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]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Comandante Cappellini sighted Dutch freighter Berkel and another ship, escorted by armed trawler HMS St. Wistan, ocean boarding vessel HMS Corinthian, and sloop HMS Sandwich, in rough seas in the Atlantic Ocean at 0640 hours. These ships were a part of Allied convoy OG 59. At 0717 hours, she fired one stern torpedo from the surface at the distance of 1,000 meters and missed, and two of the Allied vessels fired back with guns and machine guns. At 0723 hours, two stern torpedoes were launched from the surface at the distance of 600 meters and then submerged; an explosion was heard, and the crew of the Italian submarine reported serious flooding in the radio room and the forward ammunition store, forcing the submarine to return to the surface. Noting that the destroyers were still present, the submarine would submerge again, and endured 21 depth charges between 0830 and 1000 hours. She returned to the surface, without any ships in sight, at 1800 hours. ww2dbase [Comandante Cappellini | CPC]
Greece Japan
  • The town of Nigata and the village of Hiro were merged into Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [Kure, Hiroshima | 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 | 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 | Plymouth, England | CPC]

21 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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Famous WW2 Quote
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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal


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