6 Dec 1941
  • Tatsuta Maru was in the Pacific en route for San Francisco, California, United States; her planned passenger list after arriving in the United States now included employees of the Japanese Raw Silk Intelligence Bureau, the Silk Department of Mitsui and Company, Gunze Corporation, Asahi Corporation, Japanese Cotton and Silk Trading Company, Hara and Company, Katakura and Company, Morimura and Company, Arai and Company, and Shinyai and Company. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]
  • The United Kingdom declared war on Finland, Hungary, and Romania. ww2dbase [AC]
  • US Navy yacht Isabel was detected by a floatplane from Japanese seaplane carrier Kamikawa Maru off Indochina; Isabel was later ordered to abort her current mission as bait for first fire and to sail for Manila, Philippine Islands. Shortly after, nearby, a Japanese Zero fighter covering the Malaya invasion force found and shot down a British PBY Catalina patrol aircraft. ww2dbase [Invasion of Malaya and Singapore | CPC]
  • Soviet troops launched a counteroffensive in the Moscow region in Russia at 0600 hours. Georg Hans Reinhardt ordered his 3rd Panzer Army to fall back to Klin, while Heinz Guderian's 2nd Panzer Army held the areas near Tula south of Moscow. Field Marshal Fedor von Bock had not yet realized that he was now facing an all-out Soviet counteroffensive. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | TH]
  • Japanese carrier fleet reached the rendezvous point at 34 degrees north, 158 degrees west, and then began a high speed approach for Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. At the same time, the 30 Japanese submarines in the Hawaii area began to tighten the ring around the islands; I-74 spotted USS Lexington, but no action was taken. At Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel told a reporter from the news agency Christian Science Monitor that the chance of a war in the Pacific Ocean involving the United States was slim. Nearby, Vice Admiral William Pye told Kimmel (via intelligence officer Edwin Layton) that war with Japan was inevitable, although Pearl Harbor was not a likely target, thus there was no need to send the battleships out to sea as a precaution. Finally, at Honolulu, Hawaii, Consul-General Nagao Kita sent a cable to Japan that he observed no barrage balloons over Pearl Harbor and he did not believe there were torpedo nets around the battleships. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | Husband Kimmel | Edwin Layton | Detailed Timetable | CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt sent a personal message to Emperor Showa, attempting to calm situation in Indochina. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • USS Enterprise and her task group (Enterprise, Northampton, Chester, Salt Lake City, Balch, Maury, Craven, Gridley, McCall, Dunlap, Benham, Fanning, & Ellet) encountered heavy weather which delayed the refueling operation for destroyers and delayed the group's arrival at Pearl Harbor. ww2dbase [Enterprise | Salt Lake City | Chester | Northampton | CPC]
  • Destroyer US Decatur, escorting convoy ONS 39, depth charged suspicious contacts in the North Atlantic off Iceland. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Arizona began receiving maintenance work by the crew of repair ship USS Vestal. ww2dbase [Arizona | CPC]
  • Vannevar Bush and Arthur Compton assigned Harold Urey to develop research into gaseous diffusion as a uranium enrichment method and Ernest Lawrence to investigate electromagnetic separation methods. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | Vannevar Bush | CPC]
  • The official wedding ceremony between King Leopold III of Belgium and Lilian Baels was held; they had already secretly wed on 11 Sep 1941. ww2dbase [Leopold III | AC]
  • Oberst Adolf Galland was appointed General der Jagdflieger. ww2dbase [Adolf Galland | AC]
  • Japanese Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo ordered Ambassador Hiroshi Oshima to continue to press Germany to formally agree to declare war on the United States should Japan and US enter a state of war. Oshima was also ordered to avoid any German demands on a Japanese-Soviet war. ww2dbase [Hiroshi Oshima | CPC]
  • The log road between Zabor'ye and Lake Ladoga near Leningrad, Russia was completed. Thousands of civilians, pressed into service as forced laborers, had died during the construction of this road in the past month. This opened another way to bring supplies into the besieged city. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • Ryujo departed Palau Islands for the Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Ryujo | CPC]
  • German submarine U-131 sank British ship Scottish Trader with 6 torpedoes south of Iceland, killing all 43 aboard. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Perseus struck an Italian mine while recharging her batteries on the surface 2 miles off Kefalonia, Greece. She sank, killing 60. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer Yukikaze departed the Palau Islands. ww2dbase [Yukikaze | CPC]
  • Repair ship Akashi arrived at Palau Islands. ww2dbase [Akashi | CPC]
Black Sea
  • Soviet submarine ShCh-204 was sunk by Bulgarian aircraft in the Black Sea 24 miles south of Varna, Bulgaria. ww2dbase [CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Nachi departed Palau Islands. ww2dbase [Nachi | Palau | CPC]
Hawaii Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Hurricane fighters, his 27th and 28th kills, over El Adem, Libya at 1210 and 1225 hours. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | El Adem | CPC]
  • 27 Japanese troop transports departed from Taiwan, sailing for the Philippine Islands; 400 Japanese pilots stationed at Taiwan were briefed of the attacks to be commenced on the next day. Elsewhere, a Japanese invasion fleet boarded and scuttled a Norwegian freighter. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
United States
  • The US Navy leadership in Washington DC, United States was warned of the burning of papers at the nearby Japanese embassy. ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
  • Jack Heyn arrived in Washington DC, United States. ww2dbase [Jack Heyn | Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 6 Dec 1941
Group portrait of the flight officers of Shokaku while the ship was underway toward US Territory of Hawaii, 6 Dec 1941Lieutenant Ichiro Kitajima briefing his bomber crews on the Pearl Harbor attack aboard carrier Kaga, 6 Dec 1941Japanese B5N torpedo bomber crews posing before a B5N aircraft aboard carrier Kaga, Pacific Ocean, 6 Dec 1941Japanese carrier pilots receiving instructions before attacking Pearl Harbor, Pacific Ocean, Dec 1941
See all photos dated 6 Dec 1941

6 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
"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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