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17 Nov 1941
  • US Congress amended the Neutrality Act of 1939, thus allowing American merchant ships to be armed and allowing them to enter war zones. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The United States delivered escort carrier Archer to the United Kingdom, the first of 38 escort carriers that would be delivered during the war under Lend-Lease. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • The Reichskommissariat Ostland was established under Alfred Rosenberg to administer territories taken from the Soviet Union. ww2dbase [Alfred Rosenberg | TH]
  • German troops near Moscow, Russia fought Central Asian troops for the first time (Soviet 44th Cavalry Division) at Musino, Russia, 70 miles west of the capital. German artillery blunted the cavalry charges, with the Germans claiming 2,000 killed. ww2dbase [Battle of Moscow | TH]
  • Japanese Navy Admiral Yamamoto revealed the Pearl Harbor attack plan to the naval leadership. ww2dbase [Attack on Pearl Harbor | Detailed Timetable | CPC]
  • German submarine U-331 landed eight commandos on the Egyptian coast to mine the railway line near Daba, 60 miles west of Alexandria. They would soon be captured before they completed their mission. ww2dbase [CPC]
  • Soviets dispatched several small teams to test the thickness of the ice on Lake Ladoga near Leningrad, Russia. ww2dbase [Siege of Leningrad | CPC]
  • Allied convoy QP-2 arrived at Kirkwall, Scotland, United Kingdom and convoy PQ-4 departed HvalfjörĂ°ur, Iceland. ww2dbase [Arctic Convoys | CPC]
  • Leonardo da Vinci departed La Pallice, La Rochelle, France at 1200 hours for sea trials, returning to La Pallice at 1825 hours. ww2dbase [Leonardo da Vinci | La Rochelle, Poitou-Charentes | CPC]
  • Comandante Cappellini departed La Pallice, La Rochelle, France at 1700 hours, starting her eighth war patrol. ww2dbase [Comandante Cappellini | La Rochelle, Poitou-Charentes | CPC]
  • Philippe PĂ©tain made an appeal for donations for Secours National d'Hiver over radio, aimed to help the less fortunate to survive the upcoming winter season in Vichy France. ww2dbase [Philippe PĂ©tain | CPC]
  • Following twelve months of illness, depression and strain at the Luftwaffe's increasing losses on the Eastern Front, Generaloberst Ernst Udet, the German Director General of Air Armament, commited suicide by shooting himself while on the phone with his girlfriend, Inge Bleyle. Udet, Germany's second highest fighter ace of the First World War (behind the Red Baron) with 62 kills, had already lost favour with Hitler after the air force's performance in the Battle of Britain. The official version was that he had died whilst testing a "new weapon" and Jagdgeschwader 3 was named in his honour. Udet was accorded a state funeral at which he was eulogised by Hermann Göring, who described him as his "best friend". ww2dbase [Ernst Udet | AC]
  • Kaga arrived at Saeki Bay off Oita, Japan and embarked 100 aerial torpedoes. ww2dbase [Kaga | Oita | CPC]
  • British Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Keyes led the daring Operation Flipper commando raid to either kill or capture Rommel at his Afrika Korps Headquarters at Sidi-Rafa. He was mortally wounded and the other commandos were forced to withdraw. Only two men made it back, the rest being either killed or captured. Keyes would be awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross even though the raid was doomed from the start - Rommel was not even at Sidi-Rafa. ww2dbase [Operation Crusader | Sidi-Rafa | AC]
  • German Luftwaffe III./KG 55 received orders to relocate from Kirovograd, Ukraine to Saint-AndrĂ©-de-l'Eure, France for rest and refitting after spending only seven weeks at Kirovograd. ww2dbase [Kirovograd | CPC]
United Kingdom
  • The ration of canned meat, canned fish, and canned beans began in the United Kingdom; this was announced 15 days earlier by the British Minister of Food. ww2dbase [AC]
United States
  • Japanese special envoy Kurusu Saburo arrived in Washington DC and met with US Secretary of State Cordell Hull. ww2dbase [Saburo Kurusu | Washington | CPC]
Photo(s) dated 17 Nov 1941
Japanese Ambassador Admiral Kichisaburo Nomura and Special Envoy Saburo Kurusu with US Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Washington, United States, 17 Nov 1941

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
"Since peace is now beyond hope, we can but fight to the end."

Chiang Kaishek, 31 Jul 1937

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