23 Jan 1940
  • German submarine U-19 discovered a group of 20 unescorted steamers off Northumberland. With one torpedo each, she sank Norwegian ship Pluto at 0843 hours and British ship Baltanglia at 0855 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Finnish 9th Division arrived at the village of Kuhmo to prepare for a planned attack on the Soviet 54th Division. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • British carrier HMS Illustrious left Malta for Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Illustrious | CPC]
  • Danish motor merchant Kina disembarked 8 of the survivors of Norwegian steam merchant Enid, sunk by U-25 six days prior, at Las Palmas, Canary Islands. ww2dbase [HM]
  • One of the two lifeboats containing survivors of Norwegian merchant steamer Songa, which was sunk by German submarine U-25 on the previous day, was discovered by a British trawler, which took on the 13 occupants. The other lifeboat made landfall near Rock Island's Crookhaven Lighthouse; they were taken to Goleen, County Cork, Ireland. ww2dbase [Crookhaven, Cork | HM]
United Kingdom
  • Britain lowered the road speed limit to 20 miles per hour at night time in populated area in response to the sharp rise in night time automobile accidents due to the blackout. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Britain was gripped in the coldest winter since 1894; Southampton docks and parts of the river Thames were frozen over. ww2dbase [AC]
  • MI5 debriefed NKVD defector Walter Krivitsky at the Langham Hotel in London, England, United Kingdom. The former Soviet resident agent in Holland would describe over hundred Soviet agents working in Europe, including sixteen who were British subjects. Yet the single officer tasked with investigating the claims failed to spot, among those named, MI6 traitor Kim Philby. ww2dbase [London, England | AC]

23 Jan 1940 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Famous WW2 Quote
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943

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