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20 Jan 1941
  • The Iron Guard rebellion in Romania was put down by Marshal Antonescu. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Japan expanded annual intelligence budget to $500,000 to gather more intelligence on the United States. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Compulsory Fire Watch duty was instituted in the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [TH]
  • In reprisal for partisan attacks, Germans executed 2,324 males in the Yugoslavian town of Kragujevac, including 144 boys who were herded out of school. Furious at the partisan activity, Hitler had decreed that for every German soldier wounded in attacks, 100 civilians would be executed. ww2dbase [AC]
  • German submarine U-94 sank British ship Florian 200 miles southeast of Iceland at 0042 hours, killing the entire crew of 41. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German Kriegsmarine ordered the construction of 75 new submarines. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German cruiser Admiral Scheer sank British ship Stanpark and captured Dutch ship Barneveld 1,000 miles off the coast of Angola. ww2dbase [Admiral Scheer | CPC]
  • In the Atlantic Ocean, Italian submarine Luigi fired a spread of three torpedoes at a group of three Allied destroyers but none hit. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian submarine Marcello, en route to Bordeaux, France for repairs, encountered Belgian ship Portugal and sank her with the deck gun. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeping trawler HMT Relonzo hit a mine and sank off Liverpool, England, United Kingdom, killing 19. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • RAF Wellington and Blenheim bombers, monitor HMS Terror, and gunboats HMS Gnat and HMS Ladybird attacked Italian positions at Tobruk, Libya overnight. ww2dbase [Operation Compass | CPC]
  • Chinese Communist leadership defiantly declared a re-organized New Fourth Army after Chiang Kaishek called for the army's disbanding due to treachery. ww2dbase [New Fourth Army incident | CPC]
  • At Adolf Hitler's Berghof residence near Berchtesgaden, Germany, Hitler mentioned to Benito Mussolini and Galeazzo Ciano that Germany viewed the Soviet Union as a threat, but did not reveal the plan to invade. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | Berchtesgaden, M√ľnchen-Oberbayern | CPC]
  • The order for U-821 was issued. ww2dbase [U-821 | CPC]
  • The order for the construction of U-822 was issued. ww2dbase [U-822 | CPC]
Spain United Kingdom
  • Lieutenant Commander Clement Bridgman was named the equipping officer of HMS Dianthus. ww2dbase [Dianthus | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jan 1941
Inaugural program of Franklin Roosevelt and Henry Wallace, 20 Jan 1941Himmler and Mussert at Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, 20 Jan 1941, photo 1 of 2Himmler and Mussert at Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, 20 Jan 1941, photo 2 of 2

20 Jan 1941 Interactive Map

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

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