Calendar and Summary for December 1941  
    1   2   3   4   5   6
7   8   9   10   11   12   13
14   15   16   17   18   19   20
21   22   23   24   25   26   27
28   29   30   31            
  November 1941 January 1942  
  Summary of Significant Events for December 1941  
  With Emperor Hirohito in attendance at a meeting of the Imperial Conference Japan unanimously voted to go to war with the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands.  Great Britain declared war on Finland, Hungary, and Rumania.  Japan invaded Thailand and British Malaya.  Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor.  German Chancellor Adolf Hitler issued the “Night and Fog Decree” which called for the arrest and/or execution of people who “endanger German security.”  War was declared upon Japan by the United States, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Free French, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, and Panama.  Japanese forces occupied Bangkok, Thailand.  Japanese forces landed at Tarawa and Makin in the Gilbert Islands.  Hitler suspended his ban on U-boat operations and extended unlimited submarine warfare into U.S. territorial waters.  The siege of Tobruk ended as Lt. General Erwin Rommel withdrew the Afrika Korps to Gazala.  The 500 man American garrison at Guam surrendered to the 6,000 man Japanese landing force.  The U.S. naval base at Cavite in the Philippines was destroyed by Japanese bombers.  The Japanese began the invasion of the Philippines.  Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.  Permission was given for the few remaining Army B-17s in the Philippines to withdraw to Darwin, Australia.  The Japanese landed on Sarawak and Brunei in Borneo.  Italian midget submarines sank two British battleships at Alexandria, Egypt.  Hitler took over as Commander in Chief of the German Army.  The Arcadia Conference began between U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and their staffs.  Japanese forces overwhelmed U.S. forces on Wake Island.  British forces entered Benghazi, Libya as the Afrika Korps continued its retreat to El Agheila.  The 11,000-man British and Canadian garrison at Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese.  Winston Churchill became the first British Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress, warning that the Axis would "stop at nothing."  27 ships (111,551 tons) were sunk and 1 ship (3,560 tons) was damaged by U-boats during December 1941.  
  Events occurring in December 1941 with no specific dates  
  The German Nuclear Research Program  
  In early December, the head of the German Army Weapons Research ordered a review of the uranium project. Declaring the army could no longer support projects that would not yield results in the foreseeable future, he considered cancellation of support for fission research.
  Learn more about the German Nuclear Research Program  

The objective of is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

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