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20 Oct 1940
  • During the night 7 British Wellington bombers attacked battleship Tirpitz to little effect. ww2dbase [Tirpitz | CPC]
  • Orion and Komet were replenished by supply ship Kulmerland. ww2dbase [Orion | CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Gallant, HMS Griffin, and HMS Hotspur located Italian submarine Lafole off Mellila, Morocco in the Mediterranean Sea, using information captured from Italian submarine Durbo on 18 Oct. Hotspur sank Lafole by ramming; 37 Italians were killed and 9 survived and captured. Hotspur's bow was damaged, forcing her to be out of commission until 20 Feb 1941 for repairs. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-124 sank Norwegian ship Cubano (2 killed, 29 survived) and British ship Sulaco (65 killed, 1 survived) 200 miles west of Ireland. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • German submarines U-46, U-47, and U-100 attacked Allied convoy HX-79 50 miles northwest of Ireland, sinking 7 and damaging 1 between 0000 and 0720 hours. U-100 sank British ship Loch Lomond; 1 was killed and 111 survived. ww2dbase [U-47 | CPC]
  • Italian BR20 bombers, Z1007 bombers, G50 fighters, and CR42 fighters arrived in Belgium and began to prepare their missions against Britain. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German guns near Calais, France fired 50 shells at Dover, England, United Kingdom; 15 of the shells detonated. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Werner Mölders was promoted to the rank of Oberstleutnant. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Alessandro Malaspina fired a torpedo at 0002 hours at Dutch freighter Bussum which had been sighted in the Atlantic Ocean at 2345 hours on the previous date. Shortly after, she fired a second torpedo. One explosion was observed by the Italians, but Bussum continued to sail at speed. At 0027 hours, a third torpedo was fired, followed by a fourth at 0046 hours, both of which missed. The two ships then exchanged several rounds of gunfire on the surface before Bussum successfully escaped from the Italian submarine at around 0200 hours. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | Alessandro Malaspina | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • 5 raids consisted of German fighters and fighter-bombers flew over Kent in southern England, United Kingdom toward London between 0930 and 1500 hours; the Germans lost 6 Bf 109 fighters and 1 Bf 110 fighter, while the British lost 3 fighters without losing any pilots. Between 1900 hours and 0100 hours of the next day, London, Coventry, and Birmingham were bombed. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | England | CPC]

20 Oct 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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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

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