19 May 1941
  • Iraqis surrender the town of Fallujah after it was subjected to aerial and artillery bombardment by the British; 300 Iraqi troops were taken prisoner. On the same day, German bombers attacked RAF Habbaniya in Iraq. ww2dbase [Campaigns in the Middle East | CPC]
  • German aircraft attacked British airfields on Crete, Greece. To prevent destruction, the British RAF evacuated all aircraft from Crete to Egypt. ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | TH]
  • Vichy France announced the repatriation of 100,000 French prisoners of war. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen made rendezvous with battleship Bismarck off Rügen Island at 1200 hours. ww2dbase [Prinz Eugen | CPC]
  • German submarine U-96 sank British ship Empire Ridge 50 miles northwest of Ireland at 0324 hours; 31 were killed, 2 survived and rescued by destroyer HMS Vanquisher. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • "Guidelines for the behaviour of the troops in Russia" demanded that German troops use "ruthless and energetic action against Bolshevik agitators, guerrillas, saboteurs (and) Jews" and approved the complete liquidation of any "active or passive resistance". ww2dbase [AC]
  • 4,777 Italian and colonial troops formally surrendered at Amba Alagi, Abyssinia at 1115 hours, parading out of the fortress with rifles on their shoulders. ww2dbase [Invasion of Italian East Africa | Amba Alagi | CPC]
  • British Army Sergeant Nigel Leakey was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross after being killed in action single-handedly knocking out Italian tanks in Abyssinia. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Alessandro Malaspina sighted an aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean at 1140 hours at the range of 1,000 meters and identified it as a German seaplane. At 1640 hours, another aircraft was sighted at the distance of 5,000 meters. After the distance closed to 3,000 meters, it was recognized as an Allied Sunderland aircraft, and the Italians opened machine gun fire. The aircraft was of No. 10 Squadron RAAF piloted by Flight Lieutenant J. Costello, and it would be unable to hit the submarine before she escaped. ww2dbase [Alessandro Malaspina | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British Force H, consisting of the battlecruiser HMS Renown, the carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Furious, the cruiser HMS Sheffield and six destroyers proceeded to the area south of Sardinia, Italy. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | Furious | Ark Royal | Renown | CPC]
  • Battleship Bismarck departed Gotenhafen (Gdynia), occupied Poland at 0200 hours and made rendezvous with heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen and destroyers Z-16 Friedrich Eckoldt and Z-23 off Rügen Island at 1200 hours. At 2230 hours, destroyer Z-10 Hans Lody joined the group. ww2dbase [Bismarck | Deutsche Werke Gotenhafen | Gdynia, Pomorskie | CPC]
United States Photo(s) dated 19 May 1941
Bismarck at sea, seen from Prinz Eugen, 19 May 1941, photo 3 of 3Bismarck at sea, seen from Prinz Eugen, 19 May 1941, photo 1 of 3Bismarck at sea, seen from Prinz Eugen, 19 May 1941, photo 2 of 3

19 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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