Calendar and Summary for January 1941  
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26   27   28   29   30   31    
  December 1940 February 1941  
  Summary of Significant Events for January 1941  
  Soviet General Georgy Zhukov was appointed Chief of General Staff of the Red Army over several senior generals. In Japan, American ambassador Grew wrote in his diary: "Japan . . . is on the warpath . . . If . . . Americans . . . could read . . . articles by leading Japanese . . . they . . . would realize the utter hopelessness of a policy of appeasement."  Scotland Yard arrested the Free French naval forces Vice-Admiral Émile Muselier. They had documents allegedly proving that Muselier had betrayed the plans of the Dakar expedition and was plotting against the Free French naval forces.  At a press conference U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the first steps toward a program of building about 200 merchant ships.  The Luftwaffe bombed Dublin for three straight days.  The Italian counteroffensive along Albanian Front ended in disaster.  Australian troops of XIII Corps (the re-designated Western Desert Force) completed the capture of Italian-held Bardia. They captured 45,000 troops, 129 tanks, 400 guns, and 706 trucks.  Due to the inability to stop Major-General Richard O'Connor's offensive, Italian General Rodolfo Graziani made the decision to completely abandon the region of Cyrenaica and ordered the Tenth Army to fall back through Beda Fomm.  Roosevelt gave his eighth annual message to Congress which is now known as the Four Freedoms speech in which he proposed four fundamental freedoms humans "everywhere in the world" ought to enjoy.  Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto presented his ideas for a war with the United States in a memorandum to the Navy Minister, Oikawa Koshiro and proposed a crippling first blow at America's main battle force in the first few hours of the war.  Just as Charles de Gaulle was about to give the British an ultimatum to free Émile Muselier, commander of the Free French naval forces, he is informed that the whole affair was a mistake.  Roosevelt’s close advisor Harry Hopkins departed for Britain for a one month visit as Roosevelt’s special envoy.  Germany and the Soviet Union signed an agreement setting several ongoing issues.  British and Australian troops of XIII Corps surrounded Tobruk and prepared for the assault on this Italian-held strategic port.  Romanian Prime Minister General Ion Antonescu met with German Chancellor Adolf Hitler at Salzburg. They discussed the question of Romanian participation in the eventuality of a war with the Soviet Union.  U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull addressed the House of Representatives' Committee on Foreign Affairs during its hearings on House Resolution 1776, the Lend-Lease Bill.  The War Department announced the formation of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, an African-American flying unit, to be trained at Tuskegee, Alabama, the home of the Tuskegee Institute.  The Turner-McNulty Report was discussed at a White House conference. As a result of the meeting Roosevelt authorized exploratory talks with the British.  The British launched an attack against the Italians in Eritea, Somaliland, and Ethiopia.  Hitler and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini met at Berchtesgaden, Germany. Hitler agreed to provide aid in North Africa.  Roosevelt was inaugurated for an unprecedented third term.  The Australian 9th Division completed the capture of Tobruk from the Italian Tenth Army.  Romanian General Antonescu successfully suppressed a Iron Guard inspired military coup.  Ambassador Grew warned U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull of a possible attack on Pearl Harbor.  A formal armistice was signed between France and Thailand aboard a Japanese warship in Saigon, ending their border dispute of four months.  The Italians evacuated Derna, Libya, which was subsequently occupied by units of the 6th Australian Division. The Italians continued their westward retreat across North Africa in the face of the Allied advance.  15 ships (99,050 tons) were sunk by U-boats.  
  Events occurring in January 1941 with no specific dates  

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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