17 Sep 1941
  • Japanese troops crossed the Sinchiang River during advance on Changsha, China. ww2dbase [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | 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  • Australian 9th Division continued to be withdrawn from Tobruk, Libya.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 [Main Article | CPC]
  • The first operation conducted by a British Mosquito aircraft was launched to take photographs of German-controlled ports. ww2dbase [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | CPC]
Atlantic Ocean
  • British eastbound trans-Atlantic convoys were escorted by the United States Navy for the first time. ww2dbase [Main Article | DS]
  • The general deportation of German Jews began. ww2dbase [Main Article | CPC]
Japan Lithuania
  • 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 [Main Article | 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 [Main Article | CPC]

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
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939