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 The German Cemetery Minimize

The German Cemetery

The German Cemetery (Kriegsgräberstätte) Cassino is situated in Caira at 3 kilometers north of the town of Cassino. The graveyard has been created on a hill and comprises the graves of 20.027 that fell in action. Not only those dead that were killed at the battle for Monte Cassino but also the victims that perished during the battles on the Italian countryside south of the line Pescara – Terracina have been buried here. Many were killed in the battle for the bridgehead in the Gulf of Salerno but also the dead that fell in action during the withdrawal at the Adriatic Coast (especially in the area around Ortona) as well as during the fighting in the approaches to Monte Cassino. After reaching an agreement between the German Government and the Italian authorities about this in 1955, the German Graveyard Services have reburied all those at this cemetery in the period 1959 – 1960.

A wide walkway up the slope, takes the visitor to the cubic entry building. Inside this building, daylight illuminates - through a large square opening - a sculpture symbolizing mourning and comfort. Leaving this building, the visitor enters a large military field of honor which consists of several elliptical terraces. Each terrace has been separated from the next by a sturdy little wall of stacked limestone. Two wide paths circumvent the round hilltop and are connected by narrow steps. The graves carry a cross of travertine in which on both sides, often up to three on each side, the names have been engraved with their dates of birth, rank and date of death. All graves are covered with St. John’s wort. On the cemetery many cypresses have been planted, providing the impression of serene guards watching over the graves.

On the hilltop a bronze cross, 11 meters high, and behind it the graves of comrades whose names have been engraved on large stone plaques and who have been buried here between the unknown soldiers. Behind those graves there is a blessed lamp in an iron housing, on a stone pedestal. The lamp has been donated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI to the German cemetery. Similar blessed lamps have been donated to the other cemeteries of other nationalities in the area of Cassino. From this point, the visitor has a beautiful view of the surroundings where, in the valley as well as on the mountain heavy fighting was conducted in World War Two.

 

 

 

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 Italian War Cemetery of Monte Lungo Minimize


The Italian War Cemetery at Mignano Monte Lungo.

Under the control of the 36th Division, the 1st Italian Motorized Group tried unsuccessfully to take Monte Lungo from the Germans on December 8, 1943, and suffered heavy casualties. It was the first major action of the war in which the Italians fought with the Allies rather than against them.

The Italian Cemetery of Montelungo is the only WWII war cemetery in Italy and there are buried  975  italian soldiers who fought together with the Allied and died in the battles for the liberation of Italy 1943-45, gathered also from temporary cemeteries along the Gothic Line. 

When Badoglio announced an armistice with the Allies (September 8). Fearing reprisals from the Germans, Badoglio with the King promply fleed Rome to reach Allied lines. The actual Armistice was signed on Malta. Most of the Italian Army was left without orders. A few units managed to stand together. Some went over to the Allies, such as the garrisons of Sardegna and Corsica. Others units stood with the Germans. A virtual Civil occurred within the military and the Fascist Government between pro-Axis cause and pro-Allied forces. The bulk of the Army wanted nothing more to do with the war. The Germans managed to disarm them and ship them north to POW camps in Germany before the Allies could land in force. Fascist Italy was the first Axis partner to fall to the Allies. The Armistice was unusual, because the Allies saw it as surrender, the Italians as an armistice. The most unusual part of it was usually an armistice ends the fighting. For the Italian people it was in many ways just the beginning of the fighting. German radio describes the "treacherous intrigue which for weeks had been enacted by an Italian clique, serfs to Jews and alien to their own people." 

The Soldiers buried here regrouped a formed a new division "the 1st Italian Motorized Group - 5,486 Italian troops commanded by Division General Vincenzo Dapino, was attached to II Corps for active participation in the campaign and on 7 December came into line at the Mignano Gap.

The Italian Cemetery - Monte Lungo

 

 


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 Cassino War Cemeteries Minimize

 

THE WAR CEMETERIES

AT CASSINO

 

At the foot of the rebuilt Abbey Montecassino, underneath the flags of the countries of this world, there are graveyards followed by graveyards.. More than 16.000 soldiers of the World War I and over 107.000 of the World War II from overall 32 nations are buried here. In the fight against each other cruelly their lifes were robbed, now in death they are quietly united and together they warn about the scares of the wars. The more than 24.000 graves just for German soldiers established graveyard in the rocky landscape at the foot of the Abbey let us only suspect today which commanded war insanity there once ranted. Here, at the so named Gustav-Line in Italy, allied and German troops fought the biggest folk battle of the World War II. Approximately 50.000 German soldiers under the fire of 1.600 guns were supposed to hinder over 200.000 allied fighters to pass through. The world´s eldest Benedictine Abbey became completely destroyed and put in ashes by the heaviest bomb attack on one single building due to the fact that it was thought, German soldiers would have barricaded themselves there. Also the city Casino and other surrounding villages and cities were completely destroyed in due course of the fights.

 

 

THE POLISH CEMETERY SEEN FROM MONTE CASSINO

 

The Polish cemetery at Monte Cassino contains graves of more than one thousand Poles who died while storming the abbey in May 1944, during the Battle of Monte Cassino.The religious affiliation of the dead men is marked by each grave having one of three different types of headstone: the Catholic and Orthodox headstones are distinguished from each other by different forms of cross, while the Jewish headstones bear the Star of David.The cemetery also contains the grave of General Anders, commander of the Polish forces, who survived the war, dying in London in 1970.Part of the Polish memorial at Monte Cassino bears the following inscription, which translated from Polish reads:

 

We Polish soldiers

 For our freedom and yours

Have given our souls to God

Our bodies to the soil of Italy and our hearts to Poland

 

 

  The Commonwealth War Cemetery

 

The Cassino War Cemetery is the largest WWII Cemetery in Italy. The site  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 4,266 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated at Cassino War Cemetery. 284 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. 

 

The Commonwealth War Cemetery at Cassino

 

 

 

 


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