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28 Mar 1941
  • 150 miles off Cape Matapan, Greece at 0635 hours, Italian seaplane spotted a group of four Allied cruisers, and three Italian cruisers moved in to attack, engaging in combat at 0812 hours, to be joined by the big guns of Italian battleships at 1055 hours; after the morning's exchange of shellfire, all four Allied cruisers were damaged by near misses. At 1200 and 1509 hours, Allied torpedo bombers from HMS Formidable attacked, putting battleship Vittorio Veneto out of action for about 90 minutes at the cost of one aircraft. At 1936 hours, HMS Formidable's aircraft returned, joined by land-based aircraft from Crete, Greece, putting cruiser Pola out of action, but failed to catch Vittorio Veneto as she had received temporary repairs and was already en route back to Taranto, Italy. After dark, British battleships HMS Barham, HMS Valiant, and HMS Warspite moved in within 3.5 kilometers of the Italian cruisers undetected, opening fire at 2330 hours on the unsuspecting Italians. ww2dbase [Battle of Matapan | Warspite | CPC]
  • Armored cars of Indian 4th Division and Indian 5th Division pursued Italian troops withdrawing from Keren, Eritrea, Italian East Africa. Italian rear guards fought a series of delay action engagements, slowing Allied advances by taking advantage of the terrain. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | CPC]
  • Italian torpedo boat Chinotto hit a British mine and sank off Palermo, Sicily, Italy. The mines in the region were laid by British submarine HMS Rorqual on 25 Mar 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Utmost sank German ship Heraklea and damaged German ship Ruhr off the coast of Tunisia, Italian North Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In atrocious weather, Pilot Officer Gordon Green, flying a photo-reconnaissance Spitfire fighter from RAF St Eval in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, took a brief break in the clouds covering Brest, France to make two swift passes over the harbour. Despite facing ferocious German anti-aircraft fire he managed to bring home precious photographs revealing the location of the missing battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | AC]
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka again met with German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Yosuke Matsuoka | Berlin | CPC]
  • Before dawn in Berlin, Germany, General Franz Halder completed the German invasion plan for Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [Franz Halder | Berlin | CPC]
Yugoslavia Photo(s) dated 28 Mar 1941
Vittorio Veneto after being struck by aerial torpedo at Battle of Matapan, 28 Mar 1941Hans Lammers, Wilhelm Keitel, and Georg von Stahmer in conversation with Yosuke Matsuoka at the Japanese Embassy in Berlin, Germany, 28 Mar 1941Damaged Vittorio Veneto after Battle of Matapan, late Mar 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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