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]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Maggiore Baracca was unexpectedly attacked by depth charges in the Atlantic Ocean between 1240 and 2300 hours. ww2dbase [Maggiore Baracca | CPC]
  • 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 [Alexandria | 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 | Tobruk | AC]
United States
  • USS Gar was commissioned into service at New London, Connecticut, United States with Lieutenant D. McGregor in command. ww2dbase [Gar | New London, Connecticut | CPC]
  • The first keel was laid at the new Kaiser Richmond Shipyard in Richmond, California, United States. The ship would later serve with the British Merchant Navy as the SS Ocean Vanguard and was sunk by torpedo off Trinidad in 1942. ww2dbase [Kaiser Richmond Shipyards | Richmond, California | DS]

14 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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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

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