3 Dec 1880
3 Dec 1887

  • Naruhiko was born in Kyoto, Japan. ww2dbase [Naruhiko | Kyoto | CPC]
3 Dec 1889

United States
3 Dec 1892

United States
3 Dec 1902

  • Mitsuo Fuchida was born in Nara Prefecture, Japan. ww2dbase [Mitsuo Fuchida | Nara | CPC]
3 Dec 1909

  • Kenkichi Ueda graduated from the Japanese Army Staff College and was assigned to the 12th Cavalry Regiment. ww2dbase [Kenkichi Ueda | CPC]
3 Dec 1912
  • Britain, fearful that a Russo-Austria war would lead to a German attack on France, warned the Germans that if that happened Britain "would not accept a French defeat". ww2dbase [AC]
3 Dec 1915
  • Chuichi Nagumo was assigned to destroyer Sugi. ww2dbase [Chuichi Nagumo | CPC]

3 Dec 1915 Interactive Map

3 Dec 1917
  • Dukhonin released Generals Denikin, Lekomsky, Romanovsky, Markov, Kormnilov, and Krasnov from Bykhov prison. It was soon learnt that these commanders were making their way southwards to link up with General Kaledin's Cossack Union of the Don. Lenin's new commander-in-chief Krylenko arrived at Mogilev, Russia at the head of a contingent or armed sailors to receive Dukhonin's surrender; one of the sailors shoot Dukhonin dead before Krylenko can intervene. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Russian and German delegates began formal armistice talks at Brest-Litovsk, Russia. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The British Cabinet decided to support Anti-Bolshevik elements in Russia. ww2dbase [AC]
3 Dec 1918
  • Quintin Brand was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross award. ww2dbase [Quintin Brand | CPC]
3 Dec 1927


3 Dec 1927 Interactive Map

3 Dec 1932
  • The former German Defence Minister and recently named German Chancellor General Kurt von Schleicher offered Gregor Strasser (the Organization leader of the NSDAP) the post of vice-chancellor in a coalition government. Hitler, sensing it was a move by Schleicher to split the Nazi Party, ordered Strasser to stop any further negotiations with the Government. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | AC]
3 Dec 1934
  • The Soviet Politburo approved a new law drafted by Stalin following Kirov's assassination. The new law provided that acts of terrorism were to be investigated for no more than ten days; that there would be no prosecution or defence attorneys; no appeals; and sentences of those convicted of terrorist acts were to be carried out within twenty-four hours. Whilst torture of prisoners was not officially sanctioned by the law, the interrogators were generally free to mistreat their prisoners in order to extract confessions. ww2dbase [AC]
3 Dec 1935
  • Douglas MacArthur's mother, Mary Pinkney Hardy MacArthur, passed away in Manila, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Douglas MacArthur | CPC]
3 Dec 1936

  • Mongolian and Chinese irregulars loyal to the Japanese-sponsored puppet state Mengjiang launched a failed attack against Chinese positions at Bailingmiao, Suiyuan Province, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Suiyuan | Bailingmiao, Suiyuan | CPC]
3 Dec 1937

  • Japanese 16th Division and 9th Division began an attack on Chinese 83rd Corps and 66th Corps east of Nanjing, China. ww2dbase [Battle of Nanjing and the Rape of Nanjing | Nanjing | CPC]
  • Japanese troops captured the coastal battery near Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province, China. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Shanghai | Jiangyin, Jiangsu | CPC]
  • Lieutenant Yue Yiqin of the 22nd Pursuit Squadron of the Chinese 4th Pursuit Group, flying Hawk III biplane fighter designated IV-1, attempted to attack a group of Japanese Army bombers escorted by Japanese Navy A5M carrier fighters, but was in turn heavily damaged by one of the A5M fighters. He was killed when his parachute failed to open after bailing out near Nanjing, China. ww2dbase [Yue Yiqin | Nanjing | CPC]
  • John Wong, flying a P-26 fighter, flew a reconnaissance mission out of Nanjing, China over the Shanghai area. He radioed the number of Japanese aircraft parked at several airfields, and escaped the Japanese fighters that rose to intercept him. ww2dbase [John Wong | Shanghai | CPC]

3 Dec 1937 Interactive Map

3 Dec 1938

3 Dec 1939 Atlantic Ocean
  • After following the target for about 45 minutes, U-56 sank neutral ship Rudolf (Master Bertil Persson) with one G7e torpedo in the North Sea about 60 kilometers east of May Island at 0013 hours. Six survivors were picked up by British trawler Cardew later in the day; they were landed at Dundee. Eight other survivors remained in lifeboats. 9 were killed. ww2dbase [Start of the Battle of the Atlantic | U-56 | North Sea | CPC]
Italy Photo(s) dated 3 Dec 1939
Launching of Reginaldo Giuliani, Cantieri navali Tosi di Taranto shipyard, Taranto, Puglia, Italy, 3 Dec 1939

3 Dec 1939 Interactive Map

3 Dec 1940
  • Allied convoy HX-90 was attacked by German submarine U-99 (which sank the damaged and abandoned British ship Conch at 1058 hours), a German Fw 200 aircraft (which sank British ship W. Hendrik, killing 5), and German submarine U-140 (which sank British ship Victoria City at 2142 hours, killing the entire crew of 43). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Greek troops pushed Italian troops back 15 miles, capturing SarandĂ«, Albania. To the far south, Italian torpedo bombers attacked the British naval base at Suda Bay, Crete, Greece at 1540 hours, damaging British cruiser HMS Glasgow with two torpedoes (3 killed, 3 wounded). ww2dbase [Balkans Campaign | Glasgow | CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Campbeltown collided with British tanker Conus off Liverpool, England, United Kingdom; she would be out of commission for repairs until 28 Mar 1941. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 51 German aircraft bombed Birmingham, England, United Kingdom, dropping 55 tons of high explosive bombs and 448 incendiary bombs. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Seeadler began laying mines in the English Channel near Dover, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Seeadler | English Channel | CPC]
  • Jaguar and Iltis completed laying a minefield off Dover, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Iltis | Jaguar | English Channel | CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran departed Gotenhafen (Gdynia), occupied Poland to raid Allied shipping, carrying supplies for 12 months, 280 naval mines, 40 land mines, and spare parts and torpedoes to supply submarines. ww2dbase [Deutsche Werke Gotenhafen | Kormoran | Gdynia, Pomorskie | CPC]

3 Dec 1940 Interactive Map

3 Dec 1941
  • US Navy yacht Isabel set sail for the coast of Indochina on Roosevelt's orders; she was planned to be one of three vessels that would attempt to draw first fire from Japanese warships should hostilities become unavoidable. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Japanese carrier fleet tasked with the Pearl Harbor attack turned south after refueling on the previous day, approaching the Hawaii Islands with increased speed. At Pearl Harbor, the American intelligence report on the location of Japanese Navy warships had "no information on submarines or carriers". Elsewhere in Hawaii, Consul-General Nagao Kita received orders to burn code ciphers and important papers; this was noticed by the Americans, who also received intelligence that several Japanese embassies around the world were doing the same. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | Detailed Timetable | CPC]
  • US PBY Catalina patrol aircraft reported 30 Japanese transports congregating in Cam Ranh Bay off Indochina, 10 more than the previous day. Meanwhile, a Japanese fleet departed Hainan Island in southern China for Thailand. ww2dbase [Invasion of Malaya and Singapore | CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank the unarmed US freighter Sagadahoc in the South Atlantic with torpedoes. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese Navy issued the order to its senior admirals that hostilities against United States, Britain, and the Netherlands would begin on 8 Dec 1941 (Tokyo time). ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese submarines began forming lines in Central and East Pacific. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Carrier USS Enterprise began to launch F4F Wildcat fighters of the US Marine Corps for Wake Island. ww2dbase [Enterprise | CPC]
  • Hitler issued a decree on "Simplification and Increased Efficiency in our Armaments Production" (commonly known as the "Rationalization Decree") in which he chided German firms for failing to adopt the practice of large factories and simple production methods, and ordered the military to simplify and standardize the design of all weapons to make possible "mass production on modern principles". ww2dbase [AC]
  • Japan asked Italy to declare war on the United States should Japan and US enter a state of war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Soviet evacuation convoy that had departed Hanko, Finland on the previous day sailed into the Corbetha minefield in the Gulf of Finland. One minesweeper was sunk and several other vessels were damaged. The passengers and crew aboard troop ship Iosif Stalin, which was seriously damaged by a mine, abandoned ship; about 4,000 of the nearly 6,000 that went overboard died in the water. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German 4th Army was halted at Naro-Fominsk west of Moscow, Russia, thus exposing the flank of the German 2nd Panzer Army, which was assaulting the Tula region south of Moscow. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | CPC]
  • The Axis attempt to reach Bardia in Libya and Sollum and Halfaya Pass in Egypt failed to breach the Allied positions that stood in the way. ww2dbase [Operation Crusader | CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank US ship Sagadahoc 1,250 west of South Africa at 2147 hours; 1 was killed, 34 survived. She was to be the last American merchant ship to be lost to the German Navy before the US officially entered the war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Dispersed ships of Allied convoy QP-3 began to arrive in Allied waters. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Leonardo da Vinci sighted two corvettes, a destroyer, and two merchant ships in the Atlantic Ocean in dense fog. Due to a known mechanical issue with slow submerging time, commanding officer Luigi Longanesi Cattani chose to back off. ww2dbase [CPC]
Italy Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille returned to his unit at Ain el Gazala, Libya after duties in Germany. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Gazala | CPC]
Pacific Ocean Panama Canal Zone
  • USS Gar reached the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal. ww2dbase [Panama Canal | Gar | CPC]
Poland United States
  • President Franklin Roosevelt announced that Lend-Lease aid would be given to Turkey, as the safety of that country was considered vital to American defence. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | AC]
Photo(s) dated 3 Dec 1941
Map depicting Japanese plans for occupying China immediately before launching the third attack on Changsha, China, 3 Dec 1941Soviet 122mm gun in action near Moscow, Russia, 3 Dec 1941The top of the Silk Ad from two 3 Dec 1941 Honolulu newspapers turned upside down and viewed in a mirror. This was supposed to reveal the words, “Japan raid.”Advertisement for silk fabrics that appeared in two Honolulu newspapers 3 Dec 1941, four days before the attack. This ad was said to have coded messages alerting Japanese residents in Hawaii. This copy has been “decoded”

3 Dec 1941 Interactive Map

3 Dec 1942
  • Adolf Hitler approved the plan to convert the captured and incomplete French cruiser De Grasse into a light aircraft carrier. ww2dbase [De Grasse | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Ariake and Yugure arrived at Shortland Islands, Solomon Islands at 0530 hours. At 1100 hours, Yugure, Naganami, and Makinami departed Shortland Islands to serve as escort for a group of seven destroyers carrying supply drums for Tassafaronga Point, Guadalcanal. ww2dbase [Guadalcanal Campaign | Yugure | Shortland Islands | CPC]
  • S-36 departed Cavite Navy Yard, Luzon, Philippine Islands at 0100 hours for what would become her first war patrol. She sailed north and entered Bolinao harbor at 1930 hours. ww2dbase [S-36 | Cavite City, Cavite | CPC]
Poland Russia
  • In southern Russia, German Armeegruppe Don received several divisions from Western Europe in preparation for the relief operation against Stalingrad, Russia, Operation Winter Tempest. ww2dbase [Battle of Stalingrad | TH]
  • In Stalingrad, Russia, after fierce hand-to–hand fighting, Soviet forces capture the L-shaped House where the Germans had been overlooking the Soviet positions along the Volga River for many weeks. ww2dbase [Battle of Stalingrad | Stalingrad | AC]
Tunisia United Kingdom

3 Dec 1942 Interactive Map

3 Dec 1943
  • 527 RAF aircraft (307 Lancaster and 220 Halifax) attacked Leipzig, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | TH]
  • General Shunroku Hata, commander-in-chief of the Japanese formation China Expeditionary Army, received a message from the Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan that the Japanese leadership was disturbed by the American air strike on Taiwan on 25 Nov 1943. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Light carrier Ryuho arrived at Singapore. ww2dbase [Ryuho | CPC]
Italy Pacific Ocean
  • West of Palau, submarine USS Tinosa torpedoed and sank the 6,600-ton passenger-cargo ship Azuma Maru. ww2dbase [Tinosa | Philippine Sea | DS]
Russia Singapore United States

3 Dec 1943 Interactive Map

3 Dec 1944
  • USS Sea Cat claimed sinking of a 10,000-ton Japanese ship; the credit was removed after the war. ww2dbase [Sea Cat | CPC]
  • US Third Army armored units penetrated the German Westwall defenses near Saarlautern, Germany. Meanwhile, the British 2nd Army mopped up the last German resistance west of the River Maas. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Communist-controlled National Liberation Front (EAM) party in Greece staged a large demonstration in Athens, which broke out in violence; 28 were killed and 148 were injured. EAM forces attempted further attacks on government forces, but they were largely defeated jointly by British and Greek government forces by Jan 1945. This was to be a prelude episode to the 1946-1949 Greek civil war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British Home Guard was ordered to stand down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Allied troops captured Blerick, the Netherlands. ww2dbase [Battle of the Scheldt Estuary | CPC]
Burma Philippines Poland United States Photo(s) dated 3 Dec 1944
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery making his first visit onto German soil in the village of Hillensberg, 3 Dec 1944. Note the censor’s cropping marks on the photograph.

3 Dec 1944 Interactive Map

3 Dec 1945

Japan United States Photo(s) dated 3 Dec 1945
Members of the Korean intrim government, 3 Dec 1945
3 Dec 1950

  • USS Saint Paul entered Wonsan harbor, Kangwon Province, Korea to provide naval gunfire support for the evacuation effort. ww2dbase [Saint Paul | Wonsan, Kangwon | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 3 Dec 1950
US Marine Corps M26 Pershing heavy tank near an abandoned North Korean SU-76 self-propelled gun, Korea, 3 Dec 1950
3 Dec 1960

United States
3 Dec 1964

Photo(s) dated 3 Dec 1964
USS Essex launching an E-1B Tracer aircraft, 3 Dec 1964
3 Dec 1972
  • Friedrich Christiansen passed away in Aukrug, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. ww2dbase [Friedrich Christiansen | CPC]
3 Dec 1976 Russia
3 Dec 1980

3 Dec 2018

United States
  • George Bush became the 12th US President to lay in state in the Rotunda of the US Capitol building. ww2dbase [George Bush | Washington | CPC]

3 Dec 2018 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
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944

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