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20 Dec 1943
  • A spy ring working for the Germans, led by a 19-year old Italian, was broken in Sicily. ww2dbase [TH]
  • The Falangist Militia was dissolved in Spain. ww2dbase [TH]
  • RAF made the heaviest raid of the war on Frankfurt, Germany, with 650 aircraft (390 Lancaster, 257 Halifax, and 3 Mosquito) dropping over 2,000 tons of explosives; less than an hour later, RAF Mosquito aircraft followed up in order to hamper firefighting efforts. 14 Lancaster and 27 Halifax bombers were lost. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | TH]
  • Allied convoy JW-55B departed Loch Ewe, Scotland, United Kingdom for Murmansk, Russia. It was consisted of 19 freighters escorted by 2 destroyers and 3 smaller warships. Further away, eight British destroyers provided distant support. ww2dbase [Battle of the North Cape | CPC]
  • USS Puffer sank Japanese destroyer Fuyo west of the Philippine Islands, hitting her with 2 of 4 torpedoes fired. She also fired 5 torpedoes at the convoy Fuyo was escorting, claiming two hits and the sinking of a freighter. ww2dbase [Puffer | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler ordered Wehrmacht officers to devote utmost effort to the production of Me 262 jet fighters. He stressed that these jets could serve as an anti-invasion weapon, dropping bombs on Allied beachheads. ww2dbase [Me 262 Schwalbe | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean Caroline Islands
  • Repair ship Akashi completed the repair work for destroyer Amagiri at Truk, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [Akashi | Truk | CPC]
China Dutch East Indies Germany
  • Kurt Tank, designer of the Ta 152 aircraft, again failed to convince the German Air Ministry to give the development of Ta 152 priority. ww2dbase [Ta 152 | CPC]
  • The USAAF 306th Bomb Group flying from RAF Thurleigh launched an incendiary bombing raid against port facilities at Bremen, Germany. "Window" foil chaff is used by the bombers for the first time. ww2dbase [RAF Thurleigh | Bremen | DS]
Hawaii Italy
  • Canadian troops assaulted "The Gully" in Italy, only to find that the German troops had already fallen back to Ortona. The Canadians attempted to advance to Ortona, but was driven back by heavy machine gun fire. ww2dbase [Advance to the Gustav Line | Ortona, Abruzzo | CPC]
  • Yamato departed Yokosuka, Japan for Truk, Caroline Islands escorted by Yamagumo and Tanikaze of Destroyer Division 4. ww2dbase [Yamato | Yokosuka, Kanagawa | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Grayback attacked a six-freighter Japanese convoy after nightfall, sinking a total of one freighter and damaging another; nine or more torpedoes were expended in this attack. ww2dbase [Grayback | CPC]
  • The Rapportf├╝hrer of the quarantine camp at Auschwitz II-Birkenau Concentration camp (Sector BIIa) gave an order to flog the whole first row of prisoners for too little springy posture at the roll call, which took place during the cold wind and falling snow. Four prisoners were then transferred to the camp hospital due to the flogging. ww2dbase [Auschwitz Concentration Camp | Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | Oswiecim | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Dec 1943
US Army LVT vehicle in mud, Cape Gloucester, New Britain, circa late 1943German submarine U-850 under attack by Lt Harold Bradshaw from Composite Squadron VC-19 flying from USS Bogue, 20 Dec 1943. Note what appears to be a Mark 24 FIDO homing torpedo entering the water.St PaulReconnaissance photograph of the southern area of Heito Airfield, Heito (now Pingdong), Taiwan, 20 Dec 1943

20 Dec 1943 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
"Goddam it, you'll never get the Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!"

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

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