World War II As It Happened
A MaritimeQuest Daily Event Special Presentation
Monday March 17, 1941
Day 564

March 17, 1941: Front page of the Manchester Evening News, Manchester, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
Note the headline report: "Giant German Liner's Mystery Blaze"
(The passenger liner Bremen, which had been in the news several times since the beginning of the war, was set on fire by a disgruntled employee. The ship was a total loss.)
[Historical note: British warships sank two U-boats on this day. U-99, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Otto Kretschmer, and U-100, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Joachim Schepke. Kretschmer was the most successful U-boat commander of the Second World War, sinking 47 ships totaling over 274,000 tons. Schepke had sunk 37 ships for over 155,000 tons. Kretschmer and most of his crew survived, but Schepke and most of his crew were lost.

There was also an interesting conclusion made by the British Prime Minister. In a meeting with the war cabinet, Churchill was discussing the merchant shipping situation, which in his words "presented a most formidable problem" and he admitted that "We were at the moment completely on the defensive at sea..." However, the indomitable Churchill later stated that "our shipping situation difficulties were the blackest cloud which we had to face. But we must remember that we had dealt with, and overcome, equal perils in the past."

He also mentioned that he had seen Mr. Winant (John Winant, U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom) and Mr. Harriman (Averell Harriman, special envoy to Europe) over the weekend and that he "had been greatly encouraged by their attitude." After his discussions with these two men, his conclusion was that "they were apparently longing for Germany to commit some overt act that would relieve the President of his election and pre-election declaration regarding keeping out of the war."

And even though such overt acts happened through the actions of U-boats, the United States did not get directly involved in the war in Europe. In fact, by Dec. 7, 1941 Hitler had conquered almost all of Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and most of the Soviet Union and still the U.S.A. did not enter the war directly. It was not until the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor that the United States finally entered the war on the side of Great Britain. I mention this in regard to the current war in Ukraine. For those who think that the U.S.A. will enter the fight directly, I think you are mistaken. If the U.S.A. would not help the U.K. in their greatest hour of need, what makes you think they will do anything to stop Russia from crushing Ukraine. This is a sad and terrible truth.]


March 17, 1941: Front page of The Daily Mail, Hull, England.
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March 17, 1941: Front page of the Birmingham Gazette, Birmingham, England.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in columns 3-4: "Countess Edda in Torpedoed Ship"
(Countess Edda Ciano, wife of Italian Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano and daughter of Benito Mussolini, was supposedly on the Po when it was sunk by British Swordfish of 815 Squadron.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of the Press and Journal, Aberdeen, Scotland.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 3: "The Snapper Overdue"
(HM Submarine Snapper sailed from the Clyde on Jan. 29, 1941 and was never seen again. There is still no explanation for the loss of the boat.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of The Examiner, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 6: "What About Lindbergh?"
(In this version, the snarky postcards are sent by a Mr. Geoffrey Nicholson (Conservative member for Farnham.) In a version of report in The Sydney Sun yesterday, it says the note was from Harold Nicolson, secretary to the Minister of Information, Mr. Duff Cooper. I am not at all certain that such postcards were ever sent and that the entire report was just a wind-up by some too clever by half reporter.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of The Sydney Sun, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of The News, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of The Lethbridge Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 5: "One-Time Associate Hitler Is Seeking Entry Into Canada"
(Otto Strasser, one of the original founders of the NSDAP, now trying to get as far from Hitler as possible. He was allowed entry into Canada.
Also note the report in column 6: "Fritz Thyssen Now In German Prison Camp"
(He and his wife would spend the rest of the war in concentration camps, but were treated far better than “normal” prisoners. After the war he was tired for being a Nazi supporter and received a fine, but no prison time.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of The Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of the Biddeford Daily Journal, Biddeford, Maine.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
Note the report in column 6: "Niemoeller Denies He Will Become Catholic"
(Rev. Martin Neimöller, who was in a concentration camp, denies that he, a Lutheran, will become a Catholic.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of The Evening Star, Washington, D.C.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of The Evening Gazette, Xenia, Ohio.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of The Port Arthur News, Port Arthur, Texas.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of The Nevada State Journal, Reno, Nevada.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of the San Mateo Times, San Mateo, California.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)


March 17, 1941: Front page of the Hamburger Neueste Zeitung, Altona, Hamburg, Germany.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
 
1. Bristol, Avonmouth, Portsmouth bombardiert.
(Bristol, Avonmouth, Portsmouth bombed.)
Note the report in column 5: "Unter Spionage-Verdacht"
(Under suspicion of espionage)
[United Press reporter Richard C. Hottelet, under arrest by the Nazis.]
[For an english version of the report see "American Journalist Held For Espionage" in the Biddeford Daily Journal of Mar. 15, 1941.]


March 17, 1941: Front page of the Völkischer Beobachter, the official newspaper of the NSDAP.
(Click on the image for a readable version.)
1. England wird fallen!
(England will fall.)
2. Keine Unterstützung wird am Ausgang dieses Kampfes etwas ändern.
(No amount of support will change the outcome of this fight.)
[Personal note, I am surprised that Vladimir Putin has not said something like this already.]



   
Page published March 17, 2022