Friday 5 December 1941
|A Soviet propaganda shot of a wrecked German column destroyed on the Volokolamsk Highway in the opening thrust of the Moscow counteroffensive on 5 December 1941 (Russian International News Agency).|
On account of the threats to our flanks and rear and of the immobility of our troops due to the abnormal cold, I made the decision during the night of December 5-6 to break off this unsupported attack and to withdraw my foremost units into defensive positions along the general [river line] Upper Don-Shat-Upa. This was the first time during the war that I had to make a decision of this sort, and none was more difficult.It is unclear if the Second Panzer Army even has the ability to completely evacuate its salient at Tula and retreat to the Don and Shat rivers. It has exposed forces well to the east of Tula that will have to make good their escape quickly if they want to see Germany again.
|Royal Navy submarine HMS Sealion torpedoes and sinks 638-ton Norwegian freighter Island (shown) in Vestifjord off northern Norway on 5 December 1941.|
|HMAS Yarra, shown above in August 1941, and HMS Flamingo are bombed and damaged on 5 December 1941 as they attempt to resupply embattled Tobruk. Yarra suffers only minor damage from near misses, while Flamingo has to be towed into the port (Australian Navy).|
|German soldiers with a captured Soviet KV-2 tank near Pulkovo, Leningrad on 5 December 1941. The Germans have put a little flag, not the typical Balkenkreuz but a reasonable facsimile, on the tank in order to use it themselves as a Beutepanzer.|
|The Kawanishi E15K Shiun makes its maiden flight on 5 December 1941. It has some issues with its novel retractable stabilizing floats which never are solved. Only 15 are completed during the war, including six prototypes.|
|Amrita Sher-Gil, a renowned Hungarian-Indian painter who passes away mysteriously at age 28 on 5 December 1941 in Lahore, India (later Pakistan).|