23 Sep 1940
  • Japanese troops invaded Indochina despite French agreement to Japanese demands during negotiations on the previous day. ww2dbase [Indochina Campaign | TH]
  • Operation Menace: General Charles de Gaulle arrived with 3,600 Free French troops at Dakar, French West Africa held by Vichy France; his forces were supported by 4,300 British troops and a powerful fleet. The Vichy French forces imprisoned the crew of two Free French aircraft that had landed at Dakar, and then fired upon a boat containing Free French personnel approaching to negotiate (wounding 2). At 1000 hours, British warships approached the harbor, and were also fired upon (killing 5). At 1130 hours, British ships fell back out of the range of shore batteries; at about the same time, Vichy French submarine Persee was sunk while attempting to torpedo the cruiser Dragon. In the afternoon, cruiser HMAS Australia attacked Vichy French destroyer L'Audacieux, forcing her to beach after 81 were killed. De Gualle's first attempt at a landing, at Rufisque Bay, was repulsed, and he began to show reluctance of killing fellow countrymen. Having heard of this sentiment, Winston Churchill urged de Gaulle to "[s]top at nothing". ww2dbase [British Attacks on the French Fleet | CPC]
  • British submarine H-49 sank German ship Heimdal 7 miles northwest of Terschelling Island, the Netherlands. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • King George VI of the United Kingdom instituted the George Cross award as the equivalent of the Victoria Cross for civilians. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • USS R-1 was recommissioned into service. ww2dbase [R-1 | CPC]
  • Bantam delivered a prototype, officially named the "Pilot" but nicknamed the "Blitz Buggy", to the US Army vehicle test center at Camp Holabird, Maryland, United States for a requirement that would result in the Jeep. ww2dbase [Jeep | DS]
  • The United Kingdom received 7 American destroyers at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The British RAF Bomber Command sent 129 bombers for a night raid against Berlin, Germany, causing minimal damage. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | TH]
  • Werner Mölders was presented Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross medal by Adolf Hitler in Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Werner Mölders | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • Two German raids approached London, England, United Kingdom at 0930 hours and 1730 hours, but few aircraft reached London, turned back by RAF fighters; the Germans lost 10 Bf 109 and 1 Bf 110 fighters, while the British lost 11 fighters. Overnight, German bombers attacked London and Liverpool. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]

23 Sep 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
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

Winston Churchill