17 Jul 1940
  • The United Kingdom announced that the Burma Road would be closed as it diverted resources to deal with the war at home. ww2dbase [Burma Road and the Hump | CPC]
  • Italian bombers sank Finnish ship Wiiri 30 miles off of Malta; the entire crew of 26 survived. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Admiral of the Fleet Roger Keyes became the first Director of Headquarters, Combined Operations, a War Office department tasked with organising raids against enemy occupied Europe. ww2dbase [AC]
  • After sundown, British bombers attacked Caen, France. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • British mooring vessel HMS Steady struck a mine and sank off Newhaven in southern England, United Kingdom. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of British destroyer Beaufort was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German Luftwaffe placed Colonel Josef Kammhuber in charge of organizing nightfighter units to counter British bombings. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Destroyer USS Plunkett was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The German OKW assigned forces for the invasion of Britain, planning to put 90,000 men on British shores on the first attack wave. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Lieutenant Colonel Dunford-Slater, Second Lieutenant Peter Young and Regimental Sergeant Major Harry Beesley landed on the German-occupied island of Guernsey in the first Commando raid of the war. ww2dbase [AC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • 135 miles northwest of Bloody Foreland, Ireland at 1040 hours, U-43 sank British ship Fellside (12 were killed and 21 were rescued). 120 miles south of Ireland, German bombers sank Estonian ship Leola, killing 2. North of Scotland, United Kingdom, U-57 sank Swedish ship O. A. Brodin (at 0455 hours; 3 were killed and 21 were rescued) and British ship Manipur (at 2222 hours; 14 were killed and 65 were rescued). Meanwhile, 5 miles off the Netherlands, British submarine H31 sank German anti-submarine trawler Steiermark; other anti-submarine trawlers attacked with depth charges in response, but failed to destroy H31. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | CPC]
  • German submarine U-34 sank 3,531-ton Greek cargo ship Naftilos (built in 1904 and owned by D. J. Goulandris; en route from San Nicolas for Dublin, Ireland with 5,801 tons of grain) with gunfire south of Ireland at 0110 hours. All 28 abandoned the ship, but 1 of them would later die of wounds suffered during this attack. ww2dbase [First Happy Time | U-34 | HM]
United Kingdom
  • German bombers attacked Bristol in western England and Scottish industrial towns on the east coast of Britain. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
United States
  • Admiral James O. Richardson concluded the conferences in Washington DC, United States regarding the rentention of the US Fleet in Hawaiian waters. ww2dbase [Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jul 1940
Fumimaro Konoe at a press conference at the Peerage Club House in Tokyo, Japan upon being asked to form a new government, 17 Jul 1940

17 Jul 1940 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