1941

7 December

INTERNATIONAL SITUATION--Japan strikes without warning and almost simultaneously at various U.S. and British possessions in the Pacific; declares war against U.S. and Great Britain.

HAWAII--Launched from carriers of a naval task force (TF) standing 200 miles N of Oahu, Japanese planes attack Oahu between 0750 and 1000 bombing the Pacific Fleet, which, except for the carriers, is concentrated in Pearl Harbor, and AAF planes parked in close formation on Hickam and Wheeler airfields. 3 BB's are sunk, another is capsized, and 4 more are damaged; 3 CL's, 3 DD's, and other vessels are seriously damaged. 92 Navy and 96 Army planes are lost. American casualties are 2,280 killed and 1,109 wounded. Japanese lose 29 planes and 5 midget submarines.

MIDWAY--At 2135, 2 Japanese DD's bombard Midway, garrisoned by a small U.S. Marine detachment (6th Defense Bn), to neutralize it.

LIBYA--Maj Gen N. M. Ritchie's British (Br) Eighth Army, a component of Gen Sir Claude J. E. Auchinleck's Br Middle East Forces (MEF), continues offensive, begun in November, to clear Libya of German and Italian forces, which are nominally under Italian command, but actually under German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Objective is twofold: first, destruction of enemy concentrated in E Cyrenaica, which is in progress; second, conquest of Tripolitania. Armd elements of Br 30 Corps battle enemy tanks around Bir el Gubi. After nightfall, Br 13 Corps goes on the offensive, 10th Div driving along El Adem Ridge, key feature S of Tobruk.

USSR--German offensive (Operation BARBAROSSA, begun on 22 July 1941 by Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch, CinC of the German Army) to crush Soviet forces has ground to a halt on broken line from Lake Ladoga on N to Sea of Azov on S. At the extremities of front, Soviet garrisons of Leningrad and Sevastopol are besieged; on central front Germans are at outskirts of Moscow. Red Army is conducting general counteroffensive (begun on 6 December) to drive enemy westward. 3 fresh Soviet armies are exerting pressure against enemy spearheads in vicinity of Moscow. Although assured the support of satellite nations (Finland, Rumania, Hungary), Germans are at a disadvantage because of overextended supply lines and battle exhaustion.

WESTERN EUROPE--Although Adolf Hitler has by this time abandoned plans for invasion of England (Operation SEA LION) as result of defeat of Luftwaffe in Battle of Britain (8 August-31 October 1940), German planes continue active over England. RAF in turn has been making frequent attacks on European continent.

8 December

INTERNATIONAL SITUATION--U.S. and Great Britain declare war on Japan. On W side of international date line (7 December, Hawaiian time), Japanese bombard Wake and Guam, each garrisoned by small detachments of U.S. marines; British-mandated Nauru and Ocean Islands; the Philippines; British Malaya and Singapore; Thailand; Hong Kong.

P.I.--Japanese naval planes from Formosa attack Clark and Iba Fields and catch many aircraft on the ground. FEAF is reduced to almost half strength, and installations are severely damaged. Tuguegarao and Baguio are each hit by Japanese Army planes before the main strike against Clark Field. TF 5, Asiatic Fleet, under Rear Adm William A. Glassford, heads S toward safer waters. Japanese begin advance landings to acquire air bases from which to support main assault: invade Batan I., between Formosa and Luzon, without opposition.

THAILAND--Some Japanese from Indochina cross into Thailand and drive on Bangkok against negligible resistance. Others land unopposed at Singora and Patani on E coast and start SW across Kra Isthmus to assist in conquest of Malaya.

MALAYA--Japanese invade Malaya early in the morning, landing on E coast near Kota Bharu after naval bombardment of beaches, and are vigorously engaged by Lt Gen A. E. Percival's Malaya Command. Ind 3 Corps (under Lt Gen Sir Lewis Heath), which is responsible for all Malaya N of Johore and Malacca, employs Ind 9th Div against enemy in Kota Bharu area and sends Ind 11th Div, already poised to move into Thailand, across border to delay enemy on roads to Singora and Patani. Ind 9th Div, whose primary mission is to protect the 3 airfields in Kelantan (Kota Bharu, Gong Kedah,

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and Machang), fights losing battle for Kota Bharu, from which it starts withdrawing during night 8-9. One Ind 11th Div column, driving toward Singora, engages tank-supported enemy force 10 miles N of frontier; another, advancing toward Patani, is opposed only by Thai police forces. In conjunction with ground attacks, Japanese planes strike repeatedly at airfields in N Malaya and greatly reduce strength of RAF Far East Command. RAF, after attacking enemy shipping and troops in Kota Bharu area, withdraws from the Kelantan airfields to Kuantan, far to S. Singapore, ultimate objective of Japanese 25th Army in Malaya, is also attacked by air.

CHINA--Japanese seize International Settlement at Shanghai, and many ships are sunk or captured in its harbor; move troops toward Kowloon, on mainland across from Hong Kong.

LIBYA--Axis forces begin orderly withdrawal toward Gazala, followed closely by 13 and 30 Corps of Br Eighth Army and harassed by RAF. Skillful rear-guard action delays pursuit.

USSR--German Army Group North withdraws from Tichwin, on Leningrad-Vologda RR, under Soviet pressure. Army Group Center is slowly giving ground in Moscow area.

9 December

CENTRAL PACIFIC--Japanese continue preinvasion bombing of Wake and Guam; invade Gilbert Is.

P.I.--Continuing neutralization of airpower on Luzon, enemy bombers strike Nichols Field, near Manila.

THAILAND--Japanese occupy Bangkok without opposition.

MALAYA--Japanese force Ind 9th Div of Ind 3 Corps from Kota Bharu airfield and continue air attacks on other fields, including Kuantan. RAF abandons Kuantan airfield for Singapore I. and Alor Star airfield, on NW coast, for Butterworth. RAF bomber attack on Singora airfield (Thailand) proves very costly since fighter protection is lacking. Dutch planes arrive at Singapore to augment strength of RAF.

CHINA--Declares war on Japan, Germany, and Italy.

10 December

CENTRAL PACIFIC--Japanese invade Guam and overwhelm small U.S. garrison; continue preinvasion bombing of Wake.

P.I.--Two Japanese TF's, each consisting of some 2,000 men, arrive off N Luzon from Formosa. Landings begin simultaneously at Aparri and near Vigan, but rough sea forces alteration in plans. The Aparri force gets 2 cos ashore at Aparri and the rest at Gonzaga, over 20 miles to E; upon closing on Aparri, pushes 6 miles S and seizes Camalaniugan airstrip. The Vigan force lands small group at Pandan, near Vigan, and the rest at point 4 miles S; quickly secures Vigan and sends elements N along Route 3 toward Laoag. No opposition is offered by 11th Div (PA), which is responsible for defense of N coast. U.S. planes attack shipping of the invasion force. Capt Colin Kelly becomes the first U.S. hero of World War II in this action by hitting what was supposed to be a Japanese BB; subsequent investigation has revealed that there were no BB's present. Fighter aircraft from Batan I. provide cover for enemy. Japanese planes bomb and strafe Nichols and Nielson Fields, near Manila, and Del Carmen Field, near Clark, achieving particularly damaging results at Nichols. Cavite naval base also suffers heavily from enemy air attack. FEAF, by this time half strength, decides to confine its future activities to rcn flights.

MALAYA--Japanese gain control of waters E of Malaya and air over N Malaya. The small British Eastern Fleet is severely crippled by loss of Repulse and Prince of Wales off Kuantan to enemy planes. Adm Sir Tom Phillips, CinC Eastern Fleet, is killed in this action and is replaced by Vice Adm Sir Geoffrey Layton. As enemy continues destructive attacks on airfields in NW Malaya, RAF abandons airfield at Sungei Patani and withdraws all serviceable aircraft from Butterworth. From Butterworth, RAF bomber sq, reduced to 2 aircraft, withdraws to Taiping and RAAF fighter sq (6 repairable aircraft) to Ipoh. Japanese begin series of heavy air attacks against Penang I. Ind 9th Div withstands attacks while organizing delaying positions S of Kota Bharu. Ind 11th Div columns operating along Thailand frontier attempt to delay enemy. Far East Council is formed at Singapore.

LIBYA--Siege of Tobruk is lifted after 8 months as Pol garrison breaks out of town early in morning and joins other Br Eighth Army forces in Acroma area. Forward supply base is soon organized at Tobruk.

11 December

INTERNATIONAL SITUATION--Germany and Italy declare war on U.S., which then replies with declarations against them.

WAKE--Wake garrison (about 450 marines of 1st Defense Bn) repels invasion attempt. Japanese naval force arrives off Wake early in morning and at dawn opens fire. Shore batteries force the vessels to withdraw with landing force still embarked. 4 aircraft of VMF-211, all that remain serviceable of the original fighter sq on Wake, pursue and attack enemy force as it retires toward the Marshalls. 2 planes that survive this action intercept shore-based

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Japanese aircraft that try to attack Wake later in the morning. Wake is subsequently subjected to almost daily air strikes as enemy continues softening the defense in preparation for landing.

P.I.--Japanese Aparri force on Luzon continues rapidly S along Route 5 toward Tuguegarao. Laoag and its airfield fall to Vigan force. Japanese begin mining San Bernardino and Surigao Straits. Commercial vessels withdraw from Manila Bay.

MALAYA--Ind 9th Div, Ind 3 Corps, abandons the 2 remaining airfields in Kelantan (Gong Kedah and Machang) in order to protect communications. Japanese exert strong pressure against one Ind 11th Div column on Kroh-Patani road and force the other, on road to Singora, back toward partially prepared positions at Jitra. RAF, now greatly depleted in strength, adopts policy of conducting bomber operations only at night until adequate fighter support is available and of using fighters primarily for defense of Singapore Naval Base and for protection of convoys bringing reinforcements. Ind 3 Corps troops are thus denied much close air support.

BURMA--Japanese begin offensive against lower Burma with air attack on Tavoy airdrome.

12 December

PACIFIC--U.S. troops aboard Allied convoy proceeding from Hawaii toward Far East under escort of CA Pensacola are organized as TF South Pacific and placed under command of Brig Gen Julian F. Barnes.

P.I.--Japanese make another preliminary landing, at Legaspi, S Luzon. TF of 2,500 men from Palau goes ashore unopposed and secures Legaspi and the airfield. Maj Gen George M. Parker, Jr., whose South Luzon Force consists of 41st and 51st Divs (PA), sends elements of 51st forward to delay enemy, but contact is not made for several days. Tuguegarao airfield falls to Aparri force early in morning. Japanese planes attack Luzon in force. Iba and Clark Fields are targets, with main force against Iba. Batangas is an alternate target.

MALAYA--Gen Percival decides to withdraw Ind 3 Corps from Kelantan since airfields there are already in possession of Japanese; movement of surplus supplies to rear is begun. Troops fight delaying actions while awaiting rolling stock in which to withdraw. Japanese penetrate Jitra position and force Ind 11th Div TF back to Kedah R. Ind 11th Div force, called Krohcol force, on Kroh-Patani road, also falls back under pressure and at midnight 12-13 passes to direct command of corps. Ind 12th Brig Gp is released from reserve for action on W coast.

BURMA--Japanese begin small-scale operations, using infiltration tactics. From Thailand, small force crosses into lower Tenasserim unopposed. Gen Sir Archibald P. Wavell, CinC India, is given responsibility for Burma, previously within Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Brooke-Popham's Far Eastern Command, and is promised reinforcements to strengthen the small garrison, fighting strength of which does not exceed 30 bns during the campaign. Lt Gen D. K. MacLeod's Burma Army, charged with protecting Burma Road and Tenasserim airfields, is a heterogeneous group of Burmese, Ind, and Br forces, some poorly trained, formed into Burma 1st Div (Burma 1st and 2d Brigs and Ind 13th Brig) and Ind 16th Brig. The 16 obsolete RAF fighters on hand are augmented by sq of American Volunteer Group (AVG) fighters, which is flown in to Mingaladon from AVG base in China. Air strength is eventually increased but not enough to alter ground operations materially.

MIDDLE EAST--Gen Auchinleck receives the first of a number of notices that forces intended for Middle East must be diverted to Far East to help stem Japanese advance. First call is for Br 18th and Ind 17th Divs, 4 light bomber sqs, and AA and AT guns.

LIBYA--Eighth Army's 30 Corps moves to Libyan-Egyptian frontier to destroy isolated enemy garrisons and open communication lines. 13 Corps begins probing enemy's new line, which extends from Gazala southward.

13 December

P.I.--Enemy aircraft again attack Luzon, virtually completing destruction of U.S. Army and Navy planes in the Philippines. Del Carmen, Clark, and Nichols Fields are hit, as well as Baguio, Tarlac, Cabanatuan, and Batangas.

MALAYA--Krohcol force concentrates in positions 2-3 miles W of Kroh. Ind 11th Div begins withdrawing from Kedah R toward Gurun, a more favorable defense position in S Kedah some 30 miles S of Jitra. Fighter support is increased as sq from Singapore joins the few fighters based at Ipoh. Reports of Japanese convoy moving SSW from Saigon result in period of sharply increased Br air rcn from Malaya.

BORNEO--Small Miri detachment (Ind co and engineers), having destroyed oil fields and installations in E Sarawak and W Brunei to deny them to enemy, sails for Kuching, capital of Sarawak, where rest of the Ind bn, with local and administrative attachments, is disposed to defend airdrome. Dutch planes based on Singkawang assist RAF units on Malaya in searching for Japanese shipping heading southward from Indochina.

CHINA--British withdraw from Kowloon under pressure as Japanese continue drive on Hong Kong.

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BURMA--Victoria Pt, at S tip of Tenasserim, is evacuated by British.

LIBYA--13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, opens attack on Rommel's Gazala line and meets firm resistance. Both sides suffer heavy losses.

14 December

P.I.--Japanese Vigan and Aparri detachments are placed under the same command and ordered, after the Aparri force joins the Vigan at Vigan, to march S to Lingayen Gulf. Adm Thomas C. Hart withdraws the few remaining patrol bombers of Patrol Wing 10 and 3 tenders from the Philippines, leaving very little of the Asiatic Fleet to support operations. Maj Gen Lewis H. Brereton has already withdrawn the heavy bombers of FEAF from Luzon to Del Monte airfield, Mindanao.

MALAYA--On W coast, Ind 11th Div completes withdrawal to Gurun; Japanese, in close pursuit, penetrate the new positions, night 14-15. Krohcol force is dissolved and its components, which are put under command of Ind 12th Brig, move to Baling area, about 9 miles W of Kroh. Ind 3 Corps sends small detachments to guard Grik road, which is now uncovered. On E coast, Kelantan force continues fighting withdrawal. Since airdromes on Singapore are becoming congested, preparations are being made to base air units in NEI.

15 December

P.I.--Gen Brereton receives permission to withdraw the few remaining B-17's to Darwin (Australia). Air defense of the Philippines is left to a few fighters.

MALAYA--Ind 3 Corps remains under strong pressure on W coast. During night 15-16, Ind 11th Div begins withdrawal from Gurun positions to Muda R. Garrison of Penang I. fortress, opposite Butterworth, prepares to withdraw as RAF abandons Butterworth airdrome.

USSR--On central front N of Moscow, Red Army takes Klin, on rail line to Leningrad.

16 December

HAWAII--All elements of U.S. TF 14, bearing supplies, reinforcements, and aircraft for relief of Wake, rendezvous SW of Oahu and sail for Wake.

MALAYA--Ind 11th Div completes withdrawal behind Muda R in Wellesley Province and defeats enemy efforts to secure foothold on S bank. Ind 3 Corps decides to withdraw Ind 11th Div behind Krian R. however, since it is greatly weakened by sustained fighting without benefit of tank and adequate air support. Fighting develops on Grik road N of Grik, night 16-17, as small detachment guarding the road encounters main body of Japanese Patani force thrusting toward Kuala Kangsar in effort to isolate Ind 11th Div on W coast. On E coast, Kelantan troops begin withdrawal by rail as movement of supplies and equipment is completed. Penang I. fortress is evacuated as planned during night 16-17.

BORNEO--Japanese invade British Borneo, landing on N coast at Miri (Sarawak) and at Seria (Brunei).

CHINA--U.S. War Department gives Brig Gen John Magruder, head of American Military Mission to China (AMMISCA), permission to divert Chinese lend-lease to the British, provided Chinese agree.

LIBYA--Axis forces begin withdrawal from Gazala line toward next delaying position, Agedabia. Ind 4th Div of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, which has been particularly hard pressed by enemy, pauses briefly to reorganize before joining other elements of corps in pursuit.

USSR--Continuing firm pressure against enemy in Moscow area, Soviet forces seize Kalinin, NW of Klin.

17 December

U.S.--In command shake up, Adm Husband E. Kimmel is replaced by Adm Chester W. Nimitz as CinC, Pacific Fleet; Lt Gen Walter C. Short, CG Hawaiian Department, is replaced by Lt Gen Delos C. Emmons; Maj Gen Frederick L. Martin, CG Air Force, Hawaiian Department, is replaced by Brig Gen Clarence L. Tinker.

MIDWAY--Marine Scout Bombing Sq 231 completes record flight from Hawaii to Midway, bolstering U.S. positions there.

P.I.--Japanese Legaspi force, advancing NW on Luzon along Route 1 toward Naga, makes its first contact with Filipino forces near Ragay. B-17's begin withdrawal from Mindanao to Australia.

MALAYA--Hard fighting continues on Grik road. Weak defense detachment is reinf but falls back under pressure of superior enemy forces. Ind 12th Brig Gp is ordered to Kuala Kangsar. Gen Percival gives Ind 3 Corps permission to withdraw to Perak R line if necessary. Perak Flotilla is formed to prevent enemy from landing on W coast between Krian and Bernam Rivers.

AUSTRALIA--Plan is drawn up for using Australia as an Allied supply base under command of Maj Gen George H. Brett.

BORNEO--Dutch planes begin 3-day series of strikes against Japanese shipping off British North Borneo.

USSR--German Army Group South opens offensive against Sevastopol defenses, in the Crimea, and is stubbornly opposed.

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18 December

P.I.--Japanese Legaspi detachment reaches Naga (Luzon).

MALAYA--Ind 11th Div completes withdrawal behind Krian R and is held in reserve in Taiping area. Forces defending Grik road are further reinf. After visiting forward areas, Gen Percival draws up plans for withdrawal behind Perak R; decides to amalgamate certain units, among them Ind 6th and 15th Brigs (to be designated Ind 6/15 Brig) and to incorporate Ind 12th Brig Gp in Ind 11th Div.

CHINA--Japanese invade Hong Kong I., crossing straits from mainland.

19 December

P.I.--On Luzon, Japanese Legaspi detachment reaches Sipoco and is reported to be pushing toward Daet. On Mindanao, 2 enemy TF's from Palau, totaling about 5,000 men, arrive off Davao during night 19-20. Enemy planes discover and attack Del Monte airfield.

MALAYA--Enemy is active against right flank of Krian R line; on Grik road, frustrates efforts of Ind 3 Corps to recover lost ground. RAF fighters based at Ipoh are forced to withdraw to Kuala Lumpur. Ind 9th Div continues withdrawal southward in E Malaya and abandons Kuala Krai railhead.

BURMA--Japanese overrun Bokpyin, village some 100 miles N of Victoria Pt. Controversy, known as the Tulsa Incident, arises as a U.S. officer asks Government of Burma to impound lend-lease material at Rangoon (a valuable part of which is loaded on the SS Tulsa in the harbor), pending a decision on its use. At the suggestion of the senior Chinese representative in Burma, a committee is subsequently formed to determine the division of stocks.

LIBYA--13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, continues to follow withdrawing enemy, Ind 4th Div advancing along coast to Derna and 7th Armd Div across desert.

GERMANY--Hitler takes personal command of German Army, dismissing Field Marshal von Brauchitsch.

20 December

U.S.--Adm Ernest J. King is appointed CinC, U.S. Fleet.

WAKE--Patrol bomber bringing news of relief force en route to Wake arrives in Wake Lagoon.

P.I.--In another preliminary landing, Japanese invade Mindanao early in morning. Landing force goes ashore at and near Davao; after overcoming light opposition of about 2,000 Filipino troops, seizes Davao and its airfield. On Luzon, Japanese detachment starts S from Vigan toward Lingayen Gulf.

MALAYA--Indecisive fighting continues on Krian R front and along Grik road.

CHINA--Col Claire L. Chennault's AVG, based at Kunming to protect SW China and patrol Burma Road, enters combat, successfully intercepting enemy planes over Kunming. AVG is under control of Chinese Air Force.

21 December

WAKE--Japanese carrier planes begin preinvasion bombardment of defenses, supplementing attacks by shore-based aircraft. The relief force (TF 14) is within 627 miles of the island.

P.I.--3 convoys from Formosa and the Pescadores, bearing main body of Japanese 14th Army assault force, arrive in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, night 21-22. Filipino 11th Div makes contact with Japanese Vigan force at Bacnotan.

MALAYA--Ind 11th Div takes command of all troops W of Perak R, including those on Grik road, who are still heavily engaged, and begins withdrawal behind Perak R.

22 December

WAKE--Japanese carrier-based and land-based planes continue strong softening attacks. Of the 2 serviceable planes remaining on the island, 1 is lost in combat and the other is rendered useless when it crash-lands. Personnel of VMF-211 offer their services as infantry. TF 14, the Wake relief force, is delayed for refueling.

P.I.--Japanese begin main landings along coast of Lingayen Gulf on Luzon before dawn. One assault force goes ashore near Bauang, another at Aringay, and a third near Agoo. Forces move forward at once without serious opposition from 11th and 21st Divs (PA). 71st Inf of first Div (PA) and 26th Cav (PS) move out to help halt enemy. The Bauang assault force seizes that town, effects junction with Vigan force at San Fernando, La Union, and pushes inland toward Baguio, while the other forces overrun Rosario and face S toward Manila. U.S. submarines and a few aircraft attack enemy armada in Lingayen Gulf. 9 B-17's from Batchelor Field near Darwin attack enemy shipping off Davao, Mindanao, and then land on Del Monte Field; during night 22-23, 4 of the planes continue to Lingayen Gulf and attack transports. This is the first action in the Philippines by Australian-based planes.

MALAYA--As Ind 11th Div continues withdrawal across Perak R, RAF begins regular rcn of W coast to prevent enemy landings. Ind 9th Div completes planned withdrawal in E Malaya to positions

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from which to defend Kuantan airdrome and protect Ind 11th Div from attack from E.

CHINA--At meeting of Allied leaders in Chungking, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek offers Ch 5th and 6th Armies for defense of Burma. Gen Wavell accepts Ch 6th Army's 93d Div, elements of which are approaching border of Burma from China; regt of 49th Div is to be held in reserve on N Burma frontier.

AUSTRALIA--Pensacola convoy reaches Brisbane, where Gen Barnes' TF South Pacific becomes U.S. Forces in Australia (USFIA). This is the first U.S. troop detachment to arrive in Australia.

23 December

WAKE--Japanese naval force arrives off Wake about 0200 and puts ashore about 1,500 personnel of Special Naval Landing Force. Garrison holds out for about 11 hours before being overwhelmed. TF 14, the relief force, after reaching point a little more than 400 miles from Wake, is recalled shortly before surrender of the island and retires toward Midway, the last American base remaining between Hawaii and the Philippines.

P.I.--On Luzon, General Douglas MacArthur decides to evacuate Manila and withdraw to Bataan to make a delaying stand. During night 23-24, enemy invasion force of 7,000 men arrives in Lamon Bay from the Ryukyus. Enemy invasion force sails from Mindanao for Jolo I., Sulu Archipelago.

MALAYA--Ind 3 Corps completes withdrawal of all W coast forces behind Perak R, night 23-24. Japanese planes, which so far have concentrated on airfields, begin intensive action against forward areas.

BORNEO--Japanese convoy is detected heading toward Kuching, Sarawak.

CHINA--Japanese begin drive on Changsha, Hunan Province.

BURMA--Japanese open series of strong air attacks on Rangoon, beginning battle for air supremacy that is to last until late February 1942. Exodus of civilian laborers hampers port operations in Rangoon.

LIBYA--Because of supply difficulties, which increase as pursuit progresses westward, elements of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, are forced to remain in place. However, Ind 4th Div seizes Barce, on coast, and forward elements of 7th Armd Div force enemy to retire from Antelat to Agedabia.

24 December

ST PIERRE AND MIQUELON IS.--These islands, off Newfoundland, are seized by Free French.

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE--Anglo-American conference, called ARCADIA, opens in Washington to consider war strategy. Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and British and U.S. Chiefs of Staff attend.

U.S.--American engineers and military members of Iranian, USSR, and North African missions sail for the Middle East from New York on Army transport Siboney.

MIDWAY--Garrison is reinf with 2 batteries of 4th Defense Bn, which arrive from Hawaii.

P.I.--On Luzon, Adm Hart releases 4th Marines, stationed at Olongapo, to defend beaches of Corregidor. Japanese Lamon Bay invasion force, which constitutes southern prong of pincers applied against Manila, goes ashore early in morning at 3 points--Mauban, near Atimonan, and Slain. Main assault force, in center, secures Atimonan, forcing defenders back toward Pagbilao. Mauban force takes that town and pushes 5 miles W. From Slain enemy advances in 2 columns, one SW toward Tayabas Bay and the other SE along Route 1 toward the Legaspi detachment. Japanese on N Luzon consolidate beachhead and debouch on central plain to thrust sharply toward Agno R line. San Fabian and Binalonan fall, 26th Cav (PS) retiring from Binalonan across the Agno to Tayug. Planned withdrawal toward Bataan is begun in evening. USAFFE hq, except for rear echelon, and President and High Commissioner of the Philippines sail to Corregidor from Manila. Fort Stotsenburg is evacuated. Maj Gen Jonathan M. Wainwright's North Luzon Force, disposed generally along line Tayug-Urdaneta-San Carlos-Aquilar, from E to W, begins withdrawing toward Agno R line. South Luzon Force, command of which passes from Gen Parker to Brig Gen Albert M. Jones, is to withdraw northward into Bataan. Gen Parker moves to Bataan to head Bataan Defense Force, organized to prepare defensive positions.

SULU ARCHIPELAGO--Japanese invade Jolo I. in evening against light resistance from the constabulary.

BORNEO--Japanese convoy, despite attacks by Br and Dutch planes and Dutch submarines, succeeds in landing troops in Kuching area, Sarawak, early in morning. Garrison, having already destroyed Kuching airdrome, requests permission to withdraw to Dutch Borneo and is told to delay enemy as long as possible before retiring. Dutch aircraft withdraw from Singkawang, Borneo, to Palembang, Sumatra.

MALAYA--Ind 11th Div, controlling all Ind 3 Corps troops N of Slim and Bernam Rivers, is organizing defense in depth astride main road with MLR in Kampar area and rear positions near Slim R. Commander AIF Malaya, Maj Gen Gordon Bennett (CG Aus 8th Div), assigns responsibility for N Johore to Aus 27th Brig Gp, Aus 8th Div.

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AUSTRALIA--Brig Gen Henry B. Claggett takes temporary command of USFIA, pending arrival of Gen Brett from Chungking.

LIBYA--Detachment Of 7th Armd Div, 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, enters Benghazi and finds that enemy has withdrawn.

25 December

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE--General George C. Marshall, U.S. Chief of Staff, proposes at the ARCADIA Conference in Washington that Far Eastern forces be placed under a unified command.

MIDWAY--Garrison is strengthened as Marine Fighter Sq 221 flies in from USS Saratoga.

P.I.--USAFFE hq opens on Corregidor. Rear Adm F. W. Rockwell is put in charge of all naval activities in the Philippines. North Luzon Force reaches Agno R and prepares to hold there until night 26-27. 71st Div (PA) withdraws from E flank of line to reorganize. Japanese troops from Urdaneta succeed in crossing the Agno near Tayug, night 25-26. South Luzon Force begins northward withdrawal toward Bataan. Japanese, in close pursuit, seize Sampoloc and Pagbilao.

SULU ARCHIPELAGO--Japanese complete conquest of Jolo I, increasing threat to NEI.

BORNEO--After brisk fighting in vicinity of Kuching airdrome, Sarawak, small Ind garrison breaks contact with enemy and starts on foot toward Dutch Borneo.

CHINA--Br garrison of Hong Kong surrenders to Japanese. Many Allied ships are captured or sunk off the island. At a Joint Military Council meeting to consider lend-lease transfers, Chinese representative announces that the Generalissimo has decided, because of the seizure of the Tulsa's cargo, that he will not co-operate with the British and will recall Ch troops.

26 December

MIDWAY--Garrison is increased by 4th Defense Bn units and ground echelon of VMF-211, who had made a futile attempt to relieve the Wake garrison.

P.I.--Naval defense forces under Adm Rockwell move to Corregidor. Manila is declared an open city. North Luzon Force, except for 194th Tank Bn, falls back from the Agno to line Santa Ignacia-Guimba-San Jose. South Luzon Force continues to withdraw in 2 columns and organizes first line of defense of Sariaya.

MALAYA--Ipoh is evacuated by Ind 11th Div troops, but Ind 12th Brig Gp fights rear-guard action at Chemor, to N.

CHINA--Tulsa Incident ends with conciliatory meeting between Chiang Kai-shek and Gen Magruder during which it is agreed to send an AMMISCA officer to Rangoon.

MIDDLE EAST--Gen Auchinleck is notified that 4 fighter sqs are to be transferred from Middle East to Far East; accedes to request for tanks.

NORWAY--Br Commandos (Cdos) raid German bases on islands off Norway.

27 December

FAR EAST--Lt Gen Sir Henry Pownall relieves Air Chief Marshal Brooke-Popham as Br CinC Far East.

P.I.--Luzon front is quiet as Japanese consolidate along the Agno. North Luzon Force withdraws toward next delaying line, Tarlac-Cabanatuan, where it is to make maximum delaying effort. On S Luzon, Japanese continue to pursue U.S. columns along Routes 23 and 1; on latter, Japanese break through main positions of 53d Inf and seize Candelaria.

MALAYA--Ind 11th Div rear guards (12th and 28th Brigs) begin withdrawal to defense positions near Kampar. In E Malaya, Japanese threat to Kuantan is increasing. Enemy forces near Trengganu-Pahang border are placed under arty fire.

BURMA--Lt Gen T. J. Hutton replaces Gen MacLeod as commander of Burma Army.

LIBYA--7th Armd Div of 13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, attacks Rommelís Agedabia position, which is well-suited by nature for defense, but makes no headway.

NORWAY--Br Commandos again raid enemy bases on islands off Norway.

28 December

U.S.--First contingent of construction battalions ("Seabees") is authorized in Navy.

P.I.--Japanese begin drive from the Agno toward Cabanatuan. In S Luzon, Japanese force 52d Inf (PA) back to Tiaong. Gen Jones receives orders to withdraw speedily to Bataan. 53d Inf (PA) moves to Bataan for rest and reorganization. Enemy seizes Luisiana, on Route 1, and 1st Inf (PA) withdraws westward.

LIBYA--13 Corps, Br Eighth Army, continues assault on Agedabia with 22d Armd Brig of 7th Armd Div, whose tank strength by this time has been greatly reduced because of mechanical failure. After futile effort to get behind enemy position, 22d Armd Brig falls back to El Haseiat. Both sides suffer heavy tank losses.

29 December

P.I.--On N Luzon, 91st Div (PA) holds Cabanatuan against strong enemy thrust, but Japanese

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succeed in crossing Pampanga R near there. Another enemy force, heading for Tarlac in 21st Div (PA) sector, reaches position just N of Tarlac. All elements of South Luzon Force withdraw quickly toward Bataan. Japanese planes attack Corregidor for the first time. Medium and dive bombers drop some 60 tons of bombs. Although wooden structures suffer heavily, little damage is done to military installations. AA fire from forts guarding Manila Bay destroys a number of bombers. 4th Marines takes responsibility for beach defense.

MALAYA--On Ind 11th Div front, Ind 12th Brig holds firmly against strong enemy attack but, since its position is becoming untenable, falls back through Kampar to Bidor, where it is held in reserve.

BORNEO--Ind detachment from Kuching, Sarawak, arrives at Sanggau, Dutch Borneo, and is placed under Dutch command.

CHINA--Establishment of China Theater under supreme command of Chiang Kai-shek, who is to be assisted by an Allied staff, is announced. Theater is to include portions of Thailand and Indochina in friendly hands.

BURMA--From Bokpyin, Japanese withdraw under pressure into Thailand.

30 December

U.S.--Forces of Naval Coastal Frontiers are placed under U.S. Fleet.

P.I.--North Luzon Force is unable to hold enemy on line Cabanatuan-Tarlac and begins withdrawal southward toward final defense positions before Bataan. From Cabanatuan, 91st Div (PA) withdraws along Route 5 through Gapan toward Baliuag, NE of Calumpit. Tank bns are ordered to Plaridel-Baliuag area to defend vital Calumpit bridge over Pampanga R, across which South Luzon Force must withdraw to reach San Fernando and the road leading into Bataan, and 71st Div (PA) is dispatched to Baliuag. In center, 11th Div (PA) succeeds in delaying enemy column heading for Tarlac from Cabanatuan, 21st Div (PA) falls back from Tarlac along Route 3 toward line Bamban-Arayat. South Luzon Force, ordered to delay enemy, halts at Santiago, where ambush is arranged, but because of reverses of North Luzon Force is directed in evening to continue withdrawal and cross Calumpit bridge not later than 0600 on 1 January. 51st Inf (-) and battery of 51st FA are dispatched to assist in defense of Calumpit bridge. 2d Philippine Constabulary (PC) covers withdrawal while main body moves toward Bataan. President Manuel Quezon is inaugurated on Corregidor.

MALAYA--Japanese maintain pressure against Kampar position in W Malaya; on E coast threaten Kuantan from N in greater strength. Kuantan defense force is in process of concentrating W of Kuantan R, which is crossed by a single ferry.

LIBYA--After another costly and unsuccessful tank battle for Agedabia, during which 22d Armd Brig is rendered ineffective as a fighting force, 13 Corps of Br Eighth Army suspends assault pending arrival of reinforcements. German tanks have proved superior both mechanically and in gun power.

USSR--While German Army Group South continues offensive against Sevastopol, Soviet Caucasian troops make amphibious assault against E Crimea and seize Kerch and Feodosia. On central front, Germans continue to withdraw from Moscow area under Red Army pressure.

31 December

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE--ARCADIA conferees order joint Australian-British-Dutch-American (ABDA) Command to be established under Gen Wavell of the British Army.

P.I.--Evacuation of Manila is completed as rear echelon of USAFFE hq leaves. North Luzon Force closes in final defense positions, Bamban-Arayat, before San Fernando and Plaridel, E of Calumpit bridge. On E flank, 91st Div (PA) goes into reserve S of Baliuag, leaving 71st Div (PA) to delay enemy briefly at Baliuag; both divs then retire toward Calumpit bridge. Firm contact is made between North and South Luzon Forces in San Fernando area after latter crosses Calumpit bridge. Gen Jones is placed in command of all forces E of Pampanga R.

MALAYA--Ind 11th Div now holds relatively well-organized defense position in W Malaya, with Ind 6/15 Brig disposed on MLR at Kampar and Ind 28th Brig Gp to E. Japanese increase pressure against 28th Brig Gp. On E coast, Kuantan defense force completes concentration W of Kuantan R and destroys ferry.

CHINA--Joint Military Council is formed in Chungking.

AUSTRALIA--Gen Brett arrives from Chungking to take command of USFIA.

LIBYA--On Libyan-Egyptian frontier, S African 2d Div, assisted by 1st Army Tank Brig of 30 Corps, Br Eighth Army, attacks and penetrates Bardia fortress, on main road from Tobruk to Egypt.

USSR--Germans on southern front break off attacks on Sevastopol in order to counter Soviet thrusts from Kerch and Feodosia. On central front, Red Army troops seize Kaluga, SW of Moscow.

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Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation