20 Feb 1940
  • General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst was appointed to command the German invasion of Norway. ww2dbase [Nikolaus von Falkenhorst | TH]
  • German submarine U-129 sank Norwegian ship Nordvangen 25 miles east of Trinidad at 0425 hours, killing the entire crew of 2. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-156 torpedoed and crippled American ship Delplata 60 miles west of Martinique, at 1131 hours. The crew of 53 abandoned ship and were rescued by USS Lapwing on the next day, which also scuttled Delplata with gunfire. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviet troops began penetrating the Finnish V-line as deep as 1 kilometer in some places. ww2dbase [The Winter War | CPC]
  • The keel for corvette Trillium was laid down. ww2dbase [Trillium | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • German submarine U-96 sank British merchant ship Empire Seal 75 miles southwest of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, killing 1. 56 survivors were rescued by British ship Empire Flame. Empire Seal was carrying steel from the United States to Belfast. At 0453, U-96 struck again, sinking American merchant ship Lake Osweya at 0453 hours, killing the entire crew of 39. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-54 became missing in the North Sea and its crew of 41 were never seen again. It was believed that she ran into mines laid by HMS Ivanhoe and HMS Intrepid in early Jan 1940. ww2dbase [North Sea | CPC]
  • Operation Normark was called off after the German fleet consisted of Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, and Admiral Hipper failed to spot any British convoys in the North Sea. The ships headed for Wilhelmshaven, Germany. ww2dbase [North Sea | HM]
  • Seeadler completd her patrol of the Skagerrak strait between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. ww2dbase [Seeadler | Skagerrak | CPC]
  • Representatives of the German Gestapo organization (including Adolf Eichmann) and the Soviet NKVD organization (including Grigoriy Litvinov) met at Zakopane, Poland to coordinate the suppression of Polish resistance efforts. ww2dbase [Gestapo-NKVD Conferences | Zakopane | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Feb 1940
Finnish soldiers on skis with reindeers, near Jäniskoski, Finland, 20 Feb 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
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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