May 30, 1941 – Nineteen Quiet Nights – News From Crete
May 30, 1941. News for this Memorial day in 1941, and of relative quiet over England, going on 19 days for the 630th day of War. Fighting in the Mediterranean region heated up, forcing British and Greek troops to pull back to the south and west in Crete. German forces were intensifying attacks around the island and reports that German Stuka’s sunk two British destroyers only added to the dismal outlook. Italian troops had now joined in, landing and taking up positions on the eastern end of the Island. British reinforcements were unlikely to arrive from Egypt, as the geographical features of the island made it virtually impossible. All around, the news from Crete was looking bad for Britain and Greece.
Former Worlds Heavyweight Boxing Champion Max Schmeling, who accompanied German troops parachuting into Crete, was reported to have been killed during the first wave of paratroops. But those reports proved to be false, as Schmeling was found wandering the countryside for a half-day before making contact with German units. He was taken to a field hospital where he was described as having an “attack of tropical illness”.
News from North Africa told of intense fighting between British forces with German and Italian artillery attacking the city of Tobruk.
Meanwhile, there were no British planes over Germany the previous night, but Berlin radio reported German attacks on British shipping, with German bombers credited for attacking and sinking a British merchant ship off the coast of Scotland and heavily damaging another. German bombers were also reported attacking several British ports up and down the coast. There had been no raids over British cities, and London was quiet for its nineteenth night in a row.
Back home – reports that the former German Minister to Austria was arrested in New York. There was no official report of the arrest in Berlin, but Berlin was requesting information from the German Embassy in Washington over the matter.
And that’s just a small sample of what happened this May 30, 1941 as reported by NBC’s News Of The World.