Monument to the Battle of Monte Cassino (the Krasiński Gardens, between General Anders’s Street and Bohaterów Getta Street)
The Battle of Monte Cassino, also called the battle for Rome, was announced one of the most bloody and fierce fights of World War II. On May 18th 1944, the Second Polish Corps, under the command of General Władysław Anders, conquered the hill and the monastery on it. 923 Polish soldiers were killed, 2931 wounded and 345 missing. After the battle, General Władyłlaw Anders sent a telegram to Chief Commander General Kazimierz Sosnkowski, in which he wrote: “God has given victory. The Polish flag was hung at 10.30 on May 18th at the ruins of Monte Cassino Monastery. The soldier has experienced the hell of fire, fortifications, and unprecedented field difficulties during the fight versus the best German troops. The victory was achieved thanks to the soldier’s heroism. Our commanders gave a good example. We are full of appreciation for General Leese, Commander of the 7th Army. Course of the fight, extraordinary companionship and fraternity of arms with British corpses were tied. We had wonderful support of aviation all the time. After 22 days of fighting under Cassino and 7 days of attack, despite of the losses and terrible tiredness, the spirit and morale of the army are at the highest level. Let Poland live!”
The monument commemorates the Second Polish Corps’ soldiers. It shows a headless, winged ‘’Nike” emerging from a shattered column. Within the base of the monument can be seen the hill of Monte Cassino covered with a shroud, the figure of the Virgin Mary and scattered helmets. The two-metre pedestal is engraved with the emblems of the five Polish units that took part in the battle, and the urn with the ashes of the heroes is covered with a shroud with the motif of the Cross of Monte Cassino. The monument was designed by Wojciech Zabłocki, and made by the sculptor Kazimierz Gustaw Zemla.
Its ceremonial unveiling took place on May 30th 1999 during the 55th anniversary of the battle. Irena Anders, General Władysław Anders’ wife, commander of the Battle of Monte Cassino, took part in the ceremony.