Diary March 31, 1941

German tanks near Mersa Brega

Diary for Monday, March 31, 1941: North Africa Rommel breaks through British defences at Mersa Brega, near El Agheila. British withdraw, abandoning 50 armoured cars and 30 light tanks. Sea War Mediterranean: British cruiser Bonaventure sunk by Italian submarine Ambra… learn more

Diary March 30, 1941

bombs are exploding close to the German capital ships

Diary for Sunday, March 30, 1941: Air and Sea War Blockade of Brest: 109 RAF bombers attack Gneisenau and Scharnhorst (night March 30-31) in first of 63 raids on the battlecruisers by bombers and torpedo planes during 1941. Neutrals USA:… learn more

Diary March 29, 1941

Weekend day off of German soldiers

Diary for Saturday, March 29, 1941 East Africa South Africans occupy Diredawa, third city of Ethiopia, with important railway repair shops. learn more

Diary March 28, 1941

Italian cruisers during the Battle of Matapan

Diary for Friday, March 28, 1941: Sea War BATTLE OF MATAPAN: Italian Fleet is attacked by British torpedo-bombers while returning from unsuccessful sortie into Aegean Sea. Battleship Vittorio Veneto and cruiser Pola both hit; former escapes but latter crippled. Heavy… learn more

Diary March 27, 1941

morning after the Coup d'etat in Belgrade

Diary for Thursday, March 27, 1941: Politics Yugoslavia: BLOODLESS COUP D’ETAT IN BELGRADE. Pro-Axis Prime Minister Tsvetkovich and Foreign Minister Cincar-Markovich arrested; Air Force CinC, General Simovic, forms all-Party anti-Nazi Government. Regent Prince Paul resigns and 17-year-old Prince Peter proclaimed… learn more

Diary March 26, 1941

'Barchini Esplosivi'

Diary for Wednesday, March 26, 1941: Sea War Mediterranean: Italian one-man explosive motorboats (barchini esplosivi), launched from destroyers, cripple British cruiser York and sink Norwegian tanker in Suda Bay, Crete (York bombed May 20 and abandoned May 22). Home Fronts… learn more

Diary March 25, 1941

Yugoslavia signs the Tripartite Pact

Diary for Tuesday, March 25, 1941: Politics YUGOSLAVIA SIGNS TRIPARTITE PACT in Vienna, allying herself with the Axis Powers. North Africa Marshal Graziani, CinC Italian Armies in Libya and Chief of General Staff, retires at his own request. learn more

Diary March 24, 1941

Half-truck of Rommel's Afrika Korps near the fort at El Agheila

Diary for Monday, March 24, 1941: North Africa ROMMEL OPENS HIS FIRST OFFENSIVE in the Western Desert and captures El Agheila. Sea War Mediterranean: British submarine Rorqual lays mines west of Sicily which sink 2 merchant ships and a torpedo… learn more

Diary March 23, 1941

ground crew of a Stuka dive-bomber

Diary for Sunday, March 23, 1941: Air War Ju 87 Stukas with fighter escort carry out major raid on Malta: 13 Stukas shot down (2 RAF fighters lost in air combat), but British decide on immediate withdrawal of all bombers… learn more

Diary March 22, 1941

Diary for Saturday, March 22, 1941: Sea War Atlantic: German battlecruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst return to Brest having sunk 22 ships totalling 116,000 t during ‘Operation Berlin‘. Neutrals Vichy France: Britain gives its permission for emergency supplies of American flour… learn more

Diary March 21, 1941

assembly hall tank factory

Diary for Friday, March 21, 1941: North Africa Italian garrison of Jarabub, Southern Libya, surrenders to British and Australians after 15-week siege. Neutrals USA: New York bus strike ends after 11 days. learn more

Diary March 20, 1941

Kristiansand in March 1941

Diary for Thursday, March 20, 1941: Air War RAF and South African AF bomb Italian positions around Keren (Eritrea). learn more

Diary March 19, 1941

Underground Station in London as air raid shelter

Diary for Wednesday, March 19, 1941: Air War Britain: Heaviest night raid on London since last December. learn more

Diary March 18, 1941

Ethiopian guerillias are shooting on an Italian fort.

Diary for Tuesday, March 18, 1941: East Africa Ethiopian ‘Patriot’ tribesmen attempt to surround Italian garrison at Debra Marcos. Politics British Foreign Minister, Eden, meets his Turkish counterpart in Cyprus for talks. learn more

Diary March 17, 1941

‘Polizia dell Africa Italiana’

Diary for Monday, March 17, 1941: East Africa Italians launch unsuccessful counter-attack in Eritrea. Home Fronts Britain: Jam and marmalade rationed to 8 oz. (225 g) per person per month. learn more

Diary March 16, 1941

Depth-charge explosion

Diary for Sunday, March 16, 1941: Sea War Atlantic: Two U-boat ‘aces’ Kretschmer (U-99) and Schepke (U-100) lost while attacking Convoy HX.112. U-100 rammed by HMS Vanoc; U-99 depth-charged by HMS Walker. Kretschmer captured – his total score is 266,629… learn more

Diary March 15, 1941

Allied merchantmen sinking

Diary for Saturday, March 15, 1941: Sea War Atlantic: German U-boats U-105 and U-106 hound Convoy SL.68 for a week off West Africa, sinking 7 ships and damaging battleship Malaya. learn more

Diary March 14, 1941

Night start of a German bomber against Britain.

Diary for Friday, March 14, 1941: Air War Britain: Night raids on Glasgow and Sheffield. learn more

Diary March 13, 1941

Group of German soldiers ready for appeal

Diary for Thursday, March 13, 1941: Air War Britain: Devastating night raids on Glasgow and Clydeside (March 13-14 and 14-15); 35,000 homeless in Clydebank (total population 47,000). 460 killed, 750 seriously injured. Home Fronts Britain: Death of Tom Mann, Trade… learn more

Diary March 12, 1941

bombs for a Handley Page Halifax

Diary for Wednesday, March 12, 1941: Air War Germany – RAF raid on Berlin: first of 10 heavy raids during 1941. Halifax four-engined bombers participate in night raid on Hamburg. Home Fronts Britain: Churchill describes Lease-Lend Act as a ‘new… learn more