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20 Dec 1940
  • 15 British carrier aircraft from HMS Illustrious attacked an Italian convoy off Kerkennah islands, Tunisia between 0515 and 0615 hours, sinking two of the three ships in the convoy. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Italian submarine Calvi sank British ship Carlton 300 miles west of Ireland, killing 31. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyer Berkeley hit a mine in the River Medway in southern England, United Kingdom; she was damaged but did not sink. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • US President Roosevelt named a four-member defense board under William A. Knudsen to prepare defense measures and to hasten the aid to the United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
France
  • Two Spitfire fighters of No. 66 Squadron from RAF Biggin Hill in London, England, United Kingdom carried out a sweep over Breck and Le Touquet in France, strafing power transformers, camps and road traffic. This marked a change in RAF fighter tactics to a more offensive role. ww2dbase [AC]
Malta
  • The British Royal Navy battleship, HMS Warspite, arrived at Malta's Grand Harbour to a rapturous welcome from the islanders. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Russia
  • The Defense Committee of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union officially adopted the PPSh-41 submachine gun. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Liverpool, England, United Kingdom was bombed by the Luftwaffe. 42 were killed when two official shelters collapsed, 72 were killed when bombs destroyed a shelter in the Blackstock Gardens tenement, and a further 42 were killed when an unofficial shelter at Bentinck Street under railway arches was hit. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
Photo(s) dated 20 Dec 1940
A freshly-constructed wall across a street in the city center defines the boundary of the Warsaw Ghetto for the city’s approximately 500,000 Jews, 20 Dec 1940.

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
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943