British schoolchildren receive plates of bacon and eggs, imported from America as part of the Lend-Lease program, Aug-Sept. 1941 (Imperial War Museum: D 4324)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 16, 1941: First US Lend-Lease food arrives in Britain.
British destroyers sink all eight ships in an Axis convoy off Tunisia; 1800 killed.
Firefighters from Ireland cross into Northern Ireland to help with fires in Belfast due to heavy Luftwaffe bombing.
Rescue workers search through the rubble of Eglington Street in Belfast, Northern Ireland, after a German Luftwaffe air raid, 7 May 1941 (Imperial War Museum: H 9476)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 15, 1941: Germans take Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.
German Luftwaffe bombs Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing 600-700.
Victory Ship SS Red Oak Victory at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park, Richmond, CA (former Kaiser Shipyards), May 2014 (Photo: Sarah Sundin)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 14, 1941: As the Axis powers take over Yugoslavia, King Peter II and the Yugoslavian government escape to Athens, Greece.
Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, California, lays the keel for its first ship, the Ocean Vanguard; 747 ships will be built in Richmond.
Pope Pius XII, painted by Peter McIntyre, 1944 (Archives New Zealand: AAAC 898 Box 128/ NCWA 202)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 13, 1941: USSR and Japan sign a five-year nonaggression pact.
On Easter, Pope Pius XII cancels usual service in St. Peter’s Square due to the war and says mass in a private chapel instead.
Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka signing the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact, 13 Apr 1941, Molotov and Stalin in background (public domain via Russian Archives and Wikipedia)
Bomb-damaged buildings and tram in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, April 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 141-1005)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 12, 1941: Germans take Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Hitler divides Yugoslavia between Germany, Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria, leaving Croatia as a puppet state.
Germans take Bardia, Libya.
Australian troops in a foxhole near Tobruk, Libya, 13 Aug 1941 (Imperial War Museum: E 4792)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 11, 1941: First military action by a US warship in WWII—destroyer USS Niblack drops depth charges on a supposed U-boat (a false sound contact).
German forces under Gen. Erwin Rommel surround Australian forces in Tobruk, Libya—siege will last until November 1941.
US forms Office of Price Administration to plan wage & price controls.
Movie premiere of Road to Zanzibar, starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby & Dorothy Lamour.
Yugoslavian infantry surrendering to Germans, 6 April 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 146-1975-036-24)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 10, 1941: Germans take Zagreb, capital of Croatia in Yugoslavia.
Germans establish puppet state in Croatia under Ante Pavelić, whose Ustase government will persecute and massacre Jews, Serbs, and Roma.
Adolf Hitler meets Ante Pavelić at the Berghof, 9 June 1941 (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)
Battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) during her shakedown cruise, May 1941 (US Navy photo 80-G-K-13972)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 9, 1941: Germans take Salonika, Greece.
US signs agreement with Danish ambassador to the US Henrik Kauffmann making Greenland a US protectorate, allowing US to build facilities; the agreement is approved by local officials in Greenland, but denounced by the government in Nazi-occupied Copenhagen.
Battleship USS North Carolina is commissioned, New York Navy Yard, NY, the first US battleship since 1923.
Danish Ambassador to the US Henrik Kauffmann, 1932 (public domain via Bibliothèque nationale de France)
Poster calling Italians to avenge the defeat in East Africa, 1941 (public domain)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 8, 1941: British take port of Massawa, Eritrea, securing Eritrea and driving Italians from last of their Red Sea ports, opening the sea to Allied ships.
British Lt.-Gen. Philip Neame, Lt.-Gen. Richard O’Connor, Maj.-Gen. Richard Parry, and Brig. John Coombe in captivity, 6 Apr 1941 (British government photo)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 7, 1941: Germans take Derna, Libya, and capture British generals Richard O’Connor and Philip Neame.
At Piraeus, Greece, British ammunition ship Clan Fraser explodes due to damage from Luftwaffe bombing raid on April 6, sinking 95 other ships and boats.
Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service is established.