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World War II Database

15 Oct 1941
  • Japanese Navy Captain Shutoku Miyazato, Chief Equipping Officer of Battleship No. 1, was promoted to the rank of rear admiral. ww2dbase [Yamato | CPC]
  • US Marine Corps Major James P. S. Devereux relieved Major Lewis A. Hohn as the commanding officer of the Wake Island Marine Detachment. Devereux also took on the responsibility of the island's overall commander. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British authorities reported that, in the week ending at 0600 hours on 15 Oct 1941, an estimated 61 people were killed and 69 seriously injured by German bombing. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • German submarine U-553 attacked Allied convoy SC-48 500 miles west of Ireland at 0815 hours, sinking British ship Silvercedar (21 killed, 26 survived) and Norwegian ship Ila (14 killed, 7 survived). Merchant ship Silverelm attempted to ram the submarine, and hours later Canadian destroyer HMCS Columbia attacked with depth charges, but none damaged U-553. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-558, en route to attack Allied convoy SC-48, came across and sank Canadian ship Vancouver Island in the Atlantic Ocean at 2317 hours; all aboard were lost. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German SS-Brigadef√ľhrer Franz Stahlecker of Einsatzgruppe A sent a 130-page report to Berlin, Germany on this date. He reported that, among other things, 71,105 Jews had been liquidated in Lithuania and 30,000 Jews in Latvia, and 3,387 Communists in Russia. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • ShCh-320 fired a torpedo at a merchant ship north of Danzig Bay at 1115 hours; the torpedo missed. ww2dbase [ShCh-320 | CPC]
  • The new Australian Prime Minister, John Curtin, announced that the Australian garrison in Tobruk, Libya would be withdrawn immediately. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in fit of rage, bitterly complained to Beaverbrook: "We are at war with almost every country, including Australia!" ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | John Curtin | AC]
Germany Japan
  • Tatsuta Maru departed Yokohama, Japan for the United States; she carried American nationals who wished to return to the US due to the rapidlyl deteriorating US-Japan relations. She would maintain radio silence throughout the entire journey. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | Yokohama, Kanagawa | CPC]
  • Raizo Tanaka was promoted to the rank of rear admiral. ww2dbase [Raizo Tanaka | CPC]
  • Rear Admiral Senkichi Ozawa was made the commanding officer of Maizuru Naval Arsenal in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. ww2dbase [Maizuru Naval Arsenal | Maizuru, Kyoto | CPC]
Poland
  • German SS General Hans Frank, the Nazi Governor-General of occupied Poland, issued a general order proclaiming that any Jews leaving the Warsaw ghetto would be liable for the death penalty as would any person who knowingly gave shelter to such Jews. ww2dbase [Hans Frank | AC]
Russia
  • In Russia, German 1st Panzer Division turned northwest, thus away from Moscow, to attack Soviet Northwestern Front from the rear. The Soviet GKO ordered the NKVD, various agencies, and various foreign legations to evacuate from Moscow to Kuibyshev (now Samara). ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | Moscow | CPC]
  • The Lubyanka Prison staff began the evacuation from Moscow, Russia, transferring the first group of prisoners to Kuibyshev (now Samara) and Saratov on this day. ww2dbase [Lubyanka Building | Moscow | CPC]
Ukraine
  • In southern Ukraine, Soviet troops set off explosive charges to destroy port facilities and defensive structures at Odessa in preparation of the evacuation of 35,000 Soviet troops from Odessa to Sevastopol in Russia, which would commence after sundown. ww2dbase [Siege of Odessa | Odessa | CPC]

15 Oct 1941 Interactive Map

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
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945