12 Feb 1942
  • 2 RAF Spitfire fighters on patrol unexpectedly spotted a large German fleet sailing through the English Channel at 1042 hours. British coastal guns at South Foreland, England, United Kingdom fired 33 rounds at the fleet, all of which missed. A number of aircraft were launched to attack, which failed to destroy the fleet, while 37 aircraft were shot down in the process, killing 23 airmen. The only damage sustained by the Germans were by mines; Scharnhorst hit two and Gneisenau hit one. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The US Army Air Force activated the 10th Air Force for the China-Burma-India theater. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Sigmund Rascher submitted a report on the effect of nude women on men who had been exposed to extreme cold; this project was ordered by Himmler. Rascher noted that for the most part, warm baths were more effective. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Léon Degrelle was promoted to the rank of Gefreiter. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • At 0240 hours the unescorted 2,701-ton Norwegian merchant steamer Blink was hit on the port side by one G7e torpedo from German submarine U-108 (Korvettenkapitän Klaus Scholtz) about 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States. This torpedo went straight through the hull of the ship without detonating, a similar occurrence had happened the day before when the torpedo had lodged near the engines but failed to explode. It took U-108 a whole 24 hours to catch up again in the heavy seas there had almost been a collision when the submarine had dived when only 50 metres from the vessel. The torpedo that hit and detonated killed four men and a gunner and two men who were seen to launch a raft were never seen again. A lifeboat was launched with 23 survivors but capsized in the sea, one of the crew drowned and all bread and water was lost. Only 11 men were left at the end of the day and by 14 Feb 1942 only 6 were left and found by an American merchant ship Monroe and taken to Baltimore, Maryland, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | HM]
Dutch East Indies
  • Conrad Helfrich was named the commander of the ABDA naval forces in the Pacific. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Una sank Italian tanker Lucania in the Gulf of Taranto in southern Italy; Una should not have conducted the attack as Lucania had previously been given safe passage by British command for that she refueled Italian passenger ships transporting Italian civilians from Italian East Africa back to Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Yamato departed Kure, Japan and arrived at Hashirajima island in Hiroshima Bay. The flag of the Combined Fleet Commander-in-Chief Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was transferred from Nagato to Yamato. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Eduard Neumann lifted the grounding order against Hans-Joachim Marseille, and Marseille was able to participate in a mission that led to the scoring of four kills northwest of Tobruk, Libya, consisted of 1 Hurricane and 3 P-40 fighters, bringing his score to 44 kills. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British destroyer Maori was sunk at Malta Harbour during an air raid. Only one man was killed as most of the crew were sleeping in shelters ashore, with only a token crew left aboard. Destroyer HMS Decoy, moored nearby, was damaged by the explosion; 2 were killed. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC, CPC]
  • The 200 Japanese troops trapped in a beachhead in southern Bataan, Luzon, Philippine Islands mounted what would be their final counterattack. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Allied convoy QP-7 departed Murmansk, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Before dawn, British cruiser HMS Durban, destroyer HMS Stronghold, destroyer HMS Jupiter, transport Empire Star, and transport Gorgon departed Singapore with British Royal Navy personnel for Batavia, Java, Dutch East Indies; they would be attacked and damaged by Japanese aircraft en route. Meanwhile, on Singapore island, Japanese troops made conservative probing attacks in western Singapore as the Allies slowly withdrew into the city. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Feb 1942
The launching of Montpelier, Camden, New Jersey, 12 Feb 1942

12 Feb 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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George Patton, 31 May 1944