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20 Jul 1941
  • Japanese luxury ocean liner Hikawa Maru arrived at Osaka, completing her 73rd round trip across the Pacific. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
  • The Soviet Union resumed diplomatic relations with the countries occupied by Germany. ww2dbase [TH]
  • 6 British Blenheim bombers damaged a tanker off Le Touquet, France with three high explosive bombs and several incendiary bombs, forcing the ship to beach near Berck-sur-Mer to prevent sinking. Two British aircraft and one German Bf 109 fighter were shot down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian torpedo boat Circe sank British submarine HMS Union with depth charges southwest of the Italian island of Pantellaria between Sicily and Tunisia. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-126 spotted transport Canadian Star in the Atlantic Ocean at 0100 hours and proceeded to attack at 0242 hours with both torpedoes fired missing; U-126 and Canadian Star engaged in a duel with surface guns, and U-126 was forced to abandon the attack. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-95 attacked transport Palma in the Atlantic Ocean at 0505 hours with both torpedoes fired missing. At 0528, U-95 opened fire with her deck gun, hitting Palma three times (though the German lookouts only spotted and recorded one hit), but Palma would be able to escape. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • In a broadcast to the people of occupied Europe, Prime Minister Winston Churchill inaugurated the "V" (for victory) campaign. ww2dbase [Winston Churchill | AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Alessandro Malaspina was ordered to change its patrol area in the Atlantic Ocean twice, at 0600 hours and then again at 2200 hours. ww2dbase [Alessandro Malaspina | CPC]
  • Alpino Bagnolini sighted Vichy French freighter √éle D'Ouessant in the Atlantic Ocean at 0740 hours and did not pursue. ww2dbase [Alpino Bagnolini | CPC]
  • The German 2nd Rannikkoiskukompania arrived at Bengtsk√§r island, Finland at the entry of the Gulf of Finland. ww2dbase [Bengtsk√§r | CPC]
  • Werner M√∂lders was promoted to the rank of Oberst and was transferred to the Reich Air Ministry in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Werner M√∂lders | Berlin | CPC]
  • Soviet destroyer Stremitel'ny was sunk by German aircraft in Kolafjord north of Murmansk, Russia. ww2dbase [Murmansk | CPC]
  • Vsevolod Merkulov stepped down as the People's Commissar of State Security of the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Vsevolod Merkulov | Moscow | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Brendan Bracken was named the British Minister of Information. ww2dbase [London, England | CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Lively was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]

20 Jul 1941 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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USS Wasp, 1958

Famous WW2 Quote
"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945

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