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12 May 1941
  • Admiral Günther Lütjens and other staff officers embarked battleship Bismarck. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Italian torpedo boats Pleiadi and Pegaso sank British submarine HMS Undaunted off Tripoli, Libya at 2030 hours, killing the entire crew of 32. ww2dbase [CPC]
Egypt
  • The British convoy carrying 135 infantry tanks, 82 cruiser tanks, 21 light tanks, and 43 Hurricane fighters arrived at Alexandria, Egypt having traveled through the dangerous Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany
  • Polish Lieutenant Mietek Chmiel and Lieutenant Miki Surmanowicz failed in their attempt to escape the Oflag IV-C prisoner of war camp at Colditz Castle, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Joseph Goebbels visited Adolf Hitler at Berghof in Berchtesgaden in southern Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Libya
  • 47 German dive bombers sank British gunboat HMS Ladybird in Tobruk harbor, Libya with two bomb hits, killing 4 and wounding 14; Ladybird's gunners damaged two German dive bombers in return. Although she settled in 10 feet of water, her 6-inch gun was still above water, and thus she would remain useful as a stationary anti-aircraft gun platform while repairs were being done. Admiral Andrew Cunningham sent the message to her commanding officer "Great fighting finish worthy of highest ideals and tradition of the Navy and an inspiration for all who fight on the seas." ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine HMS Rorqual sank two small Greek vessels carrying German troops off the island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
Russia
  • Despite Joseph Stalin's continual refusal to accept the numerous intelligence warnings that Germany was about to invade the Soviet Union, the Soviet Chief of Staff General Zhukov, on his own authority, ordered four Soviet Armies (8oo,ooo men) to forward positions at the border. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | AC]
United States
  • Three former US Coast Guard Cutters were commissioned into Royal Navy at New York, United States as HMS Sennen, HMS Walney, and HMS Totland. Like cutters commissioned shortly before them, they were manned by the crew of battleship HMS Malaya, which was currently under repair in the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 May 1941
DrumHans FrankCanon de 75 modèle 1897 gun, Morris-Commercial C8 artillery tractor, and crew of 3rd Battery, 1st Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Polish Corps, St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom, 12 May 1941

12 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
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937