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Def Min visits Italy on 77th anniversary of Battle of Monte Cassino

The ceremony commemorating the 77th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino will be held with the participation of Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak at the Polish military cemetery in Monte Casino.

The ceremony will begin with a holy mass at the cemetery. Afterwards, it will move to the city of Cassino, where a plaque dedicated to the commander of the II Corps, General Władysław Anders, will be unveiled. Due to the epidemic, a limited number of people will take part.

“The Battle of Monte Cassino is an important element of our national consciousness. The service of the II Corps soldiers is a role model for today’s soldiers,” the head of the Ministry of National Defense remarked ahead of commemorations.

Minister Błaszczak will be accompanied by the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Italy, the daughter of General Anders, Anna Maria Anders.

The Battle of Monte Cassino, called “the biggest inland battle in Europe,” involved four Allied assaults against the Nazi-German Winter Line in Italy during the WWII Italian Campaign. The fighting continued for 123 days, from January 17 to May 18, 1944. The Allies’ goal was to gain passage to Rome. Polish troops under the command of Wladyslaw Anders proved fundamental in fulfilling the plan.

On May 18, 1944 a Polish patrol climbed to the top of Monte Cassino and raised the Polish flag over the ruins of the abbey. In all, 923 Polish soldiers were killed in the fighting, with 2,931 wounded and 345 reported missing.

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