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.
German 15 cm sFH 37(t) howitzer shelling Metaxas Line fortifications, Greece, early Apr 1941 (German Federal Archives: Bild 101I-163-0319-07A)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 6, 1941: Germans invade Yugoslavia and Greece.
Luftwaffe bombing destroys Belgrade, Yugoslavia, killing 17,000.
British and South African troops take Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
Infantryman in herringbone twill fatigues, kneeling in front of M3 half-track, holds and sights an M1 Garand rifle, Fort Knox, KY, June 1942 (Library of Congress: fsac 1a35212)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 5, 1941: US Army authorizes herringbone twill fatigue uniforms (HBTs).
In San Francisco, Castro and Fillmore cable cars are replaced by buses.
German troops advancing up the coast road toward British lines, Libya, spring 1941 (German Federal Archives: Bild 1011-782-0049-21)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 4, 1941: German forces under Gen. Erwin Rommel take Benghazi, Libya.
US allows Royal Navy ships to be repaired in US ports.
Foreign Ministers Aleksandar Cincar-Marković of Yugoslavia and László Bárdossy of Hungary signing the Treaty of Eternal Friendship between Yugoslavia and Hungary; Hungarian Prime Minister Pál Teleki (with glasses) is on the left, Budapest, 14 March 1941 (public domain via Wikipedia)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 3, 1941: Hungarian Prime Minister Pál Teleki commits suicide because of his government’s decision to allow German troops to cross Hungarian territory and invade Yugoslavia, violating their treaty of friendship.
In Iraq, former prime minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani overthrows Regent Abdul Illah and forms a pro-Axis government.
Recruiting poster for RAF Bomber Command, WWII
80 Years Ago—Apr. 2, 1941: RAF drops 75,000 tea bags to increase Dutch morale, printed with “Holland will arise. Keep your courage up.”
Clash between union and non-union miners in Harlan, Kentucky, leaves four dead.
Regent Abdul Illah of Iraq (British government photo: photographer Cecil Beaton)
80 Years Ago—Apr. 1, 1941: In Iraq, military officers under pro-Axis former prime minister Rashid Ali al-Gaylani begin a coup to overthrow pro-British Regent Abdul Illah.
Italians declare Asmara, capital of Eritrea and last Italian stronghold, an open city; British & Indian troops occupy Asmara.
Bomb bay of an Avro Lancaster of No.57 Squadron RAF at Scampton, Lincolnshire, loaded with a 4000-lb impact-fused HC bomb (‘cookie’) and 12 Small Bomb Containers (SBCs) loaded with incendiaries, WWII (Imperial War Museum: CH 18371)
80 Years Ago—Mar. 31, 1941: RAF first uses 4000-lb “Cookie” bomb in raid on Emden, Germany.
In North Africa, German troops under Gen. Erwin Rommel attack British and take Mersa Brega, Libya.