At 7.22 AM 75 miles North of Murmansk in the Barents Sea, U-584 sinks soviet submarine M-175 (all 21 hands lost).
Eastern Front. Germans are unprepared for the Soviet offensive, not realizing the extensive Russian reserves of manpower, with little or no winter clothing and thin defenses in many places. Konev’s Kalanin Front begins to surround German 9th Army at Rhzev; 29th Army attacking from the North while 39th Army makes a deep penetration in the flank Northwest of Rhzev.
Mediterranean. From 5 PM to 8 PM 40 miles Northeast of Sidi Barrani, Egypt, British destroyer HMS Legion and Dutch destroyer HrMs Isaac Sweers drop 43 depth charges on U-374, which escapes but is damaged and unable to submerge. In the Ionian Sea 120 miles West of Patras, Greece, British submarine HMS Thrasher sinks Italian steamer Fedora (from Brindisi, Italy, to Patras).
Malaya. Japanese tanks and infantry again rout Indian 11th Division at Serendah on the road 15 miles North of the capital, Kuala Lumpur. British evacuate Kuala Lumpur. In the Gulf of Siam, Dutch submarine O-19 sinks Japanese freighters Akita Maru and Tairyu Maru running supplies from French Indochina to Thailand. Troop convoys MS1 and MS2 leave Australia, carrying Australian soldiers to Singapore and Dutch East Indies.
Philippines. Battle of Bataan, Japanese attack again but are held at the Abucay-Mauban line. Bataan peninsula, Luzon (15-20 miles wide and 30 miles long North-South) is packed with 65,000 Filipino troops, 15,000 US troops and 26,000 civilians. They have a plentiful supply of ammunition for a protracted siege but only enough food for a month and precious little medicine, especially quinine to prevent malaria that will become endemic. US submarine USS Pickerel sinks Japanese gunboat Kanko Maru off Davao Gulf, Mindanao.
A Dutch Dornier Do 24K flying boat spots the Japanese invasion fleet from Mindanao, Philippines, approaching the tiny oil-rich island of Tarakan, 1 mile off Dutch Borneo. Dutch troops begin destroying oil wells, refinery and airfield.
In South China Sea, US submarine USS Stingray sinks Japanese cargo ship Harbin Maru 40 miles South of Japanese naval base on Hainan Island.
First US troop convoy to Britain (convoy NA1; 2 troop transports escorted by British destroyers HMS Beverley, Hamilton and Rockingham) departs Halifax, Nova Scotia, for Londonderry, Northern Ireland.