Prince Harry visits Monte Cassino abbey ahead of battle anniversary
Sunday, May 18, 2014 - 01:16
May 18 - Britain's Prince Harry visits the Monte Cassino abbey ahead of a memorial to mark the 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION).
Seventy years after the Monte Cassino monastery was reduced to rubble by Allied bombers, Britain's Prince Harry on Sunday (May 18) visited the southern Italian abbey to mark the anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.
Monte Cassino, and particularly its sixth century Benedictine abbey, formed the strongpoint of the German defensive Gustav Line that protected the southern approaches to Rome from the Allied advance.
After a four-month battle between January and May 1944, victory was decided on May 18, 1944 when the monastery was heavily bombed by the Allied forces.
The Allies are thought to have sustained 55,000 casualties during the struggle to push German troops from the crest of the towering hill some 130 km (85 miles) south of Rome.
The German casualty figures are estimated to be 20,000 killed or wounded.
Prince Harry is due to join veterans at a commemoration to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino at the town's commonwealth war cemetery on Monday (May 19) morning.
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