WWII Day-By-Day
Selected: December 21
       Overview of WWII on December 21 by year...

1931 — , December 21

  • CBI - China: Day 95 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.

1936 — , December 21

  • Spain: Day 158 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1937 — , December 21

  • Germany: The General Staff's strategy plan, Plan Green, is completed, anticipating an aggressive war with Czechoslovakia.
  • Spain: Day 523 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 168 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 13 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
    • Day 9 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.

1938 — , December 21

  • Spain: Day 888 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 533 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 71 of 81 of Japan's Operation GUANGDONG.

1939 — , December 21

  • Finland: Day 22 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
  • CBI - China: Day 898 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 37 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.

1940 — , December 21

  • ETO - UK: Day 107 of 258 of the Blitz. The RAF attacks Berlin, inflicting only minor damage.
  • MTO - North Africa: Day 13 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italian troops in Egypt and Libya. In Libya, Bardia is surrounded by the 6th Australian Division, however these Italians are determined to fight it out.
  • East Africa: Day 195 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,264 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 82 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1941 — , December 21

  • Russian Front: Typhus is reported to be sweeping through the German forces along the Russian front.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 105 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 81 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 53 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula.
  • MTO - Libya: Day 256 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk. The German troops have left the area, thus lifting their siege.
  • MTO - Malta: The Axis launches a renewed air offensive against the Island of Malta.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 8 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,629 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 14 of 18 of the Battle of Hong Kong.
  • CBI - Malaya: Day 14 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: Day 14 of 17 of the Battle of Wake Island, aka the Alamo of the Pacific.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 14 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 6 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.

1942 — , December 21

  • Russian Front - North: Day 470 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 33 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 231 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 27 of 29 of the Battle of Molodoi Tud River, Russia. Ends in a stalemate but it does keep these German troops from going to Stalingrad.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 122 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 10 of 12 of Germany's Operation WINTER STORM, another failed attempt to take Stalingrad.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 10 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 35 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. US 9th Air Force provides Allied air support.
  • MTO - Libya: The British 8th Army overtakes the enemy rearguard at Sirte and are halted temporarily. US 12th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 1 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. British troops cross the Burmese border from India and head southeast toward Akyab.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,994 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - India: Day 2 of 5 of the Japanese Bombing of Calcutta.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 198 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 306 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 33 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 137 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

1943 — , December 21

  • ETO: Under pressure from the Allies to curtail German espionage operations in neutral Ireland, Prime Minister Eamon de Valera confiscates the German embassy's radio transmitter.

    Prime Minister of Ireland Eamon de Valera

    On the eve of war in Europe, which Ireland called "the Emergency" and not World War II, de Valera decided that neutrality was the best policy for Ireland. But as with other nations such as Sweden, Switzerland and Spain, maintaining neutrality required an ongoing effort to avoid ruffling the feathers of both Axis and Allied powers alike.

    All neutral nations knew that if Hitler were to prevail, his Third Reich would eventually come after them. By doing things like implementing programs of internment, they hoped that the crocodile would eat them last.

    While some in Ireland advocated participation on the Allied side, others, seeing "England's difficulty as Ireland's Opportunity", were pro-German.

    Ireland under de Valera secured wide powers for the duration of the Emergency, such as internment, censorship of the press and correspondence, and the government control of the economy. This status remained throughout the war, despite pressure from Chamberlain and Churchill.

    Although it arrested German spies that its police and military intelligence services caught, Ireland never broke off diplomatic relations with Axis nations. The German Legation in Dublin remained open throughout the war. Controversially, de Valera formally offered his condolences to the German Minister in Dublin on the death of Adolf Hitler in 1945, in accordance with diplomatic protocol. This did cause some diplomatic fuss, particularly in the United States, and soon afterward de Valera had a bitter exchange of words with Winston Churchill.

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  • ETO - Germany: Day 34 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). Mannesmann factory at Düsseldorf is attacked by nine Mosquitos.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 835 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 596 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 120 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR. The Soviet troops smash the German bridgehead over Dnieper River at Kherson, Ukraine.
  • MTO - Italy: British 8th Army's 1st Canadian Division battles to capture Ortona in central Italy. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: The British troops reach the Maungdaw plain in Arakan.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,359 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 94 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 91 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 7 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 51 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands.

1944 — , December 21

  • ETO - France: Day 143 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 98 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 6 of 41 of the Battle of the Bulge. US 1st Army retakes Stavelot but to the south, the Germans besiege Bastogne. Units of 5th Panzer Army capture St Vith.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 94 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 98 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 68 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 61 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 54 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary.
  • MTO - Germany: US 15th Air Force B-24s bomb the main marshalling yard and railroad sidings at Rosenheim.
  • MTO - Italy: US and Royal Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 265 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,725 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 249 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 360 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 244 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 63 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 63 of 73 of the Battle of Leyte.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 7 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 41 of 41 of the Naval Battle of Ormoc Bay. The US Navy has secured the bay.

1945 — , December 21

  • Germany: US General George S Patton dies from injuries sustained in a car crash twelve days earlier.

    21 Dec 45: Headline of the Tampa Daily Times
    announcing the death of General Patton

    On 09 Dec 45, Patton was severely injured in a car accident while he and his chief of staff were on a one day pheasant hunting trip. He was to be flying home the next day on vacation and was considering either resigning or retiring from the US Army.

    Their 1938 Cadillac 75 was hit by a 2½ ton GMC truck that made a left turn in front of them. Although it was a low speed collision which initially seemed to be of a minor nature, General Patton was in the back having trouble breathing. The general had been thrown forward almost 5 feet in the spacious rear seat area and his head struck a metal part of the partition between the front and back seats, incurring a cervical spinal cord severance injury.

    General Patton was conscience and aware of his circumstances. Understanding many things and not having much time, he asked that no one be charged in the accident. Paralyzed from the neck down, he was rushed to a US Army station hospital 25 miles away.

    Although General Patton was cheerful on the morning of the 21st, his vital signs showed continued pulmonary distress and he passed away. The official cause of death was "pulmonary edema and congestive heart failure."

    Patton's wife decided that her husband should be laid to rest in the cemetery at Hamm, Luxembourg, alongside the men who fought and died in his great Third Army. This would have been in accordance to General Patton's wishes as well.

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Day-By-Day listings for December 21 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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