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. 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.
7: British and Commonwealth offensive in North Africa nears Tobruk; the airport is taken.
10: Lend-Lease introduced into the U.S. Congress :German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement is signed. : 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. : Greek forces in Albania take the strategically important Klissoura pass.
17: The Battle of Koh Chang ended in a decisive victory for the Vichy French naval forces during the French-Thai War. : 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.
8: US House of Representatives passes the Lend-Lease bill.
9: Mussolini is informed that German reinforcements are on the way to North Africa. : British forces reach El Agheila, Cyrenaica. : British battleships shell Genoa and British aircraft attack Leghorn. : Churchill again pleads with the US: "give us the tools."
10: Malta's critical period: now through March, it is under heavy daily attack.
14: Rommel arrives in Tripoli. : Afrika Korps starts to move eastward towards the advance British positions at El Agheila. The British in North Africa 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 North 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. : 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. : Mogadishu, the capital of Italian Somaliland, is captured by British forces during the East African Campaign.
1: Hitler 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. : 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. : Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia agrees to join the Axis pact.
7: First British troops land in Greece, at Piraeus.
9: The Italian Spring Offensive in the Albanian front begins.
10: British and Italian troops meet in a brief conflict in Eritrea. : 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. :The United States of America converts its Corps Areas to Defense Commands, with the term Corps reassigned as an intermediate field command of a Field Army.
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: British forces advancing from the Sudan win the decisive Battle of Keren in Eritrea. : 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. : 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.
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. : Bristol, England suffers another heavy air attack. : British troops take Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, from the Italian armies. : 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. : 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. : The Italian Army is driven out from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. : 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. : 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. : 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. : The destroyer USS Niblack attacks a German U-boat that had just sunk a Dutch freighter. The Niblack was picking up survivors of the freighter when it detected the U-boat preparing to attack. The Niblackattacked with depth charges and drove off the U-boat.
11: Though still a "neutral" nation, the United States begins sea patrols in Atlantic. : Heavy Luftwaffe raids on Coventry and Birmingham.
13: Malta is bombed again; it continues to be a thorn in the side of German supply movements in the Mediterranean. : Japan and the Soviet Union sign a neutrality pact. : In Iraq, a small contingent of British reinforcements are air lifted to RAF Shaibah.
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. : 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: Greek Prime Minister Korizis commits suicide; the British plan the major evacuation of Greece. : In Iraq, in accordance with the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty, British forces from India start to land at Basra.
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. : 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. : Hurricane fighter planes are delivered as important reinforcements for besieged Malta.
30: Rommel is ordered to cease attacks on Tobruk after another failure. : In Iraq, Iraqi armed forces occupiy the plateau to the south of the RAF Habbaniya air base and inform the base commander that all flying should cease immediately.
1: Seven nights of bombing of Liverpool begins, resulting in wide devastation.
2: British forces at RAF Habbaniya launch pre-emptive air strikes against Iraqi forces besieging them and the Anglo-Iraqi War begins.
3: Belfast, Northern Ireland, experiences another heavy bombing. : British forces in Ethiopia begin the investment of Amba Alagi where Italian forces under the Duke of Aosta have taken up defensive positions.
6: With much of the Iraqi air force destroyed and facing regular bombardment themselves, the Iraqi ground forces besieging RAF Habbaniya withdraw. : The Luftwaffe arranges to send a small force to Iraq.
7: Between Habbaniya and Fallujah, two Iraqi columns are caught in the open and attacked by roughly forty British aircraft; the Iraqis suffer heavy casualties.
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. : Bombing of Nottingham.
16: Rommel defeats a counter-attack, "Brevity", at Halfaya Pass. The two sides trade alternating control of Fort Capuzzo and Halfaya Pass.
17: British forces in the Habbaniya area advance on Iraqi-held Fallujah and, in five days fighting, push the Iraqis out.
18: The Duke of Aosta, Viceroy of Italian East Africa, surrenders his forces at Amba Alagi.
20: German paratroopers land on Crete; the battle for Crete will continue for seven days. : The German military mission to Iraq, Special Staff F (Sonderstab F), is created to support of "The Arab Freedom Movement in the Middle East. Sonderstab F is to include Fliegerführer Irak and other elements already in Iraq.
21: The US merchantman SS Robin Moor is sunk by German submarine U-69. The incident startles the nation, and President Roosevelt shortly announces an "unlimited national emergency." : The Italian Viceroy in Ethiopia surrenders. Remnants of Italian troops keep on fighting.
22: Iraqi forces unsuccessfully counter-attack the British forces in Fallujah and are rebuffed.
23: German dictator Adolf Hitler issues "Fuhrer Directive No. 30 in support of "The Arab Freedom Movement in the Middle East," his "natural ally against England."
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. : The British forces from the Habbaniya area begin an advance on Baghdad and, within four days, approach the city from the west and from the north. : Twelve Italian aircraft arrive at Mosul to join Fliegerführer Irak.
28: British and Commonwealth forces begin to evacuate Crete. : By this date, it is clear that operation "Brevity" has failed.
29: Members of the German military mission flee Iraq.
30: Rashid Ali and his supporters flee Iraq.
31: Heavy Luftwaffe bombing on neutral Ireland's capital; numerous civilian casualties. : The Mayor of Baghdad surrenders the city to British forces and ends the Anglo-Iraqi War.
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. Romania invades southern Russia on the side of Germany. : With full Finnish consent, German troops begin deploying in formally neutral Finnish territory, to attack the Soviet Union from there. : British general in Libya/Egypt Wavell is replaced by General Auchinleck. : June Uprising against the Soviet Union in Lithuania.
26: Hungary and Slovakia declare war on the Soviet Union. : The Soviet Union bombs Helsinki. Finland pronounces a state of war between Finland and Soviet Union. Continuation war is started.
1: General Auchinleck takes over from General Wavell in North Africa. : All American men over 21 are required to register for the draft. : German troops occupy Latvia's capital, Riga, on the way to Leningrad.
28: Japanese troops occupy southern 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. : 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. : 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."
1: With the assistance of Finnish armies in the North, Leningrad is now completely cut off. : 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.
28: German SS troops kill over 30,000 Jews at Babi Yar, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine. : 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.
2: Operation Typhoon - German "Central" forces begin an all-out offensive against Moscow. Leading the defense of the capital is General Georgi Zhukov, already a Hero of Soviet Union for his command in the conflict 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 immobilize German tanks.
15: The Germans drive on Moscow.
16: Soviet Union government begins move eastward to Samara, 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 by U-boatU-568 near Iceland, killing eleven sailors; they are the first American military casualties of the war. : The government of Prince Fumimaro Konoye, prime minister of Japan, collapses, leaving little hope for peace in the Pacific.
18: Red Army troop reinforcements arrive in Moscow from Siberia; Stalin is assured that the Japanese will not attack the USSR from the East. : 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. : 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.
1: President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces that the U.S. Coast Guard will now be under the direction of the U.S. Navy, a transition of authority usually reserved only for wartime.
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.
22: Rostov-on-Don, an important hub on the southern front is taken by the Germans. : Britain issues an ultimatum to Finland to end war with Soviet Union or face war with the Allies. : 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.
25: U-331 sinks British battleship HMS Barham while covering Mediterranean convoys.
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. : In Italian East Africa, the last Italian armed forces in East Africa surrender at Gondar.
16: Rommel orders a withdrawal all the way to El Agheila, where he had begun in March. He awaits reinforcements of men and tanks. : Japan invades Borneo. : The German offensive around Moscow is now at a complete halt.
20: The battle for Wake Island continues with several Japanese ships sunk or damaged. : 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. : General MacArthur declares Manila an "Open City."
23: Japanese forces land on Sarawak (Borneo).
24: American forces retreat into the peninsula of Bataan. : Japanese bomb Rangoon.
25: Hong Kong surrenders to Japan.
25: Allied forces retake Benghazi. : Red Army and Navy amphibious forces land at Kerch, in the Crimea; their occupation will last only through April.
27: British and Norwegian Commandos raid the Norwegian port of Vågsøy, causing Hitler to reinforce the garrison and defences.