|Monte Cassino Commemorative Cross|
Obverse (top left) with the inscription "MONTE CASSINO MAJ 1944" and reverse (top right) with the serial number of the medal.
|Awarded by Polish government in Exile|
|Eligibility||Polish II Corps|
|Awarded for||Campaign service|
|Campaign||Battle of Monte Cassino|
The Monte Cassino Commemorative Cross (Polish language: Krzyż Pamiątkowy Monte Cassino ) is a commemorative medal awarded to all soldiers of the Polish II Corps who fought in the battle of Monte Cassino and the battles for Piedimonte and Passo Corno. After the capture of Monte Cassino in May 1944, the Polish government in Exile, (in London) created a campaign cross to commemorate the role of the Polish II Corps (often known as Anders Army) in capturing this strategic point, which had long blocked the Allied advance up the Italian peninsula.
A consignment of 50,000 crosses was ordered from a manufacturer in Tel Aviv, then part of British-ruled Palestine, where the Polish forces had spent part of 1942 and almost all of 1943 in training. A total of 48,498 crosses (serial numbers 1 to 48,498) were awarded with accompanying award documents issued in the field to each soldier who took part in the battle. Although no master record exists to indicate which serial numbers were given to specific soldiers, records do indicate which blocks of serial numbers were given to units within the Polish II Corps. The 1502 un-awarded crosses (serial numbers 48,499 to 50,000) were eventually sold off to dealers and collectors. At the moment of its institution in June 1944, the medal was 19th in the Polish order of precedence.
- Wesolowski, Dr. Zdzislaw P. (1997). "The Polish Monte Cassino Cross". The Militaria Collector's Exchange. http://www.virtuti.com/order/articles/cassino.html.
- Mongeon, A. (2003). "World War Two - Polish Forces in the West". Polish Medals and Militaria. http://home.golden.net/~medals/exile.html.
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