May 1941

May

11

May 1941

Hitler learns of Hess’s flight to England

F. came down at about 11 o’clock. I was speaking when Albert Bormann came in and reported that Pintsch, adjutant to Herr Hess, had arrived and wanted to speak to the Fuhrer about a most urgent matter. F., annoyed, threw B. out with the words: ‘Can’t you see that I am in the middle of a military conference and do not wish to be disturbed?’ After one minute B. was back, rather pale, and said, P. would not go, it was very urgent and there was danger.

May

10

May 1941

Huge raid on London

We were taken to neighbours for the night and Dad returned to what was left of the house, but it had already been looted, mostly food, but also some cutlery and cut glass. One particular piece was a wedding present to my parents from an uncle who had recently been killed. Dad pulled back the debris-covered bedclothes and went to bed, remarking that Mr Hitler was not going to deprive him of his bed.

May

9

May 1941

Enigma machine captured

Also the coding machine was found here, plugged in and as though it was in actual use when abandoned. The general appearance of this machine being that of a type writer, the telegraphist pressed the keys and finding results peculiar sent it up the hatch. This W/T office seemed far less complicated than our own-sets were more compact and did not seem to have the usual excess of switches, plug holes, knobs, ‘tally’s’ etc on the outside.

May

8

May 1941

The Italian retreat in East Africa

We are awakened by the sound of rifle fire from the rebels [local tribes- men supporting the British] and we can see them advancing hidden from sight of those on the crest of the road. Then rifle fire is opened up by our soldiers, all belonging to different units, who are without control and without orders. The officers, as usual, are all sheltering in the grottos, unaware of their responsibility at the present time …

May

7

May 1941

Ambulance duty during the Hull Blitz

When the road was cleared we took the dead, each with a printed form attached to them, saying where they were found, to Alber Ave Mortuary. The injured, who had been given morphine, and the letter ‘M’ marked on their foreheads to say so, we took to the Western General Hospital on Anlaby Road, and laid them on the floor on their stretchers.

May

6

May 1941

Germany prepares for war in the east

In the city since early morning there has been a general panic. Germans are stopping all men, Aryans and Jews, and are sending them for labor at the airfields. During all of this beatings are a normal part of German conduct. From the window I observed them. With special satisfaction the Germans beat people who were well dressed and looked like white collar workers.

May

5

May 1941

Hitler inspects the Bismarck

He considered it an advantage that in the Bismaick, which was more powerful than the Scharnhorst class, he would no longer be forced to avoid well protected convoys. This, however, did not solve his most difficult problem: getting his force out into the Atlantic without being spotted by the enemy.

May

4

May 1941

Starvation on Warsaw’s streets

There was scarcely a night when you didn’t hear the groans of people dying on the street. The typhus spread. Doctors made superhuman efforts to control the disease: daily rounds of assigned buildings, lectures maintaining hygiene, attempts to obtain soap rations and disinfectants, and long hard hours in the hospital. But the epidemic grew, owing to the conditions inside the ghetto.

May

3

May 1941

Liverpool’s ‘May Blitz’

A lot of children were evacuated to the countryside, but my mother would not let me go and decided to move back to Nelson. She went working in the mill weaving. She would work there from early morning until teatime, then rush home and after tea go back to work on munitions until 10 pm.

May

2

May 1941

War breaks out in Iraq

On the 2nd May, at 0200 hours, the Royal Air Force Cantonment at Habbaniya was invested by Iraqi troops and hostilities broke out. The aerodrome and emergency landing ground were shelled, and 22 out of 29 serviceable aircraft were damaged. Our casualties were over 40, including four pilots andi two observers. Iraqi aircraft unsuccessfully bombed and machine-gunned the camp.