12 May 1945
  • George Patton launched Operation Cowboy in Hostau, Czechoslovakia, rescuing 1,200 horses, including 375 of the Lipizzan breed, from potential Soviet slaughter. ww2dbase [George Patton | CPC]
  • German troops on Crete, Greece surrendered. ww2dbase [Germany's Surrender | TH]
  • General Andrey Vlasov was turned over to the Red Army after being captured by the Americans. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British troops landed at St Hélier in Jersey, Channel Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Army troops landed on Torishima, Ryukyu Islands, Japan. ww2dbase [Okinawa Campaign | CPC]
  • Australian Corporal John Mackey destroyed three machine gun nests at Tarakan, Borneo, that had been holding up his comrades. Many Japanese were killed or forced to retreat, but Corporal Mackey would pay the ultimate price for his bravery. Posthumously he was awarded the Victoria Cross. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Alfred Ernest Snow was name the British Military Administrator of the Channel Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Bailey arrived at Morotai, refueled, and departed the same day as a convoy escort returning to Tarakan Roads, Borneo, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [Bailey | DS]
Japan United Kingdom
  • Allied convoy JW-67 departed Clyde, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Clyde, Scotland | CPC]
  • Air Vice Marshal John Whitley succeeded Donald Bennett as Air Officer Commanding of No. 8 (Pathfinder) Group of RAF Bomber Command. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh sent 25 aircraft on observation flights to Western Germany. These tours were organized in order to show ground personnel throughout the United Kingdom some of the bomb damage done to the Reich. All flights were completed without incident. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Thurleigh, England | DS]
United States
  • Joseph Rochefort reported to Admiral Ernest King's office on the situation of Japanese war materials, noting, among other things, that Japan had nearly depleted its supply of coal while aluminum and oil stockpiles were running low. ww2dbase [Joseph Rochefort | Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 May 1945
Starving inmate of Camp Gusen, Austria, 12 May 1945Bodies of victims piled in a cart, awaiting proper burial, Gusen Concentration Camp, Muhlhausen, near Linz, Austria, 12 May 1945Prisoner of war camp in Sinzig, Germany, 12 May 1945William Donovan
See all photos dated 12 May 1945

12 May 1945 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

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