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18 May 1941
  • Italy annexed Dalmatia into its borders. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Battleship Bismarck anchored in the bay at 1200 hours to embark supplies and fuel for Operation Rhein├╝bung. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Prinz Eugen departed for Operation Rhein├╝bung. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • German submarine U-107 sank British ship Piako 130 miles west of Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 2227 hours; 10 were killed, 65 survived and rescued by British sloop HMS Bridgewater. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British battleship HMS Nelson and aircraft carrier HMS Eagle, en route from Cape Town, South Africa to Freetown, Sierra Leone, British West Africa in search of German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis, sailed within 7 kilometers of the German ship without detecting her. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • German dive bombers attacked British hospital ship Aba 50 miles south of Crete, Greece. Petty Officer Alfred Sephton of British light cruiser HMS Coventry won the Victoria Cross for directing anti-aircraft fire against the German aircraft despite being partially blinded by a machine gun bullet; he would die from his injuries on the next day. In anticipation of a German invasion of Crete, Greece, 700 Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders were transported from Port Said, Egypt, on troopship Glengyle; they would land at Tymbaki, Crete after sundown. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • British aircraft from RAF Habbaniya bombed Iraqi positions in Falluja throughout the day. Meanwhile, Arab troops loyal to Britain relieved the besieged RAF Habbaniyah which was defended only by out-of-date training aircraft. The base had been under attack from the pro-German forces of General Rashid Ali using Bf 110 and He 111 aircraft. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • General Mosley Mayne, British commander of Indian 5th Division, had lunch with Italian commander Duke of Aosta at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia. The Italian duke agreed to not destroy guns, to not destroy supplies, and to dismantle or identify mines. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | Amba Alagi | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Alessandro Malaspina sighted an aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean at 1505 hours at the range of 6,000 meters and submerged to escape being sighted in return. At 2150 hours, she sighted shadows on the horizon; fearing they were Allied warships, she submerged again. ww2dbase [Alessandro Malaspina | CPC]
Greece Poland Russia
  • Soviet leadership began a purge against Soviet Air Force officers. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 18 May 1941
Battleship Bismarck as seen from heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the Baltic Sea, mid-May 1941

18 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
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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