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 [Main Article | 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 Ličge 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 Vlorė, 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 [Main Article | CPC]
  • A US Marine Corps garrison designated Marine Detachment, 1st Defense Battalion, was established at Palmyra Atoll. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The first major mass arrest of Jews in Paris, France took place. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 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 [Main Article | AC]
United States
  • USS Gar was commissioned into service at New London, Connecticut, United States with Lieutenant D. McGregor in command. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

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

Did you enjoy this article? Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:

 Facebook  Reddit
 Twitter  Digg
 Google+  Delicious

Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds
Search WW2DB & Partner Sites

Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944