20 Nov 1941
  • HMAS Sydney sank some time after midnight from the damage sustained in the engagement with German raider Kormoran; all 645 aboard were lost. Kormoran, likewise heavily damaged, was abandoned at 1900 hours and was scuttled three hours later; 81 were killed and 318 survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Kurt von Briesen passed away. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German troops captured Rostov, Russia. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • The Norwegian government-in-exile officially endorsed the resistance movement Milorg. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Japanese ambassador to the US Nomura presented Japan's final proposal to keep peace in Asia and the Pacific. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The daily bread rations in besieged Leningrad, Russia was reduced to 500 grams for military personnel, 250 grams for engineers and technical workers, 125 grams for other workers and children. The situation was hoped to be improving soon, however, as the first successful crossing of the frozen Lake Ladoga was made with horse-drawn sleighs, hoping to bring back food from Kobona. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • One of the ships of Allied convoy PQ-3 struck an iceberg and another developed mechanical problems; both were turned back toward Iceland. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Vilnius, Lithuania, 3 prisoners of war were executed as later reported by the Jager Report on 1 Dec 1941. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Japanese-controlled Ryojun Military Port (previously known as Port Arthur; now Lushunkou, Liaoning Province, China), Kwantung Leased Territory in northeastern China was upgraded to the status of a Guard District. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Crown Prince Yi Un was assigned to Guangdong Province, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The British 7th Armoured Brigade repulsed a counter attack launched by the German 90th Light Infantry Division and the Italian Bologna Division. In the afternoon, the British 4th Armoured Brigade engaged with heavier tanks of the German 15th Panzer Division, losing several American-built M3 tanks. After dark, British cruisers HMS Ajax and HMS Neptune and Australian cruiser HMAS Hobart bombarded Bardia, Libya. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Ed Dyess arrived in Manila, Philippines. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The two crematoria of Auschwitz Concentration Camp were inactivated for servicing; camp commandant ordered that corpses of prisoners were to be transported to Birkenau (not yet a camp) for burying in mass graves until the servicing was done on 3 Dec 1941. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • The Japanese naval base at Mako in Pescadores Islands, Taiwan was upgarded to full Guard District status. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 20 Nov 1941
Russian sanitation detachment on Kirov Street in Moscow, Russia, 20 Nov 1941

20 Nov 1941 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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Winston Churchill, on the RAF