15.02.

1944: Allies Destroy the abbey of Monte Cassino

1944: Allies Destroy the abbey of Monte Cassino
Photo Credit To http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Monte_Cassino_Opactwo_1.JPG

St. Benedict of Nursia established Monte Cassino, one of the most famous Catholic monasteries in the world, in the 6th century.

In February 1944 the Allied forces were penetrating from southern Italy towards Rome. The Germans set up a defense line called Gustav, which passed near the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino, 130 kilometers southeast of Rome. St. Benedict of Nursia established Monte Cassino, one of the most famous Catholic monasteries in the world, in the 6th century. The Germans did not place defensive positions within the monastery, but they had, however, manned some positions on the steep slopes about three hundred meters away.

On this day the American bombers destroyed the monastery, dropping about 1,400 tons of bombs on it. This was done under the false impression that the Germans made ​​a stronghold in the monastery. The Germans saw the resulting ruins as even better shelter for their defense, so they seized it two days after the bombing. The Allies then needed another full three months to occupy the abbey and finally push the Germans towards Rome. After World War II the abbey was restored.

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