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As the slopes of Monte Cassino in 1944 several nations from all around the world united against nazi Germany in four vicious battles for the monastery of St. Benedict on their way to Rome. Among the huge variety of allied troops participating in the battle was Wojtek, probably the strangest soldier brought to a modern battlefield considering he was beer drinking bear from Iran who carried artillery shells from the Polish 22nd

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The Battle of Monte Cassino (also known as the Battle for Rome and the Battle for Cassino) was a costly series of four battles during World War II, fought by the Allies with the intention of breaking through the Winter Line and seizing Rome.

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Because of the historical significance of the Benedictine monastery, in December 1943, the German commander-in-chief in Italy, Field Marshall Albert Kesselring, ordered German units not to include the monastery itself in German defensive positions, and informed the Allies accordingly
Some Allied reconnaissance aircraft reported seeing German troops inside the monastery. The monastery had excellent observation of the surrounding hills and valleys, and thus was a natural site for German artillery observers. What is clear is that once the monastery was destroyed the Germans occupied it and made use of the rubble to build defensive positions. Ultimately, however, the military arguments leading to the monastery's destruction rested on its potential threat (real or imagined) rather than its actual state of occupation.

Read the whole story at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Monte_Cassino

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