Tuesday, February 16, 2010

17 February

1945 - The eastern side of the Spanish wall of Intramuros in Manila, Philippines is bombed as the American forces continue to take over the Japanese positions in the Battle for Manila during World War II; the battle will end by March 3, with the American forces routing the Japanese and reclaiming the capital city of its Southeast Asian colony.

1942 - Some 6,000 Royal Air Force men, British soldiers, Dutch soldiers, and civilian refugees escape the island  of Sumatra during World War II by embarking on a dozen differently-sized vessels.

1965 - The countdown to the independence of Gambia begins, with the Duke and Duchess of Kent celebrating the end of three centuries of British rule; when the clock strikes 12, the small African country will become the last of the West African colonies to attain independence from Great Britain.

1979 - China invades a number of the border towns of the reunited Vietnam following the latter's invasion of Chinese-supported Cambodia during the short-lived Third Indo-Chinese War; Vietnam, which became the Socialist Republic of Vietnam after South Vietnam collapsed, will continue to occupy Cambodia until 1989 while China will pull out by March 16, 1979 after suffering heavy losses.

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