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Today in World War II History—May 20, 1940 & 1945

German troops look out over the English Channel with the wreckage of British equipment behind them (German Federal Archive: Bild 121-0443)

German troops look out over the English Channel with the wreckage of British equipment behind them (German Federal Archive: Bild 121-0443)

80 Years Ago—May 20, 1940: German army reaches the English Channel at Abbeville, France, splitting Allied forces in two and isolating 16 French & 9 British divisions in Belgium.

In the US, the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (the White Committee) is formed by interventionist journalist William A. White.

Poster of the US Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, 1940-41

Poster of the US Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, 1940-41

75 Years Ago—May 20, 1945: On Okinawa, US Tenth Army takes Chocolate Drop and Flattop Hills; Marines take Wana Ridge.

Japanese troops begin evacuating China to defend Japan.

“Chocolate Drop Hill” on Okinawa, 1945 (US Army Center of Military History)

“Chocolate Drop Hill” on Okinawa, 1945 (US Army Center of Military History)