This day in military history.. - Page 14

December 22nd, 2005  

Topic: A slow day for WW II

21 December

1944: In the Ardennes, units of 5.Panzerarmee capture St. Vith.

1861 - Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.

1916:Light Horse capture El Arish - Originally intended as an outpost for the defence of the Suez Canal, El Arish became one of the first steps in the Allied advance on Palestine.

1775: Continental Congress creates a Continental Navy - On Friday, December 22, 1775, the Continental Congress creates a Continental Navy, naming Esek Hopkins, Esq., as commander in chief of the fleet. Congress also named four captains to the new service: Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle and John Burrows Hopkins. Their respective vessels, the Alfred, Columbus, Andrew Doria and Cabot, became the first ships of the Navy’s fleet. Five first lieutenants, including future American hero John Paul Jones, five second lieutenants, and three third lieutenants also received their commissions.
1864: Sherman presents Lincoln with a Christmas gift - Union General William T. Sherman presents the city of Savannah, Georgia, to President Lincoln. Sherman captured Georgia's largest city after his famous "March to the Sea" from Atlanta. Savannah had been one of the last major ports that remained open to the Confederates.
1917: Russian-German peace talks begin at Brest-Litovsk - A week after the armistice was signed between Russia and Germany and nearly three weeks after a ceasefire was declared on the Eastern Front, representatives of the two countries begin peace negotiations at Brest-Litovsk, near the Polish border in what is now the city of Brest, in Belarus.
1941: Churchill and Roosevelt discuss war and peace - British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C. for a series of meetings with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on a unified Anglo-American war strategy and a future peace.
1972 Washington announces Linebacker II raids will continue - Washington announces that the bombing of North Vietnam will continue until Hanoi agrees to negotiate "in a spirit of good will and in a constructive attitude."
North Vietnamese negotiators walked out of secret talks in Paris on December 13. President Nixon issued an ultimatum to North Vietnam to send its representatives back to the conference table within 72 hours "or else." They rejected Nixon's demand, and in response the president ordered Operation Linebacker II, a full-scale air campaign against the Hanoi area.
December 22nd, 2005  
Good job guys, very interesting reading..
December 23rd, 2005  
The Cooler King
December 22, 1939
Destroyer Philip (DD-76) relieves Twiggs (DD-127) of neutrality patrol duty trailing British RFA tanker Patella off east coast of Florida; while en route to Fort Lauderdale, Twiggs observes British light cruiser HMS Orion off Port Everglades and anchors to keep an eye on the British warship as the latter prowls the coast.

December 22, 1941
President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill open discussions in Washington (arcadia Conference) leading to establishment of Combined Chiefs of Staff. The arcadia conference, which lasts into January 1942, results in a formal American commitment to the "Germany First" strategy. In addition, the United States and Britain agree to form a Combined Chiefs of Staff as the supreme body for Allied war planning, to confer regularly in Washington. The Anglo-American allies also agree that there should be one supreme commander directing operations in each theater.
Japanese bombers and attack planes, covered by fighters, from carriers Soryu and Hiryu, bomb Wake Island for the second time; the last two flyable USMC F4Fs (VMF 211) intercept the raid. One F4F is shot down, the other is badly damaged.

American troops (Task Force South Pacific) (Brigadier General Julian F. Barnes, USA) arrive at Brisbane in convoy escorted by heavy cruiser Pensacola (CA-24). This is the first U.S. Army troop detachment to arrive in Australia.

Japanese submarine I 19 shell unarmed U.S. tanker H.M. Storey southwest of Cape Mendocino, California, 34°35'N, 120°45'W, but fails to score any hits and the American ship escapes.

Japanese commence invasion of Luzon, landing troops at Lingayen, P.I.; submarine S 38 (SS-143) torpedoes and sinks Japanese army transport Hayo Maru in Lingayen Gulf, 16°00'N, 120°00'E.

USAAF B-17s bomb and damage Japanese army oiler No. 3 Tonan Maru off Davao, P.I.

TU 4.1.3 (Commander George W. Johnson), assumes escort duty at MOMP for convoy ON 47; the convoy is dispersed the following day.

December 22, 1942
Submarine Greenling (SS-213), attacking Japanese convoy, sinks Patrol Boat No.35 about 70 miles north-northeast of Kieta, Bougainville, 05°05'S, 156°04'E.

Submarine S-35 (SS-140) is again plagued by electrical fires; on this day and the one previous, however, other than cases of smoke inhalation, exposure, and exhaustion, the boat suffers no casualties.

On board submarine Silversides (SS-236), submerged in the shipping channel off Rabaul, New Britain, Pharmacist's Mate First Class Thomas A. Moore performs successful appendectomy on Fireman Second Class George M. Platter. This is the third of three such procedures that will be performed on board U.S. submarines during the war.

Submarine Trigger (SS-237) damages Japanese merchant cargo ship Yoshu Maru south of the entrance to Tokyo Bay, 34°52'N, 139°49'E. Trigger clears the area without seeing her quarry sink.

USAAF B-24 sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship Takasaka Maru off Gasmata, New Britain.

Japanese merchant cargo ship Kaiyo Maru is lost, cause unknown, Inland Sea, Japan.

December 22, 1943

Submarine Gurnard (SS-254) damages German cargo ship Havelland east of Kashinosaki, 33°30'N, 135°57'E; the ship never returns to active service.

Navy F6Fs and SBDs and USAAF P-39s raid Mili Atoll, Marshalls, sinking Japanese transport Nankai Maru, 06°05'N, 171°43'E.

USAAF aircraft sink Japanese merchant cargo vessel Ginrei Maru, 20°12'N, 113°40'E.

December 22, 1944

Tank landing ship LST-563 sinks after grounding off Clipperton Island.
Destroyer Bryant (DD-665) is damaged by kamikaze off Mindoro, 12°00'N, 121°00'E.

Submarine Flasher (SS-249) attacks Japanese convoy in the South China Sea, and sinks fleet tanker Omurosan Maru and merchant tankers Otowasan Maru and Arita Maru about 250 miles north of Cam Ranh Bay, French Indochina, 15°07'N, 109°05'E.

Submarine Tilefish (SS-307) sinks Japanese torpedo boat Chidori southwest of Omaezaki, 34°33'N, 138°02'E.

USAAF B-24s attack Japanese shipping off north Borneo, sinking small cargo vessels Nitto Maru, Sumiyoshi Maru, Kanju Maru, Kojin Maru, and Hashiro Maru and damaging Chosiu Maru.

RAF and Dutch Mitchells attack Japanese shipping off Koepang, Timor, sinking cargo vessel Nanyo Maru.

Destroyer Gleaves (DD-423) is damaged by shore battery fire as she shells German troop concentrations on the Franco-Italian border.

"To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.
There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.
If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours' term.
All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well known American humanity.

The German Commander."

"To the German Commander:


The American Commander."

In case you didn't know, The American Commander was Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe. He was the Division Artillery Commander of the 101st Airborne Division and the temporary CO of the Screaming Eagles at the time.
December 23rd, 2005  
The Cooler King
December 23, 1939
Typhoon passes within 100 miles of Guam, M.I.; although the gale force winds cause little damage to Navy property, they cause widespread crop and property damage in the native quarters.

U.S. freighters Explorer (detained at Gibraltar since 9 December) and Oakwood (detained there since 20 December) are released by British authorities.

December 23, 1940
Admiral William D. Leahy (USN, Retired), newly appointed Ambassador to Vichy France, accompanied by his wife Louise, embarks in heavy cruiser Tuscaloosa (CA-37) at Norfolk, Virginia, for the transatlantic passage to take up his diplomatic post "at a very critical time in the relations between the United States and France." Destroyers Madison (DD-425) and Upshur (DD-144) escort Tuscaloosa on the initial stage of her voyage.

Naval Air Station, Key West, Florida, is established.

December 23, 1941
U.S.-British War Council composed of President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill, and their chief naval, military, and civilian advisers meets for the first time in Washington, D.C.

Wake Island (Commander Winfield S. Cunningham) is captured by naval landing force (Rear Admiral Kajioka Sadamichi) that overcomes gallant resistance offered by the garrison that consists of marines, sailors, volunteer civilians (Contractors Pacific Naval Air Bases) and a USAAF radio detachment. Japanese Patrol Boat No. 32 and Patrol Boat No. 33 (old destroyers converted to high speed transports) intentionally run ashore to facilitate landing of troops, are destroyed by marine shore batteries (1st Defense Battalion). Planes from carriers Hiryu and Soryu, as well as seaplane carrier Kiyokawa Maru provide close air support for the invasion. Open cargo lighter YCK 1 is lost to Japanese occupation of the atoll, as are civilian tugs Pioneer and Justine Foss, and dredge Columbia.

Uncertainty over the positions of and number of Japanese carriers and reports that indicate Japanese troops have landed on the atoll compel Vice Admiral William S. Pye, Acting Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, to recall TF 14 (Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher) while it is 425 miles from its objective.

Palmyra Island is shelled by Japanese submarines I 71 and I 72.

Unarmed U.S. tanker Montebello is torpedoed and sunk by Japanese submarine I 21 about four miles south of Piedras Blancas light, California, 35°30'N, 121°51'W. I 21 machine-guns the lifeboats, but miraculously inflicts no casualties. I 21 later also shells unarmed U.S. tanker Idaho near the same location.

Japanese submarine I 17 shells unarmed U.S. tanker Larry Doheny southwest of Cape Mendocino, California, 40°00'N, 125°00'W, but the American ship escapes.

USAAF B-17s bomb Japanese ships in Lingayen Gulf and off Davao, damaging minesweeper W.17 and destroyer Kuroshio off the latter place. USAAF P-40s and P-35s strafe landing forces in San Miguel Bay, Luzon, damaging destroyer Nagatsuki.

Submarine Seal (SS-183) sinks Japanese army cargo ship Soryu Maru off Vigan, Luzon, 17°35'N, 120°12'E.

Japanese troops land at Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo. Off the invasion beaches, Dutch submarine K XIV torpedoes and sinks transport Hokkai Maru, army transport Hiyoshi Maru, and damages army cargo ship Nichiran Maru and transport Katori Maru.

TU 4.1.4 (Commander Richard E. Webb) assumes escort duty for convoy HX 166; the ships reach their destination without being attacked by U-boats.

December 23, 1943
USAAF B-25s sink Japanese gunboat Nan-Yo 35 miles south of Formosa Straits, 25°30'N, 119°30'E.

Escort carrier Card (CVE-11) and destroyer Decatur (DD-341) are attacked unsuccessfully by German submarine U-415 as they steam toward Horta, Azores, from escorting convoy GUS 24. Destroyer Schenck (DD-159), in Card's screen, attacks and probably damages another enemy boat in the vicinity, U-645 (see 24 December 1943). FM aircraft from Card locates blockade runner Osorno, bound for the Gironde Estuary.

German submarine U-471 unsuccessfully attacks battleship Arkansas (BB-33) screening convoy TU 5 in the North Atlantic, 300 miles west of Rockall Bank.

December 23, 1944

Submarine Blenny (SS-324), despite proximity of escort vessel, sinks Japanese merchant tanker Kenzui Maru off San Fernando, 16°40'N, 120°16'E.
December 26th, 2005  
whilst sailing around the vast internet... I came across one little thing that might be worth to put in here..

Dec 26

1790 - French revolutiom: louis XVI gave his royal asset to the Civil Constitutn of the clergy
December 27th, 2005  

Topic: Hot day in VietNam

27 December

1941: The Red Army continues its counter-offensive in the Kalinin area 100 miles NW of Moscow.

1941: Prime Minister Curtin announces that 'Australia looks to America'. - Once the United States entered the Second World War and the United Kingdom's weakness in South East Asia had been exposed the United States became Australia's main ally; a situation that would endure long after the war ended.
1943: 7th Division capture 'The Pimple', Shaggy Ridge, New Guinea - The four-month battle for Shaggy Ridge culminated with the capture of this Japanese position on the ridge's summit.source:

1918 - Beginning of Great Poland Uprising, the Poles in Greater Poland (or Grand Duchy of Poznań) rise against the Germans.

1780: Americans raid Hammonds Store - American Brigadier General Daniel Morgan detaches a force of approximately 275 troops commanded by Colonel William Washington to destroy a force of 250 British Loyalists under the command of Colonel Thomas Waters, who had been terrorizing Patriots in the vicinity of Fairforest Creek, on Bush River, South Carolina.
1864: Hood's army crosses the Tennessee River - The broken and defeated Confederate Army of Tennessee finishes crossing the Tennessee River as General John Bell Hood's force retreats into Mississippi.
1942: Germans form the Smolensk Committee to enlist Soviet soldiers - German military begins enlisting Soviet POWs in the battle against Russia. General Andrei Vlasov, a captured Soviet war hero turned anticommunist, was made commander of the renegade Soviet troops.
1966: A United States and South Vietnamese joint-service operation takes place against one of the best-fortified Viet Cong strongholds, located in the U Minh Forest in the Mekong Delta, 125 miles southwest of Saigon.
1969: In the fiercest battle in six weeks, U.S. and North Vietnamese forces clash near Loc Ninh, about 80 miles north of Saigon. Elements of the 1st Infantry Division reported killing 72 of 250 North Vietnamese soldiers in a daylong battle. Loc Ninh, a village of fewer than 10,000 people, was located at the northern limit of national Route 13, only a few miles from the Cambodian border. It was the site of several major battles between U.S. and Communist forces. On April 5, 1972, as part of their Easter Offensive, North Vietnamese forces overtook Loc Ninh during their attempt to capture the An Loc provincial capital to the south.
December 28th, 2005  
8th December 1940
Mussolini asks Hitler for support, to help the bogged down Italian forces with their offensive against the Greeks in Albania.

28th December 1942
Japanese give the order to withdraw from Buna.

28th December 1942
Sterilization experiments on women at Birkenau begin.

28th December 1942
General De Gaulle welcomes Giraud’s appointment and calls for French unity.

28th December 1943
The Eighth Army finally clears Ontona after bitter street fighting.

28th December 1944
U.S. troops gain ground against the Ardennes salient.
December 29th, 2005  
29th December 1940
The Luftwaffe launches a major incendiary raid against London, destroying or badly damaging a number of historic buildings. Roosevelt tells Americans: "We must be the great arsenal of the democracies."
December 29th, 2005  

Topic: A slow day?

December 29

1941: In the eastern Crimea, German troops of Heeresgruppe B (von Schobert) evacuate Kerch and Theodosia.
1943: The British 8th Army (Montgomery) captures Ortona on the Adriatic coast of Italy. The RAF launches a heavy raid on Berlin.

1860: Action at Matarikoriko, New Zealand - Sailors from the Victorian Colonial warship, Victoria, take part in the action at Matarikoriko, New Zealand. The Victoria's service in New Zealand waters during the second Anglo-Maori war, represents the first overseas military operation by an Australian unit, the beginning of Australia's overseas war history.source:

1813 - War of 1812: British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York.
1862 - American Civil War: End of the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou.
1940 - Battle of Britain: Luftwaffe firebombs London, killing almost 3000 civilians

1890: The last ever battle between American natives and US troops takes place at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. source:

1778: British capture Savannah, Georgia - British Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell and his force of between 2500 and 3600 troops, which included the 71st Highland regiment, New York Loyalists, and Hessian mercenaries, launch a surprise attack on American forces defending Savannah, Georgia.
1915: French government gives land for British war cemeteries - French National Assembly passes a law formally ceding the land that holds the British war cemeteries to Great Britain. The move ensured even as the war was being fought that its saddest and most sacred monuments would be forever protected.
1962: Saigon announces success of strategic hamlet program - Saigon announces that 4,077 strategic hamlets have been completed out of a projected total of 11,182. The figures also stated that 39 percent of the South Vietnamese population was housed in the hamlets. U.S. officials considered these figures questionable.
December 31st, 2005  

Topic: Some ancient history

December 31

1941: Heeresgruppe B halts all further attacks against the Crimean fortress of Sevastopol.
1944: In northern Alsace, 7.Armee (Brandenberger) begins Operation Nordwind, an attack against the southern flank of the US 3rd Army (Patton) that has reached the German border on the Saar river.

1969:Vietnam - Australian military commitment to Vietnam reaches a peak of 8,300 service personnel.

406 - Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia.
1775 - American Revolutionary War: British forces repulse an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at the Battle of Quebec.
1862 - American Civil War: Abraham Lincoln signs an act that admits West Virginia to the Union (thus dividing Virginia in two); meanwhile, the Battle of Stones River is fought near Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
1944 - World War II: Hungary declares war on Germany.
1946 - President Harry Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.

1991: The civil war in El Salvador ends

1862: Battle of Parker's Crossroads - Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest narrowly escapes capture during a raid in western Tennessee. Despite the close call, the raid was instrumental in forcing Union General Ulysses S. Grant to abandon his first attempt to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi.
1968: Bloodiest year of the war ends - At year's end, 536,040 American servicemen were stationed in Vietnam, an increase of over 50,000 from 1967.
1971: U.S. annual casualty figures down - The gradual U.S. withdrawal from the conflict in Southeast Asia is reflected in reduced annual casualty figures. The number of Americans killed in action dropped to 1,386 from the previous year total of 4,204. South Vietnam losses for the year totalled 21,500 men, while the combined Viet Cong and North Vietnamese total was estimated at 97,000 killed in action.
1972: U.S. and communist negotiators prepare to return to the Paris talks - With the end of Linebacker II, the most intense U.S. bombing operation of the Vietnam War, U.S. and communist negotiators prepare to return to the secret Paris peace talks scheduled to reconvene on January 2.