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18 Apr 1941
  • German 3rd Regiment and 2nd Panzer Division crossed the Pinios River in Greece while German 6th Mountain Division reached Mount Olympus in Greece, putting the Australian and New Zealand troops at the Pinios Gorge in danger. As German troops continued to move south in Greece, Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis committed suicide in the evening; in response to this suicide, Athens was placed under martial law by the government to maintain stability. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Indian 20th Infantry Brigade landed at Basra, Iraq unopposed. It was originally based in Karachi, India and had arrived in Iraq in 8 transports which were escorted by carrier HMS Hermes, cruiser HMS Emerald, cruiser HMNZS Leander, 6 sloops, and gunboat HMS Cockchafer. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Urge sank Italian tanker Franco Martelli in the Bay of Biscay north of Spain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Newark and HMS Volunteer collided just off the northern coast of Ireland. Both were seriously damaged and would be under repair at Belfast until Aug 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Australian General Leslie Morshead reorganized the defenses at Tobruk, Libya, creating additional reserve brigades and building secondary defensive lines, all in order to create additional depth to the city's defenses. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis attacked Egyptian passenger liner ZamZam without warning 1,400 miles west of South Africa at 0600 hours, mistaking it for a British troop ship. All 129 crew and 202 passengers escaped in lifeboats before the Germans scuttled the ship with demolition charges. Life magazine photographer David Sherman, who was aboard ZamZam during the attack, took a photograph of Atlantis. ww2dbase [Atlantis | CPC]
  • German dive bombers sank empty British troopship HMS Fiona 50 miles northwest of Sidi Barrani, Egypt, killing 54. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Navy Admiral Husband Kimmel wrote a letter to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Harold Stark requesting additional resources for base construction at Wake Island and for a US Marine Corps defense battalion to be stationed there. ww2dbase [Husband Kimmel | CPC]
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for the future Consolidated-Vultee aircraft plant in Fort Worth, Texas, United States was held, attended by General Gerald Brant and local civic leader Amon Carter. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The United States declared that the Pan-American Security Zone, last defined with the 3 Oct 1939 Declaration of Panama, to be extended to 26 degrees west longitude, 2,300 nautical miles east of New York on the east coast of the United States. It was just 50 nautical miles short of Iceland, which was a major Allied convoy staging area. ww2dbase [Invasion and Occupation of Iceland | CPC]
France United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt told a Press Conference that he did not think that public opinion in America was yet fully aware of the gravity of the military crisis in Europe or its implications for the safety of the United States. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
Photo(s) dated 18 Apr 1941
German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis immediately after she had stopped Egyptian passenger liner ZamZam in the South Atlantic, 18 Apr 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

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