CBI - China: Day 6 of 29 of the 1st Battle of Suiyuan.
1937 — , October 25
Spain: Day 466 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 111 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 74 of 106 of the 2nd Battle of Shanghai.
Day 55 of 70 of the Battle of Taiyuan.
1938 — , October 25
Spain: Day 831 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
CBI - China: Day 476 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 137 of 139 of the Battle of Wuhan.
Day 14 of 81 of Japan's Operation GUANGDONG.
1939 — , October 25
Atlantic: German U-boats sink four more British ships.
CBI - China: Day 841 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1940 — , October 25
ETO - UK: Day 50 of 258 of the Blitz.
ETO - UK: Day 108 of 114 of the Battle of Britain.
East Africa: Day 138 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,207 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 346 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
CBI - Thailand: Day 25 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).
1941 — , October 25
Russian Front - Finland: Day 119 of 142 of Operation SILVER FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign to capture the Russian port of Murmansk in the Arctic.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 117 of 140 of Operation ARCTIC FOX, a joint German-Finnish campaign against Soviet Northern Front defenses at Salla, Finland.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 126 of 164 of the Battle of Hanko. The Soviets will be forced off their leased naval base.
Russian Front: Day 126 of 167 of Germany's Operation BARBAROSSA.
Russian Front - North: Day 48 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - Center: Day 24 of 98 of the Battle of Moscow.
MTO - Libya: Day 199 of 256 of the Siege of Tobruk.
East Africa: Day 503 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt.
CBI - China: Day 1,572 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
1942 — , October 25
Russian Front - North: Day 413 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 174 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 120 of 150 of Germany's CASE BLUE, the failed offensive to take the Caucasus oil fields.
Russian Front - South: Day 64 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
MTO - Egypt: Day 3 of 20 of the 2nd Battle of El Alamein. British 8th Army attack north flank of German 30 Corps. The Australian 9th Division drives north toward the coastal road to Rahman. US B-25s and P-40s provide air support.
East Africa: Day 174 of 186 of the Battle of Madagascar.
CBI - China: Day 1,937 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - Alaska: Day 141 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands. The US and Canada will defeat the Japanese invaders.
PTO - Malaya: Day 249 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 97 of 119 of the Battle of the Kokoda Track. The Australians continue pushing back the Japanese troops.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 80 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 1 of 3 of the Naval Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. The battle will result in a draw, yet a tactical victory for Japan over the US.
1943 — , October 25
CBI - Burma: The Japanese open the infamous Burma to Siam railway, which was built with forced British and commonwealth POW labor.
Allied POWs held by the Japanese
The Burma Railway, also known as the Death Railway, the Thailand-Burma Railway and similar names, was a 258 mile railway between Bangkok, Thailand, and Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar), built by the Empire of Japan during World War II to support its forces in the Burma campaign.
Forced labor was used in its construction. About 180,000 Asian laborers and 60,000 Allied prisoners of war worked on the railway. Of these, around 90,000 Asian laborers and 16,000 Allied POWs died as a direct result of the project. The dead POWs included 6,318 British personnel, 2,815 Australians, 2,490 Dutch, about 356 Americans and a smaller number of Canadians and New Zealanders.
The most famous portion of the railway is Bridge 277, "the bridge over the River Kwai", which was built over a stretch of river which was then known as part of the Mae Klong. The association with the "River Kwai" came from the fact that the greater part of the Thai part of the route followed the valley of the Khwae Noi, "Kwai" being the Thai word for Water Buffalo.
This bridge was immortalized in an historical novel by French writer Pierre Boulle (who also wrote Planet of the Apes) and the 1957 film "The Bridge on the River Kwai" based on it, although many claim that the movie is utterly unrealistic and does not show what the conditions and treatment of prisoners was actually like. Great theme song, though.
Russian Front - North: Day 778 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
Russian Front - North: Day 539 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 63 of 122 of the Battle of the Lower Dnieper River, USSR.
MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force bombers hit at Bologna, Bolzano, and at seven other cities.
CBI - China: Day 2,302 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 37 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 34 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula.
1944 — , October 25
Germany: Heinrich Himmler orders a brutal crackdown on the "Edelweiss Pirates," a loosely-organized gang of youths who rejected the Nazis' authoritarianism and waged "war" against the Hitler Youth. 13 are publicly hanged, without trial, by the Gestapo and SS.
ETO - France: Day 86 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
ETO - Belgium: Day 54 of 62 of the liberation of Belgium.
ETO - Belgium: Day 24 of 38 of the Battle of the Scheldt Estuary.
ETO - France: Day 41 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
ETO - Germany: Day 37 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb targets in western Germany.
Russian Front - Finland: Day 41 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 - Finland: Day 19 of 23 of the Petsamo-Kirkenes Offensive. The Soviets will drive the Germans out of the Arctic region in northern Scandinavia. Russians troops take the German base of Kirkenes in Norway.
Russian Front - Center: Day 11 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia. Germans will hold this area until the very end of the war.
Russian Front - Center: Day 4 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
Russian Front - Center: Day 42 of 72 of the Battle into East Prussia and northern Poland.
Russian Front - Center: Day 10 of 15 of the Battle of Goldap, East Prussia.
Russian Front - South: Day 20 of 24 of the Battle of Debrecen, Hungary.
Russian Front - South: Day 42 of 72 of the Battle of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
Russian Front - South: The Soviets have completed their capture of Transylvania in northwestern Romania.
MTO - Italy: US 12th Air Force fighters provide air cover for the US 5th Army pushing north through the Apennines.
MTO - Greece: US 15th Air Force B-24s bomb Piraeus, Skaramanga, and Salamis harbors.
CBI - Burma: Day 208 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive in Burma.
CBI - China: Day 2,668 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
Day 192 of 259 of Japan's Operation ICHI-GO.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 316 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
PTO - New Guinea: Day 187 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
PTO - Palau Islands: Day 41 of 74 of the Battle of Peleliu (Operation STALEMATE II).
PTO - Philippines: Day 6 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
PTO - Philippines: Day 6 of 73 of the Battle of Leyte.
PTO - Philippines: Day 3 of the 4-day naval Battle of Leyte Gulf.
PTO - Philippines: Day 3 of 4 of the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The center-most action is the Naval Battle off Samar, one of the largest naval battles in history, which takes place in the Philippine Sea off Samar Island.
The escort carrier Gambier Bay, burning from earlier gunfire damage, is bracketed by a salvo from a Japanese cruiser (faintly visible in the background, center-right) shortly before sinking during the Battle off Samar.
The Battle off Samar is the only major action in the larger Battle of Leyte Gulf where the Americans are largely unprepared against opposing Japanese forces. It will go down as one of the greatest military mismatches in naval history, yet it will result in American victory.
Admiral William Halsey Jr was lured into taking his powerful 3rd Fleet after a decoy fleet, leaving only three escort carrier groups of the 7th Fleet in the area. A Japanese surface force of battleships and cruisers, battered earlier in the larger battle and thought to have been in retreat, instead turned around unobserved and stumbled upon the northernmost of the three groups, Task Unit 77.4.3 ("Taffy 3"), commanded by Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague.
Sprague's task unit lost two escort carriers, two destroyers, a destroyer escort and dozens of aircraft. Over a thousand Americans died, comparable to the combined losses of men and ships at the better known Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. But in exchange for the heavy losses for such a small force, they sank or disabled three Japanese cruisers and caused enough confusion to persuade the Japanese commander, Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, to regroup and ultimately withdraw, rather than advancing to sink troop and supply ships at Leyte Gulf.
In the combined Battle of Leyte Gulf, 10,000 Japanese sailors and 3,000 Americans died. Although the battleship YAMATO and the remaining force returned to Japan, the battles marked the final defeat of the Japanese Navy, as the ships remained in port for most of the rest of the war and ceased to be an effective naval force.
Destroyers of Taffy 3 making smoke under fire
Taffy 3's few destroyers and slower destroyer escorts possessed neither the firepower nor armor to effectively oppose the Japanese force, but nevertheless desperately attacked with 5 in / 38 cal guns and torpedoes to cover the retreat of their slow "jeep" carriers. Aircraft from the carriers of Taffy 1, 2, and 3, including FM-2 Wildcats, F6F Hellcats and TBM Avengers, strafed, bombed, torpedoed, rocketed, depth-charged, fired at least one .38 caliber handgun and made numerous "dry" runs at the attacking force when they ran out of ammunition.
Samuel B Roberts at sea
Lt Commander Robert W Copeland addressed the crew of the destroyer escort USS SAMUEL B ROBERTS on the morning of October 25, 1944, with the following words...
"This will be a fight against overwhelming odds from which survival cannot be expected. We will do what damage we can."