May 1941

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

  Axis May-41 Allied
Vichy France Denmark Romania Italy Germany Total Class Total Great Britain Free France Canada Australia New Zealand Poland Netherlands Norway Greece
3 0 0 3 3 6 Battleship 17 14 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 Fleet Carrier 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 Light Carrier 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 0 0 4 2 6 Heavy Cruiser 16 9 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 1
9 0 0 12 3 15 Light Cruiser 69 44 9 0 5 3 0 5 3 0
52 0 7 75 36 118 Destroyer 287 177 61 14 8 0 4 9 5 9
60 8 1 84 96 181 Submarine 150 56 66 0 0 0 2 20 0 5
1 0 0 0 0 0 Escort Carrier 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11 0 3 30 9 42 Escorts 223 167 17 33 4 0 2 0 0 0
3 2 0 0 8 8 Other 50 38 3 4 3 1 0 0 1 0

 

Allied Neutral
Class Yugoslavia USAJapan Soviet UnionArgentina BrazilChileColumbia Peru SwedenPortugal SpainTurkeyThailand
Battleship 0 15 10 3 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Fleet Carrier 0 6 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Light Carrier 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Heavy Cruiser 0 19 18 4 4 0 3 0 0 1 0 1 2 0
Light Cruiser 0 19 19 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0
Destroyer 0 169 110 60 16 7 8 2 2 17 5 16 4 8
Submarine 1 110 58 210 3 4 9 0 4 17 3 4 8 4
Escort Carrier 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Escorts 0 0 19 18 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
Other 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 2

 

Thursday 1st May 1941
Daily Report
Military

The Blitz: Heavy night-time German air raid 60+ aircraft on Liverpool/Birkenhead

 
Other

The Orson Welles-directed drama film Citizen Kane had its world premiere at the Palace Theatre in New York City.

 
Friday 2nd May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Jersey Destroyer Lost Mined in the entrance of Grand Harbour, Malta, ship sank quickly & blocked harbour entrance for some days, 35 dead 02/05/1941. Wreck broke in two sections 05/05/1941  
 
Military

The Blitz: Heavy night-time German air raid 60+ aircraft on Liverpool/Birkenhead

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 90+ on Hamburg

 
Other

The Anglo-Iraqi War began, starting with airstrikes centred around RAF Habbaniya.

 
Saturday 3rd May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Italy Canopo Destroyer Escort Lost Bombed by British aircraft at Tripoli, the fire caused an explosion 03/05/1941  
 
Military

The Blitz: Major night-time German air raid 440+ aircraft on Liverpool/Birkenhead. In the early hours of the 4th May, during this raid, SS Malakand with 4,000 tons of munitions docked at Huskisson Dock No. 2, Liverpool caught fire & subsequently exploded. The explosion one of the largest in the UK destroyed the entire dock & 9 other ships in the dock, 4 killed

The Blitz: Minor night-time German air raid 15+ aircraft on Barrow-in-Furness

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 100+ on Cologne

The Bomber Offensive: Minor night-time British air raid, 30+ on Brest

Other

Australian troops launched a counterattack at Tobruk, but it was repulsed by the Italians.

Wartime Football International: Scotland 1-3 England, Hampden Park, Glasgow

Whirlaway won the Kentucky Derby in a new Churchill Downs track record time of 2:01 2/5.

 
Sunday 4th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Italy Giuseppe La Farina Destroyer Lost Mined off Kerkenah Bank, Tunisia, in the Mediterranean Sea, ship breaking in two 34.55N 11.50E 04/05/1941  
 
Politics

Adolf Hitler made an address to the Reichstag reviewing the Balkan campaign and declaring that the German Reich and its allies were superior to any conceivable coalition in the world

 
Military

British troops occupied the airport and docks of Basra.

The Blitz: Heavy night-time German air raid 55+ aircraft on Barrow-in-Furness

The Blitz: Minor night-time German air raid 270+ aircraft on Belfast

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 100+ on Brest

The Battle of Amba Alagi began in East Africa.

 
Other

German Light-Heavyweight Boxing Title Heinz Seidler (Germany) beat Richard Vogt (Germany) Rsf 8, Etablissement Sagebiel, Hamburg.

 
Monday 5th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Germany U-141 Submarine Damaged Damaged by depth charge attack from British Hudson aircraft in the North Channel, W of Scotland 05/05/1941  
 
Politics

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie enters his capital Addis Abada in triumph

 
Military

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 140+ on Mannheim

 
Other

Haile Selassie re-entered the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, exactly five years after it was occupied by Italian forces. May 5 is now celebrated in Ethiopia as Arbegnoch Qen or Patriot's Day.

 
Tuesday 6th May 1941
Daily Report
Military

Iraqi troops withdrew from the plateau overlooking RAF Habbaniya after taking 1,000 casualties.

The Blitz: Major night-time German air raid 450+ aircraft on GlasgowThe Blitz: Minor night-time German air raid 30+ aircraft on

LiverpoolThe Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 180+ on Hamburg

 
Wednesday 7th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

The German weather ship München was captured near Iceland. Secret papers were found onboard that improved the British understanding of the Enigma coding machines.

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Hurricane Destroyer Damaged Damaged by bombs from German aircraft, whilst at Gladstone Dock Liverpool, during Liverpool May Blitz attack on the city & port facilities. A bomb hit the ship aft passed through her & exploded under her stern, causing extensive flooding & structural damage 07/05/1941. The ship moved to Bidston Dock, Birkenhead for the damage to be assessed & to avoid damage from further bombing  
 
Military

Between Habbaniya and Fallujah, Iraq. Two Iraqi columns are caught in the open and are attacked by British aircraft causing heavy casualties

The Blitz: Major night-time German air raid 340+ aircraft on Liverpool/Birkenhead

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 90+ on Brest

 
Thursday 8th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Cornwall Heavy Cruiser Damaged Damaged by gunfire from German AMC Pinguin, steering gear damaged at one point in engagement 03.10N 57.10E 08/05/1941  
Germany Pinguin Auxiliary Cruiser Lost Sunk by gunfire from British warship Cornwall, in the Indian Ocean, the ship blew up & sank 292 German dead, 60 survivors captured 155 British prisoners dead, 22 British survivors, 03.10N 57.10E 08/05/1941  
 
Military

British and Transjordanian forces began the Assault on Rutbah Fort.

The Blitz: Heavy night-time German air raid 120+ aircraft on Kingston upon Hull

The Blitz: Heavy night-time German air raid 90+ aircraft on Nottingham

The Blitz: Minor night-time German air raid 40+ aircraft on Derby. Rolls-Royce factory primary target

The Bomber Offensive: Heavy night-time British air raid, 180+ on Hamburg

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 130+ on Bremen

The Bomber Offensive: Minor night-time British air raid, 20+ on Kiel Canal

 
Friday 9th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Foresight Destroyer Damaged Damaged by bombs from Italian aircraft, E of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea 09/05/1941  
Great Britain Broadway Destroyer Damaged Damaged in collision with surrendering German submarine U-110, E of Cape Farewell, in the North Atlantic, ship's bow ruptured by stern fins of the boat, causing major flooding 60.31N 33.10W 09/05/1941  
Germany U-110 Submarine Lost Damaged by depth charge attack by British warship Aubretia forcing the ship to surface, the crew abandoned submarine, but attempt to scuttle boat failed, a boarding party from British warship Bulldog captured Enigma machine and codebooks, E of Cape Farewell, in the North Atlantic, 15 dead, 33 survivors captured 60.31N 33.10W 09/05/1941.The boat sank the next day under tow from Bulldog 10/05/1941. This is probably the most important single incident during the war at sea.  
 
Military

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 140+ on Mannheim

 
Saturday 10th May 1941
Daily Report
Politics

Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess flew a Messerschmitt Bf 110 to Scotland on a solo peace mission, parachuting into Eaglesham near his objective of Dungavel House after running out of fuel.

Military

The Blitz: Major night-time German air raid 570+ aircraft on London. Raid damages the House of Commons. Last of the major air raid on the United Kingdom before the German airforce switches to the Soviet Union

The Bomber Offensive: Heavy night-time British air raid, 120+ on Hamburg

 
Other

English Football League (War) Cup Final: Preston North End 1-1 Arsenal, Wembley Stadium, London.

 
Sunday 11th May 1941
Daily Report
Politics

Hitler met with Vichy Vice-Premier François Darlan at the Berghof. Hitler agreed to release French World War I veterans from POW camps (with the exception of officers and professional soldiers) in exchange for the Vichy government compromising its neutrality by allowing German planes to land in French Syria and to help supply the Afrika Korps from French Tunisia.

 
Military

The Blitz: Minor night-time German air raid 20+ aircraft on Middlesbrough. Billingham oil plant being the primary target

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 80+ on Bremen

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 90+ on Hamburg

 
Monday 12th May 1941
Daily Report
Politics

British MPs met for the first time in their new temporary home, the House of Lords.

The Soviet Union recognizes the pro-German National Defence Government of Iraq

The Nazi Party issued a press release on the subject of Rudolf Hess, claiming that he was "suffering from mental illness" and that the Führer had ordered the immediate arrest of those who helped Hess.

 
Military

British air raid on Hamburg, Emden and Berlin

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 100+ on Mannheim

 
Other

World Featherweight Boxing Title Joey Archibald (USA) beat Harry Jeffra (USA) Pts 15, Carlin's Park, Baltimore.

 
Tuesday 13th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Undaunted Submarine Lost Lost possibly mined off Tripoli 13/05/1941  
 
Military

German aircraft arrive in Mosul to help the pro-German National Defence Government of Iraq

 
Wednesday 14th May 1941
Daily Report
Military

Bulgaria annexed part of Greek Macedonia and Greek Thrace.

RAF authorized to act against Axis aircraft in Syria on Vichy French airfields

 
Thursday 15th May 1941
Daily Report
Politics

The British launched Operation Brevity, a limited offensive in the Egyptian and Libyan border area.

 
Military

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 100+ on Hannover

The British attempted to keep the Nazis guessing as to what Rudolf Hess had told them by having Labour Minister Ernest Bevin say in the government's first official statement on the matter: "I do not believe that Hitler did not know that Hess was coming to England. From my point of view, Hess is a murderer. He is no man I would ever negotiate with and I don't change even for diplomatic reasons. I am not going to be deceived.

 
Friday 16th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

The British passenger ship Archangel was bombed and heavily damaged in the North Sea by Luftwaffe aircraft, killing 52 of the 475 aboard. The following day she was beached south of Newburgh, Aberdeenshire.

 
Politics

Operation Brevity ended inconclusively.

 
Military

The Blitz: Heavy night-time German air raid 110+ aircraft on Birmingham

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 90+ on Cologne

 
Saturday 17th May 1941
Daily Report
Politics

Hitler issued Directive No. 29, Proposed Military Government of Greece.

In Albania, King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy and Albanian Prime Minister Shefqet Vërlaci survived an assassination attempt when 19-year old Albanian nationalist Vasil Laçi fired four shots at a car they were riding in. Laçi was arrested immediately and executed ten days later.

 
Military

British forces advance on the Iraq city of Fallujah

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 70+ on Kiel

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 90+ on Cologne

 
Sunday 18th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain York Heavy Cruiser Damaged Damaged by bombs from German aircraft, British submarine Rover, alongside York was also badly damaged & had to be towed away for repair 18/05/1941.The ship's main armament wrecked by demolition charges to avoid capture by German forces when Allies began the evacuation of Crete on 22/05/1941.  
Great Britain Rover Submarine Damaged Damaged by bombs from German aircraft in an air raid in Suda Bay, Crete, whilst the boat was tied up alongside British warship York, providing electricity to salvage teams on her, the boat was towed to Alexandria for temporary repair on 18/05/1941  
 
Military

East Africa Front: Italian Viceroy for Italian East Africa The Duke of Aosta surrenders all Italian forces in East Africa

The Germans launched Operation Rheinübung, a sortie by German warships Bismarck & Prinz Eugen into the Atlantic to block Allied shipping to England.

 
Monday 19th May 1941
Daily Report
Military

The Battle of Amba Alagi ended in British victory when Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta formally surrendered.

 
Tuesday 20th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

Battle of Crete: German paratroopers land on Crete

The Battle of Crete began with an airborne invasion by the Germans.

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Italy Curtatone Destroyer Lost Mined 1 mile off Piraeus by Greek mine 20/05/1941  
 
Wednesday 21st May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

American merchant-ship SS Robin Moor is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-69. President Roosevelt announces unlimited national emergency in response

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Juno Destroyer Lost Bombed by Italian Cant Z 1007 aircraft, SE of Crete, in the Mediterranean Sea, during Battle for Crete, ship hit by 3 bombs, splitting the ship in two & sinking in 2 minutes, 116 dead, 96 survivors 34.35N 26.34E 21/05/1941  
Italy Carlo Mirabello Destroyer Lost Mined by a mine laid by British warship Abdiel, 2 miles off Cape Ducato, Albania, in the Ionian Island, blowing bow off the ship 21/05/1941  
 
Politics

The Central Committee War Section met in Moscow. Joseph Stalin dismissed intelligence indicating a German attack on the Soviet Union was imminent, believing it was misinformation from the British trying to draw the Soviet Union into the war. When the head of Soviet intelligence argued with Stalin he was arrested and shot.

 
Military

British forces capture the Iraq city of Fallujah

East Africa Front: Italian Viceroy in Ethiopia surrenders to British forces

 
Other

The American steamship SS Robin Moor was stopped in the tropical Atlantic by the German submarine U-69. The ship's crew and passengers were allowed to board lifeboats and then the Robin Moor was torpedoed and scuttled, creating an international incident between Germany and the United States.

German Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp opens near Strasbourg

 
Thursday 22nd May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Warspite Battleship Damaged Damaged by a bomb from German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft W of Kithera Channel, Crete, during the Battle for Crete, 550 Ibs armour-piercing bomb hit starboard side knocking out 6" & 4.5" turrets & fire control, 38 dead, 31 injured 22/05/1941. Temporary repair Alexandria 24/05/1941. Repaired at Bremerton Navy Yard, Puget Sound  
Great Britain Gloucester Light Cruiser Lost Bombed by German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft, W of Antikythera Island, Crete, during the Battle for Crete, hit by 3 bombs causing many fires that eventually resulted in the ship being abandoned, 722 dead, 85 survivors 35.50N 23.00E 22/05/1941
Great Britain Carlisle Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged by bombs from German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft, NW of Crete, during Battle for Crete, damage to her bridge structure 22/05/1941  
Great Britain Fiji Light Cruiser Lost Damaged by bombs from German Ju 88 aircraft SW of Gavdhos Island, Crete, during the Battle for Crete, boiler room had been flooded, she was bombed again & capsized, 523 survivors 241 dead, 34.35N 23.10E 22/05/1941.  
Great Britain Naiad Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged by German Stuka dive bomber aircraft, during the evacuation from Crete, two main armament turrets knocked out, serious damage & extensive flooding limiting her speed to 16 knots 22/05/1941  
Great Britain Greyhound Destroyer Lost Bombed by German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft, NW of Crete, during Battle for Crete, 80 dead, 4 survivors captured 36.00N 23.10E 22/05/1941  
 
Military

Iraq forces attack British held Fallujah, but they are defeated

The Allies captured Sodo in Ethiopia

 
Other

Disputed World Light-Heavyweight Boxing Title Gus Lesnevich (USA) beat Anton Christoforidis (Greece) pts 15, Madison Square Garden, New York City.

Jews in Croatia were required to wear yellow badges

 
Friday 23rd May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Kelly Destroyer Lost Bombed by German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft S of Gavdo, Crete, during Battle for Crete, the ship sank in company with British warship Kashmir 34.40N 24.10E 23/05/1941  
Great Britain Kashmir Destroyer Lost Bombed by German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft S of Gavdo, Crete, during Battle for Crete, the ship sank in company with British warship Kelly 34.40N 24.10E 23/05/1941  
Great Britain Ilex Destroyer Damaged Damaged by a bomb from German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft, off Crete, during Battle for Crete. Her propellers were damaged by a near miss on 23/05/1941. Arrived for repair Alexandria 24/05/1941  
Great Britain Kipling Destroyer Damaged Damaged whilst alongside the British warship Kelly to rescue the crew, S of Gavdo, Crete, during Battle for Crete, part of the sinking Kelly punctured oil tanks of the ship, reducing her speed to 20 knots 23/05/1941  
 
Politics

Hitler issued Directive No. 30, Support of anti-British Forces in Iraq

King George II of Greece fled to Egypt

Vichy Vice-Premier François Darlan made a radio broadcast to the French people denying that he was ever asked to hand over the French Navy or any colonial territory during his recent conversations with Hitler. "France freely is choosing the road she is taking," Darlan stated. "On her depends her present and her future. She will have the peace which she makes herself. She will have a place in the organization of Europe which she will have made for herself.

 
Military

The Bomber Offensive: Minor night-time British air raid, 50+ on Cologne

 
Other

World Heavyweight Boxing Title Joe Louis (USA) beat Buddy Baer (USA) Disq 7, Griffith Stadium, Washington DC.

 
Saturday 24th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

The Italian converted troopship Conte Rosso was sunk off the coast of Sicily by the British submarine HMS Upholder, killing 1,300

The Battle of the Denmark Strait

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Prince of Wales Battleship Damaged Damaged by gunfire from German warships Bismarck & Prinz Eugen, during the Battle of the Denmark Strait, bridge of ship hit by 15" shell, 13 dead, 8 injured 24/05/1941. Withdrawn for repair 25/05/1941. Arrived for temporary repair Hvalfjord, Iceland 27/05/1941. During repair an unexploded 15" shell found below waterline near Starboard Diesel Room  
Germany Bismarck Battleship Damaged Damaged by three 14" shell hits from British warship Prince of Wales, during the Battle of the Denmark Strait, causing her to take on 2,000 tons of water forward & water contamination of her forward oil tanks. Her speed was reduced to 27 knots on 24/05/1941
Great Britain Hood Battleship Lost Sunk by gunfire from German warships Bismarck & Prinz Eugen, during the Battle of the Denmark Strait, plunging gunfire caused the magazine to detonate, the resulting explosion split her in two, 1421 dead, 3 survivors 63.20N 31.50W 24/05/1941
 
Politics

Greek government leave Crete for Egypt

The results of a Gallup poll were published asking Americans, "Do you think President Roosevelt has gone too far in his policies of helping Britain, or not far enough?" 59% said about right, 21% said too far and 20% said not far enough.

 
Sunday 25th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Germany Bismarck Battleship Damaged Damaged by a torpedo from Fairey Swordfish aircraft from British warship Victorious. Torpedo hit her armoured belt & did minor damage. 1 dead, 5 injured 25/05/1941  
Great Britain Grimsby Sloop Lost Bombed by Italian aircraft, 40 miles NE of Tobruk, in the Mediterranean Sea, 32.30N 24.40E 25/05/1941  
 
Military

British and Commonwealth troops counterattacked at Galatos

 
Other

French Cup Final: Girondins Bordeaux 2-0 SC Fives, Stade Municipal, Saint-Ouen

 
Monday 26th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Germany Bismarck Battleship Damaged Damaged by two torpedoes from Fairey Swordfish aircraft from British warship Ark Royal. One torpedo hit her armoured belt & caused only minor flooding, whilst the second torpedo jammed her rudder to port making her unmanoeuvrable 26/05/1941  
Great Britain Formidable Fleet Carrier Damaged Damaged by bombs from German Stuka dive-bomber aircraft, off the Island of Scarpanto, during the Battle for Crete, ship hit by two 2200 lbs, one went through the armoured flight deck the other knocked out X turret 26/05/1941  
Great Britain Sheffield Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged by gunfire near miss from German warship Bismarck, in the North Atlantic. Whilst tracking Bismarck she had wandered into range & at 9 miles range she was straddled by a salvo of 15" shells. Shell splinters knocked out her radar, 3 dead, 6 injured 26/05/1941. Ship remained operational  
 
Military

The Germans launched Operation Skorpion, a counter-attack at Halfaya Pass.

 
Tuesday 27th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Valiant Battleship Damaged Damaged by bombs from German Stuka dive-bomber aircraft off Crete, during Battle for Crete, ship hit by 2 bombs by X turret & 1 near miss 27/05/1941  
Great Britain Barham Battleship Damaged Damaged by bombs from German Stuka dive-bomber aircraft, off Crete, during Battle for Crete, hitting ship's Y turret 27/05/1941
Germany Bismarck Battleship Lost Sunk by gunfire from British warships Rodney & King George V & torpedoes from British warship Dorsetshire, or possibly finally scuttled by crew, 1995 dead & 110 survivors captured. 3 survivors were rescued by German submarine U-74 & 2 were rescued by a German trawler 48.10N 16.12W 27/05/1941
Germany U-74 Submarine Damaged Damaged whilst on the surface picking up 3 survivors from the German battleship Bismarck in the North Atlantic. Saltwater had contaminated her batteries & the boat was unable to dive on 27/05/1941. Arrived on the surface at Lorient 30/05/1941.  
 
Politics

President Roosevelt gave a fireside chat announcing an unlimited national emergency.

 
Military

Archibald Wavell sent a message to Churchill explaining that Crete was "no longer tenable" and that troops must be withdrawn. The Chiefs of Staff agreed and ordered the evacuation.

British forces advance on the Iraq capital Baghdad

In the Battle of 42nd Street, the Allies temporarily halted the German advance in Crete.

Italian aircraft arrive in Mosul to help the pro-German National Defence Government of Iraq

Operation Skorpion ended with the Germans recapturing Halfaya Pass.

The Allies captured Gondar in Ethiopia to complete the elimination of the Italian Empire in East Africa

The Bomber Offensive: British aircraft, 60+, from Bomber Command of the RAF search for German Warship Prinz Eugen, without success

The Bomber Offensive: Major night-time British air raid, 60+ on Cologne

 
Wednesday 28th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

British and Commonwealth forces begin evacuation of Crete

The Allies began to evacuate Crete

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Mashona Destroyer Lost Damaged by bombs from German aircraft, SW of Ireland, in the North Atlantic, hit by a bomb on the port side causing flooding to the boiler room, the crew had to abandon the ship which later capsized & sank, 46 dead, 52.58N 11.36W 28/05/1941  
 
Politics

Nazi Germany and Vichy France signed the Paris Protocols, granting the Germans military facilities in French colonies in exchange for the French receiving a reduction in the occupation costs they were obligated to pay Germany as well as the release of French prisoners of war.[31] The agreement would never be ratified.

 
Military

The Bomber Offensive: Minor night-time British air raid, 20+ on Kiel. German warship Tirpitz being the primary target

 
Other

World Middleweight Boxing Title Tony Zale (USA) beat Al Hostak (USA) Ko 2, Chicago Stadium Outdoor Arena, Chicago.

 
Thursday 29th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

The Allied garrison at Heraklion was evacuated.

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Orion Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged by German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft off Crete during the evacuation of Crete, the ship was carrying 1,900 troops, bombs knocked out A turret & hit bridge structure, extensive fires started, damage control saved ship & she returned to Alexandria with her speed limited to 12 knots, 100 crew dead, 260 troops dead, 280 troops injured 29/05/1941  
Great Britain Dido Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged by German Stuka dive bomber aircraft of Kaso Strait, Crete, during the evacuation from Crete, the ship's B turret was knocked out on 29/05/1941  
Great Britain Ajax Light Cruiser Damaged Damaged by Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.84 aircraft, of Kaso Strait, Crete, during the evacuation from Crete, near misses caused some flooding 29/05/1941  
Great Britain Imperial Destroyer Lost Damaged by a bomb near-miss from Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.84 aircraft, during the evacuation of Crete, in approaches to Kaso Straits, Crete, the ship's steering gear damaged beyond repair, given the air threat the crew taken off by British warship Hotspur & scuttled by torpedo 35.23N 25.40E 29/05/1941  
Great Britain Hereward Destroyer Lost Damaged by bombs from German & Italian aircraft during the evacuation from Crete, which limited the ship's speed, she fell behind and was bombed & sank by German Ju 87 Stuka dive-bomber aircraft, 5 miles off Crete, 76 dead, 89 survivors captured 35.20N 26.20E 29/05/1941  
 
Military

German military mission flee Iraq and abandoned the pro-German National Defence Government of Iraq

 
Friday 30th May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Great Britain Kelvin Destroyer Damaged Damaged by bombs from German aircraft whilst under passage from Alexandria to Sphakia, during the evacuation from Crete. Her speed was reduced & she left for Alexandria on 30/05/1941. Arrived Bombay Dockyard for repair 19/06/1941  
 
Politics

Rashid Ali and the pro-German National Defence Government flee Iraq

 
Military

British forces reached the outskirts of Baghdad.

 
Other

European Featherweight Boxing Title Ernst Weiss (Germany) beat Lucian Popescu (Romania) Pts 15, Engelmann Arena, Vienna.

Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose won the Indianapolis 500. This was the last time in Indianapolis 500 history that one winning car would carry two different drivers. The race would not be held again until 1946.

 
Saturday 31st May 1941
Daily Report
Naval

 

 
Country Vessel Type Report description
Australia Napier Destroyer Damaged Damaged by a near miss from bombs dropped by German aircraft, off Sphakia, Crete, during the evacuation from Crete, the ship had embarked 709 troops 31/05/1941. Repaired at Alexandria  
Italy Pleiadi Destroyer Escort Damaged Bombed by accident by Italian Cant Z.506 aircraft off Tobruk 31/05/1941  
 
Military

An armistice was signed in the Anglo-Iraqi War.

The Blitz: Mistaken German air raid on Dublin

The mayor of Baghdad surrenders the city to British forces and ends the Anglo-Iraq War

 
Other

English Football League (War) Cup Final Replay: Preston North End 2-1 Arsenal, Ewood Park, Blackburn.

European Bantamweight Boxing Title Gino Cattaneo (Italy) drew with Hermann Remscheid (Germany) Pts 15, Zirkus Krone, Munich.

European Lightweight Boxing Title Bruno Bistezo (Italy) beat Karl Blaho(Germany) Pts 15, Zirkus Krone, Munich.

Expropriation of Jewish property began in Belgium