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January 17, 1944: The Battle of Monte Cassino Begins

In January 1944, one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the Italian Campaign of WWII began at Monte Cassino. Monte Cassino was an ancient Benedictine abbey that towered over the city of Cassino. Sometimes referred to as the Battle of Rome, the Battle of Monte Cassino consisted of a series of four assaults by Allied forces against the defensive German Gustav Line. Before German troops retreated, the conflict claimed the lives of 55,000 Allied soldiers and destroyed the cultural treasure of Monte Cassino.

Allied forces landed in the Italian peninsula in September 1943. The Apennine Mountains divided the peninsula and Allied troops split and advanced on both sides. They took control of Naples and continued the push towards Rome.

Monte Cassino was the gateway to Rome, about 80 miles away. It provided unobstructed views of the area. German troops occupied lookouts on the hillside but agreed to stay out of the abbey because of its historical importance. The precious manuscripts and antiquities housed in the abbey had been removed to Vatican City for safekeeping (although some works of art were stolen by German troops and transported north).

The first phase of the operation began on January 17th with an Allied attack on German positions. Thomas E. McCall, a farm boy from Indiana, found himself in the crosshairs of the battle. On January 22, 1944, during heavy fighting, he was accidentally struck by friendly fire. Presumed dead, McCall was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Unbeknownst to his unit, McCall was alive but wounded. He became a German POW and spent the next 18 months in makeshift hospitals. “They didn’t even have an aspirin to give you,” he said. “There were no pain-killing drugs for either the Germans or us. The surgeon had a handful of tools and two or three other guys would hold you down while he operated on you.” McCall was eventually liberated and earned the distinction of being one of the few posthumous Medal of Honor recipients that lived to tell about it.

By early February, Allies reached a hill just below the abbey. Some reports suggested Germany might be using the abbey as an artillery observation point, resulting in a controversial decision to destroy the abbey. On February 15th, 1,150 tons of bombs rained down on the abbey reducing it to rubble. German forces quickly took up position in the ruins, utilizing its vantage point to prevent Allies from advancing.

A third offensive began in March with heavy attacks in the town of Cassino, but tenacious German forces held their position. The fourth and final assault, known as Operation Diadem, began on May 11th and included attacks from US troops with help from British, French, and Polish Allies. On May 18th, Polish forces captured Monte Cassino. Soon after, on June 4, 1944, Allied forces liberated Rome.

If you would like to learn more about the Battle of Monte Cassino and see more photographs, search our archives on


  1. As usual, VERY interesting. My brother-in-law’s father (the husband of my wife’s sister’s husband) fought in this Battle of Monte Cassino.
    Thank you

    • Bruce Hedquist says:

      Interesting relationship you have there! A husband of a person’s husband? LOL Perhaps you meant a father of that husband?

  2. Morgan Lewis says:

    My dad was there as an US ARMY MEDIC; General Alexander decided the Abbey had to be bombed over Gen Clarks objection, bad move on the British part!! The destroyed Abbey made perfect protection for the Germans and thousands of Indian, Australian, and British soldiers died. Dad and all the American Medics were offered field Commissions By Gen Alexander if they would rescue the Brits as all their Medics were dead or wounded. General Clark intervened, and would not allow the US Medics to be slaughtered. Thank God.

    • Sadly, ALL War is HELL! God Bless our brave men!!! God Bless your dad, his name please? Our “boys” were amazing in what they accomplished against all odds! We also HONOR all those who stayed behind. The price too high but the winning of the war meant freedom! There is a 48 Star American Flag on our hearth as well!
      MY dad/T/Sgt Edward C Ennis, 321st BG, B-25 Mitchell medium Bombers over Italy, he flew Missions over the Monte Cassino. It was tragic indeed.

    • Teresa Arballo Barth says:

      My father, William Arballo, also served as an US army medic at Monte Cassino. Years later my sister, my husband and I visited the rebuilt cathedral and large military cemetery. Lovely countryside but old photos in a restaurant we stopped at showed the absolute destruction of the area after the battle.

  3. Morgan Lewis says:

    PS: Several weeks later he was assigned to a hospital Ship as the Pharmacy Tech; next assignment NORMANDY. I never knew he was there until they had the 50th anniversary on TV, and he started crying.

    • The MEN were mostly able to hide the horror and make their stories truthful enough to tell without the actual truth and reality of War!

    • Normandy had to have been AWFUL. My husband’s brother Cleatus Connolly arrived D-Day +6 and died in the Battle for St. LO on 16 July 1944. A “medic” stayed with him (and others) the day that he lived. God Bless your dad for his service!

  4. Morgan Lewis says:

    As a continuation of the above, Dad enlisted in the Army 1942, basic Ft Ogalthorp Ga. advanced training Medic @ Ft Sam Houston; then Pharmacy Tech school. Not bad for a man with an 8th grade education. 29 years later, I was sent to Ft Sam as a medic, and a Pharmacy Tech Instructor. Note of interest, we were both assigned to the same barracks during training .

  5. Elmer Terrry says:

    Wasn’t Senator Bob Dole a part of the assault on Monte Casino? I have some diminished capacity but I think he was seriously wounded and left for dead by the medics in the confusion of battle. Graves registration found him still alive after some da
    ys, the severe cold slowing his body functions thus keeping him going.. Almost like an induced coma. Years in VA hospitals and can’t quit determination gave him a functioning body to go with a tremendous intellect to become one of our most respected politicians. If my memory serves he should be recognized.

    • Roger Kaiser says:

      I believe Senator Dole was a patient at Percy Jones Hospital at the same time my father was there. It was mid summer 45 thru fall if 1946. My father was injured in a train accident in Austria May 7 1945. His left leg was amputated mid May at First General Hospital ,Paris France. He was air flighted to Mitchell Field N.Y. before going to P.J. G H.. pfc Donald Kaiser Co. E 2bn 318th inf 80th div.

  6. Jonathan P. Alter says:

    The damage to Monte Cassino was such that seven years after the war ended, it was still in ruins. My Papa was assigned to Rome while a US -Navy Lieutenant 1952-1954.

  7. Robert Hardt says:

    My wife’s uncle, Immanuel Lutzer, who was in the German Army, was killed in 1944 at Monte Cassino. The horrors of war came to both sides.

    • Robert Hardt says:

      Wrong uncle. Immanual was killed near Stalingrad. Her uncle Albert Steinbring was killed at Monte Cassino.

    • Jake says:

      We could care less about the Germans killed. They were the cause of Millions of deaths.

    • Martin Wade says:


      There were thousands of dead among the German forces who were not Nazis but actually fought for their country believing they were right.
      There were actually German-Americans who fought against relatives in the opposing forces.
      The dead can’t speak for themselves and don’t need to be denigrated by anyone.

    • Marjorie Shaw says:

      I care, Robert.

      My aunt’s husband was a German American who had grown up on a farm in Texas. When he died in the Battle of Rapido River, he was in line to be promoted to Major. He had been able to use his German language skills to aid the Allies.

      Back home in Texas, his two-year-old son went along with his mother one day when she visited friends who worked at the local prisoner of war camp. When he got out of the car, he saw some German POWs working and he ran up to them and said, “Hi!” Those men took great delight in playing and sharing their candy with the little blond toddler who must have reminded them so much of their own children at home.

      Wars–it’s the governments, not the people.

    • Roger Carter says:

      Johann Lechner, 20 years old, GBJ regiment. Mögen sie alle in Frieden ruhen.

  8. James Horn says:

    Bob Dole was wounded in Northern Italy, about a month before the end of the war.

    • David Acker says:

      Wikipedia: In April 1945, while engaged in combat near Castel d’Aiano in the Apennine mountains southwest of Bologna, Italy, Dole was badly wounded by German machine gun fire, being hit in his upper back and right arm. As Lee Sandlin describes, when fellow soldiers saw the extent of his injuries, all they thought they could do was to “give him the largest dose of morphine they dared and write an ‘M’ for ‘morphine’ on his forehead in his own blood, so that nobody else who found him would give him a second, fatal dose.”

  9. James Horn says:

    My brother’s father in law was in the 36th Division, which I knew was at Cassino, so when I saw a videotape about the battle I bought it and gave it to him. Then next time I saw him, he thanked me very profusely, not for the main film, but for the included film about the Battle of San Pietro, which cleared the starting positions for Cassino. He said most of it was his unit, and although he was not in any of the footage, he remembered the film crew shooting, and many of his friends had been in it. He said the next day, half of them were dead. It was not the most brilliant example of American generalship. Clark did not want to bomb the abbey, true, but he did not want to take the responsibility for the decision and kicked it upstairs to Alexander. So he is basically responsible for the bombing anyway.

    • Marjorie Shaw says:

      My aunt’s husband was also in the 36th. He died in the Battle of Rapido River. Can you tell me the name of that video and where you found it? Thanks!

    • sandra buch says:

      My father was at Monte Cassino. Would love to have the title and source or the video. Thanks!

  10. I was born the day before this operation started.
    Vietnam Veteran 1966

  11. Edward says:

    I believe Canadian Army Forces were also part of the Allied Italian military Campaign. My Uncle was an Officer in the Canadian Arillary Engineers and his Artillary unit was atached at one time or another to the British and American Armies heading the Italian battles.

    • pd rob says:

      You like the book by ? Mowat the title is And no bird sang. He was Canadian,a writer by profession and part of the invasion of Sicily and then mainland Italy fighting north to Rome. He was assigned to British and American forces. My dad’s Italian adventure was really similar so I loved it. Dad was wounded Oct 191943 so just short of Cassino.

  12. Cynthia Crosley says:

    Does anyone have any information about a tank battle at Anzio, Italy? My husband’s uncle Pfc. Jack Herbert Driggs, US Army, was killed there on May 23, 1944. We cannot find any info concerning this. Any suggestions?

  13. Judy M Webb says:

    The Abby was rebuilt. My husband and I did Italy Campaign tour. So very special, we flowed Allied Invasion to Rome. As usual, the US cemetery near Rome brought home the reality. Honor our Service Men and Women.

  14. Mark Schneider says:

    I found this new Fold posting and discussion very interesting and humbling, having visited the Abby several years ago. While reviewing Wikipedia’s summary of the Abby and battle, I saw a reference to the Montecassino Society that some of you may be interested in. Although it is a British organization of veterans, their families and supporters, the society sponsors regular remembrance events in England plus annual visits to Monte Cassino each May. Their website is although it seems to have had limited updates to its newsletter recently. But there’s also the society’s Facebook page that you can visit.

  15. jessica says:

    I visited the remarkable Polish gravesite and General Władysław Anders grave in 1987at sunset all was calm and beautiful one could not imagine the slaughter there —on all sides in WW2.

  16. Catherine Christie says:

    What do you mean the this battle started July 17, 1944.
    My uncle John Paton, who served in the British Army, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, fought this battle and died July 17, 1943.
    He is buried in Monte Cassino. I have done my research and have it documented.
    Please get your facts straight.
    The Brits were in the war earlier Sept 1939, , I know as I was born in Scotland , Sept 25 1939, just as the war started.
    So remember the so called Allied did not come in until much later.

    • Byrnes William M. says:


      Is there something that has made you angry and a little bit nasty?

      1) Regarding facts, the campaign to take Monte Cassino did begin early in 1944 if that helps anyone interested in ‘getting facts straight’.

      2) Your comment about ‘so called Allied’ is confusing. Are you suggesting that because the US did not enter the war until 1941 that the US wasn’t really an ally?

      Perhaps if you reread your comments several times before submitting them, you might have phrased things differently, but then again, maybe not.

    • David Acker says:

      While appreciate your uncle’s service in defense of the free world during WWII, I’m afraid your dates may be mixed. Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, began on the night of 9–10 July 1943, and ended on 17 August. The Allies did not reach the Italian mainland until September of 1943 with the initial attacks in the Monte Cassino area not starting until Jan-Feb 1944. Your Uncle may well be buried at the Monte Cassino War Cemetery which is the burial site for thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers who died during the Italian Campaign in World War Two. However, if he died in summer of 1943 it was not at Monte Cassino.

    • William 'Bill' Byrnes says:

      David Acker, you are truly a ‘class act’! What an elegant response to Catherine Christie. Your style is one all should follow when writing to others.
      Thank you, Bill Byrnes

  17. Ian S Vicary says:

    My mothers younger brother won his MC at Cassino

  18. My article was ranking number three for this certain product term.
    This does not mean you should stuff articles with crucial.
    Set clear directions for each part and try to provide a sub-title also.

  19. Bowen says:

    Yes: Harold Alexander AND Mark Clark must be left accountable for the
    destruction of Monte Casino. I’m not Catholic, but the Pope was more than
    justified in his remonstration.
    The Germans were NOT “occupying” Monte Casino, but in wartime the smallest
    detail can magnify into a tactical decision: If someone “saw” a German on a
    balcony of the Abby, then the Germans “were in the Abby” – got to get them all out – period. Generals aren’t positioned to respect antiquity. They are positioned to win battles. But that’s war.

  20. Leneva Meadows says:

    My uncle, Sgt. Honie W. Loggins was a medic and was at Monte Cassino. He and my father joined the army in August, 1940. Their younger brother, L.D. Loggins was too young to join but joined the Army Air Corp. with permission from my grandparents before the war ended. Both uncles were in Europe and went on to make the military their career. My uncle Honie as a medic with the 8th Army. My uncle L.D. with the USAF. My father, Kinney M. Loggins, was in maintenance and tore a kidney loose in Australia in Feb. 1944. I was born in March, 1944. My father eventually lost his kidney and received disability income of 60% for the remainder of his life. I am very interested in WWII and found this article very interesting. I would like to know more about the battle of Monte Casino.

  21. Bill Marrin says:

    One of the US Pilots who bombed Monte Cassino was a Mr Germain Loeber. He would later be ordained a Benedict’s Priest at St John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Mn which became the largest Bennedictan Abbey in the world after Cassino. He was my Prefect at St John’s Prep School In 1957. An interesting twist for this story I might add.

  22. Cynthia Crosley says:

    My thanks to everyone who provided information and leads on finding out what took place at Anzio, Italy, WWII. It is a thing that has haunted my husband as he was nicknamed for his uncle PFC Jack Driggs who was killed there. This Christmas Uncle Jack’s metal toy cars from his train set were under our tree in remembrance of him. His ultimate gift of self and service, like so very many others, should never be forgotten. Thank you again. Best Regards, Cynthia Crosley

  23. I Greenep says:

    Strange that yet again the part played by NZ groups is overlooked and not mentioned

    • johnwinks says:

      Very good I Greenep – as usual many New Zealand achievements during both World Wars were labled as “British” when they were successful!

      My father fought in both World Wars in Europe and the Pacific and this was his opinion also.

  24. Philip Harris says:

    For excellent history of this and the Battles in North Africa, I recommend the trilogy by Author Rick Atkinson:
    “An Army at Dawn”
    “The Day of Battle”, The War in Sicily and Italy
    “The Guns at Last Light”
    My father was a member of the First Armored Division, saw action in North Africa, Kasserine Pass, Sicily and Monte Casino. These books tell the stories he would never tell.

  25. James Pierce says:

    When my wife and I visited there, we couldn’t believe how beautifully it had been rebuilt. I’m saddened by the unnecessary destruction of the abbey as, what this article failed to mention, there were VERY few Germans actually there and then (as was mentioned) they were outside the abbey during the assault. The war had essentially been won, I feel that this attack was unwarranted and unfortunate for history. That said, in a war-weary state, I might have made the same decision. I hope not. In any case, it’s still worth seeing. Cassino is just a few miles from where my family is from, I’m glad we got a chance to see it!

  26. My father in law, William Kasser. U.S Army Signal Corps, fought this battle.

  27. John Buck says:

    A good friend of mine’s great uncle Otto Menges won the Knights cross fighting with the Fallschirmjager (paratroopers)……He fought there as a platoon leader and died there May 18, 1944 and I believe buried there. Read a lot about him quite a soldier…

  28. Joe says:

    My father was there with the 757 tank battalion. It was his understanding that they waited for approval from the Vatican. Once they let loose he said he’d never seen so many planes dropping bombs.

  29. Ian Nicholls says:

    What a shame that you make no mention of the Canadian contribution. The Poles do in their own histories.

  30. CP Bond says:

    Does anyone know what the contributions were of the Canadian war effort in the above mentioned battles? It would be interesting.
    My father, Charles Bond was with the 11th Field Ambulance RCAMC, CASF out of Guelph, Ontario. He was 19 when he volunteered in 1939. Not sure he stayed in this unit, one of my brothers thinks he might have moved to a different group. I’m just starting to get into searching this myself.
    The one story I heard that he was in the Netherlands clearing out Germans near the end of the war. He came face to face with a German in a house, he figured the lad was maybe 16 at the time. He persuaded the lad to lower his weapon and leave the house and go home and before he was shot by someone else. The war was at an end, he didn’t want to shoot this young boy if he didn’t have to.
    I believe my father and many of his friends suffered quietly with what they had done and saw while at war. Help was not very available for these men that came home in the mid 40’s.
    Very interesting stories above and glad to see that you all respect one another’s stories about family and history.
    Thank you all for each families lost in the war to support freedom for all.

  31. sandra buch says:

    My father was at Cassino. He was a doctor and commander of the 109th medical battalion. He kept a diary during the war which I had published a few years ago. It is “Mud, Mountains and Medicine” and is available for $9.99 from Hellgate Press or $19.99 from Amazon. He was in charge of evacuating wounded and talked about how extremely difficult it was, due to the weather, terrain, and the mud.

  32. Liz Hughes says:

    My father, Thomas Reed KSLI, always blamed Mark Clark for his capture at Anzio. He and others received no orders to retreat and woke up surrounded by Germans. He spent the rest of the war in Stalag VIIA, Moosberg

  33. JAMES BOOTH says:


  34. Jeff Stolaruk says:

    I spent a total of 5 weeks in 2015 working in Cassino. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the war cemeteries and recontructed Abby. About 1-1/2 hours drive south of Rome (also accessible by train), its a worth while trip when touring Italy. My father’s family’s roots are in Poland/Ukraine/Belarus and I’ll be sure to spend more time at the Monte Cassino Polish war cemetery if/when I return.

  35. Ann (Fusco) Jordan says:

    My father was with the British Army, and was in the Royal Signals and was at Monticassino. His name was John Fusco, he was of Italian descent, and his father before him was also in the Scots Guards in WW1, he did not say a lot about the war but had a special photo of the Polish Bear Wotjek with him. at the time I did not believe it was a REALbear till many years later. He survived North Africa and MonteCasino. After doing a lot of Genealogical digging into the Fusco Family, we found out that his ancestors actually came from Villa Latina, a small town not far from MonteCasino. He passed away in 1985 before we located actual proof that his Grand father was the Italian who left VillaLatina, and moved across the European Continent into England and finally settled in Edinburgh, Scotland. He died before we located the proof that he was so close to his grandfathers home town, when he was at MonteCasino.

  36. Tom Mercier says:

    We are all proude of the men and women whom gave their lives and fought for freedom, and although there are many stories to tell, we must think of the stories that will never be told.
    Remember that all wars take the lives
    of our youth which in itself is terrible.

    Remember wars are fraught, but who really wins?

  37. Catherine Ciccarelli says:

    My husband and just recently visited Itay. He was from Arpino Italy and his dad served in the Italian Army during WWII. The private tour of Montecassino was very enlightening. What a fantastic place and rich in historical insight. Highly recommend the trip! Please visit!

  38. Dick Olson says:

    My wife and I visited Monte Casino in May of 2017. The abbey was totally rebuilt after the war and it is splendid. The Polish army played a big part in the battle for Casino and there is a memorial to their fighters nearby. It is an interesting and beautiful area.

  39. IRA LERMAN says:

    I am extremely proud of Victor Lerman (one of my dad’s older brothers) who had served our country during the incredibly patriotic times known throughout history as WWII. Victor served in the Army’s infantry and had been wounded in the battle of Monte Casino and Anzio. Victor passed away almost two years ago at the age of 92 and was rightfully given a military sendoff. It was an honor to have received his flag.

    It’s a disgrace to our nation that too much of our history of the battles especially of those brave men and women of this great nation had sacrificed have slowly dwindled away from being recalled in our public education system and our colleges. It’s a shame that our colleges provide a safe room and coloring books to those that can’t handle the truth of this great country’s history. Our history should not be a “thing” that can be easily removed from our ancestry. Instead, knowing more of the facts involving our nation’s history should be strongly encouraged so that we can learn what it offers.

    • Martin Wade says:


      I give you a big AMEN on that. The educational system is erasing our history through omission.
      My dad served in the Aleutians.
      My step-father, Lowell Bergman and his brother were captured by the Germans at the Battle of the Bulge. The interesting part of the story is that both of them fought the Nazis from Kasserine Pass in Africa until their capture in the Ardennes.
      They were German-Americans who spoke German at home in Iowa when they were growing up. When captured, they were asked why “good German boys were fighting for the enemy?”
      If you ask anyone who was actually in any war, what they think about war, the majority of them will say they hated it but, if needed, they would do it again.

  40. Mark L Humphrey says:

    My uncle, Kenneth Hand, was a lieutenant in the combat engineers. He and his platoon built a bridge out of logs across a ravine at Monte Casino. I’ve seen his photographs of it. I think he was wounded in its construction but he never talked about that. He was in Naples when Vesuvius blew. He was later severely wounded in southern France while scouting in advance of the army for a river crossing. He came under heavy machine gun and mortar fire and was forced to retreat through a mine field. One of the mines got him. He sent his men on to complete the mission. My grandfather was told that he would have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor but for the fact that he stuck his 45 in the face of an army medic who refused to give morphine to a dying man. He was in fact saved by, of all things, a Red Cross doughnut wagon! They went after him having heard that he’d been abandoned, retrieved him from the mine field, cleared out their vehicle and performed emergency surgery on the spot and so he survived his “fatal” wound. The awards he did receive were the Silver Star with V for Valor and the French Croix de Guerre.

  41. James Hays Col, ret. says:

    The worse tactical mistake of the Cassino campaign was the Rapido River Crossing, the incompetent brain child of Ltg. Mark Clark, whom Eisenhower entrusted with the Corps command in Italy. Two regiments of the 36th Division were chewed up in an action with poor Corps level staff work while the third regiment, the 142nd was held in Corps reserve and not released to back up the rest of the division. Clark could not go to Texas afterwards due to an outstanding warrant for manslaughter for his incompetence.

  42. Anna Maria Curtis says:

    I am from Cassino. My mother’s home was on one of the small hills overlooking the valley of Cassino. Her home was used as an American headquaters, because of the clear view over the valley. This was one of the biggest mistakes made by the Allies and the carelessness of killing, both civilians and soldiers.

  43. Linda Withy says:

    My father, Albert Roberts, Robbie to his wartime mates, was a New Zealander who fought with the Allies at Monte Cassino. He never talked about it much which in itself says how horrific it was. Great to learn a little more about that time.

  44. Karen Pauli says:

    The involvement of my family in WWII went no where close to Italy, but this article and your comments remind me of a book my Dad kept in the basement. I would look at it from time to time. It was titled (I think) “Up Front” and was by political cartoonist Bill Maulden. He was an Army private at the time, and followed the American troops throughout the Italian campaign as a cartoonist for Stars and Stripes. The book is something of a diary of that experience, peppered with his cartoons. He drew from the viewpoint of the infantry, and through his fictional characters Willy and Joe, gave voice to the opinions and gripes of the average GI. It’s been a while since I last read it, and I don’t remember if he was at or near Monte Cassino, but I think it’s mentioned in the book. He mailed the manuscript and drawings home and had it published during the war. Later he wrote a autobiography (title has something to do with merry-go-rounds and brass rings) that included a bit of his childhood and bootcamp experience, as well as the rest of the war after Italy. If you can get your hands on either of these books, it’s an enjoyable read. Not a history lesson, but rather a look at the “grunt’s”perspective.

  45. Jean Carlomusto says:

    First, I’d like to clarify a statement made in the historical description of Monte Cassino. It says: “Monte Cassino was the gateway to Rome. It towered above the city and provided unobstructed views. ” While Monte Cassino was called the gateway to Rome, it does not tower over the city of Rome. The mountain that the abbey sits on towers over the Liri Valley, which is where the road to Rome passes through. Rome is still an hour away. The mountain where the abbey stood had been a strategic fortress since Roman times since you had to pass through the Liri valley below to get to Rome. Saint Benedict realized the value of the location and built the first Benedictine abbey on the site of an old pagan temple. My father was a young boy living in a town right outside of Cassino during the battle. By then Mussolini was ousted and the Italians in the south were led by General Badoglio who fought alongside the Allies. The Germans dug in along the Gustav line. They took all the food and livestock from the peasants in the area and occupied the caves in the mountain under the abbey of MC. The numbers of the civilian killed by war and starvation are seldom stated in the body count, but hundreds died in this area. Monte Cassino was one of the most tragic battles as many allied soldiers were lost and injured trying to take a mountain that was impossible to take in a frontal assault. As stated, the destruction of the abbey actually may have helped the Germans since they could then occupy the ruins. What really helped brake the German siege was the starving of the supply lines to the mountain. I had uncles in the US Army and family still living in Italy at the time. My father ultimately came to America and never looked back. He loved this country with all his heart.

  46. Ann Plummer says:

    The blog is very interesting, my father was in the RAMC, and was with a CCS (casualty clearing station) at Monte Cassino. I can attest to the fact that the British medics were not All Dead, as some of your bloggers have been led to believe.
    They were, what the Americans would call a front line MASH unit, he was never able to watch the Alan Alda TV series, as he said it was too close to the truth, after accidentally catching one of the more serious scenes.
    He rarely spoke of his experiences, although he did get very upset when reading a book by one of the American General’s, who claimed the US had taken a town in North Africa.
    The Brits had already won the battle on the ground, Dad was taking a well earned break, when Yank planes attacked. They lost more soldiers then, than they had when taking the town, including Dad’s best friend! The friendly fire incident was never admitted.

  47. Bert Torres says:

    Orientation into the 36th ID, tells of the Mission of Destruction given to the division that allowed the Divarty S-3 to select their preferred weapon to accomplish the mission. The 8 inch Howitzer was their weapon of choice. Known for delivering rounds within 5 yards of each round strike and a killing radius of 10 meters. Many years later I was a Forward Observer for the Division and was amazed at the accuracy of the cannon. Later replaced by the Honest John Rocket. Only U.S. Naval gunfire can match the accuracy of the 8″ Howitzer.

  48. David Marr says:

    I just finished reading a new book by
    Peter Shelton Climb to Conquer. It tell all about 10 mountain division ski troops How they were formed It tell all battles that won the Italy mountain battles. It very good index all men that served

  49. Stephen Cohn says:

    My father would never talk about the war but what we have gleaned is that he was a Captain seconded from the British Army to the Indian army and fought at Monte Cassino. He died in 1968. His troops were Pathan or Pashtun men who these days are, interestingly, are commonly known as Taliban… the Russians and Americans have discovered how tough these people are as did the British before them.
    Recently my oldest brother told me that my father was haunted by the fact that the Germans had a “take no prisoners” policy for Blacks, Indians and Maori (New Zealand indigenous people). In retaliation, the soldiers under his command also took no prisoners.
    On his death bed he shared this with my brother and wondered if he could have done something to stop them.
    There are alot of terrible things that happen in war – it’s as simple as that – and there is alot of damage done to the brave men and women who fight. We should never judge them but only honour them.

  50. Wm Higdon says:

    Please correct your implication that M C overlooked Rome

    • Jenny Ashcraft says:

      Thank you, William, we did. We were implying that the abbey provided unobstructed views of the town below, but obviously, we could have clarified that in a better manner. Rome is actually 84 miles away.

  51. I was a veteran in the Air Force, but would like to share a story when I was a boy. My father and family were touring Italy in the summer of 1960.( We were stationed in Germany) My dad was a career Army veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was in the NY national guard when the Japanese bombed pearl harbor. The rest was history. He ended up in Nam during the Tet. Anyway getting back to Italy in the summer of 1960. I was 9yrs old and We had just left Rome heading to Southern Italy. We stopped to eat at a beautiful vista for a meal. I looked up and said dad what is that and he said that is Monte Cassino. Then he told me it was bombed in WWII and was rebuilt after the war etc. Well you know the rest.
    I was a kid. I thought it was so beautiful. I didn’t know the history of Monte Cassino at age nine. But I knew about WWII in general. It wasn’t until years later that I read history, that I took in what I saw as a nine yr old then. So much death at such a beautiful place. It was not beautiful then, I believe it was cold rainy and of course war torn. I read what many have written here and it is emotional and historic. God bless all those who went through all this hell and bless their families for their suffering.

    • Sig says:

      My father flew A20 Havaland and told me that battle was thenworst he was ever in. I think this battle was probably the caust of hid night mares.

    • Elizabeth O 'Donnell says:

      How sad and how beautiful to have witnessed the rubble and destruction and the learn that the abbey was rebuilt. I just lost my son December 2 who did 4 tours – 3 in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan. On route on his last day in a Humvee he had two you men with him and they both died – one with his head in his lap. He never recovered and received significant injuries and was a Bronze star recipient. Physically he looked ok – 2 arms – 2 legs but received injury to his brain. War is hell and people often don’t think of the sacrifices young men and women have done for their country to attain the freedom we have.

  52. The Poles open the door to Cassini, they took the Abbey approaching from the difficult eastern side and this action brought an end to this ‘bloody’prolonged Battle .My father was a sergeant in the Royal Artillery.

  53. Nancy says:

    We need to hear more stories like this. For many wars are distant events happening to others. I wonder why we’re fighting, what difference does it make? What purpose are we serving? Who do I ask?

    • Martin Wade says:


      People who wage war have numerous excuses (reasons) to do so: Religion, Jealousy, Territory, perceived political differences and whatever.
      Generally speaking, war has no honest meaning.
      Those of us who served in the military and as police officers would really be happy if everybody would pick up their “toys” and go home, but it ain’t gonna happen.

    • William Trexler says:

      NANCY, as to who do you ask, just ask me (degrees in political science, English, and history.) I will be glad to give you some objective thoughts on war. There are a few necessary wars and a lot of others that are fought because of three main reasons: religion, greed, and the egos of politicians.
      I’m old enough to have heard a lot about WWII from the soldiers who fought it. The biggest danger to society is politicians, driven by their own agendas, convincing people that wars must be fought.

    • Eric Wilburn says:

      world Peace, is why we were fighting! still a issue with this today, just a different playing field. Dont forget History!

    • Hubert Townsend says:

      Unfortunately we have the Industrial Military Complex that depends on conflict to continue to employ millions of American citizens. Dwight Eisenhower expressed his concern about the danger of the growing Industrial Military Complex in his farewell address. Our history of involvement in conflict is real. God bless all who have served fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice.

  54. JOHN KENNEDY says:

    the term WITH HELP by British and Polish Forces is Quite insulting.

    • Paul Moore says:

      I also find it insulting to state that the battle was won WITH HELP FROM THE BRITISH. My Father was in the Rifle Brigade and fought at Cassino and was injured there…he put his life on the line as much as anyone else. As usual the Americans want all the glory!!

    • Stacy Dean Seymour says:

      I conquer. Minimizing strength in numbers doesn’t properly represent the clear picture!

    • Francis says:

      From The Globe and Mail published May 18, 2018:

      After five months of fighting by the Allied forces – composed of Americans, British, Canadians, Free French, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Indians, Nepalese, Moroccans and Poles – it was the Poles who finally took the abbey, or what little was left of it.

      Credit where credit is due.

    • Don’t know if Mr Kennedy is the nice person I met in Belgium, Bastogne, over a decade ago

  55. My father, Thomas McKeon, was in the US Army Artillery Division that fired canons upon Casino.

    • Russ Wilson (Jr.) says:

      My father, Russell Wilson (Tennessee), also fired artillery on Monte Cassino. What further information is available about this extended battle?

  56. Sig says:

    My father flew A20 Havaland and told me that battle was thenworst he was ever in. I think this battle was probably the caust of hid night mares.

  57. Margaret says:

    If the forces from other countries were only ‘helping’ the US why did the US follow orders they did not agree with from a ‘helper’?

  58. sharon says:

    My mom’s uncle fought in WW II and was killed at Anzio (Beach), Italy in February 1944. He was in the 252nd or 262nd Ordinance Maintenance Co, AA. I’m new to researching his history – can anyone direct me to resources to obtain information about him during that time? Please and thanks to anyone who can offer suggestions.

    • Martin Wade says:

      Don’t know if this will help at all, but her’s a site that might give you a place to start.
      The warfare history network might give you some leads.


    • Harry Randall says:

      I used the Army Heritage center in Carlisle, PA. My uncle also died at Anzio and I was able to get all of his info, right down to the day and time he died. He is also buried there and I have a picture of his grave, My grandparent did not wish to have the body returned, due to not knowing the condition of the body. I know my wife picked up quite a bit of information when we were there regarding her father and I got all the info on my father from there. They also have a facility in the Midwest, however they experienced a fire and lost a good deal of their info. Good luck on your search and we can answer any other question please contact me. Good luck.

    • David Acker says:

      The first thing to do would be to go through the process of requesting records. They may show citations, units served with, promotions and much more if available. As was mentioned, the archives in St. Louis, MO were heavily damaged in a fire back in the 1970s. But the first step is to use that link to find out what is available for you. Good luck.

    • My brother was in the landing at Anzio Beach. He lived to talk about it. Thank God!

    • Luis Santos says:

      Your mom’s uncle is your great uncle.

    • Ralph says:

      There arr many books but the authoritative bunker by bunker account probably starts with the Army’s official history of the campaign battle by battle.

  59. David Goodrick says:

    You make no mention of the New Zealand forces that were heavily involved in this battle. The battle for Monte Casino remains as one of the major battles that New Zealanders fought in during World war II. I know because in 2012 I stood in the middle of the New Zealand section of the cemetery containing the graves of hundreds of New Zealand servicemen at Monte Casino. It would be appropriate if you would correct this disgraceful oversight on your part.

    • David Pender says:

      Unfortunately, Americans tend to lump ANZAC forces, and for that matter, any of the Commonwealth forces under the “British” catch-all.

    • V Miller says:

      My father (American) told me about Monte Cassino and specifically mentioned the New Zealanders and their courage and sacrifice there. Many historians may miss specifics but the men that were there remembered and passed it on.

  60. Wayne lewan says:

    My uncle zygmunt Lewandowski joined the polish forces in Italy after fighting the Germans and Russians near Warsaw what a legend

  61. After reading the story I read Mr. Gravino’s comment and was quite moved.
    It is such a wartime reality and a pity that the Abbey was destroyed.

  62. Kimberly Lowe says:

    My stepfather, Francis “Buddy” Morse was a machine gunner with the Red Bulls in that battle. In recent years, he has reflected on how few of his company walked away; only a fraction of the men.

  63. I’m sorry to say but I wonder if we could put together enough troops with the mettle and bravery of the WW2 generation to save the world again. Hard to fight with a phone in your hand

  64. Joel Watson says:

    Did anyone even notice we destroyed St. Benedict’s Monte Cassino and everything in it forever? NOTHING is sacred, nothing holy to annyone in war, so what is worth all the destruction of the Sacred, the Holy, the horror and gore and violence and absolutism and foreverness of any war? A “we won” and 50 years later an email letter saying my grandfather told me about the battle? What of Monte Cassino?

    • Polo Merguzhis says:

      This is the first sensible comment I have read here about Monte Cassino. As a historic truth, the Germans respected the abbey and did not occupy it even as an observation post to avoid its being bombed. It took a bunch of ignorant hillbillies to reduce it to rubble, which the Germans then occupied to great effect.

    • rambeau says:

      Monte Cassino was nothing but a building. Jesus referred to the temple as his body that he would raise in 3 days. In that respect, thousands of temples created by God were sacrificed in that battle and war. Those are the buildings that really matter.

  65. Jeff says:

    This is one of the greatest comments I’ve seen with our service here in World War 2.
    The destruction of a famous city Monte Cassino was absolutely devastating to see our city in rubbles.
    Many brave men will not be forgotten for the freedom of our greatest nation of the world….

  66. Rod Martin says:

    As a normal person the violence of war turns my stomach, and I agree that most wars are political or religious. However WWII was different for Americans. We engaged a merciless, mentally ill tyrant, that deceived his own people and brought terror to Europe. His goal was to join forces with the Japanese and Italians to conquer the world, and for everyone to live under his own rule as the “King of the World”. If we had not engaged in war we would be living in a different sort of world now. One that would not allow anyone to express such opinions as we are displaying here. It was unfortunate that Monte Cassino was destroyed along with many other antiques, artifacts, and archeological sites. War has a single purpose and is blind in it’s pursuit.

    • Linda says:

      Rod, thanks you very much for your comment. Sometimes war is unavoidable to prorltect and preserve precious freedoms– speech, religion, assembly, and others– that are often taken for granted. Such was World War II.

  67. Andy Clark says:

    My late father served in the Signals. He said little about the war but I was gobsmacked by something he let slip when in his early seventies, not long before he died.
    He said he was at the Battle of Monte Casino, doing his job as a driver. (He was called up in 1942, so not a career volunteer as we would say now, but a conscript.)
    But the real surprise was my father said he was detailed to be Harold MacMillan’s chauffeur when he came out to Monte Casino to encourage the troops.He was a minister in the Colonial Office at the time, I believe.

    • Sue Bowles says:

      My Dad was also in the 8th Army Royal Corps of Signals (Sigs) and was in N Africa, and then went on to Sicily and Monte Cassino. They ironically called themselves ‘The D-Day Dodgers’ after Nancy Astor supposedly made a disparaging remark comparing their bravery to that of men during D-Day. They were very bitter about that.

  68. My BIL H Lyons was also with the red bulls (34th Division) as an infantryman. He landed in Anzio . I asked him one time if he ever killed anyone in the war. The only thing he would say is that he did shoot but did not know if he hit anything. As a side, he was recalled during Korean “POLICE ACTION” and
    they made him a radioman even though he was color blind. Just in case you might not be aware, radiomen also had to rewire radios and had to distinguish different colored wires to make proper connection. Love the military, don’t understand the thinking sometimes.

  69. Polo Merguzhis says:

    It took American idiots to destroy a priceless monument of Western civilization, much like it took Turkish idiots to destroy the Parthenon. What a bunch of creeps! They owned the battlefield and had the advantage of mobility -those imbeciles could have leapfrogged the abbey, as pointed out by military historian Basil Liddell-Hart.

    • Gary says:

      B. S. They were moving the battlefield forward but certainly didnt own it. The 45th Infantry Division was cut up bad on Anzio and again on the boot. Sicily hadn’t been a picnic. Dad said the Germans were well entrenched and although they suffered high casualties, they inflicted a lot of additional damage to US forces.
      But, of course, Europe could have been under Nazi rule today, had not these US boys done the job the Europeans didn’t.

    • Russ Wilson (Jr.) says:

      Listen very carefully to Gary comment below. You never know when their help may be required yet again.

  70. Ann Jordan says:

    It must be nice in hindsight to comment on others, however, it was a war, and soldiers have to follow orders. There is no need to be so sarcastic. PS I am NOT an American.

  71. Polo Merguzhis says:

    Some acts are needless stupidities with no military or humanitarian justification, much like the destruction of the library at Alexandria which set us back centuries. Those who shrug off Monte Cassini as a mistake, should do well to remember Fouche’s comment about some “mistakes”, namely: “It was worse than a crime, madam, it was a mistake”…

  72. Gary says:

    Dad told me the 45th Infantry made the amphibious landings on Sicily the sweep and then the landing on the boot of Italy. They lost 50% of the unit at Anzio and the assault on Monte Cassino was a real bitch. He recalled shooting the headlights out of the lead trucks bringing up reinforcements when they were revealing their positions to the Germans. He said German casualties were pretty high.

  73. Gary says:

    Polo, I simply cannot understand Nazi sympathisers like yourself knowing the genocide and crimes they perpetuated. Sacrifices were made by men who gave everything to stop them.

    • Polo Merguzhis says:

      Mark Clark’s bombing of the abbey was a military and historical blunder carried out to polish his image by making him win the “race to Rome” and to cover his tracks for the disastrous crossing of the Gari river two weeks earlier. He wasn’t sacked only because of his close friendship with Eisenhower since cadet days, which propelled his career throughout WWII.

      If I’m a “Nazi sympathizer” for pointing out the truth, then so must be Alexander (his own Brit CinC), Patton, and Clark’s own men, who in 1946 as a Veterans’ Association petitioned two Congressional investigations “…to correct a military system that will permit an inefficient and inexperienced officer, such as General Mark W. Clark, in high command to destroy the young manhood of this country and to prevent future soldiers being sacrificed wastefully and uselessly.”

      The fact is that the army hierarchy at the time was riddled with nyncompoops and incompetents rather than military geniuses, while the German military staff was incomparably more professional. Indeed, faced with insurmountable logistical odds, and short on manpower, fuel, armor, planes and transport vehicles, the German commanders had the presence of mind to divest precious resources in relatively outlandish amounts to protect priceless cultural treasures by moving them to Rome to avoid destruction. Facts are facts – you are entitled to your own opinion but not to your own facts.

    • Russ Wilson (Jr.) says:

      Thanks Gary for your astute comments. As one “southern” comedian frequently points out … “You can’t fix stupid.”

    • Ron Oliver says:

      Gary, I don’t read Polo’s comments as those of a Nazi sympathizer, but rather as an inexperienced idealist not tuned into the complexities of hostile, fast moving situations confronting solders in any war. Just because the Germans said they would not “occupy” the abbey doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have used it as an observation point (not doing so would be a military mistake!). Having said that, I too recall that Mark Clarke was incompetent and his tactics cost a lot of lives. On the other hand, there were far more competent leaders than not in our armed services. Perhaps in using the term “riddled with nyncompoops and incompetents” he was thinking of the Civil War. That could be said if that war, but not WWII.

  74. Andy Clark says:

    Sue’s comment made me check.
    According to the clasp on my father’s Africa Star, he was in the First Army.

    • Andrew Coates says:

      Your father was probably in V Corp of the British 1st Army which served in the Eastern part of the North African Campaign. After the Axis troops were defeated in North Africa the British 1st Army was disbanded and V Corp was assigned to the British 8th Army before the onset of the Italian Campaign. So your dad’s clasp will have been from his time in Africa but he will have served under the 8th Army in Italy, (like Sue’s dad).

  75. L Olson says:

    How is it you say that they liberated Rome when Italy was an Allie of Germany?

    • Andrew Coates says:

      Italy surrendered to the Allies on 8th Sep 1943 and switched sides by declaring war on Germany on Oct 13 1943; allowing Rome to be liberated.

  76. Andy Clark says:

    Interesting. Again, my father said little, but on another occasion he did say he landed in Algiers when sent to theatre. He wouldn’t have admitted that much I imagine: the matter only came to light when I found some Algerian banknotes in our attic, which my father said he’d kept after the war.
    Algiers is east; perhaps he wasn’t there long. I must dig out his service record….

    • Bob Allmond says:

      Andy Clark, what branch and unit was your father in? My father served in the US Fifth Army and, after taking desert training in the states, went to North Africa to fight the Germans and Italians only to find that the Germans were already defeated by the British before they arrived. So they took amphibious training in Africa and were sent to Italy. Perhaps that is why your father was in Africa but wasn’t there long as well. My father didn’t say much about the war either, unless he was asked.

  77. Jim tritto says:

    You didn’t mention it was rebuilt and is a magnificent place to visit

    • Joe Hutchison says:

      we were there last year and it has been rebuilt and is absolutely stunning in its beauty. There is also a huge memorial for all of the allied service men that died there.

      My dad was in the Merchant Marines and was in Italy uring WWII. He said that it took a duffel bag full of Lira to buy anything or if you had a pack of cigarettes or chocolate it would buy just about anything you wanted..

  78. My father Bernard I Meyer was on one of the first amphibians that landed on Anzio beachhead. He said it was worse than hell. Out of his group only him and another man survived, the rest were shot down as coming onto the beach.
    They had interviewed him and the other man on a Saint Louis radio station. We have a copy of the transcript.

  79. Kari Steenberg says:

    My father, Roy Steenberg, 3rd Infantry Division, was also on one of the first landings on Anzio. He said most of the craft hung up on sand bars, and didn’t make it all the way to shore, and the 90-day wonders who’d come fresh from West Point panicked and started yelling, “What do we do, Sargent? What do we do?” Dad said he started grabbing the nearest guys to him and throwing them over and telling them to swim because they were sitting ducks where they were. He said most of them were only kids. When I asked him how old he was, he paused and thought back and said, “I was about 22 by then, and had been in through North Africa, so I had a little more time on me than those poor kids.” He said most of them never made it to or past the beach.

  80. A Biss says:

    Cassino was indeed a heartache for the New Zeakand Division in WWII. If anyone is intereted in the NZ perspective there’s a good article at–quote ‘The struggle for Cassino in early 1944 was one of the most brutal and costly battles involving New Zealand forces in the Second World War. For the New Zealand Division, this German strongpoint southeast of Rome would prove the most tragically elusive prize of the Italian campaign.’

    It was the New Zealand commander who originally called in the Americans to bomb the monastery. His decision was taken out of concern to spare the lives of his soldiers. But the Germans fortified the ruins and fought with great tenacity. Eventually the New Zealand Division had to withdraw from Cassino, with 343 deaths and over 600 wounded.

    Give credit to the Poles who eventually took Cassino–and the Germans for their resistance, with the tide of the war running heavily against them.

  81. alan stevenson says:

    My father was in the RAOC mobile laundry units [MLU] 3 & 26 in Italy. Apparently the Captain in charge took a wrong turning and ended up on the long approach road to Monte Cassino when they were stopped by an American tank and asked where they thought they were going, on responding they were going to Monte Cassino they were told in no uncertain terms ” to get off the road or they would be blasted off by the tank”. The MLU eventually ended up in Rimini before its liberation & Venice as its final destination before VE day.

  82. Polo Merguzhis says:

    Russ Wilson (Jr.), the comment “you can’t fix stupid”, quoted from a “southern” (sic) comedian, and ostensibly applied to me, is interesting. You may not know this, but it was commonly voiced by British officers in WWI and II when seeing -nonplussed- the performance of the US army. That isn’t surprising. It takes time to develop a superb army and the US only had fought injuns, messicans and the Civil War. In WWII the army was still sloshing on the slow slope of the learning curve This is not to diminish in any way the effort, bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers, of course. But things change over time. Hopefully it will also happen to you, as you read and think about historic and military matters. It has been done before, you know.

  83. William Marrin says:

    After reading thru all of these replies from around the world, it sounds like some of you are still angry, still fighting, still at war with each other. Everyone in that war are now dead. Can we let them Rest In Peace?

  84. Bob Williamson says:

    My Dad was at Monte Cassino. He told me that, out of his platoon of 36 from the Cheshire regiment, only 5 men survived. When we hear so much about PTSD these days, I wonder what horrors men like him lived with.

  85. Brian Potter says:

    Thanks all for the comments on this huge battle in which my late father served as a Gunner with the NZ Forces. It was a privilege to revisit the area in 2001 and see the places Dad went as a soldier, even down to identifying the house he stayed in. He was lucky to come home – one of his mates remains in the Commonwealth War Cemetery. Interesting to read the various criticisms. Dad made an enduring comment on such things: “its easy to criticise from the luxury of peace, fact remains tho that this was no game, you didn’t have a beer with the other side in the evening, there was only going to be be one winner and it HAD to be us”.

  86. Andy clark says:

    My father was in the Royal Corps of Signals.
    I can’t give dates, as I’ve not yet found the paperwork about his service, somewhere in our attic.

  87. Beverley Zierow says:

    My father served as a jeep & truck driver in Headquarters Battery, 936th Field Artillery Battalion, 5th Army. In Sept 1943 the 936th sailed from New York and landed in Algeria. Dad drove a truck in the military convoy to Bizerte, Tunisia and in November sailed to Italy landing just west of Naples. By January 1944 the 936th fought its way to Monte Cassino. Dad watched the bombing of the abbey and stated in an April V-mail “I had a grandstand view of the bombing and shelling”. His unit suffered from one of the first major incidents of friendly fire in WWII on 15-16 March 1944 while there. Dad described it in a V-mail letter as “a little excitement.” After the FFire, many men of the 936th & 937th were given passes to Caserta for some R&R. Dad got to watch Mt. Vesuvius erupt.
    Other V-mail he sent mentioned: “Hear a lot of shells but am so used to them now I only get scared when they start coming close.” “…at least they [he meant the folks back home who complained about rationing] can go home every nite and nothing to worry about.” “Seen a lot of sights since I left the States, some were good and some not.”
    Dad only mentioned the war a couple of times while I was growing up. After his death I found the sergeant in charge of the motor pool for HqBtry 936th FA Bn and with a year’s research documented all but about 2 weeks of the 3 years Dad served in the army during WWII.

  88. DL Sheley says:

    “You may not know this, but it was commonly voiced by British officers in WWI and II when seeing -nonplussed- the performance of the US army.”
    Is this one of British officers famous for ordering their men into battles, repeatedly, where they never saw the front in person and had no idea the slaughter they caused.

    “US only had fought injuns, messicans and the Civil War”
    Forgetting the King’s redcoats? Spain? WWI?

  89. Alfred J. Nelson says:

    My Father in-law Edwin J. Vanek fought at Monte Cassino with the 88th Division, A913FA, He said that he lost many of his friends in that battle.

  90. Terry Quaglieri says:

    As told by my grandmother, she played in and around Monte Cassino, when she was a child and lived nearby, she said it was horrible and also said how beautiful Monte Cassino was before the war.

  91. Patti Jones says:

    My father and uncle both fought in WWII. Both Army; Uncle Howard was blown to bits on bay of Salerno, gramps received his effects and purple heart. My father fought the Japs; i.e. Guam. Many veterans from WWI&II laid claims that they were walking or crawling in the trenches filling with body parts and blood. Vetnam not much different.

  92. Wendy Baddeley says:

    My dad Kazimierz Roszczyk was Born 4th March 1915, Gozdzikaw, Poland
    Died 16th September 1996 Reading Berkshire, England

    He Served from 1932 – 1945 in the 8TH Polish Heavy A A Regiment

    Dad was sent to Monte Cassino with his regiment, he won the Monte Cassino Cross in May 1944 and he received his medal after the war on 7th March 1945. I still have that medal of which I am extremely proud of my dad. Dad never spoke of his war years, so I don’t know much about it,