued by destroyer HMS Wishart. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British bombers conducted a raid on the fish oil factories in Hammerfest, Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US established air and naval bases in Greenland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German troops captured Bardia, Libya. At Tobruk, the German probing attacks with tanks and armored cars were repulsed. Meanwhile, columns of Axis troops were dispatched to move toward the Libyan-Egyptian border to cut off the Allied forces in Libya. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Tetrarch sank Italian tanker Persiano 55 miles northeast of Tripoli, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran sank Greek ship Nicolaos D. L. 920 miles southwest of British West Africa, capturing the entire crew of 38. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler arrived at Mönichkirchen, Germany (occupied Austria) via his personal train Amerika. He would remain in his village to oversee the operations in the Balkan Peninsula. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-108 (Kapitänleutnant Klaus Scholtz) fired two torpedoes at the 16,568-ton armed British merchant cruiser HMS Rajputana (F 35) west of Reykjarvik, Iceland at 2046 and 2048 hours. Both of them missed. ww2dbase [HM]
Germany
  • Alexander Löhr was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Alexander Löhr | CPC]
Panama Canal Zone
  • The 8th airfield in the Panama Canal Zone was declared operational. ww2dbase [CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • Before dawn, all three surviving IK-3 fighters in the Yugoslav Air Force were burned by their own crews to prevent German seizure. ww2dbase [IK-3 | Balkans Campaign | AC]
13 Apr 1941
  • Soviet Union and Japan signed a 5-year neutrality pact. In Moscow, Russia, German ambassador Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg reported that Joseph Stalin was unexpectedly friendly to both Japanese and German diplomats on this date. ww2dbase [Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact | TH]
  • The German Leibstandarte SS Regiment attacked through the Metsovon Pass in an attempt to flank the Greek positions on the front with Albania. To prevent this, Greek General Papago ordered Greek troops in Albania to fall back, allowing Italian 11th Army to capture Korçë, Permet, and Porto Palermo in Albania. Further south, German aircraft attacked Piraeus, Greece, sinking Greek destroyer Psara and damaging destroyer Vasilevs Georgios I. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Axis artillery bombarded Allied defensive positions at Tobruk, Libya at 1700 hours, and 30 minutes later German 5th Light Division, Italian Ariete Division, and Italian Trento Division commenced an attack. Australian troops repulsed the repeated attacks. Further east, German troops captured Fort Capuzzo near the Libyan-Egyptian border. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ship Corinthic 75 miles west of Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 2229 hours; 2 were killed, 39 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Alarmed by the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, US President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the US Navy to scale back operations in the Atlantic Ocean to avoid war with Germany, as naval resources might need to be diverted to the Pacific Ocean to counter this new threat. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • The two Swordfish aircraft squadrons of HMS Eagle which had been temporarily transferred to Port Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan three weeks prior returned to the carrier shortly after she had transited the Suez Canal. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-108 (Kapitänleutnant Klaus Scholtz) fired a torpedo, the fifth against the same target since she began the pursuit two days prior, toward the 16,568-ton armed British merchant cruiser HMS Rajputana (F 35) 100 miles west of Iceland at 0740 hours. Rajputana had been of the P. & O. Steam Navigation Co Ltd, but was requisitioned by the British Admiralty on 4 Sep 1939. After missing it missing the target, a sixth torpedo was fired at 0743 hours, and it struck the stern, causing a fire on Rajputana. Rajputana returned fire toward the periscope. At 0823 hours, U-108 fired a seventh torpedo, and it missed. At 0930 hours, the eighth torpedo struck Rajputana in the after part and caused the ship to sink by the stern with a list to port. The commodore, four officers, and 37 ratings were lost. 283 survivors were picked up by the L-Class destroyer HMS Legion (F 74) and landed at Reykjavik, Iceland. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
Germany
  • Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Paul von Kleist | CPC]
Malta
  • Luftwaffe aircraft conducted a raid on Malta. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • In the Mediterranean Sea, HMS Grimsby, towing the damaged 8,324-ton Norwegian motor tanker Pericles in British service, fell out of her convoy due to poor weather. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • British battleship HMS King George V, light cruiser HMS Nigeria, and destroyers HMS Mashona, HMS Electra, and HMS Escapade departed Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0107 hours in poor weather. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | King George V | CPC]
  • The forty Manchester bombers on the strength of Nos. 207 and 97 Squadrons were grounded for engine modifications. During the work alterations were also made to allow the carriage of 4000-pound HC (high capacity) bombs; the first of which was dropped by a No. 207 Squadron aircraft on Berlin, Germany on the night of 8 to 9 May 1941. ww2dbase [Manchester | AC]
United States Photo(s) dated 13 Apr 1941
Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka signing the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, 13 Apr 1941, photo 1 of 3; note Molotov and Stalin in background2 pounder gun of Australian 1st Anti-Tank Regiment and its crew near Vevi, northern Greece, 13 Apr 1941Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka signing the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, 13 Apr 1941, photo 2 of 3; note Molotov and Stalin in backgroundSoviet Foreign Minister Molotov signing the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, 13 Apr 1941; note Matsuoka and Stalin in background
See all photos dated 13 Apr 1941
14 Apr 1941
  • Corporal John Edmondson of 2/17th Battalion of Australian 9th Division led a bayonet charge at Tobruk, Libya despite being shot in the stomach and neck, later dying of these wounds. He would be awarded a Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Greek Epirus Army continued to withdraw from Albania, and German 73rd Infantry Division attempted to block it at Kastoria Pass, resulting in heavy fighting. On the eastern coast of Greece, the German advance was halted at Platamon between Mount Olympus and the Aegean Sea. King Petar II of Yugoslavia fled to Athens, Greece as German troops advanced on his capital; in the evening, the Yugoslavian government asked General Ewald von Kleist of the German 1st Panzer Group for a ceasefire. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • King Farouk of Egypt invited Adolf Hitler for a discussion on Egyptian independence from the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British gunboat HMS Aphis bombarded Bardia, Libya, while gunboat HMS Gnat bombarded German troops at Sollum, Egypt. German aircraft damaged HMS Gnat, killing 1. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-52 sank Belgian passenger ship Ville de Liège 400 miles southwest of Iceland at 0117 hours; 40 were killed, 12 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Swordfish torpedo bombers of No. 815 Squadron based in Paramythia, Greece sank Italian steamers Luciano and Stampalia at the port of Vlorë, Albania overnight; 1 Swordfish aircraft was shot down, with 1 airman killed and 2 captured. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • At Tobruk, Libya, German infantry filled anti-tank ditches and cutting wires at the El Adem road starting at 0230 hours, with the work interrupted periodically by Allied fire. At 0520 hours, 36 tanks of German 5th Panzer Regiment moved through the gap created by the infantry, but were halted by British guns and dug-in Crusader tanks 2 miles beyond the line. In the air, British, German, and Italian fighters engaged in combat in the air while 40 German Stuka dive bombers attacked the Tobruk harbor. At 0730 hours, the Axis offensive was called back after losing 16 tanks and 400 men (150 killed, 250 captured). ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • A US Marine Corps garrison designated Marine Detachment, 1st Defense Battalion, was established at Palmyra Atoll. ww2dbase [CPC]
Egypt
  • The damaged 8,324-ton Norwegian motor tanker Pericles, in British Admiralty Royal Fleet Auxiliary service, was in tow by HMS Grimsby when she began to show dangerous signs of structural stress in heavy seas. At 0830 hours, about 35 miles off of Alexandria, Egypt, all men were ordered on deck, and 15 of them were picked up by HMS Grimsby. At about 1030 hours, Pericles broke in two. During the afternoon both parts were sunk by HMS Grimsby, another destroyer, and an aircraft to prevent danger to shipping, and also to prevent her drifting into the minefields off Alexandria. The foreship proved difficult to sink, requiring 70 shells and two torpedoes, as well as two bombs from the aircraft, before the foreship finally sank. ww2dbase [HM]
France Libya
  • Australian infantry outside Tobruk, Libya reported the sighting of a number of "long-barrelled guns on strange carriages". This was the first indication that the Germans were deploying the dreaded 88-mm anti-tank gun in the Western Desert (although on this occasion the guns were soon withdrawn when German infantry failed to create a gap). ww2dbase [8.8 cm FlaK 18/36/37 | AC]
United States
  • USS Gar was commissioned into service at New London, Connecticut, United States with Lieutenant D. McGregor in command. ww2dbase [Gar | CPC]
15 Apr 1941
  • Yugoslavian 2nd Army surrendered Sarajevo to the Germans, effectively ending the country's official resistance; many fighters, however, fled into the mountains and would later fight as guerrillas. In Greece, German aircraft bombed the British RAF airfield at Larisa at dawn, destroying 10 Blenheim aircraft on the ground. Troops of Leibstandarte SS Regiment took the road to Greneva, isolating the Greek Epirus Army which was attempting to move from Albania back into Greece. This move also exposed the flank of the Allied Mount Olympus Line; in response, British General Wilson ordered the Mount Olympus Line abandoned at 1000 hours, with Australian and New Zealand troops acting as rear guards for several more days as the remaining Allies fell back to the Thermopylae Line. As the situation grew dire, British Admiral Cunningham begins began considering a general evacuation from Greece. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Starting at 2300 hours, a heavy German air raid by 200 Luftwaffe bombers attacked Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. The attack would last until 0500 hours on the next day. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • Franklin Roosevelt approved the formation of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) of combat pilots in China. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Tazzoli sank British ship Aurillac 500 miles west of Lisbon, Portugal, killing 1. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 1,000 Italian troops attacked Tobruk, Libya at 1730 hours, overrunning Australian defensive lines, but they were driven back at 1815 hours the arrival of an Australian reserve company and heavy artillery. 250 Italians were killed and 113 were captured in this failed attack. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Flying in a Bf 109 fighter en route to Theo Osterkamp's birthday party, Adolf Galland took a detour toward Britain in search of targets. After shooting down one Spitfire fighter, he was shot down by another Spitfire. He was rescued from the water a few hours later. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • HMS Edinburgh completed escort duties with Allied convoy SL.69 and arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | Edinburgh | CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Achates departed Greenock, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0840 hours for Scapa Flow to the north, but was rerouted to Loch Alsh at 1400 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
16 Apr 1941
  • The first US Lend-Lease food shipment arrived in Britain. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British aircraft carrier Furious, under repair at Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom was damaged by German bombing. ww2dbase [Furious | CPC]
  • Yugoslavians negotiated with the Germans for armistice terms in Belgrade, but the first emissary dispatched did not have sufficient authority to sign the surrender document. In Zagreb, Croatian leader Ante Pavelic formally came into power as the head of the Independent State of Croatia. In Greece, German troops attacked the Platamon Pass between Mount Olympus and the Aegean Sea, forcing New Zealand troops to withdraw across the river at the bottom of the Tempe Gorge, a move that greatly alarmed Allied leadership. Meanwhile, German 6th Mountain Division attacked across Mount Olympus using goat paths, taking heavy casualties. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Troops of the Italian 62nd "Trento" Regiment attacked Tobruk, Libya in the late afternoon; the attack was personally observed by Erwin Rommel. The attack was driven back by heavy artillery fire, and the entire 1st Battalion of the Italian 62nd Regiment, 775 men and 25 officers, was captured. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor stopped Swedish ship Sir Ernest Cassell with two warning shots 500 miles southwest of Cape Verde Islands. The crew of Sir Ernest Cassell was taken aboard, and the ship was scuttled with demolition charges. ww2dbase [Thor | CPC]
  • The German embassy in Moscow, Russia continued to report unexpectedly friendliness from the Soviets toward Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Janus, HMS Nubian, and HMS Mohawk, aided by Ultra intercepts of German communications, ambushed an Axis convoy on the Tunisian coast after sundown. 4 German troop ships and 1 Italian ammunition ship (carrying German 15th Panzer Division less its tanks) as well as Italian destroyers Luca Tarigo, Baleno, and Lampo were sunk; 1,800 were killed, 1,200 survived. Luca Tarigo was able to fire two torpedoes at HMS Mohawk, which hit and killed 43 men; HMS Mohawk would soon be scuttled in a hurry, leaving behind secret documents outlining Alexandria, Egypt defenses for Italian divers to capture shortly after. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • At 0500 hours, the German air raid on Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom which began at 2300 hours on the previous date ended; the 203 tons of high explosive bombs, 80 parachute mines, and 800 incendiary bombs dropped killed 758, wounded 1,500, and destroyed 56,000 homes; 100,000 residents were made homeless. At the end of the day and into the next day, 681 German aircraft bombed London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • British destroyer HMS Achates departed Loch Alsh, Scotland, United Kingdom and arrived at Scapa Flow at 2100 hours. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | CPC]
  • British Minister of Labour, Ernest Bevin, announced a National Registration of Women for war work. The first registrations, for women in the age group 20 and 21, was to commence on 19 April 1941. ww2dbase [Ernest Bevin | AC]
Photo(s) dated 16 Apr 1941
Lieutenant Colonel Galland, Colonel Mölders, and Major Lützowplatz celebrating OsterkampLieutenant Colonel Galland, Colonel Mölders, and Major Lützowplatz celebrating OsterkampLieutenant Colonel Galland, Colonel Mölders, and Major Lützowplatz celebrating OsterkampLieutenant Colonel Galland, Colonel Mölders, and Major Lützowplatz celebrating Osterkamp
See all photos dated 16 Apr 1941
17 Apr 1941
  • German motor torpedo boats S.41 S.42 S.43 S.55, S.104 attacked Allied convoy FS464 off Great Yarmouth, England, United Kingdom, sinking 2 small freighters and damaging a large steamer. The German S-boats were engaged by British motor gun boats MGB.60, MGB.59, and MGB.64, without success. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-123 sank Swedish MV Venezuela 600 miles west of Ireland at 1730 hours; the crew of 49 abandoned ship in lifeboats, but they were never seen again. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Egyptian steamship Zamzam, with American passengers aboard, was shelled and sunk by German auxiliary cruiser Atlantic in the South Atlantic; 138 Americans were rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Rashid Ali al-Gaylani's 16-day old Iraqi government submitted a request to Germany for military assistance in its attempt to remove British forces from Iraq. Meanwhile, Iraqi forces surrounded the RAF airbase at Habbaniya while British 1st Battalion King's Own Royal Regiment, originally based in Karachi, India, arrived at RAF Shaibah near Basra. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Italian infantry and tanks attacked Tobruk, Libya in the early afternoon, but it was repulsed. After dark, 12 Axis tanks engaged Allied counterparts along the line; 3 Axis tanks were destroyed. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
Japan
  • Masafumi Arima became the deputy commanding officer of Yokosuka Naval Air Corps and the chief training officer of the same unit. ww2dbase [Masafumi Arima | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine HMS Truant sank Italian barque Vanna off the Libyan coast; Vanna was carrying ammunition and fuel to Derna, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
Poland United Kingdom
  • King Petar II of Yugoslavia arrived at London, England, United Kingdom via Athens, Greece. ww2dbase [Petar II | CPC]
  • The bombing of London, England, United Kingdom which began on the previous date ended before dawn. 1,179 were killed. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • Yugoslavia formally surrendered to Germany as Foreign Minister Cincar-Marcovic signed the armistice with German and Italian representatives in Belgrade. Germans captured Yugoslavian destroyers Beograd and Dubrovnik at Kotor, but destroyer Zagreb was scuttled by her crew (2 killed in the process). In Greece, New Zealand 21st battalion reinforced by Australian 2/2nd Battalion demolished the Pinios River railway bridge and held the Tempe and Pinios Gorges, delaying the German advance down the Aegean coast, allowing other Allied troops to withdraw to new defenses on the Thermopylae line. British Prime Minister Churchill agreed to the proposal for the evacuation of Allied troops from mainland Greece to the island of Crete, should it become necessary; this plan was then communicated to the government of Greece shortly after. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
Photo(s) dated 17 Apr 1941
Grayson off the Charleston Navy Yard, South Carolina, 17 Apr 1941, photo 1 of 2Grayson off the Charleston Navy Yard, South Carolina, 17 Apr 1941, photo 2 of 2GraysonNorth Carolina fitting out at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 17 Apr 1941, photo 2 of 2
See all photos dated 17 Apr 1941
18 Apr 1941
  • German 3rd Regiment and 2nd Panzer Division crossed the Pinios River in Greece while German 6th Mountain Division reached Mount Olympus in Greece, putting the Australian and New Zealand troops at the Pinios Gorge in danger. As German troops continued to move south in Greece, Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis committed suicide in the evening; in response to this suicide, Athens was placed under martial law by the government to maintain stability. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Indian 20th Infantry Brigade landed at Basra, Iraq unopposed. It was originally based in Karachi, India and had arrived in Iraq in 8 transports which were escorted by carrier HMS Hermes, cruiser HMS Emerald, cruiser HMNZS Leander, 6 sloops, and gunboat HMS Cockchafer. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Urge sank Italian tanker Franco Martelli in the Bay of Biscay north of Spain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Newark and HMS Volunteer collided just off the northern coast of Ireland. Both were seriously damaged and would be under repair at Belfast until Aug 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Australian General Leslie Morshead reorganized the defenses at Tobruk, Libya, creating additional reserve brigades and building secondary defensive lines, all in order to create additional depth to the city's defenses. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis attacked Egyptian passenger liner ZamZam without warning 1,400 miles west of South Africa at 0600 hours, mistaking it for a British troop ship. All 129 crew and 202 passengers escaped in lifeboats before the Germans scuttled the ship with demolition charges. Life magazine photographer David Sherman, who was aboard ZamZam during the attack, took a photograph of Atlantis. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • German dive bombers sank empty British troopship HMS Fiona 50 miles northwest of Sidi Barrani, Egypt, killing 54. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Navy Admiral Husband Kimmel wrote a letter to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark requesting additional resources for base construction at Wake Island and for a US Marine Corps defense battalion to be stationed there. ww2dbase [Husband Kimmel | CPC]
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for the future Consolidated-Vultee aircraft plant in Fort Worth, Texas, United States was held, attended by General Gerald Brant and local civic leader Amon Carter. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The United States declared that the Pan-American Security Zone, last defined with the 3 Oct 1939 Declaration of Panama, to be extended to 26 degrees west longitude, 2,300 nautical miles east of New York on the east coast of the United States. It was just 50 nautical miles short of Iceland, which was a major Allied convoy staging area. ww2dbase [Invasion of Iceland | CPC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt told a Press Conference that he did not think that public opinion in America was yet fully aware of the gravity of the military crisis in Europe or its implications for the safety of the United States. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
Photo(s) dated 18 Apr 1941
German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis immediately after she had stopped Egyptian passenger liner ZamZam in the South Atlantic, 18 Apr 1941
19 Apr 1941
  • German troops captured Larisa, Greece, theoretically allowing them to move south along the eastern coast of Greece, thus this movement was to be hampered by roads and bridges that were destroyed by retreating Allied troops. Elsewhere, troops of German Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment captured Ioannina 50 miles from the western coast of Greece, further frustrating the southward retreat of Greek Epirus Army from Albania. British General Wavell flew to Athens, Greece for a meeting with King George II where the king agreed that the Allies could not hold Greece, and preparations should begin immediately to evacuate troops to Crete to prevent further destruction of the country. General Wilson was ordered to prepare for a stand at Thermopylae with a small rearguard force to protect the southward evacuation of British troops. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • 450 British commandos conducted an amphibious raid against Axis forces in Bardia, Libya. An Italian supply dump and a coastal artillery battery were destroyed. While most men were successfully evacuated after the raid, 1 was killed by friendly fire and 67 were captured after getting lost and going to the wrong beach. ww2dbase [Bardia Raid | CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel personally inspected the front lines in the Libyan-Egyptian border area. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • Indian 5th Division (marching south from Amara, Eritrea, Italian East Africa) and British 1st South African Brigade (marching north from Addis Ababa, Abyssinia) attacked toward the 7,000-strong Italian garrison at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • 712 German bombers conducted a heavy raid on London, England, United Kingdom starting in the evening hours. Although the primary target was the London docks, the Old Place School in Poplar, East London, which was being used as a sub-fire station, was struck by a stray bomb, killing 13 London firefighters of both genders and 21 male Beckenham firemen; it was the largest single loss of firefighters in British history. The bombing continued past midnight. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
20 Apr 1941
  • German submarine U-73 sank British ship Empire Endurance 400 miles west of Ireland at 0332 hours; the ship was the former German ship Alster, having been captured in Norway in the previous year. 65 were killed and the military supplies destined for Egypt were lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Athens, Greece was heavily bombed by German dive bombers; one of seven RAF Hurricane aircraft lost in beating off the raid was flown by Squadron Leader Marmaduke "Pat" Pattle, believed to be the Allies' top scoring fighter pilot of the war with at least 50 kills (that number could not be officially recognised as his record of service in Greece was lost); Pattle died trying to protect a fellow pilot. Piraeus, Greece was also attacked from the air, sinking Greek destroyer Psara with 37 killed; 22 German aircraft were lost while the British lost 10 Hurricane fighters. Unable to withstand the German advances, British forces withdrew from Mount Olympus toward Thermopylae on the same day that King George II led a new government. To the north in Albania, General Tsolakoglou surrendered the Greek Epirus Army, without authorization, to the German Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment; Italian leader Mussolini protested, requesting that the surrender must be accepted by an Italian general. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | AC]
  • British Commander-in-Chief Middle East General Wavell requested for more tanks to reinforce Tobruk, Libya. Prime Minister Churchill agreed and ordered a convoy to sail directly into the Mediterranean Sea to deliver 295 tanks to Tobruk. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Erich Raeder attempted to convince Adolf Hitler to allow German submarines to attack American ships; Hitler rejected the request, citing his unwillingness to provoke the Americans to fully enter the war. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
Austria
  • Adolf Hitler celebrated his birthday at the temporary headquarters Frühlingssturm in eastern Austria. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Germany
  • Ferdinand Schörner was awarded the Knight's Cross the Iron Cross medal. ww2dbase [Ferdinand Schörner | CPC]
Greece
  • Georgios Tsolakoglou surrendered the III Army Corps to the Germans. ww2dbase [Georgios Tsolakoglou | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British anti-submarine trawler HMT Topaze was accidentally rammed by British battleship HMS Rodney and sank in the Clyde Estuary, Scotland, United Kingdom, killing 18. ww2dbase [Rodney | CPC]
  • The bombing of London, England, United Kingdom which began on the previous date ended before dawn; 449 were killed. Via a speech made in Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Eamon De Valera protested the German bombing of Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom; "they are our people", he said, "we are one and the same people, and their sorrows in the present instance are also our sorrows". ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Apr 1941
Fuso conducting a flooding and drainage test at Kure, Japan, 20 Apr 1941Troops of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler negotiating difficult terrain in Greece, 1941Battleship Oregon in the Willamette River at Portland, Oregon, United States, 20 Apr 1941Battleship Oregon in the Willamette River, Portland, Oregon, United States, 20 Apr 1941
21 Apr 1941
  • German air and ground forces attacked British, Australian, and New Zealand troops at Thermopylae, Greece; dive bombers sank Greek torpedo boat Thyella, hospital ship Ellenis, hospital ship Esperos, and several freighters. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • In Operation MD2, British battleships HMS Warspite, HMS Barham, and HMS Valiant, supported by cruiser HMS Gloucester and 9 destroyers, bombarded Tripoli before dawn. Aircraft from carrier HMS Formidable dropped flares to aid the bombardment as it took place before dawn. Italian torpedo boat Partenope and 6 freighters were damaged. ww2dbase [Valiant | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Calchas 300 miles north of the Cape Verde Islands at 1500 hours; 24 were killed, 89 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Marine Corps established the temporary command Marine Aircraft, South Pacific to assist with administrative and logistical duties of 1st and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wings. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMCS Trillium rescued 24 survivors of the British merchant ship Empire Endurance, which was sunk between Iceland and Ireland on the previous day by German submarine U-73. ww2dbase [Trillium | CPC]
Greece Japan
  • The town of Nigata and the village of Hiro were merged into Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
Libya
  • 24 German bombers escorted by 21 fighters attacked Tobruk, Libya, sinking 2 ships and damaging another 2. RAF Hurricane fighters of No. 73 and No. 273 Squadrons shot down 4 German aircraft. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Starting after sundown and lasting until the next day, German bombers attacked Plymouth, England, United Kingdom, damaging cruiser HMS Kent, destroyer HMS Lewes, and destroyer HMS Leeds. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
22 Apr 1941
  • British warships bombarded Tripoli, Libya. On the return trip, battleship HMS Valiant hit a mine and was lightly damaged. ww2dbase [Valiant | CPC]
  • Erwin Rommel received the Gold Medal of Military Valor in Silver. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • The US Congress passed an act that would increase the authorized enlisted strength of the US Navy and the US Marine Corps; the latter's active list was to be 20% of the former. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Soviet Union protested to Germany regarding border violations by German troops and aircraft. Among the evidence presented was a downed German aircraft in Soviet territory which contained maps of the Soviet Union, aerial photographic equipment, and rolls exposed film. The Soviets, however, remained generally friendly toward Germany. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • Erich Raeder reported to Adolf Hitler regarding American belligerency despite of neutrality pledges. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • British 1st South African Brigade captured Camboicia Pass, Abyssinia and 1,200 Italian prisoners of war. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Greece
  • German aircraft attacked British-controlled airfields near Athens, Greece, forcing remaining British fighters in the region to be withdrawn to Argos in southern Greece. In the Saronic Gulf, German dive bombers sank Greek minelayer Aliakmon, hospital ship Sokratis, 11 freighters, and 1 tanker. At 1800 hours, 35 German dive bombers sank Greek destroyer Hydra at Piraeus; 41 were killed, 115 survived. Further south, German aircraft damaged cruiser HMS York at Suda Bay, Crete with near misses. Finally, on the same day, Yugoslavian torpedo boats Kajmakcalan and Durmitor arrived at Suda Bay and joined the Allied fleet. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
Libya
  • Australian troops raided Axis positions surrounding Tobruk, Libya, capturing 455 Italian prisoners of war and destroying a number of field guns and anti-aircraft guns. 27 Australians were killed and 28 were wounded in this action. From above, German aircraft bombed Tobruk harbor, hitting British hospital ship Vita, forcing the 437 patients, 6 doctors, and 6 nurses to be evacuated. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Light cruiser HMS Birmingham arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom at 0602 hours after completing escort duties which began on 8 Feb. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | Birmingham | CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • The British submarine HMS Regent arrived at the Bay of Kotor in the Adriatic Sea off Montenegro, Yugoslavia. She entered the bay with colours flying only to find that the Germans had overrun the area and given control to the Italians. Lieutenant Commander H. C. Browne took on board Yugoslavian officers who were instructed to arrange for the British minister of the area to be picked up by the submarine. Regent then moved to another place where the British minister might be embarked. There they were met by a Yugoslav officer and an Italian Army captain. Browne was invited to go ashore and meet an Italian admiral at Kotor before he was to be allowed to see the British minister. Browne refused to leave the boat and then offered to sent one of his officers ashore. Lieutenant D. Lambert, RN then left Regent and an Italian Army officer went on board Regent as hostage. During the afternoon, while waiting for Lieutenant Lambert to return, several Italian aircraft were seen flying round the Regent. At 1535 hours two aircraft started dive bombing attacks. Regent then got underway to leave the bay. She was near-missed several times and damage was caused to her so it was decided to abandon the attempt to evacuate the British minister. Lieutenant Lambert must now also be left ashore, when outside the bay, HMS Regent dived and set course for the Strait of Otranto. When clear of the strait, a signal was sent to report damage done to Regent. Also three of the crew had been injured, including Browne himself, and the first lieutenant. Browne decided to proceed to Malta for much needed medical attention. ww2dbase [HM]
23 Apr 1941
  • German troops attacked westward in Greece from Ioannina. Meanwhile, German paratroopers landed on Aegean Islands. On the same day, German bombers destroyed 13 British Hurricane fighters on the ground at Argoes (forcing the survivors to evacuate to Crete) and sank Greek torpedo boat Kios, minelayer Nestos, hospital ship Policos, battleship Kilkis, battleship Lemnos, 12 freighters, and 1 tanker; damaged Greek torpedo boat Doris was scuttled to prevent capture. King George II of Greece, Crown Prince Paul, Prime Minister Emmanuel Tsouderos and other important figures of the Greek government were evacuated by the RAF to Crete, where an attempt to evacuate personnel from Crete to Egypt had begun; King George II instructed that his wine cellar should be distributed to the Allied troops who fought to defend his country. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • An Axis convoy was spotted by British aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea sailing toward Tripoli, Libya. British destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Jaguar, HMS Janus, and HMS Juno failed to intercept. Overnight, however, destroyer HMS Juno was able to find and sink empty Italian troopship Egeo off the Libyan coast. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe bombers attacked Tobruk habor in Libya, sinking several ships at the cost of 6 German aircraft. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German bombers attacked Plymouth, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • At the America First Committee meeting in New York City, New York, United States, Charles Lindbergh publicly called for the United States to stay out of the war. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor arrived at Hamburg, Germany, ending a 322-day raiding mission that covered 57,532 miles which saw the sinking of 11 merchant ships and 1 British armed merchant cruiser. ww2dbase [Thor | CPC]
  • Alexander Löhr was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Alexander Löhr | CPC]
Greece
  • Lemnos was beached at Salamis, Greece during a German air raid to prevent sinking. ww2dbase [Lemnos | CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his 8th kill, a British Hurricane II fighter, over Tobruk, Libya during the morning sortie. In the afternoon sortie, he was shot down and safely landed in German territory. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Apr 1941
Kilkis under attack, 23 Apr 1941Kilkis Sunk at Salamis, Greece, 23 Apr 1941
24 Apr 1941
  • German paratroopers captured the Corinth Canal in Greece. Meanwhile, German aircraft sank hospital ship Andros and 11 freighters off the coast and damaged British cruiser HMS York and submarine HMS Rover at Suda Bay, Crete; Greek torpedo boats Aigli, Alkyoni, and Arethousa were scuttled to prevent capture. British troops held off German attacks through the afternoon at Thermopylae, destroying 15 German tanks, before withdrawing after sundown. At 1900 hours, Greek luxury yacht Hellas was bombed at Piraeus while boarding 500 British civilians and 400 wounded Allied soldiers, killing 500. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • US Navy extended its range for Neutrality Patrols to as far east as Iceland and as far south as Rio de Janeiro. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German Naval Attaché in Moscow, Russia reported back to German Navy headquarters that it had been learned that the British had deduced the German invasion of the Soviet Union to take place around 26 Jun 1941, and the British had shared this information with the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
Libya
  • Italian infantry attacked two points of the Tobruk, Libya defenses at 0700 hours; the attacks were halted within an hour with heavy casualties and 107 captured. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
United States
  • The first M3 tank constructed at the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant in Michigan, United States was delivered to the US Army. ww2dbase [M3 Lee/Grant | Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant | CPC]
  • In a statement, Frank Knox, the United States Secretary for the Navy, proclaimed: "We can no longer occupy the immoral and craven position of asking others to make all the sacrifices for this victory which we recognize as so essential to us." ww2dbase [Frank Knox | AC]
25 Apr 1941
  • German submarine U-103 sank Norwegian ship Polyana 200 miles southwest of Cape Verde Islands at 0038 hours, killing the entire crew of 25. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Allied rearguard forces from Thermopylae, Greece traveled 100 miles within 12 hours and reached the Greek capital of Athens around noon time; while crowds welcomed their arrival, diplomats of various countries burned papers as Axis capture was imminent. Just to the south, British troopship Pennland was damaged by German aircraft while attempting to evacuate troops, resulting in 4 deaths; other ships were able to evacuate 5,500 Allied personnel on this day. Out at sea, German aircraft sank 6 merchant ships and 1 yacht; 6 Greek destroyers and 5 submarines were able to escape toward Alexandria, Egypt. Finally, on this date, Hitler issued Führer Directive 28 for the attack on Crete, Greece, which was to be codenamed Operation Merkur. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • The Axis offensive on the Libyan-Egyptian border resumed despite the lack of progress at Tobruk, Libya; German troops engaged British patrols near Fort Capuzzo. The 2 remaining Hurricane fighters in Tobruk were withdrawn to Egypt to join the mere 13 Hurricane fighters there, leaving Tobruk with only Lysander aircraft to perform artillery spotting duties and no aircraft capable of air defense. Out at sea, British submarine HMS Upholder sank Italian ship Antonietta Lauro off the Tunisian island of Kerkenah. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin attacked British ship Empire Light, stopping the ship. After the 70 crew members were taken off, Pinguin scuttled Empire Light. ww2dbase [Pinguin | CPC]
  • The German 8th Panzer Regiment departed Italy in three convoys for North Africa. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt called Charles Lindbergh an appeaser in response to Lindbergh's 23 Apr 1941 calls for the United States to stay out of the war. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • James Lacey, flying a Spitfire fighter, damaged a German Fw 190 aircraft. ww2dbase [James Lacey | AC]
  • Konteradmiral Karl Dönitz, the head of the German submarine branch, reiterated Adolf Hitler's orders that incidents with United States vessels must be avoided at all cost. ww2dbase [Karl Dönitz | AC]
Japan
  • Tanikaze was commissioned into service with Commander Motoi Katsumi in command. ww2dbase [Tanikaze | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • An indication that the Germans were considering Crete, Greece as a target for major parachute assault was discovered by the code-breakers at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park in Britain through an interception of the German Luftwaffe's lax cypher discipline. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | Bletchley Park | AC]
26 Apr 1941
  • German troops attack British and Australian positions at Halfaya Pass on the Libyan-Egyptian border. Allied troops held the pass all day, but after dark they withdrew to Buq Buq, Egypt. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German paratroopers attacked the Corinth Canal bridge in Greece early in the morning; the bridge was blown up as the German approached; by the end of the day, however, German engineers would erect temporary crossings at this point of the canal. Overnight, 8,300 Allied troops were evacuated from beaches south of Athens while 12,950 were evacuated from beaches on the Peloponnese Peninsula. German aircraft sank Greek torpedo boat Kydonia and 3 other ships on this date. To the north in Yugoslavia, British destroyer HMS Defender evacuated the crown jewels of Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • General Georgy Zhukov, the recently appointed Soviet Chief of Staff, ordered a creeping mobilization to begin, in response to widespread evidence that German forces were moving eastward. ww2dbase [Georgy Zhukov | AC]
  • General MacArthur issued his third plan for the seizure of the New Britain, New Guinea, and New Ireland area, emphasizing cooperation between the US Army and US Navy as the two services each moved toward the Japanese stronghold at Rabaul. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | CPC]
  • The German Nachtjagdfliegerdienst nightfighter unit scored its 100th night kill. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • General Lord Gort was appointed Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Gibraltar. ww2dbase [John Vereker | AC]
Abyssinia Kenya
  • HMS Eagle arrived at Mombasa, Kenya. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
Netherlands
  • Wolfgang Falck, stationed at Deelen in the Netherlands, was ordered to attend a meeting at Hamburg, Germany. He would use the opportunity to learn more about new aircraft-mounted radar systems under development: Morgenstern, Flensburg, and SN-2 (Lichtenstein). ww2dbase [Wolfgang Falck | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British freighters Clan Chattan, Clan Campbell, Clan Lamont, Empire Song, and New Zealand Star, carrying 295 tanks for Egypt, departed from the Clyde in Scotland, United Kingdom in Operation Tiger. They were escorted by battleship HMS Rodney, cruiser HMS Naiad, destroyer HMS Havelock, destroyer HMS Hesperus, and destroyer Harvester. ww2dbase [Rodney | CPC]
27 Apr 1941
  • At 0400 hours, Dutch passenger liner Slamat departed Nauplia in southern Greece with 211 crew and 500 evacuating Allied troops; Slamat and escorting destroyers HMS Diamond and HMS Wryneck were all sunk by German Stuka dive bombers at 0700 hours, killing about 900. Later in the same morning, German 2nd Panzer Division captured Athens, raising the Nazi German flag above the Acropolis as a sign of victory and capturing large quantities of fuel, ammunition, and heavy vehicles; surrendered Greek officers were allowed to retire to their homes with their sidearms without being interned as prisoners of war. German 5th Panzer Division moved across the Corinth Canal all day and Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Regiment crossed onto the Peloponnese Peninsula in southern Greece at Patras at 1730 hours. 4,200 Allied troops were evacuated from beaches south of Athens. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Heinrich Himmler visited Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Austria. ww2dbase [Heinrich Himmler | CPC]
  • German submarine U-110 sank British ship Henri Mory 300 miles west of Ireland at 0130 hours; 28 were killed, 4 survived. 80 miles south of Iceland, U-552 sank British trawler Commander Horton at 0210 hours, killing the entire crew of 14. Shortly after, at 0242 hours, 100 miles southwest of the Faroe Islands, U-147 sank Norwegian ship Rimfakse; 11 were killed, 8 survived. At 1612 hours, U-147 struck again, sinking British ship Beacon Grange; 2 were killed, 82 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German medium and dive bombers attacked Tobruk, Libya, destroying 4 anti-aircraft guns (killing 8); 1 German aircraft was lost. After these losses, the British moved the anti-aircraft guns to conceal positions while dummy guns were constructed in the old anti-aircraft gun positions. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 10,160-ton British motor merchant vessel Beacon Grange, built in 1938 and owned by the Houlder Line Ltd, was torpedoed by German submarine U-552 (Erich Topp) and sank south of Iceland at 1612 hours; 2 were killed, 82 survived. Beacon Grange was sailing unescorted, en route from Tyne, England, United Kingdom to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The survivors were picked up by Belgian trawler Edouvard Anseele, and they were later be transferred aboard corvette HMS Gladious. ww2dbase [HM]
Libya
  • German Deputy Chief of Staff Friedrich Paulus arrived in Libya. ww2dbase [Friedrich Paulus | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • The British Submarine HMS Upholder (N 99) under Lieutenant Commander M. D. Wanklyn, RN surfaced at 1950 hours and tried to close the wreck of the Italian destroyer Lampo which had been torpedoed and sunk in shallow waters by British destroyers during the action against the Tarigo convoy on 16 Apr 1941. At 2040 hours, the submarine ran aground in 15 feet of water some 4,000 yards short of her target and the attempt was abandoned. ww2dbase [HM]
United Kingdom
  • The 942-ton Norwegian collier Rimac, on a voyage from Blyth, England, United Kingdom to Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom with a cargo of coal, collided with British minelayer Lord Plender near Yarmouth, on England's eastern coast. The Rimac sank quickly with a loss of three crew; Lord Plender also lost three. The 14 survivors from the Rimac were taken aboard the Lord Plender and landed at Grimsby, England. ww2dbase [HM]
United States
  • Jack Kleiss completed flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, United States. ww2dbase [Jack Kleiss | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 27 Apr 1941
Heinrich Himmler visiting the Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Austria, 27 Apr 1941, photo 1 of 2Heinrich Himmler meeting a man at the rank of SS-Obersturmführer, Mauthausen Concentration Camp, Austria, 27 Apr 1941Heinrich Himmler visiting the Mauthausen Concentration Camp in Austria, 27 Apr 1941, photo 2 of 2British motor merchant vessel Beacon Grange sinking after being struck by German submarine U-552, south of Iceland, 27 Apr 1941
See all photos dated 27 Apr 1941
28 Apr 1941

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-123 detected Allied convoy HX121 150 miles south of Iceland and radioed the finding to 5 other submarines. At 0415 hours, U-552 sank a tanker. At 0725 hours, U-96 sank 2 tankers and 1 freighter. While attacking, U-65 was sunk by depth charges launched by British destroyer HMS Douglas, killing the entire crew of 50. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • British Stirling bombers of No. 7 Squadron RAF attacked Emden, Germany during the day. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • In Berlin, Germany, German ambassador to the Soviet Union Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg attempted to convince Adolf Hitler that the Soviet Union was generally friendly toward Germany, and the two nations could achieve greater friendship by working closer together. ww2dbase [CPC]
Greece
  • German aircraft sank Greek torpedo boat Kyzikos and 2 other ships during the day. 2 companies of the German 5th Panzer Division captured the port of Kalamata, Greece, disrupting evacuation of Allied troops; though Allied forces would recapture the port by the end of the day, all British ships had already departed from Kalamata. Overnight, 4,170 Allied troops were evacuated from the Peloponnese Peninsula in southern Greece. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Sergeant Jack Hinton of New Zealand 2nd Division led an attack to retake the quay at Kalamata, Greece, clearing out 3 machine gun nests and a mortar with grenades and capturing a 6-inch gun. He was shot in the stomach and taken prisoner. He would later win the Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Günther Altenburg was made the Reich Plenipotentiary for Greece. ww2dbase [Günther Altenburg | CPC]
Indian Ocean
  • German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin attacked British ship Clan Buchanan in the Arabian Sea 1,200 miles east of Mogadishu, British Somaliland. Before the crew of 110 surrendered and the ship scuttled, a distress signal was sent out, and British warships were dispatched to the area to hunt for Pinguin. ww2dbase [Pinguin | CPC]
Libya
  • At 0600 hours, German bombers attacked Tobruk, Libya. During the day, German Deputy Chief of Staff Friedrich Paulus ordered Erwin Rommel to delay the planned ground assault on Tobruk. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down his 8th kill, a British Blenheim light bomber, over the water off Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Malta
  • German bombers attacked Malta overnight, badly damaging destroyer HMS Encounter in the drydock and destroying minesweeper HMS Fermoy. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Caroline, manned by Dutch sailors, hit a mine and sank off Milford Haven, Wales, United Kingdom, killing the entire crew. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Winston Churchill, without reference to the Chiefs of Staff, issued a directive stating that there is no need at the present time to make provisions for the defence of Malaya and Singapore. ww2dbase [Invasion of Malaya and Singapore | Winston Churchill | AC]
United States
  • Charles Sweeney joined the United States Army Air Corps; he would later become the pilot of B-29 Superfortress bomber Bockscar that delivered the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. ww2dbase [Charles Sweeney | CPC]
  • The USS Essex keel was laid at Newport News, Virginia, United States, the first of the Essex-class aircraft carriers. ww2dbase [Newport News Shipbuilding | Essex | Essex-class | DS]
Photo(s) dated 28 Apr 1941
Map of the Battle for the Kalamata waterfront, Kalamata, Greece, Apr 28, 1941.Sunderland flying boats in Kalamata Harbor waiting to pick up British troops for evacuation, Kalamata, Greece, Apr 28, 1941.The main train station at Takao (now Kaohsiung), Taiwan, 28 Apr 1941
29 Apr 1941
  • Allied resistance on mainland Greece ended at 0530 hours when 8,000 British, New Zealand, Australian, Greek, and Yugoslavian troops surrendered at Kalamata, Greece. On the same day, British intelligence picked up positive information about the German invasion of Crete; in response, most British troopships at Suda Bay in Crete were dispatched to Alexandria, Egypt to prevent being attacked by German aircraft. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Charles Lindbergh resigned from the US Army reserves. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Overnight, German bombers attacked Plymouth, England, United Kingdom, damaging cruiser HMS Trinidad and sinking auxiliary patrol vessel Pessac. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • German bombers attacked Allied defenses at Tobruk, Libya as well as its harbor, sinking HMS Chakla. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Indian 20th Infantry Brigade arrived at Basra, Iraq from Bombay, India. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-75 hit British passenger liner City of Nagpur 500 miles west of Ireland with 4 torpedoes between 0230 and 0600 hours, ultimately sinking her and killing 16; 452 survivors were picked up by destroyer HMS Hurricane. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 10 miles off the coast of England, United Kingdom in the North Sea, German motor torpedo boats sank British ship Ambrose Fleming, killing 11. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The British Admiralty issued a request for six C-3 Liberty hulls to be converted to fighter aircraft carriers. Five of these (HMS Archer, Avenger, Biter, Dasher and Tracker) would enter service in 1943 equipped with Martlet and Swordfish aircraft. ww2dbase [AC]
30 Apr 1941
  • New Zealand General Bernard Freyberg was appointed commander of Allied forces on Crete, Greece, commanding a garrison of poorly-armed 29,000 British, Australian, and New Zealand troops and 9,000 Greek troops. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • 6,000 Iraqi troops with 30 artillery pieces departed Baghdad, Iraq on an ostensibly training exercise before dawn. At first light, they reached a plateau overlooking the RAF airbase at Habbaniya 45 miles west of Baghdad. British Ambassador Kinahan Cornwallis warned British civilians to leave Baghdad; 230 of them would soon flee to Habbaniya while 350 and 150 would seek shelter in the British Embassy and the American Legation, respectively. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Friedrich Paulus gave Erwin Rommel the authorization to begin a ground assault on Tobruk, Libya, which was launched at 2000 hours after an entire day of artillery shelling at Ras el Madauar near Tobruk. German tanks broke through the defensive perimeter, and infantry overran several Australian positions, penetrating as far as 3 kilometers. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • British gunboats HMS Aphis and HMS Ladybird bombarded Axis positions at Gazala, Libya and Sollum, Egypt. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Lassell 300 miles southwest of Cape Verde Islands at 2200 hours; 2 were killed, 51 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler set the launch date of Operation Barbarossa to 22 Jun 1941. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
Germany
  • U-576 was launched at Hamburg, Germany. ww2dbase [U-576 | CPC]
Greece
  • Georgios Tsolakoglou was named the Prime Minister of the German puppet Hellenic State. ww2dbase [Georgios Tsolakoglou | CPC]
Malta
  • German aircraft bombed Malta; a bomb passed through British cruiser HMS Gloucester without detonating. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
United States
  • Four old US Coast Guard Cutters were commissioned into British Royal Navy service at New York, New York, United States; they were christened HMS Banff, HMS Culver, HMS Fishguard, and HMS Hartland and were manned by crew members of battleship HMS Malaya, which was currently under repair. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 30 Apr 1941
The crew of a British Cruiser Mk IV tank studying a map in the Western Desert, Egypt, 30 Apr 1941Sunken Kilkis (foreground) and beached Lemnos (background), Salamis, Greece, circa late Apr 1941
1 May 1941
  • British ocean boarding vessel HMS Cavina captured Italian tanker Sangro 400 miles north of the Azores islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • At 2215 hours, German bombers began attacking Liverpool, England, United Kingdom; it was to be the first of seven consecutive nightly bombings on the city. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • German tanks attacked Tobruk, Libya at 0715 hours; slowed by a minefield, they were attacked by 2-pounder anti-tank guns and then by British tanks; the Germans lost 12 tanks in this engagement while the British lost 4. In the evening, Australian 2/48th Battalion conducted a counterattack but it was repulsed with heavy casualties. 300 kilometers to the west, RAF aircraft attacked Benghazi and sank an Italian freighter. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | TH]
  • Kapitän zur See Friedrich Hüffmeier took command of cruiser Köln. ww2dbase [Köln | CPC]
  • Iraqi forces overlooking RAF Habbaniya grew to 9,000 men, 50 artillery pieces, 12 armored cars, and a few light tanks. They demanded the airfield to cease flight operations, but the local RAF commander ignored the threat, a decision backed by Winston Churchill. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Upholder sank freighters Arcturus and Leverkusen off Kerkenah island, Tunisia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-552 sank British passenger liner Nerissa 100 miles north of Ireland at 0027 hours; 207 were killed, 83 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank British ship Samsø 200 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 1834 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Groß-Rosen Concentration Camp, formerly a satellite camp of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, became an independent camp. It was located in Groß-Rosen, Lower Silesia, Germany (now Rogoznica, Poland). ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • Generalleutnant August Krakau succeeded Robert Martinek as the commanding officer of the German 7th Mountain Division. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Marine Barracks of New River, North Carolina, United States was established with Lieutenant Colonel William P. T. Hill in command. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Eagle was ordered to sail for Durban, South Africa. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • Viceroy of Italian East Africa Duke of Aosta and 7,000 troops were trapped at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia by Indian 5th Indivision to the north and South African 1st Brigade in the south. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Greece
  • General Bernard Freyberg arrived in Crete, Greece where he planned to concentrate his New Zealand Division, supported by 3,500 Greek troops around Maleme to defend the airstrip there. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | Bernard Freyberg | AC]
Japan Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down his 10th and 11th kills, two British Hurricane fighters, while escorting German Stuka dive bombers to Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Malta
  • HMS Jersey hit a mine in Valetta, Malta, and later sank during a German air raid. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
2 May 1941
  • Sandstorms at Tobruk, Libya limited the offensive capabilities of German tanks on this date. 100 kilometers to the west, British gunboat HMS Ladybird bombarded Axis positions at Derna. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • British ship Parracombe, with 21 crated Hurricane fighters on board for Malta, hit a mine and sank off Cape Bon, Tunisia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • At 0500 hours, during Muslim morning prayers, 33 British aircraft from RAF Habbaniya and 8 Wellington bombers from RAF Shaibah attacked the Iraqi artillery positions which had been threatening RAF Habbaniya for the past two days. Iraq troops responded by shelling RAF Habbaniya, killing 13 and wounding 29. Elsewhere, RAF aircraft attacked the Rashid airfield near Baghdad, Iraq, destroying 22 aircraft on the ground. The RAF lost 5 aircraft in Iraq on this date. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • After sundown, German bombers attacked Liverpool, England, United Kingdom for the second consecutive night. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Alberic and destroyer HMS St. Albans collided in Pentland Firth between the Orkney Islands and Britain. HMT Alberic sank with the loss of 13 crew. The HMS St. Albans sailed to Southampton, England, United Kingdom for repairs to her bow. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British aircraft sank German anti-submarine trawler Vp 808 off the island of Borkum near the Dutch-German border. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Jersey hit a mine and sank off Grand Harbour, Malta, killing 35 and wounding 48. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A German memorandum noted that the plan to remove large quantities of food out of Eastern Europe to feed German civilians and military personnel would likely result in the starvation of millions of Eastern Europeans especially through the winter. The plan would continue to be implemented, however. ww2dbase [CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille was promoted to the rank of Unteroffizier while stationed in Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
United States
  • The British Royal Navy commissioned convoy escort ship HMS Lulworth, a former US Coast Guard Cutter, into service at New York, United States. She was manned by former crew members of battleship HMS Resolution, which was under repair in the US at the time. ww2dbase [CPC]
3 May 1941
  • Australian troops launched a counterattack at Tobruk, Libya. Italian troops repulsed the counterattack, losing only one bunker. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Alexander Löhr was promoted to the rank of colonel general. ww2dbase [Alexander Löhr | CPC]
Abyssinia Panama Canal Zone
  • The Panama Canal Zone was placed under the Panama Sector of the US Caribbean Defense Command. ww2dbase [CPC]
South Africa
  • General Jan Smuts announced to the House of Assembly the deployment of South African troops to Egypt. ww2dbase [AC]
United Kingdom
  • A bomb penetrated the basement shelter of Wilkinson's Lemonade factory in North Shields, England, United Kingdom. One hundred and seven people, more than half of those in the shelter, were killed. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | AC]
Photo(s) dated 3 May 1941
Adolf Hitler speaking to the Reichstag at the Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 3 May 1941
4 May 1941
  • Allied aircraft conducted a raid on Baghdad, Iraq. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • As the Axis offensive on Tobruk, Libya began to stall, Paulus ordered Rommel to besiege rather than eliminate Tobruk. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank Swedish ship Japan off the coast of French Guinea at 1915 hours; her deck gun exploded during the attack, injuring the gun crew. The entire crew of 54 of Japan survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In a speech, Adolf Hitler said Winston Churchill was not a capable leader, both on political and military fronts. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • HMS Edinburgh supported the raid on Lofoten Islands, Norway. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • 29th Brigade of the Indian 5th Division launched another attack at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia, capturing 3 hills between 0415 and 0730 hours. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Malta
  • German aircraft sank British minesweeper Fermoy in dock at Malta. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Philippines
  • Harold George arrived at Manila, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Harold George | CPC]
Russia
  • The Politburo appointed Joseph Stalin the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars, thus taking over as the actual head of the Soviet government, which position was previously held by Vyacheslav Molotov. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | TH, CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The German bombing on Liverpool, England, United Kingdom that began on the previous date ended before dawn on this date, killing 850 people and destroying ammunition ship Malakand in the harbor. The rocket shelter at Broad Green in Liverpool received a direct hit from a German bomb during this raid; the shelter was, at the time, packed with people many of whom had come out of a local dance hall looking for shelter as the sirens rang. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC, AC]
Photo(s) dated 4 May 1941
Joachim von Ribbentrop and Joseph Goebbels at a Reichstag session, Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 4 May 1941Adolf Hitler speaking to the Reichstag at the Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 4 May 1941, photo 1 of 2Adolf Hitler speaking to the Reichstag at the Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 4 May 1941, photo 2 of 2
5 May 1941
  • Major General Bernard Freyberg was appointed the commander of British and Commonwealth forces at Crete, Greece. ww2dbase [Bernard Freyberg | TH]
  • A shipment of US flour arrived in Vichy France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler, Wilhelm Keitel, and Günther Lütjens embarked battleship Bismarck. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler visited the German naval yard at Gdynia and inspected battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank British ship Queen Maud 200 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 1117 hours; 1 was killed, 43 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In the United Kingdom, German aircraft bombed naval facilities at Belfast in Northern Ireland (carrier HMS Furious, seaplane tender HMS Pegasus, destroyer HMS Volunteer, and corvettes HMS Bryony, HMS Buttercup, and HMS La Malouine suffered minor damage), Liverpool in England (bombed consecutively since 1 May 1941), and the Clyde Estuary in Scotland (HMS Marksman, submarine HMS Traveller, and submarine HMS Trooper suffered damage). ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Operation Tiger: British freighters, with 295 tanks destined for Egypt, passed through the Strait of Gibraltar. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Australian destroyers HMAS Voyager and HMAS Waterhen entered Tobruk, Libya, becoming the first ships to bring in supplies since the city became besieged. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Taku sank Italian ship Cagliari off the east coast of Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Stalin announced at a passing-out ceremony for military cadets that there did exist a threat from Germany for which the Red Army had to prepare itself rapidly. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | AC]
Abyssinia
  • 3/2nd Punjab Battalion advanced toward the Italian stronghold at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia at 0415 hours. They were pinned down by 12 Italian machine guns for the most of the day. The attack was called off at dusk. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Abyssinian Emperor Haile Selassie returned to his capital Addis Ababa. He had fled the city exactly five years during the Italian invasion. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | Haile Selassie | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British Royal Navy's 18th Cruiser Squadron (HMS Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham with five destroyers) sailed from Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom and headed north. The operation (codenamed EB) had been mounted by the Admiralty with the specific aim of intercepting and capturing the German weather ship München. Using surprise and speed, Admiral Lancelot Holland intended to capture and board the enemy vessel and, all being well, secure a set of coding tables which would enable the German naval cipher system, Enigma, to be read immediately for the first time. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | Scapa Flow | AC]
Photo(s) dated 5 May 1941
Adolf Hitler inspecting battleship Bismarck with Admiral Lutjens and Captain Lindemann, Gotenhafen, Germany (now Gdynia, Poland), 5 May 1941, photo 1 of 3Adolf Hitler inspecting battleship Bismarck with Admiral Lutjens and Captain Lindemann, Gotenhafen, Germany (now Gdynia, Poland), 5 May 1941, photo 2 of 3Adolf Hitler inspecting battleship Bismarck with Admiral Lutjens and Captain Lindemann, Gotenhafen, Germany (now Gdynia, Poland), 5 May 1941, photo 3 of 3; Lutjens not seen in this photo
6 May 1941
  • Overnight, Iraqi troops withdrew from the plateau overlooking RAF Habbaniya after suffering 1,000 casualties, largely by RAF aircraft, abandoning large amounts of weapons and supplies. They were pursued by the British King's Own Royal Regiment, which caught up with the Iraqi troops at Sinn El Dhibban, taking 433 prisoners at the cost of 7 British troops killed and 14 wounded. To the south, the 21st Infantry Brigade of the Indian 10th Division arrived by sea at Basra. Meanwhile, Vichy France and Germany signed the Paris Protocol, which gave permission for German troops to march through Syria for Iraq to reinforce the Iraqis; in return, Germany lowered the tribute that France had to pay Germany from 20 million to 15 million Reichsmarks daily. German Luftwaffe Colonel Werner Junck was ordered to establish Fliegerführer Irak with 12 Bf 110 fighters and 12 He 111 bombers. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarines U-103 and U-105 sank 3 more British freighters off Sierra Leone, British West Africa, killing 12; the crew of U-103 stopped to help the survivors righting a listing lifeboat. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarines HMS Taku and HMS Truant sank Italian ship Bengasi off Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German 8th Panzer Regiment arrived in North Africa. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft took its maiden flight. ww2dbase [P-47 Thunderbolt | CPC]
  • General Bernard Freyberg received intelligence that the Germans were likely to launch a large airborne assault on Crete, Greece on 17 May; he would continue to expect the invasion to come from the beaches rather than the sky, however. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Polish doctor Zygmunt Klukowski noted in his diary that, on this date, he observed Germans conscripting Polish civilians to build military airfields and air raid bunkers even though there was no active war in Eastern Europe. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-97 sank British ocean boarding vessel HMS Camito and recently captured Italian tanker Sangro 500 miles west of Ireland, killing 28. ww2dbase [CPC]
Greenland
  • The US Coast Guard South Greenland Survey Expedition led by Lieutenant Commander William E. Sinton began a survey of the future Bluie West Eight airfield site in Greenland. ww2dbase [Bluie West Eight | CPC]
United States
  • Henry Stimson, the United States Secretary for War, made a surprise statement by telling his countrymen that the United States must use its fleet to ensure the triumph of democracy. ww2dbase [Henry Stimson | AC]
Photo(s) dated 6 May 1941
USS Grayback during her shakedown cruise, Long Island Sound, United States, 6 May 1941
7 May 1941
  • German aircraft conducted the first of the two consecutive nightly raids on Hull, England, United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Liverpool, England was bombed for the seventh (and final) consecutive night, damaging destroyer HMS Hurricane; by this time, 75% of Liverpool's port capacity had been destroyed. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • The first of the B-17 Flying Fortress bombers in Britain arrived at RAF Watton. ww2dbase [B-17 Flying Fortress | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin stopped small British tanker British Emperor 400 miles off British Somaliland with gunfire, whose crew was able to send distress signals before being taken prisoner. The tanker was scuttled with torpedoes from Pinguin. Meanwhile, British cruiser HMS Cornwall sailed toward the location of the distress signal. ww2dbase [Pinguin | CPC]
  • German submarine U-94 sank British ship Ixion and Norwegian ship Eastern Star 150 miles south of Iceland at 2300 hours. Destroyer HMS Bulldog and sloop HMS Rochester dropped 98 depth charges over 4 hours, but U-94 was able to escape with only minor damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Tazzoli sank Norwegian ship Ferlane off West Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • During the day, German bombers sank British minesweeper HMS Stoke at Tobruk, Libya, killing 21. After nightfall, British cruiser HMS Ajax and destroyers HMS Havock, HMS Hotspur, and HMS Imperial bombarded Benghazi, Libya, sinking Italian ships Tenace and Capitano Cecchi. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Indian 20th and 21st Brigades marched out of Basra, Iraq to attack nearby port of Ashar. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Douglas Bader shot down a German Bf 109 aircraft and claimed another probable. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • In the North Atlantic at 1707 hours, the German weather ship München was sighted between the cruiser HMS Edinburgh and the destroyer, HMS Somali. The latter fired warning shots which caused most of the München's crew to take to the boats. Somali closed at speed and boarded the ship. A prize crew and boarding party from HMS Edinburgh then went over on a cutter, which also carried a mysterious man in civilian clothes (later revealed to be Captain J. R. S Haines RN of Naval intelligence). The München's captain, another officer and several ratings received the boarding party with great courtesy and a search of the German vessel was commenced. Although the German captain had thrown the Enigma machine and the May coding tables over the side as Somali approached, the settings for June were found in his desk, and these were duly collected by Captain Haines, who knew exactly what he was looking for. HMS Nestar took Captain Haines and his valuable find to Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom at speed. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | CPC, AC]
8 May 1941
  • German aircraft conducted the last of the two consecutive nightly raids on Hull, England. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • A Walrus seaplane from British cruiser HMS Cornwall spotted German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin 400 miles off British Somaliland. The two ships fired on each other at 1714 hours; Pinguin was fatally damaged by Cornwall's superior firepower, but Cornwall was also hit, killing 1 and wounding 3. Shortly after Pinguin's commanding officer gave the abandon ship order, an eight-inch shell hit Pinguin, detonating her store of 130 naval mines and sinking her; 341 crew and 214 prisoners were killed, 66 crew and 22 prisoners survived. ww2dbase [Pinguin | CPC]
  • German submarine U-97 sank British ship Ramillies in the North Atlantic; 29 were killed, 12 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
Abyssinia
  • Indian troops attacked Amba Alagi, Abyssinia at dawn, taking the Falagi Pass and three hills east and south of the city, respectively. Later in the morning, Italian troops counterattacked and recaptured two of the hills. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Germany
9 May 1941
  • German submarine U-110 and U-201 attacked Allied convoy OB-318, sinking 3 British freighters. U-201 was damaged by 99 depth charges but was able to return to her home port for repairs. U-110 was forced to surface by 10 depth charges from British corvette HMS Aubretia, then shelled by destroyers HMS Bulldog and HMS Broadway. The German crew thought the submarine had already been fatally damaged and sinking, and abandoned ship. Recognizing the opportunity to capture the ship, the commanding officer of HMS Bulldog quickly rescued many of the German crew and put them belowdecks so they could not observe (but submarine commander Lemp died in the water, possibly shot as he attempted to swim back to the submarine), and sent a boarding party to capture her. The capture was completed at 1245 hours, yielding an Enigma cipher machine and code book. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler disembarked battleship Bismarck. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • German intelligence intercepted a British radio transmission containing weather information in the Libyan-Egyptian border region; this gave suspicion that an offensive was about to be taken place. ww2dbase [Operation Brevity | CPC]
  • British transport ship Empire Song hit two mines and sank in off Malta; in addition to the 18 men killed, 57 tanks aboard were also lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • After nightfall, Australian destroyer HMAS Vendetta departed Alexandria, Egypt and arrived in Tobruk, Libya to embark wounded troops. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank British ship City of Winchester 700 miles west of Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 2309 hours; 6 were killed, 92 survived. In the same area, Italian submarine Tazzoli sank Norwegian tanker Alfred Olsen; the entire crew survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Soviet Union declared that it no longer recognised the diplomatic standing of Belgium, Norway and Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [AC]
Japan
  • A peace treaty was signed between Thailand and France in Tokyo, Japan, officially ending the Franco-Thai War; the French was coerced by the Japanese to relinquish their hold on the disputed border territories. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC, AC]
United Kingdom
  • At RAF Waddington in Waddington, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom, a direct hit by a German bomb on the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) station and a nearby air-raid shelter killed three airmen and seven women who worked in the NAAFI, including Mrs. Raven, the manageress. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | AC]
10 May 1941
  • Sparking a controversy that will last long after the war, Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess landed in Scotland, United Kingdom with a Bf 110 fighter in an attempt to dissuade Duke of Hamilton to introduce him to King George VI in order to broker peace between the United Kingdom and Germany. This mission was not authorized by Adolf Hitler. He landed 12 miles from the Duke's residence, broke his ankle, and was arrested by a farmer. He was taken into custody and remained so until his death. ww2dbase [Rudolf Heß | TH]
  • A German rocket engine test reached the speed of 1,002 kilometers per hour. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-556 attacked Allied convoy OB-318 between Greenland and Iceland, sinking British ship Empire Caribou (34 killed, 11 survived) and Belgian ship Gand (1 killed, 43 survived) and damaging British ship Aelybryn (1 killed). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-110, captured by HMS Bulldog on the previous day, sank while being towed toward Iceland. Her Enigma cipher machine and code book, however, had already been retrieved by the British. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | CPC]
  • The 200th Beaufighter aircraft was completed. ww2dbase [Beaufighter | AC]
  • Bulgaria established diplomatic relationship with the Japanese-sponsored puppet state of Manchukuo. ww2dbase [CPC]
Abyssinia
  • Indian troops marched out the Falagi Pass, which was captured on the previous day, toward the 11,400-foot Mount Gumsa east of Amba Alagi, Abyssinia. Italian troops who held Mount Gumsa would be withdrawn into Amba Alagi after sundown. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Germany
  • RAF bombers conducted a raid on Hamburg, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | TH]
  • British Lieutenant Anthony "Peter" Allan escaped the Oflag IV-C prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle, Germany by hiding in a straw mattress that was being carried out of the camp by cooperative French laborers. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
Italy
  • Italian manufacturing firm Caproni delivered midget submarines CB-3, CB-4, CB-5, and CB-6 to the Italian Navy at La Spezia, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
Libya
  • British destroyers HMS Kelly, HMS Kipling, HMS Jackal, HMS Kashmir, and HMS Kelvin from Malta bombarded Benghazi, Libya at 1700 hours; German dive bombers fought back but caused no damage. After nightfall, also in Libya, British gunboat HMS Ladybird shelled Gazala 30 miles west of Tobruk. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | Kelly | CPC]
Netherlands
  • British Royal Navy Captain J. R. S Haines, carrying German Navy's June 1941 cipher setting information captured from German weather ship München three days prior, arrived at Bletchley Park in England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | Bletchley Park | AC]
Taiwan
  • Vice Admiral Toshio Shimazaki was named the Chief of Staff of the Mako naval port at Pescadores islands, Taiwan. ww2dbase [Mako Guard District | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers mounted what would turn out to be the last major raid on London, England, United Kingdom. Low tide on the River Thames made firefighting difficult as it was harder to draw water, thus fires caused more damage than usual. The Houses of Parliament were among the buildings damaged during this night. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 10 May 1941
The wreckage of Rudolf Heß
11 May 1941
  • German forces completed the occupation of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • British Brigadier Kingstone departed Haifa, Palestine with a column of horse cavalry and armored cars to reinforce RAF Habbaniya, Iraq. Meanwhile, the first 3 German Luftwaffe aircraft from Greece landed at Mosul, Iraq. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • The first combat mission by the RAF's new four-engine Halifax bombers failed to succeed when the bombers failed to find their French targets. ww2dbase [Halifax | AC]
  • Adolf Hitler summoned top Nazi Party officials to discuss how to handle Rudolf Heß's unauthorized flight to the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Abyssinia Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-103 sank British ship City of Shanghai with the last torpedo 750 miles southwest of Sierra Leone, French West Africa at 0130 hours after tracking her for 16 hours; 6 were killed, 67 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • RAF bombers attacked Hamburg and Bremen in Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • Adolf Galland was ordered by Hermann Göring to dispatch his pilots to search for and shoot down Rudolf Hess' Me-110 aircraft somewhere over the North Sea. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | CPC]
Greenland
  • The US Coast Guard South Greenland Survey Expedition completed a survey of the future Bluie West Eight airfield site in Greenland. ww2dbase [Bluie West Eight | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • John Colville, secretary to Winston Churchill, observed great fires burning on the southern shore of River Thames in London, England, United Kingdom, result of the previous night's bombing. During the day, German Luftwaffe aircraft bombed RAF Feltwell in England. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 11 May 1941
Hitler Youth Hour of Commemoration in front of the Town Hall in Tomaszow, occupied Poland, 11 May 1941
12 May 1941
  • Admiral Günther Lütjens and other staff officers embarked battleship Bismarck. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Italian torpedo boats Pleiadi and Pegaso sank British submarine HMS Undaunted off Tripoli, Libya at 2030 hours, killing the entire crew of 32. ww2dbase [CPC]
Egypt
  • The British convoy carrying 135 infantry tanks, 82 cruiser tanks, 21 light tanks, and 43 Hurricane fighters arrived at Alexandria, Egypt having traveled through the dangerous Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Polish Lieutenant Mietek Chmiel and Lieutenant Miki Surmanowicz failed in their attempt to escape the Oflag IV-C prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle, Germany. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
  • Joseph Goebbels visited Adolf Hitler at Berghof in Berchtesgaden in southern Germany. ww2dbase [Joseph Goebbels | CPC]
Libya
  • 47 German dive bombers sank British gunboat HMS Ladybird in Tobruk harbor, Libya with two bomb hits, killing 4 and wounding 14; Ladybird's gunners damaged two German dive bombers in return. Although she settled in 10 feet of water, her 6-inch gun was still above water, and thus she would remain useful as a stationary anti-aircraft gun platform while repairs were being done. Admiral Andrew Cunningham sent the message to her commanding officer "Great fighting finish worthy of highest ideals and tradition of the Navy and an inspiration for all who fight on the seas." ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine HMS Rorqual sank two small Greek vessels carrying German troops off the island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
Russia
  • Despite Joseph Stalin's continual refusal to accept the numerous intelligence warnings that Germany was about to invade the Soviet Union, the Soviet Chief of Staff General Zhukov, on his own authority, ordered four Soviet Armies (8oo,ooo men) to forward positions at the border. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | Georgy Zhukov | AC]
United States
  • Three former US Coast Guard Cutters were commissioned into Royal Navy at New York, United States as HMS Sennen, HMS Walney, and HMS Totland. Like cutters commissioned shortly before them, they were manned by the crew of battleship HMS Malaya, which was currently under repair in the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 May 1941
DrumHans FrankCanon de 75 modèle 1897 gun, Morris-Commercial C8 artillery tractor, and crew of 3rd Battery, 1st Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Polish Corps, St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom, 12 May 1941
13 May 1941
  • Battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen conducted refueling exercises. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen conducted refueling exercises. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • British troops began gathering for the Operation Brevity offensive in the Libyan-Egyptian border region. Axis aircraft discovered and bombed one tank concentration. ww2dbase [Operation Brevity | CPC]
  • German submarines U-98 and U-111 attacked Allied convoy SC-30 off Greenland in the morning, sinking British ship Somersby (entire crew of 43 survived and rescued by Greek ship Marika Protopapa) and armed merchant cruiser HMS Salopian (3 were killed, 287 survived). Also in the morning, U-105 sank British ship Benvrackie at 0748 hours 700 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa; 28 were killed, 55 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British gunboat HMS Gnat shelled the German airfield at Gazala, Libya 30 miles west of Tobruk after sundown in an attempt to disrupt the German aerial campaign against the besieged Tobruk. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • A shipment of Vichy French weapons arrived in Mosul, Iraq from French Mandate of Syria, containing 15,500 rifles, 6 million rounds of ammunition, 200 machine guns, 4 75-mm field guns, and 10,000 shells. Meanwhile, a British mobile column from Palestine reached Rubah, Iraq, finding it already abandoned by Iraqi forces. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • The Red Army commenced the movement of substantial forces to the western frontier, but out of the thirty-three divisions deployed only four or five were fully equipped by the outbreak of war. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
  • In Germany, a new Decree on wartime military jurisdiction was published, which removed crimes against civilians from the sphere of courts martial and suspended any obligation to punish offences against "hostile civilian persons" committed by soldiers. ww2dbase [AC]
14 May 1941
  • The British RAF formed No. 121 Squadron, also known as the second Eagle Squadron. It was consisted of American volunteers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Romania passed laws which required all adult Jews to become forced laborers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Axis aircraft attempted to locate British troop concentrations near the Libyan-Egyptian border as a British offensive was suspected; none were found. ww2dbase [Operation Brevity | CPC]
  • Battleship Bismarck and light cruiser Leipzig conducted exercises; the port side crane was damaged during the exercises. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Battleship Bismarck and light cruiser Leipzig conducted exercises. ww2dbase [Leipzig | CPC]
  • A British Blenheim bomber flying reconnaissance over Syria spotted a German Ju 90 transport aircraft at the Vichy French airfield at Palmyra. The British government gave permission to attack, and RAF fighter soon attacked the airfield, damaging two He 111 bombers. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • British cruiser HMS Dido departed Suda Bay, Crete, Greece and headed for Alexandria, Egypt with £7,000,000 worth of Greek gold aboard. She was escorted by destroyers HMS Stuart, HMS Vendetta, HMS Janus, and HMS Isis. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis sank British ship Rabaul with shellfire 500 miles west of South Africa; 7 were killed, 51 were captured. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • Victorious was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Victorious | CPC]
  • Lord Gort was appointed the Governor of Gibraltar. ww2dbase [John Vereker | CPC]
France Japan
15 May 1941
  • At midnight, British cruisers HMS Gloucester and HMS Fiji completed the transfer of the 2nd Battalion Leicester Regiment from Alexandria, Egypt to Heraklion, Crete, Greece. During the day, German Luftwaffe aircraft attacked Salamis Navy Yard at Suda Bay, Crete, sinking Greek destroyer Leon. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • British losses in France and Norway were publicly announced to be 13,250 killed and 41,000 captured out of 437,000 deployed. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Admiral Darlan returned from meeting with Hitler and Ribbentrop; Vichy-French cabinet approved German concessions as well as French counter-concessions. ww2dbase [François Darlan | TH]
  • British Minister of Labour Ernest Bevin declared that he would not negotiate with Rudolf Heß. ww2dbase [Rudolf Heß | CPC]
  • Axel von Blomberg passed away. ww2dbase [Axel von Blomberg | CPC]
  • In the Libyan-Egyptian border region, British forces advanced in three columns and captured Halfaya Pass and Fort Capuzzo before noon, capturing 347 Axis prisoners (mostly Italians). A German Panzer battalion counterattacked, recapturing Fort Capuzzo by 1445 hours, taking 70 British prisoners. ww2dbase [Operation Brevity | CPC]
  • An Iraqi Blenheim bomber attacked the British column moving from Palestine into Iraq, causing no damage. British Swordfish aircraft from HMS Hermes attacked the Al Qushla barracks in Samawah, Iraq; one aircraft was shot down. Meanwhile, British bombers again attacked French airfields at Palmyra and Damascus, Syria. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarine U-105 sank British ship Benvenue 400 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 2029 hours; 2 were killed, 55 survived and rescued by British liner Empire Trader. To the north, 430 miles west of Brest, France, German submarine U-43 sank French sail Notre Dame du Châtelet; 28 were killed, 10 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In Russia a document from military planners was issued recommending a short strike against any assembling forces threatening Soviet territory. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
  • Washington was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
  • Graph was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Graph | CPC]
  • Dr. Sigmund Rascher requested Heinrich Himmler via a letter requesting concentration camp prisoners to be placed in his disposal to conduct experiments in decompression chambers which simulated high altitude environments. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • South African and Indian troops linked up at Triangle Hill near Amba Alagi, Abyssinia; they were also joined by Abyssinia guerrilla forces. Meanwhile, Allied shelling of the Italian fortress damaged a oil tank, causing a major oil leak into the garrison's only source of drinking water. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Germany Guernsey
  • The Dame of Sark Sibyl Mary Hathaway was reported to be transferred to a German concentration camp as reprisal for civil disobedience. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Gloster's E.28/39 prototype jet fighter took its first flight. The test pilot was Lieutenant Gerry Sayer. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 May 1941
Dodge WC9 1/2 ton ambulance, 15 May 1941British Royal Air Force Vickers Wellesley light bomber kicking up a dust cloud during a take off from an East African airstrip, 15 May 1941.
16 May 1941
  • RAF aircraft conducted raids on Köln (Cologne) and Bramsfield in Germany; at the latter target the Atlantik rubber works was damaged. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | TH]
  • German bombers sank British troopship Archangel 10 miles off Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom; 52 were killed, 435 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The damaged port side crane aboard Bismarck was repaired. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Brigadier Gott withdrew British tanks and infantry from the desert around Sollum and Fort Capuzzo, Libya to consolidate a hold on Halfaya Pass on the Egyptian-Libyan border. ww2dbase [Operation Brevity | CPC]
  • The final British reinforcements arrived on Crete, Greece. On the same day, German aircraft bombed various British positions on Crete (including airfields) as well as the shipping in Suda Bay (sinking several freighters and damaging HMS York). ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German Me 110 and He 111 bombers attacked RAF Habbaniyah in Iraq, surprising the British; the British and the Germans each lost one aircraft during the attack. Meanwhile, German aircraft strafed British reinforcements traveling eastward from Palestine. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarine U-105 attacked British ship Rodney Star 400 miles west of Sierra Leone, British West Africa between 0548 and 0930 hours, hitting her with torpedoes and gunfire; Rodney Star sank; the entire crew of 83 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-109 stumbled upon an American fleet containing a battleship and several destroyers. She dove and avoided attack. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Vsevolod Merkulov reported to Joseph Stalin regarding the final deportation plan for the Baltic States, which targeted political leaders, land owners, officers, and others, plus their families. He recommended 8-year imprisonment in labor camps for them, and the exile to faraway lands in the Soviet Union for their families. ww2dbase [Vsevolod Merkulov | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • With drinking water fouled in the Italian stronghold of Amba Alagi, Abyssinia, the Italian Viceroy Duke of Aosta requested the British to send in fresh water. When the British refused, he called for a ceasefire in order to begin surrender negotiations. By this point, his forces had suffered incurring 289,000 casualties. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Libya
  • Italian sappers cleared barbed wires and mines near Tobruk, Libya. The subsequent attack on Tobruk, Libya by the Italian Ariete Armoured Division saw the Italians capturing several bunkers, but the assault was deemed unsuccessful. 90% of the division's tanks failed mechanically before the main action was engaged and the division was moved back to Gazala to refit and regroup. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC, AC]
Malta
  • German bombers damaged British destroyer HMS Encounter in drydock at Malta. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
  • Wing Commander J. Warfield was named the commanding officer of RAF Station Takali on Malta. ww2dbase [RAF Takali | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers conducted what would turn out to be the last major raid against London, England, United Kingdom, as most Luftwaffe units were being transferred to the Eastern Front. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
United States
  • The first P-43 Lancer fighter delivery was made to the United States Army. ww2dbase [P-43 Lancer | CPC]
  • US President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the defence of China to be vital to the United States. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
17 May 1941
  • Pilot Officer Mike Kolendorski, an American serving in the British RAF, became the first No. 121 Squadron RAF member to be killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 attacked Dutch tanker Marisa with a torpedo at midnight, killing 2; U-107 allowed the 47 survivors to abandon ship before sinking her with guns. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Operation Brevity: German Colonel Maximilian von Herff launched a counterattack in the area near Bir Wair and Musaid after 1600 hours. British Brigadier General William Gott withdrew his troops into the Halfaya Pass, Egypt, ending his offensive operation. ww2dbase [Operation Brevity | CPC]
  • Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire delivered fresh Australian troops to Tobruk, Libya at 0100 hours; the artillery pieces that arrived with the destroyer were deployed on the front lines as early as 0530 hours. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • British bombers attacked Bramsfeld, 12 kilometers northwest of Köln, Germany; the Atlantik rubber plant was hit with 2 high explosive and 44 incendiary bombs. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • Arthur Compton and the United States National Academy of Sciences published a report noting the success rate of developing an atomic weapon was favorable. On the same day, Vannevar Bush created the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD). ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • Viceroy of Italian East Africa Duke of Aosta surrendered Amba Alagi, Abyssinia to the British at 1730 hours. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Iraq
  • Sonderkommando Junck, a special formation of German Luftwaffe fighters, bombers and transports which had been hastily painted with Iraqi markings, commenced (with a dozen Bf 110 aircraft of 4./ZG 76) air attacks on British positions, especially those at Habbaniya, Iraq; or the next ten days the Bf 110 aircraft attacked, losing several aircraft in the process. Late in the evening, the British force from Palestine arrived at Habbaniya. After sundown, British and colonial troops crossed the Euphrates River toward Fallujah. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC, AC]
18 May 1941
  • Italy annexed Dalmatia into its borders. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Battleship Bismarck anchored in the bay at 1200 hours to embark supplies and fuel for Operation Rheinübung. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Prinz Eugen departed for Operation Rheinübung. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Piako 130 miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 2227 hours; 10 were killed, 65 survived and rescued by British sloop HMS Bridgewater. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British battleship HMS Nelson and aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, en route from Cape Town, South Africa to Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa in search of German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis, sailed within 7 kilometers of the German ship without detecting her. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • German dive bombers attacked British hospital ship Aba 50 miles south of Crete, Greece. Petty Officer Alfred Sephton of British light cruiser HMS Coventry won the Victoria Cross for directing anti-aircraft fire against the German aircraft despite being partially blinded by a machine gun bullet; he would die from his injuries on the next day. In anticipation of a German invasion of Crete, Greece, 700 Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders were transported from Port Said, Egypt, on troopship Glengyle; they would land at Tymbaki, Crete after sundown. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • British aircraft from RAF Habbaniya bombed Iraqi positions in Falluja throughout the day. Meanwhile, Arab troops loyal to Britain relieved the besieged RAF Habbaniyah which was defended only by out-of-date training aircraft. The base had been under attack from the pro-German forces of General Rashid Ali using Bf 110 and He 111 aircraft. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • General Mosley Mayne, British commander of Indian 5th Division, had lunch with Italian commander Duke of Aosta at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia. The Italian duke agreed to not destroy guns, to not destroy supplies, and to dismantle or identify mines. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Poland
  • After sundown, German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen departed Gotenhafen (Gdynia), occupied Poland for the North Atlantic. The fleet was commanded by Admiral Günther Lütjens aboard Bismarck. ww2dbase [Battle of Denmark Strait | Deutsche Werke Gotenhafen | CPC]
Russia
  • Soviet leadership began a purge against Soviet Air Force officers. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 18 May 1941
Battleship Bismarck as seen from heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the Baltic Sea, mid-May 1941
19 May 1941
  • Iraqis surrender the town of Fallujah after it was subjected to aerial and artillery bombardment by the British; 300 Iraqi troops were taken prisoner. On the same day, German bombers attacked RAF Habbaniya in Iraq. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German aircraft attacked British airfields on Crete, Greece. To prevent destruction, the British RAF evacuated all aircraft from Crete to Egypt. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Vichy France announced the repatriation of 100,000 French prisoners of war. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen made rendezvous with battleship Bismarck off Rügen Island at 1200 hours. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • German submarine U-96 sank British ship Empire Ridge 50 miles northwest of Ireland at 0324 hours; 31 were killed, 2 survived and rescued by destroyer HMS Vanquisher. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • "Guidelines for the behaviour of the troops in Russia" demanded that German troops use "ruthless and energetic action against Bolshevik agitators, guerrillas, saboteurs (and) Jews" and approved the complete liquidation of any "active or passive resistance". ww2dbase [AC]
Abyssinia
  • 4,777 Italian and colonial troops formally surrendered at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia at 1115 hours, parading out of the fortress with rifles on their shoulders. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • British Army Sergeant Nigel Leakey was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross after being killed in action single-handedly knocking out Italian tanks in Abyssinia. ww2dbase [AC]
Poland
  • Battleship Bismarck departed Gotenhafen (Gdynia), occupied Poland at 0200 hours and made rendezvous with heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen and destroyers Z-16 Friedrich Eckoldt and Z-23 off Rügen Island at 1200 hours. At 2230 hours, destroyer Z-10 Hans Lody joined the group. ww2dbase [Deutsche Werke Gotenhafen | Bismarck | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 19 May 1941
Bismarck at sea, seen from Prinz Eugen, 19 May 1941, photo 3 of 3Bismarck at sea, seen from Prinz Eugen, 19 May 1941, photo 1 of 3Bismarck at sea, seen from Prinz Eugen, 19 May 1941, photo 2 of 3
20 May 1941
  • German invasion of Crete, Greece began with an airborne assault at 0800 hours, capturing Maleme airfield on the northern coast. At 1615 hours and 1730 hours, the second airborne assault was conducted at Rethimnon and Heraklion, respectively; 1,856 German airborne troopers were killed during the second attack wave. At Suda Bay, Crete, German bombers sank British minesweeper HMS Widnes. After sundown, destroyers HMS Jervis, HMAS Nizam, and HMS Ilex bombarded the German-controlled airfield on the Greek island of Karpathos. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Prime Minister Churchill noted that he was not prepared to make a statement on the arrival of Rudolf Heß in Britain. ww2dbase [Rudolf Heß | CPC]
  • Swedish cruiser Gotland detected German battleship Bismarck in the Kattegat at 1300 hours. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Swedish cruiser Gotland detected German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the Kattegat at 1300 hours. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • Thomas Adlerson of British Air Raid Precautions was presented the George Cross award by King George VI. ww2dbase [George VI | CPC]
  • Swedish seaplane-cruiser Gotland spotted German warships Bismark and Prinz Eugen in the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden. This information was passed on to the British naval attaché in Stockhlom, Sweden Henry Denham, who in turn passed it to the British Admiralty. ww2dbase [Battle of Denmark Strait | CPC]
  • German submarines U-94, U-98, U-109, and U-556 attacked Allied convoy HX-126 250 miles southeast of Cape Farewell, Greenland, sinking 7 ships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-138 sank British ship Javanese Prince 155 miles northwest of Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Otaria sank British ship Starcross 430 miles west of Ireland; the entire crew survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Polish Lieutenant J. Just, a prisoner of war of Oflag IV-C at Colditz Castle in Germany, escaped from the hospital at Villingen, Germany but was captured near Basel on the Swiss-German border. ww2dbase [CPC]
Abyssinia
  • Viceroy of Italian East Africa Prince Amedeo, the Duke of Aosta, surrendered himself into British captivity. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
Greece
  • Hellmuth Felmy was made the commanding officer of Sonderstab F, the cover for the secret German mission in Iraq. ww2dbase [Hellmuth Felmy | CPC]
Hawaii
  • USS New Mexico departed Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. ww2dbase [New Mexico | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 May 1941
A Ju 52 aircraft flying low over Crete, Greece, 20 May 1941German paratroopers landing in Crete, Greece, 20 May 1941German paratroops jumping from Ju 52 transports over Crete, Greece, 20 May 1941OS2U-2 Kingfisher of Scouting Squadron 2 on the seaplane ramp at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, United States, Mar 20 1941. Photo 1 of 2
See all photos dated 20 May 1941
21 May 1941
  • At a meeting of the Central Committee War Section in Moscow, Russia, the intelligence reports, provided by Communist sympathisers in Germany, that an attack on the Soviet Union was imminent was greeted with much apprehension. Stalin however still refused to accept the intelligence, believing that the reports must be either deliberate provocation of misinformation by the British to get the Soviet Union involved in the war. When General Proskurov, the head of Soviet Intelligence, argued personally with Stalin, he was duly arrested and shot. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
  • In the early hours of the day, 3 British cruisers and 4 destroyers intercepted and sank 11 small Axis vessels, killing 297 Germans. In the morning, 650 men of the German 5. Gebirsgäger Division landed on Crete, Greece in time to support the paratroopers already in position against a British counter attack at Maleme airfield. Many of the transport aircraft that delivered the troops would be damaged or destroyed on the airfield before they could take off. New Zealand General Freyberg held back his reserves despite German presence at Maleme, believing that the main German invasion was still to come at the beaches. At the nearby island of Milos, 19 fishing boats and 2 small passenger ships disembarked 2,331 German infantry. Out at sea, German aircraft damaged HMS Dido, HMS Orion, and HMS Ajax while Italian bombers sank HMS Juno (128 killed, 97 survived). ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • The Women's Land Army in the United Kingdom was declared to have over 11,000 members. ww2dbase [TH]
  • A Vichy French military court sentenced 56 enlisted soldiers who sided with de Gaulle to death or hard labor, in absentia. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Vichy France government confiscated all property owned by Free French troops. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German submarine U-69 sank unarmed American freighter Robin Moor by torpedo and gunfire 800 miles off the coast of British West Africa at 0525 hours; Robin Moor was the first American merchantman to be sunk by a German submarine in WW2. All 46 aboard survived. US President Roosevelt protested the sinking and unsuccessfully demanded compensation from Germany. At midnight at the very end of the day, U-69 struck again, sinking British ship Tewkesbury; all 42 aboard survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German fleet containing Prinz Eugen was spotted by a British Coastal Command Spitfire aircraft at 1315 hours in the Korsfjord. It departed Korsfjord at 2000 hours. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen stopped in Grimstadfjord, Norway to refuel Prinz Eugen. At 1315 hours, RAF Flying Officer Michael Suckling, flying a Spitfire fighter, spotted the warships. British Home Fleet commander Admiral John Tovey dispatched all available warships to prevent the Germans from breaking out to the North Atlantic. The German ships completed refueling at 1900 hours and began moving westwards. After dark, British bombers attacked the empty Grimstadfjord. ww2dbase [Battle of Denmark Strait | CPC]
  • German submarine U-93 sank Dutch tanker Elusa off Greenland; 5 were killed, 49 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-98 sank British ship Marconi; 22 were killed, 56 survived and rescued by US Coast Guard patrol boat General Greene. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 8 I-15 fighters of the Chinese 29th Squadron intercepted 27 Japanese G3M bombers over Lanzhou, Gansu, China, shooting down one and damaging another. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | CPC]
China
  • Seven I-15III fighters of 21st Pursuit Squadron of Chinese 4th Pursuit Group intercepted 27 unescorted G3M bombers of Japanese Mihoro Kokutai (based in Tainan, Taiwan) over Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China; one G3M bomber was shot down and another returned with damage (70 bullet holes were found). ww2dbase [CPC]
Japan
  • Kaga was made the flagship of Carrier Division 1 of the Japanese Navy First Air Fleet at Sasebo, Japan. ww2dbase [Kaga | CPC]
Norway
  • The British Coastal Command dispatched from RAF Wick two Spitfire aircraft on a photo-reconnaissance mission over the Norwegian fjords. One of the aircraft was piloted by Flying Officer Michael Suckling. Suckling flew high, banking every few minutes or so to catch a glimpse of the various fjords scattered along the coast. Suddenly, he caught sight of a group of ships below him and dived down to take a closer look. He identified one of them as a cruiser, surrounded by destroyers and an oil tanker. Turning on his cameras, he made a pass across the fjord before heading for Bergen to check out the harbour there. As he turned for home he spotted another group of ships below him. Turning on his camera again he photographed what he thought were two cruisers before resuming his homeward course. When his photographs were finally examined by photo-interpreter David Linton it was realized that Suckling had, in fact, found the Bismarck and a hipper-class heavy cruiser at 1315 hours in the Grimstadtfjord a little south of Bergen. The German ships would depart the fjord at 2000 hours. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC, AC]
Photo(s) dated 21 May 1941
Bismarck in Norway, seen from Prinz Eugen, 21 May 1941Bismarck near Bergen, Norway, 21 May 1941, photo 1 of 2German paratroopers in Crete, Greece, late May 1941Bismarck near Bergen, Norway, 21 May 1941, photo 2 of 2
22 May 1941
  • The first flight of the Curtiss Hawk 81 fighters, known as Kittyhawk I to the British and P-40D to the Americans, was ordered by both the British Royal Air Force and the US Army. ww2dbase [P-40 Warhawk | AC]
  • US Navy transferred ships from the Pacific Fleet to the Atlantic Fleet. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Himmler formed a Norwegian SS organization, modeling it after the German counterpart. ww2dbase [TH]
  • HMS King George V patrolled the waters off Iceland. ww2dbase [King George V | CPC]
  • Iraqis counterattacked the British troops at Fallujah, Iraq with Italian-made light tanks. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • British aerial reconnaissance confirmed the German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen had left Grimstadfjord, Norway. The German aerial reconnaissance to Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom, seeing dummy warships, reported that the British fleet was still in port. ww2dbase [Battle of Denmark Strait | CPC]
  • German submarine U-111 sank British ship Barnby 400 miles southwest of Ireland at 1340 hours; 1 was killed, 44 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank British tanker Grenadier 50 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at midnight; the entire crew of 49 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • New Zealand Second Lieutenant Charles Upham commanded a forward platoon in an attack on Maleme, Crete, Greece, during which he led his unit in advancing 3,000 yards, destroying many enemy defensive positions along the way, including wiping out a machine gun post with a grenade by himself. While falling back, he helped a wounded man out of the battle zone under fire and helped an isolated company back to friendly lines. He would later win the Victoria Cross award. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 7 I-16 fighters of the Chinese 24th Pursuit Squadron and 1 SB bomber of the Chinese 9th Bomb Squadron were ordered to intercept the incoming 25 Japanese G3M bombers at Lanzhou, Gansu, China. Bad weather forced the Chinese aircraft to land at Chung Chuan Chun Airfield, but upon sighting the Japanese bombers overhead the Chinese fighters were able to takeoff and shoot down one bomber and damaging another. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | CPC]
  • HMS Edinburgh intercepted German ship Lech in the Bay of Biscay. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | CPC]
  • Vyacheslav Molotov met with Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg in Moscow, Russia. Schulenburg, the German ambassador, reported that Molotov was extremely friendly. ww2dbase [Vyacheslav Molotov | CPC]
  • Erich Raeder responded to Adolf Hitler's inquiry regarding a German occupation of the Azores islands as long range bomber bases (although Germany had no such bombers at that time) as difficult, as the German Navy was not strong enough to guard the islands should they be taken. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
China
  • 25 G3M bombers of Japanese Mihoro Kokutai (based in Tainan, Taiwan) with A6M Zero fighters in escort attacked Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China. Gao Youxin, flying an I-16III fighter temporarily based in Chung Chuan Chun Airfield to the north of the city, dispersed several bombers making an attack run on the airfield, allowing five I-16III fighters to take off. Gao went on to shoot down one G3M bomber (Lieutenant Shintaro Hashimoto) and damaged another. Most of the G3M bombers, however, bombed the city uncontested. ww2dbase [Gao Youxin | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Before dawn, British warships searched for an Axis convoy off the Greek island of Milos; after sunrise, German aircraft spotted the ships, damaging HMS Naiad (6 killed), HMS Calcutta (14 killed), and HMS Kingston (1 killed) at 1000 hours. At 1200 hours, HMS Greyhound was sunk (76 killed) and HMS Warspite was damaged (43 killed). Shortly after, HMS Gloucester (722 killed) and HMS Fiji (257 killed) were also sunk. Meanwhile, at Crete, Greece, Australian and New Zealand troops counterattacked at Maleme at 0330 hours, but German 5. Gebirsgäger Division troops repulsed the attack. During the day, additional Ju 52 aircraft brought two more battalions of troops to Maleme. Australian and New Zealand troops were pulled back from Maleme to Suda Bay to protect the main supply point while regrouping for another counterattack. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | Warspite | AC]
Photo(s) dated 22 May 1941
Palls of smoke rising above the countryside, Crete, Greece, late May 1941A group of British soldiers in a trench with fixed bayonets, Crete, Greece, late May 1941
23 May 1941
  • Battleship Bismarck sighted British cruiser Suffolk on her portside at 1922 hours, then cruiser Norfolk at 2030 hours. Her main battery fired at Norfolk but did not score any hits. At 2200 hours, Bismarck reversed course to chase Suffolk, but Suffolk would be able to escape. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler issued Directive 30 to send forces to aid Iraq in its war against the British. At Fallujah, Iraq, fighters of the German Fliegerführer Irak squadron strafed British positions. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen were spotted by British cruisers HMS Suffolk and HMS Norfolk in the Denmark Strait at 1922 hours. Bismarck forced the British cruisers to back off with her guns, but the cruisers would follow at a safer distance to report the German position. ww2dbase [Battle of Denmark Strait | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank Dutch ship Berhala 200 miles off Guinea, French West Africa at 2020 hours; 3 were killed, 59 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Grampus was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Grampus | CPC]
  • Hermann Göring ordered the plunder and destruction of Soviet industrial centers since the conquered Soviet population would be no more than low laborers for Germany. ww2dbase [Hermann Göring | CPC]
Germany
  • Fleet escort ship F1 was renamed Libelle during her rebuild. ww2dbase [F1 | CPC]
Greece
  • HMS Kelly commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, was sunk 35 miles south Crete, Greece at 0800 hours, shortly a bombardment mission; 181 were killed, 297 survived. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | Kelly | AC]
  • Bitter fighting continued on Crete, Greece. During the day, German reinforcements arrived at Maleme airfield, but the attempts to land troops by sea were rebuffed. The Germans now controlled the west end of the island. On the same day, German bombing of Suda Bay sank 5 British motor torpedo boats. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | AC]
  • British destroyer HMS Kashmir (F 01) was bombed and sunk by German Stuka dive bombers south of Crete, Greece. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | HM]
24 May 1941
  • King George II of Greece departed Crete, Greece for Cairo, Egypt. ww2dbase [George II | TH]
  • British battlecruiser HMS Hood and battleship HMS Prince of Wales engaged German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen at 0552 hours at the distance of 24 kilometers. At 0600, a 15 inch shells from Bismarck penetrated Hood's thin deck armor, detonating a magazine and sinking her with almost all killed. Prince of Wales broke off from the battle at 0604 hours after being hit 7 times. Bismarck was hit 3 times and began to sail south for repairs. At 2350 hours, 8 British Swordfish torpedo bombers from aircraft carrier HMS Victorious attacked Bismarck and scored one torpedo hit. ww2dbase [Battle of Denmark Strait | CPC]
  • The British government collected £124,000,000 in donations after a week-long War Weapon Week event. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • At 0552 hours, battleship Bismarck reported 'in fight with two heavy units' as she was engaged by British warships. Between 0555 and 0601 hours, she was hit on the port side by three shells from HMS Prince of Wales, but by 0601 she was able to sink HMS Hood. Between 0602 and 0609, she scored four hits on HMS Prince of Wales. At 0801 hours, Bismarck reported damage with electric plant no. 4 and boiler room no. 2; she would head for Saint-Nazaire due to her low fuel levels. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Prinz Eugen engaged in combat with HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Hood alongside of German battleship Bismarck. She scored the first hit on HMS Hood. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • Allied troops began to fall back southward in Crete, Greece. German bombers attacked Chaniá on the northern coast, causing great damage. After dark, British minelayer HMS Abdiel transported 200 British commandos from Alexandria, Egypt to Suda Bay, Crete; another effort to transport 800 commandos to Port Lutro, Crete was canceled due to bad weather. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank British ship Vulcain off British West Africa at 0249 hours, killing 7. In the same general area, U-103 sank Greek ship Marionga at 0356 hours, killing 26. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis sank British ship Trafalgar 850 miles off South Africa; 12 were killed, 33 survived. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • HMS Rodney received orders to abandon her sortie to Boston, Massachusetts, United States for repairs and instead turn north to attempt to intercept and engage Bismarck. ww2dbase [Rodney | DS]
Italy
  • British Lieutenant Commander Malcolm Wanklyn of the submarine HMS Upholder won the Victoria Cross for sinking 18,017-ton Italian transport Conte Rosso 20 miles southeast of Syracuse, Sicily, Italy and surviving 37 depth charges in 20 minutes. Conte Rosso was one of the largest (maximum passenger capacity of 2,366) and most luxurious passenger ships built at the Dalmuir Shipyards in Scotland, United Kingdom; at her launch she stuck on the slips and it took two weeks before she was re-launched. She was converted into a troop ship in 1940. 1,291 perished as Conte Rosso sank. By the end of the year Wanklyn would sink 140,000 tons of enemy shipping; Wanklyn and Upholder would be lost off Tripoli, Libya in Apr 1942. ww2dbase [AC, HM]
United Kingdom
  • Cargo ship Matronna was bombed and sunk by German aircraft while in Dale Roads off Milford Haven, Wales, United Kingdom and on passage from Port Talbot, Wales for St. John's with cargo of anthracite. ww2dbase [HM]
Photo(s) dated 24 May 1941
Shells from Hood fell near cruiser Prinz Eugen, 24 May 1941Bismarck firing on Hood and Prince of Wales, Battle of Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941, photo 1 of 8; photographed from Prinz EugenBismarck firing on Hood and Prince of Wales, Battle of Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941, photo 2 of 8; photographed from Prinz EugenBismarck firing on Hood and Prince of Wales, Battle of Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941, photo 3 of 8; photographed from Prinz Eugen
See all photos dated 24 May 1941
25 May 1941
  • After being reinforced through Maleme airfield on Crete, Greece, German Stuka dive bombers attacked Allied lines at 1600 hours, softening defenses for a ground assault toward Galatas on the northern coast. Elsewhere on the island, German aircraft bombed Heraklion. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Battleship Bismarck sailed for Saint-Nazaire, closely monitored by Allied aircraft and warships. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • British cruisers HMS Suffolk and HMS Norfolk lost radar contact with German battleship Bismarck at 0306 hours as the German ship unexpectedly turned west. Several hours later, the British learned of Bismarck's general area after intercepting a radio message sent by Admiral Lütjens. All British attempts to locate Bismarck on this date, however, failed. ww2dbase [Battle of Denmark Strait | CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank Egyptian ship Radames off Monrovia, Liberia at 1631 hours, killing 1. At 2213 hours, U-103 struck again, sinking Dutch ship Wangi Wangi, killing 1. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Luftwaffe Lieutenant-General Kurt Student arrived at Maleme in Crete, Greece. ww2dbase [Kurt Student | AC]
  • HMS Eagle arrived at Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa and refueled. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
France
  • Pierre Laval criticized the Vichy French government during an interview with American journalist Ralph Heinzen in Paris, France. ww2dbase [Pierre Laval | CPC]
Germany Photo(s) dated 25 May 1941
Aerial photograph of Wake taken from a PBY Catalina on 25 May 1941, looking west along the northern side, with Peale Island in the center and Wilkes Island in the left distance
26 May 1941
  • Battleship Bismarck was detected by Allied PBY Catalina aircraft 700 miles west of Land's End, England, United Kingdom at 1030 hours, and Royal Navy's Force H was ordered to attack. Carrier-based Swordfish torpedo bombers attacked between 2047 and 2115 hours. Two or three torpedoes hit her, one of which hit the stern and jammed her rudder at 12 degrees to port. At 2140 hours, she radioed in the message "Ship unable to maneuver. We will fight to the last shell. Long live the Führer." Within hours, Allied warships closed in on her. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Operation Skorpion: German Colonel Maximilian von Herff launched an offensive and captured Halfaya Pass in Egypt, near the border with Libya. ww2dbase [Operation Brevity | CPC]
  • Six Albacore carrier aircraft from HMS Formidable attacked Italian airfields on Scarpanto in the Dodecanese Islands in Operation MAQ3. German bombers counterattacked the carrier, hitting her twice and killing 12; escorting destroyer HMS Nubian was also hit, seriously damaging the stern and killing 15. ww2dbase [Formidable | CPC]
  • During the day, German aircraft misidentified the German column moving from Galatas, Crete, Greece toward Canea on the Suda Bay. After sundown, poor communications and conflicting orders caused 1,000 Allied troops at Canea to become surrounded. Also during the night, minelayer HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Hero and HMAS Nizam arrived at Suda Bay from Alexandria, Egypt and disembarked 750 British commandos under Colonel Robert Laycock; they evacuated personnel from the naval base as they departed. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Japanese fighters intercepted 18 I-15 fighters of the Chinese 29th Pursuit Squadron while in transit in Gansu Province, China; nearly all Chinese fighters were destroyed. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler met with tank generals and tank designers at his residence Berghof in southern Germany. In a similar meeting three months prior he had asked for 75-millimeter guns for Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. Because 75-millimeter guns relied on special tungsten shells, Hitler now asked for 88-millimeter guns to be used for future heavy tanks. He also demanded 100-millimeter frontal armor and 60-millimeter side armor. ww2dbase [PzKpfw VI Ausf. E 'Tiger I' | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler met with tank generals and tank designers at his residence Berghof in southern Germany. In a similar meeting three months prior he had asked for 75-millimeter guns for Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. Because 75-millimeter guns relied on special tungsten shells, Hitler now asked for 88-millimeter guns to be used for future heavy tanks. He also demanded 100-millimeter frontal armor and 60-millimeter side armor. ww2dbase [PzKpfw VI Ausf. E 'Tiger I' | CPC]
Iraq
  • Iraqi forces received supplies by train from Vichy French forces in Syria, including 8 155mm guns, 6,000 shells, 30,000 grenades, and 32 trucks. By this date, all German fighters in Iraq had become unserviceable after 10 days of engagements with British fighters; the Germans then evacuated their main base at Mosul, Iraq before the Commonwealth forces could overrun it. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC, AC]
Photo(s) dated 26 May 1941
Two A6M2 Type 0 Model 11 Zero fighters in flight from Yichang, Hubei Province to attack Nanzheng, Shaanxi Province in China, 26 May 1941
27 May 1941
  • German troops captured Canea, Crete, Greece, thus securing the use of the anchorage at Suda Bay. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • US Navy transferred ships from the Pacific Fleet to the Atlantic Fleet. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt announced unlimited state of emergency, which enabled him to send more war supplies to the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • At 0710 hours, battleship Bismarck sent in what would become her last radio report. She was sighted by battleships HMS King George V and HMS Rodney at 0844 hours, and their guns fired 3 minutes later, hitting Bismarck and quickly disabling her guns. Heavy cruisers HMS Norfolk and HMS Dorsetshire joined in on the attack shortly after. After receiving about 400 gunfire hits from the British ships and several torpedo hits from HMS Dorsetshire, Bismarck's crew set off scuttling charges in the boiler room to scuttle her. She sank at 1039 hours; 2,091, most of her crew, were killed. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Colonial off Guinea, French West Africa at 0146 hours; the entire crew of 100 survived and rescued by HMS Centurion. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Allied forces advanced toward Baghdad, Iraq in two columns. From the south, Indian 20th Brigade advanced north along and on the Euphrates River while Indian 21st Brigade advanced on the Tigris River from Basra. From the west, British forces departed Fallujah. Also on this date, 12 Italian CR.42 biplane fighters arrived at Mosul to reinforce the German and Iraqi forces in the area. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • HMS King George V and HMS Rodney closed to within 23,000 yards of Bismarck and opened fire. ww2dbase [Rodney | DS]
Gibraltar
  • Scirè launched three manned torpedoes into Gibraltar harbor; they failed to damage any enemy vessel. ww2dbase [Scirè | CPC]
Hawaii
  • Jack Kleiss earned the nickname "Dusty" after making an unauthorized landing at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on the island of Oahu, US Territory of Hawaii, stirring up a giant cloud of red dust. ww2dbase [Ewa Marine Corps Air Station | Jack Kleiss | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • In Britain a secret War Office memo banned Fascists and Communists from joining the Home Guard. All those already in the service are to be dismissed as "Services no longer required". ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 27 May 1941
Battleship Bismarck burning in the distance as seen from a British warship, 27 May 1941Survivors of battleship Bismarck being pulled aboard HMS Dorsetshire, 27 May 1941HMS Rodney firing on German battleship Bismarck, 27 May 1941Map showing the final boundaries of the United States Atlantic Neutrality Zone that became effective 27 May 1941.
28 May 1941
  • British General Archibald Wavell ordered Operation Battleaxe against Axis positions in Libya; it was to be launched on 7 Jun. ww2dbase [Operation Battleaxe | CPC]
  • The evacuation of British and Commonwealth troops from Crete, Greece began before dawn; the evacuation centered around Sphakia on the southern coast of Crete, while Colonel Laycock commanded a rearguard force to guard the evacuation. British cruisers HMS Ajax, HMS Orion, and HMS Dido and destroyers HMS Decoy, HMS Jackal, HMS Imperial, HMS Hotspur, HMS Kimberly, and HMS Hereward departed Alexandria, Egypt for Heraklion, Crete to help with the evacuation; German aircraft damaged HMS Ajax (killing 6, wounding 18, and forcing her to turn back) and HMS Imperial (wounding 1); the force, less Ajax, arrived at Heraklion at 2330 hours. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • British Lord Woolton announced experimental egg rationing and further restrictions on fish and milk. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In the United Kingdom, successful prosecutions under Food Control Orders now totaled 17,319. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German bombers attacked HMS Tartar and HMS Mashona 100 miles west of Ireland in the morning, killing 36 men as a bomb hit Mashona. HMS Tartar rescued 184 survivors and destroyers HMS Sherwood and HMCS St. Clair scuttled Mashona with gunfire. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Indian 20th Brigade, en route to Baghdad in Iraq, reached the city of Ur. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank Greek ship Papalemos off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 1600 hours; 2 were killed and 27 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • South African Prime Minister Jan Smuts was appointed as a Field Marshal in the British Army. He was the first South African to hold the rank. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Jan Smuts was given the rank of field marshal in the British Army. ww2dbase [Jan Smuts | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 28 May 1941
Aerial view of RAF Takali, Malta, 28 May 1941
29 May 1941
  • Prinz Eugen arrived at Brest, France. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • A British force of cruiser and destroyers embarked 3,486 men at Heraklion, Crete and departed for Egypt at 0245 hours. At 0400 hours, HMS Imperial's steering failed; she transferred her crew and passengers, and then was scuttled by HMS Hotspur. After dawn, HMS Hereward was bombed by Italian aircraft, 76 were killed and 89 survivors were captured. Cruisers HMS Orion and HMS Dido were also attacked, killing 105 crew and 260 passengers on the former and 27 crew and 100 passengers on the latter. The force would finally arrive at Alexandria, Egypt at 2000 hours. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • German submarine U-557 sank British ship Empire Storm in the North Atlantic at 2043 hours; 3 were killed, 40 survived and were rescued by Norwegian ship Marita. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank British ship Tabaristan 250 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 2350 hours; 21 were killed, 39 survived and were rescued by British armed trawlers HMS Bengali and HMS Turcoman. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German Navy began to execute its plans for the invasion of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • HMS Eagle began patrolling the South Atlantic for German shipping. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 407-ton German weather-reporting trawler August Wriedt was captured by the destroyer HMS Bedouin (Commander J. A. McCoy RN) in the North Sea heading for Greenland. She was later taken into the Royal Navy as HMS Maria. ww2dbase [AC]
Germany
  • 13 British and Polish prisoners of war of Oflag IV-C at Colditz Castle, Germany attempted to escape via a tunnel, but the attempt was a failure. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
  • U-132 was commissioned into service with Kapitänleutnant Ernst Vogelsang in command, and was assigned to the 3rd Submarine Flotilla. ww2dbase [U-132 | CPC]
United States
  • US Navy extended its boundaries of Neutrality Patrol to North and South Atlantic. On the same day, a joint US Army-US Navy plan was drafted to occupy the Portuguese Azores islands with 14,000 Marines and 14,000 troops; the proposed commanding officer was US Marine Corps Major General Holland M. Smith. ww2dbase [United States Neutrality Patrol | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 29 May 1941
Washington off the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, United States, 29 May 1941A-20A Havoc bomber of US 58th Bomb Squadron flying over Oahu, US Territory of Hawaii, 29 May 1941USS Washington, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 29 May 1941Morris Sheppard, George Lynch, and A. B. Chandler inspecting Johnson M1941 rifles, Washington, DC, United States, 29 May 1940
30 May 1941
  • Erich Raeder recommended Adolf Hitler an attack on the Suez Canal in Egypt. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
  • Before dawn, a force of British cruiser and destroyers embarked 6,029 troops and departed Sphakia, Crete, Greece for Egypt. En route, they were attacked by Axis aircraft; a bomb hit on cruiser HMS Perth killed 13, but RAF fighter escorts prevented Axis aircraft from dealing the kind of damage they did on the previous day against a different evacuation convoy. Destroyer HMS Kelvin, sailing north from Egypt, was damaged by a bomb en route, killing 1. On land, German aircraft strafed evacuation beaches at and near Sphakia. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • British and Indian forces reached the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq, causing Rashid Ali's government to collapse. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank British ship Silveryew near Cape Verde Islands at 0036 hours, killing 1. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank British ship Empire Protector off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 1407 hours, killing 5. ww2dbase [CPC]
Japan
  • Soviet spy Richard Sorge, a reporter in the German Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, informed Moscow that the Germans planned to invade in late June. Joseph Stalin, as he had done in so many other reports by his agents, still refused to believe this important intelligence. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
31 May 1941
  • At 0200 hours, Dublin, Ireland was accidentally bombed by German bombers intending to hit Liverpool, England, United Kingdom; 28 were killed and 87 were wounded, while about 25 homes were destroyed and about 300 homes were seriously damaged. Germany would later offer compensation. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Destroyers HMAS Napier and HMAS Nizam embarked 1,510 troops at Sphakia, Crete, Greece and departed before dawn for Egypt; they were attacked by Axis aircraft en route, causing minor damage. At 0600 hours, cruiser HMS Phoebe, minelayer HMS Abdiel, and destroyers HMS Jackal, HMS Kimberley, and HMS Hotspur departed Alexandria, Egypt for Sphakia to evacuate more troops. On the same day, 54 senior level Allied officers, including General Freyberg, were evacuated from Crete by aircraft. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • The mayor of Baghdad, Iraq surrendered to British Ambassador Sir Kinahan Cornwallis at the Washash Bridge. As a sign of good faith, the British allowed the Iraqi Army to return to their barracks, and all captured equipment were returned. Both sides released captured prisoners of war with the exception of German and Italian troops captured by the British. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarine U-69 sank British ship Sangara at Accra harbor, Gold Coast at 0025 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank Norwegian ship Rinda off Liberia at 0024 hours; 13 were killed, 18 survived and were rescued by British anti-submarine trawler HMS Pict. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank British ship Clan MacDougall near Cape Verde Islands at 0334 hours; 2 were killed, 85 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Sire off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 0739 hours; 3 were killed, 46 survived and were rescued by British corvette HMS Marguerite. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-147 sank British ship Gravelines 100 miles northwest of Ireland; 11 were killed, 25 survived and were rescued by British sloop HMS Deptford. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-204 sank small Icelandic fishing boat Holmsteinn northwest of Iceland at 0515 hours, killing the entire crew of 4. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, German bombers attacked Merseyside, England, United Kingdom in the early hours of the day. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Austria
  • After successfully escaping the Oflag IV-C prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle, Germany earlier in the month, British Lieutenant Anthony "Peter" Allan failed to secure assistance from the US Consulate at Vienna in occupied Austria. Giving up, he turned himself in at a local police station and was eventually returned to Colditz. ww2dbase [CPC]
Greece
  • In Crete, Greece, German Luftwaffe General Kurt Student issued an order authorizing reprisals against the civilian population, including women and boys, proven of involvement in fighting, committing sabotage, or mutilating or killing wounded soldiers. The reprisals were to consist of shooting, fines, burning villages or extermination of the male population. Several senior officers stormed out of the conference in protest of the order but there were a few officers who were quite prepared to lead execution squads. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | Kurt Student | AC]
  • Georgios Poulos and his group National Union of Greece was ordered by the police of Thessaloniki, Greece to cease the publication of the group's newspaper. ww2dbase [Georgios Poulos | CPC]
Russia
  • A Soviet decree stated that children of traitors could be criminally charged after they reached the age of 15. ww2dbase [CPC]
US Virgin Islands
  • US 22nd and 23rd Fighter Squadrons, both operating P-40 Warhawk fighters, was assigned to St. Croix Airfield, US Virgin Islands. ww2dbase [St. Croix Airfield | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 May 1941
Wounded British troops disembarking at an Egyptian port after being evacuated from Crete, Greece, 31 May 1941Map depicting the German assault on Crete, Greece, 20-31 May 1941
1 Jun 1941
  • A pro-British government was established in Iraq under Amir Abdul Illah, restoring the monarchy. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Before dawn, British cruiser HMS Phoebe, minelayer HMS Abdiel, and destroyers HMS Jackal, HMS Kimberley, and HMS Hotspur embarked 3,710 Allied troops at Sphakia, Crete, Greece and departed; the force would arrive safely at Alexandria, Egypt later on the same day. Anti-aircraft cruisers HMS Calcutta and HMS Coventry were dispatched from Alexandria to cover this force; HMS Calcutta was attacked by Axis aircraft, sinking at 0945 hours with 118 lost and 255 wounded. Although the Allied efforts had evacuated 16,511 men from Crete, 5,000 still remained; they would be surrendered by Australian Lieutenant Colonel Theo Walker by the end of the day, thus ending the German campaign on Crete. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Mildred Tuttle married David Axton and took her husband's last name. ww2dbase [Mildred Axton | CPC]
  • German submarine U-105 sank the ship Scottish Monarch southwest of the Cape Verde Islands at 0052 hours; 1 was killed, 44 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Alfred Jones 140 miles off Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 1409 hours; 14 were killed, 62 survived and rescued by British corvette HMS Marguerite. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, German bombers attacked Merseyside, England, United Kingdom in the early hours of the day. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • In the Soviet Union, 793,500 conscripts were called up. ww2dbase [AC]
  • HMS Edinburgh was ordered to patrol the Denmark Strait. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | CPC]
  • Erich Müller was made the military governor of the Channel Islands, succeeding Rudolf von Schmettow. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Kurt Fricke was promoted to the rank of vice admiral. ww2dbase [Kurt Frike | CPC]
  • Philippe Leclerc was promoted to the rank of colonel. ww2dbase [Philippe Leclerc | CPC]
  • Peter Drummond was promoted to the rank of acting air marshal and was made Deputy Air Officer Commander-in-Chief of RAF Middle East. ww2dbase [Peter Drummond | CPC]
France
  • German cruiser Prinz Eugen arrived in Brest, France to join battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau docked there for refits. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | AC]
Trinidad
  • The US base at Chaguramas, Trinidad became operational. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Clothing rationing was introduced in Britain. Everyone was allowed 66 clothing coupons a year; equivalent to about one complete outfit. A man's overcoat cost 16 coupons; a dress 11; a pair of pyjamas eight; a nightdress six; underpants four; a pair of stockings two; a handerchief could be had for half a coupon. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Jun 1941
Howard P. Perry, the first African-American to enlist in the United States Marines Corps on 1 Jun 1942
2 Jun 1941
  • Before dawn, German bombers attacked Manchester and Salford in England, United Kingdom in the early hours of the day; 70 were killed and 86 were seriously injured. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • In light of the successful campaign at Crete, Greece, Göring boasted that there was no such thing as an unconquerable island, hinting a similar fate for Britain. As for the killings of German paratroopers by civilians at Crete, Göring officially ordered reprisals to be conducted as if the killers were partisan fighters. ww2dbase [Hermann Göring | TH]
  • RAF bombers conducted a raid in the Ruhr region of Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Vichy French government published anti-Semitic legislation based on German laws; among it was the banning of Jews from holding public office. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-147 attacked Allied convoy OB-329 northwest of Ireland, damaging Belgian ship Mokambo (all 47 aboard survived), but was destroyed by depth charges from British destroyer HMS Wanderer and corvette HMS Periwinkle, killing all 26 German sailors aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-108 sank British catapult-armed merchant ship Michael E. about 1,050 miles west of Land's End, England, United Kingdom at 2043 hours; 4 were killed, 47 survived. The Hurricane fighter aboard was also lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Long Island was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Long Island | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon Hawaii Italy
  • Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini met again at the Brenner Pass on the Italian-Austrian border. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | TH]
United Kingdom
  • The British RAF took delivery of the first Mosquito PR 1 photo-reconnaissance aircraft. With double the range of the streamlined Spitfire photo-reconnaissance aircraft, by early 1942 UK-based Mosquito aircraft would be regularly flying photo-reconnaissance missions as far away as northern Norway, Ostpreußen (East Prussia) in Germany, and the north of Italy. ww2dbase [Mosquito | AC]
United States
  • Rear Admiral Edward J. Marquart was named the commanding officer of New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York, United States. ww2dbase [New York Navy Yard | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 2 Jun 1941
Killed Greek civilians in Kondomari, Crete, Greece, 2 Jun 1941
3 Jun 1941
  • The Attlee memorandum approved by 2,430,000 to 19,000 at Labour Party conference in Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A German He 111 bomber encountered a British de Havilland Dragon aircraft en route back to France and shot it down. The aircraft turned out to be a civilian joy-riding aircraft from St Mary's island of the Isles of Scilly off the tip of southwestern England, United Kingdom. The pilot and all 5 passengers were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British cruisers HMS Aurora and HMS Kenya attacked German tanker Belchen 80 miles southwest of Greenland as the tanker refueled submarine U-93. U-93 escaped, but Belchen was damaged by shellfire and a torpedo from Aurora; her crew scuttled the ship. 5 were killed during the attack; U-93 later returned and picked up 50 survivors. The attack on Belchen was enabled by Ultra intercepts. To the south, U-48 and U-75 attacked Allied convoy OB-327 950 miles west of Brest, France, sinking Dutch ship Eibergen (4 killed; 35 survived) and British tanker Inversuir (45 survived). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British passenger liner Mamari, modified to look like carrier HMS Hermes, was attacked by German aircraft off Cromer, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. She became stuck on the wreck of tanker Ahamo while evading the attack. After sundown, German E-boats arrived and hit Mamari with torpedoes. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, German bombers attacked Hull and Tweedmouth in England, United Kingdom in the early hours of the day. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
4 Jun 1941
  • British cruiser HMS London and destroyer HMS Brilliant intercepted German tanker Esso Hamburg 750 miles southwest of Cape Verde islands based on Ultra intercepts; Esso Hamburg's entire crew of 87 survived the attack and the tanker was scuttled. Also from Ultra intercepts, British armed merchant cruiser HMS Esperance Bay and aircraft from HMS Victorious spotted German supply ship Gonzenheim 380 miles northeast of the Azores; battleship HMS Nelson and cruiser HMS Neptune approached to board but not before Gonzenheim was scuttled; all 63 aboard survived and picked up by Neptune. Finally, ocean boarding vessel HMS Marsdale captured German tanker Gedania also off the Azores; Gedania would later be pressed into British service as Empire Garden. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-101 attacked British ship Trecarrell 1,200 west of Brest, France at 0503 hours, killing 4; 41 abandoned ship. At 0640, U-101 rammed Trecarrell, bending Trecarrell's bow, and then left Trecarrell to sink on her own. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British dredger Robert Hughes hit a mine, which was laid by U-69 on 27 May 1941, and sank in Lagos Harbor, Nigeria; 14 were killed, 17 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Dutch minelayer HNLMS Van Meerlant hit a mine and sank in the Thames Estuary in southern England, United Kingdom, killing 3. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British Home Security Situation Report noted that, for the week ending at 0600 hours on 4 Jun 1941, about 178 were killed by German bombing in Britain, and 185 were seriously injured. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Netherlands
  • Former German Emperor and King of Prussia Kaiser Wilhelm II died in Doorn, Netherlands. ww2dbase [TH]
5 Jun 1941
  • Germany announced that 15,000 British and Commonwealth prisoners of war were captured at Crete, Greece. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Japanese luxury ocean liner Hikawa Maru departed Yokohama for Vancouver, with some Jewish refugees on board. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
  • German submarine U-48 sank British ship Wellfield 670 miles north of the Azores at 0131 hours; 8 were killed, 30 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German Kriegsmarine issued orders for 102 new submarines to be constructed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Triumph sank Italian gunboat Valoroso and two small transports, Frieda and Trio Frassinetti, off the coast of Libya with her deck gun. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British cruiser HMS London and destroyer HMS Brilliant, using Ultra intercepts, intercepted and attacked German tanker Egerland 700 miles southwest of Cape Verde islands. Egerland's crew scuttled the ship; all 94 aboard survived. ww2dbase [London | CPC]
  • Before dawn, German bombers attacked Birmingham, England, United Kingdom in the early hours of the day; the bombs mostly missed their targets and fell outside the city. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
China
  • Japanese aircraft flew more than 20 sorties against Chongqing, China over a 3-hour period, dropping bombs on civilian sections of the city. In the Jiaochangkou air raid shelter tunnel, more than 1,000 Chinese died from asphyxiation. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | CPC]
Germany
  • Libelle was recommissioned into service. ww2dbase [F1 | CPC]
6 Jun 1941
  • Hitler implemented the Kommissarbefehl, or Commissar Order, which would bring about the summary execution of any captured Soviet political commissars; this order would be ignored by most German Army commanders. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | TH]
  • The British Air Ministry issued a contract to Avro for the supply of 454 Lancaster Mk I heavy bombers powered by four Merlin XX engines, plus two prototype Lancaster Mk II fitted with four Bristol Hercules VI engines. ww2dbase [Lancaster | AC]
  • Italian submarine Marconi sank British ship Baron Lovat (the entire crew survived) and Swedish ship Taberg (15 killed) 350 miles west of Gibraltar. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank British ship Sacramento Valley 250 miles west of Cape Verde Islands at 0503 hours; 3 were killed, 39 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-43 sank Dutch ship Yselhaven 930 miles northwest of the Azores at 2024 hours; 24 were killed, 10 survived. Three hours later at 2325 hours, 630 miles northwest of the Azores, U-48 sank British ship Tregarthen, killing all 45 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Aircraft from HMS Eagle sank German blockade runner Elbe in the South Atlantic. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
British Palestine Photo(s) dated 6 Jun 1941
German prisoners under British guard, Crete, Greece, 6 Jun 1941A crashed German glider with two of its occupants lying dead alongside, Crete, Greece, 6 Jun 1941Ante Pavelić and Joachim von Ribbentrop in Salzburg, German occupied Austria, 6 Jun 1941
7 Jun 1941
  • British Operation Battleaxe, an offensive against Axis positions in Libya, was delayed. ww2dbase [Operation Battleaxe | CPC]
  • Polish physician Zygmunt Klukowski's diary entry for this date noted his observation of heavy German military traffic moving east. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt learned that Germany was unlikely to invade the Iberian Peninsula, and suspended the planning for the occupation of the Portuguese Azores islands. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
Russia
  • Soviet Armaments Commissar Boris Vannikov was arrested. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • The Kauffmann-Hull agreement on the matter of US occupation of Greenland was officially approved by US President Franklin Roosevelt. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
8 Jun 1941
  • Germany experienced the largest RAF bombing raid thus far. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Commonwealth and Free French forces in northern Palestine crossed the border into southern French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon; the Free French promised the counties full independence for their co-operation. Troops of the British No. 11 (Scottish) Commando was to conduct an amphibious raid in an attempt to secure a crossing on the Litani River for the Australian troops, but bad weather delayed their arrival by sea. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | AC]
  • After two German air raids on Alexandria, Egypt, which had killed 400 people, 40,000 residents were evacuated from the city. ww2dbase [AC]
9 Jun 1941
  • The United Kingdom established a national Fire Service Council. ww2dbase [TH]
  • As the British commando raid to secure crossings on the Litani River in French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon had been delayed by weather, Australian troops crossed the river in canvas boats. The commandos later arrived and joined the Australians in the assault. French destroyers Valmy and Guépard bombarded Allied troops in the Litani River area, but they were driven off by New Zealand cruiser HMNZS Leander and British destroyers HMS Janus, HMS Hotspur, HMS Isis, HMS Jackal (HMS Janus was badly damaged in the engagement). Further off the coast, French submarine Caiman attacked British cruiser HMS Phoebe, but without success. The Allies were able to secure several strongpoints on the opposite shore of the Litani River by the end of the day. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarine U-46 sank British ship Phidias in the North Atlantic with the deck gun in the early hours of the day; 8 were killed, 43 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-101 sank British ship Trevarrack in the North Atlantic at 1835 hours; 45 survived the attack in 3 lifeboats, but they were never found. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • At Berchtesgaden, Germany, Adolf Hitler issued the summons for his top military leaders to gather for the final planning meeting for Operation Barbarossa. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • USS New Mexico arrived at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. ww2dbase [New Mexico | CPC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt sent troops into the North American Aviation Company's plant near Los Angeles, California, United States to break a strike by workers. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
Photo(s) dated 9 Jun 1941
Seyß-Inquart, Mackensen, Canaris, Christiansen, Haase, and Densch at the funeral of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Doorn, Netherlands, 9 Jun 1941
10 Jun 1941
  • Desperate for sources of raw materials, Japanese leadership was infuriated when the United States won the contract to purchase all the Tungsten mined in Bolivia over the next three years. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Allied troops captured several villages in the French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon as they advanced toward Beirut. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Lord Simon met with Rudolf Heß for 2.5 hours, during which Hess asked Lord Simon to work with the British government to negotiate peace with Germany. ww2dbase [Rudolf Heß | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British steamship Royal Scot struck an acoustic mine in the North Sea, east-south-east of Spurn Point, England, United Kingdom, and sank. British patrol vessel HMS Pintail, providing escort for the convoy, sailed toward the sinking site to rescue survivors. Pintail struck a mine as well, sinking quickly and killing 7 officers (including commanding officer Lieutenant John Leopold Elphinstone McClintock) and 48 ratings; 22 survived. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
Photo(s) dated 10 Jun 1941
Ion Antonescu and Adolf Hitler at Munich, Germany, 10 Jun 1941; note Keitel and Ribbentrop in background
11 Jun 1941
  • The 15th Punjab Regiment of the Indian 3rd Battalion captured Assab, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, thus securing the Red Sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German heavy cruiser Lützow departed Kiel, Germany for Norway, escorted by light cruisers Emden and Leipzig and six destroyers. ww2dbase [Deutschland | CPC]
  • German submarine U-79 sank Norwegian ship Havtor 150 miles west of Iceland at 2051 hours; 6 were killed, 14 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Submarine HMS Torbay rammed and sank a Greek fishing boat being used as a German troop transport 15 miles south of the island of Lesbos, Greece. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Taku sank German ship Tilly LM Russ in Benghazi Harbor, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Major General Douglas Wimberley took over command of British 51st Highland Division from Sir Neil Ritchie who moved to a staff appointment in British Eighth Army. ww2dbase [AC]
  • USS New Mexico departed Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. ww2dbase [New Mexico | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The Brazilian steamer Ozorio rescued the last eleven survivors from the US freighter SS Robin Moor (Captain E. W. Meyers), that had been sunk in the South Atlantic on 21 May by U-69 (Kapitänleutnant Jost Metzler) while carrying contraband aircraft parts. ww2dbase [AC]
Germany
  • After dark, British bombers conducted the first of 20 consecutive nightly raids on the Ruhr and Rhineland industrial areas in Germany. Several German port cities such as Hamburg and Bremen were also hit. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | TH]
Hawaii United Kingdom
  • Sir Staffrord Cripps, the British envoy to Moscow, returned to London for consultation, but his departure left a suspicious Joseph Stalin assuming that Winston Churchill (who he distrusted) might be preparing some Byzantine move designed to leave the Soviet Union isolated to face any possible Nazi invasion. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 11 Jun 1941
Bantam BRC 40 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle built by Checker Cab Company under contract, 11 Jun 1941
12 Jun 1941
  • Men of the US Naval Reserve were called to active duty. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British cruiser HMS Sheffield sank German tanker Friedrich Breme with shellfire in the Atlantic Ocean; 2 were killed 86 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Indian and Free French forces under French General Paul Legentilhomme captured Deraa, Sheikh Meskine, and Ezraa in southwestern French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon, but were held up Kissoué. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Taku sank Italian ship Silvio Scaroni 70 miles west of Benghazi, Libya; Italian torpedo boats Pallade and Polluce counterattacked without success. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Torbay sank Italian schooner Gesue E Maria off the island of Skiros, Greece. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Dutch submarine O.24 sank Italian tanker Fianona and auxiliary patrol ship Carloforte 10 miles north of the island of Elba, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-48 sank British ship Empire Dew in the North Atlantic; 23 were killed, 18 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-371 sank British ship Silverpalm in the North Atlantic, killing the entire crew of 68. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-558 sank British ship Susan Mærsk (all 24 aboard killed) and Norwegian tanker Ranella (all 29 aboard survived) in the North Atlantic. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-552 sank British ship Chinese Prince west of Ireland; 45 were killed 19 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German heavy cruiser Lützow, light cruiser Emden, light cruiser Leipzig, and destroyers passed through the Kattegat between Denmark and Sweden. ww2dbase [Deutschland | CPC]
  • The South African Air Force embarked on its first combat mission in North Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • A three-day conference of SS men of SS-Gruppenführer rank began at the SS castle of Schloß Wewelsburg in Büren, Germany. ww2dbase [Schloß Wewelsburg | CPC]
United States
  • HMS Rodney arrived at Boston Navy Yard in Massachusetts, United States to commence a refit. She would remain in Boston for one month. Many crewmembers stayed with local Boston families during the refit. ww2dbase [Boston Navy Yard | Rodney | DS]
13 Jun 1941
  • The Soviet news agency TASS denied any German threat and labeled such rumors as hostile propaganda. Meanwhile, those in the Baltic States who might support such a German invasion were arrested. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Luftwaffe bombers conducted a raid on the British naval base at Chatham, England with little effect. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Vichy French troops held up the Australian 7th Division at Jezzine in southern French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Australian Private James Gordon won the Victoria Cross medal for single-handedly neutralizing a French machine gun post while fighting in the French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank Greek ship Pandias 300 miles north of the Azores islands at noon; 11 were killed, 23 survived. 4,894 tons of coal and 1,050 tons of military equipment, including 11 crated Spitfire fighters, originally destined for Alexandria, Egypt for the Allied troops, were lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Brin sank British ship Djurdjura (33 killed, 5 survived) and Greek ship Eirini Kyriakides (entire crew of 31 killed) of Allied convoy SL75 100 miles east of the Azores islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German heavy cruiser Lützow, light cruiser Emden, light cruiser Leipzig, and destroyers passed through the Skagerrak between Denmark and Norway. Despite aerial cover by Bf 110 fighters, a British force of Beaufort torpedo bombers with fighter escort was still able to get through and attack, damaging Lützow with a torpedo hit in the engine room. Lützow was forced to return to Kiel, Germany for repairs. ww2dbase [Deutschland | CPC]
  • US Marine Corps Major General Holland M. Smith relinquished command of the 1st Marine Division to become the commanding general of the I Corps (Provisional) attached to the US Navy Atlantic Fleet. The mixed Marine-Army corps was consisted of the 1st Marine Division and the 1st Infantry Division. ww2dbase [Holland Smith | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-77 sank British ship Tresillian 300 miles off Newfoundland, Canada at 0545 hours; all 46 aboard survived and rescued by US Coast Guard cutter Duane. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Walther von Brauchitsch returned to Berlin, Germany from an inspection of invasion forces in Poland. ww2dbase [Walther von Brauchitsch | CPC]
  • Kurt Fricke was named the Chief of the Department of Naval Operations at the Navy High Command. ww2dbase [Kurt Frike | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 13 Jun 1941
Winston Churchill took aim with a Sten gun during a visit to the Royal Artillery experimental station at Shoeburyness in Essex, England, United Kingdom, 13 Jun 1941Political prisoners at Fort Breendonk, Belgium, 13 Jun 1941Newly arrived prisoners at Fort Breendonk, Belgium, 13 Jun 1941
14 Jun 1941
  • British destroyers HMS Jervis and HMS Griffin bombardeded Sidon, French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon. Two French destroyers based in Beirut counterattacked at 1620 hours, but was chased off by New Zealand cruiser HMNZS Leander and British destroyers; 8 German Ju 88 aircraft also attempted to attack, but were driven off by P-40 Tomahawk fighters of No. 3 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force based in the British Mandate of Palestine, shooting down 3 Ju 88 aircraft. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • The British RAF began daylight fighter sweeps across northern France. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Croatia became the newest member of the Tripartite Pact. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | TH]
  • Adolf Hitler met with his High Command regarding Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union, including a planned start date; the "Lucy" spy ring in Germany promptly passed along this information. Meanwhile, in Moscow, Russia, Vyacheslav Molotov informed Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg that the Soviet Union was to publish, on the next day, that the rumors of a German attack on the Soviet Union were all fabricated by the British. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Assets of German and Italian nationals in the United States were frozen. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The June Deportation, which was the first major wave of Soviet mass deportations and murder of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, began. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British tanks gathered on the Egyptian-Libyan border to prepare for a major offensive; Germans reinforced the front lines and strengthened the siege on Tobruk, Libya as they detected the British movement. After sundown, German artillery bombarded Tobruk. ww2dbase [Operation Battleaxe | CPC]
  • German submarine U-751 sank British ship St. Lindsay 700 miles west of Ireland at 0346 hours, killing all 44 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Clyde sank Italian ship Giovanni Bottigliere south of Sardinia, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Molotov was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Molotov | CPC]
  • In a letter to General Hastings Ismay, Winston Churchill critised Bernard Freyberg's tactical handling of the defence of Crete, Greece, in particular the fact that no counter-attack had been mounted in the western sector (e.g. around Maleme airfield) for 36 hours after the initial German assault. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | Bernard Freyberg | AC]
France
  • German Luftwaffe ace Oberfeldwebel Robert Menge was shot down and killed near Marquise, France by Squadron Leader James E. Rankin of No. 92 Squadron RAF. At the time of his death Menge had 18 kills to his credit. ww2dbase [AC]
Gibraltar
  • British aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Victorious, escorted by cruiser HMS Renown and 7 destroyers, set sail from Gibraltar for Operation Tracer and launched 47 Hurricane fighters for Malta; 43 of them would reach their destination safely. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille suffered damage in the engine of his fighter and was forced to crash land in friendly territory in Libya. He returned to based, took off in another fighter, and later was shot down once again, and again was able to crash land and escape unharmed. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
15 Jun 1941
  • German units moved into their start positions for the invasion of the Soviet Union. Likewise, the Soviet Union moved the new conscript units into forward positions. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • The British launched the Operation Battleaxe offensive toward in Libya at 0200 hours, engaging Axis defenses by 0600 hours. On the first day of the offensive, British troops were able to besiege Halfaya Pass and capture Fort Capuzzo, but at the high price of about half of their tank strength. ww2dbase [Operation Battleaxe | CPC]
  • Galeazzo Ciano sent a message to his Hungarian counterpart, advising that Hungary should prepare to deal with a potential Soviet attack, which might be forthcoming due to suspected German aggression against the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Galeazzo Ciano | CPC]
  • Light cruiser Voroshilov began participation in a week-long exercise. ww2dbase [Voroshilov | CPC]
  • Aircraft from HMS Eagle damaged German tanker Lothringen in the South Atlantic, allowing the ship to later become captured by the crew of HMS Dunedin. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
China
  • US government criticized the Japanese raids on civilian sections of Chongqing, China. Meanwhile, unrelated to the US complaint, the Japanese air raid on Chongqing damaged the US embassy. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon
  • Indian and Free French troops attacked Kissoué in the French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon at 0400 hours, capturing it by 0900 hours. 5 miles to the west, Vichy French troops threatened to capture Quneitra. At sea, British destroyers bombarded Sidon in the French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon and was retaliated against by German Ju 88 aircraft; HMS Jackal, HMS Ilex, and HMS Isis were damaged and were ordered out of the area for repairs. In the evening, aircraft of French 4th Naval Air Group bombed British naval units off the Syrian coast. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
United States
  • Japanese spies Itaru Tachibana and Toraichi Kono were arrested in the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 Jun 1941
Carrier Graf Zeppelin in Stettin, Germany, 15 Jun 1941
16 Jun 1941
  • The United States forced the closure of German and Italian consulates, expelling the diplomats. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British unemployment figures for May 1941 was at its lowest, showing 243,656, compared to over 600,000 one year prior. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German troops launched limited counterattacks at British positions in Libya; the attack at British troops at Fort Capuzzo was fought off, but the series of skirmishes toward Hafid Ridge saw many British tanks destroyed by the superior German Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks. At 1600 hours, Erwin Rommel decided to launch a decisive counterattack on the next day. ww2dbase [Operation Battleaxe | CPC]
  • Vichy French tanks defeated the British Royal Fusiliers battalion which had been surrounded at Quneitra, French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon; 177 officers and men surrendered at 1900 hours. Further north, Indian and Free French troops advanced toward Damascus. Out at sea, British torpedo bombers sank Vichy French destroyer Chevalier Paul carrying ammunition from Toulon, France. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill received an honorary degree from the Rochester University in New York, United States. In his radio address shortly after receiving this degree, he urged the American people to join the Allies in the fight against Germany. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • The US Marine Corps established the 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) at Charleston, South Carolina, United States under the command of Brigadier General John Marston. The brigade was soon to be transferred to Iceland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Galeazzo Ciano met with Joachim von Ribbentrop in Venice, Italy. When Ciano asked Ribbentrop about the rumors of a German attack on the Soviet Union, Ribbentrop denied the rumors, but he shared the confidence that, should war really break out, a German victory would be achieved very quickly. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille suffered heavy damage with his fighter while in combat in North Africa. Unable to see due to oil-smeared windscreen, he still landed successfully, guided down over the radio by his flight leader Reiner Pöttgen. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 16 Jun 1941
German tanks near Sollum, Egypt, circa 16 Jun 1941
17 Jun 1941
  • Finland began to secretly mobilize its military for Operation Silver Fox, the Finnish invasion of the Soviet Union in concert with the German Operation Barbarossa. ww2dbase [Operation Silver Fox | TH]
  • A German counterattack launched at 0430 hours broke through the Allied lines in Libya, threatening to cut off the Allied forces attacking Halfaya Pass. In the afternoon, the Allied leadership decided to call off the Operation Battleaxe offensive. The British 7th Armoured Division tanks formed a rearguard against pursuing German tanks until 1600 hours to allow Allied troops to fall back. The failure of the operation, especially in regards to the heavy losses in tank strength, would soon cost Wavell his position as the British commander-in-chief in the region. ww2dbase [Operation Battleaxe | CPC]
  • The Guards Armoured Division was established by the British Army with Major General Sir Oliver Leese in command. ww2dbase [Oliver Leese | AC]
  • German submarine U-43 sank British ship Cathrine 250 miles southwest of Ireland at 0315 hours; 24 were killed, 3 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 2,727-ton British motor merchant Cathrine carrying 3,920 tons of iron ore had become a straggler from Convoy SL-76 on her way from Freetown, Sierra Leone to Barrow, England, United Kingdom. When approximately 600 miles west of Cape Clear, Ireland she was seen and attacked by German submarine U-43, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Lüth. Two torpedoes were launched and both hit the Cathrine, breaking her in half immediately. Her crew had no time to launch lifeboats and had to cling to wreckage and an overturned lifeboat. The submarine passed the men in the water and were asked if they were all right, none answered as they felt that the question was ridiculous. Four of the fourteen men clinging to the lifeboat died during the day before the boat was righted and baled out. Ultimately, only three of the remaining ten would survive until they were finally spotted and rescued a month later. ww2dbase [U-43 | HM]
Egypt
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Hurricane fighters over Halfaya Pass in Egypt while escorting Stuka dive bombers; they were his 12th and 13th kills. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon
  • British bombers attacked a French destroyer, carrying ammunition which she had brought from France, in the port of Beirut in French Syria-Lebanon. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jun 1941
Remains of a Matilda tank of C Squadron, UK 4th Royal Tank Regiment, Libya or Egypt, 17 Jun 1941
18 Jun 1941
  • British press reported details of development of radiolocation technology (later more popularly known by its American acronym RADAR) and its use in Battle of Britain. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The keel for the civilian ship Steel Architect was laid down at Tacoma, Washington, United States by Todd Pacific Shipyards. ww2dbase [Copahee | CPC]
  • German submarine U-552 sank British ship Norfolk 150 miles northwest of Ireland at 0438 hours; 1 was killed, 70 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Faulknor, HMS Fearless, HMS Forester, HMS Foresight, and HMS Foxhound sank U-138 with depth charges 100 miles west of Gibraltar; all 27 German crew members of U-138 survived and were all taken prisoner. ww2dbase [CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille was granted medical leave; he would depart Libya for Berlin, Germany shortly. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 18 Jun 1941
Benito Mussolini at Lubiana, Italy (occupied Ljubljana, Yugoslavia), 18 Jun 1941
19 Jun 1941
  • The Soviet Union ordered black-outs in all cities along the border with Germany and the camouflaging of airfields, but still did not deploy for defense; the latter order, the camouflaging of airfields, would be scarcely commenced when the invasion took place. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • US Consular officials in Germany and Italy were expelled in retaliation to a similar action by the US three days prior. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Indian and Free French troops launched a two-prong attack on Damascus in French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon from the south. Elsewhere in the region, Vichy French troops held Free French troops at Qadim while the Indian 5th Infantry Brigade became surrounded at Mezze. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht bulletin of the headquarters of the German Wehrmacht. ww2dbase [Egmont | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • In Britain, Oxford University conferred the degree of Doctor of Civil Law on President Franklin Roosevelt. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
20 Jun 1941
  • Franklin Roosevelt addressed the US Congress in regards to the sinking of American freighter Robin Moor by German submarine on 21 May 1941. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Alfred Rosenberg delivered a speech in which he stated that the job of feeding Germans was the top German priority, while feeding the conquered peoples in Eastern Europe was not of Germany's concern. ww2dbase [Alfred Rosenberg | CPC]
  • The German troops amassing on the border with the Soviet Union were told that they were undergoing a large scale exercise. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • 2 Indian and 2 Free French companies attempted to relieve the surrounded Indian 5th Infantry Brigade at Mezze, French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon, but the attack on Vichy French would result in failure. After sundown, Free French, British, and Australian troops captured Qadim. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarine U-123 sank Portuguese ship Ganda off Casablanca, French Morocco at 2030 hours; 5 were killed, 61 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-203 sighted USS Texas in the North Atlantic 750 miles west of Ireland and took no action. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Light cruiser Voroshilov completed a week-long exercise. ww2dbase [Voroshilov | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • In the early hours, lookouts on German submarine U-202, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Walter Kell, spotted the lifeboat containing the survivors of British motor merchant Cathrine, which was sunk by U-43 west of Cape Clear, Ireland three days earlier. The survivors asked for water but were told that they would not give water to Britishers. Seven of the ten men would soon die from starvation and exposure. In the subsequent days, a convoy passed close by, but the last three men were too weak to get any attention. ww2dbase [U-202 | HM]
Greece
  • Hellmuth Felmy was stepped down as the commanding officer of Sonderstab F, the cover for the German mission in Iraq. ww2dbase [Hellmuth Felmy | CPC]
United States
  • The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) was renamed the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) under the command of Major General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold. The USAAF was to be autonomous from the US Army. ww2dbase [Henry Arnold | AC]
  • US Navy placed a contract with the Douglas Aircraft Company for two prototype aircraft of a new carrier torpedo/dive bomber design. ww2dbase [BTD Destroyer | CPC]
  • USS New Mexico departed Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States to patrol the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [New Mexico | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jun 1941
Light cruiser Voroshilov, 20 Jun 1941
21 Jun 1941
  • Soviet military attaché to France Major General Ivan Sousloparov warned his superiors in Moscow, Russia of a potential German invasion, which Joseph Stalin immediately disregarded as British provocation. Stalin's opinion was agreed by head of Soviet State Security Lavrentiy Beria, who told Joseph Stalin that Germany would not attack the Soviet Union in 1941. Georgy Zhukov disagreed, but it would not be until 1905 hours when the military attaché to Germany Mikhail Vorontsov provided concrete evidence of German movement when Stalin and the Politburo were finally convinced to organize two new wartime fronts (rather than peacetime military districts) to prepare the defenses. By the time the telegrams were deciphered many units would already be bombed by German aircraft. Elsewhere, in the evening, Soviet Foreign Minister Vycheslav Molotov met with German Ambassador Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg and asked him regarding the rumors of invasion, which Schulenburg denied as false. Within hours, however, to Schulenburg's surprise, he would receive orders from his superiors to destroy documents, code books, ciphers, and communications equipment, and he would receive a declaration of war to be delivered to Molotov in the morning. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC, CPC]
  • Vichy France enacted a law to exclude Jews from schools. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Free French troops captured the city of Damascus in the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon, but fighting would continue in the surrounding villages. Elsewhere in the region, at the village of Mezze, the Indian 5th Infantry Brigade surrendered to Vichy French troops after being surrounded for two days; the victorious Vichy French troops, however, would fall back toward Beirut, allowing Australian troops to capture the village later on the same day. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | AC]
  • After dark, German bombers bombed Southampton, England, United Kingdom and dropped many naval mines in surrounding waters. The bombing caused a leak in the King George V Dry Dock, and demolished the down-line platform of the Southern Railway Central Station, blocking much rail traffic. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • In the afternoon, Adolf Hitler wrote a message to Benito Mussolini, informing him of the upcoming invasion of the Soviet Union. This message would not reach Mussolini until early in the next day, less than an hour before the operation began. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • Soviet aircraft engineer A. M. Isayev proposed to use compressed air rather than a pump to force propellant into the rocket engine that he was developing for a new fighter design. ww2dbase [BI | CPC]
France
  • Over France, Oberstleutnant Adolf Galland was shot down for the first time after scoring his 68th and 69th victories, both of which were British Blenheim aircraft; the fighters that shot him down were British Spitfire fighters from No. 145 Squadron RAF; Galland crash landed his fighter in a grassy field, returned to base, and took off from another mission by the afternoon. After achieving his 70th kill in the afternoon, he was shot down again. This time he ditched the aircraft, his parachute barely opening before reaching ground, and was brought to a first aid station by French civilians using a horse-drawn cart. When he returned to base that evening, he found that he had been awarded Swords to his Knight's Cross for achieving 69 kills. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | AC, CPC]
  • Douglas Bader shot down a German Bf 109E aircraft off Boulogne-sur-Mer, Pas-de-Calais, France. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
Japan
  • Kaga departed Sasebo, Japan. ww2dbase [Kaga | CPC]
Poland
  • Semyon Timoshenko belatedly ordered the manning of fortifications along the Molotov Line in Soviet-occupied Poland, but only some would be ready for fighting when the German invasion commenced in few hours time. ww2dbase [Semyon Timoshenko | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Jun 1941
Danish woman working in a German factory, 21 Jun 1941; she could be identified as Danish by her German Army SdKfz. 251 halftrack vehicles advancing toward the Russian border, 21 Jun 1941Troops of the Indian 4th Division decorating the side of their truck with
22 Jun 1941
  • Churchill offered whatever aid possible to the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Jews from the Dorohoi district of Romania were branded as communists and spies and transported by cattle cars to concentration camps in Tirgu and Craiova. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • At about 0300 hours, Benito Mussolini was awaken as an urgent message was received from Adolf Hitler's office, informing Mussolini of the invasion of the Soviet Union; though annoyed by not having been notified earlier, he dutifully declared war on the Soviet Union. Romania would also make a declaration of war on the Soviet Union on this date. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | AC]
  • Werner Mölders shot down three Soviet bombers and one fighter; he was awarded Swords of his Knight's Cross, to be presented to him by Adolf Hitler on 3 Jul. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • German submarine U-141 sank Swedish ship Calabria 100 miles north of Ireland at 0329 hours; 3 were killed, 21 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-77 sank British weather ship Arakara 550 miles east of St. Johns, Newfoundland at 2236 hours; all 33 aboard were killed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • After dark and into the next date, a British fleet of two cruiser and six destroyers attacked French destroyer Guepard off Syria; Guepard was able to flee under the cover of darkness. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Byelorussia
  • General Dmitry Pavlov ordered, belatedly as the German invasion had already begun, his troops to man the fortified regions in his sector in Byelorussia at 0300 hrs. ww2dbase [Dmitry Pavlov | CPC]
Russia
  • At about 0100 hours, the Red Army was ordered to assume defensive posture, but it was too late to improve defenses significantly as Germany tore up the non-aggression pact and launched Operation Barbarossa. At 0325 hours, Georgy Zhukov woke Joseph Stalin by phone to inform him of the news of the invasion; initially, Stalin refused to give Zhukov the permission to strike back at the Germans, believing it to be a German provocation. At 0630 hours, Stalin finally realized it was a full scale invasion and gave his authorization for the Red Army to fire back. At a strength of 3.5 million men, Operation Barbarossa was the largest military operation in history, overwhelming Soviet defenses which were further disadvantaged by poor communications. In support, German aircraft destroyed 2,000 aircraft, many on the ground, allowing the Germans to gain air superiority across the entire front. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH, CPC]
  • Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov announced the German invasion to the Soviet people at 2300 hours. ww2dbase [Vyacheslav Molotov | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 22 Jun 1941
Russian tanks moved westward to fight the German invasion, 22 Jun 1941German troops crossing the Soviet border during Operation Barbarossa, 22 Jun 1941
23 Jun 1941
  • Slovakia declared war on the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [TH]
  • US Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark ordered the 1st Defense Battalion of the Fleet Marine Force of the US Marine Corps to be established at Wake Island as soon as possible. ww2dbase [Harold Stark | CPC]
  • The German 6th Panzer Division encountered Soviet KV tanks for the first time at the Dubysa River in Lithuania. German General Reinhard was surprised to learn that the Soviet military possessed such a heavy tank, especially after learning that some German 105-millimeter shells were bouncing off the thick armor, and that some KV tanks had reportedly crushed German vehicles and guns by driving over them. ww2dbase [Kliment Voroshilov | CPC]
  • The 5,000 man 1st Greek Brigade was established by the British in Palestine under the command of Colonel Ev. Antoniou. The Brigade (under Colonel Pafsanias Katsotas) would later see action in 1942 at El Alamein in Egypt as a part of the British 50th Division. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 5,265-ton merchant steamer Trelissick was bombed and sunk by German aircraft 3.5 miles off the Sheringham Buoy in the North Sea off the Norfolk coast, England, United Kingdom. She was making her way in ballast from London to the River Tyne, Northumberland. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 3,039-ton German motor vessel Alstertor was on voyage for France with about 200 British, Chinese, Indian and Malayan prisoners off two British ships which were sunk by the German merchant cruiser Atlantis. She was spotted by British aircraft west of Portugal; the aircraft were searching for the battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen. The destroyers HMS Faulknor, Fearless, Forester, Foresight, Foxhound and Marsdale all converged on the German vessel. The German crew then became the prisoners of the British as they surrendered after setting scuttling charges. She sank south of Cape Finnisterre. ww2dbase [HM]
  • Converted trawler-minesweeper HMT Nogi was attacked and sunk by German aircraft north of Cromer, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [HM]
Baltic Sea
  • Soviet destroyer Gnevniy hit a mine and sank off the island of Hiiumaa, Estonia. ww2dbase [CPC]
Black Sea
  • Soviet destroyer Bystryb hit a mine and sank in the Black Sea off Sevastopol, Russia. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • The Soviet Army armored counter attack near Tilsit, Ostpreußen, Germany (now Sovetsk, Russia) was beaten back. Meanwhile, German forces crossed the Bug River, penetrating 50 miles beyond the Soviet lines. From the air, German Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed another 1,200 Soviet aircraft on this day. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • German Gestapo leader Mueller issued directives to the Gestapo office in the city of Tilsit, Germany (now Sovetsk, Russia) to set up Einsatkommando Tilsit which would be responsible for killing Jews in Lithuania. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler arrived for the first time at his new secret Wolfsschanze (English: The Wolf's Lair) headquarters, which had been constructed in the Masurian woods near Rastenburg, Germany (now Ketrzyn, Poland). ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | AC]
Latvia
  • Soviet submarine M-78 (Senior Lieutenant Dimitriy L. Shevchenko) was attacked off Uzava, Latvia by German aircraft at 0336 hours. At 0654 hours, 9 miles west of Vindava, Latvia, German submarine U-144 intercepted M-78 and sank her with two torpedo hits, killing all 15 aboard, including the commander of the 4th Submarine Division S. I. Matveev. The M-78 had left Liepaja, Latvia the day before together with M-77. This was the first sinking scored by a German submarine in the Baltic Sea in the war. ww2dbase [U-144 | CPC, HM]
  • Soviet submarines Ronis, Spidola, and S-1 were scuttled by their own crews at Libau, Latvia to prevent German capture. ww2dbase [CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • At 1730 hours, the 3,805-ton Turkish steam merchant Refah departed Mersin, Turkey, carrying a Turkish military mission bound for Britain, with the first stop at Port Said, Egypt. The mission consisted of 171 Turks (19 navy officers, 72 navy petty officers, 58 navy seamen, 20 air force cadets, and 2 civilians) accompanied by 1 British liaiason officer. The ship's captain was Izzet Dalgak?ran, who had 27 men in his crew. The ship was painted with Turkish colors and was not escorted by warships. At 2230 hours, when she was about 19 kilometers east of Cyprus, she was hit by a torpedo from an unidentified source. The electrical system was immediately disabled, preventing the ship from sending distress signals. Only one of the two lifeboats aboard the ship operated properly. ww2dbase [HM]
Romania
  • Light cruiser Voroshilov bombarded Constanza, Romania. ww2dbase [Voroshilov | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The Southern Railway Central Station in London, England, United Kingdom, damaged by German bombing over the night of 21 to 22 Jun 1941, was cleared of debris and returned to full operational status. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The 717-ton coastal freighter Hull Trader was on passage from London to Hull when she struck a German laid mine and sank one mile from 57 C Buoy, at Cromer on the east coast of England, United Kingdom; eleven of the fourteen crew were killed. ww2dbase [HM]
Photo(s) dated 23 Jun 1941
Women fleeing from German bombing in Grushki district, Kiev, Ukraine, 23 Jun 1941Russian conscripts entering the Voroshilov Barracks in Moscow, Russia, 23 Jun 1941Soviet troops marching near Moscow, Russia, 23 Jun 1941; text of poster at left:
24 Jun 1941
  • German Armeegruppe Nord moved into Lithuania and Byelorussia, seizing Vilnius and Kaunas. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Japan asserted pressure on France for Indochina. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Large demonstrations began in Madrid, Spain in support of the German invasion of the Soviet Union; demonstrations soon spread to other parts of Spain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Hungary broke relations with the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British House of Commons voted for the second £1,000,000,000 war credit of the year as war expenditure now exceeded £10,250,000 per day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British bombers attacked Düsseldorf, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • In Russia a Council of Evacuation was set up with emergency powers to oversee the evacuation of machinery, skilled workers and food stuffs on a large scale, away from the German advance. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The German E-Boat S35 discovered the Soviet submarine S3 (N. A. Kostromityev) off Steinort, Germany and fired several torpedoes which all missed. S3 was then sunk by depth charges and hand grenades. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Adolf Hitler arrived at the Wolfsschanze headquarters in East Prussia, Germany. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
China Malta
  • Scirè launched manned torpedoes into Grand Harbour, Malta; they failed to damage any enemy vessels. ww2dbase [Scirè | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • At about 0200 hours, the 3,805-ton Turkish steam merchant Refah, which was hit by a torpedo from an unidentified submarine about 3 hours prior, snapped in two and sank about 19 kilometers east of Cyprus. 28 of the survivors landed near the Karatas lighthouse on the Turkish coast at the end of the day. The fate of the remaining 172 remained unknown at this time. ww2dbase [HM]
Russia
  • Soviet Air Force Directorate chief Pavel Rychagov, as well as his wife Maria Nesterenko, a famed aviatrix, were arrested during the purge of the Soviet Air Force. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet Deputy Defense Commissar General Kirill Meretskov was arrested by agents of the 3rd NKO Directorate. He would later be cleared of suspicion in Sep 1941 and was given front line command once again. ww2dbase [CPC]
Ukraine
  • Ivan Bagramyan attempted to launch a counterattack against German advances in Ukraine, but it would fail to achieve much due to the unprepared state of his troops. ww2dbase [Ivan Bagramyan | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 Jun 1941
Conscripts of the Soviet Army, Moscow, Russia, 24 Jun 1941Byelorussian children in a bomb shelter, Minsk, Byelorussia, 24 Jun 1941Citizens of Leningrad, Russia running as the air alarm sounded, 24 Jun 1941German vehicles in a town in the Soviet Union, Jun 1941; note Soviet BA-10 armored car on the side of the road
25 Jun 1941
  • Soviet Air Force attacked several Finnish airfields, hoping to destroy Luftwaffe aircraft believed to be stationed there. ww2dbase [Operation Silver Fox | TH]
  • Lithuanian militiamen in Kovno were encouraged by German security officers to stage a pogrom, and that night 1,500 Jews were murdered with particular savagery. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | AC]
  • Douglas Bader shot down two German Bf 109F aircraft. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • In the North Atlantic Ocean at 0620 hours, German submarine U-108 (Kapitänleutnant Klaus Scholtz) sank 4,362-ton Greek merchant steamer Ellinico, dispersed from Allied convoys OG-65 and sailing in ballast, with a torpedo amidships; she sank within three minutes with no survivors. At 1614 hours, U-108 struck again, sinking Greek merchant steamer Nicolas Pateras, dispersed from Allied convoy OB-336, with a torpedo amidships followed by gunfire between 1713 hours and 1755 hours, in heavy seas and strong wind. ww2dbase [U-108 | HM]
  • German submarine U-77 (Oberleutnant zur See Heinrich Schonder) sank 4,603-ton Greek merchant steamer Anna Bulgaris in the North Atlantic Ocean at 2136 hours, hitting her in the aft with one torpedo. The Germans reported that the crew of 35 abandoned ship before the Anna Bulgaris sank but they were never seen again. ww2dbase [U-77]
  • The 1,967-ton Dutch merchant steamer Schie was hit at the stern by a torpedo from German submarine U-75 whilst in the North Atlantic Ocean on her way to Curaçao. The ship sank within four minutes. None of the crew survived. ww2dbase [U-75 | HM]
Egypt
  • British Submarine HMS Rorqual (N 74), commanded by Lieutenant L. W. Napier, RN, departed Alexandria, Egypt for Malta for her second storage trip. The Rorqual had on board three army officers, 18 army and RAF other ranks, 50 tons of aviation spirit in cans, 14 tons of aviation spirit in bulk, 11,700 gallons of kerosene in bulk, and seven tons of stores (90 bags of mail, foamite fire extinguishing refills, hoses, army clothing and two 2U-class submarine propellers). ww2dbase [HM]
French Syria and Lebanon
  • The British submarine HMS Parthian (N 75) under Commander M. G. Rimington, DSO, RN torpedoed and sank the Vichy French submarine Souffleur (built 1927) just off the coast southwest of Beirut, Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon. The submarine was hit by a single torpedo near the deck gun. Of the six men on the bridge, one was mortally wounded but the others managed to swim away. Four reached the shore but the fifth drowned. In all fifty men perished. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC, HM]
Germany
  • French Lieutenant E. Boulé, a prisoner of war at Oflag IV-C at Colditz Castle, Germany, was nearly successful at his escape. Dressed as a young German woman and readily walking away from the castle, he accidentally dropped his watch and was caught when a German guard returned the watch to him. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
Lithuania
  • The Soviet destroyer Lenin was blown up and sunk by the retreating Soviet forces at Liepaja, Lithuania. ww2dbase [HM]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Having just learned the sinking of steam merchant Refah after one of its lifeboats (carrying 28 survivors) came ashore on the Turkish coast, Turkish military aircraft and motorboats were dispatched to search for more survivors. Refah had been carrying a 171-man Turkish military mission accompanied by a British liaison officer, originally bound for Britain. The search and rescue efforts would ultimately save only 4 additional survivors. All told, 168 were lost in the sinking. It is not known whether it was an Italian or a Vichy French submarine that had sunk Refah. ww2dbase [HM]
Russia
  • Colonel General Vasily Kuznetsov was ordered by Semyon Timoshenko to organize a defense along the Daugava River (Western Dvina). ww2dbase [Vasily Kuznetsov | CPC]
Sweden
  • In Stockholm, Sweden the Riksdag sanctioned the passage of the German Wehrmacht's Engelbrecht Division from Norway across Swedish soil to the front in Finland. ww2dbase [Operation Silver Fox | AC]
Ukraine United Kingdom
  • During the day, a report was released that, for the week ending at 0600 hours on 25 Jun 1941, about 39 people were killed and 116 were seriously injured in Britain due to German bombing; none of the casualties were from London, England, United Kingdom. After dark, German bombers bombed Southampton, England, United Kingdom and dropped many naval mines in surrounding waters. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • The 2,154-ton British cargo steamer Dashwood was making for Sunderland, northeast England, United Kingdom in ballast when she was bombed and sunk by German aircraft off Cromer on the Norfolk coast. ww2dbase [HM]
United States
  • James Byrnes was made an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ww2dbase [James Byrnes | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 25 Jun 1941
A pall of smoke hanging over the habor in Souda Bay, Crete, Greece where two ships, hit by German bombs, were burning, 25 Jun 1941, photo 2 of 2German anti-aircraft gunners near a SdKfz. 251 halftrack vehicle for field medics, Russia, Jun 1941, photo 1 of 2German anti-aircraft gunners near a SdKfz. 251 halftrack vehicle for field medics, Russia, Jun 1941, photo 2 of 2A British truck and trailer burning after attacked by German Luftwaffe aircraft, Crete, Greece, 25 Jun 1941
See all photos dated 25 Jun 1941
26 Jun 1941
  • James Johnson shot down a German Bf 109 fighter. ww2dbase [James Johnson | CPC]
Finland French Syria and Lebanon
  • Tomahawk fighters of No. 3 Squadron RAAF destroyed 5 French D.520 fighters and damaged a further six on the ground at Homs Airfield in Syria. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler officially named Hermann Göring his successor. ww2dbase [Hermann Göring | TH]
  • U-576 was commissioned into service under the command of Kapitänleutnant Hans-Dieter Heinicke. She was assigned to the 7th Submarine Flotilla. ww2dbase [U-576 | CPC]
Latvia
  • German 56th Panzer Corps reached Daugava River (Western Dvina); 8th Panzer Division and 3rd Motorized Division established bridgehead near Daugavpils, Latvia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
Poland Romania
  • The Leningrad-class destroyer leader Moskva was lost during Soviet Black Sea Fleet commander Vice-Admiral Filipp Oktyabrsky's raid on the Romanian port of Constanta. Damaged by return fire from Romanian destroyers Regina Maria and Marasti and from German coastal batteries, she attempted to withdraw but sank after running into a Romanian minefield. The mines were probably laid by the Romanians about 7 to 10 days prior, and the Soviet captains were not given precise charts of the minefields. 7 officers and 62 men were rescued and interned by the Romanians. ww2dbase [AC]
Russia
  • Aircraft of the German Luftwaffe began to bomb Leningrad, Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH, CPC]
  • In the Soviet capital of Moscow, Joseph Stalin visited the General Staff headquarters twice, voicing frustration at the heavy losses that the Red Army was suffering against the invading German forces. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | TH, CPC]
Spain
  • Spain officially began to organize a unit of volunteers to fight in Russia on the side of the Axis. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • The mixed Marine-Army I Corps (Provisional), which was attached to the US Navy Atlantic Fleet, was redesignated Task Force 18 of the Atlantic Fleet. ww2dbase [CPC]
27 Jun 1941 Russia
  • Joseph Stalin gave permission to military tribunals to give out death sentences to members of the Red Army without his personal approval. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | CPC]
United States
  • The US Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the offices of the Socialist Workers Party in Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota, United States, seizing large quantities of Communist literature. ww2dbase [AC]
Yugoslavia
  • The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia appointed Tito as Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslavian Peoples Army. ww2dbase [Josip Tito | AC]
Photo(s) dated 27 Jun 1941
Norwegian Brigade 2-inch mortar team in training, Dumfries, Scotland, United Kingdom, 27 Jun 1941Battleship Iowa under construction, New York Navy Yard, New York, United States, 27 Jun 1941
28 Jun 1941
  • German troops captured Minsk, Byelorussia, encircling 27 Soviet Army divisions in the process. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Albania declared war on the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Scirè's mission to attack Grand Harbour, Malta was canceled. ww2dbase [Scirè | CPC]
Baltic Sea
  • Fleet tender Hai sustained some damage by Soviet aircraft in the Baltic Sea. ww2dbase [F3 | CPC]
Germany
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop sent a message to the Japanese embassy in Berlin, Germany, asking the Japanese to jointly invade the Soviet Union by tearing up the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact and attack Vladivostok, Russia. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
  • Chen Jie submitted a letter to the German government, noting the long standing friendly Sino-German relationship, urging Germany to abandon its wish to recognize the Japanese puppet regime in China under Wang Jingwei. ww2dbase [Chen Jie | CPC]
Russia
  • The Soviet NKVD, NKGB, and the Chief Prosecutor Office signed a top secret joint order to coordinate the investigation of traitors. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • The keel of submarine Whale was laid down at Mare Island Navy Yard in Vallejo, California, United States. ww2dbase [Mare Island Navy Yard | Whale | CPC]
  • The keel of submarine Wahoo was laid down at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States. ww2dbase [Mare Island Navy Yard | Wahoo | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 28 Jun 1941
Keel laying ceremony of submarine Whale, Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 28 Jun 1941, photo 1 of 2Keel laying ceremony of submarine Whale, Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 28 Jun 1941, photo 2 of 2
29 Jun 1941
  • The German Army 20.Gebirgsarmee began advancing on Murmansk in northern Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Silver Fox | TH]
  • Lord Beaverbrook became the British Minister of Supply. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Former US President Herbert Hoover warned against aiding the Soviet Union. "If we go further and join the war and we win, then we have won for Stalin the grip of communism on Russia.... [I]f we join the war and Stalin wins, we have aided him to impose more communism on Europe and the world." ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A haggard and tense Stalin set up a Soviet Defence Committee consisted of Molotov, Voroshilov, Malenkov, Beria, and himself, and then retired to his dacha on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, staying there until the following day writing a speech to the Soviet people and drafting two important directives on the Soviet war effort. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | AC]
China Latvia
  • Colonel General Vasily Kuznetsov was ordered by Semyon Timoshenko to maintain pressure on the German bridgehead on the Daugava River (Western Dvina) near Daugavpils, Latvia. Kuznetsov would use all his reserves to mount a counterattack that would be repulsed by the Germans. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | Vasily Kuznetsov | CPC]
Romania Photo(s) dated 29 Jun 1941
Prototype of Re.2003 reconnaissance aircraft, which was based on the Re.2002 Ariete design, photo 1 of 3Prototype of Re.2003 reconnaissance aircraft, which was based on the Re.2002 Ariete design, photo 2 of 3Prototype of Re.2003 reconnaissance aircraft, which was based on the Re.2002 Ariete design, photo 3 of 3
30 Jun 1941
  • Vichy France broke off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Werner Mölders shot down three Soviet bombers, bringing his total score to 82 victories and surpassing the record set by Manfred von Richthofen, "Red Baron", during WW1. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • The active duty strength of the US Marine Corps was reported to be 3,339 officers and 51,020 enlisted men for the total of 54,359. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Netherlands Purchasing Commission placed an order with North American Aviation to purchase 162 B-25C bombers for the Dutch government-in-exile. These aircraft were intended for the Dutch East Indies to counter the growing Japanese threat. ww2dbase [B-25 Mitchell | CPC]
  • The Handley Page Halifax bomber made its first daylight operation during a raid on Kiel, Germany but it did not take long to discover that its defensive armament was inadequate for daylight use and by the end of the year Halifax bombers were only used on night raids. ww2dbase [Halifax | AC]
Byelorussia
  • At least 100 of the Soviet bombers attacking German tanks near Minsk, Byelorussia were shot down by aircraft of Oberst Werner Mölders' JG-51. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
Malta
  • Scirè launched manned torpedoes into Grand Harbour, Malta; they failed to damage any enemy vessels. ww2dbase [Scirè | CPC]
Netherlands
  • Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-Weißenfeld's Bf 110 aircraft collided with another Bf 110, piloted by Rudolf Schoenert while in exercise over northern Netherlands. ww2dbase [Egmont | CPC]
Russia
  • The Soviet Union formed the State Defense Committee (GKO) to coordinate defense efforts; it was consisted of Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Kliment Voroshilov, Georgy Malenkov, and Lavrentiy Beria. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | CPC]
Ukraine United States
  • Franklin Roosevelt dedicated the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York, United States. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • USS Grayback was commissioned into service with Lieutenant Willard Saunders in command. ww2dbase [Grayback | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 30 Jun 1941
USS Enterprise in the Pacific turning into the wind to recover aircraft, late June 1941 before her natural wood flight deck was stained blue in July 1941.SdKfz. 251/3 communications vehicle, northern Russia, Jun 1941German SdKfz. 251/1 halftrack vehicle at a rail crossing, Aiviekstes, Latvia, Jun 1941Panzer III tank and SdKfz. 251 halftrack vehicle near Aiviekste, Latvia, Jun 1941; note rangefinder on the halftrack
See all photos dated 30 Jun 1941
1 Jul 1941
  • Coal deliveries to all establishments in Britain were limited to one ton per month. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • RAF began daylight bombing raids in France and the Low Countries. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Erwin Rommel was promoted to the rank of General der Panzertruppe. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • The British Special Air Service (initially titled "L" Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade) was formed by Colonel David Stirling. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Under the provisions of a German Law on the use of Prisoner Labour, Russian prisoners of war were permitted to be sent to work camps for employment in agriculture, construction or heavy industry. The death rate on these camps would be extremely high. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The American Volunteer Group, also known as the Flying Tigers, was officially formed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet Naval Air Unit 401 IAP went into action with its new MiG-3 fighters and destroyed four German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters on its first operation. This unit was commanded by a veteran of the Spanish Civil War, Lieutenant-Colonel Stepan Suprun (who was already an ace with fifteen Civil War victories), Hero of the Soviet Union. Many of Suprun's pilots were pre-war test pilots and therefore highly experienced airmen. During the next two days the 401st IAP destroyed eight enemy aircraft for no loss. ww2dbase [MiG-3 | AC]
  • Soviet submarine M81 was sunk by a German mine in the Baltic Sea. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Crown Prince Yi Un was made the commanding officer of the Japanese 51st Division. ww2dbase [Yi Un | CPC]
  • Captain Yoshizo Hasebe was made the commanding officer of Kamoi. ww2dbase [Kamoi | CPC]
Byelorussia French Syria and Lebanon
  • British mechanized cavalry and an Arab Legion desert patrol broke up a Vichy French mobile column northeast of Palmyra, Syria, capturing four officers and 60 men. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Japan
  • Kaga arrived at Yokosuka, Japan. ww2dbase [Kaga | CPC]
Latvia Moldova
  • German 11th Army, Romanian 3rd Army, and Romanian 4th Army crossed Prut River into the Bessarabia and Bukovina regions of Moldova. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
Russia
  • Joseph Stalin returned to the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia as Chairman of the new State Defence Committee, set up by law the day before. ww2dbase [Kremlin and Red Square | Joseph Stalin | AC]
United Kingdom
  • Bruce Fraser was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. ww2dbase [Bruce Fraser | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Jul 1941
Soviet troops at Smolensk, Russia, 1 Jul 1941; note PPSh-41 and Mosin-Nagant weapons
2 Jul 1941
  • While in the dock at Brest, France, Prinz Eugen was hit by a bomb during an Allied air raid. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • Romanian Third Army, Romanian Fourth Army, and German Eleventh Armies attacked out of Moldavia towards Vinnitsa and Odessa, Ukraine. To the north, 4.Panzergruppe breaks through near Ostrov, Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • The Japanese Army ordered a conscription of one million men. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • RAF bombed the German cities of Bremen and Köln overnight. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The British Military Application of Uranium Detonation (MAUD) Committee assigned the responsibility of writing its final draft of the report of its findings on the development of atomic weapons to James Chadwick. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
  • While flying against a formation of British Blenheim bombers, Adolf Galland's fighter was damaged by 20-millimeter shells fired by an escorting British Spitfire fighter. Though injured, his life was saved by a recently-installed armor plating in the cockpit. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | CPC]
  • Douglas Bader was awarded the Bar to his Distinguished Service Order. Later on the same day, he claimed one Bf 109 fighter destroyed and another damaged. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
Germany
  • French Lieutenant Pierre Mairesse Lebrun, a prisoner of war at Oflag IV-C at Colditz Castle, Germany, escaped the camp by leaping the wire fence and scaling outer brick wall. He would eventually successfully make it to Switzerland. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
  • In Germany, Ambassador Chen Jie received orders from China, noting that should Germany recognize Wang Jingwei's Japanese-sponsored puppet state, China would cut diplomatic ties with Germany. ww2dbase [Chen Jie | CPC]
Latvia Ukraine
  • Riots broke out in Lvov, Ukraine against racist laws. ww2dbase [CPC]
3 Jul 1941
  • In his first public speech of the new war, Stalin ordered a scorched earth policy to be put into effect as German troops were pushed back; meanwhile, the Bialystok pocket in Poland was eliminated by German troops, taking 300,000 prisoners. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Werner Mölders was presented Swords to his Knight's Cross by Adolf Hitler. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • Biscayne was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Biscayne | CPC]
  • The only daylight bombing on Britain during the week of 2 Jul to 9 Jul occurred on this date at Land's End in southwestern England, United Kingdom; the German aircraft dropped bombs but they failed to explode. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Soviet Naval Air unit 402 IAL, based at Idritsa in Russia and commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel P. Stefanovsky, went into action with its new MiG-3 fighters and destroyed six enemy aircraft, followed by a similar number on the next day. The unit's primary task was close support and low level fighter reconnaissance, and its pilots had orders to avoid combat if possible. The unit's adjutant, Major K. A. Gruzdev however was an aerobatic champion and soon devised a tactic to bring the enemy to battle. This involved making a steep spiral climb to between 15,000 and 18,000 feet where the MiG-3 fighters enjoyed a performance advantage over the German fighters. The German pilots almost always followed the climb, believing they were chasing a novice pilot, only to realise their mistake when Gruzdev suddenly stall-turned and shot them down. By the end of the year this talented pilot had no less than nineteen confirmed victories top, his credit. ww2dbase [MiG-3 | AC]
French Syria and Lebanon Germany Russia
  • In a radio address, Joseph Stalin called the Soviet people "brothers and sisters" for the first time. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | CPC]
4 Jul 1941
  • German troops captured Ostrov in northern Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • British Communist Party decided to stop campaigning for peace; instead, they supported the national war effort. ww2dbase [TH]
  • US Marines arrived at Iceland for occupation duties, freeing British troops for war efforts elsewhere. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Wing Commander Hughie Edwards of 105 Squadron RAF won the Victoria Cross for leading a low level attack on Bremen, Germany in which his Blenheim bomber was hit twenty times. ww2dbase [AC]
  • While flying a MiG-3 fighter Lieutenant-Colonel Stepan Suprun, commanding officer of Soviet Naval Air Unit 401 IAP, was shot down by a German Fw 200 aircraft. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Douglas Bader collided with a German Bf 109E fighter during a dogfight; the German fighter was scored as a probable kill. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
  • The Soviet NKVD arrested Colonel General Dimitry Pavlov for not attacking German forces as Joseph Stalin had ordered. ww2dbase [CPC]
5 Jul 1941
  • British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden officially ruled out any chance of negotiations with Germany. ww2dbase [Anthony Eden | TH]
  • 63 British Wellington bombers attacked Münster, Germany at between about 0050 hours and 0250 hours local time with 396 500-pound bombs, 50 250-pound bombs, and almost 6,000 4-pound incendiary bombs. The railway station was the intended main target. German authorities at Münster estimated 240 high explosive bombs and 3,000 incendiary bombs were dropped. 21 were killed and several fires were started. It was the first time Münster was subjected to large scale bombing. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • British troopship HMT Anselm, carrying RAF peronnel to Africa, was tropedoed in the Atlantic Ocean. RAF Volunteer Reserve Herbert Cecil Pugh would later be awarded a posthumous George Cross in 1947 for tending to the wounded, helping with life rafts, and finally asking to be lowered into the flooding hold to be with his comrades who could not escape. ww2dbase [CPC]
China
  • Vice Admiral Hidehiko Ukita succeeded Vice Admiral Teruhisa Komatsu as the commanding officer of the Ryojun Military Port (previously known as Port Arthur; now Lushunkou, Liaoning Province, China), Kwantung Leased Territory in northeastern China. ww2dbase [Ryojun Guard District | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon Russia
  • The Soviet Special Group (later 4th NKVD Directorate) was formed, initially with 5,000 members, with the goal of terrorizing the enemy rear areas. ww2dbase [CPC]
Ukraine
  • German 6th Army broke through near Lvov, Ukraine, while German 1st Panzer Group drove toward Zhitomir and Berdichev, Ukraine. On the same day, Romanian 3rd Army captured Chernivtsi, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH, CPC]
Photo(s) dated 5 Jul 1941
HMS Repulse off Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, 5 Jul 1941
6 Jul 1941
  • Lieutenant Roden Cutler won the Victoria Cross for clearing enemy positions in Syria. Wounded, he lay in the open for 26 hours before comrades could get to him, by which time his leg required amputation. ww2dbase [AC]
  • After sundown, German bombers conducted a light attack on Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Douglas Bader shot down a German Bf 109 aircraft. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon
  • Australian troops attacked French troops at El Atiqa and El Boum in Lebanon, capturing both positions by nightfall. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Russia
  • The Military Collegium of the Soviet NKVD sentenced four teenagers to death for being the son and nephews of Nestor Lakoba, political enemy of Lavrentiy Beria (already killed in Dec 1936). ww2dbase [CPC]
7 Jul 1941
  • Stalin replaced top army commanders, putting Marshal Kliment Voroshilov in command of the Northern Front, Marshal Semyon Timoshenko in the Central Front, and Marshal Semyon Budyonny on the Southern Front. On the same day, the German 4.Panzergruppe captured Pskov, Russia as it moved towards Leningrad. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Reversing former statements, Maxim Litvinov broadcasted from Moscow in English that the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom must work together against Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • US Marine Corps organized Marine Air Group 1. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • With one of his engines on fire, second pilot Sergeant James Ward tied a rope around himself and climbed out onto the wing of his Wellington bomber to extinguish the flames. Although he was badly burned, the aircraft made it home. The New Zealander is awarded the Victoria Cross but never received the medal, being killed on a raid two months later. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Occupied Yugoslavia was carved up between Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria, with Croatia becoming an independent state. ww2dbase [AC]
  • British bombers attacked Münster, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • After sundown, German bombers attacked Southampton, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Jürgen Stroop was assigned to the infantry regiment of German 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. ww2dbase [Jürgen Stroop | CPC]
Byelorussia
  • German 20th Panzer Division crossed the Daugava River (Western Dvina), threatening to outflank the Polotsk Fortified Region in Byelorussia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon Iceland
  • Iceland, coerced by the United Kingdom, allowed the United States to oversee the defense of the island. US 1st Marine Brigade arrived later on the same day and began to relieve the British garrison. ww2dbase [CPC]
Korea
  • General Seishiro Itagaki was named the commanding officer of the Japanese Chosen Army in occupied Korea, relieving Kotaro Nakamura. ww2dbase [Seishiro Itagaki | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The Norwegian merchant steamer Inga I departed the Tyne river mouth in Britain for Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom to join a convoy. ww2dbase [HM]
United States
  • The US Marine Corps established the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Quantico, Virgina, United States under Lieutenant Colonel Louis E. Woods. ww2dbase [Quantico Marine Corps Base | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 7 Jul 1941
Poster commemorating the 4th anniversary of the
8 Jul 1941
  • British B-17 bombers were deployed on a combat mission for the first time as three of them were ordered to attack Wilhelmshaven, Germany. ww2dbase [B-17 Flying Fortress | CPC]
  • Jews in the Baltic states were forced to wear the Star of David. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • German troops captured Pskov, Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Before dawn, British bombers attacked Münster, Germany. During the day, German anti-aircraft guns began arriving at the city in response to the recent successive night bombings. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • Rationing of basic foodstuff begins in Moscow, Leningrad and other major Soviet Union cities. ww2dbase [AC]
  • After sundown, German bombers conducted a light attack on Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon
  • Australian troops cut off the road leading into the northern part of Beirut, Lebanon. South of Beirut, Australian 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion and elements of the 6th Divisional Cavalry Regiment also approached Beirut. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • Kaga departed Yokosuka, Japan. ww2dbase [Kaga | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • A Soviet military mission arrived in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The Norwegian merchant steamer Inga I arrived at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom for repairs. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | HM]
United States
  • James Byrnes steppe down as a member of the US Senate. ww2dbase [James Byrnes | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 8 Jul 1941
German generals Fedor von Bock, Hermann Hoth, Wolfram von Richthofen, and Walther von Hünsdorff (not in photo), Russia, 8 Jul 1941
9 Jul 1941
  • The US Congress authorized the funding of $14,990,000 for the construction of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point over 32 square-kilometers of land in North Carolina, United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Troops of the German 3.Panzergruppe captured Vitebsk, Byelorussia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • The British Air Ministry instructed Bomber Command to concentrate its efforts against the German transportation system and breaking the morale of the civilian population. At about 0130 hours, British bombers attacked Münster, Germany; the reading room of the state archive, warehouse of the state theater, the post office at the Domplatz, and the eastern wall of the cathedral were destroyed. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | AC]
  • The head of Gosplan, the young economist Nikolai Voznesensky, was given responsibility for drafting a new war production plan for the whole Soviet economy. ww2dbase [Nikolai Voznesensky | AC]
  • A British report noted that, for the week ending at 0600 hours on 9 Jul 1941, an estimated 78 people were killed by German bombing while an estimated 67 people had been seriously injured. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt announced that American troops were to relieve British troops in the occupation of Iceland. Adolf Hitler responded by publicly noting that it was a clear act of aggression against Germany; however, when Erich Raeder asked Hitler whether it was time for the German Navy to deliberately attack American vessels, Hitler still rejected the request. ww2dbase [Invasion of Iceland | CPC]
  • The French High Commissioner in Syria, General Henri Dentz, applied to the British authorities for discussions to begin which would lead to an armistice. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | AC]
  • Douglas Bader claimed one probable German aircraft shot down and another damaged. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
  • Soviet aircraft engineers met to compile a report on their rocket-powered fighter development, which was to be forwarded to Joseph Stalin. ww2dbase [BI | CPC]
United States
  • Submarine Flying Fish was launched at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, United States, sponsored by the wife of US Navy Admiral Husband Kimmel. ww2dbase [Flying Fish | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 9 Jul 1941
Launching of submarine Flying Fish, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States, 9 Jul 1941, photo 1 of 2Launching of submarine Flying Fish, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States, 9 Jul 1941, photo 2 of 2Submarine Flying Fish shortly after launching, with tugs Yaqui and Pennacook, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States, 9 Jul 1941Astoria
10 Jul 1941
  • Finnish Army began an attack toward Lake Ladoga north of Leningrad, Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Silver Fox | TH]
  • After sundown, Private James Gordon of Australian 7th Division crept forward under heavy fire during fighting in Syria and took out a enemy post by grenade and bayonet. For this act of gallantry along with continued bravery exhibited through the following day, he would later be awarded the Victoria Cross in Oct 1941. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop again asked the Japanese to attack Vladivostok, Russia. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down a German Bf 109 fighter. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
France
  • Douglas Bader claimed one German Bf 109 aircraft over Bethune, Pas-de-Calais, France, and later shot down a Bf 109E aircraft over nearby Calais. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon
  • Five French D.520 fighters intercepted a flight of Blenheim bombers of No. 45 Squadron RAF escorted by 7 Tomahawk fighters of No. 3 Squadron RAAF over Syria; 3 British bombers and 4 French fighters were destroyed in the engagement. On the ground, troops of Australian 21st Brigade neared Beirut, Lebanon. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
Germany
  • Chen Jie ordered the operations of his embassy in Berlin, Germany to be shut down, thus officially cutting diplomatic ties between Germany and China. ww2dbase [Chen Jie | CPC]
Japan
  • Tatsuta Maru departed Yokohama, Japan for Honolulu, US Territory of Hawaii on her 68th voyage. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
Russia
  • Lev Mekhlis was apointed the deputy commissar of the Soviet NKO. ww2dbase [CPC]
Ukraine
  • German 13th Panzer Division captured Zhytomyr, Ukraine. Further east, German troops crossed the Dnieper River. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH, CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Traitor George Armstrong was hanged at Wandsworth prison in London, England, United Kingdom following his conviction for communicating with, and offering assistance to, the German consul in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • The US Marine Corps established the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at San Diego, California, United States under Colonel Francis P . Mulcahy. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 10 Jul 1941
Light cruiser Maxim Gorkiy receiving a new bow after mine damage, Kronshtadt, Russia, 3-21 Jul 1941Firefighters in Moscow, Russia, 10 Jul 1941Civilians exhuming a mass grave containing victim of the Soviets, Tarnopol, Poland (now Ternopil, Ukraine), 10 Jul 1941Civilians identifying victims of the Soviets, Tarnopol, Poland (now Ternopil, Ukraine), 10 Jul 1941
11 Jul 1941

Japan
  • Kaga arrived at Ariake Bay at Kyushu, Japan. ww2dbase [Kaga | CPC]
Russia
  • As the German 1.Panzergruppe marched near Kiev, Ukraine, Stalin replaced Army commanders. Marshal Voroshilov was given responsibility in the north, Marshal Timoshenko in the center, and Marshal Budyonny in the south. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
United States Photo(s) dated 11 Jul 1941
Astoria off Mare Island Navy Yard, 11 Jul 1941, photo 1 of 2Astoria off Mare Island Navy Yard, 11 Jul 1941, photo 2 of 2
12 Jul 1941
  • Werner Mölders reported that under his command JG 51 had destroyed 500 Soviet aircraft at the cost of only three casualties during the first 20 days of Operation Barbarossa. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • 1st US Marine Brigade completed taking over the occupation of Iceland from British troops. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • Douglas Bader shot down a German Bf 109 fighter and damaged three others over Pas-de-Calais, France. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon
  • French Lieutenant-General Joseph-Antoine-Sylvain-Raoul de Verdillac attended the French-British negotiations for a ceasefire in the French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon. Making progress in the discussions during the day, the process to draft the Armistice of Saint Jean d'Acre began at 2200 hours near Acre, British Mandate of Palestine. Meanwhile, French naval vessels and aircraft were ordered to go to neutral Turkey, where they were interned. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Four days after the Soviet military mission arrived in London, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union signed an agreement of mutual assistance, noting that neither country would negotiate a separate peace with the Axis powers. ww2dbase [TH]
Photo(s) dated 12 Jul 1941
British Ambassador Stafford Cripps signing a mutual assistance agreement between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, Moscow, Russia, 12 Jul 1941
13 Jul 1941
  • The first of the Spanish volunteers began leaving Spain for military training in Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German Armeegruppe Nord continued advancing towards Luga in northern Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • The Armistice of Saint Jean d'Acre negotiations at Acre, British Mandate of Palestine was stalled as the French rejected British demands. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The Norwegian merchant steamer Inga I arrived at Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom for repairs. ww2dbase [HM]
United States
  • The newspaper The New York Times reported that the famed Polish Jewish violinist Henri Czaplinski (aka. Genrikh Maksimovich Chaplinsky in Soviet documents) had escaped an NKVD prison in Lvov, Ukraine during a German bombing. ww2dbase [CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • The first armed uprising in Nazi-occupied Europe occurred when 6,000 members of the Communist Party and its Youth League rise up against the Italian-occupied puppet Governorate of Montenegro in Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [AC]
14 Jul 1941
  • Observing the German forces reaching the River Luga thus expecting a rapid victory in northern Russia., Hitler ordered the arms industry to switch production from guns and tanks to aircraft and submarines. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • French High Commissioner for Syria and the Lebanon signed the Armistice of Saint Jean d'Acre at Acre, British Mandate of Palestine, surrendering his command to the British. In exchange, he received the British agreement for the French soldiers to retain their personal arms and full honors. The agreement contained no reference to the Free French. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Captain Robert Henry English, Jr. was named the commanding officer of USS Helena, relieving Captain Max Burke DeMott. ww2dbase [Helena (St. Louis-class) | CPC]
  • Wilhelm Keitel appeared on the cover of the American news publication Time Magazine. ww2dbase [Wilhelm Keitel | CPC]
  • Amon Göth was promoted to the rank of SS-Untersturmführer. ww2dbase [Amon Göth | CPC]
  • British Blenheim bombers of No. 2 Group attacked Le Havre, France, damaging dock facilities at a cost of two bombers shot down by German fighters. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of submarine Simoom was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British anti-submarine trawler HMS Quadrille was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Ju 88 bombers based in Crete, Greece attacked Suez, Egypt, damaging harbor facilities and ships in port. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of submarine Herring was laid down. ww2dbase [Herring | CPC]
  • Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Oshima informed German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop that, in regards to the 10 Jul 1941 request for Japan to attack Vladivostok, Russia, Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka was in agreement with the proposal but the Japanese cabinet in general did not agree with such a suggestion. ww2dbase [Yosuke Matsuoka | CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down a German Bf 109 fighter. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
Russia
  • Katyusha rocket launchers were used in combat for the first time at Rudnya, Smolensk, Russia. ww2dbase [BM-13/8/31 Katyusha | CPC]
15 Jul 1941
  • Erwin Rommel was officially declared the commanding officer of Panzergruppe Afrika. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • Werner Mölders claimed his 100th and 101st victories over the Soviet Union. He was awarded Diamonds to his Knight's Cross for achieving 100 victories, which was to be presented later by Adolf Hitler personally. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • The British Military Application of Uranium Detonation (MAUD) Committee issued its final report on atomic weapons. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
  • Kashii was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Kashii | CPC]
  • The keel of Canadian destroyer Huron was laid down at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-223 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-224 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-623 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-624 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-507 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet troops began a counter offensive in the Lake Ilmen area near Leningrad, Russia. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • Soviet commandos attacked the island of Morgonland in Finland and captured the 5 men stationed at the observation station. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Honoring Charles de Gaulle's previous proclamation that the Allies had invaded the Vichy-held French Mandate of Syria and the Lebanon as liberators rather than conquerors, the British who had accepted the Vichy surrender on the previous day handed control of the territory to the locals. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • All pilots of the US Army 3rd Pursuit Squadron and 20th Pursuit Squadron based in the Philippine Islands were certified to fly the P-35A fighters. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The United States established a Naval Air Station and a Naval Operating Base at Argentia Bay, Newfoundland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of carrier Cabot was laid down at Quincy, Massachusetts, United States. ww2dbase [Lexington (Essex-class) | CPC]
  • The keel of cruiser Oakland was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • ShCh-401 attacked German auxiliary submarine chasers UJ 177 and UJ 178 off Kiberg, Norway with a torpedo; the torpedo missed. ww2dbase [ShCh-401 | CPC]
  • Hartwig von Ludwiger was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross for his service during Operation Barbarossa. ww2dbase [Hartwig von Ludwiger | CPC]
Italy
  • Inigo Campioni was appointed governor of the Italian Aegean Islands, also known as the Italian Dodecanese. ww2dbase [Inigo Campioni | CPC]
Russia Ukraine
  • German 228th Regiment cleared four Stalin Line bunkers and crossed the Ljadowa River, a tributary of the Dniester River, in Ukraine. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The US Marine Corps activated the Marine Detachment at the American Embassy in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 Jul 1941
Light cruiser Kashii at Yokohama, Japan, July 15, 1941
16 Jul 1941
  • Germany reversed a prior decree by allowing those who were 50% Jewish and those who were married to women who were 50% Jewish to serve in the military. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Vichy France enacted a law to exclude Jewish lawyers. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Alfred Rosenberg's appointment as the Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories was confirmed by Adolf Hitler during a conference at Adolf Hitler's headquarters in East Prussia, Germany. In that conference, which was led by Hitler and also attended by Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Keitel, Martin Bormann, and Hans Lammers, Hitler provided his vision of the future of Eastern Europe in which the Baltic States were to be incorporated into Germany, Crimea to be populated with ethnic Germans, Caucasus to be a German concession, and Leningrad given to Finland. ww2dbase [Alfred Rosenberg | CPC]
  • French corvette Lobelia was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-701 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-408 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet Army Lieutenant Jacob Jughashvili, son of Joseph Stalin, was taken prisoner by the Germans. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Charles de Gaulle protested the Armistice of Saint Jean D'Acre between the United Kingdom and Vichy France for it made no mention of the Free French. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • US Army General Leonard Gerow recommended General George Marshall to activate the Philippine Army and to provide it additional funding. He also recommended that Douglas MacArthur to be asked to return from the retired list as the commander in chief in the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | CPC]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler instructed that Ukraine and the Kola Peninsula in northern Russia were to be annexed into Greater Germany in the future, while East Karelia in northern Russia was to be given to Finland. In secret, he instructed other German leaders to prepare plans for a possible future annexation of Finland. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Russia
  • Anatoliy Mikheev accused Semyon Timoshenko was being a traitor. Joseph Stalin did not order Timoshenko's arrest, but he would relieve Timoshenk as the defense commissar (NKO) several days later and would assume the title himself. ww2dbase [Semyon Timoshenko | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • General Wladyslaw Sikorski was presented with the Standard of the Polish Air Force at RAF Swinderby in England, United Kingdom. Smuggled out of Poland, via Stockholm in Sweden, the Standard would subsequently be held by each Polish Squadron in the United Kingdom during the war years. ww2dbase [Władysław Sikorski | AC]
United States
  • American transport USS West Point embarked 137 Italian and 327 German citizens off Staten Island, New York, United States and set sail for Lisbon, Portugal at 1455 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Astoria departed Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, United States. ww2dbase [Mare Island Navy Yard | Astoria (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 16 Jul 1941
View of Rotterdam, the Netherlands during an aerial attack, 16 Jul 1941, seen from the dorsal turret of a Blenheim bomber
17 Jul 1941
  • The first elements of the Spanish Volunteer Division arrived at the large training camp at Grafenwöhr in southern Germany. Spanish uniforms were exchanged for German; the only item of clothing retained being the Falangist dark blue shirt, from which the title "Blue Division" (officially the 250th Infantry Division) was derived. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Alfred Rosenberg officially took on the position of Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories. Among his responsibilities were the Germanization of the occupied lands and the exploitation and extermination of Jews. ww2dbase [Alfred Rosenberg | CPC]
  • After sundown, German bombers attacked Hull, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom. 160 fires displaced 3,500 people and several factories were damaged. 111 were killed and 108 were seriously injured. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Corvette HMS Narcissus was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Heinz Guderian was awarded Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. ww2dbase [Heinz Guderian | AC]
  • German Navy placed an order for four submarines; this order would later yield U-487, U-488, U-489, and U-490. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-449 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine was U-579 commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Italian Navy introduced a new cipher. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Political Commissars were re-introduced into the Soviet Army and Soviet Navy organizational structures. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Field Marshal Keitel's son Hans-Georg Keitel died from wounds received in combat. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Reinhardt Heydrich ordered the four SS Einsatzgruppen under his command to exterminate Jewish and Roma communities in his sphere of influence. ww2dbase [Reinhard Heydrich | CPC]
  • Destroyer USS Ingraham was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • George Marshall approved Leopard Gerow's recommendation to re-activate Douglas MacArthur from the retired list and plans regarding the Philippine Army; Marshall forwarded Gerow's proposals to US Secretary of War Henry Stimson for further review and implementation. ww2dbase [George Marshall | CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down a German He 59 seaplane. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
  • Yasunori Yoshioka was named the chief of staff of Japanese 44th Army, also known as the Kwangtung Defense Army, based in Xinjing, northeastern China. ww2dbase [Yasunori Yoshioka | CPC]
Canada
  • HMCS Grizzly was assigned to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada to serve as a stationary defensive vessel. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • The Oflag IV-C prisoners of war camp at Colditz Castle in Germany hosted a visit from the Orthodox Bishop of Dresden, Germany. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
Malta
  • Axis aircraft attacked airfields on Malta. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Russia
  • The Soviet 3rd NKO Directorate was merged back into the NKVD, becoming NKVD's Special Departments Director (UOO). Viktor Abakumov was named UOO's chief and Solomon Milshtein was named the deputy. ww2dbase [Viktor Abakumov | CPC]
Ukraine
  • German Armeegruppe Sud encircled 20 Soviet Army divisions near Uman, Ukraine. Further south, troops of the Romanian 3rd Army reached the Dniester River, captured a row of bunkers on the far bank, and repulsed a series of Soviet counterattacks. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH, CPC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull met with Japanese Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura in Washington DC, United States in an attempt to open negotiations bewteen the two countries regarding peace in the Pacific region. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • The US Congress held a hearing on the construction of a new building for the US War Department. ww2dbase [Pentagon | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jul 1941
Knox observing maneuvers at New River Inlet, North Carolina, flanked by Marines, 17 Jul 1941
18 Jul 1941
  • British ASV radar equipment was deployed to one PBY Catalina and two PBM Mariner aircraft. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Prince Fumimaro Konoe retained his office as he was named the 39th Prime Minister of Japan. ww2dbase [Fumimaro Konoe | CPC]
  • Three Blenheim bombers of No. 21 Squadron of No. 2 Group RAF damaged a German tanker in the English Channel off Gravelines, France; one of the three bombers were shot down by anti-aircraft fire. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-703 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Works Progress Administration Assistant Commissioner Corrington Gill reported to the House of Representatives of the US Congress that 5,000,000 Americans would remain unemployed in the latter half of 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Finland established diplomatic relationship with the Japanese-sponsored puppet state of Manchukuo. ww2dbase [CPC]
Canada
  • In Canada, Canadian corvette HMCS Algoma arrived at Montreal, Quebec, and corvette HMCS Shediac arrived at Quebec City, Quebec. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • The Orthodox Bishop of Dresden, Germany completed his two-day visit of the Oflag IV-C prisoners of war camp at Colditz Castle and departed. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The Soviet Union signed a friendship treaty with the Czechoslovakian government-in-exile in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
19 Jul 1941
  • British radio station BBC broadcasted about the "V Army", informing the general public on the resistance movements in occupied Europe. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British citizen George Armstrong was executed at Wandsworth prison for spying. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Captured (by German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis on 10 Nov 1940) Norwegian tanker Ole Jacob arrived at Bordeaux, France, carrying aviation fuel and the captured crew of tanks Ole Jacob and Teddy. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • Submarine HMS Umpire collided with a trawler off Kent, England, United Kingdom during her sea trials, sinking in 60 feet of water; 22 men were lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 11 British Blenheim bombers attacked an 8-ship German convoy escorted by 6 anti-aircraft ships off the Hague, Netherlands, sinking four of the transports and damaging another. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered that American shipping were not to be attacked by German forces in order to keep the United States from fully entering the war. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • German submarine U-66 sank transport Holmside northeast of Cape Verde islands at 1042 hours; 21 were killed, 16 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
Fiji
  • Fijian ship Viti departed Suva, Fiji for Gilbert and Ellice Islands with New Zealand military servicemen aboard; she was to drop off small reconnaissance parties on many of the atolls and small islands to act as lookouts, or "coastwatchers", to watch for German surface raiders. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • German submarine U-153 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-375 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered the German 2nd Panzer Group to move south toward Kiev, Ukraine as soon as the group completed the conquest of Smolensk, Russia. Heinz Guderian, commanding officer of the 2nd Panzer Group, protested and cited Moscow, Russia as the logical primary target, but Hitler would overrule him. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
Ireland
  • The lifeboat containing the last three survivors of British motor merchant Cathrine, which was sunk by U-43 west Ireland on 17 Jun 1941, was discovered 35 miles west of Valentia Bay, County Kerry, Ireland. The men were taken to hospital at Valentia Island where they recovered. All told, Cathrine's master, 21 men, and two gunners were lost. ww2dbase [HM]
Libya
  • Italo Gariboldi stepped down as the Governor-General of Italian Libya, succeeded by Ettore Bastico. ww2dbase [CPC]
Russia
  • Joseph Stalin declared himself the Soviet Defense Commissar (NKO). ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | TH]
  • Heavy fighting between German and Soviet forces took place near Lake Peipus near Leningrad, Russia. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • Viktor Abakumov officially assumed the role as the head of UOO of the Soviet NKVD. ww2dbase [Viktor Abakumov | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill decided to share military intelligence gained by deciphering the German Enigma-encoded messages with the Soviets, but the Soviets would not be told how the intelligence was gained; instead, they were told that the intelligence was gained through a spies in Berlin. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | CPC]
United States
  • The keel of US destroyer Baldwin was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Swallow was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 19 Jul 1941
Adolf Hitler speaking to the Reichstag at the Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 19 Jul 1941
20 Jul 1941
  • Japanese luxury ocean liner Hikawa Maru arrived at Osaka, completing her 73rd round trip across the Pacific. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
  • The Soviet Union resumed diplomatic relations with the countries occupied by Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • 6 British Blenheim bombers damaged a tanker off Le Touquet, France with three high explosive bombs and several incendiary bombs, forcing the ship to beach near Berck-sur-Mer to prevent sinking. Two British aircraft and one German Bf 109 fighter were shot down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian torpedo boat Circe sank British submarine HMS Union with depth charges southwest of the Italian island of Pantellaria between Sicily and Tunisia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-126 spotted transport Canadian Star in the Atlantic Ocean at 0100 hours and proceeded to attack at 0242 hours with both torpedoes fired missing; U-126 and Canadian Star engaged in a duel with surface guns, and U-126 was forced to abandon the attack. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-95 attacked transport Palma in the Atlantic Ocean at 0505 hours with both torpedoes fired missing. At 0528, U-95 opened fire with her deck gun, hitting Palma three times (though the German lookouts only spotted and recorded one hit), but Palma would be able to escape. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In a broadcast to the people of occupied Europe, Prime Minister Winston Churchill inaugurated the "V" (for victory) campaign. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | AC]
Finland
  • The German 2nd Rannikkoiskukompania arrived at Bengtskär island, Finland at the entry of the Gulf of Finland. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Werner Mölders was promoted to the rank of Oberst and was transferred to the Reich Air Ministry in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
Russia
  • Soviet destroyer Stremitel'ny was sunk by German aircraft in Kolafjord north of Murmansk, Russia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Vsevolod Merkulov stepped down as the People's Commissar of State Security of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Vsevolod Merkulov | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Brendan Bracken was named the British Minister of Information. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Lively was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
21 Jul 1941
  • Hiroaki Abe was transferred out of Japanese Navy Destroyer Squadron 6. ww2dbase [Hiroaki Abe | CPC]
  • German submarine U-140 sank the 161-ton Soviet submarine M94 by torpedoes in the Baltic Sea. The survivors were rescued by M98 operating nearby off Hiiumaa Island. ww2dbase [AC]
  • German submarine U-109 refueled from German supply ship Thalia off Cadiz, Spain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japan secured an agreement from the Vichy-French government to permit a virtual Japanese occupation of Indo-China. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Orion rounded Cape Horn and entered the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
Byelorussia
  • Outside Minsk, Byelorussia, German SS troops ordered 30 Byelorussians to bury 45 Jews alive in a pit; upon meeting refusal, the SS men executed the entire group of 75 by machine gun fire. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
Canada
  • Canadian minesweeper HMCS Guysborough was launched in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ww2dbase [CPC]
Egypt
  • Free French leader Charles de Gaulle met with British Minister of State in Cairo Oliver Lyttleton in Cairo, Egypt, complaining of the shortcomings in the arrangement in the Middle East where Free French troops were placed under British command. De Gaulle noted that Free France would assume direct control of troops in the theater as of noon of 24 Jul 1941. ww2dbase [Ding Delong | CPC]
Gibraltar
  • The Allied convoy "Substance" departed Gibraltar to supply Malta; it contains six transports, carrier Ark Royal, battlecruiser Renown, battleship Nelson, several cruisers, and six destroyers. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Russia
  • 195 German Luftwaffe bombers, most of which were He 111 bombers, took off from an airfield near Smolensk, Russia to attack the Soviet capital of Moscow in multiple waves during the night; the resulting air alarms were the first to be sounded in the city. Moscow had strong anti-aircraft defences, the city was protected by 170 fighters, and the citizens were able to take shelter in the newly completed underground railway stations, but German air crews reported the presence of very few Soviet fighters after sunset. On the next day the Soviets would report the downing of 22 German bombers, but German records only showed 6 bombers failing to return. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | AC, CPC]
Ukraine
  • Soviet troops evacuated from the positions along the Dniestr River in western Ukraine. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Hugh Dalton informed Winston Churchill that his Special Operations Executive was now ready to support covert operations in German-occupied Europe. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British minesweeper HMS Cadmus was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British minesweeper HMS Circe was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Norwegian merchant steamer Inga I departed Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom upon completion of repairs. She sailed with Convoy OG 69 for Gibraltar with a cargo of 1,670 tons of coal and coke. ww2dbase [HM]
  • Jean Knox was made the director of the British Auxiliary Territorial Service. ww2dbase [Jean Knox | CPC]
United States
  • The keel of submarine Gunnel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [Electric Boat Company | Gunnel | CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Velocity was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Tumult was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Token was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of US destroyer Evans was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of US destroyer John D. Henley was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt asked the United States Congress to modify the Selective Service Act, increasing the period of service from one year of active service to also include 30 months in reserve. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
22 Jul 1941

Canada
  • Canadian corvette HMCS Brandon was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
Finland
  • Colonel Ruben Lagus, commanding officer of Finnish 5th Division, was nominated for the Mannerheim Cross 2nd Class award. ww2dbase [CPC]
France Germany
  • Adolf Hitler sent an armored train equipped with anti-aircraft weapons to Benito Mussolini as a birthday present. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | CPC]
  • The German News Bureau in Berlin, Germany reported to the public that the Soviet capital of Moscow had been attacked by German bombers for the first time during the previous night; the aircraft were launched from captured airfields within a few hundred miles from the city. Meanwhile, the German High Command announced that the bombing of Moscow was done in retaliation for Soviet bombings on Bucharest, Romania and Helsinki, Finland. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-450 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-117 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-171 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italy
  • Italian Count Galeazzo Ciano noted in his diary that Benito Mussolini had staged a mock air raid over Rome, Italy on this date, with anti-aircraft positions firing. The purpose of this production was to give the citizens the impression that a serious war was going on. ww2dbase [Galeazzo Ciano | CPC]
Japan
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Teijiro Toyoda, who had replaced Yosuke Matsuoka only four days prior, reaffirmed Japan's alliance with Germany and Italy, meanwhile, he attempted to stabilize the deteriorating relations with the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Italian submarine Diaspro fired four torpedoes on HMS Ark Royal and HMAS Nestor escorting the Operation Substance convoy in the Mediterranean Sea; all torpedoes missed. 8 SM79s torpedo bombers and 15 bombers (SM79 and Cant Z1007) took off from Sardinia, Italy to attack the same convoy, but they would fail to locate any of the ships. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
  • 1,996-ton Italian motor tanker Brarena was under way from Palermo, Italy to Tripoli, Libya when she caught fire after another ship sailing in the convoy carrying ammunition was bombed and exploded. The Barena was taken under tow but British aircraft scored hits on her and sank her. The tanker had been under Norwegian control at the beginning of the war but was seized by the Italian government. ww2dbase [HM]
Panama Canal Zone
  • As of this date, all Japanese ships were forced out of the Panama Canal Zone. ww2dbase [CPC]
Russia
  • In captivity at the Lefortovo Prison in Moscow, Russia, General Dimitry Pavlov explained that out of the 600 artillery fortifications on the western border, only 169 of them actually had guns inside, and other similar facts explained why he could not counterattack the German forces as Joseph Stalin had ordered. Regardless, he was found guilty and was executed before the end of the day. His rank was stripped and his properties were confiscated by the state. ww2dbase [Lefortovo Prison | Dmitry Pavlov | CPC]
  • The Soviet NKGB was merged into the NKVD. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • For the second consecutive night, German bombers attacked Moscow, Russia. Of the 115 bombers dispatched, two failed to returned, one of which was a pathfinder aircraft while the other served in the traditional bomber role. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | CPC]
  • The Soviet Information Bureau reported that Moscow, Russia experienced its first air raid of the war during the previous night by over 200 German bombers. The report claimed that Soviet nightfighters and anti-aircraft weapons forced the bulk of the Germans to turn back before reaching Moscow; those that broke through the defenses destroyed a number of civilian dwellings, missing key military targets. 17 German aircraft were reportedly shot down. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | CPC]
  • Israel Fisanovich was made the commanding officer of submarine M-172. ww2dbase [Israel Fisanovich | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Remy Van Lierde arrived in Britain. ww2dbase [Remy Van Lierde | CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Fritillary was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Cowdray was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeper HMS Ardrossan was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • The keel of destroyer USS Harding was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
23 Jul 1941
  • A German Hudson aircraft, while on convoy escort duty, shot down a German aircraft 107 miles west-southwest of Achill Head, Achill Island, Ireland; the German crew was later rescued and interrogated. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Scharnhorst was detected by British RAF Coastal Command aircraft at La Pallice, La Rochelle, France by the results of a photo reconnaissance flight at 0915 hours. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | CPC]
  • HMS Manchester suffered an aerial torpedo hit on the port quarter in the Mediterranean Sea while escorting a convoy for Malta. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Repair ship Akashi operated off Indochina. ww2dbase [Akashi | CPC]
  • Douglas Bader shot down a German Bf 109 aircraft. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Allied Convoy OG 69 was spotted by a German Fw 200 Condor aircraft; the aircraft was shot down, but the Germans would dispatch additional aircraft daily to track the convoy. ww2dbase [HM]
Poland
  • German troops captured Brest-Litovsk, Poland (now Belarus) after a month-long siege. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
United Kingdom
  • A British No. 44 Squadron Hampden bomber, returning from to Waddington, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom from a minelaying sortie, crashed into the staff residence of Lincoln Girls High School on Lindum Hill in the nearby city of Lincoln. The crew of four were all killed immediately as was the senior French mistress who died trying to escape from the burning building. Four other members of staff were injured and exploding ammunition peppered the surrounding area, seriously hampering the work of the fire and rescue teams. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • In Washington DC, United States, Senator Wendell Willkie (the defeated Republican candidate at the 1940 Presidential election) urged America to give unlimited aid to Britain. ww2dbase [AC]
24 Jul 1941
  • US Marine Corps established a Marine Detachment under the 1st Defense Battalion at Johnston Island. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The RAF submitted a report for the week ending 24 Jul 1941. Coastal Command flew 252 patrols (364 sorties) and escorted 94 convoys (264 sorties). Fighter Command flew 704 shipping protection patrols (1,476 sorties). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Edinburgh arrived at Malta. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | CPC]
  • USS Astoria departed San Pedro, California, United States. ww2dbase [Astoria (New Orleans-class) | CPC]
  • Free France, distrustful of British command of its troops in the Middle East, took back control effective at 1200 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • James Lacey engaged two German Bf 109 fighters and claimed kills on both of them after the two German aircraft collided in mid-air during the dogfight. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
Germany
  • 68 Dutch officers arrived at the Oflag IV-C camp at Colditz Castle in Germany; they were the first Dutch prisoners at this prisoners of war camp. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
25 Jul 1941
  • Lieutenant Commander Otoji Nakamura became the commanding officer of I-68. ww2dbase [I-68 / I-168 | CPC]
  • Quintin Brand was appointed the commanding officer of the No. 20 (Training) Group. ww2dbase [Quintin Brand | CPC]
  • Werner Mölders traveled to the Wolf's Lair at Rastenburg, East Prussia, Germany and met with Adolf Hitler, Wilhelm Keitel, and Hermann Göring. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • HMS Edinburgh was attacked by a German torpedo bomber at Malta; the torpedo missed. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | CPC]
Estonia
  • He 111 bombers of German Luftwaffe II./KG 4 were briefed for a night bombing mission over Moscow, Russia, but at the last minute they were ordered to mine the waters off Saaremaa island (German: Ösel) off Gulf of Riga, Estonia. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • British bombers took off at 2230 hours on the previous day, reaching Kiel, Germany at about 0145 hours on this date; bombs were dropped on the Deutsche Werke shipyard facilities; surviving attacks landed at their bases in Britain at about 0600 hours. On the same day, Bombers of British No. 102 Squadron RAF attacked Hanover, Germany after sundown. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Deutsche Werke Kiel | CPC]
Russia
  • He 111 bombers of German Luftwaffe I./KG 55 attacked Soviet anti-aircraft positions at Dorogobush, Smolensk Oblast, Russia. One bomber was shot down. ww2dbase [CPC]
Ukraine
  • General Paul von Kleist's 1st Panzer Group clashed with no fewer than six Soviet mechanised corps under the capable General Mikhail Kirponos in Ukraine. A sprawling tank battle, the largest of the war up to that point, swayed backwards and forwards across the steppes for four days, before superior German tactical handling and communications, plus their use of 88-mm guns, won the day. Kiponos was forced to retreat eastward towards Kiev. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
United States
  • Joseph Stilwell was made the commanding officer of III Corps at Presidio of Monterey, California, United States. ww2dbase [Joseph Stilwell | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 25 Jul 1941
Adolf Hitler flanked by Werner Mölders, Wilhelm Keitel, and Hermann Göring, WolfPuget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 25 Jul 1941, photo 1 of 4; note AVPs Barnegat, Biscayne, Casco, Mackinac, BB Colorado, AG Utah, AK Aroostook, and AR PrometheusPuget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 25 Jul 1941, photo 2 of 4; note AVPs Barnegat, Biscayne, Casco, Mackinac, BB Colorado, AG Utah, AK Aroostook, and AR PrometheusPuget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, United States, 25 Jul 1941, photo 3 of 4; note AVPs Barnegat, Biscayne, Casco, Mackinac, BB Colorado, AG Utah, AK Aroostook, and AR Prometheus
See all photos dated 25 Jul 1941
26 Jul 1941
  • US Army recalled Douglas MacArthur to active service as the commander of units in the Far East; Philippine troops already under MacArthur's command were integrated into the US Army. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | CPC]
  • Three full Soviet armies were trapped and destroyed near Mogilev, Byelorussia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt passed executive orders to freeze all Japanese and Chinese assets, forbade the export of oil, iron, and rubber to Japan, as well as marking the Panama Canal off-limits to Japanese shipping. UK and the Netherlands followed suit. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Werner Mölders was presented Diamonds to his Knight's Cross by Adolf Hitler. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • US Navy Admiral Husband Kimmel ordered long range air patrols to be conducted from various Pacific Ocean bases in case Japan reacted aggressively against US President Franklin Roosevelt's executive order to freeze Japanese assets. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | CPC | Detailed Timetable]
Italy
  • Commander Ernesto Forza took over command of 10th MAS Flotilla at La Spezia, Italy, which was in actuality a special forces unit for the Italian Navy. ww2dbase [CPC]
Lithuania Malta
  • Six Italian E-boats escorted by MC.200 fighters attempted to attack shipping in Valletta's Grand Harbour at Malta. The Hurricane fighters of Nos. 126 and 185 Squadrons were scrambled and set about the E-boats, sinking four and causing the other two to surrender. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | AC]
  • HMS Cachalot departed Malta for Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Cachalot (Grampus-class) | CPC]
Russia
  • German aircraft bombed Moscow, Russia. Many bombs fell near the Kremlin, and the images were captured on film by journalist Margaret Bourke-White. ww2dbase [Kremlin and Red Square | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Roderick Carr was named the commanding officer of No. 4 Group RAF. ww2dbase [Roderick Carr | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 26 Jul 1941
San Diego sliding down her shipways during her launching at the Bethlehem Steel Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, United States, 26 Jul 1941Grace Legler Benbough christened San Diego during launching ceremonies at the Bethlehem Steel Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, United States, 26 Jul 1941A Dornier Do-217 bomber on an airfield in Finland with reindeer in the foreground, 26 Jul 1941.
27 Jul 1941
  • The Japanese Imperial General Headquarters officially decided to pursue a southern advance, abandoning the previous ambitions against Russia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The United Kingdom nationalized railroads for the duration of the war. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Douglas MacArthur was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | CPC]
  • German leader Adolf Hitler requested Romanian leader Ion Antonescu to conquer and occupy the Ukrainian territory between Dniester and Bug Rivers. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
  • Wilhelm Keitel ordered all copies of the 13 May 1941 order, which effectively allowed German military personnel to murder Soviet civilians, destroyed. Several copies would remain, however, and surface during the Nuremberg Trials. ww2dbase [Wilhelm Keitel | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Five British motor torpedo boats (MTB) sailed from Dover, England, United Kingdom to attack a German destroyer in the English Channel. Two of the boats narrowly escaped collision when crossing each other's bows at top speed by only ten feet. When the attack took place the torpedoes were fired at too great a range scoring no hits, in fact one torpedo actually just missed one of the friendly MTBs. On the way home one of the MTBs opened fire on a British aircraft which came down to investigate them. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Germans attacked Allied Convoy OG 69. During the morning, two ships were torpedoed and sunk, both British, the Kellwyn and the Hawkinge. The rest of the day was uneventful but as night fell the master of Norwegian merchant steamer Inga I gave orders for the men to rest fully clothed and wearing lifebelts. Their position at noon that day hd been 200 miles west of Cape Finisterre, Spain. Around midnight, the Captain was on the port side of the bridge, the 2nd mate on the starboard side, when an explosion was heard. The Commodore ship, which was sailing 4-5 cable lengths in front of them had been hit and two minutes later a torpedo was seen coming towards Inga I from the starboard side. They had been launched by German submarine U-126, and the vessel could not alter course due to there being ships on each side of them, so everyone was told to quickly get across to the port side before the torpedo detonated. It struck at the coal bunkers on the starboard side between the engine and boiler rooms. Both lifeboats on that side were heavily damaged and debris flew everywhere, the motorboat on #3 Hatch was also damaged, and the port boat could not be launched in time because Inga I immediately took on a heavy starboard list. The captain found that the wooden box in which the ship's papers were kept had been destroyed and the contents destroyed (all the ship's logs and papers were lost with the ship). As he reached the boat deck, he found himself wading in water, and was pulled under as the ship sank. When he surfaced, he was able to grab hold of a broken wooden hatch cover which kept him afloat while he drifted towards a raft. All around he saw the red lights of the lifevests of other survivors. He then managed to paddle over to another raft where he found one of the stokers. Meanwhile, the 2nd mate Olaf Ringsø and the 2nd engineer Emanuel Høiland had jumped overboard from the starboard side of the midships deck, and had kept themselves afloat with the help of a wooden hatch cover. The British mess boy, Norman Fitzpatrick found the wooden top of the wheelhouse which he used as a raft, until picked up by a boat from the escort. They were the first survivors from Inga I to be taken to the warship, where they were given clothes, first aid and food. ww2dbase [HM]
Estonia Malta
  • Italian manned torpedoes and motor torpedo boats attacked Grand Harbour, Malta, causing minor damage to British vessels and installations but nearly all Italian vessels were lost in the attack. Commander Vittorio Moccagatta was among the Italian fatalities. ww2dbase [Scirè | CPC]
Russia
  • Four teenagers, son and nephews of Nestor Lakoba, political enemy of Lavrentiy Beria (already killed in Dec 1936), were executed in Moscow, Russia as sentenced by the Military Collegium of the Soviet NKVD. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 27 Jul 1941
Fairlie Mortars, or
28 Jul 1941
  • Japan froze American assets in retaliation of a similar action committed by the US on 26 Jul 1941. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German troops began crushing the Smolensk pocket in Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Finland severed diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Tatsuta Maru set a new trans-Pacific crossing record. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
  • The joint US Army and US Marine Corps unit Task Force 18, attached to the US Atlantic Fleet under Major General Holland M. Smith, was redesignated the 1st Joint Training Force. ww2dbase [CPC]
Poland
  • A special commission created on Heinrich Himmler's orders arrived at Auschwitz Concentration Camp to select prisoners within the framework of the "Euthanasia Program" for the incurably ill, extended in 1940 to Jews and in the middle of 1941 to prisoners of concentration camps. The 573 selected, most were sick Polish prisoners from Block 15, were told that they were to be transferred to other camps for easier work because of their conditions. At last moment, two German criminals Johann Siegruth and Ernst Krankemann were added to the list. The 575 were sent to Sonnenstein Castle under the supervision of Franz Hössler and were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in a gas chamber disguised as a shower room. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | Auschwitz Concentration Camp | CPC]
United States
  • The US Congress authorized funding for the construction of the future Pentagon building. ww2dbase [Pentagon | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 28 Jul 1941
Soviet 85 mm M1939 (52-K) anti-aircraft guns at Gorky Park, Moscow, Russia, 28 Jul 1941
29 Jul 1941
  • Marshal Georgy Zhukov resigned as Chief of Staff of the Soviet forces. ww2dbase [Georgy Zhukov | TH]
  • Orion sank the ship Chaucer by gunfire in the South Atlantic. The entire crew of 48 was rescued by Orion. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • British merchant seaman David Hay was awarded an Albert Medal for his daring rescue of a fellow sailor from shark infested waters during the journey between Liverpool, England, United Kingdom and Takoradi, British Gold Coast. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Joseph Rochefort reported to US Navy Admiral Husband Kimmel that the Japanese fleet detected outside of Japanese home waters were heading back to Japan, thus there was no immediate threat of an aggressive Japanese response to Franklin Roosevelt's decision to freeze Japanese assets. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | CPC | Detailed Timetable]
Photo(s) dated 29 Jul 1941
TBD-1 Devastator torpedo bomber of Torpedo Squadron 6 in flight over carrier Enterprise in landing pattern, as indicated by the down arrestor hook and wheel, 29 Jul 1941Aerial view of Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii, Jul 29, 1941. The lines painted on the runway were to approximate a carrier’s flight deck.
30 Jul 1941
  • A committee consisted of US Treasury, State, and Justice Department officials granted an exception of the rule to freeze Japanese national assets so that Tatsuta Maru's owners could withdraw enough funds to pay for fuel for a return trip to Japan. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
  • Bremse was attacked by British Albacore torpedo bombers and Fulmar fighters of carrier HMS Victorious, but the aircraft caused no damage. ww2dbase [Bremse | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine HMS Cachalot was scuttled during an engagement with Italian torped boat Generale Achille Papa in the Mediterranean Sea north of Benghazi, Libya. ww2dbase [Cachalot (Grampus-class) | HM]
Russia Photo(s) dated 30 Jul 1941
British War Office personnel instructing Home Guard personnel on the use of a Northover Projector in Saxmundham, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom, 30 Jul 1941
31 Jul 1941
  • Reinhard Heydrich received instructions from Hermann Göring to prepare the implementation of the Final Solution to the Jewish question, Endlösung. ww2dbase [Reinhard Heydrich | TH]
  • Reichskommissar Josef Terboven declared Norway under a state of emergency. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Romanian leader Ion Antonescu formally accepted German leader Adolf Hitler's request for Romanian troops to conquer and occupy the Ukrainian territory between Dniester and Bug Rivers. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
  • Soviet destroyer Sokrushitelny made rendezvous with British minelayer HMS Adventure near the Gorodetski lighthouse at the entrance to the White Sea in northern Russia. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
Hawaii Photo(s) dated 31 Jul 1941
Spanish General Agustín Muñoz Grandes being inducted into German Army service, Grafenwöhr, Germany, 31 Jul 1941Cruiser Mk V Covenanter III tank, 31 Jul 1941
1 Aug 1941
  • The United States announced an oil embargo against all aggressor states. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Hiroaki Abe became the commanding officer of Japanese Navy Cruiser Division 8. ww2dbase [Hiroaki Abe | CPC]
  • Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber took flight for the first time. ww2dbase [TBF Avenger | AC]
  • USS Marlin was commissioned into service with Lieutenant George A. Sharp in command. ww2dbase [Marlin | CPC]
  • Nine British Blenheim bombers escorted by Hurricane fighters attacked Axis vehicles at Sidi Omar, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Denmark established diplomatic relationship with the Japanese-sponsored puppet state of Manchukuo. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels fabricated a quote from US Secretary of War Henry Stimson suggesting that Stimson thought the British war situation was hopeless. ww2dbase [Joseph Goebbels | CPC]
Germany
  • Walter Grabmann was named the commanding officer of the Zerstörerschule 2 training unit based in Memmingen, Germany. ww2dbase [Walter Grabmann | CPC]
Romania
  • Two Zveno-SPB variant of the TB-3 aircraft, each carrying two I-16 fighter-bombers, destroyed an Axis oil depot in Constanta County, Romania. All Soviet aircraft returned to base safely. ww2dbase [TB-3 | CPC]
Russia
  • Joseph Stalin, satisfied with the progress of the rocket-powered fighter development project, issued an ordered in late Jul (and dated for 1 Aug 1941) for a prototype aircraft to be completed in a little more than a month. ww2dbase [BI | CPC]
  • British minelayer HMS Adventure arrived at Arkhangelsk, Russia and delivered a supply of naval mines. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Britain broke off diplomatic relations with Finland for invading Russia. Just over a year earlier, Britain had supported the Finns against the Russians. ww2dbase [AC]
US Pacific Islands
  • The US Navy established the Naval Air Station at Midway under Commander Cyril T. Simard. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Aug 1941
Soviet policeman on Gorky Street, Moscow, Russia, 1 Aug 1941Six P-40 Warhawk fighters based at Hickam Field in flight over Oahu, US Territory of Hawaii, 1 Aug 1941, photo 1 of 2Six P-40 Warhawk fighters based at Hickam Field in flight over Oahu, US Territory of Hawaii, 1 Aug 1941, photo 2 of 2Cruiser Mk V Covenanter III tanks of British 9th Queen
See all photos dated 1 Aug 1941
2 Aug 1941
  • All civilian radios in Norway were confiscated by the German occupation. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Two Australian companies attacked Italian positions near Tobruk, Libya with the support of over 60 field guns. The attacks were repulsed after suffering heavy casualties. This particular attack represented the last Australian attempt to regain positions lost in early May 1941. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German dive bombers attacked an Allied convoys off Libya, but they were driven away by British fighters; about 3 German aircraft were shot down at a loss of 3 British Hurricane fighters. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Soviet submarines M99 and S11 were sunk by German mines in the Baltic Sea. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Croatia established diplomatic relationship with the Japanese-sponsored puppet state of Manchukuo. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet NKVD operatives were ordered to arrest those who injure themselves on the front lines just as they would arrest deserters. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • The keel of light cruiser Miami was laid down by William Cramp and Sons in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. ww2dbase [Miami | CPC]
3 Aug 1941
  • The battle at Roslavl in Russia ended with 38,000 encircled Soviet soldiers being taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Lieutenant Robert Everett RNVR of British No. 804 Squadron Fleet Air Arm became the first pilot launched from a CAM ship (HMS Maplin) to shoot down a German Focke-Wulf Condor aircraft which had sighted the Atlantic convoy SL81 en route from Sierre Leone, British West Africa. ww2dbase [AC]
  • 21 British Maryland bombers attacked Axis positions at Tobruk, Libya while fighters swept nearby airfields. ww2dbase [CPC]
Ukraine
  • General Nicolae Ciuperca's Romanian 4th Army crossed the Dniester River in Ukraine. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
4 Aug 1941
  • Adolf Hitler visited Fedor von Bock's Army Group Center headquarters in the Soviet Union. The anti-Nazi officer plotted to arrest Adolf Hitler upon arrival, but failed to do so as he had under-estimated Hitler's personal guards. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered Hermann Hoth's 3rd Panzer Group to aid Wilhelm von Leeb in the north and Heinz Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group to assist Paul von Kleist in the south. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
United States
  • Tatsuta Maru departed San Francisco, California, United States with US$2,500,000 worth of raw silk and 85,589 gallons of oil, both which was only allowed after Captain Toichi Takahata fought hard for due to the recently passed executive order to freeze Japanese assets in the United States. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
5 Aug 1941
  • Thailand established diplomatic relationship with the Japanese-sponsored puppet state of Manchukuo. ww2dbase [CPC]
Ukraine
  • Romanian troops arrived in the vicinity of Odessa, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
6 Aug 1941
  • US Navy aircraft based in Reykjavik, Iceland began routine patrols of the North Atlantic. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The first German strategic reports on progress in Russia claimed that Germany had taken nearly 900,000 prisioners and destroyed or captured 13,100 tanks, 9,100 aircraft and more than 10,000 heavy guns. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
  • The clearing of the land to build a US Marine Corps airfield (future Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point) began in North Carolina, United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden issued another warning to Japan stating that any action against the independence of Thailand would be regarded as a threat to imperial security. ww2dbase [Anthony Eden | AC]
  • Leutnant Hans Thurner of the German Kampfgeschwader 55 wing was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The first Bell Airacobra fighter arrived in the United Kingdom. By the end of Sep 1941, eleven machines had been received by No. 601 Squadron RAF, but during trials by the Air Fighting Development Unit at Duxford it was found that the much publicised performance figures claimed by the manufacturer were much overrated (having been obtained by a highly polished machine weighing a ton less than the production aircraft delivered to the RAF). The maximum speed for example being some 33 mph slower than anticipated and, although pleasant enough to fly, was definitely inferior to the Hurricane and Spitfire in climb rate and ceiling. ww2dbase [P-39 Airacobra | AC]
Photo(s) dated 6 Aug 1941
Sikh troops training with Bren guns and 2-inch mortar, western Egypt, 6 Aug 1941
7 Aug 1941
  • Stalin promoted himself to Generalissimo of the Soviet Army. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | TH]
  • Bruno Mussolini, Benito Mussolini's son, was killed in a plane crash. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Werner Mölders was named the Inspector General of Fighters of the Luftwaffe. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
Germany
  • After dark, 84 British aircraft were launched to attack Essen, Germany (108 tons of high explosive bombs and 5,720 incendiary bombs were dropped, damaging the Krupp coke oven batteries), 31 launched against Hamm (damaging rail marshalling yard), 32 launched against Dortmund, 88 launched against Kiel (104 tons of high explosive bombs and 4,836 incendiary bombs were dropped, damaging Deutsche Werke Shipyards), and a number of bombers were launched against Hamburg (poor visibility and results were not observed). ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Deutsche Werke Kiel | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 7 Aug 1941
British 9.2-inch coastal artillery gun crew in exercise, Needles Battery, Isle of Wight, England, United Kingdom, 7 Aug 1941
8 Aug 1941
  • Yugoslavia was dissolved, with Italy annexing large areas. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Army aircraft and troops embarked for Iceland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The construction for trawler Anticosti was ordered. ww2dbase [Anticosti | CPC]
  • The Romanian General Staff issued Directive No. 31 calling for the capture of Odessa and the defeat of Soviet forces between the Dniester River and the Tiligulskiy Estuary in Ukraine. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
  • Soviet destroyer Valerian Kuibyshev made rendezvous with British submarine HMS Tigris off northern Russia. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
Germany Japan
  • Shokaku was commissioned into service at Yokosuka, Japan. ww2dbase [Shokaku | CPC]
Russia
  • Joseph Stalin ordered the formation of eight Guards mortar regiments directly under the control of the Stavka to operate Katyusha rocket launchers. ww2dbase [BM-13/8/31 Katyusha | CPC]
Ukraine
  • The 6th and 12th Soviet Armies in the Uman Pocket in Ukraine were wiped out by German troops; over 100,000 Soviet prisoners were taken. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
Photo(s) dated 8 Aug 1941
British cruiser Dorsetshire at Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom, 8 Aug 1941
9 Aug 1941
  • Atlantic Charter Conference began between US and UK leadership. ww2dbase [Atlantic Charter Conference | CPC]
  • The Soviet Shchuka-class submarine ShCh-307 (Treska) commanded by N. I. Petrov torpedoed and sank the German submarine U-144 west of Hiiumaa Island in the Baltic Sea. ww2dbase [ShCh-307 | AC]
France
  • Battle of Britain ace Wing Commander Douglas Bader was involved in a mid-air collision with a German Bf 109 fighter over northern France. He parachuted from his crippled aircraft by releasing and leaving behind in his Spitfire fighter one of his two artificial legs. ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | AC]
Ukraine
  • Romanian 30th Dorobanti Regiment captured the village of Ponyatovka, Ukraine while other Romanian units captured the railway town of Razdelnaya. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 9 Aug 1941
Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and RooseveltWinston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and RooseveltPresident Franklin Roosevelt and his dinner guests aboard the cruiser USS Augusta at the Atlantic Conference, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, 9 Aug 1941.
10 Aug 1941
  • Franklin Roosevelt and his staff visited HMS Prince of Wales to attend British religious services. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Philippe Leclerc was promoted to the war time rank of brigadier general. ww2dbase [Philippe Leclerc | CPC]
Arctic Ocean
  • The 1,238-ton Soviet patrol vessel Tuman was on patrol in the Barents Sea north of Murmansk, Russia when she encountered the three German destroyers Z-4 Richard Beitzen, Z-10 Hans Lody, and Z-16 Friedrich Eckoldt near Kildin Island. Tuman reported the sighting over radio, then laid down a smoke screen for evasive action. The German destroyers closed in within 5 nautical miles and damaged Tuman with 11 direct hits before they were driven off by Soviet coastal guns. 37 officers and men escaped from the sinking vessel as the German destroyers withdrew; 15 were killed, including the commanding officer Lieutenant L. Shestakov and the commissar. ww2dbase [HM]
Photo(s) dated 10 Aug 1941
Prince of Wales at Argentia, Newfoundland, 10-12 Aug 1941Winston Churchill on the deck of HMS Prince of Wales watching the USS McDougal as the ship transported Roosevelt back to the USS Augusta, 10 Aug 1941USS McDougal alongside HMS Prince of Wales during Atlantic Charter Conference, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, Aug 1941Religious service on board HMS Prince of Wales during Atlantic Charter Conference, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, 10 Aug 1941; note Roosevelt, Churchill, King, Marshall, Dill, Stark, and Pound in presence; USS Arkansas in background
See all photos dated 10 Aug 1941
11 Aug 1941
  • Matome Ugaki was named the chief of staff of the Japanese Navy Combined Fleet. ww2dbase [Matome Ugaki | CPC]
  • Vichy France enacted a law to exclude Jewish doctors. ww2dbase [CPC]
Japan
  • Captain Yoshioki Tawara was named the commanding officer of Naka. ww2dbase [Naka | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • Lieutenant Colonel Harold D. Shannon, executive officer of the US Marine Corps 6th Defense Battalion, arrived at Midway to prepare for his battalion to relieve the 3rd Defense Battalion. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | CPC]
12 Aug 1941
  • The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party ordered the security forces to deport the entire population of the Volga German Autonomous Republic to destinations in Central Asia and Siberia. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The US Army-US Marine Corps 1st Joint Training Force under Major General Holland M. Smith was redesignated the Atlantic Amphibious Force. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, British bombers attacked railway yards at Hanover, Germany. After sundown, 78 British bombers, escorted by 485 fighters, conducted the heaviest daylight attack against Germany to date, targeting the powerplants near Köln (Fortuna Power Station in Knapsack and Goldenburg Power Station in Quadrath) and other targets in a wide area. The Germans were only able to scramble few fighters, but anti-aircraft fire was heavy. The Germans suffered four fighters shot down (plus five likely shot down) and heavy damage to both powerplants; the British suffered 12 British Blenheim bombers shot down and 10 British fighters shot down. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • HMS Picotee (Lieutenant R. A. Harrison) was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-568 in the North Atlantic. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Zhao Chengshou signed a secret armistice with the Japanese. ww2dbase [Zhao Chengshou | CPC]
  • Light carrier Hosho became the flagship of Carrier Division 3. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
China
  • Crown Prince Yi Un was assigned to Jinzhou, Liaoning Province, China. ww2dbase [Yi Un | CPC]
France
  • French Marshal Philippe Pétain appointed Admiral François Darlan as Minister for War, the Navy, the Air and the Colonies. General Maxime Weygand was thus placed under Darlan's orders. ww2dbase [François Darlan | AC]
Japan
  • Battleship No. 1 departed Kure, Japan for trials. ww2dbase [Yamato | CPC]
Russia
  • The Soviet Politburo granted thousands of Polish prisoners of war amnesty for the formation of a Polish unit under General Wladislaw Anders to fight against Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Semyon Timoshenko drafted an order calling for the execution of deserters; it would be revised by Joseph Stalin and issued as Order No. 270 four days later. ww2dbase [Semyon Timoshenko | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • No. 489 (NZ) Squadron RAF was formed at RAF Leuchars, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom from New Zealand personnel under the command of Wing Commander J. A. S. Brown. The squadron would see extensive service on anti-shipping strikes in the North Sea and protection of the North Cape convoys. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • The United States Congress passed a modification to the Selective Service Act, which extended the service period of draftees as requested by Franklin Roosevelt, by a single vote. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Aug 1941
British mechanics assembling Buffalo fighters, Singapore, circa 12 Aug 1941
13 Aug 1941
  • Stalin released the Polish prisoners of war taken in Sep 1939, ostensibly to form a Polish Army in Russia. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | AC]
  • Journalist Richard Capell paid tribute in a radio broadcast the defenders of Tobruk, Libya, with specific mention of anti-aircraft gunners but also generally of Australians, Indians, and British "[b]oys", who "within weeks, turn[ed] into hardened men." ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
Germany
  • Dutch prisoners Dufour and Imitescaped the Oflag IV-C prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle in Germany; they would be recaptured within a few days. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
Romania
  • A Soviet Zveno-SPB variant of the TB-3 aircraft, carrying two I-16 fighter-bombers, damaged the King Carol I Bridge (now Anghel Saligny Bridge) in Cernavoda, Costanta County, Romania. ww2dbase [TB-3 | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 13 Aug 1941
British Army Lieutenant General Arthur Percival leaving a plane on his arrival to Singapore as the new commander of British forces in Malaya and Singapore, 13 Aug 1941
14 Aug 1941
  • Roosevelt and Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter. ww2dbase [Atlantic Charter Conference | TH]
  • Overnight, British bombers attacked railway yards at Hanover, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • The Soviet transport ship Sibir, carrying 2,500 wounded soldiers from Estonia, was bombed by German aircraft. There were few survivors. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Edmund Herring was promoted to the temporary rank of major general and was given command of Australian 6th Division in Egypt. ww2dbase [Edmund Herring | CPC]
15 Aug 1941
  • Douglas MacArthur oversaw the induction of the Philippine Army Air Corps. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | CPC]
  • Orion reached Spanish territorial waters and disguised herself as the Spanish ship Contramestre Casado. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • In Germany it became a criminal offence for Jews not to wear the yellow Star of David. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | AC]
United Kingdom
  • German parachutist Josef Jakobs, captured in Britain on 1 Feb 1941, was executed by firing squad at the Tower of London in England, United Kingdom at 0715 hours. He was the last person to be executed at that site. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 Aug 1941
Douglas MacArthur at the induction ceremony of Philippine Army Air Corps, Zablan Field, Camp Murphy, Rizal, Philippine Islands, 15 Aug 1941; behind MacArthur, left to right: Richard Sutherland, Harold George, William Marquat, LeGrande DillerCaptured German Ju 88 aircraft on display in Sverdlov Square, Moscow, Russia, 15 Aug 1941
16 Aug 1941
  • Stalin agreed to an aid plan from US and UK. ww2dbase [TH]
  • German troops captured Novgorod, Russia. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Karl Hermann Frank's daughter Edda was born. ww2dbase [Karl Hermann Frank | CPC]
Germany
  • Dutch prisoners Steinmetz and Larive escaped the Oflag IV-C prisoners of war camp at Colditz Castle in Germany; they would later become the first successful Dutch escapees of Colditz. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
Philippines
  • Douglas MacArthur received word from his superiors in Washington DC, United States that the Philippine Islands would start receiving reinforcements, shipped from the US no later than 5 Sep 1941. This included the 200th Coastal Artillery Regiment, a tank battalion, and an ordnance battalion. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
Russia
  • Joseph Stalin issued Order No. 270, ordering all deserters executed and deserters' families arrested. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | CPC]
Ukraine
  • German troops of Armeegruppe Sud captured the Soviet naval base at Nikolaev in Ukraine on the Black Sea. Nearby, Romanian troops launched a renewed attack on Odessa. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | TH]
Photo(s) dated 16 Aug 1941
Enigma machine in a radio car of German 7th Panzer Division, 16 Aug 1941Winston Churchill visiting US Marines on Iceland, 16 Aug 1941; note Ensign Franklin Roosevelt, Jr. and Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Smith also present
17 Aug 1941
  • Overnight, British bombers attacked the rail station at Duisburg, Germany. Air crews reported poor visibility due to bad weather. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • American ship Longtaker was sunk by a German submarine while delivering supplies to the US military garrison in Iceland. ww2dbase [CPC]
Estonia Japan
  • Tatsuta Maru departed Yokohama, Japan; Captain Toichi Takahata was replaced by Japanese Navy Reserve officer Captain Sakao Kimura. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
Ukraine
  • Romanian troops captured the water reservoirs of Odessa, Ukraine with heavy casualties. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
United States
  • Franklin Roosevelt arrived in Washington DC, United States. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
18 Aug 1941
  • British War Cabinet member Mr. Butt wrote a report to the RAF Bomber Command, noting "[o]f those aircraft recorded as attacking their target, only one in three got within five miles" of the intended targets. The conclusion was reached after studying post-bombing reconnaissance photos taken between 2 Jun and 25 Jul 1941. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • Radio Belgrade played an obscure German record which had been found in a pile of dusty 78s in the cellar of Radio Vienna. The song, Lili Marleen, sung by Lale Andersen, was an instant success. Within a week the station was receiving thousands of requests from the soldiers of the Deutsche Afrika Korps for it to be played over and over again. The song's success did not end there for, with English lyrics, it would become equally popular with the British and Commonwealth soldiers fighting in the Western Desert. ww2dbase [AC]
Ukraine
  • In southern Ukraine, German troops established a bridgehead across the Dnieper River at Zaporizhia. Further southwest along the river, German troops began an attack on the city Kherson situated on the western bank of the river. The port facilities of Odessa, Ukraine was struck by He 111 bombers of German Luftwaffe KG 27; the pilots reported overwhelming success in terms of Soviet shipping destroyed. Out at sea, Two Romanian torpedo boats, NMS Viscolul and NMS Vijelia, damaged a Soviet destroyer south of Odessa. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | TH, CPC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt announced that Pan American Airways had agreed to ferry Lend-Lease US warplanes to British forces in the Middle East. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
19 Aug 1941
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop requested Japan to join in the attack on the Soviet Union by attacking Vladivostok in eastern Russia; Japan responded by saying that such a venture would require much time for deliberation and planning. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
  • German X Corps narrowly averted being encircled near Lake Illmen in northern Russia, saved by a counterattack by LVI Corps. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
France
  • Replacement prosthetic leg for captured Douglas Bader was dropped by a British bomber over Saint-Omer, Pas-de-Calais, France with permission by German Luftwaffe leaders. After the delivery, the British bomber took the opportunity to surprise-attack a power station in occupied France (though the attack would fail to materialize due to weather). ww2dbase [Douglas Bader | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • The first permanent military garrison was established at Wake Atoll, which consisted of 449 men of the US Marine Corps 1st Defense Battalion under the command of US Navy Commander Winfield Scott Cunningham. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 19 Aug 1941
Humber armored cars of the Inns of Court Regiment, UK 9th Armoured Division on parade at Guisborough, Yorkshire, England, UK, 19 Aug 1941Cruiser Mk V Covenanter III tanks of Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, British 9th Armoured Division on parade at Guisborough, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom, 19 Aug 1941
20 Aug 1941
  • German 250th Infantry Division, nicknamed "Blue Division" and consisted of Spanish volunteers, was formed and began to move to Poland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German siege of Leningrad, Russia began. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | TH]
France Japan
  • Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki stepped down as the chief of staff of Kure Naval District, Japan. ww2dbase [Matome Ugaki | CPC]
  • Captain Takahiko Kiyota was named the commanding officer of Nachi. ww2dbase [Nachi | CPC]
Ukraine
  • German Eleventh Army captured Kherson, Ukraine. Romanian aircraft destroyed a Soviet armored train at Odessa Ukraine. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | TH]
Photo(s) dated 20 Aug 1941
USS North Carolina at anchor, New York, New York, United States, 19-20 Aug 1941
21 Aug 1941
  • Hitlers ordered that the Russian city of Leningrad was to be besieged, not captured. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | TH]
  • M-172, under the command of Israel Fisanovich, became the first M-class submarine to have broken into an enemy port and to successfully sink a target. ww2dbase [Israel Fisanovich | CPC]
China
  • Japanese aircraft sank Chinese gunboats Jiangxi and Jiangkun at Bazhong, Sichuan Province, China. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • A German naval cadet became the first victim of French Resistance, shot in a Metro station in Paris, France. Over 150 Parisians were shot in reprisal. ww2dbase [The French Resistance | TH]
Germany
  • Adolf Hitler directed the transfer of units away from the Moscow, Russia area in order to bolster the siege on Leningrad (aiming for the linking up with Finnish forces) and the battles in Ukraine (aiming for the oil fields in the Caucasus region). ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
Iceland
  • The first Allied Arictic convoy, codenamed Dervish, set sail from Hvalfjörður, Iceland for Arhangelsk, Russia. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
22 Aug 1941

Russia
  • Soviet passenger ship Pomorie hit a mine and sank in the White Sea in northern Russia; 60 were killed, 20 survived. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 22 Aug 1941
View aboard USS North Carolina during trials, 22-31 Aug 1941Straight down aerial view of the Pearl Harbor submarine base, 22 Aug 1941. The large C-shaped building is Fleet Headquarters where Admiral Kimmel’s office was. Note some of the fuel storage tanks are camouflage painted
23 Aug 1941
  • Adolf Hitler rejected Heinz Guderian's advice to attack Moscow, Russia; instead, he moved troops to the south. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • Orion arrived at Gironde, Bordeaux, France. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • HMS Zinnia was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-564 off the coast of Portugal. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • At 2347 hours the 1,409-ton Norwegian merchant steamer Inger was heading towards Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom when she was hit by two torpedoes fired from German submarine U-143 (Oberleutnant zur See Harald Gelhaus). She was carrying 1,500 tons of coke and had been ordered to alter her course and return to Loch Ewe, no reason was ever given for these orders. After being struck by the torpedoes the Inger sank quickly, 30 miles northwest of the Butt of Lewis, Scotland. A lifeboat floated free and three men in it rescued another 11 of the crew, none of the other nine including two British gunners, were found. There were two escort armed trawlers with the Inger, however, these continued to Loch Ewe without searching for any survivors. Later, an aircraft spotted the lifeboat and the survivors were taken to Stornoway by the Fishing trawler The Ladylove. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 2,129-ton Norwegian merchant steamer Spind had left Convoy OG-71 to make her own way. She was targeted by German submarine U-552 (Oberleutnant zur See Erich Topp) at 0648 hours off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula, however the two torpedoes both became surface runners and missed, forcing the submarine to surface seven minutes later to attack with her guns. The fired 20 rounds of 8.8cm and 250 rounds of 2cm before having to dive after the destroyer HMS Boreas (H 77) appeared and opened fire. The crew of the Norwegian ship had managed to fire off a couple of rounds before all the crew abandoned the vessel. All 25 got into lifeboats, the Second Mate had been shot and badly hurt whilst lowering himself into the boat. Erich Topp tried once again to torpedo the Spind but again there was a problem with the missile, this time failing to detonate after hitting the ship. The destroyer went on to attack the submarine but Topp was able to dive deep and escape. The Spind was burning in the accommodations amidships and the bunker coal in the 'tween deck area. The destroyer tried to extinguish the fire before picking up the survivors. After a second attempt to extinguish the fire, the ship was shelled by the destroyer and sank within five minutes. ww2dbase [HM]
Japan
  • Shokaku arrived at Ariake, Tokyo, Japan and became the flagship of 1st Air Fleet of Carrier Division 5. ww2dbase [Shokaku | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Aug 1941
Carrier Shokaku at Yokosuka, Japan, 23 Aug 1941, photo 1 of 2Carrier Shokaku at Yokosuka, Japan, 23 Aug 1941, photo 2 of 2A Soviet soldier teaching partisan fighters how to operate a Browning Hi-Power handgun, near Smolensk, Russia, 23 Aug 1941
24 Aug 1941
  • Romanian forces suffered heavy losses during the Soviet counter attack near Odessa, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Vichy France passed anti-terrorist laws, punishable with death sentences, to deal with the resistance movement. ww2dbase [The French Resistance | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered the end of the euthanasia program that had already killed 70,273 mentally-ill people. Some doctors would continue to kill the mentally-ill through the end of the European War. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Oberleutnant Hans Philipp became the 33rd member recipient of the Oak Leaves to the Knight's Cross. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill broadcast, on the BBC, his "Crime without a name" speech which told the listening public of the mass murders that are being committed by German police and SS units against the civilian populations in the overrun Soviet territories. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | AC]
25 Aug 1941
  • The United Kingdom and the Soviet Union jointly attacked pro-German regime in Iran. While the British troops crossed the western border and Soviets to the north, the respective ambassadors in Tehran demanded Iran to accept British and Soviet protection of oil supplies. British forces sank two small Iranian warships. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarine U-752 sank Soviet minesweeping trawler T-898 in the Barents Sea 80 miles east of Cape Chernyi, northern Russia at 1011 hours; 41 were killed, 2 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German Navy placed orders for 61 submarines to be constructed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer HMS Wolsey rammed and sank British minesweeper Kos XVI (with Norwegian crew) 30 miles off Grimsby, England, United Kingdom just before midnight. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Richard "Dick" Winters enlisted in the US Army. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Navy issued the order to build the future submarine U-869. ww2dbase [U-869 | CPC]
  • Submarine Finback was launched, sponsored by Mrs. A. E. Watson. ww2dbase [Finback | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British anti-submarine trawler HMS Vascama and a British Catalina aircraft sank German submarine U-452 with depth charges in the North Sea, killing all 42 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A British RAF Catalina Mk. 1 of No. 209 Squadron cooperating with naval forces sank German submarine U-453 off Iceland. ww2dbase [AC]
Finland
  • Lennart Oesch began a period of sick leave. ww2dbase [Lennart Oesch | CPC]
France
  • Pierre Laval was shot four times by student Paul Collete as he saw off French volunteers going off to fight with the Germans in Russia. Laval survived the assassination attempt, but was seriously wounded particularly by a bullet that penetrated his body about an inch from his heart. ww2dbase [Pierre Laval | AC, CPC]
Germany
  • Held responsible for the failure of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, and believing that his superiors had abandoned him, and convinced that his arch rival Inspector General Erhard Milch was plotting his down fall, the normally ebullient Ernst Udet (who was already showing signs of illness through depression and strain) reported sick. His duties were assumed by Milch. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Benito Mussolini arrived at Adolf Hitler's Wolfsschanze headquarters in eastern Germany (now Poland). ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | CPC]
  • The order to build U-1059 was issued. ww2dbase [U-1059 | CPC]
Gibraltar
  • The 25 survivors of Norwegian merchant steamer Spind, sunk by German submarine U-552 two days prior off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula, were landed in Gibraltar. ww2dbase [HM]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille returned to Ain el Gazala, Libya from his home leave in Berlin, Germany to Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 25 Aug 1941
Map of Operation Barbarossa, 22 Jun to 25 Aug 1941Launching of submarine Finback, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States, 25 Aug 1941Submarine Finback shortly after launching, off Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine, United States, 25 Aug 1941
26 Aug 1941
  • Soviet forces in Velikije Luki were surrounded and destroyed by the German Armeegruppe Nord. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • A combined force of Canadian, British, and Norwegian commandos landed on Spitzbergen. The coal-mining installations and equipment there were destroyed and the Norwegian civilian populace was evacuated. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Otto Skorzeny was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class medal for recovering a damaged vehicle under enemy fire at the bridgehead in Yelnya, Russia. ww2dbase [Otto Skorzeny | CPC]
  • German submarine U-571 seriously damaged Soviet submarine supply ship Marija Uljanova with two torpedoes 27 miles north of Teriberskij lighthouse in northern Russia in the Barents Sea at 0459 hours; Marija Uljanova would be written off as a loss on the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British troops captured Abadan, Iran, along with the oil-related installations there. Far to the north, Soviet troops captured Tabriz while aircraft bombed Tehran. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • Wing Commander David Lascelles, a cousin of the British Royal family, was killed leading a daylight anti-shipping strike. Lascelles was No. 82 Squadron's seventh commanding officer in eleven months and the third to be killed. ww2dbase [AC]
France
  • Paul Collete was arrested after shooting and wounding Pierre Laval; Laval would recommend giving Collete a light sentence, citing that the young man was likely only a pawn used by more senior plotters behind the scenes. ww2dbase [Pierre Laval | TH, CPC]
Germany
  • Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Paul von Kleist | CPC]
  • German Type IXC U-Boat U-505 was a commissioned at Hamburg, Germany with Kapitänleutnant Axel-Olaf Loewe in command. ww2dbase [U-505 | DS]
Ukraine Photo(s) dated 26 Aug 1941
USS North Carolina firing her forward guns during trials, 26-27 Aug 1941
27 Aug 1941
  • German 250th Infantry Division, consisted of Spanish volunteers, began to march on foot from the Polish-Lithuanian border toward Smolensk, Russia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British government took over the control of railways for the duration of the war; the private owners and operators were to receive £43,000,000 per year as compensation. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-570 surfaced at 1050 hours in the Atlantic Ocean and was spotted by a British Hudson aircraft, which attacked the submarine with four 250-pound depth charges and returned for strafing. U-570 eventually surrendered; while awaiting the British to send a capture party, confidential papers and the cipher machine were dumped overboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Reza Shah of Iran appointed Mohammad Ali Foroughi as the Prime Minister, who immediately began negotiations with the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom to end the hostilities. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarine U-557 attacked Allied convoy OS-4 300 miles west of Ireland between 0125 and 0426 hours, sinking four ships. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-202 sank British trawler Ladylove off Iceland at 1435 hours, killing the entire crew of 14. ww2dbase [CPC]
Estonia France
  • The French Socialist politician and collaborator Marcel Déat was wounded in an unsuccessful assassination attempt by Resistance member Paul Collette in Versailles, France. ww2dbase [AC]
Germany
  • Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Paul von Kleist | CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Hurricane fighter near Gambut, Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Turkmenia
  • An ANT-6 aircraft operated by the airliner Aeroflot struck a hill near near Kyzyl-Arvat, Turkmenia during a forced landing. Six were killed; three survived. ww2dbase [TB-3 | CPC]
28 Aug 1941
  • Australian Prime Minister Menzies resigned. ww2dbase [Robert Menzies | CPC]
  • Mohammad Ali Foroughi signed a treaty allowing the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union to occupy oil fields and the Trans-Iranian Railway in Iran, as well as closing down German, Italian, Hungarian, and Romanian legations in Tehran. However, he refused to allow British and Soviet troops in the capital city. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • The Soviet NKVD blew up Zaporozhye hydroelectric dam on the River Dnieper in Ukraine to prevent German use. Thousands of civilians who resided downstream were killed by the flooding. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Soviet Baltic Fleet departed from Estonia for Kronstadt, Russia under the command of Vice Admiral Vladimir Tributs. En route, the fleet was slowed by a minefield off Cape Juminda, and it was soon targeted by shore-based artillery, German aircraft, and German and Finnish torpedo boats. 15 warships and 15 transports would be sunk. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • British Submarine HMS Rorqual sank Italian ship Cilicia 130 miles west of Crete, Greece. Italian torpedo boat Antares counterattacked by ramming the submarine, damaging the periscope. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarines U-101 and U-558 attacked Allied convoy OS-4 330 miles west of Ireland; U-558 sank British merchant ship Otaio (13 were killed, 58 survived); U-101's attack was unsuccessful and invited a 3-hour counterattack by 30 depth charges which caused little damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Axis troops launched a renewed offensive against Odessa, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
  • The final P-43 Lancer fighter delivery was made to the United States Army. ww2dbase [P-43 Lancer | CPC]
  • Tenryu was assigned to Truk, Caroline Islands to join Cruiser Division 18 of Japanese 4th Fleet. Captain Mitsutaro Goto was named her new commanding officer. ww2dbase [Tenryu | CPC]
Germany
  • British prisoner of war Lieutenant Airey Neave attempted to escape the Oflag IV-C camp at Colditz Castle in Germany with a fake German guard uniform; he was spotted near the front gate and captured. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | CPC]
Japan
  • Tatsuta Maru departed Kobe, Japan; among the passengers were 349 Jewish refugees. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
Libya
  • On his first combat mission after reutrning from home leave to recover from dysentery, Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a South African Air Force Hurricane fighter flown by Lieutenant V. F. Williams; it was his 14th kill. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Netherlands United States
  • Lewis Puller returned to the United States from China. ww2dbase [Lewis Puller | CPC]
29 Aug 1941
  • Soviet troops evacuated the Karelian Isthmus as Finnish forces retook Viipuri in northern Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Silver Fox | TH]
United States
  • Jack Heyn enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps in Omaha, Nebraska, United States. ww2dbase [Jack Heyn | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 29 Aug 1941
North Carolina firing her after 16-inch guns during her shakedown cruise, 28-29 Aug 1941German Col General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst and Finnish Maj General Hjalmar Siilasvuo at their meeting in Kuusamo, Finland, 29 Aug 1941. Photo 1 of 4.German Col General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst and Finnish Maj General Hjalmar Siilasvuo at their meeting in Kuusamo, Finland, 29 Aug 1941. Photo 2 of 4.German Col General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst and Finnish Maj General Hjalmar Siilasvuo at their meeting in Kuusamo, Finland, 29 Aug 1941. Photo 3 of 4.
See all photos dated 29 Aug 1941
30 Aug 1941
  • German troops captured Mga, Leningrad Oblast, Russia, severing the last railway leading into the city of Leningrad. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • Panzergruppe 1 of Army Group South under Paul von Kleist and Panzergruppe 2 of Army Group Center under Heinz Guderian began to envelope the Soviet Southwestern Front under Mikhail Kirponos at Kiev, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • Romanian troops captured Kubanka, Ukraine, but Soviet forces recaptured the city later in the day. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
  • Joachim von Ribbentrop asked Soemu Toyoda regarding a possible Japanese attack on Vladivostok, Russia; the Japanese Navy admiral responded by saying that Japan was preparing for such a venture, and required more time to complete the preparations. ww2dbase [Joachim von Ribbentrop | CPC]
Finland
  • Lennart Oesch returned to active duty. ww2dbase [Lennart Oesch | CPC]
Russia
  • Soviet destroyers Grozny, Oritsky, and Kuibyshev escorted the Allied convoy Dervish into the Dvina River and on to Arkhangelsk, Russia. Crewmen of the merchant ships of this first Allied convoy to arrive in Arkhangelsk reported poor cooperation from the Soviets. No stevedores were found so the crewmen attempted to unload the cargo themselves, only to be stopped by Soviet armed guards because they did not have the proper passes to step onto the shore; the situation was only improved after the arrival of higher ranking Soviet officers later in the day. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 30 Aug 1941
Soldiers of the Soviet Voroshilov Regiment in training, Moscow, Russia, 30 Aug 1941
31 Aug 1941
  • The Soviet Baltic Fleet completed its evacuation from Tallinn, Estonia to Kronstadt off Leningrad, Russia. 165 vessels arrived in Leningrad with 28,000 military personnel and civilians on aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German bombers attacked Alexandria, Egypt, killing 2 British Royal Navy officers but otherwise doing little to no damage to ships and port facilities, which were the primary targets. ww2dbase [CPC]
Japan
  • Kasuga Maru completed her conversion into an escort carrier at Sasebo, Japan. She was renamed Taiyo. ww2dbase [Sasebo Naval Arsenal | Taiyo | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • A mixed-gender anti-aircraft battery with 200 men and an equal number of women was established, with great public interest, in Richmond Park, London, England, United Kingdom. The women were the first to take a combat role in Britain. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 31 Aug 1941
North Carolina during her shakedown cruise, 22-31 Aug 1941North Carolina during her shakedown cruise, 22-31 Aug 1941, photo taken from a destroyerSignalmen hoisting and stowing signal flags aboard USS North Carolina, 22-31 Aug 1941OS2U Kingfisher aircraft preparing for launch aboard North Carolina during the ship
See all photos dated 31 Aug 1941
1 Sep 1941
  • Cruiser Köln began supporting the invasion of Dagö and Ösel islands and disabled Soviet coastal batteries at Cape Ristna. ww2dbase [Köln | CPC]
  • All Jews above the age of six in Germany and occupied lands were ordered to wear the yellow Star of David with the word "Jude" inscribed in black within; this was to be effective 19 Sep 1941. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • The 9th Company of German Police Battalion 322 participated in the murder of more than 900 Jews from the Minsk area in Byelorussia. On the same day, the Police Regiment South reported shooting 88 Jews, and Battalion 320 reported shooting 380. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Mineichi Koga was named the head of the China Area Fleet of the Japanese Navy. ww2dbase [Mineichi Koga | CPC]
  • Battleships USS Idaho, USS Mississippi, and USS New Mexico, escorted by 2 cruisers and 13 destroyers, were dispatched to patrol the Denmark Strait to protect American merchant shipping. ww2dbase [Mississippi | CPC]
  • Nobutake Kondo was named the commanding officer of the Japanese 2nd Fleet. ww2dbase [Nobutake Kondo | CPC]
  • Hartwig von Ludwiger was promoted to the rank of Oberst. ww2dbase [Hartwig von Ludwiger | CPC]
  • Chiaki Matsuda was made the commanding officer of old battleship Settsu. ww2dbase [Chiaki Matsuda | CPC]
China
  • In China, the American Consul-General at Shanghai, the commander of the Yangtze Patrol, and the commanding officer of the 4th Marine Regiment at Shanghai recommended that all naval forces in China be withdrawn. ww2dbase [CPC]
Japan
  • Captain Chiaki Matsuda was named the commanding officer of Settsu. ww2dbase [Settsu | CPC]
Korea
  • Vice Admiral Ikuta Sakamoto was named the commanding officer of Chinkai Guard District in southern Korea. ww2dbase [Chinkai Guard District | CPC]
Philippines
  • Douglas MacArthur mobilized the Filipino military. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | CPC]
Poland Russia
  • The BI-1 rocket-powered prototype aircraft was ready for unpowered flight at Khimki, Moscow Oblast, Russia. ww2dbase [BI | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Sep 1941
Soviet troops in a trench in Leningrad, Russia, 1 Sep 1941; note DP machine gunMachine gunners of Soviet 20th Army on the Dnieper River near Dorogobuzh, Russia, 1 Sep 1941Georgi Zhukov speaking in Moscow, Russia, 1 Sep 1941Soviet soldier teaching civilians how to disarm a un-exploded German incendiary bomb, Sverdlov Square, Moscow, Russia, 1 Sep 1941
2 Sep 1941

France Japan
  • Kasuga Maru was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Taiyo | CPC]
United States
  • Franklin Roosevelt officially approved the site for the construction of the future Pentagon building. ww2dbase [Pentagon | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 2 Sep 1941
Villagers sending off conscripts, Russia, 2 Sep 1941German soldier capturing a Soviet soldier near the Dnieper River in the Soviet Union, 2 Sep 1941; note MP 40 submachine gunMajor General Arthur Allen, commander of Australian 7th Division, and Lieutenant Colonel Murray Moten, commander of Australian 2/27th Infantry Battalion, Hammana, Lebanon, 2 Sep 1941
3 Sep 1941
  • The equivalent of a whole Red Army Division under NKVD officers was sent south to round up and deport all the Soviet Union's ethnic Germans they could find. By Jan 1942, 800,000 Germans from all parts of the Soviet Union had been shipped eastward. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Operation EGV.1, which involved an air attack on German targets at Tromsø, Norway by carrier aircraft from HMS Victorious, was cancelled due to lack of cloud cover. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German bombers damaged British ship Fort Richepanse at noon in the Atlantic Ocean; at 2042 hours, German submarine U-567 caught up with the damaged ship 450 miles west of Ireland, sinking her with 41 deaths; 22 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In England, United Kingdom, Alan Brooke inspected 70 Welsh Young Soldiers’ Battalion at Duxford, A Company of 70th King's Royal Rifle Corps at Debden, and B Company of 70th King's Royal Rifle Corps at Castle Camp in the morning. After lunch with Prime Minister Winston Churchill, he inspected A and B Companies of 70th Suffolks regiment at Martlesham and A and B Companies of 70th Essex regiment at Southend. He was disappointed by the progress of the training of the Essex regiment. ww2dbase [Alan Brooke | CPC]
  • German and Romanian troops captured the village of Vakarzhany, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
China
  • Japanese aircraft sank Chinese vessel Ganlu at Bazhong, Sichuan Province, China. ww2dbase [CPC]
Poland United Kingdom
  • Canadian Lieutenant-General Arthur Grasett MC, DSO (1888-1971), the former General Officer Commanding in Hong Kong, suggested to the Chiefs of Staff in London, England, United Kingdom that with the addition of two or more battalions, the colony's garrison would be strong enough to resist, for an extensive period, any Japanese seige. He further affirmed that Canada might be prepared to provide the battalions. ww2dbase [Battle of Hong Kong | AC]
Photo(s) dated 3 Sep 1941
Colonel General Ernst Busch inspecting an 88mm anti-aircraft gun position, Germany, 3 Sep 1941.
4 Sep 1941
  • Finnish troops captured Beloostrov, which was 20 miles from Leningrad, Russia. Germany requested Finland to immediately press on against the city, but Finland rejected, noting that Finland was only attempting to reclaim territory lost to the Soviets. ww2dbase [Operation Silver Fox | TH]
  • German cruiser Admiral Scheer departed the Baltic Sea for Oslo, Norway. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • American destroyer Greer pursued German submarine U-652 for 2 hours 190 miles southwest of Iceland; the two ships attacked each other but no damage was inflicted on either side. The torpedoes fired at USS Greer represented the first German attack on a US warship. ww2dbase [United States Neutrality Patrol | CPC]
France
  • The first Lysander mission to France took place when a British Special Operations Executive agent was landed in a field near Issoudun, France, about 100 kilometers south of Orleans, and another was collected. The Lysander aircraft, painted matte black, spent just two minutes on the ground. ww2dbase [Lysander | AC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Sep 1941
RMS Queen Mary (right), RMS Queen Elizabeth (left), and HMAS Sydney (foreground) off Wilson
5 Sep 1941
  • Japanese Navy Captain Shutoku Miyazato (former commanding officer of Naka) was posted as the Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1. ww2dbase [Yamato | CPC]
  • British bombers attacked chemical works at Hüls, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • British 1st Parachute Brigade was founded with Brigadier Richard Gale in command. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Remy Van Lierde joined the British Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. ww2dbase [Remy Van Lierde | CPC]
  • Captain Karou Umetani was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho; Hosho was relieved the duty of being Carrier Division 3's flagship. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
  • Joseph Rochefort's cryptanalytic team detected sudden increase in Japanese naval radio traffic. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | CPC | Detailed Timetable]
France
  • The exhibition "Le Juif et la France" ("The Jews and France") opened in Paris, France based on the work of the anti-Semitic French Professor George Montandon with the urging of the Nazi German occupation. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
Japan
  • A song in mourning of Prince Nagahisa was released in Japan. The music was composed by Yuji Koseki, the lyrics were written by Count Yoshinori Futara, and it was performed by popular singer Akiko Futaba and veteran Takeo Ito. ww2dbase [Nagahisa | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 5 Sep 1941
Cruiser Mk IV tank and Infantry Mk II Matilda tank at a depot in Egypt, 5 Sep 1941
6 Sep 1941
  • Hitler issued Directive 35 for Operation Typhoon, which he intended should destroy in a swift blow any remaining Soviet resistance. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | AC]
  • HMS Brora was wrecked off the Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The keel of hull number 533 was laid down for the future USS Wilkes-Barre. ww2dbase [Astoria (Cleveland-class) | CPC]
  • The Red Army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda ("Red Star") noted that it was a shame to become captured by the enemy. ww2dbase [CPC]
Egypt
  • The hospital ship, RFA Maine, was badly damaged during an air raid on Alexandria, Egypt. Four of her crew, including a Medical Officer, were killed, but fortunately none of thew patients sustained injury. ww2dbase [AC]
Japan
  • Emperor Showa of Japan agreed with the proposal that, unless peace could be achieved by 10 Oct 1941, Japan was to prepare for war. ww2dbase [Showa | CPC]
Lithuania United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill visited the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | Bletchley Park | Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • Alan Touring met British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during Churchill's visit at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Bletchley Park | Alan Turing | CPC]
United States
  • Franklin Roosevelt arrived at Hyde Park, New York, United States to see his ailing mother Sara Roosevelt. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 6 Sep 1941
Atlanta christened by author Margaret Mitchell during her launching ceremony, Kearny, NJ, 6 Sep 1941Atlanta slid down the building ways at her launching ceremony, Kearny, NJ, 6 Sep 1941San Juan christened by Mrs. Margarita Coll de Santori, during launching ceremonies at the Bethlehem Steel CompanyOS2U Kingfisher aircraft recovered alongside battleship Arizona, near US Territory of Hawaii, 6 Sep 1941, photo 1 of 2; note flag just forward of main pontoon
See all photos dated 6 Sep 1941
7 Sep 1941
  • The German 6.Armee broke through near Konotop, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • The autonomous Volga German Republic was formally abolished; all German males were formed into construction brigades working as forced labourers wherever the regime directed them in conditions littler different from the Gulag camps. ww2dbase [AC]
  • German motor torpedo boats S.48, S.49, S.50, S.52, and S.107 attacked an Allie convoy off the coast of Norfolk, England, United Kingdom, sinking British ship Duncarron (9 killed) and Norwegian ship Eikhaug (15 killed, 4 survived). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Thunderbolt attacked an Axis convoy and sank Italian ship Sirena 50 miles west of Benghazi, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British Albacore aircraft from HMS Victorious searched for German shipping off Tromsø, Norway. ww2dbase [Victorious | CPC]
Norway
  • British cruisers HMS Nigeria and HMS Aurora attacked a German convoy in Hammerfjord in northern Norway at 0130 hours, sinking German gunnery ship Bremse; HMS Nigeria was damaged in the bow and was sent back to Britain for repairs. ww2dbase [Bremse | CPC]
  • U-132 departed Tronheim, Norway for her first war patrol. ww2dbase [U-132 | CPC]
Russia
  • HMS Argus delivered Hurricane fighters of No. 81 Squadron RAF and No. 134 Squadron RAF to Vaenga near Murmansk, Russia. ww2dbase [Argus | CPC]
United States
  • Sara Roosevelt, mother of the US President, passed away at Hyde Park, New York, United States shortly before 1200 hours. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
8 Sep 1941
  • Leningrad in northern Russia became completely surrounded as German troops reached Lake Ladoga at Orekhovets. German aircraft attacked the city with primary targets being warehouses that might be holding food. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | TH]
  • British destroyer HMS Croome forced Italian submarine Maggiore Baracca to surface 275 miles northeast of the Azores islands, then proceeded to ram the submarine, resulting in her sinking. 23 Italian sailors were killed; 34 survived. HMS Croome was damaged in the stern and was ordered to Gibraltar for repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Flying Fortress bombers unsuccessfully attacked the German cruiser Admiral Scheer in Oslofjord, Norway. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • British sloop HMS Rosemary and Polish destroyer Burza collided at Milford Haven, Wales, United Kingdom; both suffered minor damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German aircraft attacked and damaged British destroyers HMS Kipling, HMS Kimberley, and HMS Decoy as the ships carried supplies from Alexandria, Egypt for besieged Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Grampus began patrolling in the Caribbean Sea. ww2dbase [Grampus | CPC]
  • Joseph Rochefort's cryptanalytic team detected increased radio traffic between carriers and land bases, and interpreted it as the Japanese Navy conducting fitting out operations of carriers with new air groups. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | CPC | Detailed Timetable]
Japan
  • Shokaku arrived at Yokosuka, Japan and disembarked Commander First Air Fleet. ww2dbase [Shokaku | CPC]
United States
  • USS Grayback departed New London, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [Grayback | CPC]
9 Sep 1941
  • Dutch submarine O.24 sank Italian ship Italo Balbo 2 miles east of Corsica, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British carrier HMS Ark Royal launched 14 Hurricane fighters to reinforce Malta. ww2dbase [Ark Royal | CPC]
  • German submarine U-81 sank British ship Empire Springbuck 50 miles east of Greenland at 0655 hours, killing all 42 on board. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German cruiser Admiral Scheer was ordered to sail from Oslo, Norway for Swinemünde, Germany (now Swinoujscie, Poland). ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • General Nicolae Ciuperca was replaced by Lieutenant General Iosif Iacobici as the commanding officer of the Romanian 4th Army. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
  • The Iranian Government accepted the Soviet and British terms, which included the closure of Axis legations and the surrender of German nationals. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | AC]
Czechoslovakia
  • Vojtech Tuka, with the guidance of German SS-Hauptstrumführer Dieter Wisliceny, enacted the Ordinance Judenkodex which required Slovakian Jews to wear the yellow Stars of David, annulled all debts owed to Jews, confiscated Jewish property, and deported all Jews from the capital Bratislava. ww2dbase [Vojtech Tuka | CPC]
Hawaii Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Hurricane fighter over the Bay of Sollum in the morning, his 15th kill. In the afternoon, on another mission, he shot down another Hurricane fighter, the 16th kill, while escorting Stuka dive bombers toward Bardia, Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
10 Sep 1941
  • The first B-24 Liberator bombers were en route for Britain. ww2dbase [B-24 Liberator | CPC]
  • Generalleutnant August Krakau succeeded Robert Martinek as the commanding officer of the German 7th Mountain Division. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMCS Moosejaw and another Flower-class corvette HMCS Chambly shared the sinking of the German submarine U-501 by depth charges and ramming; 11 German sailors were killed along with 1 Canadian sailor who boarded the sinking submarine; 37 German sailors survived. ww2dbase [AC]
  • German submarines U-81, U-82, U-85, U-432, and U-652 attacked Allied convoy SC-42 100 miles east of Greenland, sinking 6 merchant vessels and damaging 2 more. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-111 sank Dutch merchant ship Marken 300 miles north of Brazil; all 37 aboard survived and were given food by U-111's crew. The survivors would later be rescued by a Spanish ship on 21 Sep 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Thunderbolt sank Italian boat Svam I off Sirte, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Topazio sank British ferry Murefte off Haifa, Palestine. 1 was killed; the survivors were picked up by Egyptian ship Talodi. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Panzergruppe 1 and Panzergruppe 2 completed the crossing of the Dnieper River in southern and northern Ukraine, respectively, and were both heading toward Kiev. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • Vice Admiral Nishizo Tsukahara was named the commanding officer of the Japanese Navy 11th Air Fleet. ww2dbase [CPC]
Aden
  • Air Vice-Marshal Frederick Hards was made the commanding officer of British Forces Aden, succeeding Ranald Reid. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italy
  • Scirè departed La Spezia, Italy for Gibraltar with three manned torpedoes on board. ww2dbase [Scirè | CPC]
Japan
  • Shokaku became the flagship of Carrier Division 5. She would remain at Yokosuka, Japan for the rest of the month. ww2dbase [Shokaku | CPC]
  • Koichi Shiozawa stepped down as the commanding officer of the Yokosuka Naval District, Japan. ww2dbase [Koichi Shiozawa | CPC]
United States
  • The US 88th Infantry Battalion commenced training to convert to an air-landed role, following in the footsteps of the 550th Battalion which had successfully converted in late 1940. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 10 Sep 1941
Nurses tending to a wounded man after a German bombardment on Leningrad, Russia, 10 Sep 1941Red Square, Moscow, Russia, 10 Sep 1941
11 Sep 1941
  • Konstantin Rokossovsky was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. ww2dbase [Konstantin Rokossovsky | CPC]
  • King Leopold III of Belgium, whilst a prisoner of the Germans, secretly married London-born Lilian Baels. As this had no validity under Belgian law a second ceremony was conducted on 6 Dec 1941. ww2dbase [Leopold III | AC]
  • US President Roosevelt announced that American warships will attack German and Italian submarines on sight during his "fireside chat" radio address, equating the attacks to piracy. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • German artillery bombarded Leningrad, Russia throughout the day. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • German submarines U-82, U-202, U-207, U-432, and U-433 attacked Allied convoy SC-42, sinking seven merchant ships 100 miles east of Greenland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Leamington and HMS Veteran sank German submarines U-207, killing all 41 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Thunderbolt sank German ship Livorno 65 miles southwest of Benghazi, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille claimed shooting down a South African Maryland bomber over Libya, but the kill was not confirmed. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Russia
  • Roza Shanina took on a job at kindergarten No. 2 in Arkhangelsk, Russia to help pay for her tuition. ww2dbase [Roza Shanina | CPC]
United States
  • The construction of the Pentagon began in Arlington, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Pentagon | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • US Marine Corps 6th Defense Battalion relieved the 3rd Defense Battalion as the garrison force at Midway. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 11 Sep 1941
Major General Edmund Herring, Lieutenant General John Lavarack, Major General Leslie Morshead, and Major General Samuel Burston at the Gezira Sports Club, Cairo, Egypt, 11 Sep 1941
12 Sep 1941
  • United States Coast Guard cutters intercepted and boarded Norwegian trawler Buskoe in Mackenzie Bay, Greenland; the trawler was operated by Germans, attempting to establish weather stations in the North Atlantic. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German troops reported the first snowfall on the Russian front. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • The daily bread ration in Leningrad, Russia was cut to 500 grams for manual workers and 300 grams for office workers and children under 12. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • In Operation EGV2, British Albacore aircraft of carrier HMS Victorious damaged the Glomfjord hydroelectric power plant and the ships at anchor at Bodo in Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Three Allied corvettes (British HMS Gladiolus, Canadian HCMS Wetaskiwin, and Free French Mimosa) and eight destroyers (British HMS Douglas, British HMS Veteran, British HMS Leamington, British HMS Saladin, British HMS Skate, American USS Sims, American USS Russell, and American USS Charles F. Hughes) added to Allied convoy SC-42's escort force. In the air, British Catalina aircraft also appeared to provide protection during the day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Axis troops launched a renewed offensive against Odessa, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
  • The Jager Report (issued on 1 Dec 1941) noted that 993 adult male, 1,670 adult female, and 771 children, all Jews, were killed in Vilnius, Lithuania for a total of 3,334 people. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Tenryu arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Tenryu | CPC]
Romania
  • Nadejda Russo was awarded the Gold Cross of the Order of Aeronautical Virtue with Swords. ww2dbase [Nadejda Russo | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British Air Vice-Marshal G. R. Bromet was appointed Air Officer Commanding, No. 19 Group RAF with the primary task of attacking surfaced German submarines in the Bay of Biscay. ww2dbase [AC]
13 Sep 1941
  • The German OKW determined that Soviet prisoners of war would receive fewer rations than prisoners of other nationalities. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Werner Mölders married Luise Baldauf (née Thurner), widow of a friend who had been killed in combat. They would have one daughter, Verena, born after Mölders' death. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
  • British Submarine HMS Tigris sank Norwegian coastal steamer Richard With off Breisund, northern Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Finnish coastal defense ship Ilmarinen struck a mine and sank in the Gulf of Finland; 271 were killed, 132 survived. ww2dbase [Ilmarinen | CPC]
  • A Soviet motor torpedo boat sank German auxiliary patrol boat VP 308 off of the Porkkala Peninsula in the Gulf of Finland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Frederick Aikman completed fighter pilot training. ww2dbase [Frederick Aikman | CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a British Hurricane fighter over Sofafi, Libya, his 17th kill. The Hurricane fighter was flown by Sergeant Nourse. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Russia
  • General Georgy Zhukov arrived in Leningrad, Russia to replace Marshal Kliment Voroshilov as the commanding officer of the city's garrison. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | Georgy Zhukov | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 13 Sep 1941
Torpedo Squadron 5 TBD-1 Devastator aircraft parked at  Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, United States, 13 Sep 1941; note SBD-3, F4F, and SB2U aircraft beyondVillagers sending off conscripts, Nikolayev, Russia, 13 Sep 1941
14 Sep 1941
  • The German Armeegruppe Mitte encircled two full Soviet Armies near Kiev, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • The German XXXXI Armeekorps (mot[orized]) attacked Soviet positions southwest of Leningrad, Russia, while Soviet troops counterattacked into the flanks of the German assault. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the Australian Hurricane fighter flown by Lieutenant Pat Byers over Bardia, Libya, his 18th kill. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
15 Sep 1941
  • The 1st Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment was established. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Lieutenant Commander Hirota Tachibana was named the commanding officer of destroyer Yuzuki. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | CPC]
  • Soviet 8th and 42nd Armies clashed with the German XXXXI Armeekorps (mot[orized]) southwest of Leningrad Russia on the coast of the Gulf of Finland. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • German submarine U-94 sank British ship Newbury at 0816 hours (all 45 aboard survived but were never seen again), Greek ship Pegasus at 2038 hours (16 killed after lifeboat capsized, 13 survived), and British ship Empire Eland at 2348 hours (all 38 survived but were never seen again) 800 miles west of Ireland; all three ships were members of Allied convoy ON-14. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • After sundown, destroyers HMAS Napier, HMAS Nizam, and HMS Havock set sail from Alexandria, Egypt to the besieged city of Tobruk, Libya with supplies; they would all return to Alexandria in the morning of the next day. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Soviet troops outside of Odessa, Ukraine withdrew southeast toward the city. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
  • Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was awarded the Ehrenpokal der Luftwaffe goblet. ww2dbase [Heinrich | CPC]
  • Jürgen Stroop was transferred out of the infantry regiment of German 3rd SS Division Totenkopf. ww2dbase [Jürgen Stroop | CPC]
China
  • Tatsuta Maru arrived at Shanghai, China. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
France Germany Japan
  • Captain Jisaku Okada was named the commanding officer of Kaga. ww2dbase [Kaga | CPC]
United States
  • The keel of Proteus was laid down by the Moore Dry Dock Company in Oakland, California, United States. ww2dbase [Proteus | CPC]
16 Sep 1941
  • 5 PBM Mariner aircraft and 1 PBY Catalina aircraft received radar to help these American aircraft conduct their neutrality patrols. ww2dbase [PBM Mariner | United States Neutrality Patrol | CPC]
  • The German XXXXI Armeekorps (mot[orized]) successfully cut off the Soviet 8th Army in the Oranienbaum Pocket southwest of Leningrad, Russia after two days of fighting. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • German submarine U-98 sank British ship Jedmoor of Allied convoy SC-42 100 miles northwest of Isle of Lewis, Scotland, United Kingdom at 2316 hours; 31 were killed, 5 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Smeraldo sank in the Mediterranean Sea to unknown cause, killing all 45 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Without authorization, Hans-Joachim Marseille flew over an Australian airfield in Libya, amidst anti-aircraft fire, to deliver a message that pilot Lieutenant Pat Byers, whom he shot down two days prior, was being treated at a German hospital in Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
Estonia
  • Emden was attacked by Soviet coastal batteries based on the island of Hiiumaa, Estonia as well as four torpedo boats; the Soviets failed to cause any damage. ww2dbase [Emden | CPC]
Iceland
  • USS New Mexico arrived at Reykjavik, Iceland. ww2dbase [New Mexico | CPC]
Ukraine Photo(s) dated 16 Sep 1941
German Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber in North Africa, 16 Sep 1941, photo 2 of 2German Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber in North Africa, 16 Sep 1941, photo 1 of 2
17 Sep 1941
  • Japanese troops crossed the Sinchiang River during advance on Changsha, China. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Changsha | CPC]
  • At a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, German physicist Werner Heisenberg warned his mentor Niels Bohr that Germany had embarked on atomic weapon research and gave him a drawing of a reactor as proof. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
  • Australian 9th Division continued to be withdrawn from Tobruk, Libya. Relieving them was the British 70th Infantry Division, currently in Beirut in the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon awaiting transportation by British cruisers HMS Ajax, HMS Neptune, and HMS Hobart which had just departed from Alexandria, Egypt. After sundown, British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Jaguar, and HMS Hasty made a roundtrip from Alexandria to Tobruk with supplies for the besieged city. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • The first operation conducted by a British Mosquito aircraft was launched to take photographs of German-controlled ports. ww2dbase [Mosquito | CPC]
  • At Adolf Hitler's Wolfsschanze headquarters in East Prussia, Germany, Erich Raeder once again asked Hitler for permission to attack American shipping; Hitler again rejected him. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean Germany Japan
  • Light carrier Hosho departed Hashirajima, Japan and arrived at Kure, Japan later on the same day. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
Lithuania
  • The Jager Report (issued on 1 Dec 1941) noted that 337 adult male, 687 adult female, and 247 children, all Jews, were killed in Vilnius, Lithuania for a total of 1,271 people. 4 Communists were also executed in Vilnius by Jager's Einsatzgruppen on this date. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
Philippines
  • Admiral Thomas Hart proposed to move his naval forces in the Philippine Islands south to combine with the British allies to better counter the more powerful Japanese Navy should it attack. He would change his mind on this plan before the start of the Pacific War. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
18 Sep 1941
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt requested US Congress to allocate US$1,500,000,000 for the Lend-Lease program. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • The Soviet Union announced conscription for all men aged 16-50. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Change of German strategy against Leningrad, Russia, switching from assault to besieging, led to the tanks of the German 4th Panzer Army were loaded onto trains at for Moscow, Russia. This shift in strategy partially resulted from Adolf Hitler's order earlier on this date that Leningrad was to be razed to the ground. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • British aircraft located a convoy of three Italian troopships escorted by four destroyers from Taranto, Italy, sailing for Tripoli, Libya. Submarines HMS Upholder, HMS Upright, HMS Ursula, and HMS Unbeaten were dispatched to attack. HMS Upholder sank troopships Neptunia and Oceania over a four hour period about 70 miles east of Tripoli (384 killed, 6,500 survived), while HMS Ursula attacked troopship Vulcania unsuccessfully. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • After dark, minelaying cruiser HMS Latona and destroyers HMAS Napier, HMS Havock, and HMAS Nizam sailed from Alexandria, Egypt and delivered supplies to the besieged garrison at Tobruk, Libya. They would return to Alexandria in the morning of the next day. HMAS Nizam was damaged on the return trip when she hit the wreck of Italian ship Serenitas at Tobruk. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
Japan
  • Admiral Soemu Toyoda was named the commanding officer of Kure Naval District, Japan. ww2dbase [Soemu Toyoda | CPC]
Ukraine Photo(s) dated 18 Sep 1941
German trucks at a pier at Tallinn, Estonia, 18 Sep 1941
19 Sep 1941
  • Japanese troops crossed the Milo River during advance on Changsha. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Changsha | CPC]
  • Lord Woolton called the black market in Britain "a thorn in our side". ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-74 sank Canadian corvette HMCS Lévis of Allied convoy SC-44 125 miles east of Iceland at 0603 hours; 18 were killed, 40 survived). At 1433 hours, German submarine U-372 attacked the same convoy 100 miles east of Iceland, sinking already-damaged British ship Baron Pentland; 2 were killed, 39 survived). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Cruisers HMS Ajax, HMS Neptune, and HMAS Hobart arrived in Alexandria, Egypt after delivering supplies to Tobruk, Libya and began to embark troops of the UK 70th Infantry Division. ww2dbase [Hobart | CPC]
Russia
  • Light cruiser Voroshilov bombarded Axis troop positions near Sevastopol, Russia. ww2dbase [Voroshilov | CPC]
Ukraine
  • German troops captured Kiev, Ukraine, along with 600,000 prisoners, 2,500 tanks, and 1,000 artillery pieces. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
Photo(s) dated 19 Sep 1941
Aerial photograph of Flensburger Schiffbau facilities, Flensburg, Germany, 19 Sep 1941
20 Sep 1941

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ships Baltallinn and Empire Moat of Allied convoy OG-74 500 miles west of Brest, France at 2331 hours; 60 survivors were rescued by British rescue ship Walmer Castle. Meanwhile, a Martlet Mk II fighter of No. 802 Squadron from escort carrier HMS Audacity shot down a German Fw 200 C Condor aircraft attempting to shadow OG-74; it was the first kill by a British carrier-based aircraft. ww2dbase [F4F Wildcat | AC]
  • German submarine U-552 sank two tankers and U-74 sank catapult armed merchant ship Empire Burton, all of Allied convoy SC-44, 200 miles east of Iceland between 0113 and 0327 hours; 102 survivors were rescued by British corvette HMS Honeysuckle. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-111 sank British ship Cingalese Prince 500 miles east of Brazil; 57 were killed, 20 survived in lifeboats. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • An accidental fire aboard HMS Eagle killed one aircraft mechanic and damaged many Swordfish aircraft while sailing in the South Atlantic. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • At 0327 hours, off east coast of Greenland, the 6,325-ton Norwegian motor tanker Barbro carrying 9,000 tons of petrol was torpedoed by German submarine U-552 (Kapitänleutnant Erich Topp). Two torpedoes hit the ship and she immediately burst into flames, trapping the 34 crew on board. Other ships in convoy SC-44 could only watch helplessly as she sank. German submarine U-69 (Kapitänleutnant Zahn) had fired a torpedo to finish the vessel off but this failed to detonate. The crew included 3 Swedes, 1 Dane, 5 British and 4 Canadians apart from the Norwegians. The Barbro's master, Lauritz Knudsen had previously commanded the motor tanker Britta that was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-47 (Kapitänleutnant Günther Prien) on 6 Dec 1939. ww2dbase [HM]
Gibraltar
  • Scirè launched three manned torpedoes into Gibraltar harbor, which sank tanker Fiona Shell (killing 1), damaged tanker RFA Denbydale, and damaged freighter Durham. All six Italian personnel manning the three torpedoes swam to Spain and would eventually return to Italy as heroes. ww2dbase [Scirè | CPC]
Libya
  • British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Kimberley, and HMS Hasty delivered 1,000 troops and 120 tons of supplies to Tobruk, Libya after sundown. They departed for Alexandria, Egypt 30 minutes after arrival. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
Lithuania
  • The Karl Jäger report, issued on 1 Dec 1941, noted that on this date 128 adult male, 179 adult female, and 99 children, all Jews, were killed in Nemencing, Lithuania for a total of 403 people. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The ferry vessel SS Portsdown sank in the Solent between the Isle of Wight and England, United Kingdom after hitting a mine. There had been disquiet for some time that that no minesweeping had been carried out in the eastern Solent, despite enemy mines becoming an increasing problem. The day before the sinking a meeting of steamer captains agreed by a majority of 4 to continue the night time sailings to the island and Captain H. Chandler, who was commodore of the Southern Railways Company fleet, decided he would take command of the next night crossing which was to be a 4 am mailboat, the SS Portsdown. Captain Chandler died along with 20 crew members, military personnel (going home on leave) and one civilian. ww2dbase [AC]
21 Sep 1941
  • German Stuka dive bombers sank Soviet battleship Marat in shallow water at Kronstadt near Leningrad, Russia with two 1,000-kilogram bombs. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • German submarine U-201 sank British ships Runa, Lissa, and Rhineland of Allied convoy OG-74 500 miles west of Brest, France at 2320 hours. While British rescue ship Walmer Castle came to aid the survivors, a German Fw 200 aircraft attacked her, killing 16 previously-rescued survivors onboard the ship; Walmer Castle sustained heavy damage in the attack and was scuttled by British corvette HMS Marigold and sloop HMS Deptford. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Allied convoy ON.18 departed Liverpool, England, United Kingdom with destroyers HMS Leamington, HMS Saladin, HMS Skate, and HMS Veteran in escort. ww2dbase [CPC]
Russia
  • Joseph Stalin sent a message to Georgy Zhukov, Andrei Zhdanov, Nikolai Kuznetsov, and Vsevolod Merkulov, noting that if the Germans used Russian civilians as messengers to request Soviet troops at Leningrad, Russia to surrender, those civilians must be all killed for that they were "more dangerous than the fascists". ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | CPC]
  • Near Leningrad, Russia, Soviet dreadnought Oktyabrskaya Revolyutsiya was badly damaged by three bombs which knock out two of her turrets. She would be under repairs until Nov 1942, when she resumed fire support missions in defence of Leningrad. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | AC]
Ukraine
  • Soviet forces attacked the Romanian 15th Infantry Division near Odessa, Ukraine by landing 1,617 troops of the 3rd Naval Rifle Regiment (by Soviet cruiser Krasni Kavkaz, cruiser Krasni Krym, destroyer Boyki, destroyer Besposhchadny, destroyer Bezuprechny, and destroyer Frunze) and by launching 157th and 421st Rifle Divisions on the ground. Destroyer Frunze was sunk by German Stuka dive bombers in the action. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • No. 1259 Flight RAF, commanded by Squadron Leader James Nicolson V.C., moved to RAF Hibaldstow in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom to operate Havoc bombers fitted with a huge Tumbinlite searchlight, powered by 48 heavy duty batteries in the bomb bay, with which to illuminate enemy aircraft at night for the Hurricane fighters of 253 Squadron. The project was not a great success; formation flying at night was quite difficult and the use of the searchlight tended to blind the accompanying fighter pilots. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 21 Sep 1941
Soviet troops in action, 21 Sep 194122,500 feet above Hickam Field, Oahu, Hawaii and Pearl Harbor’s Main Entrance Channel at left, Sep 21, 1941.
22 Sep 1941
  • German submarine U-562 sank British ship Erna III 200 miles east of Iceland at 0233 hours, killing all 25 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarines U-68 attacked Allied convoy SL-87 300 miles west of the Canary Islands at 0222 hours, damaging British merchant ship Silverbelle. At 2346 hours, U-103 attacked the same convoy, sinking British merchant ships Edward (all 63 aboard survived) and Niceto de Larrinaga Blyden (2 killed, 53 survived). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Kandahar, HMS Jaguar, and HMS Griffin departed Alexandria, Egypt with supplies for Tobruk, Libya. They would arrive overnight and return on the following day. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • The Jager Report (issued on 1 Dec 1941) noted that 512 adult male, 744 adult female, and 511 children, all Jews, were killed in Riess, Lithuania for a total of 1,767 people. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • The US 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) was placed under the command of the US Army's Iceland Base Command. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. ww2dbase [Friedrich-Wilhelm Müller | CPC]
Black Sea
  • German Stuka dive bombers damaged Soviet destroyer Bezuprechny at 1300 hours, destroyer Besposhchadny at 1630 hours, and destroyer Boyki in the Black Sea off Odessa, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British cruiser HMS London departed Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom with Lord Beaverbrook and Averell Harriman aboard for Archangel, Russia for Lend-Lease discussions. She was escorted by Soviet and British destroyers. ww2dbase [Scapa Flow | London | CPC]
  • King George II of the Hellenes, with members of his family and government who have escaped from Crete, Greece arrived in England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [George II | AC]
Photo(s) dated 22 Sep 1941
Machine gun crew of Japanese 4th Division near Miluo River in Hunan Province, China, during Second Battle of Changsha, 22 or 23 Sep 1941
23 Sep 1941

France
  • The German authorities in Paris, France issued a decree that stated that any French man concealing or assisting a British Airman would be shot, and any woman would be sent to a concentration camp. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | AC]
Russia
  • Soviet battleship Marat, already sunk in shallow water two days prior, was hit by two bombs from German Stuka dive bombers at Kronstadt near Leningrad, Russia, igniting the forward magazine. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • German dive bombers attacked naval facilities at Leningrad, Russia, sinking submarines P-2 and M-74 and damaging cruisers Maksim Gorki and Kirov. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • The Leningrad-class destroyer leader Minsk was sunk by Stuka aircraft of Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 in Kronstadt Harbour near Leningrad, Russia. She was later salvaged and recommissioned in Jun 1943. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | AC]
Photo(s) dated 23 Sep 1941
Basic drawing for the proposed new class of United States aircraft carrier, a variation known as Design 9F, that would essentially be adopted for the Essex and the Essex-class, 23 Sep 1941
24 Sep 1941
  • US Marine Corps 1st Provisional Marine Brigade was detached from US Navy jurisdiction for service with the US Army in Iceland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-67 sank St. Clair II at about 0000 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 and U-67 attacked Allied convoy SL-87 and sank four British ships 350 miles west of Madeira island; 16 were killed, 197 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Allied convoy ON.18 became the first westbound convoy to be escorted by American ships as it made rendezvous with US destroyers USS Madison, USS Gleaves, USS Lansdale, USS Hughes and USS Simpson in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran stopped, evacuated, and scuttled Greek ship Stamatios G. Embiricos in the Indian Ocean 600 miles west of the Maldives islands; the crew of 31 were captured. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
  • British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Napir, HMS Kingston, and HMS Hotspur departed Alexandria, Egypt with troops and supplies for the besieged Tobruk, Libya; they would set sail to return to Alexandria overnight, arriving in the following day. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • Peter Drummond was made a a Companion of the Order of the Bath. ww2dbase [Peter Drummond | CPC]
Egypt
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Maryland bomber and five Hurricane fighters near Buq Buq, Egypt, his 19th through 24th kills. Among his victims were South African Captain C. A. van Vliet, South African Second Lieutenant J. Mac Robert, South African Lieutenant B. E. Dodd, and New Zealand Pilot Officer D. F. Westenra. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
France
  • Tobacco ration in Paris, France dropped to 4 cigarettes per day for men and 0 for women. ww2dbase [TH]
Ukraine United Kingdom
  • Arthur Coningham was made Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. ww2dbase [Arthur Coningham | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 24 Sep 1941
Firefighters battling a fire at a hotel in Kiev, Ukraine, 24 Sep 1941A building on fire in Kiev, Ukraine, 24 Sep 1941
25 Sep 1941
  • Hitler ordered a halt to attacks on Leningrad in northern Russia, instead ordering that the city be starved into submission. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | TH]
  • Zuikaku was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Zuikaku | CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank British ship Empire Stream 500 miles north of the Azores islands at 0744 hours; 8 were killed, 27 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • John Kennedy enlisted in the US Navy. ww2dbase [John Kennedy | CPC]
  • The Jager Report (issued on 1 Dec 1941) noted that 215 adult male, 229 adult female, and 131 children, all Jews, were killed in Jahiuna, Lithuania for a total of 575 people. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • Captain Tsunekichi Fukuzawa was named the commanding officer of repair ship Akashi. ww2dbase [Akashi | CPC]
Iceland
  • USS New Mexico departed at Reykjavik, Iceland. ww2dbase [New Mexico | CPC]
Russia
  • German and Romanian troops reached the Perekop Isthmus in Russia and began to cut off the Crimean Peninsula. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States Photo(s) dated 25 Sep 1941
Zuikaku on her first day of service, 25 Sep 1941, photo 1 of 2Zuikaku on her first day of service, 25 Sep 1941, photo 2 of 2
26 Sep 1941
  • German battleship Tirpitz sailed with other warships to patrol off of the Aaland Islands in the Baltic Sea to prevent Soviet naval maneuvers. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • General de Gaulle's Free French government signed an alliance with the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Soviet troops in Kiev, Ukraine were beginning to run out of food and ammunition. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
  • German submarines U-124 and U-203 attacked Allied convoy HG-73 500 miles north of the Azores islands and sank 6 merchant ships; HMS Larkspur counterattacked U-203 with depth charges but caused no damage. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Tetrarch sank Italian ship Citta Di Bastia off Greece; the Italian ship was en route from Piraeus to Crete. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minelaying cruiser HMS Latona and destroyers HMS Jackal, HMS Kimberley, and HMS Hasty departed Alexandria, Egypt with troops and supplies for the besieged Tobruk, Libya; they would set sail to return to Alexandria overnight, arriving in the following day. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • ShCh-320 fired a torpedo at a merchant ship north of Danzig Bay; the torpedo missed. ww2dbase [ShCh-320 | CPC]
Estonia
  • Emden provided naval gunfire support for ground troops fighting on the Sõrve Peninsula on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia. ww2dbase [Emden | CPC]
Japan
  • Raizo Tanaka was named the commanding officer of 2nd Destroyer Squadron; he broke his flag aboard light cruiser Jintsu. ww2dbase [Raizo Tanaka | CPC]
27 Sep 1941
  • The first rains fell on Eastern Front of the European War; mud began to become an issue for the attacking German forces. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH, CPC]
  • German submarine U-66 sank Panamanian tanker I. C. White after sundown; 3 were killed, 34 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-201 attacked Allied convoy HG-73 600 miles north of the Azores islands, sinking two merchant ships and the anti-aircraft ship HMS Springbank; 32 were killed, 201 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 14 Liberty Ships were launched in the United States; they were to be transferred to the United Kingdom via the Lend-Lease program. ww2dbase [Liberty-class | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Upright sank Italian submarine chaser Albatros between Sicily and mainland Italy. German submarine U-371 rescued 42 survivors. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Kandahar, HMS Jaguar, and HMS Griffin departed Alexandria, Egypt after sundown with supplies for Tobruk, Libya. This would be the final Operation Supercharge supply run for the besieged city. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • The Jager Report (issued on 1 Dec 1941) noted that 989 adult male, 1,636 adult female, and 821 children, all Jews, were killed in Eysisky, Lithuania for a total of 3,446 people. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
Abyssinia
  • The Italian garrison at Wolchefit Pass in Abyssinia surrendered to British King's African Rifles regiment. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
China
  • Japanese troops in plain clothes infiltrated the north gate of the walled city of Changsha, Hunan Province, China, but failed to complete their sabotage mission. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Changsha | CPC]
Estonia
  • Emden provided naval gunfire support for ground troops fighting on the Sõrve Peninsula on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia. Upon completion of her duties, she set sail for Gotenhafen (Gdynia), occupied Poland. ww2dbase [Emden | CPC]
Hawaii Mediterranean Sea
  • An Italian torpedo bomber hit British battleship HMS Nelson in the bow with a torpedo in the Mediterranean Sea between Sardinia, Italy and Tunisia; Nelson was escorting the Operation Halberd convoy for Malta. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Russia
  • HMS London arrived in Archangel, Russia with Lord Beaverbrook and Averell Harriman aboard. ww2dbase [London | CPC]
  • The Soviet GKO issued the Directive to Organize a Strategic Defense, which proved to be disastrous as it led to over 50 divisions of Soviet troops being trapped at Vyazma and Bryansk in Russia shortly after. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | CPC]
Ukraine
28 Sep 1941
  • US and British representatives traveled to Moscow, Russia to discuss the matter of western aid to the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The Second Battle of Changsha commenced. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Changsha | CPC]
  • The British transferred the airfield RAF Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire, England, United Kingdom to the US Army. The airfield would soon house the USAAF 91st Bombardment Group, which would remain until the end of the war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Oak Leaves and Swords to the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross award, and Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, were both established in Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Tetrarch damaged German ship Yalova 20 miles south of Naples, Italy; Yalova was beached to prevent sinking. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British corvette HMS Hyacinth sank Italian submarine Fisala 35 miles west of Palestine. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Edinburgh arrived at Malta. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | CPC]
  • Light carrier Hosho became the temporary flagship of Carrier Division 3. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
  • Georgy Zhukov announced to his troops that family members of those who become captured by the enemy would be arrested and shot. ww2dbase [Georgy Zhukov | CPC]
Greece
  • A uprising against Bulgarian occupation began in Macedonia region of Greece. ww2dbase [CPC]
Hawaii Malta
  • The Allied Operation Halberd convoy arrived in Malta and began to disembark 50,000 tons of supplies aboard its ships. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Russia
  • Allied convoy QP-1, which was consisted of 14 British and Soviet merchant ships escorted by British cruiser HMS London and four minesweepers, departed Arkhangelsk, Russia at about 1200 hours for Britain. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
Ukraine Photo(s) dated 28 Sep 1941
UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill inspecting the ruins of the Coventry Cathedral, England, United Kingdom, 28 Sep 1941
29 Sep 1941
  • Reinhard Heydrich was named Deputy Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. ww2dbase [Reinhard Heydrich | CPC]
  • The first Allied convoy for the Arctic departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland (having originated from Scotland, United Kingdom) at 1845 hours with 11 merchant ships escorted by cruiser HMS Suffolk, destroyer HMS Antelope, destroyer HMS Impulsive, and four minesweepers. By the end of the year five other convoys had followed it, landing 120,000 tons of supplies at Murmansk, Russia, including 600 tanks, 800 aircraft and 1,400 motor vehicles. It was somewhat embarrassing to the Germans that, between 29 Sep and 31 Dec 1941, all 55 vessels of these first six convoys reached their destination without loss. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, British Minister of Supply Lord Beaverbrook, and American envoy Harriman met in Moscow, Russia to discuss lend-lease aid to the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Vyacheslav Molotov | CPC]
  • Soviet submarine ShCh-319 attacked German minesweepers M151 and M203 off Liepaja, Latvia and then disappeared; she was presumed lost after striking a naval mine. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered that Leningrad, Russia was to be wiped out by artillery and aerial bombardment. Germany could not and would not feed its population, which was of no use for the future of Germany. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • Light carrier Hosho was relieved the duty of being Carrier Division 3's temporary flagship. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
Germany
  • After sundown, 10 bombers of British No. 102 Squadron were launched from RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom for an attack on Stettin, Germany; the anti-aircraft fire was reported to be heavy. Another group of bombers took off to attack Hamburg, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
Iceland
  • Allied convoy PQ-1 departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
Ukraine
  • The German Einsatzgruppen massacred somewhere between 50,000 and 96,000 Ukrainians, 33,771 of whom Jews, at the Babi Yar ravine outside Kiev. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH]
  • Soviet resistance prevented the Germans from moving from southern Ukraine into the Krym (Crimea) region of Russia. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
30 Sep 1941
  • The RAF withdrew B-17 bombers from service. ww2dbase [B-17 Flying Fortress | CPC]
  • Chinese troops at Changsha declared victory at the Second Battle of Changsha after pushing Japanese troops back to the Yueyang region. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Changsha | CPC]
  • The German Operation Typhoon got an unofficial start when Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 attacked two days ahead of the rest of the operation. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | TH]
  • The detention center in Peel, Isle of Man had its guard forces strengthened after disturbances; 20 arrested British fascists were transferred to Liverpool as another result. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German bombers attacked shipyards at Tyneside in northern England, United Kingdom; submarine HMS Sunfish was badly damaged during the attack. ww2dbase [Sunfish (S-class) | CPC]
  • The Jager Report (issued on 1 Dec 1941) noted that 366 adult male, 483 adult female, and 597 children, all Jews, were killed in Trakai, Lithuania for a total of 1,446 people. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • Representatives of France and Thailand further defined the boundaries between Thailand and French Indochina per the 9 May 1941 peace treaty. ww2dbase [Franco-Thai War | CPC]
  • Johannes Hähle turned in 108 photos with the title "insatz im Osten" to his superiors. ww2dbase [Johannes Hähle | CPC]
France
  • Pierre Laval was discharged from the hospital after recovering from the wounds sustained during the unsuccessful assassination attempt against him on 25 Aug 1941. ww2dbase [Pierre Laval | CPC]
Germany Mediterranean Sea
  • Italian submarine Adua attacked British ships sailing for Malta to Gibraltar (having just completed escorting the Operation Halberd on the previous day) 250 miles east of Gibraltar. British destroyers HMS Gurkha and HMS Legion counterattacked with depth charges, sinking the Italian submarine, killing all 46 aboard. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
Ukraine
  • The leadership of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet began to consider evacuating forces in Odessa, Ukraine to the Crimean region of Russia (now also in Ukraine). ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 30 Sep 1941
Soviet troops capturing a German forward position at Vitovka near Bryansk, Russia, 30 Sep 1941Aerial photo of Sobibór, occupied Poland, 30 Sep 1941; photo taken by German Luftwaffe personnelCruiser Mk V Covenanter III tanks on Exercise Bumper in Britain, 30 Sep 1941
1 Oct 1941
  • The British House of Commons voted for the third £1,000,000,000 war credit of year. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German government reports published this month noted that 2,139,553 foreign workers were employed, about half of which, 1,007,561, were Polish. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The protocol produced at the end of the US-UK-USSR aid conference determined immediate and long-term deliveries to the Soviet Union, with the agreement subject to annual review. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The Italian "M" battalions were established. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • King George VI of the United Kingdom granted the name Royal New Zealand Navy to the New Zealand ships fighting within the British Royal Navy. ww2dbase [George VI | CPC]
  • The British RAF reported internally on Hugh Dowding's (forced) retirement. When Prime Minister Winston Churchill learned of it, he was extremely displeased, and demanded the RAF to find a new position for Dowding. Dowding had originally conceded to political pressure and was preparing his retirement, but ultimately yielded to Churchill's wish and accepted whatever new position the RAF would give him. ww2dbase [Hugh Dowding | CPC]
  • Finnish troops reached Petrozavodsk, the capital of Soviet Republic of Karelia, further cutting off Leningrad in northern Russia. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • HMS Edinburgh departed Malta. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | CPC]
  • Wilhelm Keitel ordered that, in regards to the hostages the German military had been holding and executing in retaliation of partisan attacks, choice of victims would be important, as well-known victims would have greater effect in keeping the occupied peoples in line. ww2dbase [Wilhelm Keitel | CPC]
  • ShCh-320 fired a torpedo at a merchant ship north of Danzig Bay; the torpedo missed. ww2dbase [ShCh-320 | CPC]
  • Francis Tuker was made the commanding officer of Indian 34th Infantry Division. ww2dbase [Francis Tuker | CPC]
Poland Russia
  • The Soviet NKVD ordered the release of 51,257 Polish prisoners of war for the formation of a Polish unit under General Wladislaw Anders to fight against Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 1 Oct 1941
Soviet sailors marching in Leningrad, Russia, 1 Oct 1941Soviet 76 mm M1938 anti-aircraft guns at Leningrad, Russia, 1 Oct 1941Russian civilians building defensive fortifications in Moscow, Russia, 1 Oct 1941Aerial view of the Kaneohe air strip, 1 Oct 1941.
See all photos dated 1 Oct 1941
2 Oct 1941
  • The remainder of the German Armeegruppe Mitte launched Operation Typhoon, the attack on Moscow, Russia. Meanwhile, the German Panzergruppe 2 under General Guderian was split into two pincers at Sevsk, Russia; the northern pincer moved toward Bryansk while the northeastern pincer moved toward Orel. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | TH]
  • After sundown, in England, United Kingdom, German bombers attacked the Tyneside and Tees-side areas in northern England (50 were killed, 250 buildings were destroyed, shipbuilding and repairing facilities at South Shields severely damaged) and Dover area in southeastern England (10 killed). ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • German submarine U-94 chased and attacked British tanker San Florentino 600 miles west of Ireland over a course of six hours, sinking her at 0552 hours; 23 were killed, 35 survived. 250 miles east of Iceland at 0652 hours, German submarine U-562 sank British catapult armed merchant ship Empire Wave; 29 were killed, 31 survived. At 0709 hours, west of Ireland, German submarine U-575 sank Dutch merchant ship Tuva; 1 was killed, 34 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Perseus sank German ship Castellon 60 miles west of Benghazi, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The third Messerschmitt Me 163A rocket-powered prototype aircraft, piloted by Heini Dittmar, achieved an unofficial world speed record of 623.85 mph. ww2dbase [Me 163 Komet | AC]
United Kingdom
  • The keel of Britain's last battleship, HMS Vanguard, was laid down at Clydebank, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 2 Oct 1941
Sign ordering Jews of Lubny, Ukraine to gather on 16 Oct 1941 for deportation
3 Oct 1941
  • The official copy of the British Military Application of Uranium Detonation (MAUD) Committee Report, written by James Chadwick, reached Vannevar Bush. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
  • In Russia, Panzergruppe 2 of the German Armeeguppe Mitte captured Orel 220 miles south-southwest of the Soviet capital in Moscow. Elsewhere, German troops attempted to encircle the Soviet Bryansk Front. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | TH]
  • The number of deaths in motor vehicle accidents in Britain during this second year of war had increased by 65% when compared to pre-war figures. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Talisman sank the already beached German ship Yalova south of Naples, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • At about 0001 hours, German submarine U-431 sank British ship Hatasu 650 miles east of Newfoundland; 40 were killed, 7 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British motor torpedo boat MTB56 san