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Chronological Table of Events


May 1940

June 1940

10 Germany launches invasion of western Europe.

10 Italy declares war on Great Britain and France.

17 Pro-Russian government established in Lithuania.

20 Latvia and Estonia occupied by Russians.

22 Franco-German armistice signed at Compiegne.

26 Russia occupies Bessarabia and northern Bukovina.

July 1940

13 Hitler discusses reason for continuance of British resistance at daily situation conference.

21 During a staff meeting, Hitler first mentions possibility of a campaign against Russia.

31 Hitler orders preparations for a campaign against Russia in spring of 1941.

August 1940

21 Romania cedes the southern Dobrudja to Bulgaria.

30 Vienna Arbitration Award: Romania yields one third of Transylvania to Hungary.

September 1940

13 Italy begins drive into Egypt.

27 Germany, Italy, and Japan sign the Tripartite Pact.

October 1940

7 German troops enter Romania.

12 Hitler postpones invasion of Great Britain until spring 1941.

28 Italy invades Greece from Albania.

31 British occupy Crete and Limnos.

November 1940

4 Hitler orders preparations for eventual interventionin Greece.

4 Royal Air Force begins to operate from Greek airfields.

12 Directive No. 18 issued, enumerating the followingobjectives: capture of Gibraltar via Spain, seizureof Egypt and Suez Canal from Libyan bases, andinvasion of Greece from Bulgaria.

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November 1940

12-13 Molotov visits Berlin and confers with Hitler on future relationship between Germany and SovietUnion.

18 Hitler confers with King Boris of Bulgaria.

20 Hungary adheres to Tripartite Pact.

23 Romania joins Tripartite Pact.

28 Hitler confers with Yugoslav Foreign Minister Cincar-Marcovic and asks Yugoslavia to join TripartitePact.

December 1940

5 Hitler conference, Army plans for campaigns against Greece and Russia presented.

9 British start counterattack in North Africa and advance across Libya.

11 Hitler abandons plan to capture Gibraltar.

13 Directive No. 20 is issued, outlining Operation MARITA, the campaign against Greece.

18 Directive No. 21 issued, ordering preparations for Operation BARBAROSSA, the campaign against Russia.


January 1941

13 British offer to send ground forces is rejected by Greece.

18-20 Hitler meets Mussolini and informs him about intended German attack on Greece.

February 1941

14 Hitler urges lCugoslav Premier ()vetkovic to join Tripartite Pact.

17 Bulgaria and Turkey conclude treaty of friendship.

28 German troops bridge the Danube.

28 At a conference in Ankara, British Foreign Secretary Eden and President Inoenue of Turkey stress mutual respect and adherence to Turkish-British alliance, but Turkey refuses to intervene in Balkans.

March 1941

1 Bulgaria joins Tripartite Pact.

2 German troops enter Bulgaria.

4 Hitler sends message to President Inoenue of Turkey.

4 Hitler confers with Prince Regent Paul of Yugoslavia.

7 British Expeditionary Force begins to land in Greece.

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March 1941

9-16 Italian spring offensive in Albania.

18 Yugoslav privy council decides to join Tripartite Pact.

24 Rommel starts drive through weak British defenses in North Africa.

25 Yugoslavia signs Tripartite Pact.

26-27 Yugoslav coup d'etat.

27 General Simovic assumes power in Yugoslavia.

27 Directive No. 26 is issued, outlining Operation 25, the campaign against Yugoslavia.

29 Conference of German Army commanders responsible for campaign in Balkans.

April 1941

3 Croat leaders join Simovic government.

5 Soviet Union signs treaty of friendship and non aggression with Yugoslavia

6 German air bombardment of Belgrade.

6 Twelfth Army invades southern Yugoslavia and Greece.

6 Second Army launches limited-objective attacks against Yugoslavia.

7 Operation BARBAROSSA postponed to 22 June.

7 German troops enter Skoplje.

7 Metaxas Line pierced by German mountain troops.

8 First Panzer Group starts drive toward Belgrade.

9 2d Panzer Division elements capture Salonika; Greek Second Army capitulates.

10 XLVI Panzer Corps enters the race for Belgrade.

10 Start of Second Army drive on Zagreb and capture of the city.

10 Croatia proclaims itself an independent state.

10 XLIX Mountain and LI Infantry Corps cross northwestern Yugoslav border.

10 First Panzer Group reaches point forty miles from Yugoslav capital.

11 XLI Panzer Corps advances to within forty-five miles of Belgrade.

11 German mountain troops cross the Vardar.

12 Fall of Belgrade.

13 Greek First Army begins to withdraw from Albania.

14 XVIII Mountain Corps pierces Mount Olympus defenses.

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April 1941

14 Beginning of Yugoslav armistice negotiations.

15 German troops enter Sarajevo.

15 Seizure of Lamia.

15 General Student submits his plan for the seizure of Crete to Goering.

17 Capture of Thasos.

17 Yugoslav representatives sign unconditional surrender.

18 (lerman armistice with Yugoslavia becomes effective at 1200.

19 5th Panzer Division enters Plain of Thessaly.

19 XVIII Mountain Corps captures Larisa.

20 Seizure of Samothraki.

21 Greek First Army offers to surrender to Germans.

21 British withdraw air force from Greece.

21 Redeployment of German troops from Balkans begins.

23 Greek First Army signs surrender agreement with Germans and Italians.

24 Last British stand at Thermopylae.

25 Directive No. 28 covering Operation MEREIJR, the seizure of Crete, is issued.

25 Seizure of Limnos.

26 (lerman parachute troops seize the Isthmus and town of Corinth.

27 Panzer elements enter Athens.

29 German forces reach south coast of the Peloponnesus.

30 Hostilities cease in Greece.

May 1941

15 Tentative date for beginning of Operation BARBAROSSA.

20 Beginning of airborne invasion of Crete.

21 German mountain troops begin to land at Maleme airfield.

21-22 British Navy intercepts German seaborne invasion force approaching Crete.

22 Air-sea battle in Crete waters.

22 German forces secure the Maleme airhead.

23 British planes return to Heraklion airfield.

26 Canea falls.

27 Capture of Heraklion airfield.

28 British begin to withdraw to south coast of Crete.

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May 1941

28 Italian landings at Sitia Bay.

28-29 British garrison evacuates Retimo.

29 German troops establish contact with Retimo force.

30 Relief of Heraklion forces.

June 1941

1 German forces reach Sphakia and complete seizure of Crete.

22 D-day for German invasion of Russia.