8 Dec 1878
8 Dec 1897

  • Prince Hiroyasu's first child, Prince Hiroyoshi, was born in Tokyo, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1900
  • Franklin Roosevelt's father James Roosevelt passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1912
  • The Kaiser called a meeting of his military and naval leaders, telling them that if Russia came to the aid of Serbia then Germany must be prepared to fight. He assumed that Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Turkey would all side with the Triple Alliance leaving Austria-Hungary free to concentrate against the Russians. Tirpitz (Head of the German Naval Office) declared that the Navy was not yet ready for war. Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg, who was anxious to maintain détente with the British, was not invited to the meeting thus leaving the political viewpoint out of the discussions. ww2dbase [AC]
8 Dec 1917

  • Wanda Gertz was arrested in Poland for participating in a pro-Polish demonstration; she would remain in jail for six months. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1921

  • The keel of Emden was laid down at the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]

8 Dec 1921 Interactive Map

8 Dec 1923

United States
  • Joseph Rochefort's request to the United States Navy Mine Force was denied. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1931

  • Emden arrived at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1932
  • Cruiser Köln departed German for her first international voyage that would last one year; she would visit the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria (Egypt), Suez Channel, India, Indonesia, Australia, Pacific, Japan, Qingdao (China), Indonesia, Ceylon, Suez Channel, Greece, Italy, and Spain. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Unable to prevent the growing importance of Hitler within the National Revolution he had wanted for Germany, Gregor Strasser abruptly resigned and withdrew almost entirely from politics. ww2dbase [AC]
8 Dec 1937

  • Japan established the puppet nation of Mengjiang in the Inner Mongolia region of China. Its capital was at Kalgan (now Zhangjiakou), Chahar Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Prince Yasuhiko arrived outside of Nanjing, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Chinese Air Force squadrons departed Nanjing, China for airfields to the west, leaving the capital city without fighter defense and with little modern communications equipment. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • Minoru Yasui was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant in the US Army Infantry Reserve. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1938

  • Graf Zeppelin was launched by Deutsche Werke Kiel in Kiel, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • A decree on "Combating the Gypsy Plague" was published by Heinrich Himmler as Chief of the Reich Police. Under the decree German Gypsies would now be considered as an alien race and therefore be liable for deportation or forced Labour. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 8 Dec 1938
Launching of Graf Zeppelin, Kiel, Germany, 8 Dec 1938

8 Dec 1938 Interactive Map

8 Dec 1939
  • Belgian ship Louis Scheid ran aground and broke up in front of the Thurlestone Golf Club, Warren Point, Devon, England, United Kingdom before dawn. During the day, German submarine U-48 sank the ship Brandon of Allied convoy OB-48 at 1155 hours. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1940
  • Battleship Bismarck exited the Kiel Canal. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Orion sank the ships Triadic (1 killed, 11 captured) and Triaster (64 captured) off Nauru. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Komet sank Komata off Nauru, killing 2 and capturing 33. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British light cruiser Diomede intercepted German freighter Idarwald while American destroyer Sturtevant stood by without any interference. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Franco determined Spain was not ready to enter the war. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The British launched Operation Compass from Egypt, aiming to push back Italian troops into Libya. The forces moved through the gap between Italian camps Nibeiwa and Sofafi without being detected. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-103 sank British liner Calabria 295 miles west of Ireland at 2058 hours. 360 were killed, 230 of whom were Indian sailors who were being ferried to Britain to crew other ships; 21 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-140 sank Finnish sail ship Penang 75 west of Ireland at 1226 hours, killing the entire crew of 18. At 2025 hours, U-140 struck again, sinking British ship Ashcrest, killing the entire crew of 37. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Windsor hit and mine off Aldeburgh, Surrey, England, United Kingdom; she would be towed to Harwich, England by HMS Garth. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Greek troops captured Gjirokastra and Delvinë in Albania. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
  • Ernst Vogelsang completed submarine commander school and was made the commanding officer of U-18. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Inigo Campioni was relieved of command with the Italian Navy 1st Naval Squadron. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1941
  • Light carrier Hosho passed through the Bungo Strait between Kyushu and Shikoku, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • I-68 traveled to the entrance of Pearl Harbor to rescue any surviving midget submarine crews. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • The rebuilding of the interior of Japanese luxury ocean liner Hikawa Maru began. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki conducted anti-submarine operations in the Mariana Islands area. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • RAF Hudson aircraft bombed Japanese invasion shipping off Kota Bharu, British Malaya, setting cargo ship Awajisan Maru afire. The Japanese 143rd Infantry Regiment of 55th Division (under command of 25th Army) landed on four beaches in southern Thailand; local Thai forces, unaware of their government's agreement to allow free passage to the Burma border, put up a fierce resistance and killed 79 Japanese soldiers. Japanese aircraft began arriving at Songkla in southern Thailand to prepare for air raids against targets in British Malaya. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Soviet offensive broke through German Armeegruppe Mitte near Moscow, Russia, cutting the Klin-Kalinin road. German units began making hasty withdrawals to prevent encirclement, abandoning large numbers of immobilized equipment in the process. Adolf Hitler issued Führer Directive 39 which called for German troops to hold their ground. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Japanese submarine I-123 mined Balabac Strait in Philippine waters while I-124 mined the entrance to Manila Bay. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Striking Force of the US Navy Asiatic Fleet departed from Iloilo, Philippine Islands for Makassar Strait. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese naval aircraft from carrier Ryujo attacked seaplane tender USS William B. Preston in Davao Gulf; the ship escaped in tact, but two of the PBY Catalina flying boats she was tending were destroyed. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese forces invaded the British colony of Hong Kong. British and Canadian garrison at Hong Kong was hopelessly outnumbered and beyond reach of any Allied help. Within less than two days the defenders would be forced to retreat to Hong Kong island itself. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • Japanese invasion fleet for Wake Island departed from Kwajalein while aircraft of the Japanese Navy 24th Air Flotilla (based at Roi-Namur, Kwajalein) attacked Camp One, Camp Two, and the airstrip on Wake; Japanese aircraft destroyed seven of the Eight F4F-3 fighters were destroyed as well as a 25,000-gallon capacity aviation gas tank. Meanwhile, Pan American Airways aircraft evacuated Caucasians from Wake Island, leaving airline staff of Chamorro ethnicity behind. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In the Mariana Islands, Japanese land-based aircraft from Saipan attacked Guam, damaging various facilities and sinking minesweeper USS Penguin in Apra Harbor (1 killed, 60 wounded). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue gave the order to the Japanese Navy Fourth Fleet at Truk, Caroline Islands to began executing the plans to capture Wake, Guam (Mariana Islands), Makin (Gilbert Islands), Tarawa (Gilbert Islands), and other islands and atolls in the Pacific Ocean. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered the German Navy to begin attacking American shipping. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Galeazzo Ciano called Joachim von Ribbentrop to discuss the American entry into the war; Ciano later noted that Ribbentrop was happy with this latest development. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German bombers sank British minesweeping trawlers HMT Milford Earl (5 killed) and HMT Phineas Beard off the east coast of Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Costa Rica, Dominica, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua declared war on Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Karl Burk was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • The fourth Australian Hudson medium bomber arrived at Rabaul, Bismarck Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Canada declared war on Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In China, Colonel William W. Ashurst surrendered the US Marine Corps detachments in Tianjin, Beiping, Qinhuangdao (Camp Holcomb), and the American embassy to the Japanese. In Shanghai, Japanese Special Naval Landing Force troops captured US Navy river gunboat Wake before the gunboat's crew could scuttle her. US passenger liner President Harrison, en route to northern China to evacuate US Marines, was captured by the Japanese at Sha Wai Shan, China; she was later refloated and pressed into service as Kakko Maru and later Kachidoki Maru. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • China, having already been engaged in war with Japan since Jul 1937, formally declared war on Japan and Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • While at Tarakan, Borneo, Dutch East Indies, USS Marblehead received the alert that Japan had started hostilities. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese ambassador in Germany Hiroshi Oshima sent a note to Joachim von Ribbentrop, requesting Germany to declare war on the United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Helena entered dry dock at Honolulu, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Allied convoy PQ-6 departed Hvalfjörður, Iceland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a P-40 fighter, his 30th kill, over El Adem, Libya at 0845 hours. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Marshall Islands Philippines
  • Japanese Navy 11th Air Fleet land-based aircraft from Taiwan attacked US Army airfields on Luzon island, Philippine Islands as well as shipping in Manila Bay; at the latter location, American freighter Capillo was abandoned after receiving heavy damage. Japanese Army aircraft joined in on the attack on this date also, striking Baguio and Tuguegarao at 0930 hours. North of Luzon, a Japanese force landed on Batan Island and established an air base. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Saburo Sakai of Japanese Navy Tainan Air Group, flying an A6M Zero fighter, attacked Clark Field in the Philippine Islands; he shot down one P-40 Warhawk fighter. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | Facility | CPC]
  • Chelmno Concentration Camp north of Lodz, Poland began mass murders using gas vans; it was the first large camp established for the purpose of mass exterminations. The first victims were Jewish and Romani civilians from surrounding towns. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom declared war on Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The French government-in-exile in Britain declared war on Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Dutch government-in-exile in Britain declared war on Japan. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • USS Saratoga departed San Diego, California for Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The keel of submarine Runner was laid down at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • United States Congress declared war on Japan after Franklin Roosevelt's "a date which will live in infamy" speech. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Edward Murrow and his wife Janet had dinner at the White House in Washington DC, United States with Eleanor Roosevelt. The dinner was arranged prior to the Japanese attack, and Murrow had expected the invitation to be canceled, but surprisingly Franklin Roosevelt insisted that the plans be kept; although Roosevelt was too busy to join them at the meal, he would make sure to meet with Murrow for some time late in the evening. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Minoru Yasui resigned his position at the Japanese consulate in Chicago, Illinois, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 8 Dec 1941
Light cruiser Raleigh fights to stay afloatThe repair ship Vestal beached off AieaFranklin Roosevelt signing the Declaration of War against Japan, 8 Dec 1941Maintaining a TBD-1 Devastator aircraft of Torpedo Squadron 5 at Naval Air Station, Norfolk, Virginia, United States, circa 7-16 Dec 1941
See all photos dated 8 Dec 1941

8 Dec 1941 Interactive Map

8 Dec 1942
  • USS Gar fired her deck gun at a Japanese cargo ship, causing damage. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Flying Fish attacked a Japanese destroyer in the Pacific Ocean, hitting her with 1 of 4 torpedoes fired and claimed a sinking. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The planned Allied invasion of Burma was called off due to lack of supplies; British and Chinese troops fell back from their forward positions. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Nikolai Voznesensky became the Chairman of the State Planning Committee of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Maksim Saburov stepped down as the Chairman of State Planning Committee of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The 3rd Infantry Regiment and the 132nd Regimental Combat Team, both of the US Army, arrived in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands United States
  • Light cruiser Miami was launched in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, sponsored by Mrs. C. H. Reeder, wife of the mayor of Miami, Florida, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Liberty ship David J. Brewer became the first ship to dock at Port Chicago, California, United States at about 1200 hours. Upon learning that the stevedores were all African-American, the ship's Caucasian captain refused to let dock workers board his ship. ww2dbase [CPC]
Photo(s) dated 8 Dec 1942
Men and weapons of the 132d Regimental Combat Team of the US Army Americal Division, Kikum, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 8 Dec 1942; note M3 37mm gunMen and supplies of the 132d Regimental Combat Team of the US Army Americal Division, Kikum, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 8 Dec 1942African-American US Army WAACs Ruth Wade and Lucille Mayo servicing a truck, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, United States, 8 Dec 1942Launching of light cruiser Miami, William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 8 Dec 1942

8 Dec 1942 Interactive Map

8 Dec 1943
  • US Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz was appointed Chief of US Strategic Air Forces in Europe. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Mussolini's Repubblica Sociale Italiana in Northern Italy established the Guardia Nazionale Repubblicana. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Rysa was mined and sunk off La Maddalena, Italy. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Joseph Stilwell departed Cairo, Egypt. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • The still under construction Torokina Airfield at Bougainville, Solomon Islands saw its second unscheduled landing, three F4U aircraft of US Marine Corps squadron VMF-214 which were running low on fuel. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • U-537 arrived at Lorient, France, ending her first war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS New Mexico arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Four officers and 99 men of GROPAC-4 departed. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • Franklin Roosevelt arrived in Sicily, Italy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Sicily, Italy, George Patton was told by US President Franklin Roosevelt in person that Patton was to hold army-level command in the upcoming invasion of France. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Canadian 1st Infantry Division gained a bridgehead along the Moro River near San Leonardo, Italy; after sundown, troops of Royal Canadian Engineers built a bridge over the river for tanks to move north to reinforce the bridgehead. To the west, US troops attacked Monte Sambúcaro and the Mignano Gap, Italy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS S-35 reached Kurile Islands waters. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Alabama bombarded Nauru, expending 535 406-millimeter rounds. During the bombardment, destroyer USS Boyd received a hit from a Japanese coastal gun; the medical staff aboard USS Alabama treated three wounded sailors from USS Boyd. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • A transport of 55 Berlin Jews arrived at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. After the selection, 14 were registered and 31 were gassed. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 8 Dec 1943
USS North Carolina bombarding Nauru, 8 Dec 1943; note OS2U Kingfisher aircraft in foregroundGenerals George Patton, Henry “Hap” Arnold, and Mark Clark at the Castelvetrano Airfield, Sicily, Italy, awaiting the arrival of President Roosevelt, 8 Dec 1943.Franklin Roosevelt with Dwight Eisenhower at Castelvetrano Airport in Sicily, Italy, after the conferences at Tehran and Cairo, 8 Dec 1943; note Patton in background

8 Dec 1943 Interactive Map

8 Dec 1944
  • U-869 departed Norway for the Atlantic Ocean for her first and only war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Germans troops withdrew from Jülich, Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The first unpowered prototype of the J8M Shusui/Ki-200 aircraft took flight. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • USS Astoria arrived at Ulithi, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Japanese troops captured Tushan, Jiangsu Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Ray arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her sixth war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • In Hungary, Soviet SMERSH operatives attached to 2nd Ukrainian Front arrested Dutch operative Gerrit van der Waals of British SOE, who had naively turned himself in to the approaching Soviet forces thinking the Soviets would help him return to Britain. His fellow Hungarian operative also under the employment of SOE Karoly Schandl was similarly detained. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The keel of landing ship No. 173 was laid down by Kawanami Kogyo. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 8 Dec 1944
General Omar Bradley and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery arriving at a command conference, 8 Dec 1944. Note Jeep and Humber staff car.General Omar Bradley, Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder, Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, and General William Simpson at a command conference, 8 Dec 1944.Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder with Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower and General William Simpson arriving at a command conference, 8 Dec 1944.B-24J Liberators of the 494th Bomb Group receive maintenance on Angaur, Palau Islands, Dec 8 1944
See all photos dated 8 Dec 1944

8 Dec 1944 Interactive Map

8 Dec 1945
  • USS Tautog was decommissioned from service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The prototype Bell Model 47 (NC1H) helicopter made its maiden flight. In 1946 the type would receive the first commercial helicopter certification. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Captain Harold Baker was named the commanding officer of USS Saint Paul while at Shanghai, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • An assassination attempt on Mikhail Likhachev failed in Nürnberg, Germany. His driver Buben died when the Horch 951 limousine was shot up while Likhachev was not in the vehicle. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The former Canadian frigate HMCS Teme (K 458), torpedoed by German submarine U-315 on 29 Mar 1945 and already declared a constructive total loss, was sold for scrap. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • USS Yorktown (Essex-class) departed San Francisco, California, United States for the Far East. Initially routed to Samar in the Philippines, but en route she was diverted to Manila, Philippines. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]

8 Dec 1945 Interactive Map

8 Dec 1949

  • Dong Zhao retired from the Chinese Army at Chongqing, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1963

  • Sarit Thanarat passed away in Bangkok, Thailand while in office as the Prime Minister of Thailand. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1973

  • While in exile in Spain, Léon Degrelle confirmed Jacques Leroy's Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross award, back dated to 20 Apr 1945. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 1988

  • Ulaan Huu passed away from illness at 1445 hours in Beijing, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
8 Dec 2010

United States
  • Bob Feller, sick with leukemia and other ailments, was transferred from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, United States to hospice care. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

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
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939