December 3 in German History

December 3, 1932

The former German Defence Minister and recently named German Chancellor General Kurt von Schleicher offered Gregor Strasser (the Organization leader of the NSDAP) the post of vice-chancellor in a coalition government. Hitler, sensing it was a move by Schleicher to split the Nazi Party, ordered Strasser to stop any further negotiations with the Government.

December 3, 1940

German armed merchant cruiser Kormoran departed Gotenhafen, German (Gdynia, Poland) to raid Allied shipping, carrying supplies for 12 months, 280 naval mines, 40 landmines, and spare parts and torpedoes to supply submarines.

December 3, 1941

German submarine U-124 sank the unarmed US freighter Sagadahoc in the South Atlantic with torpedoes.

Hitler issued a decree on “Simplification and Increased Efficiency in our Armaments Production” (commonly known as the Rationalization Decree) in which he chided German firms for failing to adopt the practice of large factories and simple production methods, and ordered the military to simplify and standardize the design of all weapons to make possible “mass production on modern principles”.

German 4th Army was halted at Naro-Fominsk west of Moscow, Russia, thus exposing the flank of the German 2nd Panzer Army, which was assaulting the Tula region south of Moscow.

The Axis attempt to reach Bardia in Libya and Sollum and Halfaya Pass in Egypt failed to breach the Allied positions that stood in the way.

German submarine U-124 sank US ship Sagadahoc 1,250 west of South Africa at 2147 hours; 1 was killed, 34 survived. She was to be the last American merchant ship to be lost to the German Navy before the US officially entered the war.

December 3, 1942

Adolf Hitler approved the plan to convert the captured and incomplete French cruiser De Grasse into a light aircraft carrier.


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