25 Dec 1943
  • American submarine USS Skate ambushed Yamato 180 miles northeast of Truk. Skate detected Yamato at 27,300 yards and dove. Skate passed down the starboard beam of Yamato, turned, and at 0518 hours fired four stern torpedoes at 2,200 yards. Crew of Skate heard one explosion and a muffled explosion as one or two torpedoes hit Yamato on the starboard side near turret No. 3, ripping a hole that extended some 15 feet downwards from the top of the blister and longitudinally some 75 feet between frames 151 and 173. The upper turret magazines flooded through a small hole punched in the longitudinal bulkhead; the hole was caused by failure of the armor belt joint between the upper and lower side protection belts. The upper magazine for No. 3 turret flooded. Yamato took on about 3,000-tons of water, far more than anticipated by the designers of the side protective system. The transport mission was aborted. The follow-up depth charge attack by Yamagumo, Tanikaze, or both failed to hit Skate, which made its escape three hours later. Later, Yamamto arrived at Truk and received emergency repairs by repair ship Akashi which also prepared a damage assessment report. US Navy intercepted a message from Yamato that read "Hull damage summary resulting from torpedo attack. Details affecting armament and machinery will be submitted later. 1. Hole from frame 163 to 170. 11 meters in diameter above the 'bilge' [sic] and 5 1/2 meters below penetrating outer plates of 'bilge' [sic]." ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Otto Skorzeny and his family vacationed at Zurs on the Arlberg, Austria. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS S-35 arrived at Attu, Aleutian Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • 15 B-24 bombers escorted by about 50 fighters (P-38, F4U, F6F, and Kittyhawk fighters) attacked Rabaul, New Britain. 88 Japanese fighters rose to defend. The Americans lost 1 F4U and 2 P-38 aircraft; the Japanese lost 3 aircraft. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands France
  • German Type IXC U-Boat U-505 departed Lorient, France for her eleventh patrol as part of wolfpack "Hela". ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: More of GROPAC-4 [communications and support group for advanced air bases] arrived. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • The British moved 3rd Battalion of 8th Punjab Regiment to the front lines at Villa Grande, Italy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Kurt Student ordered the formation of a 2,200-strong Italian parachute regiment, to be placed within German 4.Fallschirmjäger Division. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 149 was launched. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Responding to the 22 Dec sighting of an Allied convoy, Scharnhorst and destroyers Z29, Z30, Z33, Z34, and Z38 departed from Altafjord in northern Norway to intercept it. The force was under the command of Konteradmiral Erich Bey. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • By this date in 1943, there were a total of 86,919 prisoners in the Auschwitz camp system in occupied Poland, 56,595 of whom were men and 30,324 were women. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Dwight Eisenhower met with Henry Wilson, who would replace him as the Allied command in the Mediterranean Theater, at Tunis, Tunisia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
US Pacific Islands
  • USS Whale departed Midway Atoll for her sixth war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 25 Dec 1943
US Marine Corps 105mm Howitzer M2 firing in support of operations at Cape Gloucester, New Britain, Dec 1943General Joseph Stilwell eating C-rations, 25 Dec 1943US Marines sitting atop a M3 light tank, Cape Gloucester, New Britain, Bismarck Archipelago, late Dec 1943; note fallen Japanese soldiersUS Marines building a sandbag ramp for an incoming LST ship, Cape Gloucester, New Britain, Bismarck Archipelago, Dec 1943
See all photos dated 25 Dec 1943

25 Dec 1943 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
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945