The Poles have a special place in Cassino history. The 2nd Polish Corps numbered about 50.000 men, all of whom had a long and dangerous journey behind them, started in Syberia and ended in Europe. The Katin massacre had already taken place and General Anders got with great difficulty the permission to organize two divisions and a reserve regiment. Lieutenant-General Wladyslaw Anders had now the hard task to command the 3rd Carpathian Rifle and the 5th Kresowa Infantry Divisions supported by the Polish 2nd Armoured Brigade. In mid-December the 3rd Carpathian Division arrived in Taranto and entered the line on the Adriatic Coast as part of the British Eight Army. The rest of the Army had followed by the end of February. In mid-March 1944 the Lieutenant -General Leese briefed Anders on a possible role for the Polish Corps in capturing Monte Cassino heights and then the Village of Piedimonte. Even if the Polish attack on 12 May failed, on 16 May Colle Sant'Angeelo had been captured by the Kresowa division and the next day the Carpathians moved again against Point 593
At about 08.00 am. 12 Poles approched the monastery through the minefields, no shot were fired and seventeen German Paratroopers emerged from the rubbles. Shortly afterwards, Section Leader Czech played the Krakow Hejmal, a medieval Polish military signal on the bugle, and the Polish flag was blowing on the top of the ruins. The Battle of Montecassino was at an end. The slopes of the hills, particularly where the fire had been less intense, where covered with poppies in incredible number....
Thanks to War Memories-Memorie di Guerra for the old pictures
Dive into the heart of Montecassino and its Polish heroes' story!
The "Monte Cassino Battlefields Tour for Poles" (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 Polish most meaningful sites of Cassino:
- The Polish War cemetery
- Point 593 and the Polish Obelisk (it involves some walking)
- The Polish Tank (it involves some walking)
- The Cavendish Road (it involves some walking)
- The Albaneta Farm and the view on the Kresowa Cross
- Montecassino Abbey
- The Statue remembering General Anders
- the Statue of Wojtek the Bear
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)
Informations and Booking
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Dr. Anna Maria Priora Ph.D
WW2 Monte Cassino Battlefield expert, researcher and tour guide