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12 Jan 1942
  • Japanese light cruiser Oi hosted Rear Admiral Matome Ugaki as he visited her unit. During the trip, Ugaki expressed disapproval for the use of cruisers as torpedo vessels. ww2dbase [Matome Ugaki | CPC]
  • Japanese troops executed Dutch prisoners of war at Tarakan Island off Borneo as punishment for previous day's sabotage of oil wells. ww2dbase [Dutch East Indies Campaign, Borneo | CPC]
  • George von K├╝chler replaced Wilhelm von Leeb, who resigned after Adolf Hitler refused his request to withdraw behind the Lovat River to prevent II Corps being cut off. ww2dbase [Georg von K├╝chler | TH, CPC]
  • USS Saratoga was damaged by a torpedo from Japanese submarine I-6 about 500 miles southwest of US Territory of Hawaii; she returned to Pearl Harbor under own power. ww2dbase [Saratoga | CPC]
  • Japanese beheaded 5 American prisoners of war on Wake Island before transporting the remainder to Japan for imprisonment. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Tirpitz departed Kiel, Germany. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • South African 1st Division captured Sollum, Egypt. ww2dbase [Operation Crusader | CPC]
  • Walther von Reichenau suffered a stroke in Poltava, Ukraine. ww2dbase [Walther von Reichenau | CPC]
  • Japanese troops continued to attack the Abucay-Mauban line on Bataan Peninsula, Luzon, Philippine Islands. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Destroyer Yuzuki arrived at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | Truk | CPC]
  • Jiang Dingwen was named the commander of the Chinese 1st War Area with headquarters in the city of Luoyang. ww2dbase [Jiang Dingwen | Luoyang | CPC]
Hawaii Japan Pacific Ocean
  • USS S-41 patrolled waters in the western Celebes Sea. ww2dbase [S-41 | Celebes Sea | CPC]
  • S-36 patrolled the Sulu Sea. ww2dbase [S-36 | Sulu Sea | CPC]
  • German Luftwaffe group I./KG 100, with 28 He 111 bombers, arrived at Focsani, Romania. ww2dbase [Focsani, Vrancea | CPC]
Russia United Kingdom
  • The British sugar and fat rations were reduced to 8 ounces per person weekly. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The 5,626-ton British steam merchant Lerwick had brought a cargo of manganese ore to the Ford factory at Dagenham, London, England, United Kingdom and was on passage to the Tyne for dry docking. When she reached a position 6 miles east-southeast of Whitby High in Yorkshire, England, the ship was attacked by a single Heinkell III bomber that dropped three bombs, one landed off the starboard quarter and the other two were direct hits. The hatch covers were blown through the ship causing catastrophic damage and letting in a rapid flow of water. The Lerwick sank in less than twenty minutes four miles off Robin Hood's Bay. The ship's master Captain Robinson assisted the crew to get into a boat and then returned to the bridge apparently wishing to go down with his ship as he had just learnt that his wife had been killed in a German air-raid on South Shields in northeastern England. He was persuaded to get into the boat by crew members who had also saved the ship's cat Lucky and six of her recently born kittens named after Disney's seven dwarves. Five crew members as well as the kitten Dopey were lost during the sinking. ww2dbase [Whitby, England | HM]
United States
  • US Navy Admiral Adolphus Andrews received warning that three or four German submarines were entering waters off the east coast of the United States, but he refused to institute a convoy system. Earlier on the same day, German submarine U-123 sank British ship Cyclops off Nova Scotia, Canada at 0149 hours; 87 were killed, 95 survived. ww2dbase [Second Happy Time | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 12 Jan 1942
Colonel General Erwin Rommel and officers at El Agheila, Libya, 12 Jan 1942

12 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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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

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