CBI - China: Day 103 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
1936 — , December 29
Spain: Day 166 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1937 — , December 29
Spain: Day 531 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 176 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 21 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
Day 17 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.
1938 — , December 29
Spain: Day 896 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 541 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 79 of 81 of Japan's Operation GUANGDONG.
1939 — , December 29
USA: The Consolidated XB-24 prototype heavy bomber is test flown at San Diego's Lindbergh Field. It will be dubbed the "Liberator" and 18,482 will be built by the end of the war, which will make it the most-produced US military aircraft.
A Consolidated B-24 Liberator from Maxwell Field, Alabama, four engine pilot school
The contract for a prototype was awarded in March 1939, with the requirement that one should be ready before the end of the year. The design was simple in concept but nevertheless advanced for its time.
Early orders for the B-24, placed before the XB-24 had flown, included 36 for the USAAC, 120 for the French Armée de l'Air and 164 for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The name "Liberator" was originally assigned to it by the RAF, and subsequently adopted by the USAAF as the official name for the type. When France fell in 1940, the aircraft they had ordered were re-directed to the RAF.
Mass production was brought into full force by 1943 with the aid of the Ford Motor Company through its newly constructed Willow Run facility, where peak production would reach one B-24 per hour and 650 per month in 1944.
The B-24 has been overshadowed by the B-17, which has consistently been touted by media and authors as the only bomber that did anything in WWII.
US Bomber Production in WWII
*Part of 9,831 Douglas bombers of similar design built
The production ratio of B-17s to B-24s was 17:24 — a very interesting coincidence.
The percentage of B-17s lost was comparable to the number of B-24s lost. The chances of survival were the same regardless of the aircraft flown.
Finland: Day 30 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War. In southern Finland, the Finns launch a successful counter attack to the north of Lake Ladoga.
CBI - China: Day 906 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 45 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
1940 — , December 29
ETO - UK: Day 115 of 258 of the Blitz. A major incendiary raid is thrown against London, destroying or badly damaging a number of historic buildings. St Paul's Cathedral, though surrounded by fire, miraculously comes through.
St Paul's Survives
On the night of one of the most devastating of all raids of the Blitz, photographer Herbert Mason huddled on the roof of the Daily Mail building on Tudor Street and took this image of St Paul's Cathedral surrounded by what looked certain to engulf the structure. After waiting for hours for the smoke to clear, the wind picked up just enough for him to take what would become one of the most iconic shots of the Blitz. Although 29 bombs fell on and around the Cathedral, St Paul's miraculously emerged structurally intact from the flames, mainly due to the extraordinary and heroic attempts of a special group of firefighters who were tasked to protect it.
According to Mason, "I focused at intervals as the great dome loomed up through the smoke. Glares of many fires and sweeping clouds of smoke kept hiding the shape. Then a wind sprang up. Suddenly, the shining cross, dome and towers stood out like a symbol in the inferno. The scene was unbelievable. In that moment or two I released my shutter."
The image was held up by the censors before they cleared its publication in the 31 December 1940 issue of The Daily Mail, captioned as "War's Greatest Picture" and officially dubbed "St Paul's Survives."
In Germany, the photo was published on the cover of "Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung" as proof their bombing campaign was working.
MTO - North Africa: Day 21 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italian troops in Egypt and Libya.
East Africa: Day 203 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,272 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
CBI - Thailand: Day 90 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1941 — , December 29
Russian Front - North: Day 113 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 89 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
Russian Front - South: Day 61 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. Soviet troops make an amphibious landing at Feodosiya, on the southern coast of the Crimea, in order to relive pressure against Sevastopol.
CBI - Burma: Day 16 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
CBI - China: Day 1,637 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 6 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
CBI - Malaya: Day 22 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya.
PTO - Borneo: Day 14 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
PTO - Philippines: Day 22 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines.
1942 — , December 29
Russian Front - North: Day 478 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 41 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 239 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 130 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
Russian Front - South: Day 18 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 43 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. US 9th and 12th Air Forces provide Allied air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 9 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan.
CBI - China: Day 2,002 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 206 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 314 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 41 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 145 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
1943 — , December 29
ETO - Germany: Day 42 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). The eighth 2,000-ton air raid is flown against Berlin by the RAF on this, the third anniversary of the fire bombing of London.
Russian Front - North: Day 843 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 604 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 6 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 6 of 22 of the Battle of Zhitomir, Russia.
MTO - Yugoslavia: US 12th Air Force P-40s hit a vessel on the north side of the Peljesac Peninsula.
MTO - Italy: The British 8th Army finally clears Ortona after bitter street fighting. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - China: Day 2,367 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 102 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 99 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 15 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US Marines secure the Cape Gloucester airfield.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 59 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands.
1944 — , December 29
ETO - France: Day 151 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - France: Day 106 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO - Belgium: Day 14 of 41 of the Battle of the Bulge. US 8th Air Force heavy bombers hit communications targets.
ETO - Germany: Day 102 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 106 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 76 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 69 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
Russian Front - South: Day 62 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary.
MTO: US 15th Air Force B-17s and B-24s hit targets in Germany and Italy.
MTO - Italy: US and Royal Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground units.
CBI - Burma: Day 273 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive.
CBI - China: Day 2,733 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 257 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 368 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 252 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
PTO - Philippines: Day 71 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 71 of 73 of the Battle of Leyte.
PTO - Philippines: Day 15 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon.
Day-By-Day listings for December 29 were last modified on Wednesday, January 27, 2016