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Today in World War II History—May 30, 1941

No. 2 Armoured Car Company RAF waits outside Baghdad, Iraq, for negotiation to conclude, 30 May 1941. (Imperial War Museum)

No. 2 Armoured Car Company RAF waits outside Baghdad, Iraq, for negotiation to conclude, 30 May 1941. (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—May 30, 1941: German commander in Crete orders deadly reprisals for civilian resistance. In Iraq, British troops enter Baghdad.

Today in World War II History—May 29, 1941

Today WWII75 Years Ago—May 29, 1941: US Army Air Corps forms the Ferrying Command. At an isolationist America First rally in Philadelphia, Charles Lindbergh controversially calls for “new leadership in America.”

Today in World War II History—May 28, 1941

Wounded British troops at an Egyptian port after evacuating from Crete, Greece, 31 May 1941 (Imperial War Museum)

Wounded British troops at an Egyptian port after evacuating from Crete, Greece, 31 May 1941 (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—May 28, 1941: British begin evacuation of Crete as Germans advance. Britain starts rationing of eggs and tightens rationing of fish and milk.

Today in World War II History—May 27, 1941

Survivors of battleship Bismarck being pulled aboard HMS Dorsetshire, 27 May 1941 (Imperial War Museum)

Survivors of battleship Bismarck being pulled aboard HMS Dorsetshire, 27 May 1941 (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—May 27, 1941: German battleship Bismarck is sunk by British battleships King George V and Rodney, and British heavy cruisers Norfolk and Dorsetshire off Ireland (115 survivors, 2106 killed). On Crete, Germans take Canea, capital of Crete, and Suda Bay. In Fireside Chat, President Roosevelt declares an unlimited national emergency, allowing more military shipments to Britain and increased patrols in Atlantic.; 65% of the nation listens to the broadcast, the largest radio audience in history to date.

Today in World War II History—May 26, 1941

Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia, PA, 1903 (Library of Congress)

Betsy Ross House, Philadelphia, PA, 1903 (Library of Congress)

75 Years Ago—May 26, 1941: On Libya-Egypt border, Rommel retakes Halfaya Pass from British. Betsy Ross’s house is donated to the city of Philadelphia.

Today in World War II History—May 25, 1941

Convoy at Sea, World War II. The U.S. Flag frames a convoy of transports and cargo ships. (U.S. Army Photograph, USA C-468)

Convoy at Sea, World War II. The U.S. Flag frames a convoy of transports and cargo ships. (U.S. Army Photograph, USA C-468)

75 Years Ago—May 25, 1941: German Admiral Raeder declares US ships escorting convoys to Britain is an act of war. In the Ganges Delta in India, a storm kills 2500.

Today in World War II History—May 24, 1941

Bismarck firing on Hood and Prince of Wales, Battle of Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

Bismarck firing on Hood and Prince of Wales, Battle of Denmark Strait, 24 May 1941 (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

75 Years Ago—May 24, 1941: British battlecruiser HMS Hood sunk by German battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the Denmark Strait—only 3 survive out of crew of 1416.

Today in World War II History—May 23, 1941

Capt. Louis Mountbatten on the bridge of HMS Jackal, 1940s (Imperial War Museum)

Capt. Louis Mountbatten on the bridge of HMS Jackal, 1940s (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—May 23, 1941: Off Crete, Luftwaffe sinks British destroyer Kelly under Lord Louis Mountbatten (181 killed, 297 survive including Mountbatten). Joe Louis defeats Buddy Baer to retain heavyweight boxing title.

Today in World War II History—May 22, 1941

The harbor at Suda Bay, Crete, where two ships, hit by German bombers, burn themselves out, May 1941 (Imperial War Museum)

The harbor at Suda Bay, Crete, where two ships, hit by German bombers, burn themselves out, May 1941 (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—May 22, 1941: Luftwaffe attacks British fleet off Crete in history’s first major air-sea battle, sinking British light cruisers Gloucester and Fiji, and British destroyer Greyhound.

Today in World War II History—May 21, 1941

75 Years Ago—May 21, 1941: Neutral US freighter Robin Moor is sunk by German U-boat U-69 in the South Atlantic, the first US ship sunk in the war; the crew survives but spends over 2 weeks in lifeboats. Germans attempt amphibious landings on Crete but are stopped by the Royal Navy.

Map depicting the German assault on Crete, Greece, 20-31 May 1941 (US Military Academy map)

Map depicting the German assault on Crete, Greece, 20-31 May 1941 (US Military Academy map)