World War II Chronicle: 19 December 1941

Headlines found in today’s edition:

  • Jap Assault Batters Hongkong
  • MacArthur to be Appointed Full General
  • British in Libya Seize Derna From Axis

After a second call for the Hong Kong defenders to surrender, Imperial Japan’s 38th Division crosses Victoria Harbor and assaults the British and Commonwealth forces on the island. Hong Kong is quickly cut in two and will hold out less than a week before surrendering. Japanese troops carry out dozens of massacres of soldiers and civilians. 38th’s commander, Lt. Gen. Takeo Ito, who commanded Japanese forces in the Dutch East Indies and Guadalcanal, would be convicted of war crimes by the Australians following the war and sentenced to death. However, he was released and later tried by Hong Kong for war crimes, then sentenced to 12 years of prison.

The Soviet Army now has the German invaders on the run, and Adolf Hitler has decided the best course of action is to sack dozens of Wehrmacht officers and appoint himself commander-in-chief. Deemed unfit for military service by his native Austria-Hungary before the first world war, Hitler managed to join the Bavarian infantry and served briefly as a communications runner.

The 4th Indian Division captures Derna, Libya on this day. The city, which Lt. Presley O’Bannon and his men captured in 1805 in the first U.S. land battle on foreign soil, will change hands several more times throughout the North African campaign.

Click on the images to zoom in

Instructions: To read the paper, click on the image to load the high-resolution version.

Images courtesy of the Southeast Missourian

Images courtesy of the Southeast Missourian.
[Click here for previous World War II Chronicle posts]

Author: Documents

Leave a Reply