Source: Republic of Poland in English
On Friday a ceremony marking the 74th anniversary of the World War II battle that Polish troops won took place at Monte Cassino, in Italy.
In a letter to the participants President Andrzej Duda wrote that today’s free and sovereign Poland was proof that the Monte Cassino soldiers had not died in vain.
“Today we can rest assured that the Monte Cassino heroes did not make their sacrifice in vain, but that it has borne fruit – a free, sovereign and strong Poland. I can give my assurance about this as the President of the Republic, a country that is proudly celebrating its independence centenary this year,” Andrzej Duda wrote.
The Monte Cassino hill, along with the Benedictine abbey, represented the military fortifications at the Gustav Line which prevented the Allies from seizing Rome during the later stages of the Second World War. Polish units on the Allied force played a major role in the 1944 battle, seizing Monte Cassino under heavy German shellfire on May 18. In all, 923 Polish soldiers were killed in the fighting, with 2,931 wounded and 345 reported missing. See also: Ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino
The Polish War Cemetery was established on the hillsides of Monte Cassino at the turn of 1945. It contains the graves of 1,072 soldiers. In 1970, the cemetery became the burial site of General Władysław Anders, the commander of the Polish 2nd Corps which captured the monastery hill in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. (PAP, MK)