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Asmara, Eritrea, Italian East Africa, Indian 5th Division moved east toward Massawa while Indian 4th Division was withdrawn from the region to reinforce Libya where a renewed Axis offensive was underway. 6 German and 7 Italian freighters were scuttled at Massawa to prevent Allied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 | Massawa | CPC]
  • Masaichi Niimi was given command of the 2nd China Expeditionary Fleet. ww2dbase [Masaichi Niimi | CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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