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11 Dec 1941
  • Light carrier Hosho rejoined the fleet; in the previous night, she fell out of formation as she slowed to conduct a night time landing operation. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • USS Permit began her first war patrol in Philippine waters. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US submarine Triton successfully attacked a Japanese ship south of Wake Island. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS R-1 arrived at Bermuda. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • U-576 began her second war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese infantrymen under the command of Colonel Shizuo Saeki overran the defenses set up by Punjabi troops between Changlun and Asun, British Malaya, and gave chase into Asun, where Gurkha troops slowed the Japanese advance by destroying the two Japanese tanks in the spearhead; the Gurkha positions, however, would be captured by 1900 hours, killing or capturing 350 men. Nearby, Japanese troops also under Saeki reached the outskirts of Jitra, British Malaya, which was defended by troops of the 11th Indian Division. Out at sea, Japanese pilot Lieutenant Ito, flying a torpedo bomber over the location where Repulse and Prince of Wales were sunk on the previous day, dropped a wreath to honor the killed British sailors. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; United States responded with a declaration of war. ww2dbase [TH]
  • US Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox arrived at Hawaii to personally assess the damage inflicted on 7 Dec 1941 by the Japanese. Meanwhile, Japanese submarine I-9 shelled the unarmed US freighter Lahaina about 800 miles northeast of Honolulu. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese troops landed at Legaspi, Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In North Africa the Italians reformed the line running south from the coast at Gazala with their armour on the right flank. Rommel's Afrika Korps, reduced to just forty operational tanks after the Operation Crusader battles, protected the open southern flank. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • North of Moscow, Russia, Soviet 16th Army captured Istra while Soviet 20th Army reached Solnechnogorsk. South of Moscow, Soviet troops captured Stalinogorsk. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-374 sank British anti-submarine trawler HMS Lady Shirley in the Strait of Gibraltar at 0421 hours, killing all 33 aboard. 21 minutes later, U-374 sank British patrol yacht HMS Rosabelle, which attempted to locate U-374; 30 were killed, 12 survived and rescued by patrol yacht HMS Sayonara. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Truant fired two torpedoes at Italian tankers in Suda Bay, Crete, Greece; one of them hit torpedo boat Alcione, killing 20. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Farndale forced Italian submarine Caracciola to surface 30 miles northeast of Bardia, Libya and sank her with gunfire; 1 was killed (a passenger with the rank of an army general), 53 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler announced that since the start of the war against the Soviet Union, the German forces had captured 3,806,865 Soviet prisoners of war. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Hong Kong
  • Japanese troops advanced southward along the Kowloon Peninsula north of Hong Kong, capturing Stonecutter's Island. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the British P-40 fighter piloted by Canadian Flight Sergeant M. A. Canty southeast of El Adem, Libya. It was his 32nd kill. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Marshall Islands Philippines United Kingdom
  • American aviator and poet John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was killed in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom. He became famous for his poem High Flight, and had, before the United States entered the war, forsaken a place at Yale University in order to train as a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. ww2dbase [AC]
US Pacific Islands
  • The 2,890-ton Japanese light cruiser Yubari, flagship of Rear Admiral Sadamichi Kajioka, was seriously damaged by shell fire from two 5-inch guns at Peacock Point, Wake Island, and forced to retire listing heavily to port. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | Tabular Record of Movement | AC]
  • While bombarding US installations at Wake Atoll, Tenryu was strafed by a US Marine Corps F4F-3 Wildcat fighter, wounding 5 sailors and mildly damaged three torpedoes in the No. 1 mount. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 11 Dec 1941
USS North Carolina, 11 Dec 1941Adolf Hitler receiving salutes from the German Reichstag upon declaring war on the United States, Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 11 Dec 1941German Reichstag saluting Adolf Hitler shortly after GermanyAdolf Hitler declaring war on the United States at the German Reichstag, Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 11 Dec 1941, photo 1 of 2
See all photos dated 11 Dec 1941

11 Dec 1941 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944