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20 Jul 1940
  • German aircraft sank transport Pulborough and damaging destroyer HMS Brazen off Dover, England, United Kingdom at the cost of 3 aircraft, shot down by Brazen's anti-aircraft guns. 10 miles off of the Isle of Wight, destroyer HMS Acheron was bombed and damaged by near misses. The day's actions cost the RAF 5 Hurricane fighters, 1 Spitfire fighter, and 1 Blenheim bomber, while 7 pilots and 1 gunner were killed; the Germans lost at least 6 fighters, 2 bombers, and 1 seaplane. The British government released the report that claimed 40 German aircraft shot down in the past week. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • During the night, British aircraft from Hemswell-Lincolnshire attacked Tirpitz to little effect. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • Six British Swordfish torpedo bombers from carrier HMS Eagle attacked Tobruk, Libya in search of Italian cruiser Giovanni dalle Bande Nere that escaped the Battle of Cape Spada on the previous day. The cruiser was not found in port, thus destroyers Ostro and Nembo and transport Sereno were attacked and sank instead. ww2dbase [Eagle | CPC]
  • Destroyers USS Walke and USS Wainwright departed Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for Rio Grande du Sol, Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German pilot Werner Streib of the Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 wing achieved the first night kill of the unit by shooting down a British Whitley bomber. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Canadian patrol vessel HMCS Ambler departed Quebec City, Quebec, Canada to patrol Riviere du Loup. ww2dbase [Quebec City, Quebec | CPC]
  • The keel of Canadian corvette HMCS Trail was laid down in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ww2dbase [North Vancouver, British Columbia | CPC]
  • Canadian patrol craft HMCS Norsal was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
Germany Greece
  • British submarine HMS Parthian disembarked a British agent on Crete, Greece. ww2dbase [Crete | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The British government banned the sale of new cars. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS P612 was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down his first enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain, a Bf 109E fighter of German Jagdgeschwader 27 wing. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Jul 1940
HMS Eagle at Alexandria, Egypt, 20 Jul 1940; note HMS Warspite in background

20 Jul 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. You win the war by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country!"

George Patton, 31 May 1944

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