80 Years Ago—Feb. 6, 1941: Australian troops take Benghazi, Libya.
Posts Categorized: Today WWII History
80 Years Ago—Feb. 5, 1941: Battle of Beda Fomm begins: British and Australian troops encircle bulk of Italian army in Libya. US Navy designates a new class of ship—the auxiliary aircraft vessel (AVG), later known as escort carriers—able to be constructed quickly on merchant ship hulls.
80 Years Ago—Feb. 4, 1941: USO (United Service Organizations) is established to provide social clubs and entertainment for troops. Three Norwegians are sentenced to death for spying, the first death sentences of the Nazi occupation of Norway. Program for Procurement of Dried Plasma for the Armed Forces is established by the American Red Cross at… Read more »
80 Years Ago—Feb. 3, 1941: US Navy establishes Pacific Fleet under Adm. Husband Kimmel, Atlantic Fleet under Adm. Ernest King, and Asiatic Fleet under Adm. Thomas Hart. German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau start raids on British shipping in the Atlantic, will sink 22 ships by March 22.
80 Years Ago—Feb. 2, 1941: In the Battle of Agordat, Indian & British forces take Italian fortifications at Barentu, Eritrea, and take 8000 POWs.
80 Years Ago—Feb. 1, 1941: German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper leaves Brest, France to raid British shipping in the North Atlantic for the next four months. Japan begins rice rationing to save shipping space: 330 grams per day. US Marine Corps forms its first divisions, the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions for the East and… Read more »
80 Years Ago—Jan. 31, 1941: Vichy France signs Japanese-negotiated armistice with Thailand. Movie premiere of Abbott & Costello’s hit comedy Buck Privates, featuring the Andrews Sisters singing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.” Movie premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s screwball comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith, starring Carole Lombard & Robert Montgomery.
80 Years Ago—Jan. 30, 1941: Germany announces any ship bringing goods to Britain will be torpedoed. Australians take Derna, Libya. Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) publishes his first cartoon in PM Magazine encouraging US intervention in the war. (See the wonderful collection at Dr. Seuss Political Cartoons. Special Collection & Archives, UC San Diego Library).
80 Years Ago—Jan. 29, 1941: US and Britain begin secret joint discussions in Washington, which will lead to the ABC-1 Plan in case of America entering war against Germany. Ioannis Metaxas, prime minister of Greece, dies of throat cancer, replaced by Alexandros Koryzis.
80 Years Ago—Jan. 28, 1941: Thai B-10 bombers hit Sisophon, French Indochina in the final combat in the Franco-Thai War.