On 18th May Montecassino was fallen in Polish hands and the Canadians had already crossed the Rapido River, passed through Pignataro Interamna and arrived very close to Pontecorvo. But General Leese took his time and decided to wait until 23th May to attack the Senger Line, this time not with the help of the concentrated forces of the whole 8th Army, but simply sending a single division of the Canadian Corps.
At 6am on 23rd May the Canadian 1 Infantry Division advanced in the area between Pontecorvo and Aquino, called Le Valli di Aquino. With a lot of difficulty they could fight against the Germans hidden in their pillboxes and bunkers but they were able to reach first of all the road Pontecorvo-Aquino and then Pontecorvo was ad the end in their hands. The Senger line was formed by 19 bungersr, fowholes and pillboxes, and it was very difficulyt to see them and to destroy them. On 24th May the Canadians 5 Armoured division took over and reached the Melfa River very next to Roccasecca railway station and after a very bloody battle next to S. Vito church, they distroyed the German defences. With the help of the Poles that took Piedimonte on 25th May and the Indiand of the 8th Indian Division and the British 78th Division that were able to occupy the area all around, the Canadian Armoured Division could enter Ceprano and some days later Frosinone.
I will lead you through this unique experience to allow you to pay tribute to our liberators!
The "Monte Cassino and Liri Valley Battlefield tour for Canadians" tour (about 3 hours) includes:
1) pickup from your arrival at the railway station in Cassino everyday at 10.00am or 02.00pm (Main Square, near the Green Kiosk)
2) about 3h30 guided tour of the American most meaningful sites of Cassino:
- A German pillboxes of the Hitler Line
- The Plaque in the Valli D'Aquino area
- San Vito Church next to the Melfa River crossing area
- Aquino Monument dedicated to the Canadians
- The Commonwealth war cemetery
- Cassino town center
- Caste Hill
- The Panoramic point
- The Germans' caves
- The Abbey of Montecassino.
3) return to the railway station in Cassino at 01.30pm or 05.30pm
Dr. Anna Maria Priora Ph.D
WW2 Monte Cassino Battlefield expert, researcher and tour guide