20 Jul 1944
  • USS Hoe fired 4 torpedoes at a Japanese freighter, scoring no hits. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Astoria arrived at Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Ludwig Beck passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • French troops began withdrawing from Italy in preparation for the invasion of southern France. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The British Operation Goodwood in France was stalled by heavy weather; thus far, over 400 tanks were lost. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Benito Mussolini met with Adolf Hitler at Rastenburg, East Prussia, Germany shortly after the failed assassination attempt on Hitler. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The US Army formed the Pearl Harbor Board to analyze the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii of 7 Dec 1941. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Allied aircraft attacked German submarine U-965 in the Atlantic Ocean, killing 1 and wounding 1. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-861 sank Brazilian troop transport Vital de Oliviera off Brazil. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Austrian-born Oberfeldwebel Hermann Buchner was awarded the Knight's Cross medal for 600 combat sorties and 456 aerial victories. Buchner would survive the war with a combined total of 58 kills (four of these whilst flying Me 262 jet fighters), plus 46 tanks and one armoured train destroyed. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Flight Officer Micheal Williams and the Navigator Flight Officer Arthur Waples failed to return to their base at Castle Camps. The last report from their Mosquito XVII aircraft was over the sea near Dover, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [HM]
  • Canadian corvette HMCS Cobalt completed its forecastle extension work at Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada. ww2dbase [CPC]
Caroline Islands
  • US Far East Air Force B-24 bombers attacked Yap, Caroline Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • 6 US B-17 bombers were launched after sundown to drop propaganda leaflets over France while 12 B-24 bombers dropped supplies to resistance fighters. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Isis was sunk, either by a German naval mine or by a German Neger manned torpedo off Normandy, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Canadian frigate HMCS Matane was damaged by a glider bomb off Brest, France, killing 2. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Operation Valkyrie was launched to assassinate Hitler and to overthrow the Nazi German government. It failed, leading to the arrest and execution of many who became implicated in the plot. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Bombers of US 8th Air Force in Britain and US 15th Air Force in Italy attacked Dessau, Kothen, Leipzig, Nordhuasen, Rudolstadt, Merseburg, Bad Nauheim, Koblenz, and many other targets across Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-3001 was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-2335 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Light carrier Ryuho completed her flight deck repairs and exited the drydocks at Kure, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 107 was completed and was transferred to the Japanese Army as SB No. 123. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Landing ship No. 137 was launched. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • PB4Y-1 Liberator bombers of US Navy Patrol Bomber Squadron 109 from Saipan, Mariana Islands attacked Iwo Jima, Haha Jima, and Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands. ww2dbase [CPC]
Mariana Islands
  • P-47 aircraft of US 7th Air Force continued to attack Japanese positions on Tinian while US Navy warships bombarded Guam in the Mariana Islands. Meanwhile, underwater demolition teams conducted their final missions to remove obstacles on the invasion beaches at Asan and Agat on Guam. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • British destroyer HMS Crescent was launched at Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British minesweeper HMS Jewel was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British boom defense vessel HMS Precise was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British submarine HMS Vengeful was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Whirlwind was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British destroyers HMS Zest was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A farmer was surprised when a V-1 bomb impacted in woodland by his house in Gipping, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom. It was thought that the automatic pilot system had failed to make the bomb go so far off course. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | HM]
United States
  • USS Marcus Island embarked US Navy squadron VC-21 at San Diego, California, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US submarine USS Tigrone was launched. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The staff at the Los Alamos site of the Manhattan Project shifted focus to work on the implosion mechanism for the atomic bomb. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US escort carrier Gilbert Islands was launched. ww2dbase [CPC]

20 Jul 1944 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
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal