Hill 193 "Castle Hill", Monte Cassino, Italy, 1997, above two photos.
The above two photos were taken by QuestMasters Museum in January 1997. These photos show the ruins of "Castle Hill"
above the town of Cassino, looking southward over the city.
Monte Cassino, Italy
Between 1997 and 1999, QuestMasters Museum conducted WWII archaeological work in the town of Cassino,
at the top of the Liri Valley. Monte Cassino played a significant role and four-month long battle, in the Allied
advance through central Italy. This advance was crucial for the capturing and liberation of Rome, Italy, from
German occupation.
THE BATTLE OF MONTE CASSINO
The Battle of Monte Cassino:
The Battle of Monte Cassino was a costly series of four assaults by the Allies against the Winter Line in Italy, held by the Axis
forces during the Italian Campaign of World War II. The intention was a breakthrough to Rome.

At the beginning of 1944, the western half of the Winter Line was being anchored by Germans holding the Rapido-Gari, Liri and
Garigliano Valleys and some of the surrounding peaks and ridges. Together, these features formed the Gustav Line. Monte
Cassino, a historic hilltop abbey founded in AD 529 by Benedict of Nursia, dominated the nearby town of Cassino and the
entrances to the Liri and Rapido Valleys. Lying in a protected historic zone, it had been left unoccupied by the Germans,
although they manned some positions set into the steep slopes below the abbey's walls.

Repeated pinpoint artillery attacks on Allied assault troops caused their leaders to conclude the abbey was being used by the
Germans as an observation post, at the very least. Fears escalated along with casualties and in spite of a lack of clear
evidence, the abbey was marked for destruction. On February 15th 1944, American bombers dropped 1,400 tons of high
explosives, creating widespread damage of the 1,500 year-old monastery. The raid failed to achieve its objective, as German
paratroopers then occupied the rubble and established excellent defensive positions amid the ruins.

Between January 17th and May 18th 1944, Monte Cassino and the Gustav defenses were assaulted four times by Allied troops.
On May 16th, soldiers from the Polish II Corps launched one of the final assaults on the German defensive position as part of a
twenty-division assault along a twenty-mile front. On May 18th 1944, a Polish flag followed by the British Union Jack were
raised over the ruins. Following this Allied victory, the German Senger Line collapsed on May 25th. The German defenders
were finally driven from their positions, but at a high cost. The capture of Monte Cassino resulted in 55,000 Allied casualties,
with German losses being far fewer, estimated at around 20,000 killed and wounded.

At the same time as the Battle of Monte Cassino, 90 miles south of Rome, on January 22nd 1944, the Allied amphibious landing
known as "Operation Shingle" was taking place at Anzio and Nettuno, on the south coast, 40 miles from Rome.

Rome was liberated on June 4th 1944, two days before the amphibious landings at Normandy, France, June 6th 1944.
QUESTMASTERS ARCHEOLOGY WORK:
U.S. WWII 75mm Gun Shell Casing, above photo.
This shell casing was ground recovered by QuestMasters in the town of Monte Cassino. The shell casing is a U.S. WWII 75mm
M48 High Explosive round that is stenciled SUPER and used in the U.S. M-4 Sherman tank. The shell casing has been fired.
The casing is stamped: 75MM M18 LOT 2 52639-24 C.B.&C.CO. 1942
U.S. M-4 "Sherman" Medium Tank, Monte Cassino, Italy, 1996, above four photos.
This U.S. M-4 "Sherman" Medium Tank was photographed by QuestMasters Museum in August 1996. This tank was put on
outdoor display at a war memorial in the center of the town of Cassino.
German 7,5cm Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun, Monte Cassino, Italy, 1996, above two photos.
This German 7,5cm Pak 40 Anti-Tank Gun was photographed by QuestMasters Museum in August 1996. This cannon was put
on outdoor display at a war memorial in the center of the town of Cassino. Note that one of the trail legs has battle damage
that has cut the trail in half and the front gun armor is missing.
U.S. M-10 Tank Destroyer, Monte Cassino, Italy, 1996, above photo.
This U.S. M-10 Tank Destroyer was photographed by QuestMasters Museum in August 1996. This tank was put on outdoor
display near the war memorial in the center of the town of Monte Cassino.
Polish Memorial, M-4 "Sherman" Medium Tank, above three photos.
This Polish Memorial was erected on the remains of a M-4 "Sherman" Tank was produced by the United States and
lend-leased to the United Kingdom. This tank was one of sixteen "Sherman" tanks from the 20th New Zealand Armored
Regiment or one of the three "Sherman" tanks of the Reconnaissance Squadron of the 7th Indian Brigade. This tank
moved-up the Cavendish Road near the Albaneta Farm, to the North of Monte Cassino, to flank the German forces defending
that position. The tank struck a mine on March 19th 1944. After WWII, the tank remains would be turned into a monument for
the Polish Army that fought at Monte Cassino. QuestMasters Museum photographed this M-4 "Sherman" tank in July 1997.
The original Registration Number, painted in white, was barely visible in 1997. The Registration Number is T-145501.
German WWII Relics, Monte Cassino, Italy, above photo.
Between 1997 and 1999, QuestMasters Museum conducted WWII archeology work in the area of the Cavendish Road near the
Albaneta Farm, to the immediate northwest of Monte Cassino. The above items were found and recovered by QuestMasters
Museum, near the Albaneta Farm, where the New Zealand and Indian forces fought the German Army at Monte Cassino.
Shown here is a German WWII R.Mi.43 or Riegel Mine 43, which was anti-tank mine designed to lay perpendicularly across a
road or path, top of photo. This mine is inert, missing the pressure plate that formed the top of the mine. A German 98K Rifle,
deactivated with battle damage is shown in the center of the photo, with bayonet beneath it. Two German M-1924 "Stick
Grenade" fragmentation sleeves are shown in the lower right of the photo.
U.S. WWII Relics, Monte Cassino, Italy, above two photos.
Between 1997 and 1999, QuestMasters Museum conducted WWII archeology work in the area of the Cavendish Road near the
Albaneta Farm, to the immediate northwest of Monte Cassino. The above items were found and recovered by QuestMasters
Museum on the Cavendish Road. Shown here is the center section of a U.S. WWII clover-leaf bundle that was used to hold six
rounds of U.S. WWII 81mm Mortar M43 high-explosive ammunition, above left photo. The clover-leaf bundle had two steel end
caps and one steel center support section that resembled the shape of a clover-leaf. The bundle was secured with a steel
threaded rod through the center, that then supported six fiber containers of 81mm mortar ammunition. The right photo shows
four 81mm Mortar fiber container end caps. One end cap retains the white stenciling for the U.S. WWII 81mm M56 white
phosphorus smoke shell.
British WWII Relics, Monte Cassino, Italy, above photo.
Between 1997 and 1999, QuestMasters Museum conducted WWII archeology work in the area of the Cavendish Road near the
Albaneta Farm, to the immediate northwest of Monte Cassino. The above items were found and recovered by QuestMasters
Museum on the Cavendish Road. Shown here are four end caps for the storage and shipping containers for British WWII
3-inch mortar ammunition.
Signal Corps Photo MM-5-44-5366, Monte Cassino, Italy, May 1944, above photo.
May 19th 1944, Fifth Army, Cassino Area, Italy, via National Archives College Park, Maryland. "A Polish Soldier examines the
periscope of a knocked-out, American built, British manned M-4A1 "Sherman" Tank, in the "Hangman's Hill" vicinity of the
north end of town". Photo by Edwards, 163rd Signal Photo Company.
British WWII 25-pound gun shells, Monte Cassino, Italy, above photo.
These British WWII 25-pound gun smoke shells (fired, inert) were recovered by QuestMasters Museum, near the Albaneta
Farm, where the New Zealand and Indian forces fought the German Army at Monte Cassino. The copper rotating bands were
removed at some point. A saw mark is present on the sides of the shells were the rotating band was cut and peeled away from
the steel shell. This may have been done to make trench art or to scrap the copper.
Australian WWII Ration Container side, Monte Cassino, Italy, above photo.
This Australian Ration Container was recovered by QuestMasters Museum, near the Albaneta Farm, where the New Zealand
and Indian forces fought the German Army at Monte Cassino. The side of the container is marked: GOLDEN PASTURES,
TABLE MARGARINE, WITH VITAMINS, VEGETABLE OILS PTY LTD, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, 36 LBS NET E4459