Timeline of World War II (1941)


Timeline of World War II (1941)

This is a timeline of events that stretched over the period of World War II.

January 1941

:1: Accounting of the previous night's bombing of London reveals that the Old Bailey, the Guildhall, and eight churches by Christopher Wren were destroyed or badly damaged.:1: RAF bombs aircraft factories in Bremen, Germany.:2-4: Bardia, is bombed by British bombers and bombarded by naval vessels off shore.:2: German bombers, perhaps off course, bomb Ireland the second night in a row.:4: Operation Compass: Australian troops of the Western Desert Force capture Italian-held Bardia, just across the Egyptian border. The Allies take 45,000 Italian prisoners. Tobruk, the next target, is 70 miles away.:7: Allied offensive nears Tobruk; the airport is taken.:10: Lend-Lease is introduced into the U.S. Congress:10: German aircraft damage aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious, which is heading for Malta. German Luftwaffe, it is now clear, has command of air over the Mediterranean. The attack is also the opening of Malta's agony over the next months.:10: Greek forces in Albania take the strategically important Klissoura pass.:12: Operation Compass: British, Australian, and New Zealand troops of the Western Desert Force prepare for the assault on Italian-held Tobruk.:13: Heavy Luftwaffe night raid on Plymouth.:15: The rivalry between Chinese Nationalists and Chinese Communists becomes more evident; large numbers of the latter are forced to give up their arms, reluctantly of course. :16: British forces start the first attacks of their East African counter-offensive, on Italian-held Ethiopia, from Kenya:16: German bombers pound Valetta, Malta, and the HMS Illustrious is hit again.:17: The Battle of Koh Chang ended in a decisive victory for the Vichy French naval forces during the French-Thai War.:17: Molotov meets German Ambassador Schulenburg in Moscow. The Soviets are surprised that they have not received any answer from Germany to their offer to join the Axis (November 26th, 1940) and they hope the attention of the Reich Government to that matter. Schulenburg replies that it has to be first discussed with Italy and Japan.:18: Air raids on Malta are increasing in focus and intensity.:19: The 4th and 5th Indian Divisions continue the British counter-offensive in East Africa, attacking Italian-held Eritrea from the Sudan.:19: Hitler and Mussolini meet at Berchtesgaden; Hitler agrees to provide aid in North Africa.:21: Operation Compass: British, Australian, and New Zealand troops of the Western Desert Force complete capture of Italian-held Tobruk.:21: Reports seep out that Romanian fascist "Iron Guards" are executing Jews in Bucharest.:23: HMS Illustrious, heavily damaged, leaves Malta for repairs in Alexandria.:23: Charles Lindbergh testifies before the U.S. Congress and recommends that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler:24: British forces in Kenya continue the East African counter-offensive, attacking Italian Somaliland:29: Death of the Greek dictator, Ioannis Metaxas.:31: British take Derna, Libya 100 miles west of Tobruk.

February 1941

:1: Admiral Husband Kimmel is appointed the Commander of the US Navy in the Pacific.:3: General Erwin Rommel is appointed as head of something called "German Army troops in Africa", later to be designated officially as the "Afrika Korps.":3: Germany forcibly restores Pierre Laval to office in occupied Vichy, France.:7: Operation Compass: After several days of desperate fighting, the Western Desert Force cuts off and destroys the retreating Italian 10th Army during the Battle of Beda Fomm. The British capture roughly 130,000 Italians. The official surrender follows, and Benghazi, just to the north of Beda Fomm, falls into Allied hands.:8: US House of Representatives passes the Lend-Lease bill.:9: Mussolini is informed that German reinforcements are on the way to North Africa.:9: British forces reach El Agheila, Libya, south of Beda Fomm, and halfway to Tripoli. Libya's capital where the remaining Italian forces are now waiting .:9: British battleships shell Genoa; British planes attack Leghorn.:9: Churchill again pleads with the US: "give us the tools.":10: Malta's critical period: now through March, it is under heavy daily attack.:11: Lieutenant-General Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli, Tunisia; his work with the Afrika Korps will last about two years.:11: British forces enter Somaliland, an Italian colony in eastern Africa.:14: German forces begin to land in North Africa and move eastward toward advanced positions such as El Agheila, where the British have stopped; the British have been weakened by the transfer of some troops to Greece.:15: Deportation of Austrian Jews to ghettos in Poland begins.:19: The start of the "three nights Blitz" of Swansea, South Wales. Over these three nights of intensive bombing, Swansea town centre is almost completely obliterated.:20: German and British troops confront each other for the first time in Africa -- at El Agheila in western Libya.:21: German forces move through Bulgaria toward the Greek front.:24: German U-boat offensive in the Atlantic is now increasingly successful.:24: Admiral Darlan is appointed the head of the Vichy government in France.:25: The British submarine "Upright" sinks the Italian cruiser "Armando Diaz" in one of the numerous sea battles in the North African campaign.:25: Mogadishu, the capital of Italian Somaliland, is captured by British forces during the East African Campaign.:28: RAF planes bomb Asmara, Eritrea.

March 1941

:1: Himmler gives orders for the expansion of Auschwitz prison camp, to be run by Commandant Rudolf Höss.:4: British commandos carry out attack on oil facilities at Narvik in Norway.:4: British military force in Libya is thinned down as some men are sent to assist the Greeks in their emerging battle with approaching German troops.:4: Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia agrees to join the Axis pact. :7: First British troops land in Greece, at Piraeus.:8: Another bombing of London, notable because Buckingham Palace is hit.:9: The Italian Spring Offensive in the Albanian front begins.:10: British and Italian troops meet in a brief conflict in Eritrea. :10: Portsmouth suffers heavy casualties after another night of heavy bombing by the Luftwaffe.:11: United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the Lend Lease Act (now passed by the full Congress) allowing Britain, China, and other allied nations to purchase military equipment and to defer payment until after the war.:12: German Panzer tanks arrive in North Africa providing heavy armour for the first major German offensive.:13: The Luftwaffe strikes with a large force at Glasgow and the shipping industry along the River Clyde.:17: Huge convoy losses in mid-Atlantic this week.:19: Worst bombing of London so far this year, with heavy damage from incendiary bombs; Plymouth and Bristol are bombed again.:20: The Italian Spring Offensive is called off, after heavy losses and virtually no progress.:21: The Yugoslav cabinet resigns in protest against Prince Paul's pact with the Nazis. Street demonstration occur, expressive of a deep dislike for Germany.:24: Rommel attacks and reoccupies El Agheila, Libya in his first offensive. The British retreat and within three weeks are driven back to Egypt.:25: Italian MTMs of the Decima MAS sink the heavy cruiser HMS York, a large tanker (the Norwegian Pericles), another tanker and a cargo ship in Suda Bay, Crete.:27: Crown Prince Peter becomes Peter II of Yugoslavia and takes control of Yugoslavia after an army coup overthrows the pro-German government of the Prince Regent. :27: Japanese spy Takeo Yoshikawa arrives in Honolulu, Hawaii and begins to study the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor.:27: British forces advancing from the Sudan win the decisive Battle of Keren in Eritrea:27: Hitler orders his military leaders to plan for the invasion of Yugoslavia. One result of this decision will be a critical time delay in the invasion of Soviet Union.:27: Battle of Cape Matapan: the British navy meets an Italian fleet off southern Greece. The battle continues until the 29th.:31: The Afrika Korps continues the German offensive in North Africa; Mersa Brega, north of El Agheila, is taken.

April 1941

:1: British continue the retreat into Libya after the losses at El Agheila. Rommel is surprised, then decides to continue his offensive:1: During this month the heavy bombing of British cities continues, and convoy losses continue heavy.:2: After taking Agedabia, Rommel decides to take all of Libya and moves his troops toward Benghazi. All of Cyrenaic (Libya) seems ready for the taking.:3: A pro-Axis government is installed in Iraq.:3: Bristol, England suffers another heavy air attack.:3: British troops take Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, from the Italian armies.:3: Rommel takes Benghazi, Libya; Tobruk will remain a threat for the next seven months.:4: Rommel is now about 200 miles east of El Agheila, heading for Tobruk and Egypt.:4: An Atlantic convoy suffers almost 50% losses to U-boat campaign.:6: Forces of Germany, Hungary, and Italy, moving through Rumania and Hungary, initiate the invasions of Yugoslavia and Greece. :6: The Italian Army is driven out from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.:6: The northern wing of Rommel's forces take Derna, on the Libyan coast. The southern wing moves toward Mechili, and takes it on the 8th.:7: The Luftwaffe begins a two-day assault on Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Hitler is infuriated by the Yugoslav resistance.:8: The Germans take Salonika, Greece.:10: Greenland is occupied by the United States. With the approval of a "free Denmark", the US will build naval and air bases as counters to the U-boat war.:10: While still being invaded, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia is split up by Germany and Italy. The Independent State of Croatia (Nezavisna Država Hrvatska, NDH) is established under Ante Pavelić and his Ustaša.:10: Germans encircle the port of Tobruk, Libya, opening the siege; some of Rommel's forces move east to take Fort Capuzzo and Sollum, on the border with Egypt. :11: The US begins sea patrols in Atlantic, though it is still a "neutral" nation.:11: Heavy Luftwaffe raids on Coventry and Birmingham.:12: Belgrade, Yugoslavia surrenders.:13: Malta is bombed again; it continues to be a thorn in the side of German supply movements in the Mediterranean.:13: Japan and the Soviet Union sign a neutrality pact.:14: Rommel attacks Tobruk, but is forced to turn back. Other attacks, also failures, occur on the 16th and 30th.:15: British destroyers intercept an Afrika Korps convoy and sink all five transports and the three covering Italian destroyers.:16: A heavy Luftwaffe raid on Belfast, Northern Ireland.:16: Germans continue the invasion southward into Yugoslavia; they cut off the Greek army in Albania, which had had notable success against the Italians in January.:17: Yugoslavia surrenders. A government in exile is formed in London. King Peter escapes to Greece.:18: Amedeo, Duke of Aosta Viceroy of Italian East Africa surrenders his embattled forces at Amba Alagi. A guerilla war continues until Italy surrenders in September 1943.:18: Greek Prime Minister Korizis commits suicide; the British plan the major evacuation of Greece.:19: London suffers one of the heaviest air raids in the war; St. Paul's is mildly damaged but remains closed; other Wren churches are heavily damaged or destroyed.:21: 223,000 Greek soldiers surrender.:22: The British, both military and civilian, begin to evacuate Greece. :23: Greek government is evacuated to Crete, which Churchill is determined to defend.:24: British and Australian forces evacuate from Greece to Crete and Egypt.:24: Plymouth suffers the third night of heavy bombing by the Luftwaffe.:25: Rommel wins an important victory at Halfaya Pass, close to the Egyptian border.:26: Rommel attacks the Gazala defence line and crosses into Egypt; Tobruk continues to hold however.:27: Athens is occupied by German troops. Greece surrenders.:27: Hurricane fighter planes are delivered as important reinforcements for besieged Malta.:30: Rommel is ordered to cease attacks on Tobruk after another failure.

May 1941

:1: British forces in Iraq come under attack by Iraqis.:1: Seven nights of bombing of Liverpool begins, resulting in wide devastation.:3: Belfast, northern Ireland, experiences another heavy bombing.:3: Italian and British armies clash in Ethiopia. :8: Heavy convoy losses in the Atlantic continue; however, one U-boat (U-110) is captured by the British navy and another copy of the "Enigma" machine is discovered and saved. It will help to turn the fortunes in the Atlantic battle.:9: The United Kingdom takes control of Iraq and is represented by the arrival of the 21st Indian Brigade at Basra:9: A Japanese brokered peace treaty signed in Tokyo ends the French-Thai War.:10: Rudolf Hess is captured in Scotland after bailing out of his plane; his self-appointed mission was to make peace with the United Kingdom.:10: The United Kingdom's House of Commons is damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid. Other targets are Hull, Liverpool, Belfast, and the shipbuilding area of the River Clyde in Scotland. This is close to the end of the Blitz, as Germany shifts its focus toward Soviet Union and the East.:12: The RAF bombs several German cities, including Hamburg, Emden, and Berlin.:13: Yugoslav Army Colonel Dragoljub Mihailovic summons patriotic Army elements in mostly Serbs, but also Slovenes, Bosnians, and Croats making a dangerous treck from Bosnia into central Serbia. Colonel Mihailovic issues an uprising call promising struggle against the occupiers and restauration of Monarchy.:15: First Civilian Public Service camp opens for conscientious objectors in the United States:16: Rommel defeats a counter-attack, "Brevity", at Halfaya Pass. The two sides trade alternating control of Fort Capuzzo and Halfaya Pass.:20: German paratroopers land on Crete; the battle for Crete will continue for seven days.:21: The US merchantman "Robin Moor" is sunk by a U-boat. The incident startles the nation, and President Roosevelt shortly announces an "unlimited national emergency.":21: The last remnants of the Italian army in Ethiopia surrender.:24: British battle cruiser HMS "Hood" is sunk by a powerful salvo from German battleship "Bismarck" in the North Atlantic. :24: The Greek government leaves Crete for Cairo.:26: In the North Atlantic, Fairey Swordfish aircraft from the carrier HMS "Ark Royal" fatally cripple the "Bismarck" in torpedo attack.:27: The German battleship "Bismarck" is sunk in North Atlantic, after evasive tactics, and a damaged steering system which forced it into an endless series of circular movements.:28: British and Commonwealth forces begin to evacuate Crete.:28: By this date, it is clear that operation "Brevity" has failed.:31: Heavy Luftwaffe bombing on "neutral" Ireland; numerous civilian casualties.

June 1941

:1: Commonwealth forces complete the withdrawal from Crete.:1: Rationing of clothes begins in the United Kingdom.:2: Tuskegee Airmen head out on their first mission.:4: Kaiser Wilhelm, once head of Germany and instigator of World War I, dies in Holland.:4: Britain invades Iraq, the anti-British government there is overthrown.:6: More British fighter planes are delivered to Malta; Luftwaffe attacks go on.:8: Vichy French-controlled Syria and Lebanon are invaded by Australian, British, Free French, and Indian forces.:9: Finland initiates mobilisation, preparations against possible attack of soviet aggressor.:14: All German and Italian assets in the United States are frozen.:15: British Operation Battleaxe attempts and fails to relieve the Siege of Tobruk. The British are heavily defeated at Halfaya Pass nicknamed "Hell-fire pass".:16: All German and Italian consulates in the United States are ordered closed and their staffs to leave the country by July 10.:22: Germany invades the Soviet Union with Operation Barbarossa, a three-pronged operation aimed at Leningrad, Moscow, and the southern oil fields of the Caucasus.:22: British general in Libya/Egypt Wavell is replaced by General Auchinleck.:22: June Uprising against the Soviet Union in Lithuania.:26: Hungary and Slovakia declare war on the Soviet Union.:26: The Soviet Union bombs Helsinki. Finland pronounces a state of war between Finland and Soviet Union. Continuation war is started. :28: Albania declares war on the Soviet Union.:28: Huge German encirclement of 300,000 Red Army troops near Minsk and Bialystok.

July 1941

:1: General Auchinleck takes over from General Wavell in North Africa.:1: All American men over 21 are required to register for the draft.:1: German troops occupy Latvia's capital, Riga, on the way to Leningrad.:3: Stalin announces a "scorched earth policy".:4: Mass murder of Polish scientists and writers, committed by German troops in captured Polish city of Lwów.:4: The Ethiopian war comes to an end as the Italian forces surrender.:5: British government rules out possibility of negotiated peace.:5: British torpedo planes sink an Italian destroyer at Tobruk; on the 20th, two more are sunk. :5: German troops reach the Dnieper River.:7: Iceland is occupied by the United States, its future enhanced purpose is to protect shipping lanes. :8: Yugoslavia, a country formed by the Versailles treaty, is dissolved by the Axis into its component parts; especially important will be Croatia, with a pro-Axis government.:8: The German armies isolate Leningrad from the rest of Soviet Union.:8: Britain and the USSR sign a mutual defence agreement, promising not to sign any form of separate peace agreement with Germany.:9: Vitebsk is captured; this opens the battle of Smolensk, an important communications centre, considered by the German high command to be "the gateway to Moscow.":10: Guderian's Panzers take Minsk; the Germans advance farther into the Ukraine.:12: The Vichy French surrender in Syria.:12: Assistant pact signed between the United Kingdom and the USSR.:13: Montenegro starts an uprising against the Axis Powers shortly after the Royalists in Serbia begin theirs. Questionable Communist plans instigate paralel uprising and civil war.:15: The Red Army start a counter-attack near Leningrad.:15: Argentia naval air base is set up in Newfoundland; it will prove an important transfer station for the Allies for some years.:16: German Panzers under Guderian reach Smolensk, increasing the risk to Moscow.:17: The air attacks on Malta continue.:19: The "V-sign", displayed most notably by Churchill, is unofficially adopted as the Allied signal, along with the motif of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.:21: The Luftwaffe strikes heavily at Moscow.:25: Neutral Iran occupied by Britain and the Soviet Union.:26: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indochina, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.:28: Japanese troops occupy French Indochina. The Vichy French colonial government is allowed by the Japanese to continue to administer Vietnam. French repression continues. The Vichy French also agree to the occupation by the Japanese of bases in Indochina.:28: The Germans push against Smolensk, and in the meantime solidify their presence in the Baltic states; native Jews are being exterminated. :31: Lewis B. Hershey succeeds Clarence Dykstra as Director of the Selective Service System in the United States.:31: Under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, orders SS general Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired final solution of the Jewish question."

August 1941

:1: The US announces an oil embargo against "aggressors.":5: German armies trap Red Army forces in Smolensk pocket and take 300,000 soldiers; Orel is taken.:6: Germans take Smolensk.:6: American and British governments warn Japan not to invade Thailand.:9: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill meet at NS Argentia, Newfoundland. The Atlantic Charter is created, signed, and released to the world press.:11: Malta is relieved by a convoy.:11: Chungking, the nominal capital of Nationalist China located far up the Yangtze River, suffers several days of heavy bombing.:12: Hitler, against the advice of his generals, shifts some forces from the Moscow front to Leningrad and the Crimean offensives. :18: Adolf Hitler orders a temporary halt to Nazi Germany's systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and handicapped due to protests. However, graduates of the Action T4 operation were then transferred to concentration camps, where they continued in their trade.:22: German forces close in on Leningrad; the citizens continue improvising fortifications.:25: British and Soviet troops invade Persia (Iran) to save the Abadan oilfields and the important railways and routes to Soviet Union for the supply of war material.:27: Another U-boat is forced to surface off Ireland and its Enigma machine is captured.:31: The first signs appear that a Leningrad "siege" is beginning.

eptember 1941

:1: With the assistance of Finnish armies in the North, Leningrad is now completely cut off.:1: A pro-German Government of National Salvation formed in Serbia under Milan Nedić. It is informally known as Nedić's Serbia.:4: The USS "Greer" becomes the first United States warship fired upon by a German U-boat in the war, even though the United States is a neutral power. Tension heightens between the two nations as a result. The US is now committed to convoy duties between the Western Hemisphere and Europe.:5: Germany occupies Estonia.:7: Berlin is heavily hit by RAF bombers.:8: Siege of Leningrad begins-a reasonable date to start measuring "the 900 days." German forces begin a siege against the Soviet Union's second-largest city, Leningrad; Stalin orders the Volga Deutsche deported to Siberia.:10: German armies now have Kiev completely surrounded.:10: Controversial speech by Charles Lindbergh with heavy anti-Semitic overtones.:11: Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the United States Navy to shoot on sight if any ship or convoy is threatened.:15: "Self-government" of Estonia, headed by Hjalmar Mäe, is appointed by German military administration.:16: Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran is forced to resign in favour of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran under pressure from the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.:19: German capture of Kiev is now formal. The Red Army forces have suffered many casualties in defending this important city in the Soviet Union south.:25: The German armies now seem to have isolated the Caucasus region and are ready to absorb this oil-rich area.:27: The National Liberation Front (EAM) is founded in Greece.:28: German SS troops kill over 30,000 Jews at Babi Yar, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine.:28: The first uprising in the Drama region in Greece against the Bulgarian occupation begins. It is swiftly put down, with ca. 3,000, mostly civilians, dead.:26: The US Naval Command orders an all-out war on Axis shipping in American waters.

October 1941

:2: Operation Typhoon - German "Central" forces begin an all-out offensive against Moscow. Leading the defence of the capital is General Georgi Zhukov, already a Hero of Soviet Union for his command in the coflict against the Japanese in the Russian Far East and at Leningrad.:3: Mahatma Gandhi urges his followers to begin a passive resistance against British rule in India.:7: Heavy RAF night bombings of Berlin, the Ruhr, and Cologne, but with heavy losses too.:8: In their invasion of the southern Soviet Union, Germany reaches the Sea of Azov with the capture of Mariupol. However, there are signs that the invasion is beginning to bog down as rainy weather creates muddy roads for both tanks and men.:10: German armies encircle about 660,000 Red Army troops near Vyasma (east of Smolensk); some make a glowing prediction of the end of the war.:12: HMS Ark Royal delivers a squadron of Hurricane fighter planes to Malta.:13: Germans attempt another drive toward Moscow as the once muddy ground hardens.:14: Temperatures fall further on the Moscow front; heavy snows follow and immobilise German tanks.:15: The Germans drive on Moscow.:16: Soviet Union government begins move eastward to Kuibyshev, a city on the Volga, but Stalin remains in Moscow. The citizens of Moscow frantically build tank traps and other fortifications for the coming siege.:17: The destroyer USS "Kearney" is torpedoed and damaged near Iceland, killing eleven sailors; they are the first American military casualties of the war.:18: Red Army troop reinforcements arrive in Moscow from Siberia; Stalin is assured that the Japanese will not attack the USSR from the East.:18: General Hideki Tojo becomes the 40th Prime Minister of Japan.:19: An official "state of siege" is announced in Moscow; The city is under martial law.:20: Lt. Col. Fritz Hotz, the German commander in Nantes, is killed by Resistance; 50 hostages are shot in reprisal. The incident will become a model for future occupation policies.:21: New Zealand troops land in Egypt and take over Fort Capuzzo.:21: Negotiations in Washington between the US and Japan seem headed toward failure.:22: Rostov-on-Don, an important hub on the Southern front, is taken by the Germans.:23: Heavy desert fighting in Libya, as Rommel thwarts "Operation Crusader" near Tobruk.:24: Kharkhov, an important mining and industrial centre in Ukraine, falls to the German Army Group South forces.:26: Last Italian troops are surrendering in Ethiopia.:27: German Army Group South forces reach Sevastopol in the Crimea, but the tanks of the "Northern" forces are slow or stopped entirely by mud. The leading tanks are on the outskirts of Moscow. :30: Franklin Delano Roosevelt approves US$1 billion in Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union.:31: The destroyer USS "Reuben James" is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors. It makes headlines because it is the first loss of an American "neutral warship."

November 1941

:2: Political conflict in Yugoslavia as leftists under Tito (Josip Broz) are in competition with the more conservative Serbs under Draža Mihailović.:3: Germans take Kursk.:6: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin addresses the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule (the first time was earlier that year on July 2). He states that even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, that the Germans have lost 4.5 million soldiers (a gross exaggeration) and that Soviet victory was near.:7: Heavy RAF night bombings of Berlin, the Ruhr, and Cologne, but with heavy losses.:12: Battle of Moscow - Temperatures around Moscow drop to minus 12 °C and the Soviet Union launches ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city.:12: The HMS Ark Royal delivers a squadron of Hurricane fighter planes to Malta.:13: Germans start a new offensive against Moscow as the muddy ground freezes again.:13: The aircraft carrier HMS "Ark Royal" is hit by German U-boat U-81:14: HMS "Ark Royal" capsizes and sinks, having been torpedoed by U 81.:15: The Germans drive on Moscow. :17: Joseph Grew, the United States ambassador to Japan, cables the State Department that Japan had plans to launch an attack against Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (his cable was ignored).:18: Operation Crusader: British troops cross into Libya and at least temporarily relieve the Siege of Tobruk.:19: Australian light cruiser HMAS "Sydney" and the German auxiliary cruiser "Kormoran" sink each other off the coast of Western Australia.:21: Italian troops continue to surrender in Ethiopia; the surrender is over by 11:26.:22: Rostov-on-Don, an important hub on the southern front is taken by the Germans.:22: Britain issues an ultimatum to Finland to end war with Soviet Union or face war with the Allies.:22: Rommel starts counteroffensive, retakes Sidi Rezegh (south of Tobruk) which the British had taken a few days earlier. British tank losses are heavy.:23: Rommel's attack continues around Sidi Rezegh; British losses continue to rise.:24: The United States grants Lend-Lease to the Free French.:24: Rommel begins a surprising 15-mile foray into Egypt; he meets no opposition.:26: Japanese attack fleet of 33 warships and auxiliary craft, including six aircraft carriers, sailed from northern Japan for the Hawaiian Islands; The Hull note ultimatum is delivered to Japan by the United States.:26: After his brief dash into Egypt, Rommel retreats to Bardia for refuelling; it is during this brief withdrawal that Tobruk is temporarily relieved when the British 8th Army meets with the besieged.:27: Battle of Moscow - German Panzers are on the outskirts of Moscow.

December 1941

:1: Malta "celebrates" its 1,000th bombing raid.:1: Fiorello H. La Guardia publishes creating the Civil Air Patrol for U.S Coastal Patrol and naming its national commander Major General John F. Curry.:2: Prime Minister Tojo rejects "peace feelers" from the US.:3: Conscription in the United Kingdom now includes all men between 18 and 50. Women will not be neglected since they will serve in fire brigades and in women's auxiliary groups. :4: Japanese naval and army forces continue to move toward Pearl Harbor and South-east Asia.:5: Germans call off the attack on Moscow, now 11 miles away; Soviet Union counter-attack during a heavy blizzard.:5: The United Kingdom declares war on Finland.:7: Japan launches aerial attacks on Pearl Harbor, Guam and Wake Island; they invade Thailand and Malaya; Japan declares war on the United States and the United Kingdom. Air attacks also on Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, and Shanghai. Canada declares war on Japan (Prime Minister King announces war on evening of 7th, the Canadian parliament confirms the declaration the following morning.) The U.S. Office of Strategic Services (OSS, the forerunner of the CIA) allies with Ho Chi Minh and his Viet Minh guerrillas to harass Japanese troops and to help rescue downed American pilots. Ho Chi Minh becomes "Agent 19" under the supervision of MAJ Archimedes Patti.:7: German "Night and Fog decree" dictating the elimination of anti-Nazis in Western Europe. :8: Japan invades Malaya; the United States and the United Kingdom declare war on Japan; The Netherlands declares war on Japan.:8: Japanese forces take the Gilbert Islands (which include Tarawa). Clark Field in the Philippines is bombed, and many American aircraft are destroyed on the ground.:9: China officially declares war on Japan.:10: British battlecruiser HMS "Repulse" and battleship HMS "Prince of Wales" sunk by Japanese air attack.:11: Germany and Italy declare war on the United States. The United States reciprocates and declares war on Germany and Italy. US forces repel a Japanese landing attempt at Wake Island.:11: Japanese invade Burma.:12: Japanese landings on the southern Philippine Islands -- Samar, Jolo, Mindanao.:12: The United States and the United Kingdom declare war on Romania and Bulgaria after they had declared war on both the United States and the United Kingdom; India declares war on Japan; United States seizes French ship "Normandie".:13: Hungary declares war on the United States and the United Kingdom, the United States and the United Kingdom reciprocate and declare war on Hungary.:13: Japanese under General Yamashita continue their push into Malaya. Under General Homma the Japanese forces are firmly established in the northern Philippines. Hong Kong is threatened.:14: The British cruiser HMS "Galatea" is sunk by "U-557" off Alexandria, beginning a series of naval defeats for the Allies.:15: Italian "human torpedoes" sink two British battleships, the HMS "Queen Elizabeth" and HMS "Valiant" in Alexandria harbour.:15: Allied troops push Rommel back at the Gazala line.:16: Rommel orders a withdrawal all the way to El Agheila, where he had begun in March. He awaits reinforcements of men and tanks.:16: Japan invades Borneo.:16: The German offensive around Moscow is now at a complete halt.:17: Battle of Sevastopol begins.:18: Japanese troops land on Hong Kong Island.:19: Hitler becomes Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the German Army:20: The battle for Wake Island continues with several Japanese ships sunk or damaged.:20: The "Arcadia Conference": Churchill is a guest in the White House. Overall strategies for fighting the War are agreed upon.:21: The suffering of besieged Leningrad continues; thousands die of starvation and various diseases. It is estimated that about 3,000 are dying each day.:22: The Japanese land at Lingayan Gulf, on the northern part of Luzon in the Philippines.:23: A second Japanese landing attempt on Wake Island is successful, and the American garrison surrenders after hours of fighting.:23: General MacArthur declares Manila an "Open City.":23: Japanese forces land on Sarawak (Borneo).:24: American forces retreat into the peninsula of Bataan.:24: Japanese bomb Rangoon.:25: Hong Kong surrenders to Japan.:25: Allied forces retake Benghazi.:25: Red Army and Navy amphibious forces land at Kerch, in the Crimea; their occupation will last only through April.:27: British Commandos raid the Norwegian port of Vaagso, causing Hitler to reinforce the garrison and defences.:28: Japanese paratroopers land on Sumatra.:30: The first "Liberty Ship", the SS "Patrick Henry" is launched. Liberty Ships will prove to be major parts of the Allied supply system.

ee also

* Strategic operations of the Red Army in World War II

External links

* [http://www.timelineforworldwar2.com Timeline For World War 2]
* [http://www.worldwar-2.net/timelines/timelines-index.htm Timeline of WWII]
* [http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/ww2.htm Documents of World War II]
* [http://wwiiarchives.net/servlet/timeline.html World War II Timeline]


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  • World War I in Timeline-191 — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Great War partof= Timeline 191 caption= date=1914 1917 place=Worldwide casus=Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria result=Central Powers victory (see peace treaty and results). CS also forced to… …   Wikipedia

  • World War II in Timeline-191 — Infobox Military Conflict conflict=Second Great War partof= Timeline 191 caption= date=1941 1944 place=Worldwide casus=Europe: French invasion of Alsace Lorraine after German refusal to return it to FranceNorth America: Confederate invasion of… …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of the Eastern Front of World War II — Below is the timeline of the events of the Eastern Front of World War II, the conflict between the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945.1941* 1941 06 22 Operation Barbarossa launched mdash; Axis invasion of the Soviet Union * 1941… …   Wikipedia

  • World War I — This article is about the major war of 1914–1918. For other uses, see World War One (disambiguation) and Great War (disambiguation). World War I …   Wikipedia

  • World War II in popular culture — There is a wide range of ways in which people have represented World War II in popular culture. Many works were created during the years of conflict and many more have arisen from that period of world history. Some well known examples of books… …   Wikipedia


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