The first incident took place on the Greek island of Kos in the eastern Mediterranean, close to the coast of Turkey. Italian forces had occupied the island after the Italian/German invasion of Greece. Kos had been recaptured by the British on 15 September 1943 but then reinvaded by the Germans on 3 October. Resistance to the German landing force ended this week in the war, on 4 October 1943. The British troops became prisoners of war but 90 of the Italian officers were murdered by their captors—true to Hitler’s recent directive to execute all Italian officers who had sided with the Allies.The second massacre took place on Wake island in the western Pacific. The Japanese had invaded the island soon after the Pearl Harbour attack and were to occupy the island for the remainder of the war. This week in the war, on 5 October 1943, planes from the USS Yorktown bombed Japanese positions on the island. Two days later, anticipating an American invasion, the island’s commander ordered the murder of all US prisoners, a total that reached almost one hundred.
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