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1941

World War II Timeline

January 5, 1941

Australian troops capture Bardia, Libya.

January 22, 1941

British and Australian troops capture Tobruk, Libya.

February 25, 1941

British troops capture Mogadishu, Italian Somaliland.

March 1, 1941

Bulgaria signs the Tripartite Pact, becoming part of the Axis.

March 11, 1941

The U.S. Congress passes the Lend-Lease Act giving Roosevelt the authority to sell, transfer, or lease war goods to the government of any Allied country, thereby effectively ending American neutrality.

March 25, 1941

Yugoslavia signs the Tripartite Pact, briefly becoming part of the Axis, but the pro-German government is toppled two days later.

March 30, 1941

The German Afrika Korps begins its offensive in North Africa.

April 10, 1941

The U.S. occupies Greenland.

April 6, 1941

Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece.

April 13, 1941

The USSR and Japan sign a neutrality pact.

April 17, 1941

Yugoslavia surrenders to Germany.

April 27, 1941

Germany captures Athens, Greece.

May 29, 1941

Germany pushes Britain back to Egyptian border.

May 27, 1941

Bismarck, German battleship, sunk by British warships while she was on maiden voyage.

May 31, 1941

German airborne troops defeat the British in Crete.

June 4, 1941

Britain invades Iraq and overthrows its pro-German government.

June 8, 1941

Britain invades Syria and overthrows its Vichy French government.

June 22, 1941

Germany invades Russia, thereby beginning Operation Barbarossa. Italy and Romania declare war on the USSR.

June 23, 1941

Hungary and Slovakia declare war on the USSR.

June 26, 1941

Finland declares war on the USSR.

July 7, 1941

The U.S. occupies Iceland.

July 25, 1941

Britain and Russia occupy Iran.

August 14, 1941

The U.S. and Britain sign the Atlantic Charter declaring their joint opposition to fascism, despite the U.S. still being nominally neutral.

September 5, 1941

Germany occupies Estonia.

September 15, 1941

Germany begins the Siege of Leningrad. It would not end until January 1944.

October 1, 1941

The U.S. begins supplying the USSR under the Lend-Lease Act.

October 2, 1941

Germany begins the drive towards Moscow.

October 16, 1941

The USSR evacuates its seat of government to Kuibyshev.

November 22, 1941

Britain gives Finland an ultimatum: halt all offensive operations against the USSR or face a war with the Allies.

December 5, 1941

Germany abandons its attack on Moscow; the USSR counterattacks.

December 7, 1941

Japan attacks the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

December 7, 1941

Japan invades Siam and Malaya.

December 8, 1941

The Allies -- except the USSR -- declare war on Japan.

December 11, 1941

Germany and Italy declare war on the U.S.

December 22, 1941

The Arcadia Conference between the U.S. and Britain begins in Washington, DC.

December 25, 1941

Japan invades Hong Kong.

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