Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 627 May 19, 1941

At 11.15 AM, 4777 Italian and colonial troops formally surrender at Amba Alagi, Ethiopia. They march down the hill with their rifles passing British General Mayne, who takes their salute, and a guard of honour (1 officer and 25 men from each battalion of the 5th Indian Division). The pipe band of the 1st Transvaal Scottish plays. Duke of Aosta spends 1 more day in his mountain stronghold and formally surrenders next day. He will die from tuberculosis in a POW camp in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 3, 1942.

Luftwaffe again bombs anti-aircraft emplacements and RAF airfields on Crete, in preparation for the coming invasion. The last RAF aircraft are withdrawn to Egypt in the face of bombing and overwhelming numbers of German fighters.

Iraqis surrender the town of Fallujah after 57 RAF aircraft drop 10 tons of bombs and field guns bombard their positions (300 taken prisoner). Luftwaffe bombers attack RAF Habbaniya destroying several aircraft and inflicting casualties.

At 3.24 AM 50 miles Northwest of Ireland, U-96 sinks British SS Empire Ridge (31 killed, 2 rescued by destroyer HMS Vanquisher).

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