6 May 1941
  • Overnight, Iraqi troops withdrew from the plateau overlooking RAF Habbaniya after suffering 1,000 casualties, largely by RAF aircraft, abandoning large amounts of weapons and supplies. They were pursued by the British King's Own Royal Regiment, which caught up with the Iraqi troops at Sinn El Dhibban, taking 433 prisoners at the cost of 7 British troops killed and 14 wounded. To the south, the 21st Infantry Brigade of the Indian 10th Division arrived by sea at Basra. Meanwhile, Vichy France and Germany signed the Paris Protocol, which gave permission for German troops to march through Syria for Iraq to reinforce the Iraqis; in return, Germany lowered the tribute that France had to pay Germany from 20 million to 15 million Reichsmarks daily. German Luftwaffe Colonel Werner Junck was ordered to establish FliegerfĂĽhrer Irak with 12 Bf 110 fighters and 12 He 111 bombers. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German submarines U-103 and U-105 sank 3 more British freighters off Sierra Leone, British West Africa, killing 12; the crew of U-103 stopped to help the survivors righting a listing lifeboat. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarines HMS Taku and HMS Truant sank Italian ship Bengasi off Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German 8th Panzer Regiment arrived in North Africa. ww2dbase [Operation Sonnenblume | CPC]
  • P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft took its maiden flight. ww2dbase [P-47 Thunderbolt | CPC]
  • General Bernard Freyberg received intelligence that the Germans were likely to launch a large airborne assault on Crete, Greece on 17 May; he would continue to expect the invasion to come from the beaches rather than the sky, however. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | CPC]
  • Polish doctor Zygmunt Klukowski noted in his diary that, on this date, he observed Germans conscripting Polish civilians to build military airfields and air raid bunkers even though there was no active war in Eastern Europe. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-97 sank British ocean boarding vessel HMS Camito and recently captured Italian tanker Sangro 500 miles west of Ireland, killing 28. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The US Coast Guard South Greenland Survey Expedition led by Lieutenant Commander William E. Sinton began a survey of the future Bluie West Eight airfield site in Greenland. ww2dbase [Bluie West Eight | South Greenland | CPC]
United States
  • Henry Stimson, the United States Secretary for War, made a surprise statement by telling his countrymen that the United States must use its fleet to ensure the triumph of democracy. ww2dbase [Henry Stimson | AC]
Photo(s) dated 6 May 1941
USS Grayback during her shakedown cruise, Long Island Sound, United States, 6 May 1941

6 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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"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

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