25 Jan 1942
  • Thailand declared war on the United Kingdom and the United States. Ambassador Seni Pramoj in the American capital refused to deliver the declaration of war and defected to the United States; he would later form a Free Thai movement. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German troops captured Msus, Libya, capturing 30 British Valentine tanks. ww2dbase [Operation Crusader | CPC]
  • Japanese aircraft attacked Rangoon, Burma for the third day in a row. Meanwhile, Archibald Wavell ordered that the airfield at Moulmein, Burma to be defended, which was being threatened by troops of the Japanese 55th infantry Division. ww2dbase [Invasion of Burma | CPC]
  • Troops of the Japanese Imperial Guard captured Batu Pahat, British Malaya; in response, Lieutenant General Arthur Percival ordered troops in Malaya to withdraw to Singapore. Meanwhile, Allied convoy BM10 from Bombay, India arrived at Singapore, disembarking 4,745 troops of the Indian 44th Infantry Brigade, vehicles, and supplies. ww2dbase [Invasion of Malaya and Singapore | CPC]
  • US and Filipino troops continued to withdraw from the Abucay-Mauban defensive line on Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands toward the Orion-Bagac defensive line. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Ultimatum sank Italian passenger ship Dalmatia L 30 miles south of Messina, Sicily, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German destroyer Z8 Bruno Heinemann struck two British naval mines and sank in the Strait of Dover; 98 were killed, 229 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Egmont Prinz zur Lippe-WeiƟenfeld was awarded the German Cross in Gold. ww2dbase [Egmont | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-754 sank Greek ship Mount Kitheron off Newfoundland at 0925 hours. 28 miles southeast of Atlantic City, New Jersey at 1002 hours, U-130 sank Norwegian tanker Varanger carrying 12,750 tons of fuel oil from Curacao to New York; all 40 aboard survived. Further south, German submarine U-125 damaged US tanker Olney 10 kilometers off Virginia, United States. Finally, out to sea, U-123 sank British ship Culebra in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 45 aboard, while en route back to her home port. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
  • In the north Atlantic Ocean, HMCS Spikenard discovered a life boat bearing the name of Norwegian ship Belize, which had been sunk by U-754 four days prior; all four Belize survivors in the life boat had already died. ww2dbase [HM]
Caroline Islands
  • Kaga arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Kaga | Truk | CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • The Japanese conducted a third landing at Balikpapan, Dutch Borneo, capturing the airfield at dawn. Dutch defenders began sabotaging bridges before retreating north, where they were ambushed by a Japanese force. Meanwhile, civilians were evacuated by ship at Pontianak, Dutch Borneo. ww2dbase [Dutch East Indies Campaign, Borneo | Balikpapan, Borneo | CPC]
  • 13 P-40E fighters of US 17th Pursuit Squadron (Provisional) arrived at Soerabaja, Java, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [P-40 Warhawk | Soerabaja, Java | CPC]
  • USS S-38 departed Soerabaja (Surabaya), Java, Dutch East Indies, starting her second war patrol. ww2dbase [S-38 | Surabaya, Java | CPC]
  • USS S-41 arrived in Surabaya (Soerabaja), Java, Dutch East Indies, ending her first war patrol. ww2dbase [S-41 | Surabaya, Java | CPC]
France Libya
  • The 3rd Battalion of the "San Marco" naval infantry regiment of Italian Navy arrived at Antelat, Libya, where it would remain on garrison defense duty for several weeks. ww2dbase [Antelat | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • US Navy divers located the sunken wreck of submarine USS S-26 and concluded at least one survivor was aboard, but the divers would fail to make any rescues. ww2dbase [S-26 | Gulf of Panama | CPC]
  • Harold George was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. ww2dbase [Harold George | CPC]
  • Yugure arrived at Davao, Mindanao, Philippine Islands at 0300 hours. ww2dbase [Yugure | Davao, Mindanao | CPC]
  • British merchant ship Harmatris, the civilian convoy commodore's flagship of Allied convoy PQ-8, damaged by German submarine U-454 on 17 Jan 1942, arrived at Kola in northern Russia in tow by two tugs. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | Kola, Murmansk | CPC]
  • Soviet Deputy Navy Commissar Admiral Gordei Levchenko, arrested in Nov 1941 for the loss of the Crimea region of Ukraine to the Germans, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in a labor camp. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The 4,000-strong vanguard of the United States' commitment to the "Germany first" agreement arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Belfast, Northern Ireland | AC]
  • Uruguay broke off diplomatic relations with Germany. ww2dbase [CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • Japanese submarines I-24 and I-18 bombarded US Marine positions on Sand Island, Midway Atoll. The submarines were driven off by defensive coastal gunfire. ww2dbase [Midway Bases | Midway | CPC]

25 Jan 1942 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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