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3 Apr 1941
  • Overnight, RAF unsuccessfully attacked German cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau at Brest, France, but some German naval officers were killed when a bomb struck the Continental Hotel in the city. ww2dbase [Scharnhorst | CPC]
  • Axis troops marched toward Benghazi, Libya. British troops evacuated the city per General Philip Neame's orders. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German aircraft conducted a heavy raid on Bristol, England during the night. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Pál Teleki passed away. ww2dbase [Pál Teleki | CPC]
  • Italian Admiral Mario Bonetti's fleet of 5 destroyers and smaller warships, which had sailed out of Massawa, Italian East Africa on the previous day, was detected and attacked by a force of British aircraft. Without air cover, one by one the Italian ships became so damaged by bomb hits that they had to be abandoned. The last survivor, the torpedo boat Orsini, tried to flee back to Massawa but being badly damaged by the British air attacks, she eventually settled and had to be scuttled before reaching the port. With British ground forces only an hour away from entering the port the remaining Italian ships there (Acerbi and half a dozen small MAS boats) were destroyed with demolition charges. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | AC]
  • Winston Churchill recommended Richard O'Connor as the new British commander in Libya, but O'Connor declined. ww2dbase [Richard O'Connor | CPC]
  • German submarine U-76 sank Finnish ship Daphne 150 miles south of Iceland, killing both crew members. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Tigris sank German tanker Thorn 100 miles southwest of Saint-Nazaire, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German bombers sank British munitions ship Northern Prince 17 miles west of Crete, Greece. All crew members survived. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Leonardo da Vinci departed Bordeaux, France at 0830 hours and sailed northward down the Gironde estuary, reaching Le Verdon-sur-Mer, France at 1245 hours. At 1945 hours, she set out to sea for a war patrol. ww2dbase [Leonardo da Vinci | Bordeaux, Aquitaine | CPC]
  • The Iraqi Parliamentary government was overthrown by the military coup d’état that began two days prior. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | AC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • HMS Argus and HMS Ark Royal, ferrying 12 Hurricane fighters and 3 Skua dive bombers, successfully launched them to reinforce Malta, completing Operation Winch. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Winston Churchill warned Joseph Stalin (via the Soviet ambassador in London, England, United Kingdom) German troop movements into Poland detected by British intelligence. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | London, England | CPC]
  • Of the ten Norwegian Kvarstad ships that had escaped captivity from Gothenburg, Sweden two days prior, only two of them successfully reached Leith, Scotland, United Kingdom. They were B. P. Newton and Lind. B. P. Newton had carried on board 71 people. ww2dbase [Leith, Scotland | HM]

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
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

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