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 [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
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Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943