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DECEMBER 31 1942 Battle of the Barents Sea took place on December 31, 1942. It was a naval engagement that took place in the Barents Sea, north of North Cape, Norway.  Warships of the German Kriegsmarine attempted to intercept and attack British ships which were escorting convoy JW 51B to Kola Inlet in the USSR. The British fleet included 2 light cruisers, 6 destroyers, 2 corvettes, 1
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DECEMBER 30 1939 Captain Jan Górski was a Polish Army officer who had escaped to France after the invasion of Poland. On December 30, 1939 he submitted several reports to the Polish Chief of Staff proposing the creation of a special Polish covert unit. Its purpose was to maintain links with the underground Polish resistance movement, ZWZ and fight against the enemy using covert operation. At
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DECEMBER 29 1940 The Second Great Fire of London:  On the night of December 29 to 30, 1940, over 136  German bombers dropped about 100,000 bombs on London.  The city was engulfed in fires that covered a greater area than the infamous Great Fire of London in 1666.  Most targets were non-residential buildings such as businesses, warehouses, and churches.  Firefighters struggled desperately to
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DECEMBER 28 169 B.C. Miracle of Light:  After two hundred years of foreign tyranny and religious persecution, the Jewish people lit the sacred menorah on December 28, 169 B.C., to rededicate the Holy Temple of Jerusalem. The lights of the menorah remained lit for eight days, though there was not enough oil. It was the birth of the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. Every night throughout the 8 day
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DECEMBER 27 1918 Polish Uprising:  On this day in 1918, the Uprising began after a stirring patriotic speech by Ignacy Paderewski. (He was a famous pianist who would become in the following year the Polish Prime Minister.) The Polish people hoped for a free and sovereign Poland. They saw their opportunity to make serious plans for an uprising when Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on November 9, 1918
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DECEMBER 26 1943 British Navy Sank Nazi German Battleship:  On December 26, 1943, off the coast of North Cape, Norway, the British vessel HMS Duke of York accompanied by its escorting ships intercepted, attacked and sunk the German battleship, the Scharnhorst as it was headed towards an allied convoy.  The Scharnhorst ranked as a capital ship in the Kriegsmarine, and took part in operations
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DECEMBER 25 336 A.D. The First Christmas Celebration took place on December 25, 336 AD.  The first Christmas celebration by the early Christian Church occurred 331 years after Christ’s Crucifixion in Jerusalem on April 3rd, 33 A.D. (During the Lunar Eclipse at 5:12 PM LMT) and Pentecost –  which is considered to be the inception date of the Roman Catholic Church. In an old list of Roman
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DECEMBER 24 1798 Beloved Polish Poet:  Adam Mickiewicz (dob) was a Polish poet, dramatist, essayist, publicist, translator, professor of Slavic literature, and political activist.  He is regarded as National Poet in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus.  Mickiewicz was a prominent figure in Polish Romanticism, and is regarded as one of Poland's "Three Bards" ("Trzej Wieszcze"). He is widely
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DECEMBER 23 1937 Wellington Bomber First Flight:  The first production of the  Wellington Mk I, L4212, conducted its first flight on December 23, 1937. The  L4212 subsequently participated in an intensive flight programme. Flight trials with L4212 affirmed the aerodynamic stability initially encountered by K4049, but also revealed the aircraft to be nose-heavy during dives, a flaw attributed
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DECEMBER 22 1941 Churchill at Washington Conference:  Winston Churchill met with Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, DC for the First Washington Conference, also called the Arcadia Conference.   The leaders and a team of political aides conducted very candid discussions which concluded with several major decisions that shaped the war effort in 1942-1943; the decision to invade North Africa

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