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What happened in 1941?

Page Created
April 3rd, 2022
Last Updated
May 10th, 2023
World War 2

The beginning of 1941 is marked with British and Australian Forces attacking the Italians in North and East Africa. The Italians turn out to be no match for the Commonwealth troops and are forced to retreat. Over 25000 Italians are taken prisoner. The huge defeat of the Italians makes Adolf Hitler decide to send the Afrika Korps under command of Erwin Rommel to North Africa. Rommel quickly organises his troops and starts attacking the Commonwealth troops, regaining territory on them. In June, the Commonwealth troops in the desert unsuccessfully try to counterattack the German offensive.

In the Balkan Germany also comes the Italians to aid. In April they invade Yugoslavia and Greece. Yugoslavia is forced to surrender within two weeks. And even though Greece is supported by over 60000 Commonwealth troops their army must do the same only a few days later. The remainder of the Greek army and most Commonwealth troops evacuate to Crete. By the end of May the Germans launch an airborne assault against Crete. Ten days later the island is under full control of the Germans. Half of the Commonwealth troops are able to evacuate, the remainder is forced to surrender or join the partisan groups on the island.

In the North Atlantic Ocean German U boats and raiders sink massive amounts of tonnages. By the end of May the German battleship Bismarck is sent to destroy more convoys. The British try to stop the ship but loose the battleship HMS hood in their first contact a few days the Bismarck is hit by a torpedo from an aircraft of the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. With her rudder disabled by this hit, the Bismarck becomes an easy prey for British fleet. The next days the Bismarck is sunk.

In June Germany gets ready for invading the Soviet Union. It occupies Estonia and is moving troops to the borders. On June 22 Operation Barbarossa starts. The Germans use the blitzkrieg tactic again and gain ground fast. Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Albania join them. Finland attacks the Soviet Union from the North to regain the land lost during the earlier confrontation between the two countries. Turkey does not join them but signs a friendship treaty with Germany. The Soviet Union tries to counterattack every now and then but they out te be no match for the Axis. With winter coming the German advance comes to a halt.

In Asia Japan has started the second Sino Japanese war.

By October, the Germans reach the gates of Moscow, Leningrad, Sevastopol, and the Black Sea. At Moscow, the Soviets can counterattack and push the Germans back. The other cities are sieged by the German forces putting an enormous strain on the people who live in them.

On December 7th, the United States are pulled into the war with the attack of the Japan on the US Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbour. The next day Japan invades Hong Kong, Shanghai, and The Philippines. The Axis also declare war on the United States while most Allied countries declare war on Japan. Halfway December Japan also invades Borneo. By the end of 1941, the Japanese have captured Hong Kong and the armies of all invaded countries on retreat.