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World War II Database

25 Mar 1941
  • British and Indian troops attacked Italian positions on the heights above the Dongolaas Gorge in Eritrea, Italian East Africa at 0300, capturing 2 small hills and 500 prisoners by 0530 hours, gaining control of the road through the gorge. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Thor sank British liner Britannia 750 miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa. 203 crew and 281 passengers (most of which were British military personnel) took to lifeboats. Thor began to rescue the survivors, but after taking on only one man, Thor detected British radio transmissions and fled the area before British warship arrived (which never came). 255 survivors of Britannia would be lost. Later on the same day, Thor sank Swedish merchant ship Trolleholm, capturing the entire crew of 31. ww2dbase [Thor | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran captured empty Canadian tanker Canadolite in the Mid-Atlantic about halfway between British West Africa and Brazil; Canadolite was sent to Brest, France as a prize ship. ww2dbase [Kormoran | CPC]
  • Rodolfo Graziani stepped down as the Governor-General of Italian Libya, succeeded by Italo Gariboldi. ww2dbase [Rodolfo Graziani | CPC]
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
  • Two Swordfish aircraft squadrons of HMS Eagle were temporarily transferred to Port Sudan, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. ww2dbase [Eagle | Port Sudan | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 9,956-ton British steam turbine merchant Beaverbrai was sunk northwest of the Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom after being bombed on a voyage from Liverpool, England, United Kingdom to St John's, Newfoundland with general cargo and mail. ww2dbase [HM]
Austria
  • Prime Minister Dragisa Cvetkovic of Yugoslavia signed the Tripartite Pact at Vienna, Austria; in secret, Yugoslavia had also allowed German troops to travel on Yugoslavian railroads for an attack on Greece. Upon hearing of the signing of this document, anti-Axis demonstrations escalated in Belgrade. ww2dbase [The Tripartite Pact | Vienna | TH]
Greece
  • Italian destroyers Crispi and Sella departed Leros, Dodecanese Islands in Greece, each carrying three 2-ton motor assault boats loaded with 300-kilogram explosives. At 2330 hours, the destroyers released the motor boats 10 miles off Suda Bay, Crete, Greece to attack British warships. ww2dbase [MT | Crete | CPC]
Japan
  • Captain Kiichi Hasegawa was assigned the commanding officer of Akagi. ww2dbase [Akagi | CPC]
Romania
  • Petre Dumitrescu was named the commanding officer of Romanian 3rd Army. ww2dbase [Petre Dumitrescu | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Jams and marmalade ration in Britain was reduced to 8 ounces per person per month and meat ration cut to 6 ounces per person per week. ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 25 Mar 1941
Greek Army Major Ioannis Paparrodou in Voskopoj√ę (Moscopole), Albania, 25 Mar 1941Pilot Officer Kennedy of No. 47 Squadron RAF Detachment inspecting his Wellesley bomber after engagement with two CR.42 fighters, Agordat, Eritrea, 25 Mar 1941; his gunner Sergeant German was killed

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
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944