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Diary May 17, 1944

German paratrooper armed with the early 'E-Type' FG42 assault rifle
After the Allies bombed the Cassino Monastery on 15 February 1944, the rubble provided the German defenders with excellent cover. Here a German paratrooper armed with the early ‘E-Type’ FG-42 assault rifle (only 2,100 produced) fires from a window.
WW2 War Diary for Wednesday, May 17, 1944:


Italy: Kesselring orders evacuation of Cassino garrison.

Sea War

Indian Ocean: Carriers HMS Illustrious and USS Saratoga launch combined 85-plane strike against Surabaya.
North Sea: 32 German E-boats lay mines off English South and East coasts; fight inconclusive engagements with both British patrols and a German convoy (night May 17-18).
Pacific: Americans land at Arare and Wadke Island; west of Hollandia (May 17-18).

Southeast Asia

Burma: Chinese and Americans capture Myitkyina airfield.

Home Fronts

Britain: Kathleen Ferrier takes part in performance of Haendel’s ‘Messiah’ at Westminster Abbey.

Occupied Territories

France: Resistance attack CAM ball-bearing factory at Ivry-sur-Seine.

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