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Selected: January 25
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1932 — , January 25

  • CBI - China: Day 130 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.

1933 — , January 25

  • CBI - China: Day 25 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1937 — , January 25

  • Spain: Day 193 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , January 25

  • Spain: Day 558 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 203 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 48 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
    • Day 44 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.

1939 — , January 25

  • USA: Enrico Fermi, John Dunning and associates split the uranium atom for the first time in the 75-ton cyclotron in the basement of Pupin Hall at Columbia University in New York City.
    Spotlight...

    The cyclotron in 2006 in the physics building basement at Columbia University

    The basement laboratory of Pupin Hall became home to a cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator first invented in the early 1930s by Ernest O Lawrence of the University of California. Known as "atom smashers," cyclotrons accelerate atoms through a vacuum and use electromagnets to induce collisions at speeds up to 25,000 miles per second. The results of such experiments provided valuable clues about the behavior of atoms. The cyclotron in Pupin Hall's basement was built by Dr John R Dunning, an associate professor of physics, and Dr George Pegram.

    In January 1939, Columbia's cyclotron made history. Physicists in the United States had just received word that German scientists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann had bombarded uranium atoms with neutrons and observed that the uranium seemed to split into atoms of smaller elements. They shared their results with Austrian physicists Otto Frisch and Lise Meitner, who termed the phenomenon "nuclear fission."

    Columbia physicists rushed to replicate the experiment using the cyclotron in Pupin Hall. A team of scientists including Dunning, Herbert Anderson, Eugene Booth, and Francis Slack were the first Americans to split the uranium atom and demonstrate the enormous release of energy that resulted. Fermi helped to plan the experiment, but was in Washington, DC, for a physics conference. On the night of January 25, 1939, Dunning recorded the monumental event in his diary: "Believe we have observed new phenomenon of far-reaching consequences." The work at Columbia confirmed "nuclear fission" and provided further evidence for the possibility of creating a nuclear chain reaction.

    Atomic Bomb related dates...

    Atomic Bomb related WWII Store items...

  • Spain: Day 923 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 568 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , January 25

  • Germany: Nazis choose the town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in Poland near Krakow as the site of new concentration camp.
  • Finland: Day 57 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
  • CBI - China: Day 933 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 72 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.

1941 — , January 25

  • ETO - UK: Day 142 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • MTO - North Africa: Day 48 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italians in Egypt and Libya.
  • East Africa: Day 230 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,299 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 117 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , January 25

  • CBI - Thailand: Having been conquered by Japan on 08 Dec 41 and a formal alliance made with Japan on 21 Dec 41, Thailand declares war on the United States and Great Britain, reasoning that Japan was certain to remain the victorious power.
    Spotlight...

    Sandstone carving on the backside of the WWII battle memorial at Ao Manao, Thailand, depicting Thai and Japanese forces at the formal surrender

  • USA: The US inquiry of the disaster at Pearl Harbor finds Admiral Kimmel guilty of dereliction of duty. A court martial is later announced.
  • Atlantic: Day 12 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 140 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 17 of 29 of the Battle of Toropets, Russia. A failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 3 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket, another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 18 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 18 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 88 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are stopped for the winter.
  • MTO - Libya: German troops quickly capture Msus, which causes confusion for the leadership of the British 8th Army.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 43 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,664 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 33 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
  • CBI - Malaya: Day 49 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 41 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 3 of 18 of the Battle of Rabaul, New Britain Island. Japanese will drive out the few Australian defenders.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Japanese troops begin landing against the Australians at Lae.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 49 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines.

1943 — , January 25

  • Russian Front - North: Day 505 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 14 of 19 of USSR's Operation ISKRA (Operation SPARK) on the southern shore of Lake Ladoga, north of Leningrad. This Soviet victory will help ease the siege at Leningrad a little bit more.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 266 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 157 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history. Soviet troops succeed in splitting the German 6th Army into a northern and a southern pocket. German troops evacuate Armavir and Voronezh.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 45 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.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 70 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support.
  • MTO - Libya: The British 7th Armored Division reaches Az Zawiyah in pursuit of the enemy.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 36 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,029 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 233 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. Japanese float planes bomb Amchitka.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force B-24s bomb Japanese positions on Wake Island.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 341 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 172 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US troops begin pushing the enemy back along the northwestern coast toward Cape Esperance. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1944 — , January 25

  • ETO - Germany: After 83 victories, German fighter ace Major Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein is killed in action. He is the highest scoring night fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe at this time and the third highest at war's end.
    Spotlight...

    Major Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein

    Aristocrat and legendary German fighter ace Major Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was also quite passionate about his afternoon tea.

    Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein was the third highest scoring night fighter ace in the Luftwaffe who served from mid-1941 until his death in 1944. He was killed when his aircraft was hit by return fire from a bomber or by an RAF nightfighter. Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein bailed out but was killed by the impact of landing.

    His victory score at that time of his death was 83 victories, 29 along the Eastern Front and 54 in the West.

    Related WWII Store items (Fighter Aces of WWII)...

  • Germany: Diary entry by the Nazi butcher Hans Frank, "At the present time we still have in the General Government perhaps 100,000 Jews." This is down from 2,500,000 in 1939.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 870 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 631 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 - North: Day 12 of 48 of the Battle toward the Narva River, Estonia. This drive helps lift the Leningrad siege and liberate Narva.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 12 of 17 of the Battle of Krasnoye Selo-Ropsha, Russia (Operation JANUARY THUNDER). This victory will push the German line west of Leningrad back far enough so the Russians can reopen the Moscow-Leningrad railroad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 12 of 33 of the Battle of Luga, Russia. Taking this town west of Leningrad will open the door toward Estonia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 33 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 2 of 25 of the Battle of the Korsun Bulge in Ukraine.
  • MTO - Yugoslavia: US 12th Air Force P-40s and P-47s hit shipping at Dubrovnik and nearby road and rail traffic.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 9 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 4 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops
  • CBI - Burma: Day 27 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,394 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force sinks a patrol boat, a tanker and two freighters.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs various islands in the Marshalls during the day and again shortly after dark.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 129 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. Australian troops start advancing now that the Japanese have been cleared from the Shaggy Line. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 126 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 42 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 86 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , January 25

  • ETO - France: Day 178 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 133 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 41 of 41 of the Battle of the Bulge. All ground taken by the Germans in the Ardennes counter-offensive has now been recovered. The fighting will now continue with Allied forces pushing the Germans east until 8 May 45 when the war in Europe will finally come to an end.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 26 of 26 of Operation NORDWIND, the last major German offensive of World War II on the Western Front. The objective was 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 was unsuccessful.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 129 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
  • ETO: Day 6 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 133 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 103 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 96 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 1 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Soviets begin a 6-day artillery bombardment against Königsberg.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 14 of 23 of the Battle along the Vistula and Oder Rivers in central Poland and eastern Germany. Soviets cut off the city of Posen, Poland, trapping 66,000 German troops.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 12 of 21 of the Battle of Warsaw, Poland.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 89 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 300 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 7 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay. The US 10th Air Force provides air support,
  • CBI - Burma: Day 5 of 39 of the Battle of Ramree Island. The US 10th Air Force provides air support
  • CBI - China: Day 2,760 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force planes attack targets in Peking, destroying 4 locomotives and 40 Japanese airplanes. Elsewhere, their P-51s knock out 42 more locomotives.
  • PTO - Formosa: US 5th Air Force B-24s fly a harassing raid on Takao during the night.
  • PTO - Indonesia: Day 2 of 6 of British Operation MERIDIAN. The Royal Navy's carrier planes destroy the Japanese oil refinery near Palembang, on Sumatra Island.
  • PTO - Japan: US 7th Force bombs Iwo Jima during the afternoon and a few more times during the night.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 395 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 279 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 98 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 42 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.

Day-By-Day listings for January 25 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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