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]
  • Paul von Kleist was mentioned in the Wehrmachtbericht daily radio report. ww2dbase [Paul von Kleist | CPC]
  • 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 | Scapa Flow, Scotland | 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
2 pounder gun of Australian 1st Anti-Tank Regiment and its crew near Vevi, northern Greece, 13 Apr 1941Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka signing the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, Moscow, Russia, 13 Apr 1941, photo 1 of 3; note Vyacheslav Molotov and Joseph Stalin in backgroundJapanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka signing the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, Moscow, Russia, 13 Apr 1941, photo 2 of 3; note Vyacheslav Molotov and Joseph Stalin in backgroundSoviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signing the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, Moscow, Russia, 13 Apr 1941; note Yosuke Matsuoka and Joseph Stalin in background
See all photos dated 13 Apr 1941

13 Apr 1941 Interactive Map

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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