(Wednesday, December 12, 1917, 11:15 p.m. CET; during World War I) — A train carrying at least 1,000 French troops on their way home for leave from the Italian front derailed tonight while descending a steep hill in Modane, France, killing at least 700 troops in France’s greatest rail disaster.
Video: 'BOMBING OF THE GUNBOAT USS PANAY BY JAPANESE AIRCRAFT DURING RAPE OF NANKING 70722'
(Sunday, December 12, 1937, noon CST; during the Second Sino-Japanese War) — Japanese aircraft and shore batteries opened fire today on the U.S. Navy gunboat Panay while it was anchored in the Yangtze River outside Nanking (now spelled Nanjing), China, while it was evacuating personnel from the embassy at Nanking.
Three Americans were killed and another 43 were wounded.
The Japanese claimed that they did not see the American flags painted on the deck of the gunboat, apologized, and paid an indemnity.