Hospital A at Monte Cassino

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Sara Kondoł-Hanna, May 17, 2020.

  1. Sara Kondoł-Hanna

    Sara Kondoł-Hanna New Member

    Hi all,

    My great- grandfather Kazimierz was a sniper in Anders army and fought at Monte Cassino. He survived but was killed August 1944 at the Metauro river aged 26.

    He was Polish but was under the control of the British army so I have managed to get hold of his military record and have almost finished translating it into English. I am doing this for his son, who is now very elderly and wants to know more about the father he doesn't remember. (They were deported by the Russians into a Siberian gulag and then left with Anders army, making to to Iran and so on)

    I see from his record that he was shot in the knee on May 12th 1944 on Phantom Ridge and was taken to hospital A. A few questions really-

    Where can I find more info about the fighting on this ridge, how important it was and so on so forth. I wanted to be able to write up a narrative on my pradziadeks war for my great uncle and explaining what he was doing and why when he was injured is important. Following on from that: where was hospital A? Would anybody know that? Doubly interested in this because my great, great uncle Józef Pietryka (Kazimierz's brother in law) was a medic in Anders army.

    I see that people are extremely knowledgeable on this forum so I was wondering if anybody, familiar with Polish II Corps, would be able to tell me about the 5th Kresowna division, namely the 18th Lwowski batalion (strzelców/riflemen) were doing around the Metuaro on August 21st (the date my pradziadek was killed). A soldier who served with Kazimierz said that he beat seven bells out of a German soldier with his fists (hit him so hard it echoed apparently) but I was led to believe that Kazimierz was machine gunned in the water. He was a master corporal- we do know that whatever the exact circumstances of his death were (it just says "fell on the field of glory" on his death certificate), he saved lives as he was later awarded the Virtuti Militari. Sorry for waffling, I was just wondering if anybody has any lit or research on the actual crossing of the Metauro. Kazimierz was buried at Ostra the day after his death, and was later exhumed and reinterred at Loreto. I have visited a few times but the weeks leading up to his death are still very unclear.

    I wish I had asked my great grandmother when she was still alive.
    Wobbler, vitellino, 4jonboy and 3 others like this.
  2. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Hi Sara, Welcome to the forum.

    I am not an expert on this area of the Italian Campaign (nor any other to be truthful), but for a quick start have a look at this page: HyperWar: US Army in WWII: Cassino to the Alps [Chapter 3], it will give you some general information about both Phantom Ridge and the Battle for Monte Cassino.

    This map can be found in the above reference and shows the location of Phantom Ridge:

    I shall look through some of my books to see if I can find more, which would be of assistance. I am also sure that someone will come along who will be able to provide more information more quickly.

    You might wish to consider this book: Melchior Wańkowicz: Szkice spod Monte Cassino, Wiedza Powszechna, Warszawa 1982, ISBN 83-214-0213-5, which is the source for the above image.

    Wobbler, 4jonboy and JimHerriot like this.
  3. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member


    At the time that your great grandfather’s death, Operation OLIVE, the Eighth Army plan for breaking through the Gothic Line, was about to begin. The ‘break in’ battle to pierce the crust of the Line was allocated to II (PO) Corps largely because by Aug 44 they were the largest Corps in Italy. They had the manpower for the task whereas all other formations were threadbare after nearly a year of fighting in Italy.

    They also had the motivation.

    Their task was to reach Cattolica and pass over the lead.


    Wobbler likes this.

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