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31 May 1941
  • At 0200 hours, Dublin, Ireland was accidentally bombed by German bombers intending to hit Liverpool, England, United Kingdom; 28 were killed and 87 were wounded, while about 25 homes were destroyed and about 300 homes were seriously damaged. Germany would later offer compensation. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British destroyers HMS Napier and HMS Nizam embarked 1,510 troops at Sphakia, Crete, Greece and departed before dawn for Egypt; they were attacked by Axis aircraft en route, causing minor damage. At 0600 hours, British cruiser HMS Phoebe, minelayer HMS Abdiel, and destroyers HMS Jackal, HMS Kimberley, and HMS Hotspur departed Alexandria, Egypt for Sphakia to evacuate more troops. On the same day, 54 senior level Allied officers, including General Freyberg, were evacuated from Crete by aircraft. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The mayor of Baghdad, Iraq surrendered to British Ambassador Sir Kinahan Cornwallis at the Washash Bridge. As a sign of good faith, the British allowed the Iraqi Army to return to their barracks, and all captured equipment were returned. Both sides released captured prisoners of war with the exception of German and Italian troops captured by the British. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-69 sank British ship Sangara at Accra harbor, Gold Coast at 0025 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank Norwegian ship Rinda off Liberia at 0024 hours; 13 were killed, 18 survived and were rescued by British anti-submarine trawler HMS Pict. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-106 sank British ship Clan MacDougall near Cape Verde Islands at 0334 hours; 2 were killed, 85 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Sire off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 0739 hours; 3 were killed, 46 survived and were rescued by British corvette HMS Marguerite. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-147 sank British ship Gravelines 100 miles northwest of Ireland; 11 were killed, 25 survived and were rescued by British sloop HMS Deptford. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-204 sank small Icelandic fishing boat Holmsteinn northwest of Iceland at 0515 hours, killing the entire crew of 4. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Before dawn, German bombers attacked Merseyside, England, United Kingdom in the early hours of the day. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Austria
  • After successfully escaping the Oflag IV-C prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle, Germany earlier in the month, British Lieutenant Anthony "Peter" Allan failed to secure assistance from the US Consulate at Vienna in occupied Austria. Giving up, he turned himself in at a local police station and was eventually returned to Colditz. ww2dbase [CPC]
Russia
  • A Soviet decree stated that children of traitors could be criminally charged after they reached the age of 15. ww2dbase [CPC]
US Virgin Islands
  • US 22nd and 23rd Fighter Squadrons, both operating P-40 Warhawk fighters, was assigned to St. Croix Airfield, US Virgin Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 31 May 1941
Wounded British troops disembarking at an Egyptian port after being evacuated from Crete, Greece, 31 May 1941Map depicting the German assault on Crete, Greece, 20-31 May 1941

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

31 May 1941 Interactive Map




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Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937