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1941 January


January 19th
In 1941, Brit begin East Africa campaign against Italians.
January 31st
In 1941, 21 U boats sunk this month (127,000 ton).

Europe war

1941 February


February 4th
In 1941, The United Service Organization (USO) is formed to serve the social, educational, welfare and religious needs of members of the armed forces.
February 6th
In 1941, British troops conquer Bengazi, Libya.
February 7th
In 1941, Trapped Italian army surrenders to British at Bedafomm, Libya.
February 9th
In 1941, Nazi collaborators destroy pro-Jewish cafe Alcazar Amsterdam (Alcazar refused to hang "No Entry for Jews" signs in front of cafe).
In 1941, British troops conquer El Agheila.
February 12th
In 1941, Gen. Erwin Rommel arrives in Tripoli to take over North African campaign for Axis.
February 20th
In 1941, Nazis order Polish Jews barred from using public transportation.
February 21st
In 1941, US Senate accepts Omar Bradley's demotion to brig-general.
February 22nd
In 1941, Arthur T "Bomber" Harris becomes British Air Marshal.
In 1941, German assault on El Agheila Libya.
February 28th
In 1941, 39 U Boats (197,000 ton) sunk this month.

Europe war

1941 March


March 1st
In 1941, Italians finally check Greek counteroffensive.
March 5th
In 1941, British forces reach Greek mainland.
March 7th
In 1941, 50,000 British soldiers lands in Greece.
In 1941, British troops invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
In 1941, third largest snowfall in NYC history (18.1").
March 11th
In 1941, France's Sports Dictator, Jean Borotra, ruled that French Professional Athletes must also work another job because sports must be considered a means of acquiring health, and not a well-paid job. France was occupied by Nazi Germany at the time.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Lend-Lease Bill, providing war supplies to countries fighting the Axis. It also helped Britain survive attacks by Germany.
March 16th
In 1941, Blizzard hits North Dakota & Minnesota killing 60.
In 1941, British land at Berbera, British Somaliland.
March 24th
In 1941, Axis forces launch offensive in North Africa (Tobruk is invested by April 11).
In 1941, British troops conquer British Somalia.
In 1941, German attack near El Agheila Libya.
March 27th
In 1941, Britain leases defense bases in Trinidad to US for 99 years.
In 1941, Hitler signs Directive 27 (assault on Yugoslavia).
March 30th
In 1941, German counter offensive in North-Africa.
Europe war

1941 April


April 3rd
In 1941, Churchill warns Stalin of German invasion.
April 6th
In 1941, Axis forces invade Yugoslavia and Greece; British occupy Addis Ababa.
April 7th
In 1941, British generals O'Connor & Neame captured in North Africa.
April 10th
In 1941, German troops conquer Libyan county Cyrenaica.
April 13th
In 1941, Russian-Japan no-attack treaty goes into effect.
April 17th
In 1941, British troop land in Iraq/Yugoslavia; Yugoslavia surren dered to Germany in World War II.
= Yugoslav Army capitulates.
April 23rd
In 1941, Greece Army surrenders to German Nazis; RAF brings Greek king George II to Egypt.
In 1941, at an "America First" rally in New York City, aviator Charles Lindber gh said, "It is obvious that England is losing the war." Lindbergh opposed U.S. entry into World War II.
April 24th
In 1941, British army begins evacuation of Greece.
April 30th
In 1941, Organized resistance ends on Greek mainland.

1941 May


May 2nd
In 1941, British attack insurgents in Iraq (campaign ends May 31 with occupation of Baghdad).
May 5th
In 1941, Stalin delivered a speech at the Soviet War Academy where he announced his determination to go to war: "A modern army must be an offensive army."
May 6th
In 1941, dictator Josef Stalin assumed the Soviet premiership, replacing Vyacheslav M. Molotov.
May 10th
In 1941, England's House of Commons and Holborn Theater destroyed in a blitz.
In 1941, German Luftwaffe strikes London with fire bombs.
In 1941, Adolf Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess, parachuted into Scotland on what he claime d was a peace mission. (Hess ended up serving a life sentence at Spandau prison until 1987, when he apparently committed suicide).
May 11th
In 1941, 1st Messerschmidt 109F shot down above England.
May 16th
In 1941, Italian army under Aosta surrenders to Britain at Amba Alagi Ethiopia.
In 1941, Last great German air attack on Great Britain (Birmingham).
May 18th
In 1941, Italian army under general Aosta surrenders to Britain in Ethiopia.
May 20th
In 1941, Germans begin airborne attack on Crete.
May 21st
In 1941, a German U-boat sank the American freighter S.S. "Robin Moore" in the South Atlantic.
In 1941, President Roosevelt proclaimed "an unlimited state of national emergency," seven months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
May 22nd
In 1941, British troops attack Baghdad.
May 24th
In 1941, the German battleship "Bismarck" sank the British dreadnought "Hood" in the North Atlantic.
May 26th
In 1941, Ark Royal airplane sights German battleship Bismarck.
May 27th
In 1941, Allied troops begin evacuating Kreta.
In 1941, amid rising world tensions, President Roosevelt proclaimed an "unlimited national emergency."
In 1941, the German battleship Bismarck sank off the coast of France with the loss of 2,300 lives.
May 30th
In 1941, English Army enters Baghdad, chasing pro-German coup government.
May 31st
In 1941, 41 U boats sunk this month (325,000 ton).
In 1941, British troops vacate Kreta.
In 1941, Germans complete conquest of Crete.
In 1941, -June 1) 32.0 cm rain falls on Burlington Kansas (state record).
Europe war

1941 June


June 1st
In 1941, British troops occupy Bagdad Iraq.
June 6th
In 1941, the first navy vessel constructed as mine layer Terror was launched.
June 8th
In 1941, British attack Vichy French forces in Syria, defeating them in six days.
In 1941, English & French troop overthrow pro-German Syria.
June 18th
In 1941, Turkey signs peace treaty with nazi-Germany.
June 20th
In 1941, German U-203 fails on torpedo attack on US battleship Texas.
June 21th
In 1941, Hitler ordered German subs to not attack U.S. warships.
June 22nd
In 1941, Germany, Italy & Romania declared war on Soviet Union during WW II. Germany invaded the Soviet Union.
= Germany invaded Russia following Hitler's Barbarossa Plan, a preemptive strike with 3 million soldiers at 3:15 am Einsatzgruppen (S)S and Sicherheitsdienstes (SD), before Stalin was ready to start his offensive war.
= Operation BARBAROSSA begins. Over 3 million German soldiers and 3300 tanks cross the Russian border. The Wehrmarcht (German Army) is organized into three Army Groups . Facing them is the world's largest army comprised of 230 divisions of 14,000 men each, with 20,000 tanks (many obsolete.) The Russian Army is organized into four Military Districts.
June 23rd
In 1941, The Luftwaffe (German Air Force) destroys over 2,000 Red Air Force aircraft. Many are caught on the ground in the first hours of the assault. The numerically strongest air force in the world is wiped out in 48 hours. The Commander of Russian Aviation, General Rychagov, is given the death sentence for "treasonable activity" (i.e. defeat.)
June 24th
In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt extended Lend-Lease aid to Stalin.
June 25th
In 1941, Finland declares war on Soviet Union.
In 1941, Germans invade Dubno Poland, giving permission to Ukrainians to do whatever they want to 12,000 Jews living there.
June 27th
In 1941, The BBC began using the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth as a morale-boosting motif for listeners in the parts of Europe that had been overrun by the Nazis. In Morse Code, "dit-dit-dit dahhh" stands for the letter "V " and "V" stood for "Victory."
June 28th
In 1941, The Wehrmarcht captures Minsk, having advanced over 200 miles in a week. 15 Russian divisions are surrounded, and later surrender.
June 30th
In 1941, 61 U-boats (310,000 ton) sunk this month.

1941 July


July 3rd
In 1941, Stalin calls for scorched earth policy in radio broadcast.
July 7th
In 1941, U.S. forces took up positions in Iceland, Trinidad and British Guiana to forestall any Nazi invasion, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II.
July 10th
In 1941, Germans cross the River Dnieper in the Ukraine.
= Germans cross Dnieper River. Guderian, the most aggressive German general, wishes to push on. Kluge, his superior, orders him to hold and wait for the infantry to catch up. Guderian convinces him to allow further penetration, but Kluge worries, "your operations always hang by a thread."
July 12th
In 1941, Mutual Assistance agreement between British and Soviets.
July 14th
In 1941, British occupy Syria.
July 15th
In 1941, Smolensk is taken, and another 300,000 Russian soldiers with it.
July 19th
In 1941, first US Army flying school for black cadets dedicated (Tuskegee Ala).
In 1941, the two-finger "V" for Victory had signal was introduced in Europe by British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. Today that stands for "peace," but in England, if you give the salute with your palm facing you, it means giving someone the double finger. No kidding!
July 22nd
In 1941, The German advance is temporarily halted to allow infantry and supplies to catch up to the Panzer armies.
The German's are experiencing a new kind of warfare. The Russians seem content to trade 10 Russian lives for 1 German. They continually mount reckless counter-attacks. These wasteful attacks have an unnerving effect on the Wehrmarcht.
July 24th
In 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt demands Japanese troops out of Indo-China.
July 27th
In 1941, 103 degrees F highest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in July.
July 27th
In 1941, Hitler orders Guderian's Panzers to turn south, away from Moscow, in order to conquer Russia's economic centers. Guderian's 2nd Panzer Army is renamed ArmeeGruppe Guderian in recognition of his successes. Further, he is no longer subordinate to Kluge, but answers directly to Bock, Commander of Army Group Centre.
July 31st
In 1941, 21 U boats sinks this month (94,000 ton).

1941 August


August 1st
In 1941, first convoy to Murmansk - Atlantic route doubly important, helped Russians and British.
August 2nd
In 1941, German 11st Army surrounds 20 Russian divisions at Oeman.
August 3rd
In 1941, Guderian, who desires to continue the thrust toward Moscow, disobeys orders and intentionally gets caught up in fighting at Roslavl. Hitler, however, is not to be denied. Guderian is forced to move south.
The German high command grows restless at the growing disobedience of forward commanders. Hitler is haunted by the ghost of Napoleon. He admits to Guderian, "had I known Russian tank strength...I would not have started this war."
August 7th
In 1941, Stalin assumes the title Supreme Commander of military forces.
August 11th
In 1941, President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter on a warship in the western Atlantic. The Charter set forth eight goals for the world and later will be the document establishing the United Nations.
August 12th
In 1941, French Marshal Henri Petain called on his countrymen to give full support to Nazi Germany.
August 14th
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, who had held secret meetings off Newfoundland, issued the Atlantic Charter, a statement that renounced aggression.
August 19th
In 1941, German troops under von Leeb surround Leningrad in the north.
August 21st
In 1941, Hitler turns German main effort southward toward Kiev.
August 22nd
In 1941, Nazi troops reached the outskirts of the Soviet City of Leningrad during World War II.
Guderian flies to see Hitler, to convince him of the need to drive on Moscow. Hitler refuses, stating, "my generals know nothing about the economic aspects of war." The drive south continues.
August 25th
In 1941, British and Soviet troops invaded Iran following the Shah's refusal to reduce the number of resident Germans.
In 1941, German troops conquer Nowgorod, Leningrad.
August 30th
In 1941, the World War II siege of Leningrad began as Nazi forces severed the last railroad link between Leningrad and the rest of the Soviet Union. Nazi forces took Mga. It was the start of a 900-day siege of Leningrad. When it ended, the Russian city lay in ruins and hundreds of thousands of people had died.
August 31st
In 1941, 23 U-boats sunk this month (80,000 ton).

1941 September


September 6th
In 1941, amid the growing horror of the Nazi Holocaust, Jews over the age of 6 in German-occupied areas were ordered to wear yellow Stars of David inscribed with the word "Jew."
September 8th
In 1941, Leningrad's land connections with rest of the USSR are severed.
September 11th
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered any Axis ship found in American waters be shot on sight.
In 1941, an order to attack on sight is issued by Pres. Roosevelt, to apply to German and Italian vessels fou nd in U.S. defensive waters, after a number of U.S. vessels had been sunk or fired upon by submarines.
In 1941, in a speech that sparked charges of anti-semitism, aviation hero Charles A. Lindbergh said in a speech that "the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration" were trying to draw the U.S. into World War II, and that the Jewish groups should oppose the prospect of war instead of "agitating" for it.
September 12th
In 1941, the first German ship in WW II was captured by the US ship Busko.
The first snow slows the Wehrmarcht's advance.
September 13th
In 1941, Russian General Zhukov is sent to oversee defense of Leningrad. He puts the citizens to work creating multiple defensive lines around the city.
September 19th
In 1941, Kiev is captured.
Hitler's drive south nets the city of Kiev. 650,000 Russian soldiers are captured, the largest number ever, in any war.
September 21st
In 1941, US launches its first Liberty-ship, "Patrick Henry".
September 27th
In 1941, the first WWII liberty ship, the freighter Patrick Henry, was launched.
September 30th
In 1941, 53 U-boats sunk this month (202,000 tons).

1941 October


October 2nd
In 1941, the German Nazi armies launched Operation Typhoon - an all-out offensive against Moscow.
Hitler orders the resumption of the attack on Moscow. There is only limited time before the harsh Russian winter "General January" assists the Red Army. Some argue the delay in attacking Moscow cost Germany the war.
October 3rd
In 1941, Adolf Hitler declared in a speech in Berlin that Russia had been "broken" and would "never rise again."
October 16th
In 1941, Germany advanced to within 60 miles of Moscow and Romanians entered Odessa, USSR, to begin the extermination of 150,000 Jews.
October 17th
In 1941, the first American warship torpedoed in WW 2, the "U.S.S. Kearny," is damaged off the Iceland coast (11 killed).
October 21sd
In 1941, Zhukov moved from the successful defense of Leningrad to take command of Moscow's defenses.
October 24th
In 1941, Kharkov falls to the Wehrmarcht, netting yet another Russian Army Group.
October 26th
In 1941, the Japanese fleet sails to attack Pearl Harbor.
October 27th
In 1941, Chicago Daily Tribune editorialize there will not be war with Japan.
October 30th
In 1941, the U.S. Navy destroyer Reuben James was torpedoed by a German vessel off the coast of Iceland, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II.
October 31st
In 1941, 13 U boats sunk this month (62,000 ton).
In 1941, the U.S. Navy destroyer Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Iceland with the loss of 115 lives, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II.

1941 November


November 1st
In 1941, Japanese marine staff officiers Suzuki/Maejima arrive in Pearl Harbor.
November 3rd
In 1941, U.S. Ambassador Joseph Grew warns Washington of a possible secret attack on U.S. positions by the Japanese.
November 5th
In 1941, Japanese marine staff officiers Suzuki/Maejima leave Pearl Harbor.
November 6th
In 1941, Japanese fleet readies assault on Pearl Harbor.
In 1941, USA lends Soviet Union $1 million.
November 7th
In 1941, British air a ttack on Berlin, Mannheim & Ruhrgebied.
November 16th
In 1941, Nazi Germany launched a second assault on Moscow in World War II - it was agai n doomed to failure.
November 18th
In 1941, British begin second invasion of Libya.
November 20th
In 1941, Germans capture Rostov.
November 24th
In 1941, US troops land on Suriname to protect bauxite mine.
November 25th
In 1941, Operation TYPHOON. The Wehrmarcht's final drive on Moscow begins. The attack reaches to within 20 miles of Moscow before it is halted by stiff resistance and bitter cold.
November 26th
In 1941, a Japanese carrier force leaves base, moving east; its secret distination is Pearl Harbor.
= Pearl Harbor striking force sails from Kuril Islands.
November 27th
In 1941, Conquest of Italian East Africa is completed with surrender of Gondar.
In 1941, USSR begins a counter offensive causing Germany to retreat.
November 28th
In 1941, Germans are forced to evacuate Rostov.
November 29th
In 1941, Passenger ship Lurline sends radio signal of sighting Jap war fleet.
November 30th
In 1941, 13 U boats sunk this month (62,000 ton).

Japan

1941 December


December 1st
In 1941, British cruiser Devonshire sinks German sub Python.
In 1941, Japanese emperor Hirohito signs declaration of war.
In 1941, the U.S. Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was organized.
December 2nd
In 1941, Naval Intelligence ceases bugging Japanese consul.
In 1941, Yamamoto sends his fleet to Pearl Harbor.
December 5th
In 1941, German offensive stalls 25 miles from Moscow.
In 1941, Russian anti offensive in Moscow drives out nazi army.
In 1941, Hitler abandons the attack on Moscow. Zhukov begins a counter-attack, utilizing Siberian troops no longer needed against Japan since the April Neutrality Pact with Japan.
December 6th
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made a personal appeal for peace to Emperor Hirohito of Japan. Pearl Harbor was attacked the next day.
In 1941, Russians launch counteroffensive.
December 7th
In 1941, Japanese warplanes attacked the home base of the U.S. Pacific fleet located at Pearl Harbor on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, an act that resulted in America's entry into World War II. It happened at 7:55 AM local time, more than 3,000 killed. This Pearl Harbor Day will live in infamy.
In 1941, first Japanese submarine sunk by an American ship (US S Ward).
In 1941, Rommel begins withdrawal to El Agheila.
December 8th
In 1941, the United States entered World War II as Congress declared war against Japan, a day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. President Roosevelt called December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy." Great Britian also declared war on Japan.
December 9th
In 1941, China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.
In 1941, Hitler orders US ships torpedoed.
In 1941, first US WW II bombing mission in the Far East, Luzon, Philippines.
December 10th
In 1941, British advance in Libya relieves Tobruk.
In 1941, Japanese troops landed on northern Luzon in the Philippines.
December 11th
In 1941, Dutch government in London declares war on Italy.
In 1941, Japanese attack Wake Island (only failed WW II-landing).
In 1941, four days after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; the United States responded in kind.
December 15th
In 1941, German submarine U-127 sinks.
In 1941, USS Swordfish becomes first US sub to sink a Japanese ship.
December 17th
In 1941, Admiral Husband Kimmel, commander of Pearl Harbor, is replaced by Admiral Chester Nimitz as commander of the Pacific Fleet.
In 1941, German submarine U-31 sunk.
In 1941, German troops led by Rommel begin retreating in North Africa.
December 18th
In 1941, German submarine U-434 sinks.
In 1941, Japanse troops land on Hong Kong.
December 19th
In 1941, German submarine U-574 sinks.
In 1941, Hitler takes complete command of German Army.
In 1941, The Office of Censorship is created to control all matters involving in formation pertaining to the war.
December 20th
In 1941, Japanese troops lands on Mindanao.
In 1941, Hitler dismisses Guderian from command for disobeying his order not to give up one inch of ground. (Guderian was adjusting his front line in order to shorten it.)
At the end of 1941, Hitler was left wondering what was holding the Red Army together. The Russians had lost 3 million soldiers (its entire strength at the start of the war.) Fully half of its economic base was in German hands. But Russia was still strong. It had 9 million men of military age left, (enough for 400 divisions) and produced 4500 new tanks over the winter. Germany could not match either of these numbers. A sustained battle of attrition strongly favored Russia.
December 21st
In 1941, German submarine U-567 sinks.
December 22nd
In 1941, first American troops reach Australia.
In 1941, Japanese troops landing on Luzon invade the Philippines.
In 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington, D.C., for a wartime conference with President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
December 23rd
In 1941, British troops overrun Benghazi Libya.
In 1941, Japan begins assault on Rangoon Burma.
In 1941, during World War II, American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.
December 24th
In 1941, 1st ships of admiral Nagumo's Pearl Harbor-fleet return to Japan.
In 1941, British enter Benghazi.
December 25th
In 1941, during World War II, Japan announced the surrender of the British-Canadian garrison at Hong Kong.
December 27th
In 1941, Japanese war planes bombed Manila in the Philippines, even though it had been declared an "open city."
December 30th
In 1941, Winston Churchill arrived in Ottawa, Canada, after his talks with President Roosevelt over strate gy to win the war with Germany. In a speech, he said, "Hitler thought that England would have her neck wrung like a chicken, some chicken, some neck."


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