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20 May 1940
  • In France, Rommel's troops began a new offensive but was held up at Arras. Meanwhile, Guderian's troops continued to advance, capturing Amiens at 0900 hours, Abbeville at 1900 hours, and Noyelles-sur-Mer at 2000 hours; they had reached the English Channel. At Dunkerque on the French coast, small seacraft began gathering for an Allied evacuation. ww2dbase [Invasion of France and the Low Countries | TH]
  • The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano began to carry only war news published by the Italian government. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British Prime Minister Churchill sent a telegram to US President Roosevelt, again requesting for destroyers; "If they were here in 6 weeks, they would play an invaluable part." ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | CPC]
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt expressed his concern regarding the Uruguayan-German tension to Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles. Welles reported to Roosevelt that the Uruguayan government had taken steps to investigate Nazi Party activities in Montevideo. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • Oberleutnant Heinrich Driver was named the commanding officer of U-23, relieving Heinz Beduhn. ww2dbase [U-23 | CPC]
  • 24 G3M bombers of Japanese 13th Air Group attacked Liangshan Airfield in Chongqing, China in the morning at the altitude of 14,700 feet. They were intercepted by eight I-16 fighters of 24th Pursuit Squadron of Chinese Air Force 4th Pursuit Group. The Chinese fighters shot down a G3M bomber, damaged two others (Chinese pilots claimed these as kills but they were able to make it back to base), and shot down an accompanying Ki-15-II aircraft in an observation role. The Chinese lost two I-16 fighters, which were written off due to heavy damage. ww2dbase [Bombing of Shanghai, Chongqing, and other Cities | Liangshan Airfield | Chongqing | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 May 1940
German PaK 36 fighting in France, 1940

20 May 1940 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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Winston Churchill, on the RAF

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