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Selected: January 20
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1932 — , January 20

  • CBI - China: Day 125 of 154 of the Japanese Invasion of Manchuria.

1933 — , January 20

  • CBI - China: Day 20 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1937 — , January 20

  • Spain: Day 188 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , January 20

  • Spain: Day 553 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 198 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 43 of 54 of the Battle of Nanking.
    • Day 39 of 50 of the Rape of Nanking.

1939 — , January 20

  • Spain: Day 918 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 563 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.

1940 — , January 20

  • UK: In a speech admonishing neutral nations to support the Allied cause, Winston Churchill gives his famed line, "Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last."
    Spotlight...

    Winston Churchill flashing the "V for Victory" sign

    Winston Churchill took a dim view of neutral nations. For him there were only two options in the face of Hitler: fight or surrender.

    Each neutral, Churchill said on 20 January 1940, "hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear - I fear greatly - the storm will not pass. It will rage and it will roar, ever more loudly, ever more widely. It will spread to the South; it will spread to the North. There is no chance of a speedy end except through united action."

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  • Finland: Day 52 of 105 of the Russo-Finnish War.
  • CBI - China: Day 928 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 67 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.

1941 — , January 20

  • ETO - UK: Day 137 of 258 of the Blitz. Compulsory fire watching duty is introduced in Great Britain.
  • Romania: With Hitler's support, Marshal Antonescu suppresses a rebellion by the Iron Guard in Romania.
  • MTO - North Africa: Day 43 of 63 of the UK's Operation COMPASS, their campaign in North Africa against the Italians in Egypt and Libya.
  • East Africa: Day 225 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. Emperor Haile Selassie crosses the Abyssinian border at Um Idla.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,294 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 112 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , January 20

  • Germany: SS Leader Reinhard Heydrich, aka the Hangman, holds the Wannsee Conference to coordinate the Final Solution of the so-called Jewish Question. Bureaucratic plans are agreed upon to work all able-bodied Jews to death and kill all the others.
    Spotlight...

    Villa in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee that housed the conference at which the "final solution" was formulated.
    It is now a memorial and museum.

    The meeting had been called by Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Reich Security Main Office, which controlled both the Nazi Security Police (Gestapo and Kriminalpolizei) and the SS intelligence service). Heydrich had invited some 14 senior SS officers, Nazi Party officials and civil servants to meet originally on 09 Dec 41, but fallout from the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor and a temporary worsening of the situation on the Eastern Front led to postponement.

    The gathering finally convened in a splendid villa on the shores of Berlin's Lake Wannsee. One of Heydrich's subordinates, Adolf Eichmann, took minutes, 30 copies of which were evidently distributed among the participants and other interested parties in the following weeks. The only surviving copy, marked #16 out of 30, was found in March of 1947 among German Foreign Office files by American War Crimes investigators. After that discovery, the minutes, or "Wannsee Protocol," rapidly attained postwar notoriety.

    The document's resonance derived above all from the coldly bureaucratic clarity with which it articulated a pan-European plan of genocide.

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  • Atlantic: Day 7 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 135 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 12 of 29 of the Battle of Toropets, Russia. A failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 13 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 13 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 83 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are stopped for the winter.
  • MTO - Libya: British troops capture Benghazi.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 38 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,659 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 28 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
  • CBI - Malaya: Day 44 of 55 of the Battle of British Malaya.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 36 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 44 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines.

1943 — , January 20

  • ETO - UK: Daylight raid by the Luftwaffe hits a school in London, killing 44 children and one teacher.
  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force: Flying Spitfires, the 4th Fighter Group attacks three locomotives at Calais.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 500 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 9 of 19 of USSR's Operation ISKRA (Operation SPARK) on the southern shore of Lake Ladoga, north of Leningrad. This Soviet victory will help ease the siege at Leningrad a little bit more.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 261 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 152 of 165 of the Battle of Stalingrad, bloodiest battle in human history.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 40 of 69 of the USSR's Operation LITTLE SATURN. A successful drive into the Northern Caucasus and the Donets Basin pushing the Axis troops out.
  • MTO - Libya: The British advance meets stiff resistance in the Homs-Tarhunah area. RAF and US Air Forces provide air support.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 65 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 31 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. The Japanese 55th Division crosses the Thai-Burmese border from Raheng. They quickly threaten Moulmein in Burma by outflanking British forces through the jungle. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,024 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 228 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 336 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island, a long guerrilla war ending in Japanese victory.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 63 of 66 of the Battle of Buna-Gona. The US 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 167 of 187 of the Battle of Guadalcanal. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1944 — , January 20

  • ETO - Germany: Day 64 of 135 of the Battle of Berlin (RAF bombing campaign). The RAF makes its heaviest raid yet on Berlin with 495 Lancasters, 264 Halifaxes, 10 Mosquitos (769 aircraft).
  • Russian Front - North: Day 865 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad. The Russians finally break the German stranglehold on Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 626 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket. USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 7 of 48 of the Battle toward the Narva River, Estonia. This drive helps lift the Leningrad siege and liberate Narva. The Soviets recapture Novgorod.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 7 of 17 of the Battle of Krasnoye Selo-Ropsha, Russia (Operation JANUARY THUNDER). This victory will push the German line west of Leningrad back far enough so the Russians can reopen the Moscow-Leningrad railroad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 7 of 33 of the Battle of Luga, Russia. Taking this town west of Leningrad will open the door toward Estonia.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 28 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 4 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. US troops are thrown back on the Rapido river. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 22 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - Burma: US 10th Air Force hits in several areas.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,389 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • US 14th Air Force B-24s sink a freighter and a tanker in the China Sea.
  • PTO - Marshall Islands: US 7th Air Force bombs targets in the Marshalls during the day and night.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 124 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 121 of 162 of the Battle of the Huon Peninsula. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 37 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 81 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 13th Air Force provides air support.

1945 — , January 20

  • ETO - France: Day 173 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 128 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 36 of 41 of the Battle of the Bulge. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • ETO - Belgium: Day 21 of 26 of Operation NORDWIND, the last major German offensive of World War II on the Western Front.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 124 of 145 of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force heavy bombers attack synthetic oil plants at Sterkrade and other targets in western Germany.
  • ETO: Day 1 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. The French 1st Army attacks the German Colmar Pocket in Alsace, France.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 128 of 223 of the Lapland War. Finland and Russia have joined forces to kick the Germans out of Finland's most northern province.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 98 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 91 of 99 of the Siege of Memel, a border town of Lithuania and East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 9 of 23 of the Battle along the Vistula and Oder Rivers in central Poland and eastern Germany.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 7 of 21 of the Battle of Warsaw, Poland.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 84 of 108 of the Battle of Budapest, Hungary. Hungary signs an armistice with Allies.
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force B-17s and B-24s attack targets at Linz and Salzburg, Austria, and at Rosenheim and Regensburg, Germany.
  • MTO - Italy: US and Royal Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 295 of 302 of the Chinese Salween Offensive. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 2 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,755 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Indochina: US 14th Air Force attacks targets near Hanoi and hit a vessel out in the China Sea.
  • PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force B-24s bomb the Japanese at Kataoka on Shimushu Island in the Kurile Islands (these are Russian islands).
  • PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force B-24s bomb targets on Iwo Jima and Chichi Jima Islands.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 390 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 274 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 93 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 37 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.

Day-By-Day listings for January 20 were last modified on Thursday, January 28, 2016
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