14 Dec 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • The 680-ton French-built Melpomène-class torpedo boat HMS Branlebas, a poorly designed former French Navy craft now operating with the Royal Navy with a mixed French and British crew, broke her back at the after end of the engine room due to a heavy head sea in the English Channel off Eddystone Rocks at 0900 hours. She had been escorting a convoy out of Darthmouth, England, United Kingdom but had fallen behind and lost contact with the convoy. Her stern section separated, turned over and sank immediately. Only three sailors survived, and they were picked up from a life raft four days later. One of the British survivors was telegraphist Wilfred Sealey. ww2dbase [English Channel | HM]
  • Philippe Pétain declined Adolf Hitler's invitation to attend the ceremony during which the remains of Napoleon II would be re-interned at the Les Invalides cemetery in Paris, France. In the same message, he also told Hitler that Pierre Laval had been dismissed from his leadership position in Vichy France, which angered Hitler. ww2dbase [Philippe Pétain | CPC]
United States
  • At University of California, Berkeley in the United States, the team led by Glenn Seaborg synthesized neptunium-238 by bombarding uranium-238 with deuterons, creating neptunium-238. Neptunium-238 would then decay to become plutonium-238. This would not be published until 1948. ww2dbase [Berkeley, California | CPC]

14 Dec 1940 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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