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Today in World War II History—Aug. 17, 1940 & 1945

First edition of George Orwell’s Animal Farm (public domain via Wikipedia)

First edition of George Orwell’s Animal Farm (public domain via Wikipedia)

80 Years Ago—Aug. 17, 1940: Germany announces total air and sea blockade of Great Britain.

First US pilot volunteering with the RAF dies (crash-landed 8/16)—former Olympic bobsled gold medalist P/O William Fiske, who pretended to be Canadian, the only American killed in the Battle of Britain.

Republican presidential nominee Wendell Willkie makes speech in favor of establishing a military draft (which President Roosevelt favors), removing pressure on GOP congressmembers to oppose the draft.

75 Years Ago—Aug. 17, 1945: Ho Chi Minh calls on Vietnamese people to begin communist revolution.

Allies divide Korea on the 38th parallel, with US in the south, USSR in the north.

Dutch East Indies proclaims independence from the Netherlands, calling itself the Republic of Indonesia.

Animal Farm by George Orwell is published in London.