17 Apr 1882
17 Apr 1891
  • José Enrique Varela was born. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Apr 1911
  • France sent troops into Morocco, ostensibly to police Fez, where riots had been directed against the Sultan, but actually to stop German colonial interest in North Africa. ww2dbase [AC]
17 Apr 1914

  • Lieutenant General Gencho Furumi was named the chief of staff of the Japanese Chosen Army in occupied Korea. ww2dbase [CPC]
17 Apr 1929
  • Königsberg was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Joseph Stilwell boarded USAT Grant in China. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Apr 1932

Photo(s) dated 17 Apr 1932
XP2Y-1 prototype aircraft at rest at Naval Air Station Anascostia, Washington DC, United States, 17 Apr 1932
17 Apr 1934
  • Ilmarinen was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Fairey Swordfish Torpedo bomber took flight for the first time. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
17 Apr 1939
  • USS Astoria arrived at Yokohama, Japan and disembarked the ashes of Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Saito. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Germany sent out messages to 30 of the 31 countries named by US President Roosevelt on 14 Apr 1939 (the exception being Poland), asking them whether they felt threatened by Germany. Many countries responded in the negative, while the others were coaxed into responding in the negative. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Chiang Kaishek cabled Bai Chongxi his plans for a counter offensive toward Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, China, which was to be launched on 21 or 22 Apr 1939. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Apr 1940

  • RMS Queen Mary arrived at Sydney, Australia. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Before dawn, British cruiser HMS Suffolk shelled the German-controlled airfield of Sola at Stavanger, Norway. Suffolk's Walrus seaplane, used to drop flares over the airfield, was shot down early in the bombardment, thus the shelling was largely inaccurate and destroyed only 4 aircraft. After sunrise, Suffolk was repeated attacked by German aircraft. She was hit twice and heavily damaged, and was placed out of action until Feb 1941. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, the British War Cabinet approved direct troop landings at Trondheim, Norway (rather than the landing done at Narvik in which troops were dropped off at undefended beaches far away). The landing was to be supported by simultaneous landings at Namsos in the north and Åndalsnes in the south. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German submarine U-13 torpedoed and sank British steamer Swainby 25 miles north of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom at 1733 hours. 38 survivors reached Norwick Bay in the Shetland Islands on lifeboats. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Italian "Grado" naval infantry battalion landed at Sibenik, Croatia, Yugoslavia. ww2dbase [CPC]
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]
  • 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]
  • 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 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
17 Apr 1942
  • Submarine Snook was laid down at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-123 sank US freighter Alcoa Guide with her surface guns 300 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, United States at 0355 hours; 6 were killed, 27 survived. Elsewhere, U-201 damaged Argentine tanker Victoria 200 kilometers east of Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German government reduced the amount of provisions given to Soviet prisoners of war. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • American submarine Searaven began evacuating Australian troops from Timor, Dutch East Indies. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • French prisoner of war General Henri Giraud escaped from his castle prison in the Königstein Fortress. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German submarine U-66 sank Panamanian tanker Heinrich von Riedemann 100 miles west of Grenada at 0523 hours; all 44 aboard survived. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Soviet destroyers Sokrushitelny and Gremyashchy were transferred from Allied convoy QP-10 to convoy PQ-14 at 0430 hours. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Black Sea
  • German aircraft sank Soviet troopship Svanetiya in the Black Sea; 750 were killed, 193 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • William Slim launched a failed counterattack with the Indian 17th Division near Yenangyaung, Burma; he had wanted the counterattack to open up Japanese lines, to meet with troops of the 113th Regiment of Chinese 38th Division fighting to relieve Yenangyaung, and to allow the remnants of the 1st Burma Division to return to the main Allied lines. To the east, Japanese 56th Infantry Division and Chinese troops clashed at Bawlake and Pyinmana, Burma. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • 12 Lancaster bombers from No. 44 Squadron RAF and No. 76 Squadron RAF attempted a low level daylight attack on the MAN diesel engine factory in Augsburg, Germany. 7 of the 12 aircraft were shot down by German fighters, while the remaining 5 accurately dropped the bombs on the target, though the damage caused was smaller than desired. This costly raid reinforced British Air Marshal Arthur Harris' feelings that daylight missions should be avoided. Elsewhere, 173 British bombers (134 Wellington, 23 Stirling, 11 Halifax, and 5 Manchester) attacked Hamburg, Germany; 23 civilians were killed, 66 were wounded; 8 bombers were lost during this attack. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
  • Chester Nimitz accepted Joseph Rochefort's hypothesis that Port Moresby, Australian Papua was likely the target of the suspected Japanese Navy operation against the location code named RZP. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
Pacific Ocean
  • The task force carrying the Doolittle Raiders refueled at about 1,000 miles away from Tokyo, Japan. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Two column of Japanese troops converged at Dumarao on Panay, Philippine Islands, completing the conquest of the eastern side of the island. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers attacked Southampton, England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Apr 1942
Doolittle wiring a Japanese medal to a bomb, Apr 1942, 1 of 2Doolittle wiring a Japanese medal to a bomb, Apr 1942, 2 of 2Aerial view of USS North Carolina, off the US east coast, 17 Apr 1942, photo 3 of 3Aerial view of USS North Carolina, off the US east coast, 17 Apr 1942, photo 1 of 3
See all photos dated 17 Apr 1942
17 Apr 1943
  • I-168 departed Attu, Aleutian Islands with a cargo of ammunition and mail for Kiska. ww2dbase [Main Article | Tabular Record of Movement | CPC]
  • Gilmore was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Adolf Hitler met with Hungarian regent Miklós Horthy in an attempt to persuade him to further the attempt to deport Jews, who were "pure parasites" and compared to "tuberculosis bacilli" per Hitler, out of Hungary. Horthy would continue to meet this deportation request as little as possible. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In response to the German discovery of a mass grave near Smolensk, Russia, the Soviet Union insisted that the massacre was committed by the Germans. The Polish government-in-exile in London, England, United Kingdom requested the International Red Cross to investigate the matter. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • US bombers attacked Palermo, Sicily, Italy. German pilots who scrambled to meet the attackers claimed shooting down 5 bombers and 1 fighter. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • Matome Ugaki chaired a conference at the 8th Base Force Headquarters at Rabaul, New Britain. Among other topics, the admirals discussed the lack of armor on Japanese aircraft and the concern that Isoroku Yamamoto was soon to personally visit the front lines. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Flying Fish sank a Japanese freighter off Japan, hitting her with 2 of 4 torpedoes fired. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Jürgen Stroop was transferred to Warsaw, Poland by Heinrich Himmler to suppress the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The demanding training of dropping the new "Upkeep" bombs at low altitudes had proven too much for some British pilots. Pilot Officer Bill Divall replaced Sergeant Ray Lovell followed soon after by Flight Sergeant Lanchester and his crew being withdrawn. This brought 617 Squadron's stenghth down to 21 crews. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
United States
  • USS Cero departed New London, Connecticut, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Apr 1943
US Coast Guard crew of cutter Spencer watched as a depth charge exploded near U-175, North Atlantic, 500 nautical miles WSW of Ireland, 17 Apr 1943U-175 forced to surface after being depth charged by USCG cutter Spencer, North Atlantic, 500 nautical miles WSW of Ireland, 17 Apr 1943U-175 sinking, 17 Apr 1943Obersteurmann Helmut Klotzch of U-175 yelled for help after the submarine sank in the North Atlantic, 500 nautical miles WSW of Ireland, 17 Apr 1943
See all photos dated 17 Apr 1943
17 Apr 1944
  • British Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Bomber Command commenced minelaying in the approaches of the English Channel in preparation for the forthcoming invasion of Europe. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • Louis Mountbatten's headquarters moved from Delhi, India to Kandy, Ceylon. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Skipjack departed the Pribilof Islands, US Territory of Alaska. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Australian New Guinea
  • 674th Bomb Squadron (flying A-20 aircraft) of USAAF 417th Bomb Group was transferred from Dobodura Airfield to Saidor Airfield, Australian Papua. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Roza Shanina was awarded the Order of Glory 3rd Class while fighting in Byelorussia; she was the first woman of 3rd Byelorussian Front to receive this award. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Guitarro arrived at Pearl Harbor, US Territory of Hawaii. ww2dbase [Main Article | Facility | CPC]
  • Barbers Point Naval Air Station: Part of ARGUS-17 arrived on board. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • General Renya Mutaguchi ordered Lieutenant General Kotoku Sato to capture Kohima, India by 29 Apr 1944. On the front, Anglo-Indian and Japanese troops clashed at Garrison Hill and FSD Hill near Kohima. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan Pacific Ocean
  • USS Whale spotted two small Japanese vessels in the East China Sea but failed to achieve attacking position. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • USS Harder sank Matsue Maru and damaged an armed escort, firing four torpedoes and scoring one hit on each ship. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United States
  • A Constellation aircraft piloted by Howard Hughes and Jack Frye flew from Burbank, California, United States to Washington DC, United States in 6 hours and 57 minutes, breaking the record. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Apr 1944
B-25G Mitchell bomber of the AAF TAC Center, Orlando, Florida, United States, 17 Apr 1944
17 Apr 1945
  • Even as Soviet 1st Byelorussian Front met unexpectedly fierce resistance along the Seelow Heights, Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front broke through to Berlin, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • Allied troops captured Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • A Japanese Type 97 tank and a Type 95 tank, with explosives strapped in the front of the hulls, ambushed M4 Sherman tanks on Route 9 on Luzon, Philippine Islands near Baguio. They rammed the American tanks, but the explosives failed to detonate. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • German Oberleutnant August Lambert, the newly appointed Staffelkapitän of 8/SG 77, was killed when his fighter-bomber mission was bounced by a horde of with US P-51 Mustang fighters (reportedly 60-80 strong). At the time of his death Lambert had 116 aerial victories against the Soviets and had destroyed hundreds of enemy tanks, trucks and artillery pieces. Six of his pilots suffered the same fate. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Field Marshal Model gave his remaining troops the choice of trying to get home, of trying to fight their way out of the Ruhr region in Germany, or of surrendering. Most chose to surrender. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • Oberleutnant August Lambert, the newly appointed Staffelkapitän of German 8/SG 77, was killed when his fighter-bomber mission was bounced by a horde of with US P-51 Mustang fighters (reportedly 60-80 strong). At the time of his death Lambert had 116 aerial victories against the Soviets and had destroyed hundreds of enemy tanks, trucks and artillery pieces. Six of his pilots suffered the same fate. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Thirty three British Lancaster bombers of 5 Group, six carrying Grand Slam bombs and the remainder carrying Tall Boy bombs attacked Helgoland, Germany; they reported that the centre of the island was still ablaze from the previous day's attack. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Robert von Greim was awarded the Combined Pilots-Observation Badge in Gold with Diamonds. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • US troops captured the rail marshaling yard and airport of Nürnberg, Germany. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • In Italy, Brazilian troops captured Montese. The British bridgehead at the Fossa Marina canal near Argenta, Italy was expanded by about 900 meters. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH, CPC]
  • German resistance in the Netherlands was effectively ended with the surrender of the Apeldoorn garrison. The Germans had intended to make a stand along the canal, but the Canadians sent the 5th Armoured Division up from Arnhem to surround the town. After this the remaining German garrisons along the Grebbe Line followed suit and by 19 Apr fighting was almost finished allowing food supplies to be sent forward for the starving Dutch population. ww2dbase [AC]
Pacific Ocean
  • USS Cod sank a Japanese tug and its tow in the East China Sea with the deck gun and went on to rescue three of the survivors. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Lavrentiy Beria reported to Joseph Stalin that a total of 215,540 people (138,200 Germans, 38,660 Polish, and the remainder Soviet citizens) were arrested by the NKVD, NKGB, and SMERSH since Beria gained influence over all three agencies in Jan 1945. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • In an address to the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the late US President Franklin Roosevelt concluding with "in Franklin Roosevelt there died the greatest American friend we have ever known, and the greatest champion of freedom who has ever brought help and comfort from the new world to the old." ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Apr 1945
African-American US Marine 4th Ammunition Company Private First Class Luther Woodward admiring his Bronze Star medal, 17 Apr 1945; his award was later upgraded to the Silver StarRows of dead prisoners at Mittelbau-Dora Concentraiton Camp, Nordhausen, Germany, 17 Apr 1945Women and children, former inmates of Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, huddled together in a large room after liberation, Germany, 17-18 Apr 1945CG-4 troop gliders awaiting snatch by low passing C-47 Skytrain aircarft, Wesel, Germany, Apr 17, 1945
See all photos dated 17 Apr 1945
17 Apr 1946
  • Escort carrier Wake Island was struck from the US Naval Register. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Syria became independent from France. ww2dbase [CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • USS Wasp accidentally ran aground off New Jersey, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Apr 1948
17 Apr 1951

Photo(s) dated 17 Apr 1951
HO3S-1 helicopter landing on USS Saint Paul off Wonsan, Kangwon Province, Korea, 17 Apr 1951
17 Apr 1962

United Kingdom
  • Captain W. F. Brewer of USS Wasp presented Lord Mayor Alderman A. Goldberg of Plymouth, England, United Kingdom a large picture of Mayflower II from the people of Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
17 Apr 1984

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

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Rommel arriving at Tripoli, Libya, 12 Feb 1941

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Famous WW2 Quote
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937