15 May 1941
  • British losses in France and Norway were publicly announced to be 13,250 killed and 41,000 captured out of 437,000 deployed. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Walther von Brauchitsch was awarded the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Saint Alexander of Bulgaria with Swords. ww2dbase [Walther von Brauchitsch | CPC]
  • Dr. Sigmund Rascher requested Heinrich Himmler via a letter requesting concentration camp prisoners to be placed in his disposal to conduct experiments in decompression chambers which simulated high altitude environments. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | CPC]
  • Graph was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Graph | CPC]
  • Washington was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
  • In Russia a document from military planners was issued recommending a short strike against any assembling forces threatening Soviet territory. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | AC]
  • German submarine U-105 sank British ship Benvenue 400 miles off Sierra Leone, British West Africa at 2029 hours; 2 were killed, 55 survived and rescued by British liner Empire Trader. To the north, 430 miles west of Brest, France, German submarine U-43 sank French sail Notre Dame du Châtelet; 28 were killed, 10 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • An Iraqi Blenheim bomber attacked the British column moving from Palestine into Iraq, causing no damage. British Swordfish aircraft from HMS Hermes attacked the Al Qushla barracks in Samawah, Iraq; one aircraft was shot down. Meanwhile, British bombers again attacked French airfields at Palmyra and Damascus, Syria. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • In the Libyan-Egyptian border region, British forces advanced in three columns and captured Halfaya Pass and Fort Capuzzo before noon, capturing 347 Axis prisoners (mostly Italians). A German Panzer battalion counterattacked, recapturing Fort Capuzzo by 1445 hours, taking 70 British prisoners. ww2dbase [Operation Brevity | CPC]
  • Axel von Blomberg passed away. ww2dbase [Axel von Blomberg | CPC]
  • British Minister of Labour Ernest Bevin declared that he would not negotiate with Rudolf Heß. ww2dbase [Rudolf Heß | CPC]
  • Admiral Darlan returned from meeting with Hitler and Ribbentrop; Vichy-French cabinet approved German concessions as well as French counter-concessions. ww2dbase [François Darlan | TH]
  • At midnight, British cruisers HMS Gloucester and HMS Fiji completed the transfer of the 2nd Battalion Leicester Regiment from Alexandria, Egypt to Heraklion, Crete, Greece. During the day, German Luftwaffe aircraft attacked Salamis Navy Yard at Suda Bay, Crete, sinking Greek destroyer Leon. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • South African and Indian troops linked up at Triangle Hill near Amba Alagi, Abyssinia; they were also joined by Abyssinia guerrilla forces. Meanwhile, Allied shelling of the Italian fortress damaged a oil tank, causing a major oil leak into the garrison's only source of drinking water. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | Amba Alagi | CPC]
Germany Guernsey
  • The Dame of Sark Sibyl Mary Hathaway was reported to be transferred to a German concentration camp as reprisal for civil disobedience. ww2dbase [Sark | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Gloster's E.28/39 prototype jet fighter took its first flight. The test pilot was Lieutenant Gerry Sayer. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 15 May 1941
Dodge WC9 1/2 ton ambulance, 15 May 1941British Royal Air Force Vickers Wellesley light bomber kicking up a dust cloud during a take off from an East African airstrip, 15 May 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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