Soviet infantry, in full winter gear,
attack across a railroad
- Project 60: A Day-by-Day Diary of WWII -
Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism
Japanese aircraft carriers on their
way to Pearl Harbor
November 25, 1941
November 26, 1941
wanting to halt his offensive and fall back. The theater commander, General
Auchinleck relieves Cunningham, CO of the British 8th Army, is
relieved of command and placed by General Ritchie. Cunningham wanted to stop the
Crusader offensive and withdraw to Egypt.
US Ambassador Hull
informs the Japanese that their proposal of November 20 has been rejected and
presents the US ultimatum (the "10 point" peace plan) to the Japanese. All
parties understood quite well that this would never be acceptable. The Japanese
were given until November 29 to respond.
of State Hull warned US military officials that a Japanese surprise attack was
possible, stating, "There was practically no possibility of an agreement
being achieved with Japan."
planned, the Japanese 1st Air Fleet sets sail from the Kurile Islands for Pearl
Harbor. The force, commanded by Admiral Chuichi Nagumo consists of 6 aircraft
carriers, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 9 destroyers and 8 oilers.
November 27, 1941
The New Zealand
Division of the British 8th Army at El Duba links up with the Tobruk
Garrison. Rommel is forced to turn away from the frontier to deal with this new
In last Italian
holding in East Africa is lost. The 23,500 man garrison at Gondar surrenders
after a brief but intense battle. The British take only 500 casualties. In less
than a year of campaigning, a Commonwealth force of 21,500 completely destroyed
the Italian army of 350,000 defending the area.
Advanced parties of
German Panzer forces penetrate into the suburbs of Moscow. Some of these patrols
report that they saw the spires of the Kremlin. The front stands 19 miles from
the city's center.
Panzer Division (2nd Panzer Army) withdraws under heavy pressure from
Jews in the Riga
ghetto were told that they would be shifted further east. By the next day
certain streets would be evacuated, and Jews were to get ready for the long
journey. They did not know that the journey was to the Rumbuli Forest where
15,000 of the ghetto residents were to be killed. The Latvian population had a
full view of the inhuman treatment of these thousands.
November 28, 1941
Elements of the 14th
Motorized and 7th Panzer Divisions reach the Moscow-Volga canal, 20
miles north of the Kremlin.
The German 3rd
Panzer Corp is forced to withdraw from Rostov as the Soviet counter-attack
threatens to encircle the town. This is the first major withdrawal by German
forces in the war.
Secretary of State
Hull warns other US officials for the second time in three days that war with
Japan is imminent.
November 29, 1941
US officials notify
the British government that the negotiations with Japan are coming to an end and
that war was immanent.
November 30, 1941
Panzer Division captures Krasnaia Poliana, 10 miles from the outskirts of
Moscow. Extremely heavy resistance stops the attack at that point.
With the other
attacking units getting bogged down, 4th Army, due west of Moscow,
opens its offensive to take the city.
The Africa Korp and
British 8th Army forces engage in heavy attacks between Tobruk and
Nine thousand Riga
Jews were herded out of the ghetto, marched five miles out of town to the
Rumbuli forest and shot.
December 1, 1941
With Emperor Hirohito in attendance, the ruling council of Japan unanimously voted to go to war with the United States, Britain and the Netherlands.
Force "K" from
Malta attacked an Italian convoy. The Italian destroyer Da Mosto was sunk.
December 2, 1941
The Japanese cabinet
confirms the decision of the ruling council for an attack on Pearl Harbor.
Geuderian gathers the
last of his army's tank strength into two groups for a final attempt to cut
off the Soviet 50th Army at Tula. After some initial success, the
Germans cut the Moscow-Tula road. The Soviets immediately launched strong and
coordinated attacks against the exposed German spearheads forcing them to
retreat back to their start lines.
The United States
protests the increase of Japanese military forces in Indochina pointing out that
Japan is in violation of her agreement with France. The United States accuses
Japan of planning further aggression in the region.
completely abandon the last holdings in the Karelia Peninsula that were seized
from the Finns in the 1939-40 Winter War.
battleships Prince of Wales and Repulse arrive in Singapore in
preparation with war with Japan. The task force was to also include the carrier Indomitable,
but this ship had run aground in the West Indies and would not be ready to sail
December 3, 1941
officials send the message "Climb Mount Niitaka" to Admiral Nagumo's
carrier force, confirming that the operation is to proceed.
Stalin orders the
reconstituted Polish army to Iran and Iraq with the intent of providing these
former enemy troops to the British. Despite needing all the troops he could
find, Stalin preferred to see the countrymen of a nation he stabbed in the back
The US merchantman Sagadahoc was torpedoed and sunk, presumably by a German submarine, in the South Atlantic.
December 4, 1941
Under extremely poor
weather and wave conditions, Nagumo's fleet manages to replenish its fuel
stores. The replenishment ships head for the return leg rendezvous point and the
carriers turn south for their final run to Hawaii.
Temperatures in the
Moscow area fall to -31F as the German offensive grinds to a halt some 19
miles from the city.
The Japanese embassy
in Washington begins to destroy codebooks and personal files.
December 5, 1941
A political storm
erupts in the United States when the Washington Times-Herald, New York Daily
News, and the Chicago
Tribune publish details of plans for mobilization for total war against
German and Japan. It was later discovered that the plans were leaked by a
Captain in the War Plans Division (Ed. Note: probably a Republican). The
Captain passed the plan to Senator Burton Wheeler (anti-FDR D-Montana), who in
turn gave the report to the article's author Chesley Manly. The Germans
gleefully turned the intelligence bonanza over to General Jodl, Hitler's
operations chief, to make necessary adjustments to their plans. The official
word to reporters from the Whitehouse was "Your right to print the news is, I
think, unchallenged and unquestioned. It depends entirely on the decision of the
publisher and editor whether publication is patriotic or treasonable." (Editor's
Note - Compare this to the reaction from our current administration when a
comedian made a joke.)
hovering at -15F, Zhukov unleashes his counterattack at Moscow. Konev's
Kalinin front opens the offensive against the Germans, attacking the northern
edge of the Klin bulge. The fighting is very serious and resistance is stiff.
Some headway is made and casualties on both sides are high.
US Navy officials
order all stations in Tokyo, Bangkok, Peking, Tiensin, Shanghai, Guam and Wake
to destroy all codebooks and secret files.
Hitler calls an end
to the winter offensive against Moscow and orders some "limited"
December 6, 1941
As a last attempt to
prevent the outbreak of hostilities, President Roosevelt sends a personal
message to Emperor Hirohito of Japan. The note states, "Developments
are occurring in the Pacific area which threaten to deprive each of our nations
and all humanity of the beneficial influence of the long peace between our two
countries. . . . During the past few weeks it has become clear to the world that
Japanese military, naval, and air forces have been sent to Southern Indochina
in such large numbers as to create a reasonable doubt on the part of other
nations that this continuing concentration in Indochina is not defensive in its
character. . . the people of the Philippines, of the hundreds of Islands of the
East Indies, of Malaya, and of Thailand itself are asking themselves whether
these forces of Japan are preparing or intending to make attack in one or more
of these many directions. . . . It is clear that a continuance of such a
situation is unthinkable."
fleet turned southeast. The crew of his flagship, the Akagi, hoist the
battle flag used by Admiral Togo at the Battle of Tsushima in 1905, when the
Russians were decisively defeated.
Zhukov extends the
counter-attack at Moscow, ordering the right flank of the West Front to attack 3rd
and 4th Panzer Armies in the Klin area. The attacks are making
progress as the Germans, battered and exhausted give ground.
President Roosevelt authorizes the Manhattan Engineering District. The secret U.S. project to build an atomic bomb, later to be called the Manhattan Project, is put under the direction of the Office of Scientific Research and Development.
Britain declares war
on Finland, Hungary, and Rumania denouncing the aggression by these countries
Those wishing to contribute items. stories or comments should contact D.A. Friedrichs
The items found in this section are comments from the editors of Project 60 and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of bartcop.
War, Glory, Honor and Remembrance
War is a brutal and savage insult on human society. For nations it is the destruction of the resources needed for the enrichment of its citizens. For families, it is the loss of loved ones and the horrors held by the survivors. For the individual, it is the loss of precious time and ultimately, life itself.
There is no honor or glory in war. The sacrifice of a generation of humans cannot be seen in anyway to be glorious. Platitudes like "just cause" and "noble purpose" are meaningless to the person whose body has been blown to bits. If there is honor, it is in survival. If there is glory it is returning to your families, friends and community.
What we, the people who did not have to experience war, must do, is remember those who gave so much for our freedom. We must redouble our efforts so that their sacrifice is not in vane, so tyranny will not threaten our world again, so no more young men and women of any nation, need be surrendered to the insanity of war again.
D. A. Friedrichs
Want to Win - Think Before You Lash Out - "If we are serious about taking the war to the enemy, it is time to look ..."
The First Fight Against Fascism - We must remember the Spanish Civil War also.
Arguing Victory - "... Each nation who fought against fascist tyranny in WWII brought with it part of whole needed to defeat that evil..."
War, Glory, Honor and Remembrance - "War is a brutal and savage insult on human society..."
First Casualty... in time of war, those in power are even more inclined to hide the truth,
since that truth is often manifest in the most gruesome and terrible