The Battle of Montecassino was a strategic series of military assaults during WWII. The goal was to breakthrough a German defensive line in order to get to a heavily occupied Rome. Montecassino was erroneously suspected to be occupied by German units, and consequently bombed during the course of the Battle.

The first of the four battles started on January 17th of 1944. American and French Allied forces moved in towards the German defensive line called the Gustav Line. Allied forces sustained heavy casualties advancing towards the Gustav Line, making it unlikely they'd breakthrough, but the hope was to draw some German attention away from Anzio where American forces wanted to make a surprise landing as well as overwhelm German forces. Following the largely unsuccessful first battle which cost the lives of thousands of Ally soldiers, the controversial decision to bomb the abbey of Montecassino arose. The bombardment of the monastery and combat amongst the ruins which followed occurred in February of 1944, and is considered the second of the four battles. By March the Allies trudged ahead with the third battle, with heavy bombing and land combat in Cassino and the area surrounding the abbey. They advanced slowly, but were still met with fierce German resistance. By May the Allies were able to surround German Forces on all fronts and with the surprise attack at Anzio they were finally successful in ending the battle. Polish forces fighting at Montecassino retook the ruins of Montecassino and hoisted a Polish flag on May 18th, signaling victory.

In all, the Allies lost around 55,000 soldiers and the Germans lost nearly 20,000 soldiers during the Battle of Montecassino. Many of the men who lost their lives in this battle are buried at the war cemeteries near Montecassino.