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Chronology of Main Events from September 1941 to September 1942

Items within square brackets [ ] are not included in the present volume

General Mediterranean Sea Western Desert Red Sea & East Africa Persia & Iraq
[Operation to reinforce Malta with aircraft] Tobruk besieged [East Africa Command formed] [Gondar area: [British and Russian forces enter Teheran] Start of development of supply route to Russia
[German submarines reach the Mediterranean] 18 Eighth Army formed 19-27 25 Italians at Wolchefit surrender]
[24-28 HALBERD convoy to Malta] Second stage of relief of Australians in Tobruk [Blockade of French Somaliland continues]
2 Allocation of Lend-Lease funds to the Middle East [Force K arrives at Malta]
24 Germans capture Kharkov Tobruk besieged [Preparations to attack Gondar]
Ninth Army formed 9 Force K sinks the ‘Duisburg’ convoy 9 Western Desert Air Force formed [Blockade of French Somaliland continues]
US Military North African Mission set up in Cairo

13 Loss of HMS Ark Royal after reinforcing Malta with aircraft

12-15 Third stage of relief of Australians in Tobruk 21 Red Sea transferred to Mediterranean Station
22-28 Rostov lost and retaken by the Russians 16-19 & 21-22 Mediterranean Fleet and Forces H and K operating in support of CRUSADER Tobruk besieged [Gondar: 27 General Nasi surrenders] US Military Iranian Mission set up in Baghdad

25 Loss of HMS Barham

18 CRUSADER begins [End of campaign in Italian East Africa] [Blockade of French Somaliland continues]
7-8 Japanese attack Pearl Harbour and land in Malaya First attempt to relieve Tobruk fails: British pause to regroup [Blockade of French Somaliland continues]
13 Action off Cape Bon 5 British advance resumed
11 Germany and Italy declare war on USA

14 Loss of HMS Galatea

10 Relief of Tobruk
22 First Washington Conference to decide Allied policy 17 First Battle of Sirte 16 Enemy withdraws from Gazala
19 Disaster to Force K 25 British troops enter Benghazi

19 Italian human torpedoes attack Alexandria harbour: HMS Queen Elizabeth and Valiant damaged

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General Mediterranean Sea Western Desert Red Sea & East Africa Persia & Iraq
1 United Nations Declaration Three small convoys reach Malta from Alexandria 2 Bardia surrenders [Blockade of French Somaliland continues] 12 Command of Troops in Iraq passes from India to the Middle East
29 Treaty of Alliance between UK, Soviet Union and Persia 17 Sollum and Halfaya surrender
21 Axis forces advance from Mersa Brega
28 British evacuate Benghazi and retire towards Gazala
2-7 Egyptian Cabinet crisis 12-15 Convoy from Alexandria fails to reach Malta 2 Eighth Army stabilizes the line Gazala-Bir Hacheim [Blockade of French Somaliland continues] 16 Tenth Army formed
15 Fall of Singapore
25 Mr. Lyttelton leaves, temporarily succeeded by Sir Walter Monckton
20 Sir Stafford Cripps visits Middle East Heavy air attacks on Malta Lull in the Desert continues [Blockade of French Somaliland continues]
7, 21, 29 Three operations to reinforce Malta with aircraft

11 Loss of HMS Naiad

22 Second Battle of Sirte
23 Convoy reaches Malta only to be sunk in harbour
3 Admiral Cunningham leaves, temporarily succeeded by Admiral Pridham-Wippell 10 Force H leaves Gibraltar for Madagascar Air attacks on Malta reach their peak Tenth Submarine Flotilla leaves Malta Both sides preparing for major operations
15 HM the King awards Malta the George Cross

20 USS Wasp reinforces Malta with Spitfires

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General Mediterranean Sea Western Desert Persia and Iraq
4 Mr. R. G. Casey becomes Minister of State, Middle East Air attacks on Malta gradually decrease 10 War Cabinet orders General Auchinleck to attack during May
5 British forces land on Madagascar

9 USS Wasp and HMS Eagle reinforce Malta with Spitfires

26 Axis forces attack Gazala–Bir Hacheim positions
8 General Dobbie leaves Malta; succeeded by General Lord Gort

18 HMS Eagle repeats the operation

20 Admiral Sir Henry Harwood arrives as Naval C.-in-C. USAAF strategic bomber force arrives 14-15 Failure of human torpedo attack at Alexandria
June 5-6 The ‘Cauldron’ disaster
Peak sinkings in Atlantic 3, 9 Two operations to reinforce Malta with Spitfires 10 Bir Hacheim evacuated
4-6 Japanese naval defeat at Midway Island 12-16 HARPOON convoy reaches Malta from the west; VIGOROUS from the east turns back 11-12 Defeat of the British armour
Formation of US Army Command and US Middle East Air Force 14 Decision to withdraw from the Gazala positions
18-25 Second Washington Conference 21 Loss of Tobruk
27 General Eisenhower appointed C.-in-C. Allied Expeditionary Force 25 General Auchinleck takes direct command of 8th Army at Matruh
Anglo-American agreement on operation TORCH 1-14 Heavy air attacks on Malta renewed 1-5 Rommel’s attempt to break through at El Alamein defeated
24 Germans occupy Rostov USAAF tactical air forces begin to arrive in the Middle East 15, 21 Two operations to reinforce Malta with Spitfires 10th Submarine Flotilla returns to Malta 10-26 Repeated British attacks end indecisively. Both sides exhausted
4-10 Mr. Churchill in Cairo 10-15 PEDESTAL convoy to Malta 13 General Montgomery takes command of 8th Army US Persian Gulf Service Command set up
12 He attends the First Moscow Conference

11 Loss of HMS Eagle

30-31 Axis offensive begins: Battle of Alam el Halfa 21 Persia and Iraq Command (PAIC) set up. General Maitland Wilson appointed to command
15 General Alexander succeeds General Auchinleck as C.-in-C. 11,17 Two operations to reinforce Malta with Spitfires
16 Germans reach Maikop in the Caucasus 12 Loss of HMS Manchester
24 Allied Force HQ set up in London for TORCH
Peak of struggle for Stalingrad 2 Rommel begins to withdraw
7 Battle over
British prepare to take the offensive

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