17 Jul 1941
  • The first elements of the Spanish Volunteer Division arrived at the large training camp at Grafenwöhr in southern Germany. Spanish uniforms were exchanged for German; the only item of clothing retained being the Falangist dark blue shirt, from which the title "Blue Division" (officially the 250th Infantry Division) was derived. ww2dbase [AC]
  • Alfred Rosenberg officially took on the position of Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern Territories. Among his responsibilities were the Germanization of the occupied lands and the exploitation and extermination of Jews. ww2dbase [Alfred Rosenberg | CPC]
  • After sundown, German bombers attacked Hull, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom. 160 fires displaced 3,500 people and several factories were damaged. 111 were killed and 108 were seriously injured. ww2dbase [Battle of Britain | CPC]
  • Corvette HMS Narcissus was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Heinz Guderian was awarded Oak Leaves to his Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. ww2dbase [Heinz Guderian | AC]
  • German Navy placed an order for four submarines; this order would later yield U-487, U-488, U-489, and U-490. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The keel of German submarine U-449 was laid down. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • German submarine was U-579 commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Italian Navy introduced a new cipher. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Political Commissars were re-introduced into the Soviet Army and Soviet Navy organizational structures. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Field Marshal Keitel's son Hans-Georg Keitel died from wounds received in combat. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Reinhardt Heydrich ordered the four SS Einsatzgruppen under his command to exterminate Jewish and Roma communities in his sphere of influence. ww2dbase [Reinhard Heydrich | CPC]
  • Destroyer USS Ingraham was commissioned into service. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • George Marshall approved Leopard Gerow's recommendation to re-activate Douglas MacArthur from the retired list and plans regarding the Philippine Army; Marshall forwarded Gerow's proposals to US Secretary of War Henry Stimson for further review and implementation. ww2dbase [George Marshall | CPC]
  • James Lacey shot down a German He 59 seaplane. ww2dbase [James Lacey | CPC]
  • Yasunori Yoshioka was named the chief of staff of Japanese 44th Army, also known as the Kwangtung Defense Army, based in Xinjing, northeastern China. ww2dbase [Yasunori Yoshioka | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • Alessandro Malaspina sighted British freighter Guelma in the Atlantic Ocean at 1645 hours. At 1735, the Italian submarine submerged. At 1824 hours, she launched a stern torpedo at the distance of 1,000 meters, which missed. At 1837 hours, she fired a bow torpedo and struck Guelma in the No. 5 hold. At 1900 hours, Alessandro Malaspina surfaced and observed the British crew abandoning ship. At 1942 hours, the submarine fired a third torpedo, which missed. At 2002 hours, another torpedo was launched, hitting the damaged ship amidships, causing her to sink by the stern quickly. The entire British crew of 41 survived. ww2dbase [Alessandro Malaspina | CPC]
  • Morosini sighted Portuguese freighter Santa Irene in the Atlantic Ocean at 1216 hours. Upon seeing that the freighter was flying a Swiss flag at about 1300 hours, the attack was aborted. ww2dbase [Morosini | CPC]
  • HMCS Grizzly was assigned to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada to serve as a stationary defensive vessel. ww2dbase [Prince Rupert, British Columbia | CPC]
France Germany
  • The Oflag IV-C prisoners of war camp at Colditz Castle in Germany hosted a visit from the Orthodox Bishop of Dresden, Germany. ww2dbase [Colditz Castle | Colditz, Sachsen | CPC]
  • Axis aircraft attacked airfields on Malta. ww2dbase [Malta Campaign | CPC]
  • The Soviet 3rd NKO Directorate was merged back into the NKVD, becoming NKVD's Special Departments Director (UOO). Viktor Abakumov was named UOO's chief and Solomon Milshtein was named the deputy. ww2dbase [Viktor Abakumov | Moscow | CPC]
  • German Armeegruppe Sud encircled 20 Soviet Army divisions near Uman, Ukraine. Further south, troops of the Romanian 3rd Army reached the Dniester River, captured a row of bunkers on the far bank, and repulsed a series of Soviet counterattacks. ww2dbase [Operation Barbarossa | TH, CPC]
United States
  • US President Franklin Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull met with Japanese Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura in Washington DC, United States in an attempt to open negotiations bewteen the two countries regarding peace in the Pacific region. ww2dbase [Franklin Roosevelt | Washington | CPC]
  • The US Congress held a hearing on the construction of a new building for the US War Department. ww2dbase [Pentagon | Arlington, Virginia | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Jul 1941
Knox observing maneuvers at New River Inlet, North Carolina, flanked by Marines, 17 Jul 1941

17 Jul 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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George Patton, 31 May 1944

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