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Today in World War II History—Oct. 17, 1943

“Bridge over the River Kwai” by Leo Rawlings, depicting four prisoners of war building bridge on Burma Railway, 1943 (Imperial War Museum)

“Bridge over the River Kwai” by Leo Rawlings, depicting four prisoners of war building bridge on Burma Railway, 1943 (Imperial War Museum)

75 Years Ago—Oct. 17, 1943: Japanese complete Burma-Siam “Death Railway,” 93,000 Allied POWs and natives were killed in its construction.

Germans begin evacuating art from the Abbey of Monte Cassino to the Vatican for protection as the Allies approach; most of the monks, nuns, orphans, schoolchildren, and refugees go to Rome as well.

Last German auxiliary cruiser in Pacific, Michel, sunk by sub USS Tarpon off Chichi Jima.

German troops unloading art treasures from the Abbey at Monte Cassino in the Vatican for protection, late 1943 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-729-0003-13)

German troops unloading art treasures from the Abbey at Monte Cassino in the Vatican for protection, late 1943 (German Federal Archive: Bild 101I-729-0003-13)