17 Aug 1945
  • U-977 arrived at Mar del Plata, Argentina and surrendered to the Argentine Navy. ww2dbase [U-977 | CPC]
  • Prince Naruhiko of Higashikuni was named the 43rd Prime Minister of Japan. Among the new government's first actions was to appeal to General MacArthur to help stop the offensive still being pursued by the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Naruhiko | CPC]
  • A death sentence on Marshal Philippe PĂ©tain, former head of the Vichy French Government, was commuted to life imprisonment. ww2dbase [Philippe PĂ©tain | AC]
  • The American government drafted plans for the swift conversion of factories from war to commercial production following predictions that five million will be unemployed in six months and nine million within a year. ww2dbase [AC]
  • In the United States, petrol rationing was removed. Fuel rationing would not be lifted in the United Kingdom until May 1950. ww2dbase [AC]
  • USS Bugara arrived at Fremantle, Australia, ending her third and final war patrol. ww2dbase [Bugara | CPC]
  • Vice Admiral Ryunosuke Kusaka was name the commanding officer of the Japanese Navy 5th Air Fleet. ww2dbase [Ryunosuke Kusaka | CPC]
  • Joseph Stalin ordered Aleksandr Vasilevsky to continue the fighting with Japan despite of the Japanese intention to surrender. ww2dbase [Manchurian Strategic Offensive | CPC]
  • After two weeks of gunnery training, USS Bailey departed Subic Bay escorting USS Teton bound for Okinawa, Japan. ww2dbase [Bailey | DS]
Australia China
  • B-24 bomber "The Armored Angel" took off from Kunming, Yunnan Province, China with six OSS operatives and one Chinese interpretor on board. They were parachuted over the Weixian Internment Camp, Shandong Province, China for the libration of about 1,400 civilian prisoners at the camp. ww2dbase [Weixian Internment Camp | Wei, Shandong | CPC]
  • President Chen Gongbo (Wade-Giles: Chen Kung-po) of the puppet Reorganized National Government of China in Nanjing fled China for Japan. ww2dbase [Nanjing | CPC]
  • The Soviet Union, which had been invited by China to enter its borders to attack the Japanese, ordered Chinese Communist Party troops and Mongolian separatist to move into the historical region of Inner Mongolia without consulting with the Chinese government. The Chinese ambassador in Moscow immediately lodged a protest; the Soviets would not respond until 22 Aug 1945. ww2dbase [CPC]
Dutch East Indies
  • At the home of Admiral Tadashi Maeda in Batavia (Jarkata), Dutch East Indies, a draft of the Indonesian independence proclamation was completed by Sukarno, Mohammad Hatta, Admiral Maeda, representatives from the Japanese Army, and representatives from the communist Pemuda Rakyat youth group. Hours later, at 1000 hours, Sukarno read the draft in front of Maeda's home, followed by a flag raising ceremony. The flag was sewn by Sukarno's wife Fatmawati the prior evening. ww2dbase [Batavia, Java | AC, CPC]
  • Unaware of nationalist fervor in French Indochina and in spite of plans for Chinese and British troops, rather than French troops, to occupy French Indochina, Charles de Gaulle ordered about 900 French troops currently stationed in Ceylon de depart immediately for Saigon. Additional transports were ordered to transport further troops from Ceylon to Saigon. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Charles de Gaulle appointed Admiral Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu as high commissioner of French Indochina, tasked with reasserting French control in the former colonies. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Charles de Gaulle appointed General Philippe Leclerc as commander of French forces in the Far East, tasked with reasserting French control in French Indochina. ww2dbase [Philippe Leclerc | CPC]
French Indochina
  • The Vietnam General Association of Government Employees convened a meeting in front of the Hanoi Opera House in Tonkin, French Indochina, attracting 20,000 people. During the meeting, troops loyal to the Dai Viet marched into Hanoi, but their leadership did not order them to seize government centers. ww2dbase [Hanoi, Tonkin | CPC]
  • Flood waters breached dikes along the Red River north of Hanoi, Tonkin, French Indochina. The flood waters would overcome over a third of Tonkin's rice harvest this fall, but it also bogged down Japanese troops in the area as well as incoming Chinese occupation troops, thus giving local nationalist fighters an advantage. ww2dbase [Tonkin | CPC]
  • USS Springer departed Guam, Mariana Islands. ww2dbase [Springer | CPC]
Hawaii Japan
  • In Nara, Japan, Philippine President JosĂ© Laurel issued an executive proclamation dissolving his government. ww2dbase [JosĂ© Laurel | Nara | CPC]
  • USS St. Louis departed Buckner Bay, Okinawa bound for Subic Bay, Luzon, Philippines. ww2dbase [St. Louis | Buckner Bay, Okinawa | DS]
  • Lacking strong nationalist leaders in northern Korea, the Japanese administration turned to Protestant church elder Cho Mansik to organize Korean administration for when the Japanese would depart northern Korea. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Japanese personnel in Malaya announced that they would play no further part in the independence movement of Malaya. Meanwhile, men of the 13th Squad of the communist Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army, under the command of Zhang Zuo, took control of Pusing, which was recently vacated by Japanese troops. ww2dbase [Pusing, Perak | CPC]
Mariana Islands
  • USS Dragonet arrived at Saipan, Mariana Islands, ending her third war patrol. ww2dbase [Dragonet | Saipan | CPC]
  • The Soviet Union informed the US ambassador in Moscow that it had successfully negotiated with the Chinese government on the Chinese recognition of an independent Mongolia with the existing borders of the Mongolia Area of the Republic of China. ww2dbase [Moscow | CPC]
  • Dutch prisoner of war W. A. Warmenhoven met with Japanese authorities on the Thailand end of the Thailand-Burma railway and began taking over as the supervisor. He would remain in charge for about a year, keeping it in operation and slowly repatriating forced laborers and prisoners of war. ww2dbase [CPC]
United States
  • USS Mero was commissioned into service with Commander John H. Turner in command. ww2dbase [Mero | CPC]
  • US President Harry Truman officially approved General Order No. 1 submitted by US Joint Chiefs of Staff five days earlier, containing detailed orders to Japanese forces on matters of surrender. ww2dbase [Harry Truman | Japan's Surrender | CPC]
  • Robert Oppenheimer traveled to Washington DC, United States and personally delivered a letter to Secretary of War Henry Stimson, expressing his wish to see nuclear weapons banned. ww2dbase [Robert Oppenheimer | Washington, District of Columbia | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Aug 1945
Cabinet of Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko, Tokyo, Japan, 17 Aug 1945Marshals of the Soviet Union Kirill Meretskov, Rodion Malinovsky, and Alexandr Vasilevsky at Zhoushuizi Airfield in Dalian, China, 17 Aug 1945Chinese intelligence chief Dai Li visiting He Ruomei in a hospital, China, 17 Aug 1945; He had been arrested and tortured by the Japanese in Apr 1945 for assisting downed US airmen; note US General George Stratemeyer in backgroundUSS Wasp (lower right) and other Essex-class carriers, escorted by battleships, cruisers, and destroyers of Task Force 38 maneuvering off Japan, 17 Aug 1945

17 Aug 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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