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Selected: March 17
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1933 — , March 17

  • CBI - China: Day 76 of 142 of the 1st Battle of Hebei.

1935 — , March 17

  • Germany: In a spectacular service in the Berlin Opera House on "Heroes' Memorial Day" to honor German fallen of WWI, Hitler announces to the world that the Treaty of Versailles will henceforth be completely ignored.
    Spotlight...

    Reich leaders in the Berlin Opera House
    on Heroes' Memorial Day

    Reishsfuehrer Hitler and the highest members of the government attended the spectacular memorial service for the German dead of World War I, still called the Great War or the World War. Practically everyone in the audience was in uniform and on the stage stood 80 standard bearers with Germany's most glorious regimental flags.

    The service and review by Hitler of German troops followed the startling announcement of the military conscription order and the end of compliance to the Treaty of Versailles, which will throw Europe into a state of nervous apprehension.

    Related WWII Store items...

1937 — , March 17

  • Spain: Day 244 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.

1938 — , March 17

  • USSR: The Soviet Union requests a meeting with the western powers to limit further German aggression in Europe. Such a meeting will never materialize.
  • Spain: Day 609 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War. Italian aircraft based in Majorca begin a three day around-the-clock bombing campaign on Barcelona. Meanwhile, Spanish Nationalists force the Republicans to retreat.
  • CBI - China: Day 254 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 39 of 124 of the Battle of Henan. After heavy fighting, the Japanese capture the west and south gates of Tengxian. The Chinese defending the east gate fight to the bitter end, then commit mass-suicide with grenades.

1939 — , March 17

  • UK: British Field Marshal Lord Gort tells Secretary of State Hore-Belisha that "it would be murder to send our Field Force overseas to fight against a First-class power."
  • France: Edouard Daladier announces that France intends to increase their defense spending.
  • Spain: Day 974 of 985 of the Spanish Civil War.
  • CBI - China: Day 619 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 1 of 54 of the Battle of Nanchang.

1940 — , March 17

  • Atlantic: The British fleet at Scapa Flow is ordered to depart, as they are vulnerable to air attacks. Anticipating this move, German subs begin moving in to attack the departing warships.
  • Atlantic: German sub U-38 sinks Danish merchant vessel ARGENTINA east of the Shetland Islands, Scotland.
  • UK: British miners in Nottinghamshire, England, vote to forgo their vacations to support the war effort.
  • Germany: Dr Fritz Todt is appointed the German Reich Minister for Armaments and Munitions.
  • CBI - China: Day 985 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 124 of 381 of the Battle of South Guangxi.
    • Day 50 of 67 of the Battle of Wuyuan.

1941 — , March 17

  • USA: US Coast Guard cutter USS CAYUGA delivers American representatives to Greenland in search of suitable locations for bases.
  • Atlantic: German subs U-99 and U-100 attack an Allied convoy 250 miles southeast of Iceland, sinking 5 ships. In return, both U-boats are forced to surface and are sunk.
  • Atlantic: German sub U-106, after tracking an Allied convoy for two days, strikes 250 miles west of Dakar, French West Africa, sinking British ship ANDALUSIAN and Dutch ship TAPANOELI.
  • UK: Jam and marmalade are rationed to 8 ounces per person per month.
  • ETO - UK: Day 193 of 258 of the Blitz.
  • ETO - UK: Frenchman Francois Scornet, age 22, is executed by a German firing squad in Jersey, one of the Channel Islands (British territory, but German occupied throughout the war). He and 15 others were caught trying to escape France to join the Free French in the UK. Scornet and his gang had tried to make England in a small boat, but rough seas forced them to Guernsey. As the gang's ringleader, he was shot to serve as an example for his comrades.
  • MTO - Libya: Rommel sends a message to the besieged Italian garrison at Giarabub in southeastern Libya, asking them to hold on for a few more weeks, promising that his troops will arrive in time. They will not.
  • East Africa: Day 281 of 537 of Italy's East African campaign in the lands south of Egypt. The British 11th African Division captures Jijiga in central Abyssinia, having advanced 744 miles up the Italian-built Strada Imperiale in just seventeen days.
  • East Africa - Eritrea: Day 41 of 56 of the Battle of Keren.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,350 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 4 of 27 of the Battle of Shanggao.
  • CBI - Thailand: Day 168 of 221 of the Franco-Thai War (Vichy France vs Thailand).

1942 — , March 17

  • UK: Britain begins rationing of fuels and electricity.
  • Atlantic: Day 63 of 169 of Germany's Second "Happy Time," during which U-boats sink 609 Allied ships with little risk.
    • U-124 sinks Greek freighter KASSANDRA and Honduran freighter CEIBA off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. US tanker ACME is also damaged during this attack.
  • Germany: Jews from Lublin, Poland, are sent to the nearby Belzec concentration camp.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 191 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 38 of 102 of the Battle of the Demyansk Pocket, another failed attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 54 of 103 of the Battle of the Kholm Pocket. Another attempt to break the siege at Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 69 of 103 of the Battle of Vyazma, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 69 of 103 of the Battle of Sychevsk, Russia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 15 of 49 of the Battle of Rzhev, Russia, a diversion to pull more German troops away from Moscow.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 139 of 248 of the Siege of Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula. All German attacks against Sevastopol are shut down for the winter.
  • MTO - Italy: British submarine UNBEATEN sinks the Italian submarine GUGLIELMOTTI off Sicily.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 94 of 164 of Japan's Invasion of Burma.
  • CBI - China: Day 1,715 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
    • Day 84 of 99 of the 3rd Battle of Changsha.
  • PTO: The Tutuila airfield in American Samoa is completed.
  • PTO - Borneo: Day 92 of 107 of the Battle of Borneo.
  • PTO - Malaya: Day 27 of 357 of the Battle of Timor Island.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 100 of 152 of the 1st Battle of the Philippines. 5th Air Force provides air support. US General Douglas MacArthur arrives in Australia.

1943 — , March 17

  • ETO: Luftwaffe bombers attack at Cardiff, Wales.
  • Germany: Graffiti along the lines of "we are obliged to the Führer for this" and "we want only peace and bread" is found more and more frequently among ruins of many bombed-out German cities.
  • Bulgaria: Bulgaria officially states its opposition to the deportation of Bulgarian Jews.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 556 of 872 of the Siege of Leningrad.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 36 of 51 of the USSR's Operation POLAR STAR, a failed offensive north of Leningrad, hoping to take the southern shore of Lake Ladoga, Russia.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 317 of 658 of the Siege of the Kholm Pocket, USSR lays siege to the Kholm Pocket but the Germans hold out for a about a year and a half.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 16 of 30 of the 3rd Battle of Rzhev-Sychevka, Russia.
  • MTO - Tunisia: Day 121 of 178 of the Battle of Tunisia. RAF and US Air Forces provide Allied air support. Day 2 of 12 of the UK's Operation PUGILIST in southern Tunisia. US troops capture Gafsa.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 87 of 104 of the 1st Battle of Arakan. US 10th Air Force provides air support. Indian troops fall back as the Japanese push along the Arakan front.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 38 of 79 of the Allied Operation LONGCLOTH. The main body of the Northern Group Chindits begin to cross the Irrawaddy and Shweli Rivers at night.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,080 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - Indochina: US 14th Air Force attack targets in French Indochina.
  • PTO - Alaska: Day 284 of 435 of the Battle of Kiska, Aleutian Islands.

1944 — , March 17

  • ETO - France: US 8th Air Force P-47s attack the Soesterburg airfield in the Netherlands and the Chartres airfield.
  • ETO - France: US 9th Air Force B-26s bomb the marshalling yard at Criel-sur-Mer.
  • ETO - Sweden: Orders for Operation SONNIE are given, to covertly transport interned Allied aircrews from Sweden back to England.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Finland rejects the latest Soviet peace proposal.
  • Russian Front - North: Day 45 of 191 of the Battle of the Narva Isthmus, Estonia. Both German and Soviet troops in the Baltic region go on the defensive.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 85 of 113 of the USSR's Dnieper-Carpathian Offensive in southwestern Ukraine.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 14 of 45 of the Battle of Chernovtsy, Ukraine. Advancing Soviet troops reach the Romanian border.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 12 of 44 of the Battle of Snigirevka, Ukraine.
  • MTO - Italy: One day before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, larger streams of lava begin flowing down the sides of the volcano, along with earthquakes of increasing magnitude.
  • MTO - Austria: US 15th Air Force B-24s bomb targets at Vienna.
  • MTO: German sub U-371 sinks the US troop transport DEMPO in the Mediterranean Sea, killing 498.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 61 of 123 of the Battle of Monte Cassino. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops. New Zealand troops capture the train station at Cassino.
  • MTO - Italy: Day 56 of 136 of the Battle of Anzio. RAF and US Air Forces provides air support for the Allied ground troops.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 79 of 99 of the 2nd Battle of Arakan.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 13 of 166 of the UK's Operation THURSDAY. Allied troops capture Mawlu which is a major rail link. Japanese and Anglo-Indian troops clash at Tonzang.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 8 of 147 of the Battle of Myitkyina. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,446 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • CBI - India: Day 10 of 118 of the Battle of Imphal-Kohima. The Japanese continue pushing into India. The British blow up the Manipur bridge south of Imphal.
  • CBI - Indochina: US 14th Air Force hits targets in French Indochina.
  • PTO: US 7th Air Force attacks targets in the Marshall and East Caroline Islands.
  • PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force B-24s bomb at Onnekotan Island, Kurile Islands.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 18 of 80 of the Battle of the Admiralty Islands. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 181 of 219 of the Battle of Shaggy Ridge. US 13th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 94 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Solomon Islands: Day 138 of 295 of the Battle of the Bougainville Islands. US 5th and 13th Air Forces provide air support.

1945 — , March 17

  • ETO UK: London: A German V-2 rocket hits near Borough Central Library in Hampstead. Aside from destroying the library, 1,000 homes and many businesses are damaged. Another rocket lands at Barking.
  • ETO - France: Day 230 of 284 of the Battle of Brittany.
  • ETO - France: Day 184 of 236 of the Siege of Dunkirk.
  • ETO: Day 58 of 66 of the Battle to the Rhine. Day 12 of 20 of the Battle of Ramagen. US 3rd Army takes Koblenz. US and French troops take the Saarland. The Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, taken intact by the US on 07 Mar 45, is finally brought down by German AR-234 jet bombers.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 11 of 46 of the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket. US 9th Air Force provides air support.
  • ETO - Germany: Day 26 of 36 consecutive RAF night raids on Berlin.
  • ETO - Germany: US 8th Air Force bombs oil and rail targets in Germany.
  • ETO: Eisenhower orders Patton to quit making plans to enter German-occupied Czechoslovakia.
  • Russian Front - Finland: Day 184 of 223 of the Lapland War. Finland and Russia have joined forces to kick the Germans out of Finland's most northern province.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 154 of 206 of the Battle of the Courland Pocket in Latvia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 52 of 75 of the Battle of Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 5 of 10 of the Battle of Braunsberg, East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 51 of 63 of the Battle of the Heiligenbeil Pocket in East Prussia.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 36 of 54 of the Battle of East Pomerania, Germany.
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 33 of 83 of the German Siege of Breslau (today Wroclaw, Poland).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 14 of 15 of the Battle of Kolberg, Germany (today Kolobrzeg, Poland).
  • Russian Front - Center: Day 3 of 17 of the USSR's Upper Silesian Offensive in Germany (today Poland).
  • Russian Front - South: Day 12 of 16 of the Battle of Drava (a river in Bulgaria). Germans attack the Bulgarians, hoping to distract the Soviet advance on Berlin.
  • Russian Front - South: Day 5 of 34 of the Battle of Vienna, Austria.
  • MTO: US 15th Air Force bombs targets in Yugoslavia.
  • MTO - Italy: RAF and US Air Forces provide air support for the Allied ground units.
  • CBI: US 14th Air Force attacks targets in China.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 58 of 61 of the Battles of Meiktila and Mandalay. The US 10th Air Force provides air support. The Chinese 6th Army captures Hsipaw.
  • CBI - Burma: Day 42 of 99 of the Battle of Pakokku and Irrawaddy River operations in central Burma. The US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • CBI - China: Day 2,811 of 2,987 of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War.
  • PTO - Alaska: US 11th Air Force bomb at Matsuwa Island and on returning they photograph Shasukotan, Harumukotan and Onnekotan Islands.
  • PTO - Formosa: US 5th Air Force attacks targets in Formosa.
  • PTO - Japan: US 7th Air Force attacks targets on Chichi Jima Island.
  • PTO - Japan: Day 27 of 36 of the Battle of Iwo Jima. US 7th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 446 of 597 of the Battle of New Britain. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - New Guinea: Day 330 of 481 of the Battle of Western New Guinea. US 10th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 149 of 299 of the 2nd Battle of the Philippines, aka the Liberation of the Philippines or the Philippines Campaign.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 93 of 244 of the Battle of Luzon. 5th Air Force provides air support.
  • PTO - Philippines: Day 8 of 159 of the Battle of Mindanao Island. 5th Air Force provides air support.

Day-By-Day listings for March 17 were last modified on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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