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1 May 1941
  • British ocean boarding vessel HMS Cavina captured Italian tanker Sangro 400 miles north of the Azores islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • At 2215 hours, German bombers began attacking Liverpool, England, United Kingdom; it was to be the first of seven consecutive nightly bombings on the city. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | TH]
  • German tanks attacked Tobruk, Libya at 0715 hours; slowed by a minefield, they were attacked by 2-pounder anti-tank guns and then by British tanks; the Germans lost 12 tanks in this engagement while the British lost 4. In the evening, Australian 2/48th Battalion conducted a counterattack but it was repulsed with heavy casualties. 300 kilometers to the west, RAF aircraft attacked Benghazi and sank an Italian freighter. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | TH]
  • Kapitän zur See Friedrich Hüffmeier took command of cruiser Köln. ww2dbase [Köln | CPC]
  • Iraqi forces overlooking RAF Habbaniya grew to 9,000 men, 50 artillery pieces, 12 armored cars, and a few light tanks. They demanded the airfield to cease flight operations, but the local RAF commander ignored the threat, a decision backed by Winston Churchill. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Upholder sank freighters Arcturus and Leverkusen off Kerkenah island, Tunisia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-552 sank British passenger liner Nerissa 100 miles north of Ireland at 0027 hours; 207 were killed, 83 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank British ship Samsø 200 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 1834 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Groß-Rosen Concentration Camp, formerly a satellite camp of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, became an independent camp. It was located in Groß-Rosen, Lower Silesia, Germany (now Rogoznica, Poland). ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • Generalleutnant August Krakau succeeded Robert Martinek as the commanding officer of the German 7th Mountain Division. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Marine Barracks of New River, North Carolina, United States was established with Lieutenant Colonel William P. T. Hill in command. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Eagle was ordered to sail for Durban, South Africa. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • Captain Francis S. Craven relieved Captain Ralph S. Wentworth as the commanding officer of the cruiser USS Nashville. ww2dbase [Nashville | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Comandante Cappellini sighted a submarine in the Atlantic Ocean. She submerged to periscope depth and lost visual contact with the other ship. ww2dbase [Comandante Cappellini | CPC]
  • Viceroy of Italian East Africa Duke of Aosta and 7,000 troops were trapped at Amba Alagi, Ethiopia by Indian 5th Indivision to the north and South African 1st Brigade in the south. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | Amba Alagi | CPC]
  • General Bernard Freyberg arrived in Crete, Greece where he planned to concentrate his New Zealand Division, supported by 3,500 Greek troops around Maleme to defend the airstrip there. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | Bernard Freyberg | Crete | AC]
Japan Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down his 10th and 11th kills, two British Hurricane fighters, while escorting German Stuka dive bombers to Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Tobruk | CPC]
  • HMS Jersey hit a mine in Valetta, Malta, and later sank during a German air raid. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | Valetta | CPC]

1 May 1941 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
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945

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