As Mark Zuelcke remember in his Book The Liri Valley: Canada's World War II Breakthrough to Rome on July 1943 about 26.000 Canadians landed in Sicily. When on September the Allied decided to invade Italy the Canadians were involved with the 8th Army in the battle of the Moro River, Villa Rogatti, San Leonardo, Casa Berardi, Cider Crossroads and Ortona against the 90thPanzer Granadier and the 1st Parachute Division because of all the difficulties the 5th Army have had on the Winter Line, General Harold Alexander decided to concentrate all the Allied's effords on the Gustav line trom Monte Cassino to Minturno.
Operation Diadem was launched on May 11 1944 and the 1st Canadian Corps played a great role in determining the success of this operation. When on April 18 1944 the 1st Canadian Corps stopped all radio traffic . The German 10th Army could not decect them. the Radio traffic started again next to Salerno , letting the Germans thinking that the Canadians were preparing an amphibious operation. During the last battle of Monte Cassino, the role of the 1st Cab was to assist the 8th Indian division in crossing the Gari River. The 17th Brigade and Ontario Tanks would support the crossing with direct fire. At 06.00pm on May 11, Sir Oliver Leese sent a message to all 8th Army regiments wishing good luke to all the troops. The attack was ready! During the night starting al 11pm the troops had to establish a bridgehead, to expand it and clear a very large area around Sant'Angelo. But at about 03.00am the Calgary Regiment had to abandon the building of its Cardiff bridge to help the 8th Indian Division to build the Oxford Bridge. Captain Anthony Kingsmill was already choosing the best place to build an other bridge the Plymounth... at 9.50, having a lot of difficulties , but he had a very good idea and he foud a solution to all the problems. On May 13 the fourth bridge called London Bridge was built. The Canadian tank regiments could cross the Gari River to run norther to Rome!
The veterans' testimonies will guide us through the story of Montecassino battlefields
The "Monte Cassino and Cassino Battlefield tours for Canadians" (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 Canadian most meaningful sites of Cassino:
- "Whiskey" point on the Monte Trocchio
- Oxford Bridge and Captain Anthony Kingsmill's Bridge
- London Bridge and the Pease Bell
- 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
4) price per person 80 euros (lunch or dinner not included)
Recommended reading list:
Informations and Booking
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Dr. Anna Maria Priora Ph.D
WW2 Monte Cassino Battlefield expert, researcher and tour guide