75th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino
PR dla Zagranicy
Presidents of Poland and Italy at the main celebrations of the Battle of Monte Cassino
Schlacht um Monte Cassino Photo: wikimedia commons
Polish cemetery at Monte Cassino.
Saturday sees the main celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino, with the participation of presidents of Poland and Italy, Andrzej Duda and Sergio Mattarella, as well as WWII veterans from the 2 Polish Corps of General Wladyslaw Anders, which was part of the British 8th Army.
Taking part are also representatives of state authorities as well Polish scouts’ organisations and children from schools named after the outstanding Polish general.
The Battle of Monte Cassino also called the Battle for Italy, was one of the longest and bloodiest battles of World War II, in which almost all Allied powers united to confront the Nazis. It was the culminating moment of the Italian campaign and lasted from the 17th of January 1944 until May 18th 1944, when the Monte Cassino hilltop was taken by the 2 Polish Corps and a Polish flag was hoisted on the ruins of the Benedictine abbey.
The 2nd Polish Corps suffered severe losses in the battle: 923 dead, 2,931 injured and 345 missing in action, of whom 251 were found.
A Polish cemetery was erected at Monte Cassino at the end of WWII, in 2014 a memorial Museum of the 2 Polish Corps of General Wladyslaw Anders was opened at the cemetery.
The commemorations of the 75 the anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino started on Thursday, May 16th at the Italian Military Cemetery in Mignano Monte Lungo, the resting place for Italian soldiers who died on the battlefield after Italy joined the Allied forces in September 1943.
The ceremonies are to wind up on Sunday, May 19th. WWII veterans and the Polish delegation are to lay wreaths at the monument to Polish soldiers of the 2 Corps in San Vittore del Lazio, which was erected in place of the first temporary burial site for those killed in the Battle of Monte Cassino. Their remains were transferred to the Monte Cassino cemetery in 1945.
The five-month-long Battle of Cassino was fought by soldiers from all continents: Europe, Africa, Asia, America and Oceania.