Calendar and Summary for May 1941  
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  April 1941 June 1941  
  Summary of Significant Events for May 1941  
  The May Blitz of Liverpool began.  The Iraqi Army marched against, and attacked, the Royal Air Force base at Habbaniyah near Baghdad.  Germany and Italy divided and annexed Slovenia.  Major General Erwin Rommel halted his attack on Tobruk.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler gave a speech to the Reichstag which covered the actions being taken against Germany by Great Britain, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Germany's military campaigns in the Balkans and Yugoslavia.  With an army of British, South African, African, and Ethiopian soldiers, Haile Selassie triumphantly returned to his capital to Addis Ababa to reclaim his throne.  In a radio address U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson advocated the use of the U.S. Navy to convoy merchant ships to Britain.  British Commandos captured a German weather ship, the trawler Munchen, northeast of Iceland and captured cipher equipment and secret papers relating to the Enigma coding machine.  A Japanese-imposed treaty between Vichy and Thailand was signed in Tokyo.  The German Deputy Fuhrer, Rudolf Hess, flew from Augsburg, Germany to Scotland in an attempt to personally negotiate a peace settlement with the British.  The exiled Mufti of Jerusalem broadcasted from Baghdad urging all Islamic countries to rise up against Great Britain.  The British began Operation Brevity in Libya.  Dr. Sigmund Rascher requested permission to use Dachau prisoners as test subjects for his medical experiments.  The Luftwaffe conducted the last great night air attack on Great Britain with 111 Luftwaffe aircraft striking Birmingham and West Midlands.  The Icelandic Parliament issued a formal declaration of independence from Denmark.  The Germans launched a surprise attack and captured the important British position of Sidi Azeiz. Without pausing they also overran Capuzzo.  The Duke of Aosta surrendered with the 7,000 remaining Italian troops at Amba Alagi in eastern Africa.  The RAF evacuated the remnants of its forces from Crete to Egypt.  Operation Mercur began as German gliders and paratroopers landed near the principal airports on Crete.  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8757 creating the Office of Civilian Defense.  King George II of Greece and the Greek political leadership were evacuated from Crete.  The Battle of the Denmark Strait occurred when the German battleship Bismarck engaged the Royal Navy with the HMS Hood being sunk.  The evacuation of Crete was authorized by the Commander-in-chief of the Middle East, General Archibald Wavell, after he consulted with London.  The Bismarck was sunk in action with the Royal Navy.  In a Fireside Chat radio broadcast Roosevelt proclaimed an "unlimited national emergency."  Iraq Premier Rashid Ali fled to Iran as British troops reached the outskirts of Baghdad.  Great Britain and Iraq signed an armistice at Baghdad.  63 ships (351,294 tons) were sunk and 3 ships (23,992 tons) were damaged by U-boats during May 1941.  
  Events occurring in May 1941 with no specific dates  

The objective of is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

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