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Dec 11

World War II Today: December 11

1939
Finnish ski troops attack Soviet supply line on Raate Road.

1940
Sidi Barrani is captured along with over 20,000 Italians, bringing the total captured to nearly 38,000 in 2 days, along with 237 guns and 73 tanks. At this time, Wavell decides to withdraw the 4th Indian Division and send it to the Sudan. It will be replaced by the 6th Australian Division, although it will take some days for it to be ready.

Battleship HMS King George V is commissioned.

World War II Today: December 11 - Battleship HMS King George V is commissioned.

1941
The British garrison in Hong Kong begins to withdraw from the mainland to Hong Kong Island itself. As a result of command and control problems, rumors and many desertions, the 11th Indian Division withdraws from Jitra towards Alor Star in northern Malaya, even though the Japanese troops facing them were inferior in numbers. The US garrison in Peking is forced to surrender to the Japanese.

Japanese troops attempt to land on Wake Island, but US Marine gunners and airmen repulse the first landing attempt and sink two Japanese destroyers in the process. Further Japanese landings take place in the Philippines.

In a speech before the Reichstag, Hitler, after denouncing the un-neutral and warlike anti-German policies of President Roosevelt and citing Germany’s obligations under the Tri-Partite Pact with Japan and Italy, declares war on the United States. Italy follows suit some hours later.

In response to Germany and Italy’s declaration of war, the US reciprocates and declares war on both Germany and Italy.  Costa  Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua also declare war on  Germany and Italy.

In the last week the Royal Navy has lost the destroyers Pentlan, Porcupine and Blean, off Algeria.

1943
A heavy USAAF raid on Emden kills 1,000 and makes 12,000 homeless.

Moroccan troops successful in first combat against Germans in Italy.

Field Marshal Kesselring permits German troops to occupy Monte Cassino in Italy, excluding the abbey itself.

1944
US Eighth Air Force launches largest mission to date—1586 bombers hit rail targets in western Germany.

First Japanese balloon bomb found in US, in Montana.

1945
William Halsey promoted to fleet admiral.

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