Germany: 49 days after the 08-09 Nov 23 Beer Hall Putsch, Dietrich Eckart, one of the founders of the Nazi party and a key influence on shaping Adolf Hitler, dies of a heart attack in Berchtesgaden.
1931 — , December 26
CBI - China: Day 100 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
1936 — , December 26
Spain: Day 163 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1937 — , December 26
Spain: Day 528 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 173 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 18 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
Day 14 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.
1938 — , December 26
Spain: Day 893 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 538 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 76 of 81 of Japan's Operation GUANGDONG.
1939 — , December 26
ETO: The first squadron of Australian airmen arrives in Britain.
Finland: Day 27 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
CBI - China: Day 903 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 42 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1940 — , December 26
ETO - UK: Day 112 of 258 of the Blitz.
MTO - North Africa: Day 18 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italian troops in Egypt and Libya.
East Africa: Day 200 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,269 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Thailand: Day 87 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1941 — , December 26
USA: Churchill addresses Joint Session of Congress and receives a rousing ovation, but says the Allied offensive must wait until 1943.
Russian Front - North: Day 110 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 86 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
Russian Front - South: Day 58 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. Russians land on the Kerch Peninsula in an attempt to relieve the siege of Sevastopol.
CBI - Burma: Day 13 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
CBI - China: Day 1,634 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 3 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
CBI - Malaya: Day 19 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya. Japanese troops cross the river Perak forcing the British troops back down the coast roads.
PTO - Borneo: Day 11 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
PTO - Philippines: Day 19 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. The Philippine capital of Manila is declared an open city by the Americans.
1942 — , December 26
Russian Front - North: Day 475 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 38 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 236 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 127 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
Russian Front - South: Day 15 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 - Algeria: The French authorities execute Admiral Darlan's assassin in Algiers.
MTO - Tunisia: Day 40 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. US 9th and 12th Air Forces provide Allied air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 6 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan.
CBI - China: Day 1,999 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 203 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 311 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 38 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 142 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
1943 — , December 26
Atlantic: German battleship SHARNHORST is sunk off North Cape by the British Royal Navy. Only 36 of her crew of 1,839 survive.
Russian Front - North: Day 840 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 601 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 3 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 3 of 22 of the Battle of Zhitomir, Russia.
MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - China: Day 2,364 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 99 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 96 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 12 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. The US 1st Marines invade landing on both sides of Cape Gloucester.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 56 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands.
1944 — , December 26
ETO - Belgium: Day 11 of 41 of the Battle of the Bulge. General Patton's 10th Armored Division relieves the besieged 101st Airborne defenders of Bastogne, Belgium.
General George S Patton
The capture of Bastogne was a major goal of the Battle of the Bulge, the German offensive through the Ardennes forest. Bastogne was where significant roads junctioned in rough terrain where few roads existed. Once taken, Bastogne would open up valuable roadways further north through eastern Belgium for German forces.
The Belgian town was defended by the US 101st Airborne Division, which had to be reinforced by troops who straggled in from other battlefields. Food, medical supplies and other resources eroded as bad weather and relentless German assaults threatened the Americans' ability to hold out. Nevertheless, Brigadier General Anthony C MacAuliffe met a German surrender demand with a typewritten response of a single word: "Nuts."
Enter "Old Blood and Guts," General Patton. Employing a complex and quick-witted strategy wherein he literally wheeled his 3rd Army a sharp 90 degrees in a counterthrust movement, Patton broke through the German lines and entered Bastogne, relieving the valiant defenders and ultimately pushing the Germans east across the Rhine.
The 101st Airborne Division's casualties from 19 Dec 44 to 06 Jan 45 were 341 killed, 1,691 wounded, and 516 missing.
Patton related dates...
04 Apr 41: Promoted to Major General (shows full promotions table)
06 Mar 43: Named the commanding officer of the US II Corps
ETO - France: Day 148 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - France: Day 103 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO - France: Eight French Gestapo leaders are executed in Paris.
ETO - Belgium: US 8th Air Force heavy bombers hit rail targets behind the Bulge.
ETO - Germany: Day 99 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
ETO - Holland: Camp Vught, one of four major concentration camps set up during the Nazi occupation, is liberated by British troops. A small camp under direct command of the SS, "only" 749 men, women and children died of various causes there since it opened on 13 Jan 43..
Russian Front - Finland: Day 103 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 73 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 66 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
Russian Front - South: Day 59 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary.
MTO: US 15th Air Force B-17s and B-24s hit targets in Germany, Poland, and Italy.
MTO - Italy: US and Royal Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - Burma: Day 270 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive.
CBI - China: Day 2,730 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 254 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 365 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 249 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
PTO - Philippines: Day 68 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 68 of 73 of the Battle of Leyte.
PTO - Philippines: Day 12 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon.
Day-By-Day listings for December 26 were last modified on Monday, February 26, 2018