Almost the most powerful cartridge that can be practicably used in a straight-blowback pistol. Used in many police and military handguns up to and beyond WW2, particularly on the continent. It never really found favour in the UK or US military, since we were mostly obsessed with cartridges beginning with a number 4 for handguns (until the Enfield No.2 Revolver).
German firearms using it include the Walther PP and Walther PPK. The French and Belgians used it in many designs ranging from ghastly to passable, but it is still a mousegun cartridge, even when compared to 9mm Parabellum.
It is still used today in pocket pistols.
Alternative nomenclature includes: 9x17mm, 9mm Kurz, and confusingly 9mm Browning Short