30 May 1940
  • The British Admiralty ordered all modern destroyers to leave Dunkerque, France due to the previous day's losses by German Luftwaffe, leaving 18 older destroyers to continue the evacuation; 24,311 were rescued from the harbor and 29,512 were rescued from the nearby beaches on this date. Despite poor weather, German aircraft damaged destroyers HMS Anthony and HMS Sabre, minesweeper HMS Kellet, armed boarding vessel HMS King Orry, and steamers St. Julien & Normannia. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Allied troops began pushing German troops from the Narvik, Norway region back toward the Swedish border. ww2dbase [Invasion of Denmark and Norway | CPC]
  • President Roosevelt rejected a request from US Ambassador to France William Bullitt of 28 May 1940, which asked for an American fleet to move into the Mediterranean Sea. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, who communicated the rejection to Bullitt, added that the "presence of the fleet in the Pacific at this time is a very practical contribution to the maintenance of peace in the Pacific". ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • US Minister in Uruguay Edwin C. Wilson reported to his superiors Washington DC, United States noting Nazi German leanings in the public sentiment. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The 1,298-ton French destroyer Bourrasque was steaming away from the French coast with 600 French soldiers that it had picked up. A captured coastal gun section at Nieupoort, Belgium opened fire and hit the ship as she steered five miles from the harbour buoy. The Bourrasque took on water rapidly after an explosion in the stern area. Panic broke out amongst the overcrowded soldiers and many had to jump into the sea after lifeboats either failed to launch or capsized. Ships in the area came in to help and some 550 sailors and soldiers were pulled to safety, many covered in oil and injured. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC, HM]
  • German submarine U-101 struck unescorted 4,831-ton British merchant steamer Stanhall on the starboard side under the bridge with one torpedo 35 miles north-northwest of Ushant, Finist√®re, Bretagne, France at 1925 hours, killing 1. She sank within eleven minutes. 36 survivors, including the master, were rescued by British steamer Temple Moat, and they would later be landed at Weymouth, England, United Kingdom. The ship was carrying 7,630 tons of raw sugar and 350 tons of onions. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Ushant, Bretagne | CPC, HM]
  • The 3,236-ton French steamship Monique Schiaffino was bombed and sunk by German aircraft on at Dunkerque, France. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | HM]
  • The 393-ton former Royal Mail Steam Packet Company paddle steamer Gracie Fields, serving in the capacity of a minesweeper since 1939 and damaged off Dunkerque, France on the previous day, sank while under tow early in the morning. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | HM]
  • The Devonia, a side paddle steamer that had previously been requisitioned by the British Admiralty, came under heavy artillery fire and bombs from Stuka dive bombers as she approached the embarkation jetty by the beaches at Dunkerque, France. The ship had to be abandoned and beached. Her wreckage is still to be found on the beach. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | Dunkerque, Nord-Pas-de-Calais | HM]
  • Benito Mussolini advised Adolf Hitler that Italy was ready to enter the war. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | TH]
  • The keel of unnamed transport ship No. 74 was laid down at Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation's shipyard at Kobe, Japan. ww2dbase [Irako | Kobe, Hyogo | CPC]
  • The 291-ton German armed trawler V-1109 (ex-Antares, built 1929) sank after hitting a mine laid by the British submarine HMS Narwhal on 11 May 1940 off Bud, Norway. Eighteen men were rescued but seventeen were missing, including the Norwegian pilot. ww2dbase [Bud, Romsdal | HM]
United Kingdom
  • Operation Fish: British battleship HMS Revenge, troop transport HMS Antonia, and troop transport HMS Duchess of Richmond with ¬£40 million, ¬£10 million, and ¬£10 million in gold, respectively, departed from Britain for Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The gold was destined for the vaults of the Bank of Canada in Ottowa for safe keeping during war time. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The 338-ton British Boom defence vessel Cambrian, built in 1924 by Cochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd. and owned at the time of her loss by British Royal Navy, was sunk by a mine at Spithead roadstead in southern England, United Kingdom whilst attending the Solent Boom. 23 people lost their lives. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | Spithead, England | HM]
Photo(s) dated 30 May 1940
Allied troops aboard the ship Guinean after being evacuated during Operation Ariel, off Western France, late May 1940Destroyed British Cruiser Mk IV tank in France, on or shortly after 30 May 1940

30 May 1940 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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