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World War II Database

5 May 1941
  • Major General Bernard Freyberg was appointed the commander of British and Commonwealth forces at Crete, Greece. ww2dbase [Bernard Freyberg | TH]
  • A shipment of US flour arrived in Vichy France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler, Wilhelm Keitel, and G├╝nther L├╝tjens embarked battleship Bismarck. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler visited the German naval yard at Gdynia and inspected battleships Bismarck and Tirpitz. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank British ship Queen Maud 200 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 1117 hours; 1 was killed, 43 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In the United Kingdom, German aircraft bombed naval facilities at Belfast in Northern Ireland (carrier HMS Furious, seaplane tender HMS Pegasus, destroyer HMS Volunteer, and corvettes HMS Bryony, HMS Buttercup, and HMS La Malouine suffered minor damage), Liverpool in England (bombed consecutively since 1 May 1941), and the Clyde Estuary in Scotland (HMS Marksman, submarine HMS Traveller, and submarine HMS Trooper suffered damage). ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Operation Tiger: British freighters, with 295 tanks destined for Egypt, passed through the Strait of Gibraltar. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Australian destroyers HMAS Voyager and HMAS Waterhen entered Tobruk, Libya, becoming the first ships to bring in supplies since the city became besieged. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Taku sank Italian ship Cagliari off the east coast of Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Stalin announced at a passing-out ceremony for military cadets that there did exist a threat from Germany for which the Red Army had to prepare itself rapidly. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | AC]
Abyssinia
  • 3/2nd Punjab Battalion advanced toward the Italian stronghold at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia at 0415 hours. They were pinned down by 12 Italian machine guns for the most of the day. The attack was called off at dusk. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | Amba Alagi | CPC]
  • Abyssinian Emperor Haile Selassie returned to his capital Addis Ababa. He had fled the city exactly five years during the Italian invasion. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | Haile Selassie | Addis Ababa | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British Royal Navy's 18th Cruiser Squadron (HMS Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham with five destroyers) sailed from Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom and headed north. The operation (codenamed EB) had been mounted by the Admiralty with the specific aim of intercepting and capturing the German weather ship M├╝nchen. Using surprise and speed, Admiral Lancelot Holland intended to capture and board the enemy vessel and, all being well, secure a set of coding tables which would enable the German naval cipher system, Enigma, to be read immediately for the first time. ww2dbase [Enigma Code Broken | Scapa Flow | Scapa Flow, Scotland | AC]
Photo(s) dated 5 May 1941
Adolf Hitler inspecting battleship Bismarck with Admiral Lutjens and Captain Lindemann, Gotenhafen, Germany (now Gdynia, Poland), 5 May 1941, photo 1 of 3Adolf Hitler inspecting battleship Bismarck with Admiral Lutjens and Captain Lindemann, Gotenhafen, Germany (now Gdynia, Poland), 5 May 1941, photo 2 of 3Adolf Hitler inspecting battleship Bismarck with Admiral Lutjens and Captain Lindemann, Gotenhafen, Germany (now Gdynia, Poland), 5 May 1941, photo 3 of 3; Lutjens not seen in this photo

5 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
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944