21 Dec 1939
  • Between 0725 and 1016 hours, German submarine U-21 sank two neutral Swedish ships Mars and SS Carl Henckel with one torpedo each. The German submarine did not pick up any survivors; only 8 out of the 36 floating in the water survived until when help arrived on the next day. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Russia celebrated Joseph Stalin's 60th official birthday. His actual birthday is 18 Dec 1878, but was changed to 21 Dec 1879 after he came to power in 1922. ww2dbase [Joseph Stalin | CPC]
  • Soviet 122nd Division was halted at the villages of Pelkosenniemi and Kemijärvi in Lapland, Finland. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • Finnish General Hugo Österman presented a plan for counterattack to Field Marshal Mannerheim; the plan was prepared by Österman's subordinate General Harald Öhqvist of the II Corps. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British RAF Bomber Command issued Operational Instruction 21, which in part noted the following that reflected the reluctance to end daylight bombing missions despite of the heavy losses sustained thus far: "With the intention of combining useful training and operations, sweeps will continue to be carried out.... If enemy aircraft are encountered, gunners will be able to practise shooting at real targets instead of drogues." ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMS Cumberland on passage to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. ww2dbase [Cumberland | DS]
Photo(s) dated 21 Dec 1939
Funeral procession of Captain Hans Langsdorff, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 21 Dec 1939Finnish Army Colonel Hjalmar Siilasvuo receiving a briefing during the Battle of Suomussalmi, Finland, Dec 1939-Jan 1940

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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Thomas Dodd, late 1945

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