17 Jun 1941
  • Finland began to secretly mobilize its military for Operation Silver Fox, the Finnish invasion of the Soviet Union in concert with the German Operation Barbarossa. ww2dbase [Main Article | TH]
  • A German counterattack launched at 0430 hours broke through the Allied lines in Libya, threatening to cut off the Allied forces attacking Halfaya Pass. In the afternoon, the Allied leadership decided to call off the Operation Battleaxe offensive. The British 7th Armoured Division tanks formed a rearguard against pursuing German tanks until 1600 hours to allow Allied troops to fall back. The failure of the operation, especially in regards to the heavy losses in tank strength, would soon cost Wavell his position as the British commander-in-chief in the region. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
  • The Guards Armoured Division was established by the British Army with Major General Sir Oliver Leese in command. ww2dbase [Main Article | AC]
  • German submarine U-43 sank British ship Cathrine 250 miles southwest of Ireland at 0315 hours; 24 were killed, 3 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Hurricane fighters over Halfaya Pass in Egypt while escorting Stuka dive bombers; they were his 12th and 13th kills. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
French Syria and Lebanon
  • British bombers attacked a French destroyer, carrying ammunition which she had brought from France, in the port of Beirut in French Syria-Lebanon. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jun 1941
Remains of a Matilda tank of C Squadron, UK 4th Royal Tank Regiment, Libya or Egypt, 17 Jun 1941

17 Jun 1941 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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