During his visit, Army chief MM Naravane to inaugurate memorial for Indian soldiers in Italy
New Delhi, July 05: In a recent development, Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane embarks on a four-day visit to the United Kingdom and Italy starting Monday (July 5). It can be seen that the visit will let the army chief inaugurating an Indian Army Memorial in the Cassino town of Italy.
In the first leg of the visit on July 5 and 6, MM Naravane will hold talks with the UK's Secretary of State for Defence, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of General Staff and other dignitaries.
"The COAS will also inaugurate the Indian Army Memorial in the famous town of Cassino and will be briefed at the Italian Army's Counter IED Centre of Excellence at Cecchingola, Rome," the army said.
It is reportedly said that the memorial is built to pay homage to more than 5,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting German and Japanese forces during the World War II. It was during this time, dated between 1943 and 1945, as many as 50,000 Indian soldiers were deployed to fight for Italy's liberation.
"The fourth, eighth, and tenth Indian Infantry Divisions were employed in the battle for the capture of Monte Cassino and in the bitter campaign that followed for the breaching of the Gothic Line," former Italian army chief General Fabrizio Castagnetti had said while speaking at a ceremony at Cassino.
Besides Casino, Italy has many cemeteries where Indian soldiers are buried. Perugia, Luca, Florence, San Marino, Cesena, Forli, Ferrara, and Bologna are a few of the Italian cities that Indian soldiers helped to liberate during World War II. Six Indian soldiers who were part of allied contingents fighting for the liberation of Italy also received the prestigious Victoria Cross.