26 Dec 1943
  • A Soviet offensive began in Ukraine. ww2dbase [TH]
  • British cruiser HMS Belfast detected German battlecruiser Scharnhorst by radar 30 miles east of Allied convoy JW-55B at 0900 hours. Three British cruiser attacked, disabling Scharnhorst's fire control radar. Scharnhorst turned north to escape, and British Vice Admiral Robert Burnett chose not to give pursuit until 1200 hours, this time damaging Scharnhorst and receiving damage on HMS Norfolk. As Scharnhorst fled southward, she was intercepted by HMS Duke of York and other British warships at 1650 hours. Scharnhorst was surrounded by 1725 hours, overwhelmed and hit repeatedly. She was subsequently abandoned and sank at 1948 hours; 1,927 were killed during the combat and her sinking in what was later named Battle of North Cape. The British picked up only 36 survivors before fleeing the scene due to submarine threat. ww2dbase [Battle of the North Cape | Scharnhorst | CPC]
  • Claus von Stauffenberg made an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a bomb, but the mission was aborted when Hitler left early to return to Berchtesgaden in southern Germany to celebrate the holidays. ww2dbase [July Plot | CPC]
  • USS Ray sank Japanese tanker Kyoko Maru in the Tioro Strait in the Dutch East Indies, hitting her with 5 of 6 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Ray | CPC]
Arctic Ocean Australian New Guinea Bermuda
  • Escort carrier USS Bogue and her task group departed Bermuda bound for Norfolk, Virginia. ww2dbase [Bogue | Port Royal Bay | DS]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • Journalist Fred Hampton interviewed US Marine Corps fighter pilot Gregory Boyington at Barakoma Airfield on Vella Lavella, Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [Vella Lavella | CPC]
  • USS Honolulu and USS St. Louis arrived at Tulagi, Solomon Islands before departing after dark bound for a bombardment strike against Bougainville. ww2dbase [St. Louis | Walden Ainsworth | Honolulu | Tulagi, Solomon Islands | DS]
  • In Egypt, Alexandros Sakellariou retired from military service at the rank of vice admiral. ww2dbase [Alexandros Sakellariou | CPC]
  • Indian troops captured Villa Grande, Italy. Canadian troops captured Ortona, Italy after repulsing a German counterattack. To the west, US troops captured Morello Hill, overlooking San Vittore. ww2dbase [Advance to the Gustav Line | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • The Fletcher-class destroyer USS Brownson was sunk by a Japanese dive bomber off Cape Gloucester, New Britain, Bismarck Islands. ww2dbase [New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3 | Bismarck Sea | AC]
  • While supporting landing operations on Cape Gloucester, New Britain, destroyer USS Shaw was attacked by two Japanese D3A 'Val' dive-bombers. Shrapnel from three bomb near-misses created over one hundred holes in the hull and injured 36 men, 3 of whom later died of their wounds. ww2dbase [Shaw | New Guinea-Papua Campaign, Phase 3 | Bismarck Sea | DS]
Photo(s) dated 26 Dec 1943
Marines landing at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, 26 Dec 1943German paratroopers manning a 7.5 cm Flak 264/3(i) anti-aircraft gun, San Felice Circeo, Italy, 26 Dec 1943, photo 1 of 6German paratroopers manning a 7.5 cm Flak 264/3(i) anti-aircraft gun, San Felice Circeo, Italy, 26 Dec 1943, photo 2 of 6German paratroopers manning a 7.5 cm Flak 264/3(i) anti-aircraft gun, San Felice Circeo, Italy, 26 Dec 1943, photo 3 of 6
See all photos dated 26 Dec 1943

26 Dec 1943 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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