January Rationing of clothes introduced in Britain
January 3rd Italy launched a counter-offensive in Albania against the Greeks. This was the first of 46 Italian attacks – all repulsed by the Greeks.
January 22nd British and Australian forces captured Tobruk in North Africa.
January 29th South African forces entered Italian Somaliland. 
February 4th The 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 10th Mussolini accepted Hitler’s offer of a German armoured division to support Italian forces in North Africa.
February 12th Rommel arrived in Tripoli.
February 14th First German units arrived in Tripoli.
February 22nd Anthony 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 2nd German troops enter Bulgaria
March 6th British forces invaded Ethiopia. The start of a three week blockage of the Suez Canal by the Germans placing magnetic and acoustic mines there.
March 9th Italy launched a major attack on the Greeks but to no avail.
April 4th The 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 12th Germany accepted the surrender of Belgrade.
April 17th The Yugoslavian Army surrenders    
May 10th Last of the heavy air raids on Britain. The Blitz ended.
May 24th HMS Hood sunk by the Bismarck with the loss of 1,416 men out of a crew of 1,419.
May 27th The Bismarck was sunk by the Royal Navy. Out of a crew of  2,200, just over 100 survived.
June 22nd The German invasion of Russia – Operation Barbarossa began.
September 1st The first German shell landed in Leningrad – the start of the 900 day siege.
September 27th Italian forces surrendered at the Wolchefit Pass, Ethiopia.
September 28th The first Allied convoy to Russia took place. 
October 2nd The final phase of the German attack on Russia started – the attack on Moscow.
October 6th Churchill promised Stalin that a convoy would sail to Russia every 10 days.
November 28th Italian forces surrender at Gondar ending Mussolini’s East African venture.
December 5th The Russian counter-attack in Moscow started.
December 7th The Japanese attacked the American Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour.
December 8th Britain and America declared war on Japan.
December 11th Germany declared war on America.
December 31st By 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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