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12 Dec 1939
  • Cruiser K√∂ln and other warships screened minelayers during a mining mission. ww2dbase [K√∂ln | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler postponed the decision to invade France to 27 Dec 1939; if he was to launch the attack, the date of action was to be 1 Jan 1940. Since the decision was to be made after Christmas, he permitted the granting of Christmas leave. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | CPC]
  • Erich Raeder reported to Adolf Hitler after Raeder had met with Norwegian leaders Vidkun Quisling and Albert Viljam Hagelin. Raeder noted of the Norwegian popular hostility toward Germany, Britain's great influence on the Norwegian government through its high court, and the possibility that Britain might soon occupy Norway. Hitler stated that Britain must never be allowed to occupy Norway. Raeder also recommended Hitler to be neutral in the Winter War, although it was advisable to continue supplying fuel for Soviet submarines. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | Erich Raeder | HM]
  • HMS Cumberland under self-refit and boiler cleaning at Port Stanley. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The 8,485-ton British registered motor tanker British Liberty was on route from Haifa, Palestine for Dunkerque, France with a cargo of crude oil. As she was nearing Dunkerque she struck a British laid mine 4 miles north-east of the Dyck Light Vessel. Twenty-four of her crew were killed in the explosion. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | North Sea | HM]
  • Soviets suffered heavy casualties near Tolvaj√§rvi, Finland as Finnish troops wiped out two Soviet divisions. ww2dbase [The Winter War | Tolvaj√§rvi | TH]
United Kingdom
  • Off the British coast, at 0815 hours, the 496-ton ship Marwick Head taking coal to London from Boness, near Grangemouth, Scotland, struck a mine laid by U-59 and sank 0.5 miles South of the North Caister Buoy, off Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England. Five crew members were lost, the captain and four other crew were rescued and taken to Great Yarmouth. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | England | HM]

12 Dec 1939 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
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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