HISTORIALE DI CASSINO

Three rooms at the centre of the Historiale route are dedicated to the study of the military operations that took place in Cassinate during the first half of 1944.

The use of traditional techniques, such as the large plastic model that materialises the tortured orography of the area, is flanked by innovative tools, such as the “optical theatre”, in which two imaginary staff officers illustrate to the visitor the different perspectives with which the Allies and the Germans prepared for battle: the former to achieve a success of great importance, above all symbolic, the latter to gain time and resources that would otherwise have been spent on other war fronts.

The main purpose of the three rooms is to link the strategic function of Cassino as a guardian of the road to Rome with the sacrifice of the soldiers of the many nationalities and ethnicities that clashed at Cassino. This is evoked by a large wall of white soldiers, with the national flags of Germany, Poland, Great Britain, Canada, France, the United States and Italy waving one after the other, accompanied in the background by their respective national anthems.
Two simple rifles and four helmets, worn down by time, are mute witnesses to the severity of the conflict.

This anonymous dimension is contrasted by the portraits of the military leaders of the two sides, from the New Zealander Freyberg, who ordered the destruction of the abbey, to the Frenchman Juin, who was the first to realise the need to find a way out of the conflict.

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