26 May 1940
  • In Britain, Empire Day was declared as a national day of prayer. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Ju 88 aircraft attacked and sank British anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Curlew off Narvik, Norway, killing 9. HMS Curlew was equipped with the only early warning radar set. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • German submarines U-13 departed Kiel, Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarines U-48 departed Kiel, Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US Minister in Uruguay Edwin C. Wilson, in a telegram to US Secretary of State Cordell Hull, reported tension between the Uruguayan and German governments as the Germans were accusing the Uruguayan police in mistreating German citizens living in Uruguay. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Eagle arrived in the Mediterranean Sea. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • 36 Japanese G3M2 Model 21 bombers, plus bombers of other types, and accompanied by three C5M reconnaissance aircraft (Navy's version of Ki-15 aircraft) attacked Chongqing, China. Lieutenant Yuan Chin-han, flying a Hawk III fighter, damaged a G3M2 Model 21 bomber over western Chongqing. Captain Chen Sheng-hsing and Lieutenant Gao Youxin, flying I-15bis fighters, shared the credit for downing another bomber. ww2dbase [Gao Youxin | Chongqing | CPC]
  • At Dunkerque, France, British Expeditionary Force commanding general Lord Gort received the formal authorization for a withdraw; Operation Dynamo, the code name of the massive evacuation, was headed by British Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey. Meanwhile, Adolf Hitler rescinded the order to halt the offensive near Dunkerque. At Calais, after a heavy aerial and field artillery bombardment, German troops crossed the canals and moved toward the Citadel; at 1600 hours, Brigadier Claude Nicholson surrendered. Elsewhere, the French 1st Army was nearly encircled by the Germans, while the Belgians was pushed back to the Leie/Lys River. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | CPC]
  • General Maxime Weygand issued his Ordre GĂ©nĂ©ral d'Operation No. 1184 3/FT: "The battle on which the fate of the country depends will be fought without any idea of retreat, on the line which we hold today." ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Maxime Weygand | AC]
  • By this date, the French Army had taken delivery of 432 37L tracked carriers. ww2dbase [37L | CPC]
  • Benito Mussolini informed the Chief of Supreme Staff, Marshal Pietro Badoglio, and Governor of Libya, Marshal Italo Balbo, that he had told Adolf Hitler of his intentions to declare war on England and France after 5 June. Badoglio was horrified and protested vehemently that crippling shortages of equipment in the Italian Army made a such a military adventure a very risky business. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Benito Mussolini | AC]
United Kingdom
  • In the United Kingdom, General Sir John Dill became Chief of the Imperial General Staff and Sir Edmund Ironside became Commander-in-Chief of Home Defense. ww2dbase [John Dill | TH]
  • United Kingdom government declared the coastal regions from Folkestone to Great Yarmouth designated evacuation areas. ww2dbase [TH]
Photo(s) dated 26 May 1940
British Cruiser Mk IV tank at Huppy, France, 26-29 May 1940British Cruiser Mk IV tank crew repairing tank track, Blangy-sur-Ternoise, France, 26-29 May 1940

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Search WW2DB & Partner Sites
Famous WW2 Quote
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!