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Current Affairs

Indian Army Memorial in Italy

Date: 07 July 2021 Tags: Historical Places

Issue

The Chief of Army Staff will be inaugurating a memorial for Indian soldiers in Cassino, Italy, during his official tour of Europe.

 

Background

Indian soldiers during pre-independence era had a major role to play in liberation of Italy. More than 3100 commonwealth soldiers are commemorated on the memorial.

 

Details

  • The memorial is located about 140 km from Rome and is named as Indian Army Memorial. It also has names of about 900 Indian army men.

  • Italy joined hands with Nazi Germany and declared war on allies. Italian dictator Mussolini was overthrown in 1943 and allies went to liberate the country.

  • India was under British rule during World War II. Indians fought in both the East India Company army and British army during their campaign.

  • Records show that more than 2 million Indian soldiers participated in the World War II along with allies. They liberated Italy and defeated Hitler.

  • India’s role in war efforts have not been acknowledged enough. Very little information is available on the role played by British-Indian soldiers.

  • The divisions of 8th, 4th and 10th were deployed in Italy to fight the axis forces. The fourth division served in Cassimo.

  • The soldiers mainly arrived from Punjab and northern plains. There were some Gurkha men also present in the army.

  • These men showed exemplary courage to fight even while facing extreme climate of Italian mountains and persistent freezing rains.