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20 Jul 1944
  • Ludwig Beck passed away. ww2dbase [Ludwig Beck | CPC]
  • French troops began withdrawing from Italy in preparation for the invasion of southern France. ww2dbase [Invasion of Southern France | TH]
  • The British Operation Goodwood in France was stalled by heavy weather; thus far, over 400 tanks were lost. ww2dbase [Normandy Campaign, Phase 1 | TH]
  • USS Hoe fired 4 torpedoes at a Japanese freighter, scoring no hits. ww2dbase [Hoe | CPC]
  • USS Astoria arrived at Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Astoria (Cleveland-class) | CPC]
  • Benito Mussolini met with Adolf Hitler at Rastenburg, East Prussia, Germany shortly after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler. ww2dbase [Benito Mussolini | CPC]
  • The US Army formed the Pearl Harbor Board to analyze the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii of 7 Dec 1941. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | Detailed Timetable | CPC]
  • Allied aircraft attacked German submarine U-965 in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 1 and wounding 1. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-861 sank Brazilian troop transport Vital de Oliviera off Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Austrian-born Oberfeldwebel Hermann Buchner was awarded the Knight's Cross medal for 600 combat sorties and 456 aerial victories. Buchner would survive the war with a combined total of 58 kills (four of these whilst flying Me 262 jet fighters), plus 46 tanks and one armoured train destroyed. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Flight Officer Micheal Williams and the Navigator Flight Officer Arthur Waples failed to return to their base at Castle Camps. The last report from their Mosquito XVII aircraft was over the sea near Dover, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [English Channel | HM]
  • Canadian corvette HMCS Cobalt completed its forecastle extension work at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada. ww2dbase [CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • US Far East Air Force B-24 bombers attacked Yap, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Yap | CPC]
France Germany
  • Operation Valkyrie was launched to assassinate Hitler and to overthrow the Nazi German government. It failed, leading to the arrest and execution of many who became implicated in the plot. ww2dbase [July Plot | TH]
  • Bombers of US 8th Air Force in Britain and US 15th Air Force in Italy attacked Dessau, Kothen, Leipzig, Nordhuasen, Rudolstadt, Merseburg, Bad Nauheim, Koblenz, and many other targets across Germany. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • German submarine U-3001 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-2335 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Francis Gabreski completed a bomber escort mission to Russelheim, Germany. On the return trip, he observed He 111 aircraft on an airfield at Niedermendig, Germany and decided to strafe them. His first pass failed to achieve the results he wanted, and dove for a second pass. During the second pass, he flew far too low, causing his propellers to hit the ground, thus forcing him to crash land. He ran into nearby woods and eluded immediate capture. ww2dbase [Francis Gabreski | Niedermendig, Mosselland | CPC]
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched a bombing raid against the Junkers aircraft engine factory at K√∂then, Germany but factors required striking a target of opportunity instead, a railway bridge at Rudolstadt, Germany. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | Rudolstadt | DS]
  • Light carrier Ryuho completed her flight deck repairs and exited the drydocks at Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [Kure Naval Arsenal | Ryuho | Kure, Hiroshima | CPC]
  • PB4Y-1 Liberator bombers of US Navy Patrol Bomber Squadron 109 from Saipan, Mariana Islands attacked Iwo Jima, Haha Jima, and Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 107 was completed and was transferred to the Japanese Army as SB No. 123. ww2dbase [No. 101/103-class | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 137 was launched. ww2dbase [No. 101/103-class | CPC]
Mariana Islands
  • P-47 aircraft of US 7th Air Force continued to attack Japanese positions on Tinian while US Navy warships bombarded Guam in the Mariana Islands. Meanwhile, underwater demolition teams conducted their final missions to remove obstacles on the invasion beaches at Asan and Agat on Guam. ww2dbase [Mariana Islands Campaign and the Great Turkey Shoot | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British destroyer HMS Crescent was launched at Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Glasgow, Scotland | CPC]
  • British minesweeper HMS Jewel was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British boom defense vessel HMS Precise was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Vengeful was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Whirlwind was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Zest was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A farmer was surprised when a V-1 bomb impacted in woodland by his house in Gipping, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom. It was thought that the automatic pilot system had failed to make the bomb go so far off course. ww2dbase [V-Weapons Campaign | Vergeltungswaffe 1 | Gipping, England | HM]
United States

20 Jul 1944 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

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