Greek prisoners of war march past German armoured cars.
Southern Europe!
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01/01/1941 Germany begins negotiations with Bulgaria to allow German troops to use Bulgaria as a springboard for their attack on Greece.
03/01/1941 The Luftwaffe’s X Fliegerkorps arrives in Italy.
10/01/1941 Heavy air attacks begin on Malta.
11/01/1941 Hitler confirms in Directive No.22, his intentions to send military support to the Italians in Albania. The operation is to be named 'Alpine Violets'.
13/01/1941 Hitler demands that Bulgaria joins the Tripartite pact, but the Bulgarians play for time.
29/01/1941 Greek Premier, General. Metaxis dies aged 70. M. A. Korizis takes over.
 
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03/02/1941
33 Italian Fascist Party leaders are dispatched to bolster morale on the Albanian front.
08/02/1941 The first convoy of the newly formed Afrika Korps under the command of Lieutenant General Rommel leaves Naples for Tripoli in Libya.
09/02/1941 In a radio broadcast, Churchill warns Bulgaria against joining the Tripartite pact.
14/02/1941 Hitler starts to apply pressure on Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite pact.
23/02/1941 Alexandros Korizis, the Greek premier formally accepts Britain's offer of troops.
25/02/1941 British Commando's land on the Italian held Island of Castelorizzo in the Dodecanese.
28/02/1941 British Commando's, having been left to hold Castelorizzo without out Naval support or reinforcement, are forced to evacuate when the Italians land troops on the Island.
 
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01/03/1941 Bulgaria finally joins the Tripartite pact after the discovery of a planned pro-British coup. Italian civilian rations are halved in order to allow food exports to Germany.
02/03/1941 The German Twelfth Army moves into Bulgaria. Great Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with Bulgaria.
04/03/1941 Hitler increases the pressure on Yugoslavia to join the Tripartite pact by inviting Prince Paul, the regent, to Berchtesgaden. Hitler demands that he allows German troops to pass through Yugoslavia for an attack on Greece. In return, the port of Salonika and part of Macedonia will be ceded to Yugoslavia.
07/03/1941 British and Commonwealth troops begin to arrive in Greece.
09/03/1941 The Italians launch another offensive against the Greek 1st Army in Albania, but it makes very little progress.
11/03/1941 British diplomats from Bulgaria reach Istanbul, although 2 people are killed when a bomb in their luggage explodes.
20/03/1941 Four Yugoslav ministers resign rather than accept German terms.
25/03/1941 Under heavy pressure Yugoslavia finally signs the Tripartite pact.
27/03/1941 A coup in Yugoslavia by General Simonic and other army officers overthrows the pro-German government. King Peter takes control and a new cabinet is formed.
28/03/1941 Anti-Axis demonstrations in Yugoslavia.
 
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06/04/1941 German, Italian and Hungarian forces begin the invasion of Yugoslavia and Greece. The Luftwaffe carries out several devastating bombing raids against Belgrade and all but wipes out the Yugoslav air force on the ground.
07/04/1941 German troops capture Skopje in Macedonia forcing the Yugoslav forces to withdraw in the south of the country, which exposes the Greek flank. British promise allegiance to Yugoslavia. Germans pushed towards Salonika.
09/04/1941 German forces capture Nis and Monastir in Yugoslavia. German tanks enter Thessalonika, trapping the Greek 2nd Army in the Metaxas line, forcing them to surrender.
10/04/1941 Germans enter Zagreb, allowing Ante Pavelic, the Croatian Fascist leader, to return from Italian exile and proclaim the independent state of Croatia, with him as Poglavnik (leader). British forces under General Wilson withdraw from the Aliakmon line.
11/04/1941 Italian forces begin their effort to push down the Yugoslav coast in order to link up with their forces in Albania.
12/04/1941 The Yugoslav capital Belgrade, surrenders. Greek and British forces fall back to the Mount Olympus line in Greece.
13/04/1941 German forces launch an attack against the Greek and British positions near Mt. Olympus. The Italian 11th Army in Albania begins to push the Greek Army back.
14/04/1941 Germans break through the new Greek frontline. The Greek Army of Epirus withdraws from Albania.
15/04/1941 German troops occupy Sarajevo in Yugoslavia.
17/04/1941 Yugoslavia surrenders, with the Wehrmacht taking 334, 000 prisoners. King Peter of Yugoslavia is flown to Athens and then on to London by the RAF.
18/04/1941 The German 12th Army forces a crossing of the river Aliakmon between the Greek First Army and the British forces. Athens is placed under martial law. Greek Prime Minister, Alexandros Korizis commits suicide.
19/04/1941 The Germans attack south through Greece on a wide front. The Greek Government agrees that British forces should be evacuated. General Wilson plans to make a strong stand at Thermopylae, to cover the withdrawal of his troops to ports in the Peloponnese.
20/04/1941 British forces in Greece retreat from Mt. Olympus. King George II heads new Greek government.
21/04/1941 The Greek Army surrenders to the 1st SS Leibstandarte Division. Its commander, Sepp Dietrich accepts this, without referring to his superiors. All Greek soldiers were allowed to return home, while officers were allowed to retain their side arms. Mussolini, upon hearing of this is furious and makes the Greeks sign another surrender document with much harsher terms.
23/04/1941 King George II of Greece and his government are flown to Crete by the RAF.
24/04/1941 German forces in Greece break through British positions at Thermopylae and land paratroops on Greek islands in the north-eastern Aegean. The British expeditionary force begins the evacuation of its troops to Egypt and Crete.
25/04/1941 German paratroops seize Corinth and cross the Corinth Canal to the Peloponnese. Hitler issues Directive No.28, ordering the preparation of plans to capture Crete. The basic plan is to involve 22,750 paratroops, 650 combat aircraft and is to be launched on the 18th May 1941, although this is put back to the 20th May 1941.
27/04/1941 German troops occupy Athens.
28/04/1941 The British evacuation of Greece is completed.
29/04/1941 British intelligence 'Ultra', intercept numerous messages giving a positive indication that the Germans plan to attack Crete.
30/04/1941 All of Greece is under German and Italian occupation. During the campaign, the Greeks lose 15,700 killed and 300,000 prisoners. The British lose 2,000 killed and 10,000 made prisoner, while the Germans only suffer about 2,000 killed and missing.
 
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05/05/1941 Major General Bernard Freyberg VC, is appointed by General Wavell to command approximately 40,000 British, New Zealand, Australian and Greek troops which are stationed on Crete. While a strong force on paper, these troops have virtually no artillery or tanks and are very disorganised after their hurried evacuation from Greece.
11/05/1941 German troops complete the occupation of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.
15/05/1941 The Luftwaffe begin preparatory attacks against Crete.
16/05/1941 Last British reinforcements arrive in Crete.
18/05/1941 Italy annexes the Yugoslavian territory of Dalmatia.
19/05/1941 In order to save life's and aircraft in the face of total Luftwaffe supremacy, the RAF evacuates all its aircraft and personnel from Crete to Egypt.
20/05/1941 After initial air attacks by dive-bombers of the VIII Flieger Korps, German paratroops of the 7th Flieger Division carried in 490 Ju-52 transports of XI Fliegerkorps, land at Maleme, Canea, Retimo and Heraklion airfields. They suffer very heavy losses as the British and Commonwealth troops put up fierce resistance and by nightfall have only secured Maleme airfield, although it still remains under fire from the British. However, the capture of Maleme allows the Germans to begin sending reinforcements by sea during the night.
21/05/1941 80 Ju-52s crash land a regiment of 5th Gebirgsjäger Division to support the hard-pressed paratroopers who are defending Maleme airfield. A British counter-attack at Maleme airfield is repulsed by the now reinforced paratroopers.
22/05/1941 Fierce fighting continues as British troops begin to pull back from Maleme airfield towards Suda Bay in order to regroup and protect their main point of supply.
23/05/1941 Further German attempts to land troops by sea on Crete are repulsed as heavy fighting continues around Canea.
24/05/1941 Heavy German bombing of Crete continues all day. The King of Greece leaves for Cairo.
25/05/1941 The Germans decide to go on the offensive having now received substantial reinforcement through Maleme airfield.
27/05/1941 Germans paratroopers take Canea and with it the main British supply point of Suda Bay. This convinces Major General Freyberg VC, that the situation has gone against the British and that he must withdraw from Crete to save what he can.
28/05/1941 British and Commonwealth forces begin evacuating Crete through the port of Sphakia on the southern coast of Crete. The withdrawal is to be covered by two recently landed Commando Battalions. However the garrisons at Retimo and Heraklion will be evacuated separately.
 
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01/06/1941 The evacuation of Crete is completed, with 17,000 British, Commonwealth and Greek troops being rescued, although the Australians lose more than half their contingent. Final figures for the British are 16,500 killed, wounded or captured, along with a large number of warships sunk or damaged, while the Germans lose about 6,200 men.
02/06/1941 Hitler and Mussolini meet at the Brenner Pass on the German-Italian border to discuss the progress of the war.
05/06/1941 The Germans say that 15,000 prisoners were taken on Crete. British later say that 12,970 were unaccounted for.
09/06/1941 Italian casualties for May announced as 1,948 killed, 5,204 wounded and 27,292 missing.
14/06/1941 Croatia joins the Tripartite Pact.
28/06/1941 Albania declares war on the Soviet Union.
 
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08/07/1941 Germany and Italy announce the dissolution of the state of Yugoslavia, with large portions annexed to Italy.
 
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07/08/1941 Mussolini’s second son Bruno dies in air crash.
 
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02/12/1941 Hitler issues Directive No.38 which tasks Kesselring as C-in-C South, with gaining air superiority and naval supremacy over the area between southern Italy and Libya in order to deny British supplies to Malta and Libya. To assist with this, he was reinforced by Fleiger Korps II, which was transferred from Russia.
11/12/1941 Italy declares war on the U.S.A.
12/12/1941 Bulgaria declares war on both Britain and the USA.
21/12/1941 The Axis launch a renewed air offensive against the Island of Malta.
 

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