5 Jan 1941
  • Australian 6th Division troops, supported by 6 remaining British Matilda tanks, captured the last Italian defensive position at Bardia, Libya, and the remaining Italian force surrendered soon afterwards. In the battle for Bardia, the Italians suffered 1,000 killed, 3,000 wounded, and 36,000 taken prisoner; 2,000 Italians were able to withdraw to Tobruk, Libya. Australians suffered 130 killed and 326 wounded. The Allies captured a large quantity of Italian equipment, including 26 coastal guns, 7 medium guns, 216 field guns, 26 anti-aircraft guns, 41 infantry guns, 146 anti-tank guns, 12 medium tanks, 115 tankettes, 708 trucks, and water pumps capable of producing 400 tons of fresh water per day. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • Italian ship Vulcano hit a mine and sank off Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Cappellini sank British ship Shakespeare 100 miles northeast of the Cape Verde Islands at 1045 hours with her two 100-mm deck guns, killing 20. Before Shakespeare sank, her return fire hit Cappellini's aft gun and killed gunner Sergeant Ferruccio Azzolin. Cappellini rescued 22 survivors and took them to Sal Island nearby. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British sloop HMS Lowestoft, while operating with Allied convoy FS.378, was damaged by a mine in the Thames Estuary in England, United Kingdom. She would be under repair at Chatham, England until 3 Oct. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A 9,000-strong contingent of the Chinese Communist New Fourth Army became surrounded by overwhelming Chinese Nationalist force at Maolin, Anhui Province, China. ww2dbase [New Fourth Army incident | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Amy Johnson, record-breaking aviation pioneer of the 1930s, was killed when the Airspeed Oxford trainer she was delivering as an Air Transport Auxiliary ferry pilot came down in the Thames Estuary in Southern England, United Kingdom, near Herne Bay. It was sadly ironic that a woman who navigated her way solo from England to Australia got lost in bad weather. Running out of fuel, she baled out thinking she was over London. Landing in the freezing water, she was dragged under a rescue boat by her parachute and chopped to death by the propellers. Her body was never found. ww2dbase [Amy Johnson | AC]
Photo(s) dated 5 Jan 1941
Portrait of Alfred Rosenberg, 5 Jan 1941

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