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Commemorative Medal for the 25th Anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino
[PL172]
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Commemorative Medal for the 25th Anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino
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Circular blackened bronze medal with laterally-pierced loop for ribbon suspension; the face stippled, with a representation of the Monte Cassino Cross (Krzyż Pamiątkowy Monte Cassino, being a cross flory with a centrally imposed square tablet inscribed ‘MONTE CASSINO MAJ 1944’; the reverse with the arms of the City of Warsaw, circumscribed with the dates ‘1944’ and ‘1969’; on original slightly faded ribbon. The medal was awarded in 1969, the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino in which Polish forces played a significant role. Monte Cassino dominates access to Rome from the south and in 1944 it was the scene of repeated attempts by Allied forces to break through the German defensive Gustav Line, to take Rome and to link up with Allied forces bottled up at Anzio. The battle began on 4 January but it was not until 11 May that Polish forces became involved when II Polish Army Corps commanded by General Władysław Anders attacked German positions and suffered heavy casualties but enabled the British Eighth Army to break through German lines below the monastery. The second wave of assaults on 17 May was again very costly to Polish forces but drove the Germans from their positions on the overlooking hills and early on 18 May elements of the 12th Podolian Uhlans Regiment occupied the ruins of the monastery after it had been evacuated by German forces. The fall of Monte Cassino enabled the Allied advance on Rome, which fell on 4 June 4, 1944. The name of Monte Cassino became a byword for Polish military bravery.

 
Commemorative Medal for the 25th Anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the 25th Anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the 25th Anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino
Click to enlarge
Commemorative Medal for the 25th Anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino
Click to enlarge
   
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