Soviet marine raises flag over the newly liberated town of Kerch

- Project 60: A Day-by-Day Diary of WWII - 

Remembering the First Fight Against Fascism


Rommel retreats in North Africa

 

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December 21, 1941

Japanese troops begin major landings at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines. 

A typhus epidemic appears to be sweeping through the German armies of the east.

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December 22, 1941  

The main body of the Japanese invasion force completes its landings. The 14th Army, consisting of some 43,000 men are 130 miles north of Manila.

Churchill arrives in Washington for the first wartime conference with Roosevelt.

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December 23, 1941

Japanese forces return in strength to Wake Island, this time, they overwhelm the US forces on the island.

Japanese bombers hit Rangoon, Burma.

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December 24, 1941

Japanese forces make more landings in Luzon. Pressure by the Japanese 16 Division toward Manila force MacArthur to order the withdrawal to Bataan.

The British aircraft carrier Audacity is torpedoed in the North Atlantic and sunk.

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December 25, 1941

The British 11,000-man garrison at Hong Kong is surrendered. More than 2000 Commonwealth troops were killed or MIA while 2300 were wounded in the seven-day siege.

British forces enter Benghazi as the Afrika Korp continues its retreat to El Agheila

Hitler removes one of his most capable generals, Heintz Guderian from command of the 2nd Panzer Army.

The British take the important port of Benghazi as the British 8th Army continues to advance in Libya.

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December 26, 1941  

Soviet marines make a landing on the Kerch peninsula in order to relieve the pressure on the Soviet forced defending the besieged city of Sevastopol.

Churchill addresses a joint session of the US congress and receives a warm and heartfelt reception.

Manila was declared an open city as all US and Philippine forces withdrew, blowing up supplies and stores as they went.

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December 27, 1941

The British launched Operation Archery, a major commando raid on Vaago and Lofoten Islands off the Norwegian coast.  In the attack, the commandos killed 200 Germans and destroyed five German merchant ships totaling 16,000 tons.


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December 28, 1941  

Japanese bombers hit Manila despite the public declaration that the US/Phillipine forces had withdrawn.

Death has become a regular event in Leningrad as starvation begins to take it's toll. Each day in the city, three to four thousand die for lack of food, or exposure to the cold.

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December 29, 1941

Soviet marines make a second landing on the Kerch peninsula, this time near Feodosrya. Both Kerch and Feodosiya were captured by the Soviet marines.

Japanese bombers hit Corregidor Island in Manila Bay for the first time.

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December 30, 1941

German forces, threatened with encirclement, hurriedly evacuate the Kerch peninsula.

Soviet forces liberate Kaluga, 90 miles southwest of Moscow.

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December 31, 1941

Japanese forces, advancing from the north, are 30 miles from Manila. The last Allied forces in the area are withdrawn.

Attacks against Sevastopol are suspended for the winter in order to stabilize the situation in the Crimea.

In the Moscow area, Kozelsk is recaptured by the advancing Soviets after a 24 day occupation by the Germans.

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January 1, 1942

Twenty-six nations sign on to the Atlantic Charter. In documents drafted for the occasion, the term "United Nations" is used for the first time. The signatories agreed to fight to "ensure life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve the rights of mean and justice."

British forces blow up and abandon the oil fields in Sarawak as Japanese forces press their advance.

Jean Moulin, the former mayor of Chartres, France, was parachuted back into France after spending four months in Britain organizing support for the resistance.

British forces attack Bardia in a daring night attack. The Libyan city would fall the next day.

In a dramatic naval action, a convoy heading for Russia from Britain was engaged by the German cruisers Lutzow and Admiral Hipper. Although out-gunned by his enemy, the British escort commander, Capt. Robert Sherbrooke, bravely took his destroyers into action and beat off the German attack. In the action, Sherbrooke was wounded in the head, ultimately loosing an eye, but continued to direct the action to its successful conclusion. For his bravery he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

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January 2, 1942

Japanese forces enter Manila and begin massive air and artillery attacks on Corregidor.

Chinese forces enter Burma to assist the British in defending their supply lines through that country.

Japanese aircraft cause heavy damage in raids on Singapore.

British operations planners were directed to begin planning for a "second front" in northwest Europe. This was the genesis of the Normandy invasion.

The Soviet 39th Army breaks thought the German lines northwest of Rzhev. A furious Hitler orders that "not one inch of ground is to be given up".

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January 3, 1942

Chinese forces begin a major attack against Japanese forces at Changsha, Hunan.

General Marshall was informed that there were not sufficient forces available to send a relief force to the Philippines. The defenders would be sacrificed.

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Those wishing to contribute items. stories or comments should contact D.A. Friedrichs

Editor's Corner 

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


Previous Columns

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..."

The 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 acts.  

 

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