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Today in World War II History

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Today in World War II History—October 17, 1943

“Bridge over the River Kwai” by Leo Rawlings, depicting four prisoners of war building bridge on Burma Railway, 1943 (Imperial War Museum: ART LD 6035)

“Bridge over the River Kwai” by Leo Rawlings, depicting four prisoners of war building bridge on Burma Railway, 1943 (Imperial War Museum: ART LD 6035)

80 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 as the Allies approach; most of the monks, nuns, orphans, schoolchildren, and refugees evacuate to Rome as well.

Last German armed merchant cruiser in the Pacific, Michel, is sunk by submarine USS Tarpon off Chichi Jima.

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

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

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