Knowing Hitler viewed Slavic people as inferior, Bormann opposed the introduction of German criminal law into the conquered eastern territories. He lobbied for and eventually achieved a strict separate penal code that implemented martial law for the Polish and Jewish inhabitants of these areas. The "Edict on Criminal Law Practices against Poles and Jews in the Incorporated Eastern Territories", promulgated 4 December 1941, permitted corporal punishment and death sentences for even the most trivial of offences.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war against Japan, and within days China joined the Allies in formal declaration of war against Japan, Germany and Italy.
The Malayan campaign was a military campaign fought by Allied and Axis forces in Malaya, from 8 December 1941 – 31 January 1942, The Japanese had air and naval supremacy from the opening days of the campaign. For the British, Indian, Australian and Malayan forces defending the colony, the campaign was a total disaster, the Japanese occupied Malaya.
The Dutch East Indies campaign of 1941–1942 was the conquest of the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia) by forces from the Empire of Japan. Forces from the Allies attempted unsuccessfully to defend the islands. The East Indies were targeted by the Japanese for their rich oil resources which would become a vital asset during the war.
The sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse was a naval engagement, that took place on 10 December 1941 in the South China Sea off the east coast of the British colony of Malaya (present-day Malaysia), 70 miles (61 nautical miles; 110 kilometres) east of Kuantan, Pahang. The Royal Navy battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battle cruiser HMS Repulse were sunk by land-based bombers and torpedo bombers of the Imperial Japanese Navy.
As the Western Allies entered the war against Japan, the Sino-Japanese War would become part of a greater conflict, the Pacific theatre of World War II. Almost immediately, Chinese troops achieved another decisive victory in the Battle of Changsha, which earned the Chinese government much prestige from the Western Allies.
The third Battle of Changsha (24 December 1941 – 15 January 1942) was a major offensive in China by Imperial Japanese forces following the Japanese attack on the Western Allies. The offensive resulted in failure for the Japanese, as Chinese forces were able to lure them into a trap and encircle them. After suffering heavy casualties, Japanese forces were forced to carry out a general retreat. In January 1942, the only Allied success against Japan was a Chinese victory at Changsha.
In May the Germans defeated Soviet offensives in the Kerch Peninsula. The Battle of the Kerch Peninsula was a World War II battle between Erich von Manstein's German and Romanian 11th Army and the Soviet Crimean Front forces in the Kerch Peninsula. It began on 26 December 1941 with an amphibious landing operation by two Soviet armies intended to break the Siege of Sevastopol. From January through April, the Crimean Front launched repeated offensives against the 11th Army, all of which failed with heavy losses. Superior German artillery firepower was largely responsible for the Soviet debacle. On 8 May 1942, the Axis struck with great force in a major counteroffensive code-named Trappenjagd which concluded by around 19 May 1942 with the liquidation of the Soviet defending forces.
On 26 December, Churchill addressed a joint meeting of the US Congress but, that night, he suffered a mild heart attack which was diagnosed by his physician, Sir Charles Wilson (later Lord Moran), as a coronary deficiency needing several weeks' bed rest. Churchill insisted that he did not need bed rest and, two days later, journeyed on to Ottawa by train where he gave a speech to the Canadian Parliament that included the "some chicken, some neck" line in which he recalled French predictions in 1940 that "Britain alone would have her neck wrung like a chicken". He arrived home in mid-January, having flown from Bermuda to Plymouth in an American flying boat, to find that there was a crisis of confidence in both his coalition government and himself personally, and he decided to face a vote of confidence in the Commons, which he won easily.
The text of the "Declaration by United Nations" was drafted at the White House on 29 December 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins. It incorporated Soviet suggestions but left no role for France. "Four Policemen" was coined to refer to four major Allied countries, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the Republic of China, which emerged in the Declaration by the United Nations.