20 Sep 1940
  • German submarine U-A sank Panamanian collier Tuira 400 miles west of Ireland at 0027 hours, killing 2. German submarine U-46 torpedoed and damaged Greek ship Leonidas M. Valmas 50 miles northwest of Ireland at 2150 hours; she would not sink due to its cargo of wood, but 16 crew members died in the fire; 2 survivors were rescued by British destroyer HMS Arrow. 10 miles north of Malin Head, Ireland, German submarine U-138 fired three torpedoes at Allied convoy OB-216 between 2120 and 2126 hours; all three torpedoes hit, sinking Yugoslavian collier Boka was sunk (8 killed, 26 survived) and British passenger liner City of Simla (3 killed, 182 crew and 165 passengers survived); British whale factory ship New Sevilla was damaged but would remain afloat until the next day (2 killed, 282 survived). ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Allied convoy BN-5, which had so far successful in evading the Italian destroyers and submarines in pursuit, was detected and attacked by Italian aircraft in the Red Sea. British ship Bhima was damaged by near misses and had to be towed to Aden to be beached. Escorting New Zealand cruiser HMS Leander was attacked but did not sustain any damage. One Italian bomber was shot down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German armed merchant cruiser Atlantis sank French passenger liner Commissaire Ramel in the Indian Ocean about halfway between Madagascar and Australia, killing 3. 63 crew members, mostly Australians, were imprisoned abord Atlantis. Fregattenkapitän Rogge of Atlantis had wanted to transfer his 230 prisoners to Commissaire Ramel and send the French ship back to German as a prize ship, but situation did not allow him to do so. On the same day, the British Royal Navy formed a task force composed of Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra, Australian armed merchant cruiser Westralia, British cruiser HMS Capetown, and British cruiser HMS Durban to find and sink Atlantis. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Werner Mölders shot down two Spitfire fighters of No. 92 Squadron RAF near Dungeness, England, United Kingdom, which were the 39th and 40th victories. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Belgium
  • The first group of prisoners arrived at Fort Breendonk in Belgium. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
French Indochina
  • Jean Decoux allowed Japanese forces to enter Haiphong harbor, French Indochina. ww2dbase [Main Article | Event | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Three waves of German Bf 109 fighters totaling over 100 aircraft flew across the English Channel for London, England, United Kingdom; they successfully lured out British fighters and shot down 7 of them (killing 4 pilots) at the cost of 2 of their own. Overnight, London was attacked by German bombers. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Sep 1940
A Dornier Do-17 medium bomber dropping a string of bombs on London, England, United Kingdom, 20 Sep 1940

20 Sep 1940 Interactive Map

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937