17 Apr 1941
  • German motor torpedo boats S.41 S.42 S.43 S.55, S.104 attacked Allied convoy FS464 off Great Yarmouth, England, United Kingdom, sinking 2 small freighters and damaging a large steamer. The German S-boats were engaged by British motor gun boats MGB.60, MGB.59, and MGB.64, without success. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine U-123 sank Swedish MV Venezuela 600 miles west of Ireland at 1730 hours; the crew of 49 abandoned ship in lifeboats, but they were never seen again. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Egyptian steamship Zamzam, with American passengers aboard, was shelled and sunk by German auxiliary cruiser Atlantic in the South Atlantic; 138 Americans were rescued. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Rashid Ali al-Gaylani's 16-day old Iraqi government submitted a request to Germany for military assistance in its attempt to remove British forces from Iraq. Meanwhile, Iraqi forces surrounded the RAF airbase at Habbaniya while British 1st Battalion King's Own Royal Regiment, originally based in Karachi, India, arrived at RAF Shaibah near Basra. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Italian infantry and tanks attacked Tobruk, Libya in the early afternoon, but it was repulsed. After dark, 12 Axis tanks engaged Allied counterparts along the line; 3 Axis tanks were destroyed. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan
  • Masafumi Arima became the deputy commanding officer of Yokosuka Naval Air Corps and the chief training officer of the same unit. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Mediterranean Sea
  • British submarine HMS Truant sank Italian barque Vanna off the Libyan coast; Vanna was carrying ammunition and fuel to Derna, Libya. ww2dbase [CPC]
Poland
  • SS-Untersturmfuehrer Maximilian Grabner at Auschwitz Concentration Camp announced that urns containing the ashes of Polish political prisoners who died at Auschwitz no longer needed to be sent to their families. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • King Petar II of Yugoslavia arrived at London, England, United Kingdom via Athens, Greece. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The bombing of London, England, United Kingdom which began on the previous date ended before dawn. 1,179 were killed. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Yugoslavia
  • Yugoslavia formally surrendered to Germany as Foreign Minister Cincar-Marcovic signed the armistice with German and Italian representatives in Belgrade. Germans captured Yugoslavian destroyers Beograd and Dubrovnik at Kotor, but destroyer Zagreb was scuttled by her crew (2 killed in the process). In Greece, New Zealand 21st battalion reinforced by Australian 2/2nd Battalion demolished the Pinios River railway bridge and held the Tempe and Pinios Gorges, delaying the German advance down the Aegean coast, allowing other Allied troops to withdraw to new defenses on the Thermopylae line. British Prime Minister Churchill agreed to the proposal for the evacuation of Allied troops from mainland Greece to the island of Crete, should it become necessary; this plan was then communicated to the government of Greece shortly after. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
Photo(s) dated 17 Apr 1941
Grayson off the Charleston Navy Yard, South Carolina, 17 Apr 1941, photo 1 of 2Grayson off the Charleston Navy Yard, South Carolina, 17 Apr 1941, photo 2 of 2GraysonNorth Carolina fitting out at New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, United States, 17 Apr 1941, photo 2 of 2
See all photos dated 17 Apr 1941

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

17 Apr 1941 Interactive Map




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George Patton, 31 May 1944