2 Dec 1896

2 Dec 1897

  • Ivan Bagramyan was born in Chardakhlu, Russia; his birth date was recorded as 20 Nov 1897 in the Russian Old Style calendar. ww2dbase [Ivan Bagramyan | Chardakhlu | CPC]
2 Dec 1905


2 Dec 1905 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1911

United Kingdom
  • Yingrui was completed in England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Yingrui | England | CPC]
2 Dec 1912

  • German chancellor Theobold von Bethmann Hollweg announced in the Reichstag that, if Austria-Hungary was attacked by a third power while pursuing its interests, Germany would support Austria-Hungary and fight to maintain its own position in Europe. ww2dbase [Reichstag Building and Kroll Opera House | Berlin | AC]

2 Dec 1912 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1915
  • Josef Stroop was awarded the Iron Cross. ww2dbase [Jürgen Stroop | CPC]

2 Dec 1915 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1917
  • Russian General Dukhonin and his staff were placed under arrest, ordered by Lenin. ww2dbase [AC]
2 Dec 1920

  • Alexandros Sakellariou was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander (the promotion was retroactively dated to 21 Dec 1917) and immediately was promoted again to the rank of commander (retroactively dated to 26 Jun 1920). ww2dbase [Alexandros Sakellariou | CPC]
2 Dec 1925

  • Kliment Voroshilov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for the third time. ww2dbase [Kliment Voroshilov | CPC]
2 Dec 1927
  • Captain G. Hopwood was named the commanding officer of HMS Hermes, replacing Captain R. Elliot. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
2 Dec 1930
  • HMS Valiant was recommissioned into service after refitting. ww2dbase [Valiant | CPC]
2 Dec 1932
  • German President Paul von Hindenburg named Kurt von Schleicher as the next Chancellor. ww2dbase [CPC]

2 Dec 1932 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1935
  • Nobutake Kondo was attached to the Navy General Staff. ww2dbase [Nobutake Kondo | CPC]
  • Prince Takahito was made the head of his own branch of the Imperial family, Mikasa. ww2dbase [Takahito | CPC]
  • Captain Michitaro Totsuka was named the commanding officer of Nachi. ww2dbase [Nachi | CPC]
  • Kenkichi Ueda was attached to the Army General Staff. ww2dbase [Kenkichi Ueda | CPC]
  • General Kuniaki Koiso was named the commanding officer of the Japanese Chosen Army in occupied Korea, relieving Kenkichi Ueda. ww2dbase [Kuniaki Koiso | CPC]
  • Major General Yoshishige Saeda was named the chief of staff of the Japanese Chosen Army in occupied Korea. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Lieutenant General Heisuke Yanagawa was named the commanding officer of the Taiwan Army. ww2dbase [CPC]
2 Dec 1937

China Japan
  • Emperor Showa gave the command of Japanese troops attacking Nanjing, China to his uncle Prince Yasuhiko, the head of princely household Asaka-no-miya. ww2dbase [Yasuhiko | CPC]
United Kingdom Photo(s) dated 2 Dec 1937
Two Japanese soldiers carrying an unidentified item labeled

2 Dec 1937 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1938
  • Lord Gort submitted a report noting that the German military had improved in its fighting qualities over the past year, especially since the annexation of Czechoslovakia, while the British Army fighting strength had been weakened due to political decisions made in 1937. ww2dbase [John Vereker | CPC]
2 Dec 1939 Atlantic Ocean Germany Photo(s) dated 2 Dec 1939
Russian T-26 light tanks and T-20 Komsomolets armored tractors advancing into Finland during the Winter War, 2 Dec 1939Finnish civilians in a bomb shelter, Helsinki, Finland, 2 Dec 1939T-26 light tanks and GAZ-A trucks of Soviet 7th Army, Finland, 2 Dec 1939Vyacheslav Molotov signing a pact with Soviet-puppet state Finnish Democratic Republic, Moscow, Russia, 2 Dec 1939; Andrei Zhdanov, Kliment Voroshilov, Joseph Stalin, and Otoo Wille Kuusinen in background
See all photos dated 2 Dec 1939
2 Dec 1940
  • German submarine U-99 attacked British armed merchant cruiser HMS Forfar with five torpedoes between 0546 and 0657 hours, sinking her; 172 were killed, 21 survived. Shortly after, German submarines U-47, U-52, U-94, U-99, and U-101 attacked Allied convoy HX-90 unescorted 300 miles west of Ireland between 0400 and 0730 hours; her ocean escorts had departed on the previous day, and her coastal escorts failed to arrive due to poor weather. 5 ships were sunk (totaling 22,868 tons), while 2 were damaged; 119 were killed. After the coastal escorts finally arrived, U-94 pressed one further attack after dark, sinking two more ships, killing 5. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • German submarine U-37 sank Swedish ship Gwalia at 0418 hours (16 killed, 4 survived) and British ship Jeanne M. at 0446 hours (7 killed, 19 survived); both attacks were about 230 miles north of Cape Roca, Portugal. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-43 sank British ship Pacific President at 0901 hours (entire crew of 50 killed) and British tanker Victor Ross at 0941 hours (entire crew of 44 killed). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-99 sank Norwegian ship Samnanger at 2050 hours, killing the entire crew of 30. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Overnight, German bombers bombed Britstol, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Crown Prince Yi Un was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in the Japanese Army. ww2dbase [Yi Un | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • HMS Hermes made rendezvous with light cruiser HMS Dragon in the South Atlantic. ww2dbase [Hermes | CPC]
  • Jaguar and Iltis began laying a minefield off Dover, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Iltis | Jaguar | English Channel | CPC]
  • Colonel Seiichi Miyamoto was named the commanding officer of Japanese Unit 516 chemical weapons research unit based in Qiqihar, Nenjiang Province, China, replacing Colonel Oyanazu Masao. ww2dbase [Qiqihar, Nenjiang | CPC]
  • British Admiral of the Fleet William Boyle (Earl of Cork and Orrery) arrived at Gibraltar aboard destroyer HMS Jersey to conduct a Board of Inquiry into Admiral James Somerville's decision to disengage at the Battle of Spartivento. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
  • Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma was named the commanding officer of the Taiwan Army. ww2dbase [Masaharu Homma | CPC]
United States
  • Henry Arnold was promoted to the permanent rank of brigadier general. ww2dbase [Henry Arnold | CPC]
2 Dec 1941
  • Edward Rydz-Śmigły passed away. ww2dbase [Edward Rydz-Śmigły | CPC]
  • Motorcycle patrols from the German 2nd Panzer Division at Moscow, Russia reached Khimki and claimed that they were as close as 10 miles northwest from the Kremlin. The 2nd Panzer Division, however, was unable gather enough strength to exploit the weakly defended lines that the reconnaissance troops discovered. To the west, additional Soviet reinforcements reached Naro-Fominsk. To the south of Moscow, another German attack on Tula cut the Tula-Moscow rail line. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | TH]
  • US PBY Catalina patrol aircraft reported 20 Japanese transports congregating in Cam Ranh Bay off Indochina. ww2dbase [Invasion of Malaya and Singapore | CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill's new National Service Bill included compulsory service for women. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | TH]
  • Soviet troopships Iosif Stalin and Maya, along with a number of other warships and transport vessels, departed Hanko, Finland with the last of the 12,000 troops aboard. This marked the final Soviet evacuation from Finnish territory occupied by the Soviet Union at the conclusion of the Winter War. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Japanese embassies in United States, Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, and Philippine Islands were ordered to destroy certain documents and code books. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese carrier fleet refueled in the North Pacific at 42 degrees north and 170 degrees east; at 2000 hours, the code "Niitaka Yama Noboru 1208" was issued, indicating that the attack on Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii was to be launched on 8 Dec 1941 Tokyo time, 7 Dec on the other side of the international date line. Meanwhile, at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel was briefed of the disposition of the Japanese fleet, with the whereabouts of Carrier Division 1 and Carrier Division 2 (four fleet carriers total) not known; the best American guess was that they were at Kure, Japan. Finally, at Honolulu, Hawaii, Consul-General Nagao Kita was asked to provide a report regarding the presence of any barrage balloons or torpedo nets. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | Detailed Timetable | CPC]
  • The Axis attack on Tobruk, Libya that began on 30 Nov 1941 was halted as Axis tank losses reached such a level that repairs must be made before any further operations were possible. ww2dbase [Operation Crusader | CPC]
  • HMS Prince of Wales arrived at Singapore. ww2dbase [Prince of Wales | CPC]
  • HMS Repulse arrived at Singapore. ww2dbase [Repulse | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-43 (Kapitänleutnant Wolfgang Lüth) had been stalking the unescorted and unarmed 7,542-ton steam tanker Astral since the previous day, not realizing that the tanker was American. At about 0000 hours, U-43 fired a torpedo. The torpedo must have been seen by someone on Astral, because she immediately began steaming a zigzag course at full speed to escape. The submarine followed throughout the night, aided by a full moon. At 0924 hours, the tanker was hit by two torpedoes off the Azores islands, one in the stern and one amidships, exploded into flames and sank within minutes. The flaming cargo in the water burned for an hour longer. The entire copmlement of eight officers and 29 men were killed. This was the third of the four American merchant ships sank by German submarines prior to the American entry to the war; the others were Robin Moor, Lehigh, and Sagadahoc. ww2dbase [U-43 | CPC, HM]
  • The 5,231-ton British steam cargo ship Miguel de Larrinaga was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean by the Italian submarine Cappellini. ww2dbase [HM]
  • The 6,968-ton tanker British Captain was sunk by a German mine off Cromer, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [North Sea | HM]
Black Sea
  • The 1,357-ton German steam merchant ship Cordelia struck a mine and sank 15 miles East from Burghaz (Burgas), Bulgaria. Shortly after, the Romanian motor passenger transport ship Carvarna struck a mine and sank in the same region. ww2dbase [HM]
Caroline Islands
  • Katori departed Truk, Caroline Islands for Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Katori | Truk | CPC]
  • Takashi Sakai was ordered to lead the Japanese 23rd Army, based in China, to cross the border into Hong Kong and to conquer it within 10 days of an outbreak of war with the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Battle of Hong Kong | Takashi Sakai | Guangdong | CPC]
  • The 508-ton German Navy minesweeper M-529 was mined off Kolberg, Germany (now Kolobrzeg, Poland) with the loss of ten crew. ww2dbase [Kolberg, Pommern | HM]
  • Tatsuta Maru departed Yokohama, Japan for San Francisco, ostensibly for the second repatriation voyage to bring Japanese nationals in the United States to Japan. Her planned voyage would take her to Honolulu and San Francisco in the United States, then Manzanillo in Mexico, followed by Balboa in the Panama Canal Zone. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | Yokohama | CPC]
Marshall Islands
  • Kamoi departed Emidji, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Kamoi | Emidji | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • American submarine USS Trout began a "simulated war patrol" off Midway. ww2dbase [Trout | CPC]
  • German submarine U-557 (Ottokar Arnold Paulssen) spotted and identified the unescorted 4,032-ton Norwegian ship Fjord at the harbour of Málaga, Spain at 1825 hours. At 2033 hours off Estepona Point, Spain, she fired two G7e torpedoes, one of which hit Fjord on the starboard side in the boiler room. Fjord had been steaming at 8 knots in fine weather. She sank so quickly that the crew had no time to launch the lifeboats and were forced to jump overboard, clinging to wreckage and swimming to two rafts that floated free. The master and 13 crew members were lost. One raft with 11 survivors and another with 9 managed to reach the nearby coast about nine kilometres southwest of Estepona. They were first taken to Algeciras and questioned by Spanish naval officers, but then transported to Seville as they were not yet allowed to leave Spain. However, after none of the Norwegians took the offer to return to Norway, all survivors eventually left for Gibraltar. The Allied consulates got busy investigating the case, as it was obvious that the German submarine attack took place well within the neutral Spanish territorial waters. ww2dbase [Estepona, Andalusia | CPC, HM]
Spanish Morocco
  • German submarine U-562 (Horst Hamm) sank 4,274-ton British ship Grelhead in the Atlantic Ocean 2 miles off Punta Negri, Spanish Morocco at 0119 hours. Grelhead had been carrying 6,900 tons of iron ore. The master, 34 crew members and six gunners were killed; 2 crew members survived and were brought to Tangiers, Morocco. ww2dbase [CPC, HM]
Photo(s) dated 2 Dec 1941
British Royal Navy Rear Admiral Arthur Palliser and Admiral Sir Thomas Philips at Singapore, 2 Dec 1941Overhead view of Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii, Dec 2, 1941. The lines painted on the runway were to approximate a carrier’s flight deck.

2 Dec 1941 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1942
  • British Army Major Herbert Le Patourel won the Victoria Cross for single-handedly taking an enemy position near Tunis in which he was seriously wounded. ww2dbase [AC]
  • US Air Transport Command began flying "the Hump" into China. ww2dbase [Burma Road and the Hump | CPC]
  • General Hitoshi Imamura arrived in Rabaul, New Britain to take command of the Japanese South Pacific Area and the Seventeenth Army. ww2dbase [Hitoshi Imamura | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • The US merchant ship SS Coamo was sunk by German submarine U-604 off Bermuda while on route to New York from Gibraltar. The ship was detached from the convoy she started in and was never heard from again. A total of 186 lives were lost in what was the greatest loss aboard any US flag merchant vessel during WW2. ww2dbase [AC]
Greece Marshall Islands
  • Kamoi arrived at Jaluit, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Kamoi | Jaluit | CPC]
  • Two transports arrived at Auschwitz Concentration Camp on this date. The first transport from Westerbork Concentration Camp in the Netherlands arrived with 826 Jews; 77 of them were registered into the camp, and the remaining 749 were gassed. The second transport from Grodno ghetto arrived with 1,000 Jews; 178 men and 60 women were registered into the camp, and the remaining 762 were gassed. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | Auschwitz Concentration Camp | Oswiecim | CPC]
  • British 2nd Parachute Battalion engaged elements of 3rd Battalion of German 5th Parachute Regiment at El Fedja, Tunisia. ww2dbase [Advance into Tunisia | CPC]
United States Photo(s) dated 2 Dec 1942
A page out of a Manhattan Project scientist

2 Dec 1942 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1943
  • Germans mounted operations against Yugoslav partisans. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered the conscription of youth for service. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British Minister of Labor Ernest Bevin announced that the government would soon conscript men to work in coal mines. ww2dbase [Ernest Bevin | CPC]
  • The US submarine Capelin was reported missing, presumed lost, whilst on patrol north of Celebes, Sunda Islands, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [Capelin | AC]
  • Production for the Ki-67 Hiryu bomber design began. ww2dbase [Ki-67 Hiryu | AC]
  • Four War Correspondents were given permission by Arthur Harris to go on the Berlin raid over Germany scheduled for the night. Two, Nordahl Greig of the Daily Mail and Norman Stocton of the Australian Associated News were among 30 men who died that night. The other two were Americans, Edward Murrow and Lowell Bennett who both flew with No. 50 Squadron. The badly shaken Murrow was the only one to return alive. His pilot had been Jock Abercrombie, notorious among the aircrews of No. 50 squadron for always fearlessly flying straight and level to the target area. ww2dbase [Edward Murrow | AC]
  • Ernst Fischer was named the commanding officer of U-821, relieving Ludwig Fabricius. ww2dbase [U-821 | CPC]
  • Otto Skorzeny, who had been stationed in Paris, France due to the threat of Marshal Philippe Pétain leaving for North Africa, was ordered to leave the city as that threat was proven to be false. ww2dbase [Otto Skorzeny | Paris | CPC]
French West Africa
  • Lorraine departed Dakar, French West Africa for Oran, French Algeria. ww2dbase [Lorraine | Dakar | CPC]
  • 458 RAF aircraft (425 Lancaster, 15 Halifax, and 18 Mosquito) attacked Berlin, Germany, dropping 1,500 tons of bombs; 40 bombers were lost (37 Lancaster, 2 Halifax, and 1 Mosquito). Two Siemens factories, a ball-bearing factory, and several railway installations were damaged. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Berlin | TH]
Hawaii Italy
  • The Luftwaffe raided the harbor at Bari, Italy. A hit on an ammunition ship caused a massive explosion that did more damage than the actual raid. The American Liberty Ship John Harvey was carrying a classified cargo of mustard gas, to be used if the Germans initiated chemical warfare. The clouds from this caused extensive casualties, as no one knew it was there, much less had anything to treat it with. ww2dbase [Bari, Puglia | TH]
  • German 26th Panzer Division fortified Orsogna, Italy on the Gustav Line. ww2dbase [Advance to the Gustav Line | Orsogna, Abruzzo | CPC]
  • The British 56th (London) Division, which had already been badly mauled in earlier fighting for Monte Camino, Italy, launched a new attack and reached the summit under cover of darkness, but it would take another four days of hard fighting before the position could be secured completely. ww2dbase [Battle of Monte Cassino | AC]
Marshall Islands
  • Naka departed Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Naka | Kwajalein | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Gunnel attacked a Japanese carrier in the Pacific Ocean; all 4 torpedoes missed. ww2dbase [Gunnel | CPC]
Poland United States
  • The US Navy expanded the piston-jet mix-powered fighter contract with Ryan Aeronautical to 100 examples. ww2dbase [FR Fireball | CPC]
  • The keel of submarine Capitaine was laid down by the Electric Boat Company at Groton, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [Electric Boat Company | Capitaine | Groton, Connecticut | CPC]
  • USS Wahoo was declared overdue. ww2dbase [Wahoo | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 2 Dec 1943
USS Tang off Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 2 Dec 1943, photo 1 of 2USS Tang off Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 2 Dec 1943, photo 2 of 2

2 Dec 1943 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1944
  • Edward R. Stettinius Jr. became secretary of state of the United States after the retirement of Cordell Hull. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Hoe fired 7 torpedoes at a Japanese tanker, damaging her with 2 hits. ww2dbase [Hoe | CPC]
  • USS Parche ended her third war patrol. ww2dbase [Parche | CPC]
  • Escort carrier USS Card and her task group arrived at Bermuda for four weeks of ant-submarine exercises and drills with a friendly submarine. ww2dbase [Card | Port Royal Bay | DS]
Caroline Islands China Hawaii Hungary
  • SMERSH operatives attached to Soviet 3rd Ukrainian Front arrested Hungarian Count István Bethlen in Hungary. ww2dbase [CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Preston guarded carriers while the carriers launched strikes against Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Preston (Fletcher-class) | CPC]
Philippines United States
  • USS Shamrock Bay embarked the aircraft of US Navy squadron VC-93 at San Diego, California, United States; the aircraft of VC-42 were already on board. ww2dbase [Shamrock Bay | San Diego, California | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 2 Dec 1944
Map depicting the US 3rd ArmyDestroyer Claxton, heavy cruiser Canberra, and destroyer Killen being repaired in floating drydock USS ABSD-2, Manus, Admiralty Islands, 2 Dec 1944Destroyer Killen, heavy cruiser Canberra, and destroyer Claxton being repaired in floating drydock USS ABSD-2, Manus, Admiralty Islands, 2 Dec 1944K-class airship with Blimp Squadron ZP-14 on a stop-over in Oran, Algeria, 2 Dec 1944.
See all photos dated 2 Dec 1944

2 Dec 1944 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1946

  • Buran was disarmed and reclassified an experimental ship. ww2dbase [F7 | CPC]
United States
  • USS Wisconsin arrived at Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Wisconsin | Virginia | CPC]
2 Dec 1947
  • Ivan Bagramyan was awarded the Order of Lenin for the third time. ww2dbase [Ivan Bagramyan | CPC]
2 Dec 1950

2 Dec 1952

Photo(s) dated 2 Dec 1952
Generals Dwight Eisenhower, Chung Il-kwon, and Paik Sun-yup in Korea, 2 Dec 1952Beached Type XXVIIB5 submarine, Castricum, Netherlands, 2 Dec 1952, photo 1 of 5Beached Type XXVIIB5 submarine, Castricum, Netherlands, 2 Dec 1952, photo 2 of 5Beached Type XXVIIB5 submarine, Castricum, Netherlands, 2 Dec 1952, photo 3 of 5
See all photos dated 2 Dec 1952
2 Dec 1953 French Indochina Photo(s) dated 2 Dec 1953
Submarine Tinosa after her deactivation overhaul and decommissioning at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, California, United States, 2 Dec 1953.

2 Dec 1953 Interactive Map

2 Dec 1957
  • Ivan Bagramyan was awarded the Order of Lenin for the fourth time. ww2dbase [Ivan Bagramyan | CPC]
2 Dec 1963

United States
  • George Brett passed away at the hospital at Orlando Air Force Base in Orlando, Florida, United States. ww2dbase [George Brett | Orlando, Florida | CPC]
2 Dec 1966

  • Bai Chongxi passed away in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. ww2dbase [Bai Chongxi | Taipei | CPC]
2 Dec 1968
  • USS Sea Cat was decommissioned from service and struck from the US Naval Register. ww2dbase [Sea Cat | CPC]
  • USS Sennet was decommissioned from service and was struck from the US Naval Register. ww2dbase [Sennet | CPC]
2 Dec 1969

2 Dec 1972

United States
  • USS Proteus suffered an accidental boiler room explosion while at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, United States. ww2dbase [Proteus | Honolulu, Hawaii | 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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Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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