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18 Jan 1940

Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-44 sank the Danish vessel Canadian Reefer, sailing for Britain with fruit, in the Bay of Biscay. The crew of 26 were rescued by a Spanish trawler. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-25 sank Swedish merchant ship Pajala with three torpedoes in the North Sea at 1625 hours. Escort HMS Northern Duke rescued 35 after unsuccessfully depth charging U-25. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-55 sank Swedish merchant ship Foxen in the North Sea, killing 17, at 1745 hours. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-9 attacked Swedish merchant ship Patricia with two torpedoes in the North Sea at 2353 hours, but the torpedoes went astray, hitting and sinking Flandria instead. Norwegian merchant ship Balzac would rescue four survivors two days later. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Having already destroyed Soviet 163rd and 44th Divisions, Finnish Army Colonel Siilasvuo was ordered to take the Finnish 9th Division 30 miles south to Kuhmo to attack the Soviet 54th Division under the command of Chuikov. ww2dbase [The Winter War | Hjalmar Siilasvuo | CPC]
United States
  • Tatsuta Maru departed San Francisco, California, United States; 512 civilian seamen from the scuttled German liner Columbus were supposed to be aboard, but they canceled their journeys at the last moment in fear of possible British interception of the liner which might lead to their imprisonment. ww2dbase [Tatsuta Maru | CPC]

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
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945