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World War II Database

21 Apr 1941
  • German air and ground forces attacked British, Australian, and New Zealand troops at Thermopylae, Greece; dive bombers sank Greek torpedo boat Thyella, hospital ship Ellenis, hospital ship Esperos, and several freighters. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • In Operation MD2, British battleships HMS Warspite, HMS Barham, and HMS Valiant, supported by cruiser HMS Gloucester and 9 destroyers, bombarded Tripoli before dawn. Aircraft from carrier HMS Formidable dropped flares to aid the bombardment as it took place before dawn. Italian torpedo boat Partenope and 6 freighters were damaged. ww2dbase [Valiant | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Calchas 300 miles north of the Cape Verde Islands at 1500 hours; 24 were killed, 89 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Marine Corps established the temporary command Marine Aircraft, South Pacific to assist with administrative and logistical duties of 1st and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wings. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMCS Trillium rescued 24 survivors of the British merchant ship Empire Endurance, which was sunk between Iceland and Ireland on the previous day by German submarine U-73. ww2dbase [Trillium | CPC]
Greece Japan
  • The town of Nigata and the village of Hiro were merged into Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
Libya
  • 24 German bombers escorted by 21 fighters attacked Tobruk, Libya, sinking 2 ships and damaging another 2. RAF Hurricane fighters of No. 73 and No. 273 Squadrons shot down 4 German aircraft. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Starting after sundown and lasting until the next day, German bombers attacked Plymouth, England, United Kingdom, damaging cruiser HMS Kent, destroyer HMS Lewes, and destroyer HMS Leeds. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]

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