11 Dec 1941
  • Japanese infantrymen under the command of Colonel Shizuo Saeki overran the defenses set up by Punjabi troops between Changlun and Asun, British Malaya, and gave chase into Asun, where Gurkha troops slowed the Japanese advance by destroying the two Japanese tanks in the spearhead; the Gurkha positions, however, would be captured by 1900 hours, killing or capturing 350 men. Nearby, Japanese troops also under Saeki reached the outskirts of Jitra, British Malaya, which was defended by troops of the 11th Indian Division. Out at sea, Japanese pilot Lieutenant Ito, flying a torpedo bomber over the location where Repulse and Prince of Wales were sunk on the previous day, dropped a wreath to honor the killed British sailors. ww2dbase [Invasion of Malaya and Singapore | CPC]
  • Germany and Italy declared war on the United States; United States responded with a declaration of war. ww2dbase [TH]
  • US Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox arrived at Hawaii to personally assess the damage inflicted on 7 Dec 1941 by the Japanese. Meanwhile, Japanese submarine I-9 shelled the unarmed US freighter Lahaina about 800 miles northeast of Honolulu. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | Detailed Timetable | CPC]
  • US submarine Triton successfully attacked a Japanese ship south of Wake Island. ww2dbase [Triton | CPC]
  • Japanese troops landed at Legaspi, Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
  • In North Africa the Italians reformed the line running south from the coast at Gazala with their armour on the right flank. Rommel's Afrika Korps, reduced to just forty operational tanks after the Operation Crusader battles, protected the open southern flank. ww2dbase [Operation Crusader | AC]
  • USS R-1 arrived at Bermuda. ww2dbase [R-1 | CPC]
  • North of Moscow, Russia, Soviet 16th Army captured Istra while Soviet 20th Army reached Solnechnogorsk. South of Moscow, Soviet troops captured Stalinogorsk. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | CPC]
  • German submarine U-374 sank British anti-submarine trawler HMS Lady Shirley in the Strait of Gibraltar at 0421 hours, killing all 33 aboard. 21 minutes later, U-374 sank British patrol yacht HMS Rosabelle, which attempted to locate U-374; 30 were killed, 12 survived and rescued by patrol yacht HMS Sayonara. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Truant fired two torpedoes at Italian tankers in Suda Bay, Crete, Greece; one of them hit torpedo boat Alcione, killing 20. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Farndale forced Italian submarine Caracciola to surface 30 miles northeast of Bardia, Libya and sank her with gunfire; 1 was killed (a passenger with the rank of an army general), 53 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Light carrier Hosho rejoined the fleet; in the previous night, she fell out of formation as she slowed to conduct a night time landing operation. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler announced that since the start of the war against the Soviet Union, the German forces had captured 3,806,865 Soviet prisoners of war. ww2dbase [Adolf Hitler | CPC]
  • USS Permit began her first war patrol in Philippine waters. ww2dbase [Permit | CPC]
  • U-576 began her second war patrol. ww2dbase [U-576 | CPC]
Hawaii Hong Kong
  • Japanese troops advanced southward along the Kowloon Peninsula north of Hong Kong, capturing Stonecutter's Island. ww2dbase [Battle of Hong Kong | CPC]
  • Irako began embarking food supplies in the western Inland Sea region in Japan. ww2dbase [Irako | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down the British P-40 fighter piloted by Canadian Flight Sergeant M. A. Canty southeast of El Adem, Libya. It was his 32nd kill. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | El Adem | CPC]
Marshall Islands
  • Kamoi departed Majuro, Marshall Islands. ww2dbase [Kamoi | Majuro | CPC]
  • Nachi provided support for the landing at Legaspi, Philipine Islands. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | Nachi | Legaspi, Albay | CPC]
  • USS S-39 was attacked by Japanese anti-submarine vessels in the Philippines for several hours, but escaped unharmed. ww2dbase [S-39 | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • American aviator and poet John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was killed in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom. He became famous for his poem High Flight, and had, before the United States entered the war, forsaken a place at Yale University in order to train as a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. ww2dbase [England | AC]
US Pacific Islands
  • While bombarding US installations at Wake Atoll, Tenryu was strafed by a US Marine Corps F4F-3 Wildcat fighter, wounding 5 sailors and mildly damaged three torpedoes in the No. 1 mount. ww2dbase [Tenryu | Wake | CPC]
  • The 2,890-ton Japanese light cruiser Yubari, flagship of Rear Admiral Sadamichi Kajioka, was seriously damaged by shell fire from two 5-inch guns at Peacock Point, Wake Island, and forced to retire listing heavily to port. ww2dbase [Yubari | Battle of Wake Island | Wake | AC]
Photo(s) dated 11 Dec 1941
USS North Carolina, 11 Dec 1941Adolf Hitler receiving salutes from the German Reichstag upon declaring war on the United States, Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 11 Dec 1941German Reichstag saluting Adolf Hitler shortly after GermanyAdolf Hitler declaring war on the United States at the German Reichstag, Kroll Opera House, Berlin, Germany, 11 Dec 1941, photo 1 of 2
See all photos dated 11 Dec 1941

11 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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