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Monte Cassino

Battle Name : Monte Cassino

Date(s) : 17 January 1944 - 22 May 1944

Part of : Second World War , Southern Europe , Italy ,

Type of battle : Land


The strongest point in the German winter line, the Gustav Line, was the Cassino massif and the monastery. A series of attempts to oust the defenders were rebuffed. Initially the Americans tried but failed at great cost some units taking about 75 per cent casualties. New Zealanders and Indians were put under the command of the US 5 Army but their casualties resulted in the New Zealanders having to be pulled out of the line. Finally the British 8th Army was redeployed in great secrecy. A four pronged attack, two British, one Polish and a combined American French prong finally succeeded in taking the position.


The Gustav, or Winter, Line ran along the River Sangro on the east coast, through the mountains, partially along the River Garigliano to the west coast at Minturno. The monastery of Monte Cassino is located about 20 miles from the west coast and 90 miles southeast of Rome. (Italy)