Birth of Marie-Louise von Habsburg-Lothringen in Vienna, Austria. The Austrian noblewoman became the second wife of the French emperor, Napoleon I. Napoleon had dissolved his marriage to Josephine due to the lack of children. When Napoleon abdicated Marie-Louise returned to Vienna. She refused to join Napoleon on Elba despite his requests (demands). During his return in 1815, she had nothing to do with him. After his death, she remarried.
Death of Karl Philipp Fürst von Wrede in Ellingen, Germany. Karl was a German general who, however, formed an alliance with Napoleon until 1813 (the year of the battle of Leipzig in which Napoleon was first defeated in battle). He then switched sides and joined the coalition of nations against France.
Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt was born.
Death of Luitpold, Prince Regent of Bavaria, in Munich, Germany. Luitpold was the third son of Ludwig I. During the reign of Ludwig II (“Mad King Ludwig” who built the wonderful castles) he served as regent. He introduced liberal democratic structures into Bavaria and did much to establish Munich’s position as a cultural center.
The world’s first all-metal airplane, the Junker J. 1 undergoes a test flight at Dessau, Germany.
Cruiser Köln returned from her first international voyage.
Heinrich Himmler founded the Lebensborn project to promote Nazi eugenics.
Cruiser Köln and other warships screened minelayers during a mining mission.
Adolf Hitler postponed the decision to invade France to 27 Dec 1939; if he was to launch the attack, the date of action was to be 1 Jan 1940. Since the decision was to be made after Christmas, he permitted the granting of Christmas leave.
German submarine U-96 attacked Allied convoy HX-92 12 miles south of St. Kilda, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, United Kingdom, sinking Swedish ship Stureholm at 0156 hours (killing entire crew of 32) and Belgian ship Macedonier at 0431 hours (4 killed, 37 survived).
Philippe Pétain received an invitation from Adolf Hitler to attend the ceremony in which Napoleon II’s remains were to be returned from Austria to the Les Invalides cemetery in Paris, France.
Vichy-France established diplomatic relations with the Japanese-sponsored puppet state of Manchukuo.
British monitoring stations detected X Verfahren radio beams being laid across northern England, United Kingdom, and suspected a German attack would take place on the city of Sheffield. In the evening, 13 He 111 bombers of Kampfgruppe 100 arrived over the Sheffield suburbs of Norton Lees and Gleadless at 1941 hours, dropping 16 SC50 high explosive bombs, 1,009 B1 E1 ZA incendiaries, and 10,080 B1 E1 incendiaries. Shortly after, three groups of German bombers, the main force, attacked. The first group consisted of 36 Ju 88 bombers and 29 He 111 bombers; the second group consisted of 23 Ju 88 bombers, 74 He 111 bombers, and 7 Do 17 bombers; the third group consisted of 63 Ju 88 bombers and 35 He 111 bombers. The 280 German aircraft heavily damaged the city center and residential districts through the night through 0400 hours on the next day.
In a meeting with Adolf Hitler, Erich Raeder noted to Hitler that the Americans would most likely divert warships to the Pacific Ocean which was advantageous for the German Navy.
Wilhelm Keitel clarified Adolf Hitler’s Nacht und Nebel decree to the leaders of the German military.
Feldmarschall Rommel was appointed the head of Armeegruppe B based in France.
German pilot Willi Kriessmann ferried an Ar 234 jet bomber from Hamburg, Germany to German Luftwaffe bomber group Kampfgeschwader 76.
NATO decides on a two-option policy in the face of the new middle range rockets installed in East Germany. NATO will begin installation of its own middle-range rockets in West Germany but will agree to remove them if the Soviet Union removes its rockets.