b-blog

Today in World War II History—April 13, 1941

Pope Pius XII, painted by Peter McIntyre, 1944 (Archives New Zealand: AAAC 898 Box 128/ NCWA 202)

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)

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)

Today in World War II History—April 12, 1941

Bomb-damaged buildings and tram in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, April 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 141-1005)

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.

Today in World War II History—April 11, 1941

Australian troops in a foxhole near Tobruk, Libya, 13 Aug 1941 (Imperial War Museum: E 4792)

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.

Today in World War II History—April 10, 1941

Yugoslavian infantry surrendering to Germans, 6 April 1941 (German Federal Archive: Bild 146-1975-036-24)

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)

Adolf Hitler meets Ante Pavelić at the Berghof, 9 June 1941 (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Today in World War II History—April 9, 1941

Battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) during her shakedown cruise, May 1941 (US Navy photo 80-G-K-13972)

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)

Danish Ambassador to the US Henrik Kauffmann, 1932 (public domain via Bibliothèque nationale de France)

Today in World War II History—April 8, 1941

Poster calling Italians to avenge the defeat in East Africa, 1941 (public domain)

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.

Today in World War II History—April 7, 1941

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)

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.

Today in World War II History—April 6, 1941

German 15 cm sFH 37(t) howitzer shelling Metaxas Line fortifications, Greece, early Apr 1941 (German Federal Archives: Bild 101I-163-0319-07A)

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.

Today in World War II History—April 5, 1941

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)

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.

Today in World War II History—April 4, 1941

German troops advancing up the coast road toward British lines, Libya, spring 1941 (German Federal Archives: Bild 1011-782-0049-21)

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.