21 Jul 1941
  • Hiroaki Abe was transferred out of Japanese Navy Destroyer Squadron 6. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-140 sank the 161-ton Soviet submarine M94 by torpedoes in the Baltic Sea. The survivors were rescued by M98 operating nearby off Hiiumaa Island. ww2dbase [AC]
  • German submarine U-109 refueled from German supply ship Thalia off Cadiz, Spain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japan secured an agreement from the Vichy-French government to permit a virtual Japanese occupation of Indo-China. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Orion rounded Cape Horn and entered the Atlantic Ocean. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Outside Minsk, Byelorussia, German SS troops ordered 30 Byelorussians to bury 45 Jews alive in a pit; upon meeting refusal, the SS men executed the entire group of 75 by machine gun fire. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Canadian minesweeper HMCS Guysborough was launched in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Free French leader Charles de Gaulle met with British Minister of State in Cairo Oliver Lyttleton in Cairo, Egypt, complaining of the shortcomings in the arrangement in the Middle East where Free French troops were placed under British command. De Gaulle noted that Free France would assume direct control of troops in the theater as of noon of 24 Jul 1941. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Allied convoy "Substance" departed Gibraltar to supply Malta; it contains six transports, carrier Ark Royal, battlecruiser Renown, battleship Nelson, several cruisers, and six destroyers. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 195 German Luftwaffe bombers, most of which were He 111 bombers, took off from an airfield near Smolensk, Russia to attack the Soviet capital of Moscow in multiple waves during the night; the resulting air alarms were the first to be sounded in the city. Moscow had strong anti-aircraft defences, the city was protected by 170 fighters, and the citizens were able to take shelter in the newly completed underground railway stations, but German air crews reported the presence of very few Soviet fighters after sunset. On the next day the Soviets would report the downing of 22 German bombers, but German records only showed 6 bombers failing to return. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC, CPC]
  • Soviet troops evacuated from the positions along the Dniestr River in western Ukraine. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Hugh Dalton informed Winston Churchill that his Special Operations Executive was now ready to support covert operations in German-occupied Europe. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British minesweeper HMS Cadmus was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British minesweeper HMS Circe was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Norwegian merchant steamer Inga I departed Oban, Scotland, United Kingdom upon completion of repairs. She sailed with Convoy OG 69 for Gibraltar with a cargo of 1,670 tons of coal and coke. ww2dbase [HM]
  • Jean Knox was made the director of the British Auxiliary Territorial Service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • The keel of submarine Gunnel was laid down by the Electric Boat Company in Groton, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Velocity was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Tumult was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of US minesweeper Token was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of US destroyer Evans was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of US destroyer John D. Henley was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Franklin Roosevelt asked the United States Congress to modify the Selective Service Act, increasing the period of service from one year of active service to also include 30 months in reserve. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

21 Jul 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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Winston Churchill