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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 [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | Facility | 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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"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

Winston Churchill