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24 Mar 1941
  • Axis forces opened Rommel's offensive in North Africa at 0600 hours. Australian troops on the front line destroyed a leading German armored car, but they were soon overwhelmed by German tanks. Axis forces would capture El Agheila, Libya, the furthest point of the British advance against the Italians. British 2nd Armoured Division fell back 30 miles to Marsa Brega. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | AC]
  • Erwin Rommel returned to Libya after a series of meetings in Germany and Italy. ww2dbase [Erwin Rommel | CPC]
  • German and Italian ships continued to leave Massawa, Eritrea, Italian East Africa ahead of Allied advances, while Allied warships attempted to intercept them. British sloop HMS Shoreham intercepted German ship Oder, which was scuttled by her own crew to prevent capture. British Royal Navy aircraft detected Italian freighter India; to prevent capture by British warships that were sure to come, the crew entered the port of Assab nearby. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • German submarine U-97 sank Norwegian ship Hørda 750 miles west of Land's End, England, United Kingdom at 1643 hours, killing the entire crew of 30. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Veniero sank British ship Agnete Maersk in the Atlantic Ocean, killing the entire crew. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank British ship Eastlea 40 miles east of Boa Vista, Cape Verde Islands, killing the entire crew of 37. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • It was announced that the Soviet Union had given Turkey an assurance that the USSR would stay neutral if Turkey found herself in conflict with a third power. ww2dbase [AC]
  • James Lacey, flying a Spitfire fighter, damaged a German Fw 190 aircraft. ww2dbase [James Lacey | AC]

24 Mar 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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Winston Churchill

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