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12 May 1945
  • George Patton launched Operation Cowboy in Hostau, Czechoslovakia, rescuing 1,200 horses, including 375 of the Lipizzan breed, from potential Soviet slaughter. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German troops on Crete, Greece surrendered. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • General Andrey Vlasov was turned over to the Red Army after being captured by the Americans. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British troops landed at St Hélier in Jersey, Channel Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Army troops landed on Torishima, Ryukyu Islands, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Australian Corporal John Mackey destroyed three machine gun nests at Tarakan, Borneo, that had been holding up his comrades. Many Japanese were killed or forced to retreat, but Corporal Mackey would pay the ultimate price for his bravery. Posthumously he was awarded the Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Alfred Ernest Snow was name the British Military Administrator of the Channel Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese special attack aircraft damaged USS New Mexico off Okinawa, Japan; 54 were killed, 119 were wounded. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
  • Japanese hospital ship Hikawa Maru departed Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • USS Wichita was damaged by friendly fire off Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Allied convoy JW-67 departed Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Air Vice Marshal John Whitley succeeded Donald Bennett as Air Officer Commanding of No. 8 (Pathfinder) Group of RAF Bomber Command. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • Joseph Rochefort reported to Admiral Ernest King's office on the situation of Japanese war materials, noting, among other things, that Japan had nearly depleted its supply of coal while aluminum and oil stockpiles were running low. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 May 1945
Starving inmate of Camp Gusen, Austria, 12 May 1945Bodies of victims piled in a cart, awaiting proper burial, Gusen Concentration Camp, Muhlhausen, near Linz, Austria, 12 May 1945Prisoner of war camp in Sinzig, Germany, 12 May 1945William Donovan
See all photos dated 12 May 1945

12 May 1945 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
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945