12 September 1941
North Atlantic : United States Coast Guard cutters intercepted and boarded Norwegian trawler Buskoe in Mackenzie Bay, Greenland; the trawler was operated by Germans, attempting to establish weather stations in the North Atlantic.
Mediterranean Sea : Italian cargo ship Caffaro was torpedoped and sunk by Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Swordfish torpedo bombers off Tripoli , Libya
Leningrad : The daily bread ration in Leningrad, Russia was cut to 500 grams for manual workers and 300 grams for office workers and children under 12. General Zhukov arrived Leningrad by air to take command of Leningrad Front. Meanwhile German troops reported the first snowfall on the Russia.
Norway : In Operation EGV2, Albacore aircraft from Royal Navy carrier HMS Victorious damaged the Glomfjord hydroelectric power plant and the ships at anchor at Bodo in Norway.
Ukraine : German and Roumanian troops launched a renewed offensive against Odessa, Ukraine.
USSR : 2nd and 3rd German Panzer Group scouts met up at Lokhvitsa , near Rovno , achieving encirclement of entire Soviet Southern Front before Kiev (appox 700.000 Red Army troops trapped in Kiev pocket)
Rastenburg , East Prussia : Hitler ordered a halt to the advance into Leningrad. Instead, the city was to be starved into submission. Five German tank divisions, two motorized divisions and much of the air support of von Leeb’s army, were to leave the Leningrad front within a week. Von Leeb protested. The thirty Soviet divisions trapped in the city were on the brink of destruction. The German tank crews nearest the city could see the golden spires of the Admiralty building. Hitler refused to change his decision. East of Kiev, his troops under von Kleist and Guderian had successfully trapped fifty Russian divisions in an enormous pocket. First Kiev, and then Moscow, were the prizes he now sought. This change of plan was passed on to Stalin by his ‘Red Orchestra’ agents in Paris, headed by Leopold Trepper. The Soviet High Command could therefore adjust its defensive plans to meet the reinforced thrusts. The day on which Hitler ordered the transfer of his armoured forces from the Leningrad to the Moscow front, a briefing was held in his headquarters at Rastenburg which began: ‘High-ranking political figures and leaders are to be eliminated.’ The ‘struggle against Bolshevism’, Field Marshal Keitel explained to his commanders that day, ‘demands ruthless and energetic measures, above all against the Jews, the main carriers of Bolshevism’.
Murmansk , Russia : RAF Fighter Wing was first in action in Northern Russia. That day from its base at Vianga, seventeen miles north-east of Murmansk, it shot down three German aircraft for the loss of one of its own. For their activities in Russia at so desperate a time, the unit’s commander, Wing Commander H. N. G. Ramsbottom-Isherwood, and three of his airmen, were each awarded the Order of Lenin, the only members of the Allied forces to be honoured in this way.
Baltics : SS Special Task Force Report (issued on 1 Dec 1941) noted that 993 adult male, 1,670 adult female, and 771 children, all Jews, were killed in Vilnius, Lithuania for a total of 3,334 people
Paris , France : Germans shot eight Jewish hostages out of twelve taken on 8th September.