31 Dec 1940
  • Allied merchant shipping sunk by German submarines world-wide in the year of 1940 was 567 ships, totaling 2,771,483 gross tons. 24 German submarines were lost in the same time period. ww2dbase [TH]
  • Captain Lindemann returned to Bismarck from his Christmas leave and assumed command of the battleship. ww2dbase [Bismarck | CPC]
  • Greek submarine Katsonis sank Italian tanker Quinto with the deck gun off VlorĂ«, Albania. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • RAF bombers attacked VlorĂ«, Albania. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • RAF bombers attacked Rotterdam and Ijmuiden, the Netherlands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • RAF bombers attacked the bridge over the Rhine River at Emmerich, Germany and Köln, Germany. ww2dbase [Bombing of Hamburg, Dresden, and Other Cities | CPC]
  • British destroyer HMS Dainty stopped Italian schooners Tiberio and Maria Giovanni between Bardia and Tobruk, Libya and forced them to sail to Sollum, Egypt for capture. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-38 sank Swedish ship Valparaiso 200 miles south of Iceland at 2312 hours; 35 survivors drown in the freezing water. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-65 damaged British tanker British Zeal with two torpedoes 200 miles off Dakar, French West Africa. The crew abandoned the ship, but after U-65 departed the scene, the crew reboarded and successfully maneuvered the damaged ship to Freetown, British West Africa. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Italian submarine Leonardo da Vinci continued to search for freighter Bodnant in the Atlantic Ocean after she had intercepted a distress message from this ship on the previous day. At 0750 hours, she intercepted another message from British steamer Oporto indicating that Bodnant had sunk from a collision and had picked up the survivors. Leonardo da Vinci thus abandoned the search. ww2dbase [Leonardo da Vinci | CPC]
South Africa
  • HMS Hermes set sail for Simon's Town, South Africa. ww2dbase [Hermes | Simon's Town | CPC]
United Kingdom Photo(s) dated 31 Dec 1940
XSB2C prototype aircraft in flight, late 1940HMS Eagle at Alexandria, Egypt, 31 Dec 1940

31 Dec 1940 Interactive Map

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

Did you enjoy this article or find this article helpful? If so, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 per month will go a long way! Thank you.

Share this article with your friends:


Stay updated with WW2DB:

 RSS Feeds

Search WW2DB
Famous WW2 Quote
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Winston Churchill, on the RAF

Support Us

Please consider supporting us on Patreon. Even $1 a month will go a long way. Thank you!

Or, please support us by purchasing some WW2DB merchandise at TeeSpring, Thank you!