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12 Aug 1942
  • The responsibility for maintaining law and order in German-occupied Belgium, Denmark, Holland, and Norway was given to Himmler and the SS organization. ww2dbase [Heinrich Himmler | TH]
  • USS Cleveland performed a test with 5-inch anti-aircraft shells equipped with new proximity fuses in the Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki bombarded Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | CPC]
  • In India, Joseph Stilwell departed Delhi for Karachi. ww2dbase [Joseph Stilwell | CPC]
  • British carrier HMS Indomitable was disabled south of Sardinia, Italy. ww2dbase [Indomitable | AC]
  • Erich von Manstein was transferred from the Caucasus area of southern Russia to the Leningrad area of northern Russia. ww2dbase [Erich von Manstein | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Sturgeon sank German merchant ship Boltenhagen 20 miles off southern Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Unshaken sank German merchant ship Georg L. M. Russ 20 miles off southern Norway. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Dagabur attempted to attack British carrier HMS Furious in the eastern Mediterranean Sea 50 miles northwest of Algier, French Algeria, but was detected by escorting British destroyer HMS Wolverine, which rammed and sank Dagabur. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Major General John D'Arcy assumed command of the British 9th Armoured Division in place of Major General Brian Burrows who had been moved to command British XIII Corps in North Africa. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille was awarded the Combined Pilots-Observation Badge in Gold with Diamonds. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | CPC]
  • USS Bailey arrived at New London, Connecticut for three days of submarine tracking exercises. ww2dbase [Bailey | DS]
  • USS Finback arrived at Dutch Harbor, US Territory of Alaska, ending her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Finback | Unalaska | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • 8 US B-17 Flying Fortress bombers attacked Rabaul, New Britain, damaging transport Matsumoto Maru in Simpson Harbor. ww2dbase [Rabaul, New Britain | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • Japanese troops marched along the Kokoda Track in Australian Papua toward the Australian base at Deniki. Behind the front lines, three Japanese transports arrived after dark and disembarked troops at Buna. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 2 | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • William Sampson, flying a PBY Catalina aircraft, became the first pilot to have landed at Lunga Point Airfield (later Henderson Field) on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Henderson Field | Guadalcanal Campaign | Lunga Point, Guadalcanal | CPC]
  • US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Frank Goettge's 25-man reconnaissance patrol was attacked by Japanese troops west of Matanikau River on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands; only 3 survived. ww2dbase [Guadalcanal Campaign | Guadalcanal | CPC]
  • Admiral Robert Ghormley ordered US Navy Task Force 63 to devote full effort to transport supplies and personnel to Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Guadalcanal Campaign | Guadalcanal | CPC]
Egypt France Germany
  • 138 British bombers attacked Mainz, Germany, hitting the rail station, industrial areas (at least 40 were killed), and the nearby villages of Kempten (130 houses were damaged) and Gaulsheim (97 houses were damaged); 5 bombers were lost on this mission. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Mainz, Hessen-Nassau | CPC]
Japan Libya
  • British submarine HMS Porpoise laid mines just off Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Tobruk | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • At 1200 hours, British carrier HMS Indomitable of Allied Pedestal convoy was hit by two 500-pound bombs, rendering the flight deck unusable. 10 miles off Bizerte, Tunisia, British destroyers HMS Ithuriel and HMS Pathfinder, escorting the convoy, forced Italian submarine Cobalto to the surface with depth charges, and Ithuriel proceeded to ram and sink Colbalto (2 Italians and 2 British were killed; 41 Italians captured). At 2000 hours, Italian submarine Axum attacked the convoy, sinking British cruiser HMS Cairo (24 were killed, 320 survived), damaging cruiser HMS Nigeria (52 were killed), and damaging tanker Ohio. At 1845 hours, Italian SM.79 torpedo bombers heavily damaged F-class destroyer HMS Foresight, breaking her back and knocking out her steering (1 officer and 3 ratings were killed). During the night, the Pedestal convoy rounded Cape Bon in confusion; as the Italians continued to attack, three merchant ships were sunk and merchant ship Brisbane Star was heavily damaged. Earlier in the day, 6 Italian cruisers and 17 destroyers set sail from Messina, Sicily, Italy to intercept the convoy. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | Cobalto | Indomitable | AC, CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Grayback fired three torpedoes at a Japanese transport in the South China Sea; all torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Grayback | South China Sea | CPC]
  • USS Haddock fired 5 torpedoes at a transport in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Kyushu, Japan, sinking the ship with 3 hits. ww2dbase [Haddock | CPC]
  • Winston Churchill arrived at Moscow, Russia at 1700 hours. At 1900 hours, he met with Joseph Stalin for the first time at the Kremlin, among other things convincing him there would be no second front at least until 1943 as the Western Allies would soon be invading French North Africa. ww2dbase [Second Moscow Conference | Kremlin and Red Square | Moscow | TH, CPC]
  • Troops of the German Armeegruppe A captured Elista, the capital of Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, in southern Russia. ww2dbase [Caucasus Campaign | Elista, Kalmyk | TH, CPC]
  • The Heito Prisoners of War Camp, also known as Taiwan Prisoners of War Camp No. 3, was opened in southern Taiwan. Within weeks it would be populated with captured American and Filipino troops. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States

12 Aug 1942 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 16 Mar 1945

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