Posts Tagged ‘WWII December’

Dec 07

The Attack on Pearl Harbor December 7 – World War 2 Today

1939 Norway, Denmark and Sweden declare their neutrality. The Soviet Ninth Army launches an offensive in central Karelia. Britain and France agree to send troops and material to help Finland fight against the Soviet Union. However, there is virtually no way to get these forces to Finland and so the promises mean little.

Italy reaffirms her neutrality.

1940 The Admiral Hipper leaves Kiel for an anti-shipping sortie into the Atlantic.

1941 At 6:15 Honolulu time, the first wave of Japanese aircraft take of from their carriers which are located about 200 miles north of Hawaii. At 7:50, 43 fighters, 51 dive-bombers, 70 torpedo-bombers and 50 ordinary bombers arrive over Hawaii. They launch attacks against the airfields at Wheeler, Kaneohe, Ewa and Hickham and against the American warships anchored at ‘Battleship Row’. Surprise was complete and within a few minutes 5 battleships and 2 light cruisers had been sunk and a large number of aircraft (180) destroyed on the ground. Within an hour, the second wave of Japanese strike aircraft (36 fighters, 80 dive-bombers, 54 bombers) had arrived over the target, sinking a further 3 destroyers and damaging another battleship. By 10:00 the attack was over and the casualties could be accounted for. The Americans lost 2,729 killed and 1,178 wounded, while the Japanese losses amounted to just 29 aircraft (59 airmen) and five mini-submarines. The Japanese launch air attacks against Manila.

Japan declares war on Britain and the USA.

The US begins mobilization.

Field Marshal von Brauchitsch after suffering a recent heart attack tenders his resignation to Hitler, although this is not accepted immediately. Zhukov issues orders to the left flank armies of his West Front to begin offensive operations against Panzer Group 2, which is attempting to withdraw out of a salient near Tula. The aim of this offensive would be to cut off Panzer Group 2 and destroy it in the area of Stalinogorsk.

Panzer Army Afrika retreats westwards through Libya, completing its withdrawal to the Gazala line.

1942 The US Navy launches the Battleship New Jersey, one of the four “Iowa Class” battleships, the largest ever built for the US Navy, and 11 other ships on the anniversary of Pearl harbor.

British Commandos make daring raid on Bordeaux harbor, rowing 50 miles up the River Gironde and attaching limpet mines to German shipping.

US make a beachhead South of Buna, cutting off Japanese forces there.

1943 The Cairo conference ends.

1944 Nazi women’s leader Gertrud Scholtz-Klink asks all German women over 18 to volunteer to serve in army or Luftwaffe to release men to the front.

1945 Japanese Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita is sentenced to death for his role in atrocities in the Philippines.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: November 19 WWII Today: October 1 WWII Today: November 15

Dec 06

World War II Today: December 6

1938 France and Germany sign a treaty of friendship.

1939 Soviet attacks against the Mannerheim line are beaten back by the Finns with heavy Red Army casualties.

Germany warns neutral ships to resist the  British blockade.

1940 The Western Desert Force begins Training Exercise No.2. This was a 60 mile approach march to their concentration point, designated Piccadilly, approximately 20 miles south of Maktila.

War Guilt trial in Vichy France indicts MM Blum, Daladier, La Chambre and Gen. Gamelin.

Greeks occupy Santi Quaranta, Albania. Italian Supreme Commander Badoglio resigns ˜at his own request; replaced by Gen. Cavallero.

SS executes mentally ill inmates in Stralsund and Chelm, Poland, including Hitler’s second cousin, Aloisia Veit.

General Ugo Cavallero assumes command of Italian army (Comando Supremo) after Marshal Badoglio resigns.

1941 Zhukov extends the Red Army’s counter-offensive along the whole Moscow axis in an attempt to prevent Panzer Groups 3 and 4 from outflanking Moscow from the northeast. To launch this offensive, Zhukov uses 4 armies on the right flank of his own West Front.

An RAF Hudson aircraft spots Japanese transports sailing west off Cape Cambodia towards Malaya.  The British, having feared a surprise Japanese attack for a number of months now, had developed a plan codenamed ‘Matador’, to advance forces into southern Thailand should the Japanese attack, in order to deny the Japanese use of the airfields and ports at Patani and Singora. However, the implications of violating Thai neutrality and more importantly the possible US reactions, dissuaded the British from launching ‘Matador’.

Battleships USS Oklahoma and USS Nevada arrive at Pearl Harbor.

Roosevelt makes a personal appeal to the Japanese Emperor Hirohito for peace.

1942 Germans victorious in tank battle at Djebel el Guessa, Tunisia.

1943 Monte Casino is finally taken by U.S. Fifth Army.

Soviets take Yeysk on Sea of Rostov, cutting off German Army Group A.

1944 The Japanese capture Tushan, south of the Nationalist capital of Chungking.

1945 The United States extends a $3 billion loan to Great Britain to help compensate for the termination of the Lend-Lease agreement.

USASTAF (USA Strategic Air Forces) based in the Pacific, is inactivated.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: September 2 WWII Today: March 3 WWII Today: December 9

Dec 05

World War II Today: December 5

1939 Heavy fighting in Karelia, Finland.

Two Polish submarines escape from the Baltic Sea to join Royal Navy.

1940 McGovern’s ILP peace amendment is rejected by House of Commons, 341 votes to 4.

The German draft plan for the Invasion of Russia Operation ‘Otto’ is presented to Hitler.

Admiral William Leahy takes oath of office as US Ambassador to Vichy France.

1941 The Battleship USS Arizona arrives at Pearl Harbor.

USS Lexington departs with Marine aircraft for Midway, leaving no carriers at Pearl Harbor.

James J. Kilroy of Boston hired at Fore River Shipyard, Quincy MA to check work of riveters; his “Kilroy Was Here” mark on ships becomes legendary.

Britain declares war on Finland, Hungary and Rumania.

With the main forces of Army Group Centre just 19 miles from Moscow, Hitler abandons the offensive for winter and agrees to some local withdrawals to more defensive terrain.  Zhukov launches a counter-offensive across the frozen upper Volga in the area of Kalinin, to the northwest of Moscow.  He uses Konev’s Kalinin Front for the purpose, but despite the severe cold and exhaustion of the German troops, his forces meet severe resistance, with only the 31st Army enjoying any success as it pushed towards Turginovo. Hungary declares war on Britain. Romania declares war on Britain.

In order to mount a final attack on the British forces around Bir El Gobi, Rommel orders the evacuation of the eastern part of the Tobruk perimeter, but the attack fails.

Japanese fleet is officially reported moving south.

1943 The first Japanese daylight raid on Calcutta is mounted with many reported killed.

P-51 Mustang fighter planes first escort US Eighth Air Force on bombing missions, extending range of raids.

Japanese planes bomb Calcutta (350 killed), including US Tenth Air Force airfields (500 casualties).

1944 The U.S. Third Army advances into Germany along a 30-mile front.

The British Eighth Army takes Ravenna in and cuts the rail link to Bologna.

Malinovsky attacks with two armies from North East of Budapest and makes a 60-mile advance in eight days.

US launches final offensive on Leyte in the Philippines, driving into the Ormoc Valley.

Victory ship SS Red Oak Victory commissioned into US Navy as ammunition ship at Richmond, CA (currently at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Park, Richmond, CA).

1945 Six US Navy planes disappear in the “Bermuda Triangle,” creating its reputation.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: November 3 WWII Today: April 7 WWII Today: November 1

Dec 04

World War II Today: December 4

1939 The German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee sinks the liner Doric Star off the western coast of South Africa.

1940 Greeks capture Premeti, Pogradec and the Albanian port of Sarande.

F4F-3 Wildcat fighter enters service with US Navy.

1941 Temperature falls to -31°F (-37°C) on Russian Front.

The Japanese Embassy in Washington begins to leave, destroying code books and personal files in the process.

Chicago Tribune and Washington Times-Herald publish news of classified unapproved US Victory Program war plans, leaked to the papers by isolationist Sen. Burton Wheeler, creating cries of warmongering among isolationists.

In Libya, the German army under General Rommel retreats to Gazala

1942 The U.S.A 5th Air Force launches its first raid against the Italian port of Naples.

German forces in Tunisia capture Tebourba.

President Roosevelt cancels Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA).

US Ninth Air Force, based in Egypt, bombs Naples (Rommel’s supply port) in first US attack on Italy

1943 Tito’s Partisans set up a provisional government in the liberated part of Yugoslavia.

Units of the German 11th Army begin an offensive to eliminate the Soviet bridgehead at Kerch in the eastern Crimea.

The second Cairo conference opens with Churchill, Roosevelt and the Turkish President Inonu.

Bolivia declares war on all the Axis powers.

US submarine Sailfish sinks Japanese escort carrier Chuyo off Japan, 1250 killed.

1944 Athens is now under martial law.

Italian partisans liberate Ravenna in first major planned partisan attack in Italy.

British Fourteenth Army begins major offensive in Burma, crossing Chindwin River.

1945 The U.S. Senate votes to allow the USA to join the UN and to permit the UN to use American forces to preserve peace and security.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 29 WWII Today: October 28 WWII Today: August 22

Dec 03

World War II Today: December 3

1939 The RAF scores a number of direct hits on German warships at the Heligoland Bight naval base.

Finnish troops withdraw in good order towards the Mannerheim line defensive position.

1940 Britain allots each person an extra 4 oz of sugar and 2 oz of tea for Christmas.

1941 Hitler issues Rationalization Decree, urging modern efficient mass production.

In South Atlantic, U-124 sinks unarmed US freighter Sagadahoc (1 killed), sixth US ship sunk in the Atlantic while the US remained neutral.

1942 Several German divisions ordered to be transferred from Western Europe begin arriving in the area of Army Group Don southwest of Stalingrad in preparation of ‘Operation Winter Tempest’, the relief of the encircled 6th Army.

Germans reoccupy Tebourba, Tunisia, using Mark VI Tiger tanks for the first time in combat.

1943 The RAF conduct a heavy attack against Leipzig killing 1,500 and making 40,000 homeless.

US Fifth Army launches main ground attack on Winter Line in Italy after artillery barrage and infantry assault at night.

1944 Britain’s Home Guard, the civilian force assigned to the defense of Britain in the event of German invasion, is stood down after five years. King George VI declares the “You have fulfilled your charge”.

Armored units of the US 3rd Army succeed in penetrating the fortified German lines of the Westwall near Saarlautern.

Civil war breaks out in Greece between Communists and Royalists; British intervene.

British Eighth Army opens drive for Bologna, Italy.

Col. Elliott Roosevelt, son of the president, marries actress Faye Emerson in a highly publicized wedding at the Grand Canyon.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: August 2 WWII Today: August 19 WWII Today: October 8

Dec 02

Winston Churchill WWII Quote

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

– Winston Churchill (November 10, 1942) Sir Winston Churchill (11/20/1874 — 1/24/1965) was a British politician and statesman who was known for his leadership during WWII. He is regarded as one of the great wartime leaders and served as prime minister from 1940-1945 and again from 1951-1955. Churchill was well known for his speeches, which were a great inspiration to the British people, as well as to the Allied forces. Upon his death, the Queen granted him the honor of a state funeral which saw one of the largest assemblies of statesmen in the world.

 

 

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 10 Words at War: Science at War WWII Today: October 8

Dec 02

World War II Today: December 2

1939 Russian troops capture Petsamo in the extreme north of the Finland.

The German liner Watussi is scuttled after her interception by South African Defence Force bombers.

1941 Churchill introduces a new National Service Bill, including compulsory service for women.

Germans patrols are just five miles from the Kremlin.

Soviet troops evacuate the last territory in Karelia, taken from Finland in the 1939-1940 war.

Hitler issues Directive No.38 which tasks Kesselring as C-in-C South, with gaining air superiority and naval supremacy over the area between southern Italy and Libya in order to deny British supplies to Malta and Libya. To assist with this, he was reinforced by Fleiger Korps II, which was transferred from Russia. This, together with the existing air units of Fleigerkorps X were to form Luftflotte 2 and give the axis a significant numerical superiority over the RAF.

The Battleship Prince of Wales and the Battle Cruiser Repulse arrive in Singapore.

1942 At the University of Chicago the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction is realized by Professor Fermi and a team of scientists working under the name of the “Manhattan Engineering District.”

The Allies repel a strong Axis attack in Tunisia, North Africa.

1943 Allied bombers resume the ‘Battle of Berlin’ dropping 1,500 tons, but losing 41 aircraft.

A Luftwaffe raid against the Allied naval base at Bari in Italy, hits an ammunition ship which explodes, sinking 17 other ships.

Ernie Bevin announces the conscription to mines as coal output continues to flag in Britain.

Hitler orders the conscription of German Youth for active service.

German forces in Yugoslavia begin a major operation against Tito’s partisan’s.

The first transport of Jews from Vienna arrives at Auschwitz.

1944 General George S. Patton’s troops enter the Saar Valley.

The British 11th East African Division takes Kalewa and advance to the Chindwin from India.

1945 59 Japanese are arrested on suspicion of war crimes.

1946 The United States and Great Britain merge their German occupation zones.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 9 WWII Today: August 6 WWII Today: October 7

Dec 01

World War II Today: December 1

1939 The Soviet Union creates a puppet Finnish government in Moscow under the leadership of a Finnish communist, Otto Kuusinen, who immediately accedes to the Soviets territorial demands. Finnish coastal guns at Russar engage the Russian cruiser Kirov and its screen of destroyers. The Kirov and one destroyer damaged.

1940 The Italian submarine Argo torpedoes Royal Canadian Navy destroyer Saguenay, killing 21, but not sinking the ship. Saguenay had been escorting an eastbound convoy 300 miles west of Ireland.

First attack by British Long Range Desert Group, a commando group based in Egypt.

Joseph Kennedy resigns from position as US ambassador to Britain, wanting to keep US out of war.

1941 State of Emergency is declared in Malaya and Hong Kong is put on ‘stand by’.

Japan fixes the date of its attack against Pearl Harbour as the 7th December 1941.

US-Japanese talks continue and Roosevelt curtails holiday.

US forms Civil Air Patrol for civilian pilots to aid in Civil Defense.

Japanese Navy changes its communications code, blinding the US to its movements.

1942 Coffee joins the list of rationed items in the US.

The Australians take Gona in New Guinea.

1943 The British 10th Corps opens the U.S. Fifth Army’s offensive on the Garigliano.

Russian forces isolate the Germans in Crimea and control the northern half of the Dnieper bend.

The Conclusion of the Tehran Conference, with the three Allies in substantial agreement on the division of post-war Germany, the westward movement of the Polish eastern and western frontiers and the summary execution of 50,000 German officers.

First use of US P-51 Mustang fighter planes in Europe, as US Ninth Air Force flies a sweep over France.

Mussolini orders arrest of all Jews in Italy, but Italians shelter many.

1944 Princess Elizabeth launches HMS Vanguard, the last and biggest battleship ever built in Britain.

Germans evacuate most of Crete

1945 Seventy-six German industrialists who helped Hitler are arrested.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: October 4 WWII Today: October 24 WWII Today: November 20

Dec 31

World War II Today: December 31

1939 Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from the out break of war to year’s end 1939 is 165 ships, equaling 693,557 gross tons. 9 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

Finnish troops destroy yet another Russian division.

New Year’s Eve observances in Britain, France and Germany are very subdued due to blackout and noise restrictions. Most celebrations are held in private homes with the windows shuttered.

German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels makes a radio address reviewing the official Nazi version of the events of 1939. No predictions are made for 1940 other than saying that the next year “will be a hard year, and we must be ready for it.”

Generalissimo Francisco Franco makes a radio broadcast asking “all Spaniards in this period of depression which follows any war to close the mouths of grumblers and not permit the enemies of the state to take advantage of the situation.”

Japan and the Soviet Union sign an accord on fishing rights in adjacent territorial waters.

1940 British civilian casualties figures for the month: 3,793 killed, 5,244 injured.

Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1940 is 567 ships, equaling 2,771,483 gross tons. 24 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

RAF bombers attack Vlorë on the Greco-Italian front, Rotterdam and IJmuiden in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, and the German cities of Emmerich am Rhein and Cologne.

Hitler issues a New Year’s Order of the Day to Germany’s armed forces, declaring “the year 1941 will bring us, on the Western Front, the completion of the greatest victory of our history

1941 All further German attacks against the Crimean fortress of Sevastopol are halted for the winter.

Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1941 is 503 ships, equaling 2,530,011 gross tons. 35 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

Lieutenant General George H. Brett takes command of US forces in Australia.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz is appointed to command the US Asiatic Fleet.

Venezuela breaks off diplomatic relations with Germany, Italy and Japan.

Panamanian cargo ship Ruth Alexander is bombed and damaged by a Japanese flying boat in Makassar Strait. A Dutch Dornier 24 rescues the 48 survivors and the ship was abandoned, finally sinking two days later.

1942 In what is to become known as the ‘Battle of the Barents Sea’, the German pocket battleship Lützow, cruiser Admiral Hipper and 6 escorting destroyers are intercepted at 9.30am by the British cruisers HMS Jamaica, HMS Sheffield and five destroyers before they can reach convoy JW-51B.

During the naval exchanges that follow, the British lose 1 destroyer and a minesweeper, which had been searching for stragglers from the convoy,

whilst the Germans lose a destroyer. By Midday the Germans have decided to withdraw and the battle is over.

Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1942 is 1,323 ships, equaling 7,047,744 gross tons. 87 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

The Red Cross are now spending £375,000 per month on food parcels for allied POWs.

After five months of battle, Emperor Hirohito allows the Japanese commanders at Guadalcanal to retreat.

1943 Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1943 is 588 ships, equaling 3,042,371 gross tons. 242 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

Russians retake Zhitomir, 80 miles East of Kiev.

The Battle for Razabil in the Arakan begins between British and Japanese forces.

1944 Allied merchant shipping sunk by U-boats, world-wide from January to year’s end 1944 is 251 ships, equaling 978,892 gross tons. 252 U-boats were lost worldwide in the same period.

Rochefort is back in U.S. hands. Third Army launch new counter-offensive near Bastogne. At about 11pm the Germans launch their ‘Nordwind’ offensive towards Strasbourg.

Hungary declares war on Germany.

1946 President Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Today: November 30 WWII Today: December 1 Words at War: Gunners Glory

Dec 30

World War II Today: December 30

1939 Finnish troops at Suomussalmi, completely destroy the Russian 163rd Infantry Division.

1940 California’s first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, opens between Los Angeles and Pasadena.

U.S. Vice Admiral Claude C. Bloch writes a letter to the Navy Department complaining of inadequate defenses at Pearl Harbor

1941 The Russian success in the Crimea continues as the Germans make a hurried evacuation of Kerch.

German Gen. Rommel retreats to El Agheila, Libya and the positions held before his April offensive against the British.

The Congress Party in India supports the British war effort, while Gandhi resigns his leadership in protest.

Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, CA launches its first Liberty-class cargo ship.

Operation Crusader ends in Allied victory.

The Battle of Kampar begins in Malaya.

Japanese forces occupy Kuantan.

Ernest King assumes command of the United States Fleet.

Soviet troops make amphibious landings in the eastern Crimea and took Kerch and Feodosia. The Germans pause their assault on Sevastopol in order to deal with these forces.

Winston Churchill makes the “Chicken Speech” to Canadian Parliament. In reference to a comment made by Philippe Pétain that Britain would be invaded and “have its neck wrung like a chicken” by the Germans in three weeks, Churchill exclaimed, “Some chicken! Some neck!”

German submarines U-705 and U-756 are commissioned.

1942 The allies cut Japanese forces in two at Buna.

The German pocket battleship Lützow, cruiser Admiral Hipper and 6 destroyers leave Altenfjord and head north to intercept convoy JW-51B.

Henry Kaiser opens Kaiser steel plant in Fontana, CA.

Eighth Air Force first uses “combat box” formation to better protect bombers from German fighters.

 

1943 The Russians report 30-60 mile advances from the Kiev salient along a 180-mile front.

British/Indians launch Second Arakan Campaign toward Akyab, Burma.

US Marines secure crucial airfield at Cape Gloucester, New Britain in the Solomons.

General Eisenhower traveled to the headquarters of France’s General Charles de Gaulle at Algiers, and agreed to de Gaulle’s request that French troops be allowed to accompany the other Allied forces during the liberation of Paris.

The Soviets continued to advance in the Ukrainian sector as the 1st Tank Army drove the German XLVIII Panzer Korps out of Koziatyn.

1944 The Germans launch a heavy attack on the Bastogne, Belgium, corridor in the Ardennes.

The British attack on Houffalize is halted by bitter German resistance.

Second German spy (Erich Gimpel) who landed in Maine by U-boat on November 29, 1944 is arrested by FBI in New York City; William Colepaugh had turned himself in on December 26, 1944.

Take a look at these other WWII Posts: WWII Pin Up: Dusty Anderson WWII Today: October 6 WWII Today: Jun 28