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1 May 1940
  • Orion crossed the Equator. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Roosevelt urged Italy to stay out of the European War; Mussolini's response noted that Germany could not be defeated. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Swiss intelligence learned of a potential attack on France to be launched soon and informed the French military attaché, who promptly reported this to Paris. Meanwhile in Germany, Adolf Hitler pushed the invasion decision date to 5 May 1940. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Otto Skorzeny was promoted to the rank of Unterscharführer. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • King Haakon VII and the Norwegian government established the provisional government at Tromsø, Norway. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese troops began to march toward Yichang, Hubei Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Norwegian troops in Lillehammer surrendered. En route to Åndalsnes, Norway for evacuation, the train carrying troops of the British 15th Brigade crashed into a bomb crater at 0115 hours, killing 8 and wounding 30; the surviving troops marched 17 miles through deep snow, arriving at Åndalsnes at 0900 hours. British Vice Admiral Layton's task force consisted of cruisers Manchester and Birmingham and destroyers Inglefield, Diana, and Delight arrived at Åndalsnes, Norway to evacuate the British 148th and 15th Brigades; they embarked 5,084 men overnight and departed at 0200 hours on the next day. Joining the British evacuation was Norwegian General Ruge, who departed Åndalsnes aboard British destroyer HMS Diana to join the Norwegian government at Tromsø. Four British destroyers arrived at Namsos to evacuate the British 146th Brigade and other Allied troops in the area; heavy fog delayed the operation, and only 850 French troops were embarked overnight. In the Kattegat, British submarine HMS Narwhal fired six torpedoes at a German merchant convoy carrying parts of 2nd Gebirgsjager Division to Norway; German steamer Buenos Aires was hit by one of the torpedoes and sank, killing 62 men and 240 horses; another transport, Bahia Castillo, was hit but did not sink, killing 10 men and 26 horses. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Rudolf Höss was appointed the first Commandant of Auschwitz Concentration Camp in German-occupied Poland. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Puerto Rico
  • The US Navy established the Naval Air Station Isla Grande in San Juan, Puerto Rico as a part of the Tenth Naval District. The first commanding officer of the base was Captain Virgil C. Griffin, Jr. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British government passed a trade union agreement which allowed women to work in munitions factories. ww2dbase [TH]
  • A German bomber crashed in Essex, England, United Kingdom, killing the crew and two civilians, wounding a further 150 people. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
Photo(s) dated 1 May 1940
Quincy underway, 1 May 1940

1 May 1940 Interactive Map

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

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Famous WW2 Quote
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

Winston Churchill