WHY IN NEWS?
The Indian Chief of Army Staff (COAS) will inaugurate an Indian Army Memorial in the Cassino town of Italy during an official visit to the U.K. and Italy.
- The memorial commemorates over 3,100 Commonwealth servicemen who took part in the effort to liberate Italy in World War II (1939-1945).
- 900 Indian soldiers were also commemorated on this memorial.
- Three infantry divisions of the Indian Army took part in the Italian campaign. These were the 4th, 8thand 10th Indian Divisions.
- The first one to land in the country was the 8 Indian Infantry Division that saw action in Iraq and Iran when the British invaded these countries in 1941.
- The second one arrived was the 4 Indian Division that came to Italy from North Africa in December 1943. In 1944, it was deployed in Cassino.
- The third, which is the 10 Indian Divisions, was formed in 1941 in Ahmednagar and moved to Italy in 1944.
- Men from the Punjab, and Indian plains, coped with the extremely hostile conditions experienced in Italy.
- Even the Gurkhas from Nepal struggled with the heavy and persistent rain, and freezing nights in the Italian mountains.
- All three Divisions performed well in the Italian Campaign and were highly respected by the Allied and Axis commanders alike.