17 Sep 1941
  • Japanese troops crossed the Sinchiang River during advance on Changsha, China. ww2dbase [Second Battle of Changsha | CPC]
  • At a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, German physicist Werner Heisenberg warned his mentor Niels Bohr that Germany had embarked on atomic weapon research and gave him a drawing of a reactor as proof. ww2dbase [Operation Trinity and Manhattan Project | CPC]
  • Australian 9th Division continued to be withdrawn from Tobruk, Libya. Relieving them was the British 70th Infantry Division, currently in Beirut in the French Mandate of Syria and Lebanon awaiting transportation by British cruisers HMS Ajax, HMS Neptune, and HMS Hobart which had just departed from Alexandria, Egypt. After sundown, British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Jaguar, and HMS Hasty made a roundtrip from Alexandria to Tobruk with supplies for the besieged city. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | CPC]
  • The first operation conducted by a British Mosquito aircraft was launched to take photographs of German-controlled ports. ww2dbase [Mosquito | CPC]
  • At Adolf Hitler's Wolfsschanze headquarters in East Prussia, Germany, Erich Raeder once again asked Hitler for permission to attack American shipping; Hitler again rejected him. ww2dbase [Erich Raeder | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean Germany Japan
  • Light carrier Hosho departed Hashirajima, Japan and arrived at Kure, Japan later on the same day. ww2dbase [Hosho | Kure, Hiroshima | CPC]
  • The Jager Report (issued on 1 Dec 1941) noted that 337 adult male, 687 adult female, and 247 children, all Jews, were killed in Vilnius, Lithuania for a total of 1,271 people. 4 Communists were also executed in Vilnius by Jager's Einsatzgruppen on this date. ww2dbase [Discovery of Concentration Camps and the Holocaust | Vilnius | CPC]
  • Admiral Thomas Hart proposed to move his naval forces in the Philippine Islands south to combine with the British allies to better counter the more powerful Japanese Navy should it attack. He would change his mind on this plan before the start of the Pacific War. ww2dbase [Invasion of the Philippine Islands | CPC]
United States
  • The first keel was laid at the new Kaiser Richmond Shipyard No. 2 in Richmond, California, United States. The ship would later serve with the British Merchant Navy as the SS James Otis and was wrecked off Devon, England, United Kingdom in Feb 1945. ww2dbase [Kaiser Richmond Shipyards | Richmond, California | DS]

17 Sep 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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Lt. Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, at Guadalcanal

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