Polish Military Cemetery at Monte Cassino

Polish Military Cemetery at Monte Cassino

Strada Obelisco, Cassino, Italy
Keywords for this place of interest
Division of Europe Fighting Liberation Victory and defeat
Liberation Route Europe

Polish Military Cemetery at Monte Cassino

The Polish Military Field of Honour at Monte Cassino holds the graves of 1,052 soldiers of the 2nd Polish Army Corps who died in the Battle of Monte Cassino, fought from 17 January until 18 May 1944. The cemetery also holds the grave of the Polish commander General Anders who died in London in 1970.

The Polish Military Field of Honour at Monte Cassino was inaugurated on 1 September 1945, exactly six years after the German invasion of Poland. The cemetery was completed in 1963 and has the shape of an amphitheatre with an altar and a large cross in the middle of the lawn. At the entrance two gateposts bear the following inscription:

" Passer-by, go tell Poland that we have perished obedient to her service’’ And: ‘’ For our freedom and yours, we Polish soldiers of Poland gave our sole to god, our life to the soil of Italy and our hearts to Poland.’’

The cemetery holds the graves of 1,052 soldiers of the 2nd Polish Army Corps who died in the battle of Monte Cassino. After the war, the Corps’ Commander general Wladyslaw Anders, as many of his soldiers, lived in exile from Communist Poland. When he died in London in 1970, he was buried in Monte Cassino according to his will.

The 2nd Corps was predominantly a Polish unit but also included Belarussians and Ukrainians. The men in the corps had various religious affiliations. Most were Catholics, others Jews and some Eastern Orthodox Christians. This is reflected in the headstones of the graves.

On 18 May 1944, a platoon of the 1st Squadron of the 12th Regiment of the Podolski Lancers were the first to enter the ruins of the Monte Cassino abbey. The German defenders were driven from their positions at Monte Cassino, but at a high cost. The Corps suffered heavy casualties during the Italian Campaign: 2,301 killed, 8,543 wounded, and 535 missing.

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Strada Obelisco, Cassino, Italy +39 0776 311529

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