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Mar 17

World War II Today: March 17

1940
Fritz Todt named German Minister for Armaments and Munitions.

1941
The 11th African Division captures Jijiga in central Abyssinia; having advanced 744 miles up the Italian built Strada Imperiale in just seventeen days.

In convoy HX-112, British destroyer Walker causes U-99 to scuttle (40/43 captured, including famous captain Otto Kretschmer).

World War II Today: March 17 - German U99

British begin to ration jam & marmalade (8 oz per month).

162 planes of the Luftwaffe bombed the Avonmouth district of Bristol

1942
General MacArthur flown by B-17 from Mindanao to Australia.

The deportation of Jews from Lublin to Belzec begins.

Britain begins rationing fuel and electricity.

The first mass gassings began at the Belzec Concentration Camp, near Lublin, on March 17, 1942

1943
Bulgaria, an Axis power allied with Germany, refused to comply with a German demand that Bulgarian Jews be deported to Nazi concentration camps. The Parliament voted unanimously to revoke plans that had been made by government minister Alexander Belev to arrest Bulgaria’s Jewish citizens (although deportations had taken place in the conquered territories of Macedonia and Thrace). “As a result of these protests,” it was observed, “no Bulgarian Jews were deported to the gas chambers from Bulgaria itself.

The Japanese attack British positions in Arakan, western Burma leading to Indian retreat.

Lieutenant General George Patton launches drive in Tunisia from Fériana, and occupies Gafsa.

1944
The British blow up the Manipur bridge South of Imphal.

New Zealand troops take Cassino railway station.

1945

World War II Today: March 17 - Remagan Bridge Collapse
The U.S. Third Army takes Koblenz.

The Ludendorff bridge at Remagen, seized by US troops on the 7th March, suddenly collapses, killing dozens of US Army engineers working to reinforce it. —American engineers erect new pontoon bridge in ten hours.

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