CBI - China: Day 145 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.
CBI - China: Day 13 of 41 of the 1st Battle of Shanghai.
1933 — , February 9
CBI - China: Day 40 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.
1937 — , February 9
Spain: Day 208 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
1938 — , February 9
Spain: Day 573 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 218 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 3 of 124 of the Battle of Henan.
1939 — , February 9
Spain: Day 938 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 583 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1940 — , February 9
Finland: Day 72 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
CBI - China: Day 948 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 87 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
Day 13 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.
1941 — , February 9
ETO - UK: Day 157 of 258 of the Blitz.
ETO - France: Admiral Darlan becomes Vice-Premier of Vichy France.
MTO - Bulgaria: In a radio broadcast, Churchill warns Bulgaria against joining the Tripartite Pact.
MTO - North Africa: Day 63 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italians in Egypt and Libya. Churchill orders the British and Australian forces to halt at El Agheila, Libya, so he can send them to Greece. This becomes a blunder as the UK will be unable to save Greece and will lose everything gained in North Africa to Germany.
East Africa: Day 245 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
East Africa - Eritrea: Day 5 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
CBI - China: Day 1,314 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 11 of 31 of the Battle of South Henan.
CBI - Thailand: Day 132 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1942 — , February 9
Atlantic: Day 27 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
Russian Front - North: Day 155 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 2 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 18 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 33 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 33 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
Russian Front - South: Day 103 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are stopped for the winter.
CBI - Burma: Day 58 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
CBI - China: Day 1,679 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 48 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
CBI - Java: Day 11 of 17 of the Battle of Singapore. The Japanese 5th and 18th Divisions are firmly established on the island and begin their advance.
PTO - Borneo: Day 56 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 18 of 18 of the Battle of Rabaul, New Britain Island. The Japanese capture most of the 1,400 Australian defending troops as well as the city.
PTO - Philippines: Day 64 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support.
1943 — , February 9
Russian Front - North: Day 520 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 281 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 60 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. The Soviets retake Belgorod.
MTO - Greece: US 9th Air Force B-25s bomb several airfields in Crete.
MTO - Tunisia: Day 85 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 51 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - Burma: Day 2 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH.
CBI - China: Day 2,044 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 248 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
PTO - Malaya: Day 356 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory. The last of the Allied elements are leaving the island.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 187 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US 13th Air Force provides air support. The Japanese have left the island for good and battle ends at 1625 hours local time.
1944 — , February 9
ETO - France: US 9th Air Force B-26s bomb V-weapon sites and a marshalling yard.
Russian Front - North: Day 646 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 27 of 48 of the Battle toward the Narva River, Estonia. This drive helped lift the Leningrad siege and goes on to liberate Narva.
Russian Front - North: Day 8 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia.
Russian Front - North: Day 27 of 33 of the Battle of Luga, Russia. Taking this town west of Leningrad will open the door toward Estonia.
Russian Front - South: Day 48 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 11 of 31 of the Battle of Nikopol, Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 17 of 25 of the Battle of the Korsun Bulge in Ukraine.
Russian Front - South: Day 14 of 16 of the Battles of Rovno and Lutsk, Ukraine. This Soviet victory will increase the gap in the German line from 70 to 110 miles wide.
MTO - Italy: Day 24 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
MTO - Italy: Day 19 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. The Germans capture Aprilia in the Anzio beachhead. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
CBI - Burma: Day 42 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
CBI - Burma: Day 5 of 19 of the Battle of the Admin Box. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
CBI - China: Day 2,409 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force B-24s bomb targets in the Marshalls.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 144 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 141 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 57 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 101 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
1945 — , February 9
Atlantic: British submarine HMS VENTURER sinks U-boat U-864 west of Bergen, Norway. This is history's only known, publicly acknowledged battle where one submerged submarine sank another.
Submarines made for the best submarine hunters throughout the war, but the British submarine HMS VENTURER made history when it sunk U-864 while both were submerged.
During the months before her departure, the British had intercepted and deciphered Enigma-encoded messages and knew all about U-864's mission. The Admiralty diverted HMS VENTURER to search for U-864 along Norway's west coast. The VENTURER's captain, 25-year-old Jimmy Launders, was something of a boy wonder with a genius for mathematics.
While at periscope depth, VENTURER spotted U-864's periscope and began tracking the German sub, waiting for it to surface in order to get a good shot at it. U-864 soon detected it was being followed and remained under the surface, where it knew it would be safe from the enemy submarine, and commenced zig-zag procedures. For several hours VENTURER followed U-864, but it was apparent that the German was not going to surface, so Launders began to calculate a three-dimensional firing solution. A ship on the surface moves in only two dimensions, forward-backward and left-right, and is difficult enough to hit. U-864 had an extra dimension to play with, up-down, and such a complex solution had never been tried before, since the mathematics were so difficult. Adding to the problem was the fact that surface targets were visually acquired, while the three-dimensional location of U-864 was based on sound alone.
Launders and his crew undertook the task of calculating where U-864 would be four minutes in the future, applying all they had observed in the hours tracking her as she zigged, zagged, dove and rose. Finally, they had the best solution they could come up with and readied four of their eight forward torpedoes. One by one the torpedoes were fired, each at a different angle and target depth, 17 seconds apart. After the last torpedo launched, Launders immediately dove to evade any retaliation. Upon hearing the torpedoes in the water, the German captain also ordered a dive. For four minutes the torpedoes ran. The first one missed. The second one missed. The third one missed. But the U-864 had dived right into the path of the last torpedo, which struck her. She imploded and split in two, taking all hands with her to the bottom 500 feet below the surface.
German U-Boat U-864
U-864 was en route to Japan with a cargo of military equipment and 65 tons of mercury. The entire crew, including German and Japanese engineers and weapons experts, were lost.
The wreckage of U-864 was discovered in 2003 about three miles west of the island of Fedje, Norway. It is classified as a War Grave, however the bottles containing the mercury are deteriorating and an estimated 9 lbs of the toxic substance leaks into the waters every year, contaminating all the sea life in the area. Norway has suggested entombing it in 40 feet of sand and encasing that with concrete or gravel, but critics are concerned about future leakage. A plan to raise it has been put forth but, at a cost of $150 million, the plan has been postponed.
U-864 Graveyard off of Oslo Norway
Two of the three sections of the German U-Boat are seen here. A smaller middle section, said to possibly contain 17 tons of mercury, has yet to be found.
Related dates (submarines)...
16 Sep 39: U-31 participates in WWII's first convoy attack
11 Mar 40: U-31 is sunk for the first of two times