1941
JanuaryRationing of clothes introduced in Britain
January 3rdItaly launched a counter-offensive in Albania against the Greeks. This was the first of 46 Italian attacks – all repulsed by the Greeks.
January 22ndBritish and Australian forces captured Tobruk in North Africa.
January 29thSouth African forces entered Italian Somaliland.
February 4thThe British started a mechanised movement which encircled the Italians to the south of Benghazi.
February 6th British and Australian forces entered Benghazi.Rommel was appointed commander of the German Afrika Corps.
February 10thMussolini accepted Hitler’s offer of a German armoured division to support Italian forces in North Africa.
February 12thRommel arrived in Tripoli.
February 14thFirst German units arrived in Tripoli.
February 22ndAnthony Eden went to Athens to discuss the possibility of a German attack on Greece.
February 24th German and British forces clashed for the first time in the Western Desert.
March 2ndGerman troops enter Bulgaria
March 6thBritish forces invaded Ethiopia. The start of a three week blockage of the Suez Canal by the Germans placing magnetic and acoustic mines there.
March 9thItaly launched a major attack on the Greeks but to no avail.
April 4thThe Germans capture Benghazi.
April 6th Germany attacked Yugoslavia and Greece.British forces occupy Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.
April 10th The start of the siege of Tobruk after the Germans failed to capture it.The Germans captured Zagreb.
April 12thGermany accepted the surrender of Belgrade.
April 17thThe Yugoslavian Army surrenders
May 10thLast of the heavy air raids on Britain. The Blitz ended.
May 24thHMS Hood sunk by the Bismarck with the loss of 1,416 men out of a crew of 1,419.
May 27thThe Bismarck was sunk by the Royal Navy. Out of a crew of 2,200, just over 100 survived.
June 22ndThe German invasion of Russia – Operation Barbarossa began.
September 1stThe first German shell landed in Leningrad – the start of the 900 day siege.
September 27thItalian forces surrendered at the Wolchefit Pass, Ethiopia.
September 28thThe first Allied convoy to Russia took place.
October 2ndThe final phase of the German attack on Russia started – the attack on Moscow.
October 6thChurchill promised Stalin that a convoy would sail to Russia every 10 days.
November 28thItalian forces surrender at Gondar ending Mussolini’s East African venture.
December 5thThe Russian counter-attack in Moscow started.
December 7thThe Japanese attacked the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour.
December 8thBritain and America declared war on Japan.
December 11thGermany declared war on America.
December 31stBy this date, a total of 53 merchant ships had reached Russia and delivered 750 tanks, 800 fighter planes, 1,400 vehicles and 100,000 tons of general stores.

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