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Destroyed village in Russia
Operation Barbarossa :
The Wehrmacht invades the Soviet Union .
Attack on Pearl Harbor
After Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor
, the United States enters the war .
1941 in other calendars
Armenian calendar 1389/90 (turn of the year July)
Ethiopian calendar 1933/34 (September 10-11)
Baha'i calendar 97/98 (March 20/21)
Bengali solar calendar 1345/46 (April 14 or 15)
Buddhist calendar 2484/85 (southern Buddhism); 2483/84 (alternative calculation according to Buddhas Parinirvana )
Chinese calendar 77th (78th) cycle

Year of the Metal Snake辛巳 ( since January 27 , before that Metal Dragon庚辰)

Chuch'e ideology (North Korea) Chuch'e 30
Chula Sakarat (Siam, Myanmar) / Dai calendar (Vietnam) 1303/04 (turn of the year April)
Dangun era (Korea) 4274/75 (October 2/3)
Iranian calendar 1319/20 (around March 21)
Islamic calendar 1359/60 (January 28-29)
Japanese calendar 昭和Shōwa 16;
Kōki 2601
Jewish calendar 5701/02 (September 21-22)
Coptic Calendar 1657/58 (September 10-11)
Malayalam calendar 1116/17
Minguo calendar (China) Year 30 of the republic
Seleucid era Babylon: 2251/52 (turn of the year April)

Syria: 2252/53 (turn of the year October)

Suriyakati Calendar (Thai Solar Calendar) 2483/84 (April 1)
Tibetan calendar 1687
Vikram Sambat (Nepalese Calendar) 1997/98 (April)


Politics and world events

Second World War

The Atlantic Charter
Roosevelt and Churchill aboard the Prince of Wales

Under the impression of the German invasion of the Soviet Union , the heads of government of the USA , Franklin D. Roosevelt , and Great Britain , Winston S. Churchill , met in the placentia from August 9th to 12th in the highest secrecy on the British battleship HMS Prince of Wales Bay off Newfoundland . Here they agree on the Atlantic Charter , which will be published on August 14th and in which they formulate the common principles of their international policy.

Atlantic Charter of August 14, 1941

A total of eight points are recorded, including: renouncing territorial expansion, equal access to world trade and raw materials, renouncing the use of force, right of nations to self-determination, closest economic cooperation of all nations with the aim of creating better working conditions, economic equilibrium and the protection of workers , Security for the peoples from tyranny, freedom of the seas, disarming of nations to ensure a system of permanent security.

Two of the points relate directly to a world organization. The declaration was signed on September 24th by the Soviet Union and nine (exile) governments of occupied Europe, namely Belgium, Greece, Yugoslavia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Czechoslovakia and representatives of Free France . The Atlantic Charter thus becomes the fundamental document for the United Nations . It has the aim of improving the world order and leans on the fourteen-point plan of Woodrow Wilson on.

In addition, increased US arms deliveries to Great Britain and the USSR were agreed at the conference, as well as an expansion of the American security zone for these deliveries to Iceland . Discussions that mainly revolve around the situation in the Republic of China and Spain did not lead to any strategic military decisions.

At its 2nd meeting at St. James's Palace in London on September 24th, the Inter Allied Council adopts the general principles of the Atlantic Charter .

On December 22, begins in Washington, DC which, Arcadia Conference , where the Declaration of the United Nations decided. Here also the definition of Europe as the main theater of war by the Allies takes place, in order to first eliminate the danger emanating from Germany ( Germany first ).

The war in the Balkans
  • February 28th: ​​German troops enter Bulgaria from Romania.
Bulgaria's declaration of accession
Protest movement in Belgrade on March 27th
  • March 25: Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia , who leads the affairs of state for his underage cousin Peter II , signs a treaty in Vienna by which the Kingdom of Yugoslavia accedes to the Tripartite Pact . Two days later there is a British-backed coup by Serbian air force officers led by Dušan Simović . Peter II is declared of legal age, Prince Regent Paul and Prime Minister Dragiša Cvetković removed from his position. The new rulers declare the neutrality of Yugoslavia .
  • March 27: After the military coup in Yugoslavia, Hitler issues “Directive No. 25” to smash the state.
  • March 30: Yugoslav Foreign Minister Momčilo Ninčić summons German Ambassador Viktor von Heeren and gives him a report stating that the new government will accept all international obligations, including accession to the Tripartite Pact, as long as the country's national interests are protected will. However, he never receives an answer. The German embassy in Belgrade is evacuated on April 2nd .
László Bárdossy (around 1941)
  • April 3: After the suicide of Pál Teleki , who advocated a strict course of neutrality, Imperial Administrator Miklós Horthy appoints László Bárdossy as Prime Minister of Hungary . This is preparing Hungary's participation in the coming German Yugoslavia campaign, in which Hungary has been promised extensive territorial gains up to Croatia.
  • April 6: Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union sign a friendship and non-aggression pact dated the previous day.
Destruction in Belgrade after the air raids
Alexandros Koryzis 1941
Civilians shot dead in Kondomari, June 2, 1941
Kragujevac, October 21, 1941
Soviet Union / "Operation Barbarossa"
The German Eastern Front 1941
German mountain troops advancing near the German-Soviet border of interests, June 22, 1941
The ruins of Minsk 1941
The signing of the agreement
Diagram of the Battle of Smolensk
Odessa after the fall
Kiev after the major fire
  • August 25 After weeks of fighting in the August crisis , Guderian's tanks, 300 kilometers from Moscow, turned south into the rear of the Kiev group.
  • 23 August to 26 September: The battle for Kiev ends with a victory for the German troops under General Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt and the occupation of the city by the German Empire. On September 24th, a Soviet explosive device broke out a large fire that could not be brought under control until September 29th. The Soviet units under Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny lose around 700,000 soldiers in the battle for Kiev. With the high Soviet losses, the Wehrmacht High Command combines the hope of being able to capture the Crimean peninsula and advance into the Caucasus before winter sets in. The heavy losses of the Red Army lead the German army command to believe that the attack on Moscow could succeed despite the advanced season and Hitler now orders a direct march on the Soviet capital.
  • August 28: The Volga German Republic in the Soviet Union is dissolved.
  • September 8: The Leningrad blockade begins, with over a million people starving to death by 1944.
  • September 10: In Moscow , the German national broadcaster begins its radio broadcasts in German. Information and propaganda are intended to encourage resistance against the National Socialists in the Reich .
  • September 14th: After a secret meeting of the Japanese Privy Council, Richard Sorge informs the GRU in Moscow that Japan would now attack the USA and the British colonies in the Pacific as a strategic target, thus averting the threat to the Soviet Union in the Far East. With this information, which was decisive for the war, Marshal Georgi Zhukov was able to withdraw the Soviet troops from Siberia and use them to stop the German advance 25 km from Moscow. Sorge was exposed just a month later and arrested in Japan on October 18.
Effects of the autumn rains off Moscow
The war in the west
The wreck of Hess' Messerschmitt Bf 110
The “final solution to the Jewish question” / persecution of other population groups
  • FEBRUARY 12: In Amsterdam is on the orders of Hans Boehmcker , deputy Arthur Seyss-Inquart , the Judenrat Amsterdam built.
  • March 3: The head of the Krakow administrative district , SS-Gruppenführer Otto Wächter , orders the establishment of a “Jewish housing estate”. All Jewish residents of the city must have moved to the Krakow ghetto by March 20 . From this point onwards, 15,000 people are crammed into a district where 3,000 people previously lived.
  • April: Operation 14f13 , the selection and killing of concentration camp inmates labeled as “sick”, “old” and “no longer able to work”, begins.
  • June 27: German Police Battalion 309 burns down the Great Synagogue in Białystok , where around two thousand rounded up Jews are imprisoned.
  • July 10: In the Jedwabne massacre , 1,600 (?) Jews from Poland are burned alive. According to excavations in 2001, however, there are between 300 and 400 Jewish victims.
Goering's order
  • July 31: The German Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring instructs Reinhard Heydrich , the chief of the security police and the SD , to submit an overall draft for the implementation of the desired final solution to the Jewish question .
  • August 24th: After church protests, the " T4 Action ", known as " euthanasia ", is discontinued during the Nazi era. The so-called “wild euthanasia” is later continued in Aktion Brandt . Hundreds of thousands of people are killed in the murder of the sick and disabled.
  • August 27: SS and police battalion 320 carry out mass shooting of 23,600 Jews in the Kamenets-Podolsk massacre. For the first time, all Jews in a region, regardless of their age or gender, are murdered.
  • September 1: The National Socialist leadership issues a police ordinance that makes it mandatory for all Jews in the German Reich to wear the “ Star of David ” from September 19 onwards from the age of six. The badge consists of two yellow fabric triangles that are sewn on top of each other in the form of a six-pointed star and bears the words "Jew" in black letters. The star must be worn “clearly visible” and “firmly sewn to the left chest of the garment”. At home too, Jews have to wear the “Star of David” when they open someone's front door. - Police patrols randomly check on the street whether the badge is sewn on firmly enough. Violations can result in admission to a concentration camp (so-called “ protective custody ”). In the period that followed, further discriminatory ordinances were issued against the Jews, e.g. B. the prohibition to leave the soft picture of the hometown. - In the occupied Polish territories , the so-called “ Generalgouvernement ”, the compulsory identification for Jews was introduced by Governor General Hans Frank as early as November 1939 and consists of a white armband with a blue star.
  • September 29th: At Babyn Yar, members of the SD and Einsatzgruppe C, in cooperation with the Wehrmacht, execute more than 33,000 Kiev Jews.
Image from the area called "Gypsy Camp"
The war in Africa
Map of the battle area of ​​the 1941/42 Africa campaign
Iraq / Syrian-Lebanese campaign
  • April 1: In a military coup , the " Golden Square ", four nationalist officers and former Prime Minister Rashid Ali al-Gailani take power with the aim of ending British influence in Iraq . Abd ul-Ilah , regent for the minor King Faisal II , is accused by the coup plotters of disregarding the constitution.
  • On April 28, Iraqi troops occupy the heights around the British Habbaniyya Air Force Base . The commander of the Iraqi units calls on the British to suspend their flights, otherwise he will bombard the airfield. They then call on the Iraqis to withdraw. When this does not happen, British attacks on Iraqi troops and Iraqi airfields near Baghdad are launched on May 2nd. The surprised besiegers have to accept great losses of material within a short period of time. At the same time, the British troops in Transjordan are alerted and prepared for an invasion of Iraq.
  • May 6: On the initiative of diplomat Fritz Grobba , around 20 German and 12 Italian fighter planes are relocated over Syria to Iraq to support the putschists.
Destroyed Iraqi guns on the heights around Habbaniyya in May 1941
  • Despite the numerical superiority of the Iraqi troops, the British units managed to quickly overrun their defensive positions and, with the help of reinforcements from Transjordan, advance to Baghdad via Fallujah . The attack on Baghdad began on May 27 and ended on May 31 with the city's surrender.
Mass grave of Farhud victims, 1941
Allied troops offensive from Iraq
  • June 21: After heavy fighting, the British enter Damascus. On the same day, the Arab Legion advanced from Iraq to Palmyra .
  • July 9: Australian forces capture Damur south of Beirut.
  • Henri Fernand Dentz , French High Commissioner for Syria and Lebanon , offers a ceasefire that will come into force on July 12th.
  • On July 14th, the Convention on the End of Hostilities is signed in Acre. The allied troops occupy the entire French mandate area and reached the delivery of the Vichy-French planes.
Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran
Invasion map
  • August 25: Soviet and British troops invade neutral Iran without a declaration of war as part of Operation Countenance . The aim of the invasion is to secure the Iranian oil fields and to establish a supply line through which the United States will transport military equipment via the Trans-Iranian Railroad to the Soviet Union under the Loan and Lease Act . There is a full occupation of Iran by September 17, which will last until the end of World War II .
  • September 16: Reza Shah Pahlavi signs his declaration of abdication in favor of his son Mohammad Reza .
  • September 17th: Mohammad Reza Pahlavi swears the oath on the constitution in front of the Iranian parliament and takes over the reign as Shah of Iran.
  • September 17th: Operation Countenance is over. In fact, until the end of the war, Iran will remain divided into a British zone of occupation in the south and a Soviet zone of occupation in the north. The Iranian army is also prohibited from stationing its own armed forces in the areas of northern Iran occupied by Soviet troops. As a result, the central government in Tehran is losing control of northern Iran.
Second Sino-Japanese War
Southeast Asia and the Pacific
The Japanese conquests of Southeast Asia in 1941
Battle of Ko Chang
  • January 17th: In the Franco-Thai War , the French navy inflicts a heavy defeat on its opponent in the sea battle near Ko Chang . At the mediation of Japan , a ceasefire was agreed on January 28th. A peace conference begins in Tokyo on February 7th. The negotiations end on May 9th with Thai territorial gains in the French colonies of Laos and Cambodia: France cedes the provinces of Sayaburi , Battambang and Siem Reap (but not the temples of Angkor Wat ) back to Thailand.
Signing of the contract by the Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka
The flight routes of the Japanese attackers
Attack on the ships lying in the harbor
Japanese landings on Guam
Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the declaration of war on Japan
Sea warfare in the Atlantic and European waters
  • January 16: The British passenger ship Oropesa is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U 96 in front of the Rockall sandbank . 106 passengers and crew drown, almost half of the people on board.
  • January 17: 35 miles northeast of the Rockall sandbank, the unescorted British passenger ship Almeda Star is torpedoed and shot at by the German submarine U 96 . The steamer sinks within three minutes, killing all 360 passengers and crew.
  • January 17: The German submarine U 106 sinks the British passenger ship Zealandic near Rockall , killing all 73 people on board.
  • March 25: The German auxiliary cruiser Thor attacks the British passenger ship Britannia on the West African coast , which is on its way to Bombay without an escort . The ocean liner goes up in flames and sinks. 122 crew members and 127 passengers are killed.
  • March 28: In the Battle of Cape Matapan , the British Mediterranean Fleet, under the command of Andrew Cunningham , defeats an Italian naval unit under Angelo Iachino off the island of Gavdos . The Hercules enterprise for the conquest of Malta becomes impossible for the Axis Powers. The siege of the archipelago continues, however.
  • April 30th: South-east of the rocky island of Rockall , the British passenger and cargo steamer Nerissa , which is on its way to Liverpool with both military and civilians, is attacked by the German submarine U 552 with three torpedoes without warning and sunk within a few minutes. 207 people are killed.
  • May 9: British warships hijack the German submarine U 110 and capture an intact Enigma cipher machine and associated secret documents.
Explosion of the hood
Bismarck survivors are rescued by the Dorsetshire
  • May 27: The Bismarck is attacked by two battleships and two heavy cruisers of the Royal Navy and sunk. 2,104 crew members are killed, 116 are rescued.
  • June 1st: The Prinz Eugen arrives at the port of Brest. The Rhine exercise company is thus over.
  • August 19: The British passenger steamer Aguila is sunk by the German submarine U 201 to the southwest of the Fastnet rock on the Irish coast . 157 passengers and crew members die.
  • September 13: The unarmed Norwegian passenger ship Barøy is sunk by the torpedo of a British Fairey Albacore torpedo bomber in the Vestfjord . 112 people, mostly Norwegian civilians, die.
  • September 13: The Hurtigruten passenger steamer Richard With is sunk by the British submarine Tigris on the coast of Finnmark in northern Norway . 99 passengers and crew members die.
  • November 7th: The Soviet hospital ship Armenija with 5000 to 7000 people on board is sunk in the Black Sea by a German Heinkel He 111 .

Other events in Europe

United States of America

Roosevelt with his wife Eleanor on their way to the swearing-in
The 33 convicted members of the Duquesne Spy Ring (FBI photo)
  • June 29th: With the help of a double agent, the entire German Duquesne spy ring in the United States is arrested.
  • September 11th: The foundation stone for the Pentagon takes place.

Other events around the world

  • July 5: Border disputes trigger the Peruvian-Ecuadorian War between the two states . The intervention of the mediating powers Brazil , Argentina and the USA leads to the withdrawal of their troops from the section of the controversial border on July 31, before the conflict becomes a serious problem.


science and technology

Avro Lancaster
Patrick Henry


Visual arts


Movie logo Ohm Krüger


Music and theater



Minor accidents are listed in the sub-articles of Disaster .

nature and environment

Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge (Brown Bear)


Nobel Prizes

Nobel Prizes are not awarded.




  • 0February 1: Karl Dall , German TV presenter and comedian († 2020)
Karl Dall, 2008
Klaus Buchner
Nick Nolte, 2000


Alexei Mishin
Wolfgang Petersen, 2006
Richard Dawkins, 2010


Hans W. Geißendörfer, 2009
Walter Mixa, 2008


Eric Burdon, 1973
Senta Berger, 2010
Bob Dylan, 2010



Margot Hellwig, 2007
Diethelm Ferner
Frank Farian, 2008


  • 0August 1: Ron Brown , American politician († 1996)
  • 0August 1: Nathalie Delon , French actress and director († 2021)
  • 0August 1st: Jordi Savall , Spanish musicologist and gambist
Jordi Savall, 2007
Henning Voscherau, 1988
Fritz Wepper, 2006
Lotti Krekel, 2018
Cesária Évora, 2008


Ahmet Necdet Sezer
Vadim Glowna
Edmund Stoiber, 2005
  • September 28: Charley Taylor , American football player
  • September 29: Gaston Salvatore , German-speaking writer († 2015)
  • September 30th: Britt Eleonora Arenander , Swedish writer, translator and journalist
  • September 30: Paul Bremer , American politician, civil administrator for Iraq
  • September 30th: Os Guinness , British sociologist, social critic, apologist, public speaker, author and evangelical thought leader
  • September 30th: Reine Wisell , Swedish racing car driver



Angelo Cardinal Scola (2009)


Gilbert Gress
Hans Eichel, 2010

Exact date of birth unknown


January February

James Joyce, ca.1918
Frederick Banting
Alfonso XIII from Spain

March April

Gutzon Borglum, 1919
Virginia Woolf, 1927

May June

  • 0June 1: Hans Berger , German neurologist and psychiatrist, inventor of the EEG (* 1873)
  • 0June 1: Ernst Eichhoff , German politician (* 1873)
  • 0June 1: Kurt Hensel , German mathematician (* 1861)
Wilhelm II.

July August

September October

  • 0September 1: George Pardee , American politician (* 1857)
  • 0September 7th: Ramón Emilio Peralta , Dominican composer, conductor, music teacher and saxophonist (* 1868)
Hans Spemann (before 1935)

November December

Walther Nernst

Exact date of death unknown

Literature for the year 1941

  • Horst Wisser: We from the year 1941 - childhood and youth , Wartberg Verlag, Gudensberg – Gleichen 2019, 19th edition, ISBN 978-3-8313-3041-6 .

Web links

Commons : 1941  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Fatal weather phenomenon, the day-bright war night of 1941 , on spiegel.de