Events occurring on Friday, January 24, 1941  
  Events in Southeast Asia  
  The final air battle of the Franco-Thai War took place when Thai bombers raided the French airfield at Angkor near Siem Reap.  
  The Battle of the Atlantic  
  After losing touch with her convoy in bad weather the Norwegian steam merchant Vespasian was torpedoed and sunk by the U-123, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Karl-Heinz Moehle, in the North Atlantic Ocean. The 1,570 ton Vespasian was carrying ballast and was bound for British Guiana.  
  German Commerce Raiders  
  The German commerce raider Atlantis, disguised as the Norwegian freighter Tamesis, strafed with its Heinkel seaplane, fired upon, stopped and sank by demolition charges the 5,144 ton British freighter Mandasor in the Arabian Sea. The Mandasor was bound for the United Kingdom from Calcutta with a cargo of pig iron, tea, and jute fiber. Six of the crew died and the other 82 were taken prisoner. The Heinkel seaplane was lost in the action.  
  Romania in WW2  
  Romanian Prime Minister General Ion Antonescu successfully suppressed a Iron Guard inspired military coup, resulting in the Iron Guard being forced out of a governing role and losing its government protection. During the three-day civil war, won by Antonescu with support from the German army, members of the Iron Guard instigated a deadly pogrom against Jewish residents in Bucharest.  
  Events Leading to Pearl Harbor  
  U.S. Secretary of Navy William "Frank" Knox sent a secret memorandum to U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson regarding the likelihood of an attack on Pearl Harbor in the event of hostilities between the United States and Japan. "MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: The security of the U. S. Pacific Fleet while in Pearl Harbor, and of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base itself, has been under renewed study by the Navy Department and forces afloat for the past several weeks. This reexamination has been, in part, prompted by the increased gravity of the situation with respect to Japan, and by reports from abroad of successful bombing and torpedo plane attacks on ships while in bases. If war eventuates with Japan, it is believed easily possible that hostilities would be initiated by a surprise attack upon the fleet or the naval base at Pearl Harbor. In my opinion, the inherent possibilities of a major disaster to the fleet or naval base warrant taking every step, as rapidly as can be done, that will increase the joint readiness of the Army and Navy to withstand a raid of the character mentioned above. The dangers envisaged in their order of importance and probability are considered to be: (1) air bombing attack, (2) air torpedo-plane attack, (3) sabotage, (4) submarine attack, (5) mining, (6) bombardment by gunfire. Defense against all but the first two of these dangers appears to have been provided for satisfactorily…" Copies were designated for the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet and the commandant of the Fourteenth Naval District.  
  Ships Commissioned  
  A ship's commissioning was when the ship was handed over, post fittings and trials, to the end user which, in this case, was a combatant navy.  
  The Australian minesweeper HMAS Lismore (J 145) was commissioned. Her first commander was Lt. Stanley H. Crawford.  
  January 1941 Calendar  
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The objective of is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

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