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]
French Indochina
  • Emperor Bao Dai appointed Tran Trong Kim the Prime Minister of Nguyen Dynasty Vietnam. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • Tran Trong Kim was made the Prime Minister of the Empire of Vietnam. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Germany
  • 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]
Italy
  • 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]
Japan
  • USS New Mexico departed Okinawa, Japan waters. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Netherlands
  • 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]
Russia
  • 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 aircraft, Wesel, Germany, Apr 17, 1945
See all photos dated 17 Apr 1945

17 Apr 1945 Interactive Map

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




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Famous WW2 Quote
"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us... they can't get away this time."

Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal