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20 Oct 1941
  • In reprisal for partisan attacks the Germans executed 2,324 Serbian men and boys in the Yugoslavian town of Kragujevac, including 300 boys who were herded out of the First Boys High School on the previous day. Local German authorities announced that the mass execution was in resopnse to a recent attack that saw 10 Germans killed and 26 wounded. Furious at partisan activity, Adolf Hitler had previously decreed that for every German soldier killed in attacks, 100 civilian would be executed, and for every German wounded, 50 would be executed. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Hornet (Yorktown-class) was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Hornet (Yorktown-class) | CPC]
  • After sundown, cruiser HMS Latona and destroyers HMS Kingston, HMS Encounters, and HMAS Nizam departed Alexandria, Egypt for Tobruk, Libya, returning in the early hours of the next day. To protect them, British cruisers HMS Ajax and HMS Galatea and Australian cruiser HMAS Hobart, escorted by destroyers HMS Griffin and HMS Jaguar, bombarded German coastal guns near Tobruk. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • In northern Russia, Soviet General Fedyuninsky launched an attack south of Lake Ladoga with 70,000 troops and 97 tanks in an attempt to break through the Leningrad siege. Meanwhile, German troops moved to attack the rail and road junction at Tikhvin 120 kilometers to the east to strengthen the siege. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • German submarine U-126 damaged British tanker British Mariner 80 miles off British West Africa at 0554 hours; 3 were killed, 48 survived; the tanker would be towed to Freetown where she was written off as a loss but would remain in service as an oil hulk. U-126 shadowed another tanker nearby, but was chased away by an escorting vessel before she could launch an attack. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The United Kingdom and France concluded a Treaty of Mutual Assistance with Turkey. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Walther von Brauchitsch was awarded the Victory Cross 1st Class of Slovankia. ww2dbase [Walther von Brauchitsch | CPC]
  • Japanese luxury ocean liner Hikawa Maru departed Yokohama for Seattle. ww2dbase [Hikawa Maru | CPC]
United States
  • Submarine Haddock was launched at at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, United States, sponsored by the wife of William H. Allen. ww2dbase [Haddock | Kittery, Maine | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Oct 1941
TBD-1 Devastator aircraft 6-T-9 of Torpedo Squadron 6 dropped a Mark XIII torpedo during exercises in the Pacific, 20 Oct 1941Prime Minister Tojo and his cabinet ministers, circa mid-Oct 1941TBD-1 Devastator aircraft of Torpedo Squadron 6 dropped a Mark XIII torpedo during exercises in the Pacific, 20 Oct 1941, photo 2 of 2TBD-1 Devastator aircraft 6-T-4 of Torpedo Squadron 6 dropped a Mark XIII torpedo during exercises in the Pacific, 20 Oct 1941
See all photos dated 20 Oct 1941

20 Oct 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"With Germany arming at breakneck speed, England lost in a pacifist dream, France corrupt and torn by dissension, America remote and indifferent... do you not tremble for your children?"

Winston Churchill, 1935

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