CBI - China: Day 84 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
1936 — , December 10
Spain: Day 147 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1937 — , December 10
Spain: Day 512 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 157 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 2 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
1938 — , December 10
USA: Having fled Nazi-annexed Austria, the popular touring act The Trapp Family Choir performs in New York City at The Town Hall. They will eventually become renown through the Broadway musical and film The Sound of Music.
Promotional photo of the Trapp Family Singers, 1941
Regarding their performance at The Town Hall, the New York Times wrote:
"There was something unusually lovable and appealing about the modest, serious singers of this little family aggregation as they formed a close semicircle about their self-effacing director for their initial offering, the handsome Mme von Trapp in simple black, and the youthful sisters garbed in black and white Austrian folk costumes enlivened with red ribbons. It was only natural to expect work of exceeding refinement from them, and one was not disappointed in this."
The description of their performance as "modest, serious singers" and "exceeding refinement" is reflective of the stoic, no nonsense European style of such touring acts at the time. But now that they were in America they would learn to make their act more light-hearted and personable to win over a new breed of audience.
A new agent will soon change their name to the Trapp Family Singers and they will continue to tour North America giving concert performances and, after the war, the world.
Maria von Trapp will publish a best-selling book in 1949 which will be adapted into the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical The Sound of Music and its subsequent 1965 smash hit motion picture.
It should come as no surprise that the famous play and film bear very little resemblance to the true life story of the von Trapp family; the number of children, their names, the years... all quite fictional. Yet the movie depicts the Nazi cloud that hung over them quite well.
A little reality: After performing at a festival in 1935, they became a popular European touring act. But the life they experienced under the Nazis after the annexation of Austria in March 1938 became increasingly difficult. They witnessed hostility toward Jewish children by their classmates, the use of children against their parents, the advocacy of abortion by both Maria's doctor and by her son's school, and finally by the induction of Georg into the German Navy. They visited Munich in the summer and encountered Hitler at a restaurant. Perhaps that convinced them they had to get out while they could. In September the family fled Austria and traveled to Italy and then to the United States. Their home was confiscated by the Nazis.
USA: The Lockheed Hudson light bomber makes its first flight. Built initially for and primarily operated by the Royal Air Force, mainly with Coastal Command, it will see widespread use in transport roles and for covertly delivering agents into occupied France.
USAAF Lockheed A-29 Hudson
By February 1939, Hudsons began to be delivered to the RAF, some seven months before the outbreak of war. It was the first significant aircraft construction contract for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, with a total of 2,941 Hudsons produced through 1943. By the start of the war in September, 78 Hudsons were in service.
Due to the United States' neutrality at that time, early series aircraft were flown to the Canadian border, landed, and then towed on their wheels over the border into Canada by tractors or horse drawn teams before then being flown to Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) airfields. There they were then dismantled and "cocooned" for transport as deck cargo, by ship to Liverpool.
Although later outclassed by larger bombers, the Hudson achieved some significant feats during the first half of the war. On 08 Oct 39, over Jutland, a Hudson became the first Allied aircraft operating from the British Isles to shoot down an enemy aircraft. Hudsons also provided top cover during the Battle of Dunkirk.
In 1941, the USAAF began operating the Hudson, with 18 variants produced. Skilled and experienced pilots found that the Hudson had an exceptional maneuverability for a twin-engined aircraft, especially a tight turning circle if either engine was briefly feathered.
CBI - China: Day 522 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 60 of 81 of Japan's Operation GUANGDONG.
1939 — , December 10
Finland: Day 11 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
CBI - China: Day 887 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 26 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1940 — , December 10
ETO - UK: Day 96 of 258 of the Blitz.
MTO - North Africa: Day 2 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italian troops in Egypt and Libya. In Egypt, the 4th Indian Division captures Sidi Barrani. The Italian troops stationed the camps of Sofafi and Rabia flee west as the British 7th Armoured Division threatens to encircle them.
East Africa: Day 184 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,253 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Thailand: Day 71 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1941 — , December 10
ETO - UK: German spy Karel Richter, who parachuted into Hertfordshire, England on 12 May 41 only to be captured two days later, is executed at Wandsworth Prison.
Unknown British men displaying the parachute used by German spy Karel Richter to slip into England
Richter became a spy after trying to escape from Germany. He was deported from Sweden because he did not have the right papers. When he arrived back in Germany he was sent to a concentration camp. Richter was then offered his freedom if he agreed to become a spy.
Richter's first (and only) mission was to pass some equipment to another spy in England, check whether this spy was really a double agent and then gather information on roads and railways, use of gas masks and National Identity Cards. After hiding for two days without food, Richter wandered on to a busy road where two lorry drivers spotted him and later reported him to a policeman who picked him up and took him to the station for questioning. Richter was found to be carrying forged documents and other suspicious items so the police handed him over to the Security Service.
After many hours of questioning, when confronted by another German spy, Richter admitted what he was and gave the Security Service full details of his mission. A search was also made of the field where he landed and other items such as a radio transmitter, torch and automatic pistol were found. Richter was tried in Oct and Nov 1941 and was executed on 10 Dec 41 at Wandsworth Prison.
Russian Front - North: Day 94 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 70 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
Russian Front - South: Day 42 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
MTO - Libya: Day 245 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
CBI - China: Day 1,618 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 3 of 18 of the Battle of Hong Kong.
CBI - Malaya: Day 3 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya. British troops that had pushed into southern Thailand begin to fall back along with those from northern Malaya after the Japanese had captured Kota Bharu airfield.
PTO - Marshall Islands: Day 3 of 17 of the Battle of Wake Island, aka the Alamo of the Pacific. The US and Japanese troops keep slugging it out.
PTO - Mariana Islands: Day 3 of 3 of the 1st Battle of Guam. The Japanese have secured the island.
PTO - Philippines: Day 3 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. Japanese troops make landings on the northern tip of Luzon and the island of Camiguin.
1942 — , December 10
Germany: The first transport of Jews from Germany arrives at Auschwitz.
Russian Front - North: Day 459 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 22 of 59 of the Battle of Velikiye Luki, near Leningrad. This stalemate does help ease the siege a little, but mostly it keeps German troops from being sent to other fronts.
Russian Front - North: Day 220 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
Russian Front - Center: Day 17 of 21 of the Battle of Sychevka, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 16 of 26 of the 2nd Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia, launched by the Soviets as Operation MARS.
Russian Front - Center: Day 16 of 22 of the Battle of Belyi, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 16 of 17 of the Battle of Luchesa (Vitebsk), Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 16 of 29 of the Battle of Molodoi Tud River, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 111 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
MTO - Tunisia: Day 24 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. US 1st Army frontline pushed back to defensive positions east of Medjez el Bab. US 12th Air Force provides Allied air support.
MTO - Libya: US 9th Air Force fly fighter-bomber missions in the battle area of El Agheila.
CBI - China: Day 1,983 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 187 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 295 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 22 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona. Australian troops capture Gona and now control the whole of the Gona area.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 126 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
1943 — , December 10
ETO - Germany: Day 23 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). Leverkusen is attacked by 25 Mosquitos.
Russian Front - North: Day 824 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 585 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket. USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
Russian Front - South: Day 109 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR.
MTO - Bulgaria: US 15th Air Force B-24s bomb a marshalling yard at Sofia.
MTO - Yugoslavia: US 12th Air Force fighters bomb a vessel in the harbor at Split.
MTO - Italy: The British 8th Army crosses the Moro river. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - China: Day 2,348 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 39 of 49 of the Battle of West Changde.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 83 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 80 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 40 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands.
1944 — , December 10
ETO - France: Day 132 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - France: Day 87 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO - Germany: Day 83 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
ETO - Germany: US 3rd Army captures Hagenau and Saargemünd. US 8th Air Force B-24s bomb at Bingen while the B-17s hit targets at Koblenz.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 87 of 223 of the Lapland War. Finland and Russia have joined forces to kick the Germans out of Finland's most northern province.
Russian Front - Center: Day 57 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 50 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
Russian Front - South: Day 43 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary.
MTO - Austria: US 15th Air Force: B-17s hit the secondary at Klagenfurt.
MTO - Italy: US and Royal Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - Burma: Day 254 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive.
CBI - Burma: Day 27 of 31 of the Battle of Bhamo.
CBI - China: Day 2,714 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 238 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.The Japanese have met their objective to open the road from China into French Indochina.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 349 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 233 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
PTO - Philippines: Day 52 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 52 of 73 of the Battle of Leyte. The Japanese are defeated as they make their last seaborne reinforcement on Leyte.
PTO - Philippines: Day 30 of 41 of the Naval Battle of Ormoc Bay. The US 77th Infantry Division enters Ormoc bringing this battle closer to an end.
1948 — , December 10
London: The United Nations General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
[+] show related dates
Related dates (United Nations)...
12 Jun 41: Inter-Allied Declaration is signed in London, first step to the UN
14 Aug 41: Atlantic Charter signed, defining goals for post-war world
01 Jan 42: First use of term "United Nations" in Washington DC
24 Oct 45: UN Charter ratified by 5 members of Security Council
19 Dec 45: Eleanor Roosevelt appointed delegate to the UN
10 Jan 46: First General Assembly held, 51 nations represented
17 Jan 46: First Security Council meeting, adopting rules, procedures
12 Apr 46: The League of Nations holds its final meeting
24 Jan 46: First resolution adopted, focusing on atomic energy
10 Dec 48: General Assembly adopts Declaration of Human Rights
24 Oct 49: Cornerstone laid for UN Headquarters in New York City