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Posts Categorized: Today WWII History

Today in World War II History—December 7, 1941

Battleship USS Arizona burning at Pearl Harbor, 7 Dec 1941 (US National Archives: ARC 1956173)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 7, 1941: Japanese attack Pearl Harbor at 0755, killing 2335 military personnel and 68 civilians. Japanese aircraft sink US battleships Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia, California, and Utah (which had been converted to an auxiliary), and damage battleship USS Nevada. At Pearl Harbor, destroyer USS Ward fires the first shot, sinking a Japanese… Read more »

Today in World War II History—December 6, 1941

Soviet poster likening Hitler to Napoleon, mid-December 1941 (public domain)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 6, 1941: Soviet Gen. Georgi Zhukov launches a counteroffensive north of Moscow against the German army. Battleships USS Oklahoma and USS Nevada arrive at Pearl Harbor.

Today in World War II History—December 5, 1941

USS Arizona, 1930s (US Navy photo: 80-G-463589)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 5, 1941: Battleship USS Arizona arrives at Pearl Harbor. USS Lexington departs Hawaii with Marine aircraft for Midway, leaving no carriers at Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. James J. Kilroy of Boston is hired at Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, MA, to check work of riveters; his “Kilroy Was… Read more »

Today in World War II History—December 4, 1941

Sen. Burton Wheeler (US Senate Historical Office)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 4, 1941: Chicago Tribune and Washington Times-Herald publish news of classified, unapproved US Victory Program war plans, leaked to the papers by isolationist Sen. Burton Wheeler, creating cries of warmongering among isolationists. Interventionist Chicago Sun is first published as foil for isolationist Chicago Tribune. National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis approves Sister Kenny’s… Read more »

Today in World War II History—December 3, 1941

Today in World War II History

80 Years Ago—Dec. 3, 1941: Hitler issues Rationalization Decree, urging modern efficient mass production. In South Atlantic, U-124 sinks unarmed US freighter Sagadahoc (1 killed), the sixth US ship sunk in WWII while the US was neutral.

Today in World War II History—December 2, 1941

Polish Marshall Edward Rydz-Śmigły on propaganda poster, 1936 (public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—Dec. 2, 1941: German Army reaches the Moscow suburb of Khimki in sight of the Kremlin, its deepest penetration in the USSR. Marshal Edward Rydz-Śmigły, former commander of all Polish forces, dies of heart failure in Poland, where he was participating with resistance, age 55.

Today in World War II History—December 1, 1941

Poster of the US Civil Air Patrol, WWII

80 Years Ago—Dec. 1, 1941: US forms Civil Air Patrol for civilian pilots to aid in Civil Defense. Japanese Navy changes its communications code, blinding the US to its movements.

Today in World War II History—November 30, 1941

Japanese Ambassador Adm. Kichisaburo Nomura and Special Envoy Saburo Kurusu leaving US State Department, Washington, DC, 7 Dec 1941 (US National Archives: 12009100)

80 Years Ago—Nov. 30, 1941: An RAF Whitley damages German U-boat U-71 in the Bay of Biscay in the first use of air-to-surface radar. Japanese Emperor Hirohito gives Prime Minister Tojo permission to wage war on the US; Tojo rejects US peace proposal.

Today in World War II History—November 29, 1941

Football program for the 1941 US Military Academy vs. US Naval Academy football game. On page 180 of the program is a bow view of the USS Arizona with text that says, “It is significant that despite the claims of air enthusiast no battleship has yet been sunken by bombs.” (Smithsonian Institute)

80 Years Ago—Nov. 29, 1941: Italians counterattack near Sidi Rezegh, Libya, and almost destroy New Zealand battalion. Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia; Navy wins 14-6.

Today in World War II History—November 28, 1941

US Army Air Forces recruiting poster, 1942 (US Government Printing Office)

80 Years Ago—Nov. 28, 1941: USS Enterprise departs Pearl Harbor to deliver Marine F4F Wildcats to Wake Island, saving the carrier from the coming attack. All resistance ends in East Africa as 20,000 Italians surrender to the British at Gondar, Ethiopia. US Army maneuvers in North and South Carolina conclude. Movie premiere of Abbott and… Read more »