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20 Jan 1945
  • Martin Bormann ordered Arthur Greiser to flee Reichsgau Wartheland. ww2dbase [Arthur Greiser | CPC]
  • The French First Army under General de Lattre attacked the Colmar Pocket in Alsace, France. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Colonel General Ferdinand Schörner replaced Colonel General Josef Harpe as the head of German Army Group A in eastern Germany. ww2dbase [Vistula-Oder Offensive | CPC]
  • Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was awarded the German Cross in Silver. ww2dbase [Nikolaus von Falkenhorst | CPC]
  • Destroyer Yuzuki was struck from the Japanese navy list. ww2dbase [Yuzuki | CPC]
  • Chinese troops captured Wanting, Yunnan Province, China. ww2dbase [Salween Offensive | CPC]
  • Captain Chojuro Takahashi was named the commanding officer of light carrier Ryuho. ww2dbase [Ryuho | CPC]
  • Light carrier Hosho conducted a torpedo attack training with Air Group 453 and submarine HA-106. ww2dbase [Hosho | CPC]
  • Minoru Ota was made the commanding officer of 4th Maritime Escort Fleet. ww2dbase [Minoru Ota | CPC]
  • Allied aircraft attacked Japanese positions at Monywa, Burma while the Indian 20th Division assaulted the port city on the Chindwin River. Meanwhile, Japanese forces in Burma began a coordinated counteroffensive against the latest Anglo-Indian advances. ww2dbase [Battle of Meiktila-Mandalay | Monywa | CPC]
  • USS Barb pursued a Japanese convoy in the Taiwan Strait, but the convoy was able to enter the southern entrance of the Haitan Strait before the submarine could attack. Commander Eugene Fluckey suspected that the Japanese had dredged the previously shallow northern end of the strait for warships to move through, and asked Sino-American Special Technical Cooperative Organization (SACO), which had a wide coastwatcher network in China, for information. ww2dbase [Barb | Haitan Strait, Fujian | CPC]
Germany Hungary
  • An armistice between the Hungarian Provisional National Government and the Soviet Union insisted that Hungary should declare war on Germany and pay $300,000,000 in reparations. ww2dbase [Budapest Strategic Offensive Operation | AC]
  • Warrant Flying Officer Suzuki and Warrant Flying Officer Sasaki conducted a navigation training flight aboard a E16A Zuiun seaplane at Kure, Japan; the aircraft crashed behind a hangar during landing, killing both, making them the first casualties of Japanese Navy 631 Naval Air Group. Sasaki was supposed to be married that evening. ww2dbase [E16A Zuiun | Kure, Hiroshima | CPC]
  • Nachi was struck from the Japanese Navy list. ww2dbase [Nachi | CPC]
  • US troops captured Diekirch, Luxembourg. Upon capture, the Americans found 12 to 15 dead civilians, executed by retreating German troops of 208th Volksgrenadier Regiment. After the Americans secured the city, the locals began rounding up collaborators, most of whom were jailed for future trials while a small number were executed by vigilantes. ww2dbase [CPC]
Pacific Ocean Philippines Poland United Kingdom
  • Three German V-2 rocket hit London, England, United Kingdom. The first hit Potters Bar at 1100 hours, killing 21. The second hit Calton Road in East Barnet at 1315 hours, killing 12. The third hit Tottenham at 2000 hours, killing 23. ww2dbase [Vergeltungswaffe 2 | V-Weapons Campaign | London, England | CPC]
United States
  • Escort carrier USS Bogue departed New York bound for Quonset Point, Rhode Island. ww2dbase [New York Navy Yard | Bogue | Brooklyn, New York | DS]
  • USS S-38 was struck from the US Naval Vessel Register. ww2dbase [S-38 | CPC]
  • While USS Honolulu was in drydock at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Captain Harry Thurber was relieved as commanding officer of the ship and assigned to the staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet in Washington DC. Commander Olin Scoggins assumed temporary command. ww2dbase [Honolulu | Portsmouth, Virginia | DS]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jan 1945
Four Beaufort bombers of No. 100 Squadron RAAF in flight near Wewak, New Guinea, 20 Jan 1945B-17 Flying Fortress bomber having crash landed on a snowy field, Europe, 20 Jan 1945President Franklin Roosevelt during his inauguration ceremony on the west portico of the White House, Washington DC, United States, 20 Jan 1945. Note Harry Truman seated on the dias.

20 Jan 1945 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 that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945

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