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




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