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20 Nov 1885
20 Nov 1896

  • Prince Kotohito was made the commanding officer of 1st Cavalry Regiment. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
20 Nov 1907

  • Nobutake Kondo graduated from the Japanese Navy Academy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
20 Nov 1911

  • Haichou fired on the Qing troop concentration at the railroad station at Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, destroying 5 trains and killing many. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
20 Nov 1914
  • German troops began to withdraw from Ypres, Belgium, abandoning the offensive which began on 20 Oct 1914. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Georg von Küchler was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
20 Nov 1917
  • At the Battle of Cambrai in France, the British Army launched its first full-scale offensive that was designed exclusively to accommodate a new British secret weapon, the Tank (so-called because when the first shipment came from England they were described as water tanks to maintain secrecy). Following a surprise artillery barrage 476 tanks, packed tightly for a mass attack moved against the German lines. Supported by infantry and 289 British aircraft the gains were dramatic, breaching the almost impregnable Hindenberg Line to a depth of 4-5 miles in some places. However, these gains seemed to surprise British High Command equally as much as the Germans and the following cavalry failed to take advantage. Ultimately most of the captured ground would be retaken within a few weeks. Nevertheless, Cambrai demonstrated how a well-thought out attack, combining tanks en masse with surprise, could be used to break the trench deadlock. ww2dbase [AC]
20 Nov 1919

  • Tenryu was commissioned into service and was assigned to Kure Naval District in Japan. Commander Teijiro Murase was named her first commanding officer. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Captain Tetsutaro Imaizumi was named the commanding officer of Settsu. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1919
Launch of USS California at Mare Island Navy Yard, 20 Nov 1919

20 Nov 1919 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1920

  • Rear Admiral Kenkichi Wada was named the chief of staff of Vice Admiral Naoe Nakano (Ryojun Military Port, northeastern China). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Captain Kazu Takemitsu was named the commanding officer of Settsu while the ship was undergoing overhaul at Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]

20 Nov 1920 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1921

  • Captain Shigezo Oyamada was named the commanding officer of Settsu. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
20 Nov 1923
  • S-40 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Captain Takumi Matsumoto was named the commanding officer of Settsu. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
20 Nov 1925
  • Queen Alexandra died at Sandringham House, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
20 Nov 1928

Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1928
Carrier Kaga at Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, Japan, 20 Nov 1928

20 Nov 1928 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1929

  • Rear Admiral Seizaburo Mitsui was named the Chief of Staff of the Mako naval port at Pescadores islands, Taiwan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

20 Nov 1929 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1936
  • Buenaventura Durruti, a leading figure in the Spanish Anarchist movement, died after sustaining battle wounds during the Spanish Civil War on the previous day. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Jose Antonio Prima de Rivera (the leader of the Falange), who had been stranded in Republican Spain at the time of the rising, was executed in Alicante. ww2dbase [AC]
  • A German decree ordered all households to save all kitchen scraps and peelings. A commissar for recycled material was appointed to encourage the public to "make-do and mend". ww2dbase [AC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1936
Roosevelt pleaded his case, Equator crossing ceremony aboard Indianapolis, Nov 1936James Roosevelt punished by Shellbacks, Equator crossing ceremony aboard Indianapolis, Nov 1936
20 Nov 1937
  • Flying the DH.88 aircraft "The Burberry", between Croydon and Cape Town, Flight Officer A. E. Clouston and Mrs. Betty Kirby-Green established a new record for the UK-South Africa return flight in a time of 5 days, 17 hours and 28 minutes. ww2dbase [AC]
  • The order for Chinese government ministries to evacuate the capital city of Nanjing to Hankou, originally ordered by Chiang Kaishek on 16 Nov 1937, was publicly announced at 1200 hours. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
20 Nov 1938 United Kingdom
  • Queen Maud of Norway passed away from heart failure at the age of 68 following surgery in London, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [AC]
20 Nov 1939
  • German submarine U-33 sank three small British trawlers (Thomas Hankins at 1030 hours, Delphine at 1600 hours, and Sea Sweeper at 1700 hours) off Tory Island, Ireland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Chiang Kaishek was made the Premier of the Republic of China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • The US Navy Chief of Naval Operations ordered the Commandant of the US Marine Corps Fourteenth Naval District to plan a Marine garrison at Midway. ww2dbase [CPC]
20 Nov 1940
  • German armed merchant cruiser Pinguin stopped British ship Maimoa with gunfire in the southern Indian Ocean after a long chase. The crew of 87 were taken prisoner and the ship was scuttled. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Teleki and Foreign Minister Csaky signed a protocol in Vienna, Austria, joining the Tripartite Pact. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • British cruiser HMS York delivered anti-aircraft guns to Piraeus, Greece and returned to Alexandria, Egypt. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British bombers sank Italian ship Ardita III in the Red Sea off Assab, Italian East Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian torpedo boat Confienza sank after colliding with Italian armed merchant cruiser Capitano A. Cecchi off Brindisi, Italy. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 116 German bombers dropped 132 tons of high explosive bombs and 296 incendiary bombs on Birmingham, England, United Kingdom overnight. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • No. 261 Squadron RAF was transferred to RAF Station Takali. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1940
Greek troops in Korçë, Albania, Nov 1940

20 Nov 1940 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1941
  • HMAS Sydney sank some time after midnight from the damage sustained in the engagement with German raider Kormoran; all 645 aboard were lost. Kormoran, likewise heavily damaged, was abandoned at 1900 hours and was scuttled three hours later; 81 were killed and 318 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Kurt von Briesen passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German troops captured Rostov, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The Norwegian government-in-exile officially endorsed the resistance movement Milorg. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Japanese ambassador to the US Nomura presented Japan's final proposal to keep peace in Asia and the Pacific. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The daily bread rations in besieged Leningrad, Russia was reduced to 500 grams for military personnel, 250 grams for engineers and technical workers, 125 grams for other workers and children. The situation was hoped to be improving soon, however, as the first successful crossing of the frozen Lake Ladoga was made with horse-drawn sleighs, hoping to bring back food from Kobona. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • One of the ships of Allied convoy PQ-3 struck an iceberg and another developed mechanical problems; both were turned back toward Iceland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Vilnius, Lithuania, 3 prisoners of war were executed as later reported by the Jager Report on 1 Dec 1941. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Japanese-controlled Ryojun Military Port (previously known as Port Arthur; now Lushunkou, Liaoning Province, China), Kwantung Leased Territory in northeastern China was upgraded to the status of a Guard District. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Crown Prince Yi Un was assigned to Guangdong Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The British 7th Armoured Brigade repulsed a counter attack launched by the German 90th Light Infantry Division and the Italian Bologna Division. In the afternoon, the British 4th Armoured Brigade engaged with heavier tanks of the German 15th Panzer Division, losing several American-built M3 tanks. After dark, British cruisers HMS Ajax and HMS Neptune and Australian cruiser HMAS Hobart bombarded Bardia, Libya. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Ed Dyess arrived in Manila, Philippines. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The two crematoria of Auschwitz Concentration Camp were inactivated for servicing; camp commandant ordered that corpses of prisoners were to be transported to Birkenau (not yet a camp) for burying in mass graves until the servicing was done on 3 Dec 1941. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • The Japanese naval base at Mako in Pescadores Islands, Taiwan was upgarded to full Guard District status. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1941
Russian sanitation detachment on Kirov Street in Moscow, Russia, 20 Nov 1941

20 Nov 1941 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1942
  • Adolf Hitler relinquished personal command of Armeegruppe A to General Ewald von Kleist. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • British troops entered the city of Benghazi, Libya, and found ports and facilities destroyed by Germans before their withdrawal. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Alaska-Canadian Highway was dedicated. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • HMAS Warramunga (I44) was commissioned into service with Commander E. F. V. Dechaineux in command. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Soviet destroyer Sokrushitelny was damaged and Soviet destroyer Baku capsized in very heavy weather while escorting Allied convoy QP-15. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Wing Commander H. D. Fraser led 25 aircraft, nine of which carried torpedoes, from No. 236 Squadron RAF to attack a convoy off the Dutch coast. It was a shambles. The promised fighter escort failed to show up, three Beaufighters were shot down, seven more damaged and two crashed at Donna Nook and North Coates, both of which in Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom. Their only success was to sink a German tug. ww2dbase [AC]
Caroline Islands Hawaii
  • USS Finback arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her second war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Japan Russia
  • One day after the first Soviet offensive was launched at Stalingrad, Russia, a second one was launched south of the city against positions held by Romanian 4th Army Corps. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Six He 111 bombers of German Luftwaffe group KG 55 flew an armed reconnaissance mission from their base at Morozovskaya, Russia over Stalingrad, Russia; two aircraft failed to return. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Vice Admiral Takeo Takagi was named the commanding officer of the Mako Guard District at Pescadores islands, Taiwan, which was elevated from its previous position as a third tier naval port. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • The 3rd Battalion of the "San Marco" naval infantry regiment of Italian Navy began arriving in Tunisia from Corsica, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German paratroop Engineer Battalion "Witzig" and Itlaian 1st Paratroop Battalion were deployed together at Djebel Abjod, Tunisia. ww2dbase [CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British government scientist Dr. Reginald V. Jones warned Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Intelligence) of possible new German weapons, ie. rockets, that could threaten Britain. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1942
SOC Seagull aircraft being recovered by cruiser Philadelphia, off North Africa, Nov 1942, photo 1 of 4SOC Seagull aircraft being recovered by cruiser Philadelphia, off North Africa, Nov 1942, photo 2 of 4SOC Seagull aircraft being recovered by cruiser Philadelphia, off North Africa, Nov 1942, photo 3 of 4SOC Seagull aircraft being recovered by cruiser Philadelphia, off North Africa, Nov 1942, photo 4 of 4
See all photos dated 20 Nov 1942

20 Nov 1942 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1943
  • US Marines invaded Makin and Tarawa atolls in the Gilbert Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • On Samos Island, Greece, nearly 5,000 British prisoners were taken by the Germans. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The Soviet Army began an advance on Kirovograd, Ukraine after breaking through German lines near Kremenchug. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Hitler refused permission for the German Armeegruppe Nord to withdraw to the Panther-Wotan Line. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Jews in northern Italy were ordered to be sent to concentration camps. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Joseph Stilwell arrived at Cairo, Egypt and checked into the Mena House hotel. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Australian Papua
  • The headquarters of USAAF 49th Fighter Group was transferred out of Dobodura Airfield, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
British Western Pacific Territories
  • US Marine Corps Major General Ralph Mitchell was named Commander Air Solomons and was placed in charge of all US naval and Marine aviation units in the Solomon Islands region. ww2dbase [CPC]
Caroline Islands Gilbert and Ellice Islands
  • USS New Mexico shelled Japanese positions at Makin Atoll, Gilbert Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
  • USS Portland shell shore positions on Betio Island at Tarawa Atoll in support of the US Marine landings. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | DS]
  • USS Alabama provided naval gunfire support for the US landing at Betio, Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Mingo arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii, ending her second war patrol. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • British Eighth Army crossed the Sangro River in Italy. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
Japan Marshall Islands
  • USS Yorktown (Essex-class) sent raids back to the airfield at Jaluit, Marshall Islands and some of her planes also supported the troops on Makin, Gilbert Islands. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | DS]
  • Alexander Foote, a young English adventurer and International Brigade veteran, who had been recruited by Moscow as a spy with the Lucy Ring, was arrested by the Swiss Police. ww2dbase [AC]
United Kingdom
  • British Fascist Sir Oswald Mosley and Lady Diana Mosley were released from imprisonment. They would stay with Lady Diana's sister Pamela Mitford after their release, followed shortly after by a stay at the Shaven Crown Hotel in Shipton-under-Wychwood. He then purchased Crux Easton, near Newbury, England, United Kingdom, with Diana. He and his wife became the subject of much media attention, but the war had ended what remained of his political reputation. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC, CPC]
  • The FIDO (Fog Intensive Dispersal Operation) scheme was first instigated to effect the safe landing of RAF bombers. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • USS Parche was commissioned into service with Commander Lawson Ramage in command. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1943
Japanese soldiers assaulting the city of Changde, Nov 1943F6F Hellcat fighter of US Navy VF-5 preparing to launch off Yorktown (Essex-class) to attack a target in the Marshall Islands, 20 Nov 1943Battleship Colorado bombarding Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, 20 Nov 1943; note Camouflage Measure 32, Design 3DAdmiral William Halsey and Commander Joseph Clifton at a party for officers at Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, circa Nov 1943
See all photos dated 20 Nov 1943

20 Nov 1943 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1944
  • William Menefee Wilcox was named the commanding officer of USS Pollack. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • For the last time, Hitler left the Wolfsschanze Headquarters for Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Chen Cheng was named the head of the political bureau of the Nationalist military. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Chinese troops captured Mangshih, Yunnan Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • Japanese submarines I-36 and I-47 each delivered four Kaiten submarines off Ulithi, Caroline Islands. Only one of the Kaiten submarines would find a target, setting the fleet oiler Mississinewa, full of aviation fuel, aflame. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • He Yingqin stepped down as Chiang Kaishek's chief of staff for military affairs. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Gao Youxin, leading seven P-40 Warhawk fighters, was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over Jianjiang County, Hubei Province, China. He would spend the next 40-some days attempting to return to friendly lines. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Jean de Lattre de Tassigny was awarded the Ordre de la Libération. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Oberleutnant zur See Otto Hübschen stepped down as the commanding officer of U-2501. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Cod arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: The first engine overhauled in the new progressive engine overall plant, completed its test stand run. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
Mediterranean Sea
  • Garland set sail from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea for Britain. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 1,014 arrested Polish Home Army and other partisan fighters arrived at the NKVD-run Ostashkov Special Camp in Tver Oblast, Russia by a special train after an 8-day journey. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1944
Sinking of oiler USS Mississinewa after being struck by a Kaiten in Ulithi anchorage, Caroline Islands, 20 Nov 1944; photograph taken from fleet ocean tug USS MunseeA column of smoke 500 feet wide rising from the burning fleet oiler USS Mississinewa after being struck by the first Japanese Kaiten deployed, Ulithi Atoll, 30 Nov 1944. Light carrier USS Langley is in the foreground.A destroyer escort dropping depth charges on a second Japanese Kaiten in the cruiser anchorage of Ulithi Lagoon on 20 Nov 1944 after the sinking of USS Mississinewa. Seen from USS Bunker Hill. Photo 1 of 3.A destroyer escort dropping depth charges on a second Japanese Kaiten in the cruiser anchorage of Ulithi Lagoon on 20 Nov 1944 after the sinking of USS Mississinewa. Seen from USS Bunker Hill. Photo 2 of 3.
See all photos dated 20 Nov 1944

20 Nov 1944 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1945
  • Max Merten, already in captivity as a prisoner of war, was arrested for war crimes. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
French Indochina
  • The French flag lowered for the final time at treaty port of Kouang-Tchéou-Wan (Chinese: Guangzhouwan) in southern China. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Trial of the Major War Criminals of the Nuremberg Trials began. Soviet SMERSH officers Leonid Kozlovtsev, Krasilnikov, and Khelipsky arrived in Nürnberg, Germany, presumably to help oversee the Soviet prosecution team. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Settsu was struck from the Japanese Navy list for the second time. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 174 was decommissioned from service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1945
Japanese Type 2 Ka-Mi amphibious tank coming ashore after trials carried out by members of Australian 2/4 Armoured Regiment in Talili Bay, Rabaul, New Britain, Solomon Islands, 20 Nov 1945Ruins of Odamasa Store building, Hiroshima, Japan, 20 Nov 1945; distance from center of blast at this point was about 830 meters

20 Nov 1945 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1950

  • Song Tiancai was captured by communist forces in Shanghai, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
20 Nov 1953

United States
  • USS Bluefish was decommissioned from service at New London, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

20 Nov 1953 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1959

Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1959
The Ewa Plain on the south coast of Oahu, Hawaii with Barbers Point Naval Air Station on the left and the former Ewa Marine Corps Air Station on the right, Nov 20, 1959

20 Nov 1959 Interactive Map

20 Nov 1975
  • Francisco Franco passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis

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Famous WW2 Quote
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal