Events occurring on Tuesday, August 20, 1940  
  The Battle of the Atlantic  
  The U-51, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Dietrich Knorr, was sunk in the Bay of Biscay west of Nantes, France by a torpedo from the submarine HMS Cachalot (N 83). All of the ship’s complement of 43 died. During its career under Kapitänleutnant Knorr the U-51 sank 1 auxiliary warship and 5 merchant ships for a total of 26,296 tons.  
  The unescorted Greek steam merchant Leonidas M. Valmas was torpedoed and damaged beyond repair by the U-46, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Engelbert Endrass, northwest of Ireland in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 16 died. The 2,080 ton Leonidas M. Valmas was carrying timber, boards and battens and was headed for Dublin, Ireland.  
  A straggler from Convoy OB-198, the Panamanian steam merchant Tuira was torpedoed and sunk by the submarine UA, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Hans Cohausz, southwest of Rockall in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Of the ship’s complement, 2 died. The 4,397 ton Tuira was carrying coal and was headed for Rosario, Argentina.  
  Winston Churchill  
  British Prime Minister Winston Churchill gave the famous “The Few” speech to the House of Commons: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." In the same speech Churchill declared his willingness to lease bases to the United States: “His Majesty's Government are entirely willing, to accord defence facilities to the United States…” Read the transcript of the speech.  
  In Other News  
  Leon Trotsky, a central leader of the Bolshevik-led revolution in Russia in October 1917 in exile in Mexico City, was stabbed with an ice pick by Jacques Mornard alias Frank Jacson. Trotsky would die from his wounds the next day.  
  Ships Commissioned  
  A ship's commissioning was when the ship was handed over, post fittings and trials, to the end user which, in this case, was a combatant navy.  
  The minesweeping trawler HMS Almond (T 14) was commissioned. Her first commander was Chief Skipper Robert Buchan.  
  August 1940 Calendar  
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The objective of is to provide a day by day account of the events that lead up to and were part of the greatest conflict known to mankind. There are accounts for the activities of each particular day and timelines for subjects and personalities. It is the of this website intent to provide an unbiased account of the war. Analysis, effects caused by an event, or prior or subsequent pertinent events are presented separately and indicated as text that is italicized.

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