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Battle for Cassino

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Battle for Cassino
WWII Nov 1943-May 1944


Commonwealth burials at Cassino War Cemetery (Cassino, Frosinone Province, Lazio Region, Italy) - 4,266 burials including 47 South Africans, 13 Australians.
October 2009 Note: The rear part of the cemetery is currently under major horticultural renovation. Weather permitting, the new turf will be fully established by next Spring and new planting will be completed during the forthcoming winter period. Wheelchair access to the cemetery is possible, via a ramp at an alternative entrance, which can be located approx. 200 metres from the main entrance. Unfortunately, even with the support of local police, due to regular theft and damage to the Cemetery Register and Visitors Book, it is only possible for these to be accessible during the hours when the gardeners are present, as follows: Winter: 08.00-12.00 & 13.00-15.30 Summer: 07.00 - 12.00 & 13.00 - 15.30
Cassino War Cemetery lies in the Commune of Cassino, Province of Frosinone, 139 kilometres south-east of Rome. Take the autostrada A1 from Rome to Naples and leave it at the Cassino exit. At the junction of this exit and the road into Cassino, is the first of 6 clearly visible signposts to the cemetery and memorial. The cemetery is located approximately 1 kilometre from the railway station in Via Sant Angelo and visitors arriving by train are advised to take a taxi from the station. Cemetery address: Via S. Angelo 03043 Cassino (FR) Lazio. GPS Co-ordinates: Latitude 41.477555, Longitude: 13.827141.
On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but by the end of October, the Allies were facing the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. Initial attempts to breach the western end of the line were unsuccessful. Operations in January 1944 landed troops behind the German lines at Anzio, but defences were well organised, and a breakthrough was not actually achieved until 18 May, when Cassino was finally taken. The site for Cassino War Cemetery was originally selected in January 1944, but the development of the battle during the first five months of that year made it impossible to use it until after the Germans had withdrawn from Cassino. During these early months of 1944, Cassino saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Italian campaign, the town itself and the dominating Monastery Hill proving the most stubborn obstacles encountered in the advance towards Rome. The majority of those buried in the war cemetery died in the battles during these months. There are now 4,271 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated at Cassino War Cemetery. 289 of the burials are unidentified. Within the cemetery stands the Cassino Memorial which commemorates over 4,000 Commonwealth servicemen who took part in the Italian campaign whose graves are not known.

Cassino War Memorial (Cassino, Frosinone Province, Lazio Region, Italy) (see Cassino) - WWII, 3,100 Commonwealth servicemen who took part in the Italian campaign whose graves are not known. In addition, over 900 Indian soldiers are commemorated on this memorial whose remains were cremated.

Venafro Free French Cemetery (Venafro, Isernia Province, Molise Region, Italy) - One of several cemeteries associated with the Battle at MonteCassino. 6,000 men from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and other African countries who fought on behalf of the French are buried here.

German Military Cemetery at Cassino (Caira, Frosinone Province, Lazio Region, Italy) - 20,027 burials, WWII.
3 kms north of the city of Cassino, on the road to Monte Cassino.

Italian military cemetery at Mignano Monte Lungo (Mignano Monte Lungo, Caserta Province, Campania Region, Italy) - 975 burials.

Polish War Cemetery Casamassima (Casamassima, Bari Province, Puglia Region, Italy) Burials of 431 soldiers and officers who died in the 2nd Army Corps are here. Most of these men were wounded at the Battle of Monte Cassino and hospitalized here until their deaths.

Polish War Cemetery Cassino (Cassino, Frosinone Province, Lazio Region, Italy) - Burials of 1052 of the 4000 who died in this battle in the 2nd Army Corps are here. Another 250 Bellorussians from the West of Belarus (now Poland) are also buried here. These men died at the Battle of Monte Cassino.
Location & access: The Polish War Cemetery car park is 0.7 km (by road) from the car park at Monte Cassino Abbey. From the Polish Cemetery car park, you progress down a sloping walkway (about 500 metres long) with about 3 flights of about 8 steps each. Arriving at the cemetery gates, there is another flight of about ten steps to get up to the cemetery base. This cemetery is all stone. There is no grass in the main cemetery. The crosses are laid out on a steep terraced stone semi circle. You have to be reasonably fit to climb up there and then on to the garden further up the slope.

Sicily-Rome American Cemetery at Nettuno (Nettuno, Roma Province, Lazio Region, Italy) WWII US - 7,861 total burials plus 3,095 missing.
The cemetery is open daily to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except December 25 and January 1. It is open on host country holidays. When the cemetery is open to the public, a staff member is on duty in the Visitor Building to answer questions and escort relatives to grave and memorial sites. GPS Coordinates: N41 27.918 E12 39.503
Sicily-Rome American Cemetery lies at the north edge of the town of Nettuno, Italy, which is immediately east of Anzio, 38 miles south of Rome. The cemetery can be reached by automobile from Rome along the Via Cristoforo Colombo, which runs into Via Pontina (highway 148). Drive south approximately 37 miles and exit at Campoverde/Nettuno. Turn right to Nettuno, continuing 5 miles to the cemetery. There is hourly train service from Rome to Nettuno, where taxicabs can be hired. There are numerous hotels in Anzio and Nettuno.
7,861 of American military war dead, arranged in gentle arcs on broad green lawns beneath rows of Roman pines. The majority of these men died in the liberation of Sicily (July 10 to August 17, 1943); in the landings in the Salerno Area (September 9, 1943) and the heavy fighting northward; in the landings at Anzio Beach and expansion of the beachhead (January 22, 1944 to May 1944); and in air and naval support in the regions. On the white marble walls of the chapel are engraved the names of the 3,095 missing.

Links to other sites about Battle for Cassino include:

Commonwealth Military Cemeteries
US Military Cemeteries Overseas.html
French Military Cemeteries
Frosinone Province
German Military Cemeteries
Italian Military Cemeteries
Polish Military Cemeteries
War Cemeteries in Italy by Region
Military Cemeteries

GenTracer POW Kathy Kirkpatrick

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