HILL 593


Hill 593 was a secondary peak at Monte Cassino, to the north-west of the Monastery and also defended by German parachute troops. It was attacked by American troops in the early phase of the fighting for Cassino without success. The 4th (Indian) Division then took over, and in February 1944 the 1st Royal Sussex Regiment lost heavily in the fighting for the hill. The British 78th (Battleaxe) Division then took over the Snakeshead Ridge opposite Hill 593, and they remained there until the Polish troops advanced on the position and captured it in the final phase of the fighting for Cassino.

Today Hill 593 is the location of the main Polish Memorial. There are fine views across the battlefield and down to Albaneta Farm, and Cavendish Road, where the New Zealanders tried to outflank the German Paras with a tank attack - which failed close to the site of the farm.

The memorial can only be reached on foot. We parked in the car park of the Polish Cemetery; the memorial is signposted here, but it is accessed through a locked gate. After some discussion, the car-park attendant kindly opened the gate for us to walk uphill - we later tipped him for his trouble, so that he would do the same for others. It is about 25 minutes walk from the car park.

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Polish Memorial Hill 593. Polish names on the Memorial on Hill 593. View from Hill 593 down to Cavendish Road and Albaneta Farm.

ŠPaul Reed 2003

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