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12 Feb 1941
  • General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli, Libya, to take command of the Afrika Korps. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | TH]
  • German cruiser Admiral Hipper attacked Allied convoy HX53 800 miles west of Gibraltar at 0618 hours, sinking 7 ships (British ships arlaby, Westbury, Oswestry Grange, Shrewsbury, and Derrynane; Norwegian ship Borgestad; and Greek ship Perseus). At 0740 hours, Admiral Hipper broke off the attack as rain helped the remaining Allied transports escape. Admiral Hipper had nearly expended all of her 203-mm shells in this attack. ww2dbase [Admiral Hipper | CPC]
  • Indian and Italian troops continued the fighting on the north side of the Dongolaas Gorge and in Happy valley on the south side of the gorge near Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • In Ethiopia, Captain Richhpal Ram led an Indian attack despite having his right foot blown off. Even when he was fatally wounded he still encouraged his men on to victory. Captain Ram would be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [AC]
Indian Ocean
  • HMS Hermes captured an Italian merchant ship off Italian East Africa. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
  • The second German convoy, consisted of ships Adana, Aegina, Kybfels, and Ruhr with German troops on board, departed Naples, Italy for North Africa. Italian destroyer Camicia Nera and torpedo boat Procione escorted the transports. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | Napoli, Campania | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine HMS Unique attacked a transport in a convoy east of Kerkenah, Tunisia. According to Italian sources these were probably the old Italian merchants Florida II (3,100-ton), completed in 1905, the Audace (1892; 1,446-ton) and Pegli (1910; 1,673-ton) escorted by the Italian torpedo boat Calliope. No hits were obtained probably due to misfunctioning torpedoes. ww2dbase [HM]
  • British submarine HMS Utmost, under command of Lieutenant Commander R. D. Cayley, RN torpedoed and damaged the Italian merchant Mauly (5,463-ton) off Zuwara, Libya. The Italian transport was initially abandoned by her crew but later re-boarded and salved, taking a week to be towed to Tripoli; she re-entered service as the Manfredo Campiero. ww2dbase [HM]
Russia United Kingdom
  • British Foreign Secretary and Chief of Imperial General Staff left London, England, United Kingdom for Cairo, Egypt to coordinate military assistance to Greece. They were also trying to create an anti-Axis agreement, which would soon be rebuffed by Yugoslavia and Turkey. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | London, England | TH]
Photo(s) dated 12 Feb 1941
Italian General Italo Gariboldi welcoming German Generals Erwin Rommel and Johannes Streich to Tripoli, Libya, 12 Feb 1941Erwin Rommel arriving at Tripoli, Libya, 12 Feb 1941

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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