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20 Mar 1943
  • The British Eighth Army broke through German Mareth Line in Tunisia. ww2dbase [Operations Pugilist and Supercharge II | TH]
  • Churchill's post war plans, broadcasted over radio, was criticized as very socialist. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • The Japanese Navy was ordered to execute all Allied personnel captured at sea. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Major John Sapp of US Marine Torpedo-Bomber Squadron 143 led the first American aerial mine-laying mission in the South Pacific off the Solomon Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS Pollack damaged a Japanese freighter between Jaluit and Makin Atolls in the Gilbert Islands and Marshall Islands area, hitting her with one of four torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Pollack | CPC]
  • Archibald Wavell ordered the offensive in Arakan Peninsula, Burma abandoned, falling back to the Maungdaw-Buthidaung line. ww2dbase [First Battle of Arakan | Arakan | CPC]
China Japan
  • Light carrier Ryuho arrived in the Inland Sea in Japanese waters. ww2dbase [Ryuho | Inland Sea | CPC]
  • The 1,474-ton Greek merchant steamer Varvara carrying munitions from Alexandria, Egypt received fatal damage from German aircraft 500 yards southwest of the Tripoli harbour entrance, Libya. ww2dbase [HM]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Whale attacked a Japanese convoy off Saipan, Mariana Islands, damaging Mogamigawa Maru and Arizona Maru, hitting them with 4 of 6 torpedoes fired, but also suffered serious damage by depth charges and aerial bombs. ww2dbase [Whale | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Mar 1943
USS Essex on her shakedown cruise, 20 Mar 1943, with F6F aircraft in foreground and SBD in the back

20 Mar 1943 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