World War II Today: December 22

Finns overrun Soviets at Ägläjärvi, Finland.

David Margesson appointed to replace Anthony Eden as British Secretary of State for War.

The Battle of Himara ended in Greek victory.

The heaviest raids of the Manchester Blitz began. Over the next two days a total of 654 people were killed and over 2,000 injured.

Prime Minister Churchill arrives at the White House as the guest of President Roosevelt for the Washington Conference.

World War II Today: December 22 - Churchill vists the White House

The Arcadia Conference begins in Washington: Britain and US agree to “Germany First” plan.

The Japanese begin their invasion of the Philippines by landing 43,000 troops of General Homma’s 14th Army in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 150 miles north of Manila. Filipino troops here failed to prevent the beachhead from being established and their scouts, which had been sent forward in order to secure the defiles barring the way south were also unsuccessful.

First American troops arrive in Australia.

US expands draft: all men 18-65 must register, all men 20-44 liable for conscription.

Allied troops reached Beda Fomm but were halted by 30 German tanks. Axis forces began evacuating Benghazi by sea.

The Battle of Sjenica was fought in the Italian governorate of Montenegro. The Yugoslav Partisans were defeated.

German submarine U-380 was commissioned.

Convoy JW-51B (14 merchants) leaves Loch Ewe escorted by 6 destroyers and a minesweeper.

The Soviets drive German troops back 15 miles at the Don River.

The Soviets retake Morozovsk.

German submarine U-200 was commissioned.

Chifley is appointed as Minister of Post-War Reconstruction in Australia.

The allies announce that Tito is to be the allied commander in Yugoslavia as his partisans now estimated at 250,000 men.

Hitler issued a “Führer Order” (Führerbefehl) creating the “National Socialist Leading Officers”, charged with disseminating propaganda for “getting soldiers to believe in final victory” in the war “even if they did not know how it was going to be achieved”.

The German government ordered that all boys aged 16 and older would be required to register for military duty in January.

The Second Battle of Kiev ends in Soviet victory.

The German light cruiser Niobe was sunk by British motor torpedo boats three days after running aground off Silba, Yugoslavia.

The allies report that the Germans have penetrated up to 40 miles in the Ardennes.

The Germans demand surrender of surrounded Bastogne, Belgium—The artillery commander of the 101st ABN, US Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe replies, “Nuts!”

Rundstedt’s suggestion of a withdrawal is refused by Hitler.

The U.S. 3rd Army begins an offensive to relieve Bastogne.

The British announce a call-up of 250,000 troops ‘to sustain and nourish our armies in the line’.

Patton begins to turn his army 90 degrees to the north to relieve Bastogne as he had promised Ike Dec. 19 – 250,000 troops 75 mi.

The US 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne, Belgium, is surrounded.

The U.S. First Army withdraws from St. Vith

Britain and the U.S.A formally recognize Tito’s Yugoslavia.

President Truman issues “Truman Directive,” authorizing immigration of increased numbers of displaced persons.

Former Japanese prime minister Hideki Tojo is executed for war crimes. Tojo tried to commit suicide before his trial but survived to face the executioner.

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