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World War II Database

2 Feb 1941
  • Indian 5th Division captured Italian fortifications defended by 8,000 troops and 32 field guns at Barentu, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. To the east in the Indian Ocean, British aircraft carrier HMS Formidable launched aircraft in the Indian Ocean to mine the harbor of Mogadishu, Italian Somaliland. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Australian troops advanced west from Derna, Libya, continuing to push back the Italian troops. Meanwhile, Richard O'Connor received the authorization from Archibald Wavell to use tanks of British 7th Armoured Division to flank the Italian retreat. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • Torpedo bombers from British carrier HMS Ark Royal attacked the hydroelectric plant at the Santa Chiara Dam on the Tirso River on Sardinia, Italy. The attack failed to damage the facilities. One Swordfish aircraft was shot down, with its crew of 3 taken prisoner. ww2dbase [Ark Royal | CPC]
  • British trawler HMT Almond hit a mine and sank off Falmouth, England, United Kingdom, killing 19. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis stopped and captured Norwegian tanker Ketty BrÝvig in the Indian Ocean overnight. With 6,370 tons of fuel oil and 4,125 tons of diesel oil from Bahrain aboard, Ketty BrÝvig was to be used as a supply ship for German raiders and warships deployed at sea. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
New Zealand
  • The wreck of the Niagara, which had hit German naval mines in Jun 1940, was found off Bream Head, Whangarei, New Zealand. A salvage team led by Captain J. P. Williams and diver John Edwards "Johnno" Johnstone started the hazardous task of retrieving 590 gold ingot that she was carrying at the time of the sinking. A hole was blasted in Niagara's hull and 555 ingots were successfully recovered, 94% of the total. The remaining boxes, save five, were salvaged in 1953. ww2dbase [HM]

2 Feb 1941 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943