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World War II Database

13 May 1940
  • UK Prime Minister Churchill made the famous "Blood, Sweat, Tears, and Toil" speech. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • At midnight, which was light due to the latitude, British cruiser HMS Aurora, cruiser HMS Effingham, and battleship HMS Resolution bombarded Narvik, Norway in preparation of the 0100-hour amphibious operation at Bjerkvik, which was the first of the European War. French Foreign Legion and light tanks came ashore at Bjerkvik in landing craft, suffering 36 casualties, then reached and captured Řyjord unopposed. Many Norwegian civilians died during the attack. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • While on the previous day the inferior German tanks suffered against their French counterparts in Belgium, German tank commanders amassed their tanks (while the French commanders decided to divide their tanks to cover a wider front) and punched a hole in the French lines; French troops began falling back toward Gembloux; the Battle of Hannut ended with the French losing 105 tanks and the Germans 160. The German 9th Division reached the outskirts of Rotterdam, which was a part of the final Dutch defensive line, Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Utrecht. In France, Germany Army Group B established bridgeheads at the Meuse River near Dinant and Sedan after penetrating a 50-mile gap in French defensive lines; by the evening, pontoon bridges were set up for tanks to cross. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
Belgium
  • Six Defiant fighters of B Flight, 264 Squadron RAF set out to attack enemy troop movements in the Netherlands. In the process they attacked a force of Ju 87 aircraft and claimed four of these, but were then bounced by Messerschmitt Bf 109 aircraft who swiftly shot down five of the Defiant aircraft (only two crewmen survived by parachute). The sole remaining Defiant aircraft (Pilot Officer Kay and LAC Jones) managed to land at Knocke, belgium and later returned to England. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
China
  • American river gunboat Tutuila, stranded on a reef in the Yangtze River off Chongqing, China since 8 May, was refloated. ww2dbase [CPC]
France
  • James Lacey shot down a German He 111 bomber, a Bf 109 fighter, and a Bf 110 fighter over Sedan, Ardennes, France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The Dutch Royal Family and the Dutch government arrived in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Winston Churchill appointed Leo Amery as Secretary of State for India and Burma. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 13 May 1940
Searaven making full speed while running trials off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States, 13 May 1940, photo 1 of 3Searaven making full speed while running trials off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States, 13 May 1940, photo 2 of 3Searaven making full speed while running trials off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States, 13 May 1940, photo 3 of 3Searaven during trials, off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States, 13 May 1940, photo 1 of 3
See all photos dated 13 May 1940

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
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935