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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 [Illustrious | 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 [Franklin Roosevelt | CPC]
  • 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]
  • The British Royal Navy battleship, HMS Warspite, arrived at Malta's Grand Harbour to a rapturous welcome from the islanders. ww2dbase [Warspite | AC]
  • The Defense Committee of the Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Union officially adopted the PPSh-41 submachine gun. ww2dbase [PPSh-41 | 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 [Battle of Britain | Liverpool, England | TH]
United States
  • The Maritime Commission formally issued contracts to Henry Kaiser and Joseph Todd to build a new shipyard on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in the tidal flats of Richmond, California. The contract also called for Kaiser and Todd to build 30 merchant ships according to a British design. ww2dbase [Kaiser Richmond Shipyards | Henry Kaiser | Richmond, California | DS]
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.

20 Dec 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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Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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