1940: Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., becomes the U.S. Army's first black general, his son would later become a general as well.
1941: Adolf Hitler orders forces to be prepared to enter North Africa to assist the Italian effort, marking the establishment of the Afrika Korps.
1941: The Cruisers HMS Southampton and HMS Gloucester are attacked by German aircraft in the Sicilian channel. HMS Gloucester receives damage, while HMS Southampton is sunk. One Italian destroyer reported sunk.
British submarine's begin to make attacks German and Italian convoys crossing to Libya.
1942: The Kriegsmarine begins Operation Drum Beat, the first co-ordinated attack carried out by five U-boats initially against US shipping along the East Coast of the United States. Their first victim is the 9,000 ton British freighter Cyclops which is sunk by U-123 (Kptlt. Hardegen).
1942: Japan declares war against the Netherlands, and then the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies begins with landings at Tarakan (Borneo) and the Celebes.
1942: The Japanese 5th Division enters Kuala Lumpur, which is the main supply base for the Indian 3rd Corps. By this time Japanese forward elements are coming in to contact with the 8th Australian Division, which puts up fierce resistance, although Japanese amphibious landings to their south force them to retreat and ends British hopes of a protracted defence of Johore.
1943: The Soviet Red Army encircles Stalingrad.
1943: The United States and Britain signed treaties relinquishing extraterritorial rights in China.
1943: President Roosevelt submits his budget to the U.S. Congress. $100 billion of the $109 billion budget is identified with the war effort.
1944: 660 heavy bombers of the U.S. 8th Air Force carry out attacks against industrial targets at Braunschweig, Magdeburg and Ascherleben.
1944: Ciano and 17 others are shot by firing squad.
1945: British troops capture Laroche, 20 miles Northwest of Bastogne.
1945: Red Army enters Warsaw, Poland.
1945: U.S. troops establish a firm hold on the Luzon beachhead.
1945: Air raid against Japanese bases in Indochina by U.S. carrier-based planes.
This Day in WWI
1916: Greek island of Corfu occupied by French.
1916: Russian General Yudenich launches a WWI winter offensive and advances west.
"Its a dog eat dog world out there, and I'm wearing Milkbone underwear!"