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View of the Monastery from the Polish Cemetery
View of the Monastery from the Polish Cemetery

Day 1.

Meet at Airport in Rome and drive to Cassino.

Study the strategic background to the Italian Campaign, orientate to the ground and set the scene for the four battles January-May 44.

Day 2.

Study and view of the crossing sites on the River Rapido by 36 (Texas) Infantry Division in the first battle 20-23 January 1944. 

Study and view the ground over which 34 (Red Bulls) Infantry Division advanced in 24 January-12 February 1944 in the first battle across the River Rapido and their break-in onto the ridges behind the Monastery.  Visit Hove Dump. 

Study the ground on Monastery Hill and appreciate why this position dominated the battlefield.  Examine the controversial decision to bomb the Benedictine Monastery on 15 February 1944. 

Study and view the ground over which part of 5 New Zealand Infantry Brigade attacked up the railway causeway on 17-18 February 1944 in an attempt to get armour into the Liri valley during the second battle and the concurrent attack by 5 Indian Brigade up on Snakeshead Ridge towards Point 593. 

Study and view the terrain over which II (NZ) Corps attacked up Monastery Hill and into Cassino town during the third battle on 15-23 March 1944. 

Study the Amazon Bridge, the crossing point on the River Rapido for 4 British Infantry Division on 12-13 May 1944, and appreciate the enormity of the challenge that the soldiers from the Corps of Royal Engineers faced at this site.

The 3rd Carpathian Infantry Division monument on Point 593 at Cassino

Day 3.

Walk and study the route of the Cavendish Road tank attack behind the Monastery on 19 March 1944. 

Study the enormous logistical problems of resupplying troops on the ridges from Caira and the Allied efforts to meet this challenge. 

Study the ground on Snakeshead Ridge, Point 593 and Point 575 over which the 34 (Red Bulls) Infantry Division fought in the first battle, 4 Indian Infantry Division in the second battle and II (PO) Corps in the fourth battle. 

Examine the role of the Poles in the battle and the circumstances that led them to Monte Cassino.

Study the fourth and final battle and appreciate the efforts and gallantry of the Eighth Army in finally breaking the Gustav Line in May 1944.

Study the 1 (Canadian) Corps assault on the Hitler Line on 23 May 1944 – the day of the Anzio breakout.  

Day 4.

Study the 36 (Texas) Infantry Division plan to slip between the inter-Corps boundary for LXXVI Panzer Corps and I Parachute Corps and break the Fourteenth Army’s defence on 29-30 May 1944. 

Return to Airport in Rome.