February 1941

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The following events occurred in February 1941:

February 1, 1941 (Saturday)[edit]

February 2, 1941 (Sunday)[edit]

February 3, 1941 (Monday)[edit]

February 4, 1941 (Tuesday)[edit]

February 5, 1941 (Wednesday)[edit]

February 6, 1941 (Thursday)[edit]

February 7, 1941 (Friday)[edit]

February 8, 1941 (Saturday)[edit]

February 9, 1941 (Sunday)[edit]

  • British forces captured El Agheila. Winston Churchill halted the British advance in North Africa and began withdrawing troops to assist in the defense of Greece.[13]
  • Force H of the Royal Navy bombarded Genoa, La Spezia and Livorno, inflicting heavy damage on Italian shore installations.[14]
  • Churchill gave an international radio address that concluded with a direct appeal to the United States: "Put your confidence in us. Give us your faith and your blessing, and under Providence all will be well. We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job."[15]
  • François Darlan became Vice-President of the Council of Vichy France.
  • Died: Reed Smoot, 79, American senator and leader of the LDS Church

February 10, 1941 (Monday)[edit]

  • Operation Colossus: A British paratrooper raid destroyed an aqueduct in Calitri, Italy. The operation had negligible impact on the war and 35 paratroopers were captured, but lessons learned from it helped to improve the effectiveness of later airborne operations.
  • The Luftwaffe bombed British-held Iceland.[5]
  • Britain severed diplomatic relations with Romania due to the presence of 500,000 German troops in the country.[2]
  • Merwin K. Hart told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the Lend-Lease bill would probably lead the country into the war and eventually result in the establishment of a fascist or communist dictatorship in the United States.[16]
  • Born: Michael Apted, film and television director, in Aylesbury, England

February 11, 1941 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • The British submarine HMS Snapper was lost in the Bay of Biscay to either a naval mine or a depth charge attack.
  • Wendell Willkie, having returned from England, appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and urged that the United States provide Britain with five to ten destroyers a month.[17]
  • Jews fought Germans and Dutch fascists in Amsterdam's Waterlooplein.[2]
  • The new Japanese ambassador to the United States, Kichisaburō Nomura, arrived in Washington.[18]
  • German submarine U-80 was commissioned.
  • Died: Rudolf Hilferding, 63, Austrian economist and politician (died of unknown causes while in custody of the Gestapo)

February 12, 1941 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Mussolini met Franco for a two-day conference at Bordighera in another attempt to persuade Spain to join the Axis and enter the war. Franco once again insisted that his country was simply not in a position to do so.[10]
  • German cruiser Admiral Hipper attacked the unescorted convoy SLS 64 west of Gibraltar and sank six steamers.[19]
  • Erwin Rommel arrived in Libya on a Junkers Ju 52.[20]
  • Germans closed off the Jewish Quarter of Amsterdam with barbed wire.[2]
  • Former King of Spain Alfonso XIII, living in exile in Rome, renounced the throne in favour of his third son Juan.[2]
  • Santiago, Chile celebrated the 400th anniversary of its founding.[21]
  • German submarine U-651 was commissioned.
  • Born: Naomi Uemura, explorer, in Hidaka, Japan (d. 1984)
  • Died: Richhpal Ram, 41, Indian recipient of the Victoria Cross (killed in action in Keren, Eritrea)

February 13, 1941 (Thursday)[edit]

  • German authorities ordered all gentiles to leave Amsterdam's Jewish Quarter.[2]
  • The British minister to Sofia said in a statement that "If the Germans occupy Bulgaria and make it a base against our ally, obviously we shall have to break off relations with Bulgaria and take whatever measures the situation requires."[22]
  • German submarine U-557 was commissioned.
  • Born: David Jeremiah, televangelist, in Toledo, Ohio; Sigmar Polke, painter and photographer, in Oels, Poland (d. 2010)
  • Died: Blind Boy Fuller, 33, American blues musician (pyemia)

February 14, 1941 (Friday)[edit]

  • British and South African forces captured Kismayo.[2]
  • The first units of the Afrika Korps arrived in Tripoli.[2]
  • Hitler met with the Yugoslavian Prime Minister Dragiša Cvetković at the Berghof, but was unable to convince Cvetković to sign on to the Tripartite Pact.[23]
  • Kichisaburō Nomura came to the White House to present his credentials to President Roosevelt. The president told the ambassador that "there are developments in the relations between the United States and Japan which cause concern," and Nomura replied that he would do all he could to establish better understandings between the two nations.[24]
  • Britain announced that beginning the next day it would consider Romania to be "territory under enemy occupation" and would regard the country as an "enemy destination for contraband purposes."[25]

February 15, 1941 (Saturday)[edit]

  • British and German troops engaged each other in North Africa for the first time in a skirmish near Sirte.[1]
  • A great fire broke out in the Spanish city of Santander.
  • Italy forced the United States to close consulates in Naples and Palermo.[2]
  • German submarine U-78 was commissioned.
  • Died: Guido Adler, 85, Bohemian-Austrian musicologist and writer

February 16, 1941 (Sunday)[edit]

  • The British light cruiser HMS Neptune, in dock for repairs at Chatham, was damaged again by German bombing.[1]
  • Born: Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, in Vyatskoye, Khabarovsk Krai, USSR (d. 2011) (year and place of birth are according to Soviet records; official North Korean biographies give year of birth as 1942)

February 17, 1941 (Monday)[edit]

February 18, 1941 (Tuesday)[edit]

February 19, 1941 (Wednesday)[edit]

February 20, 1941 (Thursday)[edit]

February 21, 1941 (Friday)[edit]

February 22, 1941 (Saturday)[edit]

February 23, 1941 (Sunday)[edit]

February 24, 1941 (Monday)[edit]

  • The British destroyer HMS Dainty was sunk by German bombers off Tobruk.
  • Hitler gave a speech in Munich on the 21st anniversary of the founding of the Nazi Party declaring that the U-boat offensive would intensify in the coming months.[33]
  • The results of a Gallup poll were published asking Americans, "Do you think the United States should try to keep Japan from seizing the Dutch East Indies and Singapore?" 56% said yes, 24% said no, 20% expressed no opinion. A different version of the question asked, "Do you think the United States should risk war with Japan, if necessary, in order to keep Japan from taking the Dutch East Indies and Singapore?" 46% said no, 39% said yes, 15% gave no opinion.[34]
  • Died: Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière, 54, German U-boat commander (plane crash)

February 25, 1941 (Tuesday)[edit]

February 26, 1941 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Northwest of Ireland, German submarine U-47 sank four ships from convoy OB-290.[36] Five Fw 200 patrol bombers of I/KG.40 arrived and sank seven more steamers of the convoy.
  • Franco belatedly replied to Hitler's three-week old letter, expressing support for the Axis but making exorbitant demands for the price of Spain's entry into the war.[37]
  • The February strike was largely put down.

February 27, 1941 (Thursday)[edit]

February 28, 1941 (Friday)[edit]


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  9. ^ "Wendell Willkie Issues Message to Germans". Townsville Bulletin. Townsville. February 7, 1941. p. 3.
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  12. ^ "Events occurring on Saturday, February 8, 1941". WW2 Timelines. 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  13. ^ "Events occurring on Sunday, February 9, 1941". WW2 Timelines. 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  14. ^ Morgan, Daniel; Taylor, Bruce (2011). U-Boat Attack Logs: A Complete Record of Warship Sinkings from Original Sources 1939–1945. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-84832-118-2.
  15. ^ "'Give Us the Tools to Finish the Job'". World War II Today. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  16. ^ "Says Bill Kills U. S. Democracy". Brooklyn Eagle. Brooklyn. February 10, 1941. p. 1.
  17. ^ "5 to 10 Warships a Month Willkie's Plea for Britain". Brooklyn Eagle. Brooklyn. February 11, 1941. p. 1.
  18. ^ "Events occurring on Tuesday, February 11, 1941". WW2 Timelines. 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
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  22. ^ "British Warn Bulgars Anew". Chicago Daily Tribune. Chicago: Chicago Daily Tribune. February 14, 1941. p. 1.
  23. ^ "Was war am 14. Februar 1941". chroniknet. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  24. ^ "Roosevelt Warns Japan's Envoy". Brooklyn Eagle. Brooklyn. February 14, 1941. p. 1.
  25. ^ "Rumania Gets Final Warning From Britain". Brooklyn Eagle. Brooklyn. February 14, 1941. p. 1.
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  28. ^ "President Signs Bill For a Coast Guard Reserve". Chicago Daily Tribune. Chicago: Chicago Daily Tribune. February 21, 1941. p. 2.
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  37. ^ Preston, Paul (1995). The Politics of Revenge: Fascism and the Military in 20th-century Spain. Routledge. pp. 70–71. ISBN 978-1-134-81113-7.
  38. ^ Girkout, Alexa (February 27, 2014). "The Oscar Envelope Decoded: Design Secrets Behind the Winners' Cards". Pret-a-Reporter. Retrieved December 31, 2015.