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22 May 1941
  • The first flight of the Curtiss Hawk 81 fighters, known as Kittyhawk I to the British and P-40D to the Americans, was ordered by both the British Royal Air Force and the US Army. ww2dbase [P-40 Warhawk | AC]
  • US Navy transferred ships from the Pacific Fleet to the Atlantic Fleet. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Himmler formed a Norwegian SS organization, modeling it after the German counterpart. ww2dbase [TH]
  • HMS King George V patrolled the waters off Iceland. ww2dbase [King George V | CPC]
  • Iraqis counterattacked the British troops at Fallujah, Iraq with Italian-made light tanks. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • British aerial reconnaissance confirmed the German battleship Bismarck and cruiser Prinz Eugen had left Grimstadfjord, Norway. The German aerial reconnaissance to Scapa Flow, Scotland, United Kingdom, seeing dummy warships, reported that the British fleet was still in port. ww2dbase [Battle of Denmark Strait | CPC]
  • German submarine U-111 sank British ship Barnby 400 miles southwest of Ireland at 1340 hours; 1 was killed, 44 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank British tanker Grenadier 50 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at midnight; the entire crew of 49 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • New Zealand Second Lieutenant Charles Upham commanded a forward platoon in an attack on Maleme, Crete, Greece, during which he led his unit in advancing 3,000 yards, destroying many enemy defensive positions along the way, including wiping out a machine gun post with a grenade by himself. While falling back, he helped a wounded man out of the battle zone under fire and helped an isolated company back to friendly lines. He would later win the Victoria Cross award. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 7 I-16 fighters of the Chinese 24th Pursuit Squadron and 1 SB bomber of the Chinese 9th Bomb Squadron were ordered to intercept the incoming 25 Japanese G3M bombers at Lanzhou, Gansu, China. Bad weather forced the Chinese aircraft to land at Chung Chuan Chun Airfield, but upon sighting the Japanese bombers overhead the Chinese fighters were able to takeoff and shoot down one bomber and damaging another. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | CPC]
  • HMS Edinburgh intercepted German ship Lech in the Bay of Biscay. ww2dbase [Edinburgh | CPC]
  • Vyacheslav Molotov met with Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg in Moscow, Russia. Schulenburg, the German ambassador, reported that Molotov was extremely friendly. ww2dbase [Vyacheslav Molotov | CPC]
  • Erich Raeder responded to Adolf Hitler's inquiry regarding a German occupation of the Azores islands as long range bomber bases (although Germany had no such bombers at that time) as difficult, as the German Navy was not strong enough to guard the islands should they be taken. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
  • 25 G3M bombers of Japanese Mihoro Kokutai (based in Tainan, Taiwan) with A6M Zero fighters in escort attacked Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China. Gao Youxin, flying an I-16III fighter temporarily based in Chung Chuan Chun Airfield to the north of the city, dispersed several bombers making an attack run on the airfield, allowing five I-16III fighters to take off. Gao went on to shoot down one G3M bomber (Lieutenant Shintaro Hashimoto) and damaged another. Most of the G3M bombers, however, bombed the city uncontested. ww2dbase [Gao Youxin | Lanzhou, Gansu | CPC]
France Greece
  • HMS York, crippled at Suda Bay, Crete, Greece, had her main guns wrecked by demolition charges as the Allied began to evacuate Crete. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | York | Suda Bay, Crete | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Before dawn, British warships searched for an Axis convoy off the Greek island of Milos; after sunrise, German aircraft spotted the ships, damaging HMS Naiad (6 killed), HMS Calcutta (14 killed), and HMS Kingston (1 killed) at 1000 hours. At 1200 hours, HMS Greyhound was sunk (76 killed) and HMS Warspite was damaged (43 killed). Shortly after, HMS Gloucester (722 killed) and HMS Fiji (257 killed) were also sunk. Meanwhile, at Crete, Greece, Australian and New Zealand troops counterattacked at Maleme at 0330 hours, but German 5. Gebirsgäger Division troops repulsed the attack. During the day, additional Ju 52 aircraft brought two more battalions of troops to Maleme. Australian and New Zealand troops were pulled back from Maleme to Suda Bay to protect the main supply point while regrouping for another counterattack. ww2dbase [Warspite | Balkans Campaign | AC]
Photo(s) dated 22 May 1941
Palls of smoke rising above the countryside, Crete, Greece, late May 1941A group of British soldiers in a trench with fixed bayonets, Crete, Greece, late May 1941

22 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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