This Week in WWII – 2nd Week of May


Neville Chamberlain resigns after pressure from Labour members for a more active prosecution of the war and Winston Churchill became the new head of the wartime coalition government. The Rotterdam Blitz successfully brings an end to the Battle of Rotterdam. Holland surrenders to Nazis. Churchill expresses resolve to “go it (the War) alone if need be, but entrusts FDR to consider entering for the good of all nations, not just Europe. FDR responds to Churchill’s letter, but does not commit to entering the War. Churchill appealed to Mussolini to not join forces with Hitler, to no avail. Germans enter Brussels and also take Antwerp. Paul Reynaud forms new French government, including, 84-year old Marshal Pétain, the French hero of World War I. In his first speech to the people, Churchill indicates the seriousness of the situation, but reinforces the resolve of the British people. The mood of Britain is sinking into despondence over the prospects of defeating Nazi Germany.


German troops crush the last resistance of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Thousands are killed and the rest are sent to Treblinka.


German troops surrender in the Crimea. Germany launches the first V-1 rocket on Britain. London Conference ends. U.S. defeats the Japanese in an air battle known as the Battle of the Philippine Sea.


The Red Army releases Commonwealth and US POWs at Stalag III-A, Luckenwalde.


75 Nazis go to trial for the Malmedy Massacre, which occurred on 12-17-1944.


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