WWII Day-By-Day
Selected: January 1
       Overview of WWII on January 1 by year...

1932 — , January 1

  • CBI - China: Day 106 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.

1933 — , January 1

  • CBI - China: Day 1 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei, aka the Battle for the Great Wall of China. Japanese troops attack Hebei Province.

    Japanese troops marching on China's Great Wall

    (Date photo taken unknown)

    Today, thousands of bullet holes can be seen along the Wall from battles against the Japanese.

1937 — , January 1

  • Spain: Day 169 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , January 1

  • Spain: Day 534 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 179 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 24 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
    • Day 20 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.

1939 — , January 1

  • Spain: Day 899 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 544 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , January 1

  • ETO: Conscription is extended to ages 20 through 27 in Britain.
  • Finland: Day 33 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War. The Finns change the numbers of their divisions in order to deceive the Soviets.
  • Finland: Day 1 of 7 of the Battle of Raate Road in central Finland.
  • CBI - China: Day 909 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 48 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.

1941 — , January 1

  • ETO - UK: Day 118 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • ETO - Germany: Hitler, in his New Year's order of the day to the German armed forces, promises "...completion, on the Western Front, of the greatest victory in our history..."
  • MTO - Bulgaria: Germany begins negotiations with Bulgaria to allow German troops to use Bulgaria as a springboard for their attack on Greece.
  • MTO - North Africa: Day 24 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italians stretching from Sidi Barrani, Egypt, to El Agheila, Libya. The UK's Western Desert Force is renamed as the British XIII Corps. They begin their attack on Bardia, Libya.
  • East Africa: Day 206 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,275 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 93 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , January 1

  • USA: Fears of a west coast attack by the Japanese moves the 28th Rose Bowl game from Pasadena, California, to the east coast in Durham, North Carolina.

    01 Jan 42: Duke Stadium in Durham, North Carolina,
    during the only Rose Bowl game ever held outside of
    Pasadena, California.

    Large public gatherings on the west coast were prohibited for the duration of the war. After the 1942 Allied victory in the Battle of Midway and the end of the Japanese offensives in the Pacific Theater during 1942, however, it was deemed that the west coast was no longer vulnerable to attack, and the Rose Bowl game continued on in the Rose Bowl Stadium.

    Most of the players would don military uniforms during 1942. Duke's coach Wallace Wade enlisted after the game ended and encouraged his players to follow suit. Both teams lost halfbacks in the Pacific Theater in 1942, Walter Griffith of Duke and Everett Smith of Oregon State. Al Hoover of Duke lost his life on Peleliu in 1944 after diving on a grenade to save his fellow soldiers. The Blue Devils' Bob Nanni was killed at Iwo Jima.

    Oh, and for what it's worth, Oregon State defeated Duke 20-16.

    Dates related to sports...

    Related WWII Store items...

  • USA: A United Nations declaration of "cooperation and no separate peace" is signed by 26 Allied countries in Washington, DC. It is the first time the term "United Nations" is used.
  • USA: The War Production Board (WPB) orders a temporary end of all civilian automobile sales, leaving dealers with one half million unsold cars.
  • ETO - France: Jean Moulin, the former mayor of Chartes, who earlier had fled to England, parachutes back into his country in an effort to organize and unify the French Resistance. He will go on to become the greatest of French Resistance leaders, though he will eventually be betrayed and will die at the hands of the Gestapo.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 116 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 92 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 64 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All further German attacks against the Crimean fortress of Sevastopol are halted for the winter.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 19 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,640 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 9 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
  • CBI - Malaya: Day 25 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 17 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 25 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines.

1943 — , January 1

  • USA: Walt Disney releases the animated musical short "Der Fuehrer's Face" which comically depicts Donald Duck living in Nazi society.

    Frame from Der Fuehrer's Face, depicting
    Donald Duck's nightmare under Nazi rule

    The cartoon short was originally titled "Donald Duck in Nutzi Land." It was made in an effort to sell war bonds and is an example of typical American propaganda during World War II.

    The film is best known for Oliver Wallace's original song "Der Fuehrer's Face," which had been released earlier by the popular band Spike Jones and His City Slickers, noted for their parodies of popular songs of the time. Also known informally as "The Nazi Song," it parodied the Nazi anthem, the "Horst Wessel Song." Unlike the version in the cartoon, some Spike Jones versions contained the rude sound effect of an instrument he called the birdaphone, a rubber razzer (aka the Bronx Cheer) with each "Heil!" to show contempt for Hitler (the version in the cartoon features the use of a tuba instead). The so-called "Bronx Cheer" was a well-known expression of disgust in that time period and was deemed neither obscene nor offensive. The success of the song prompted Disney to change the name of the film.

    Der Fuehrer's Face won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 15th Academy Awards. It was the only Donald Duck film to receive the honor. In 1994, it was voted Number 22 of "the 50 Greatest Cartoons" of all time by members of the animation field. However, because of the propagandistic nature of the short, and the depiction of Donald Duck as a Nazi (albeit a reluctant one), Disney kept the film out of general circulation after its original release. Its first home video release came in 2004 with the release of the third wave of the Walt Disney Treasures DVD sets.

    Illustration from the Sept 1942 issue of Coronet magazine,
    depicting a menagerie of Disney characters taking part
    in home front and front line activities

    On December 8, 1941, the US Army began working with Walt Disney at his studio, stationing Army personnel there for the duration of the war. The wholesome family entertainment of the Walt Disney Studio transformed almost overnight into a war plant where the stable of established characters were enlisted as warriors and team-oriented, patriotic American citizens.

    More than 1,200 designs were created by the studio's artists during the war, including ground-breaking training and educational films for the military and defense industries, propaganda and war-themed shorts and features, home front poster art, and stunning military unit insignias that gave a morale-boosting reminder of home.

    Animated cartoons related dates...

    "Der Fuehrer's Face" related dates...

    Related WWII Store items...

  • Russian Front - North: Day 481 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 44 of 59 of the Battle of Velikiye Luki, near Leningrad. This stalemate does help ease the siege a little, but mostly it keeps German troops from being sent to other fronts.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 242 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 133 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 21 of 69 of the USSR's Operation LITTLE SATURN, a successful drive into the Northern Caucasus and the Donets Basin pushing the Axis troops out. 1st Panzer Army in the Caucasus begins withdrawing west of the Caspian Sea to avoid being cut off by Soviet troops who are attacking from the northeast.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 46 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. US 9th and 12th Air Forces provide Allied air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 12 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,005 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 209 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 317 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 44 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: US 5th Air Force B-24s and B-17s bomb the airfields at Rabaul, New Britain Island.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 148 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.

1944 — , January 1

  • USA: US STRATEGIC AIR FORCES IN EUROPE (USSAFE) is established for operational control of the 8th and 15th Air Forces, which are all the B-17 and B-24 heavy bombers in the ETO and MTO.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 45 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). 421 Lancasters are dispatched to Berlin, the main target. German night fighters are effective and 6.7% of the bombers are shot down.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 846 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 607 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket. USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 9 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine. The Soviets liberate Nikopol.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 9 of 22 of the Battle of Zhitomir, Russia. This will create a 70 mile gap in the German line.
  • MTO - Italy: General Mark Clark takes over the US 7th Army in addition to his command of the US 5th Army. The US 15th Air Force becomes a heavy bomber strategic force with a fighter command. All of their light and medium bombers units are reassigned to the 12th Air Force who are now a light and medium bomber tactical force.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 3 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - Burma: US 10th Air Force attacks a bridge on the Mu River between Ywataung and Monywa and the airfield further north at Myitkyina.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,370 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Indochina: US 14th Air Force attacks targets of opportunity including barracks and rafts along the Yuan River in the Cam Duong-Lao Kay area.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs the harbor at Mille Atoll.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 105 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 102 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 18 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 62 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands.

1945 — , January 1

  • ETO - France: Day 154 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 109 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 17 of 41 of the Battle of the Bulge. Germans troops begin withdrawing from the Ardennes. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 2 of 26 of Operation NORDWIND, the last major German offensive of World War II on the Western Front. The objective is simply to break through the lines of the US 7th Army and French 1st Army in the Upper Vosges mountains and the Alsatian Plain, and destroy them. Although costly for both sides, the operation will ultimately be unsuccessful.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 105 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force heavy bombers hit oil refineries and bridges in western Germany.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 109 of 223 of the Lapland War. Finland and Russia have joined forces to kick the Germans out of Finland's most northern province.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 79 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 72 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 65 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary.
  • MTO - Italy: US and Royal Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 276 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive.
  • CBI - Burma: US 10th Air Force attacks several locations including Man Hio, Bahe, Mongmit, Hatka, Namhpakka, Loi-hseng, Mong Yaw and in the Hsenwi area.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,736 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force bombs Ft Bayard, the Suchow Airfield and targets found between Yoyang and Puchi.
  • PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force B-24s fly coverage for a naval task force.
  • PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force B-24s bomb Iwo Jima Island and the Volcano Islands.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 371 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 255 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 74 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 18 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.

Day-By-Day listings for January 1 were last modified on Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Scanning WWII is a project of the Arnett Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, Mesa, Arizona © 2005—2023