British supplies arrive in Egypt
Monday, May 12, 1941 www.onwar.com
In the Mediterranean... All the ships of the British convoys have reached their destinations. Operation Tiger has brought 238 tanks and 43 Hurricanes to Egypt for the loss of 57 tanks.
12 May: Vice Admiral Lancelot E. Holland, new commander of the Battle Cruiser Squadron and Second in Command of the Home Fleet, set up command in Hood.
12 May 1941: Admiral Lütjens and the Fleet Staff embark in the Bismarck.
May 12th, 1941
Erith, Kent: The Rt Hon the Earl of Suffolk and Berkshire (b. 1906), who had worked on many new and unknown devices, was killed with his assistants by an old bomb they were examining. (George Cross)
The RAF’s attack on targets in northern Europe continued last night for the second night running. There have been raids on Hamburg, Bremen, Berlin, Emden and Rotterdam, and although not terribly effective, they have had some spectacular and deadly results. One airman described the explosion of a heavy bomb on Hamburg: “The flash was like a great flaming red ball, half a mile across ... we felt a kick from the blast.”
Submarine HMS Unrivalled laid down.
Corvette HMS Bergamot commissioned.
Minesweeping trawler HMS Bute launched.
Minesweeper HMS Fraserburgh launched.
Destroyer HMS Middleton launched.
Corvettes HMS Snowdrop and Stonecrop launched.
Submarines HMS Turbulent and Unbending launched.
Daily Keynote from the Reich Press Chief:
I ask you to avoid any sort of cynicism, frivolousness and puerile or brazen expressions, in broadcast reports about air raids, which destroy immeasurable cultural, economic and human treasures. Things must be described in a manly, stern and serious way. This is how we can best live up to the mood in [bombed] cities like Hamburg and Bremen - For the rest, I am firmly convinced that we are fortunate that the bombing raids made on German territory are taking place in the northern part of the Reich and not in the south, and that these severe trials are being borne by hardy Ditmarshers [= people of Schleswig-Holstein] and other Nordic people.
U-516 laid down.
U-155 launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
Cairo: RAF Headquarters in the Middle East announced:
In Iraq, our fliers continued their raids on rebel-occupied airfields and on other military targets. The military barracks and the airfield buildings and motor vehicle park at Mosul (northern Iraq) received more than twenty direct hits. The military barracks at Al Amarah, Ad Diwaniyah, An Nasiriyah, and Ad Daghgharah (all in Iraq) were also damaged. In Abyssinia, fighter planes and bombers of the South African Air Force supported our ground troops in their destruction of the Italian army in East Africa. Two British aircraft did not return from these missions.
Submarine HMS Undaunted was believed to have been sunk off Zuara on the Libyan coast by depth charges dropped from the Italian corvette Pegaso. Although Undaunted should have been on her way back to Malta by this date, there is no other explanation for her loss.
Insect class gunboat HMS Ladybird of the Inshore Squadron sunk in Tobruk harbour by aircraft attack. (Alex Gordon)(108)
The Allied ‘Tiger’ convoy arrives bearing 238 tanks and 43 Hurricanes for the Allied desert army. The tanks include 135 Matildas, 82 of the new 2-pdr-gunned Mark VI Crusader cruiser tanks and 21 light tanks.
6 Luftwaffe He-111s under the command of Colonel Junck landed in the Syrian capital of Damascus on their way to Iraq to support the revolt of Rashid Ali.
AUSTRALIA: Minesweeper HMAS Whyalla launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
Corvette HMCS Pictou arrived Halifax from builder Collingwood, Ontario.
Corvette HMCS Rimouski arrived Halifax from builder Quebec City, Province of Quebec.
Corvettes HMCS Napanee, Chicoutimi and Barrie commissioned. (Dave Shirlaw)
New York: The United Press News Agency reported:
The American Institute of Petroleum has concluded an investigation showing that Germany must have enough oil to supply its land and air forces for an indefinite period.
In Washington, the Japanese ambassador, Nomura Kichasaburo, presents Secretary of State Cordell Hull with a proposal for the establishment of “just peace in the Pacific.”
Three more U.S. Coast Guard Lake-class ships are transferred to the Royal Navy. USCGC Champlain (CGC-48) is renamed HMS Sennen, USCGC Sebago (CGC-51) is renamed HMS Walney, and USCGC Cayuga (CGC-54) is renamed HMS Tortland. (Jack McKillop)
Submarine USS Drum launched. (Dave Shirlaw)
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Black day for U-38. The boat hunted a freighter and fired four torpedoes, but all missed. (Dave Shirlaw)