18 May 1856

  • Heloglander Rickmer Classen Rickmers signed a contract for a site 65,000 square meters in size at Geesthelle, Bremerhaven, Germany to expand operations. ww2dbase [Rickmers | Bremerhaven, Weser-Ems | AG]

18 May 1856 Interactive Map

18 May 1888
18 May 1892
18 May 1907
  • Werner von Blomberg was promoted to the rank of Oberleutnant. ww2dbase [Werner von Blomberg | CPC]
  • Prince Hiroyasu's fifth child, Princess Atsuko, was born. ww2dbase [Hiroyasu | CPC]
18 May 1915

United States
18 May 1918 Japan
  • Prince Naruhiko married Princess Toshiko, ninth daughter of Emperor Meiji. ww2dbase [Naruhiko | CPC]
18 May 1920

United States
18 May 1928
  • Giulio Cesare was decommissioned from service. ww2dbase [Giulio Cesare | CPC]
  • Conte di Cavour was decommissioned from service. ww2dbase [Conte di Cavour | CPC]
18 May 1932

18 May 1933

United States
  • Franklin Roosevelt established the Tennessee Valley Authority for power generation and flood control in the namesake region in the United States. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
18 May 1935
  • The world's worst air disaster to date, involving a heavier-than-air craft, occurred when the Soviet ANT-20 "Maxim Gorky" collided with another aircraft near Tushino, Russia, killing 56 on board. ww2dbase [AC]
18 May 1938

Photo(s) dated 18 May 1938
Men of the US Army 11th Field Artillery Regiment sitting on a gun, US Territory of Hawaii, 18 May 1938
18 May 1939

  • Clifton Cates was made the executive officer of the 4th Marine Regiment. ww2dbase [Clifton Cates | Shanghai | CPC]
  • A degree from Adolf Hitler permitted Heinrich Himmler to call up older men on the outbreak of war to replace the permanent units of concentration camp guards. This would allow the younger men to be drafted into the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Regiments of a new SS Division, to be called Totenkopf. ww2dbase [Heinrich Himmler | AC]
18 May 1940
  • German troops captured Antwerp, Belgium; meanwhile, the German government re-incorporated into its borders the territory that Germany ceded to Belgium per the Versailles Treaty. In France, Erwin Rommel's German 7th Panzer Division reached Cambrai where it halted to consolidate his supply lines; in the past 5 days the division advanced 85 miles and captured 10,000 French prisoners and tanks, suffering only 150 casualties. The French called the German 7th Panzer Division the "Ghost Division" for its ability to strike in unexpected and vulnerable places. Elsewhere in France, German troops captured Petonne and Amiens. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • German submarines U-60 and U-62 departed Kiel. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Arthur Sey├č-Inquart was appointed Reich Commissar of the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Arthur Sey├č-Inquart | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill sent a telegram to US President Roosevelt, noting "if American assistance is to play any part it must be available [soon]." ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • HMS Effingham was scuttled by torpedo after suffering serious damage incurred on the previous day after striking the Faksen Shoal off Norway. ww2dbase [Effingham | CPC]
  • Walter Grabmann, flying a Bf 110 heavy fighter, was shot down by British Hurricane fighters over Douai, France; he parachuted to safety but was captured. ww2dbase [Walter Grabmann | Douai, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | CPC]
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]
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

18 May 1942
  • The Royal Navy rejected American request for one of the three British carriers in the Indian Ocean to serve in the Southwest Pacific. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Most of the retreating troops of BURCORPS reached India. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | CPC]
  • German submarine U-162 sank Norwegian tanker Beth (sailing in service of the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary force) off Barbados at 0210 hours. U-558 sank Dutch ship Fauna 25 miles northwest of British North Caicos island at 0615 hours. German submarine U-156 sank American ship Quaker City 460 miles east of Martinique at 1018 hours; 10 were killed, 29 survived. At 1852 hours, U-156 fired what would be the first of four torpedoes at British tanker San Eliseo between this evening and the next morning as she unsuccessfully chased the tanker. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • German submarine U-125 sank US tanker Mercury Sun in the Caribbean Sea at 0606 hours. At 2150 hours, U-125 struck again, sinking US ship William J. Salman. ww2dbase [Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico Campaigns | CPC]
  • Soviet submarine ShCh-205 sank Turkish ship Duatepe with torpedoes and schooner Kaynardzha with the deck gun 10 miles off Bulgaria; these ships were suspected of smuggling weapons to southern Ukraine for German forces. ww2dbase [ShCh-205 | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Turbulent arrived in the Gulf of Sirte north of Libya in the early hours of the day. At 0510 hours, 50 miles northwest of Benghazi, she spotted and sank Italian ship Bolsena. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Sydir Kovpak was made a Hero of the Soviet Union for the first time. ww2dbase [Sydir Kovpak | CPC]
Australian Papua Germany Hawaii Russia
  • Nikita Khrushchev phoned Joseph Stalin at Moscow, Russia, requesting Stalin to pause the Kharkov offensive in Ukraine in order to focus on other more important campaigns; Stalin rejected the request. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | Moscow | CPC]
  • 14th and 16th Panzer Divisions of the German 1st Panzer Army destroyed 130 Soviet tanks in combat in Ukraine, forcing Soviet forces to evacuate forward airfields at Izium and Petrovskaia. Semyon Timoshenko requested for permission to fall back from his positions near Kharkov, Ukraine due to this latest German counteroffensive; Joseph Stalin refused to grant his permission, ordering Timoshenko to continue the westward offensive. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Kharkov | Kharkov | TH, CPC]
United States Photo(s) dated 18 May 1942
Wildcat took off from EnterpriseBL 15 in coastal gun of the Wanstone Battery, St Margaret-at-Cliffe, England, United Kingdom, 18 May 1942, photo 1 of 2BL 15 in coastal gun of the Wanstone Battery, St Margaret-at-Cliffe, England, United Kingdom, 18 May 1942, photo 2 of 2

18 May 1942 Interactive Map

18 May 1943
  • The Papal Nuncio in Romania asked the Romanian foreign minister to allow the immigration of 8,000 Jewish orphans in Transnistria to Palestine. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • After sundown, German submarine U-304 spotted Allied convoy SC 130 in the North Atlantic. ww2dbase [Black May | CPC]
  • The Japanese Navy formed the 12th Air Fleet on paper with Vice Admiral Michitaro Tozuka in command and Rear Admiral Yoshiyuki Ichimiya as the chief of staff. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Pollack sank Japanese ship Terushima Maru in the Marshall Islands with two of three torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Pollack | CPC]
  • Nikolai Kamanin was promoted to the rank of major general to take command of the 8th Combined Air Corps. ww2dbase [Nikolai Kamanin | CPC]
China Germany
  • At 0730 hours, a Spitfire aircraft of No. 542 Squadron RAF flew across the Ruhr region in Germany and photographed the extent of the damage from the Dambuster Raid. ww2dbase [Dambuster Raid | CPC]
Iceland Japan
  • The keel of Submarine No. 5091 was laid down at Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan by Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation. ww2dbase [I-14 | Kobe, Hyogo | CPC]
Marshall Islands
  • Naka arrived at Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Naka | Jaluit | CPC]
United States Photo(s) dated 18 May 1943
M├Âhne Dam breached after the previous dayAerial reconnaissance photo over M├Âhne Dam, showing flooding, Soest, Westfalen-S├╝d, Germany, late 17 May or 18 May 1943

18 May 1943 Interactive Map

18 May 1944
  • Allied bombers conducted a raid on Belgrade, Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Anglo-Indian troops attacked Japanese positions at Ninthoukgong, India. ww2dbase [Battle of Imphal-Kohima | CPC]
  • Joseph Stilwell arrived at the Myitkyina airfield in Burma just a day after the airfield was captured, congratulating Frank Merrill in advance for the capture of the rest of the city, which he believed would be achieved within days. Later on the same day, Merrill dispatched a Chinese unit to attack the city; the attack was called off when two Chinese battalions mistakenly engaged each other in a fierce firefight. ww2dbase [Battle of Myitkyina | CPC]
  • The Buckley-class destroyer-escort USS England (Commander W. B. Pendleton) attacked and sank Japanese submarine I-16, the first of six enemy submarines to be sunk by USS England over a twelve-day period. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Martin Gottfried Weiss was promoted to the rank of SS-Obersturmbannf├╝hrer. ww2dbase [Martin Gottfried Weiss | CPC]
  • British 78th Division linked up with the Polish Corps in the Liri River valley 3.2 kilometers west of Cassino, Italy. Later on the same day, Polish troops captured the ruins of the Monte Cassino monastery. ww2dbase [Battle of Monte Cassino | Cassino, Lazio | TH, CPC]
Japan Pacific Ocean
  • USS Puffer attacked a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea, firing 9 torpedoes, 2 of which hit and sank freighter Shinryu Maru. ww2dbase [Puffer | South China Sea | CPC]
Russia United States
  • USS Ranger departed New York bound for Norfolk, Virginia. ww2dbase [Ranger | New York | DS]
Photo(s) dated 18 May 1944
Men of 163rd Infantry Regiment hit the beach from Higgins boats during the invasion of Wadke Island, New Guinea, 18 May 1944Canadian Prime Minister King and General Harry Foster walking by a Ford GPA amphibious Jeep, England, UK, 18 May 1944Polish troops fighting near Cassino, Italy, 18 May 1944The cerws of USS Saratoga (foreground) and HMNZS Gambia (center) saluting each other as USS Saratoga was preparing to leave Indian Ocean, 18 May 1944
See all photos dated 18 May 1944

18 May 1944 Interactive Map

18 May 1945
  • Specially-modified American B-29 bombers arrived at Tinian, Mariana Islands in preparation of future atomic bomb missions. ww2dbase [Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki | CPC]
  • Destroyer USS Longshaw, stuck on a reef, was sunk by Japanese shore battery at Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [Okinawa Campaign | CPC]
  • King George VI of the United Kingdom awarded Philip Gardner a Victoria Cross for his daring rescue of comrades at Tobruk, Libya on 23 Nov 1941. ww2dbase [George VI | CPC]
  • USS Missouri arrived at Apra Harbor, Guam, Mariana Islands. In the afternoon, she became the flagship of Admiral William Halsey of the US Navy 3rd Fleet. ww2dbase [Missouri | CPC]
  • Captain Keiji Furutani was named the commanding officer of light carrier Hosho. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
  • Marshal Tito, in negotiations with British and US representatives over disputed territory, claimed to have the right to add Trieste to Yugoslav territory, and refused to leave the area. ww2dbase [Josip Tito | AC]
Austria Guam
  • USS Flying Fish arrived at Guam, Mariana Islands. ww2dbase [Flying Fish | CPC]
  • USS Springer arrived at Guam, ending her second war patrol. ww2dbase [Springer | CPC]
  • P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft based in Ie Shima near Okinawa attacked airfields on Kyushu, Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Segundo encountered two bodies floating in the water in the East China Sea; her crew identified them to be one American and one Japanese. ww2dbase [Segundo | East China Sea | CPC]
  • USS Bergall damaged a small Japanese vessel with her deck gun in the South China Sea. ww2dbase [Bergall | South China Sea | CPC]
  • In the morning, four PV-1 Ventura aircraft of US Navy VPB-137 squadron took off from Clark Field in the Philippines to attack a sugar refinery and butanol plant operated by the Meiji Corporation in Taito (now Taitung), Taiwan. The four approached from the southeast in low altitude and dropped a total of 12 500-pound bombs on the target. One of them was hit by a 25-millimeter shell from a nearby anti-aircraft gun emplacement, injuring the turret gunner. The four aircraft proceeded northward toward Karenko (now Hualien), attacking targets of opportunity along the way, before turning out to sea to return to the Philippines. ww2dbase [Taito | CPC]
United States
  • US Navy gave the firm North American Aviation a contract for three XP-86 prototype jet fighters. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 18 May 1945
Japanese-American troops of 100th Infantry Battalion, US 442nd Regimental Combat Team inspecting a confiscated German field kitchen, Brescia, Italy, 18 May 1945, photo 1 of 2Japanese-American troops of 100th Infantry Battalion, US 442nd Regimental Combat Team inspecting a confiscated German field kitchen, Brescia, Italy, 18 May 1945, photo 2 of 2USS Missouri moored in Apra Harbor, Guam, Mariana Islands, 18 May 1945. Note hospital ship USS Hope behind Missouri and two Casablanca-class escort carriers at right.Meiji Corporation sugar refinery and butanol plant in Taito, Taiwan under attack by four PV-1 Ventura aircraft of US Navy VPB-137 squadron, 18 May 1945

18 May 1945 Interactive Map

18 May 1946

United States

18 May 1946 Interactive Map

18 May 1947

  • Chinese communist forces captured Huaide County, Jilin Province, China. ww2dbase [Jilin | CPC]
18 May 1948

  • Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic leaders ordered all non-Russian-language village names in Krym (Crimea), Russia to be given Russian-language names. ww2dbase [Deportation of Crimean Tatars | Krym | CPC]
18 May 1949

  • Tang Enbo successfully transported 200,000 taels (about 200 kilograms) of government gold from Shanghai, China to Taiwan. ww2dbase [Tang Enbo | CPC]
18 May 1953

United States
18 May 1957

  • Crown Prince Yi Un gained Japanese citizenship. ww2dbase [Yi Un | CPC]
18 May 1963

United States Photo(s) dated 18 May 1963
Wernher von Braun and President John F Kennedy at the Redstone Army Airfield, Huntsville, Alabama, United States, 18 May 1963

18 May 1963 Interactive Map

18 May 1973
  • The hull of submarine Sea Cat was sold for scrap. ww2dbase [Sea Cat | CPC]
  • Submarine Sennet was sold to Southern Scrap Material Company, Limited of New Orleans, Louisiana, United States for US$103,889. ww2dbase [Sennet | CPC]
18 May 1974

  • Lu Han's memorial service was held in Beijing, China. ww2dbase [Lu Han | Beijing | CPC]
18 May 1981

18 May 1985

  • Erich Traub passed away in his sleep in Rosenheim, West Germany. ww2dbase [Erich Traub | Rosenheim | CPC]

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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