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4 Feb 1941
  • The United Service Organizations, USO, was established to maintain the morale of American military personnel. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Italians began evacuating Benghazi, Libya. At dawn, British 7th Armoured Division departed from Mechili, Libya to move across the desert toward Jebel El Akhdar 150 miles away in an attempt to cut off the Italian retreat. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • German submarine U-93, having damaged British ship Dione II on the previous day with gunfire northwest of Ireland, sank the ship at 0440 hours with the deck gun and the anti-aircraft gun; 28 were killed, 5 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-52 sank Norwegian ship Ringhorn 500 miles west of Ireland at 0838 hours; 14 were killed, 5 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-123 sank British ship Empire Engineer 1,000 miles west of Ireland at 1644 hours; the entire crew of 39 was lost, some during the sinking while others, aboard rafts, were never found. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British bombers attacked Düsseldorf, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • Erich Raeder thought that the US entry into the war might be advantageous for the Germans as it would force Japan into belligerency. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau broke out into the Atlantic Ocean via the Denmark Strait undetected by the British Royal Navy. ww2dbase [Operation Berlin | Gneisenau | Scharnhorst | Denmark Strait | CPC]
  • Maggiore Baracca sighted an armed escort vessel in the Atlantic Ocean at 1000 hours, and dove to avoid being detected. At 1100 hours, she surfaced; still sighting the vessel, she dove again. This time she was detected, though the subsequent depth charge attack failed to cause any damage. ww2dbase [Maggiore Baracca | CPC]
France Indian Ocean
  • HMS Hermes set sail toward Kismayo, Somaliland, Italian East Africa. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
United States
  • The American newspaper Chicago Tribune featured an article on the US government's secret plan for war, including details such as a 10,000,000-strong military, half of which were to be destined for the to-be-established American Expeditionary Force for fighting in Europe. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 4 Feb 1941
Luigi Torelli returning to Bordeaux, France upon completion of her third war patrol, 4 Feb 1941

4 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

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