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Chronology of main events from June 1940

1940 General Mediterranean Sea Egypt and the desert Red Sea and East Africa Balkans
June 11 Italy enters the war 22 Franco-German armistice 24 Franco-Italian armistice 28 His Majesty’s Government recognises General de Gaulle 23 Admiral Somerville’s Force H begins to assemble at Gibraltar Frontier action Success against Italian submarines
July 1 Rumania denounces Anglo- French guarantee Battle of Britain begins 3 Action against French warships at Oran 4 French ships at Alexandria demilitarized 9 Fleet action off Calabria 19 Action off Cape Spada

Frontier operations: Sudan: 4 Loss of Kassala and Gallabat Kenya: 15 Loss of Moyale Khartoum: 3 Emporer Haile Selassie arrives from England

Aug 26 French Equatorial Africa declares for de Gaulle 30 Second ‘Vienna Award’ announced

1 HMS Argus flies Hurricanes to Malta

5 General Legentilhomme leaves Jibuti 5–19 Loss of British Somaliland Sudan: 12 Sandford’s Mission enters Ethiopia

15 Loss of Greek cruiser Helle

Sept 23/25 General de Gaulle’s unsuccesful expedition to Dakar 27 Germany, Italy and Japan sign a ten-year Pact

5 Naval reinforcements including HMS Illustrious reach Alexandria

13/18 Italian advance, into Egypt 20 First aircraft leave for Egypt along the Takoradi reinforcement route
Oct 23 Meeting between Hitler and Franco 16 Mr Eden’s three- weeks tour begins German troops enter Rumania 28 Italians invade Greece 29 British advanced parties reach Crete
Nov 4 Spain assumes control of Tangier

11 Fleet Air Arm’s attack at Taranto 17 HMS Argus flies Hurricanes to Malta 27 Action off Cape Spartivento, Sardinia

Sudan: 6/9 Action at Gallabat

4 Royal Air Force begin to operate in Greece 8 Italian offensive collapses 18 Greek counter-stroke begins; British Liasion Mission to Turkey
Dec Several changes in Italian High Command 11 Hitler’s plans to capture Gibraltar cancelled 18 Hitler issues directive for invasion of Russia 9 First British offensive begins 16 Capture of Sollum

Kenya: 16 Raid on El Wak

Jan 10 Lend-Lease Bill before Congress

11 First attack by the Luftwaffe from Sicily 12/23 HMS Illustrious at Malta

4 Capture of Bardia 11 Long Range Desert Group raids Murzuk 22 Capture of Tobruk 29 Aerial mining of the Suez Canal begins

British offensive begins: Sudan: 19 Capture of Kassala Kenya: Capture of 18 Mega and 22 Moyale

13 British offer of troops to Greece declined 29 Death of General Metaxas 31 Mr. Churchill’s appeal to the Turkish President
Feb 12 Mr. Eden and General Dill leave England for the Middle East 9 Bombardment of Genoa 17 Attempted landing on Kaso 25 Landing on Castelorizo 6 Capture of Benghazi 5/7 Battle of Beda Fomm 12 General Rommel arrives at Tripoli

Sudan: Actions at 1 Agordat and 2 Barentu 3 Battle of Keren begins 23 Emperor enters Kenya: 19 Crossing of River Juba Capture of 14 Kismayu and 25 Mogadishu

22 The Eden Mission in Athens; 26 Ankara
Mar 1 Bulgaria joins the Axis 1 Capture of Kufra by the Free French 27 Capture of Keren 2 The Eden Mission in returns to Athens 5 Sailing of the British forces for Greece begins

11 Lend-Lease Act signed by President Roosevelt 27 Yugoslav coup d’état

28 Battle of Matapan 30 Axis offensive begins 9/16 Italian offensive in Albania

3 Coup d’état in Iraq

21 Bombardment of Tripoli 10 Tobruk cut off and besieged Capture of 1 Asmara 8 Massawa and 5 Addis Ababa 11 Red Sea opened to United States shipping 6 Germans invade Greece 23 Greek Government goes to Crete 27 Germans enter Athens
May 2 Iraq forces attack Habbaniya Successful passage of TIGER convoy Fighting at Sollum and Halfaya 16 Duke of Aosta surenders at Amba Alagi 20 Germans invade Crete

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