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Selected: December 14
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1931 — , December 14

  • UK: Douglas Bader, while attempting some low-flying aerobatics at Woodley airfield, crashes when the tip of the left wing touches the ground. Bader is rushed to a hospital where both his legs are amputated - one above and one below the knee. Despite his handicap, he will go on to become a famous RAF fighter pilot Ace.
  • CBI - China: Day 88 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.

1936 — , December 14

  • Spain: Day 151 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1937 — , December 14

  • Spain: Day 516 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 161 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 6 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
    • Day 2 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.

1938 — , December 14

  • Germany: Hermann Goering takes charge of resolving the Jewish Question.
  • Spain: Day 881 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 526 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 64 of 81 of Japan's Operation GUANGDONG.

1939 — , December 14

  • Geneva: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations in response to the Soviet invasion of Finland (the Winter War) on 30 Oct 39.
    Spotlight...

    The League of Nations' Assembly building in Geneva

    Germany and Japan voluntarily withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933, and Italy left in 1937.

    The true imperial designs of the Soviet Union soon became apparent with its occupation of eastern Poland in September of 1939, ostensibly with the intention of protecting Russian "blood brothers," Ukrainians and Byelorussians, who were supposedly menaced by the Poles. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were then terrorized into signing "mutual assistance" pacts, primarily one-sided agreements that gave the USSR air and naval bases in those countries.

    But the invasion of Finland, where no provocation or pact could credibly be adduced to justify the aggression, resulted in worldwide reaction. President Roosevelt, although an "ally" of the USSR, condemned the invasion, causing the Soviets to withdraw from the New York World's Fair. And finally, the League of Nations, drawing almost its last breath, expelled it.

    While the League was born with the exalted mission of preventing another "Great War," it proved ineffectual, being unable to protect China from a Japanese invasion or Ethiopia from an Italian one. The League was also useless in reacting to German remilitarization, which was a violation of the Treaty of Versailles, the document that formally set the peace terms for the end of World War I.

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  • Finland: Day 15 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War. In southern Finland, two Russian G-class destroyers approach Utö. The fortress guns sink one of the destroyers.
  • CBI - China: Day 891 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 30 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.

1940 — , December 14

  • ETO - UK: Day 100 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • MTO - North Africa: Day 6 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italian troops in Egypt and Libya.
  • East Africa: Day 188 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,257 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 75 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1941 — , December 14

  • Russian Front - North: Day 98 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 74 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow. German forces evacuate Kalinin, 100 miles to the northwest of Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 46 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 249 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk. Indian troops repel repeated Panzer attacks on Point 204.
  • MTO: Royal Navy destroyers sink two Italian Light Cruisers off Cape Bon. U-557 sinks the British cruiser HMS GALATEA outside of Alexandria harbor.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 1 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,622 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 7 of 18 of the Battle of Hong Kong.
  • CBI - Malaya: Day 7 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya.
  • CBI - Thailand: Thailand formally allies herself with Japan.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: Day 7 of 17 of the Battle of Wake Island, aka the Alamo of the Pacific.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 7 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. Japan lands more ground troops throughout the Philippines.

1942 — , December 14

  • Russian Front - North: Day 463 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 26 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 224 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 21 of 21 of the Battle of Sychevka, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 20 of 26 of the 2nd Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia, launched by the Soviets as Operation MARS.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 20 of 22 of the Battle of Belyi, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 20 of 29 of the Battle of Molodoi Tud River, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 115 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 3 of 12 of Germany's Operation WINTER STORM, another failed attempt to take Stalingrad.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 3 of 69 of the USSR's Operation LITTLE SATURN, a successful drive into the Northern Caucasus and the Donets Basin pushing the Axis troops out.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 28 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. US 12th Air Force provides Allied air support.
  • MTO - Libya: The British 7th Armored and 51st Infantry Divisions push west while the New Zealand 2nd Division pushes southwest and rounds the enemy's right flank to cut off their retreat. US 9th Air Force provides Allied air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,987 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 191 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 299 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 26 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 130 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

1943 — , December 14

  • Russian Front: German strength on Russian Front is now down to 2,086,000, with 188,000 allied and satellite troops. German casualties figures for 1943 were 900,000 men lost.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 828 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 589 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 113 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR.
  • MTO - Greece: US 15th Air Force B-24s and B-17s bomb at Athens and Piraeus.
  • MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,352 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 43 of 49 of the Battle of West Changde.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 87 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 84 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 44 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands.

1944 — , December 14

  • ETO - France: Day 136 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 91 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 87 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 91 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 61 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 54 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 47 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary.
  • MTO - Italy: US and Royal Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 258 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 31 of 31 of the Battle of Bhamo. Chinese troops take Bhamo in northern Burma after the Japanese had evacuated during the night.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,718 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 242 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 353 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 237 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 56 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 56 of 73 of the Battle of Leyte. US troops capture an important Japanese supply post on Leyte, at the southern tip of the Yamashita defense line.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 34 of 41 of the Naval Battle of Ormoc Bay.

1945 — , December 14

  • Germany: Josef Kramer, Commandant at Bergen-Belsen, the first concentration camp entered by the Western Allies, is hanged along with eight SS men and three SS women convicted of atrocities committed there.
    Spotlight...

    17 Sep 45: Josef Kramer and 44 staff members brought before a British Military Tribunal at Luneburg, Germany

    Dubbed "The Beast of Belsen" by camp inmates, Josef Kramer was directly responsible for the death and suffering of thousands of people.

    Kramer served as commandant of Natzweiler-Struthof, the only concentration camp established by the Nazis on present-day French territory. There he personally carried out the gassings of 80 Jewish men and women, part of a group of 87 selected at Auschwitz to become anatomical specimens in a proposed Jewish skeleton collection.

    In May 1944, Kramer was put in charge of the gas chambers in Auschwitz concentration camp where he soon became notorious among his subordinates as a harsh taskmaster.

    As Germany collapsed, many guards fled Bergen-Belsen to escape retribution and the inmates were left to their own devices. Corpses rotted everywhere, and rats attacked the living too weak to fight them off. Kramer remained even when the British arrived to liberate the camp. He remained indifferent and callous and took them on a tour of the camp to inspect the "scenes." Piles of corpses were lying all over the camp, mass graves were filled in, and the huts were filled with prisoners in every stage of emaciation and disease.

1949 — , December 14

  • Yugoslavia: Partisan commander Stjepan Filipovic,who was captured on 24 Feb 42 and executed on 22 May 42, is declared a National Hero of Yugoslavia.

Day-By-Day listings for December 14 were last modified on Friday, January 29, 2016
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