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The translation then produced was 'Is the HQ in the abbey? The intercept, in its mistranslated form, implied the Germans had broken their word. Virtually all its decorative detail had been destroyed; but the bronze doors were found and restored to their place Topics.

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I don't find the story at all hard to believe. It was only when Col Hunt questioned the translation and the whole intercept that it transpired that the correct reply to the question was, in fact, 'Ja, Abt is mit Monchem in Kloster'. But Sir Rupert's book says Hunt told him after the war that the monastery was not occupied by the German parachutists who were holding the Cassino feature.

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Allied generals ordered a huge bombing attack. German strongpoints in the mountains around Cassino were imperilling the allied advance towards Rome.

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There he writes the Rule of St Benedict, which becomes a guide for celibate asceticism. War is a balls-up. Monte Cassino, restored in the s, is a shrine for relatives of the estimatedsoldiers on all sides who lost their lives in the battles around it.

The ruins created a superb German defensive position which cost thousands of allied soldiers' lives before the monastery fell after a further three months of fighting.

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It was idleness by the man who read the intercept. But details about the timing of these messages are not clear enough to rule out the possibility that they were transmitted as propaganda after the bombing. Controversy continues over whether it was German-occupied before the bombing.

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Col Hunt - Alexander's personal intelligence officer - later became Sir David Hunt, diplomat, author and private secretary to the post-war prime ministers Clement Attlee and Winston Churchill. The abbot is with the monks in the monastery'.

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He found that what it actually said was: The abbot, who survived the bombing, said: In Februarywhen Monte Cassino was bombed, he was general staff officer in charge of intelligence in a unit with Sir Rupert.

His version convinced his superiors this meant a German military unit monte casino marketing vacancies using the monastery as its command post, in breach of a Vatican agreement which treated it as neutral. From Lombards to Second World War St Benedict founds the monastery, with a routine of prayer and farming, on a pagan temple site 87 miles south-east of Rome.

We know from records that Alexander was very conscious of allied responsibilities under this agreement. Share via Email The world's most glorious monastery, at Monte Cassino in Italy, was destroyed during the second world war because of a mistake by a British junior officer, according to new evidence in a book due out this week.

That exonerated the allies and served as a green light for the bombing. Hunt's account of the intercept is told for the first time in With Alex at War, the autobiography of Sir Rupert Clarke, aide -de-camp to Field Marshal Lord Alexander of Tunis, deputy supreme allied commander in Europe and the leading British general in the liberation of Italy.

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Fighting in conditions almost as severe as the trenches of the first world war, allied units on exposed slopes were under heavy artillery fire which they were convinced was being directed by spotters in the 1,ft high monastery. Its copy of the Rule is taken to Rome for safety Saracen forces storm the monastery Norman forces storm the monastery New bronze doors for the abbey are cast in Constantinople now Istanbul for the abbot Desiderius A scholarly monk, Constantine the African, dies after giving western civilisation its first systematic account of classical Greek medicine through translations Thomas Aquino joins Monte Cassino for spiritual instruction.

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Only when the planes were in the air did a British intelligence officer, Colonel David Hunt, recheck the full radio intercept. Monte Cassino becomes the font of western monasticism St Monte casino marketing vacancies dies s Lombard forces storm the monastery. The officer - translating an intercepted radio message - mistook the German word for abbot for a similar word meaning battalion.

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On February 14 allied guns fired leaflets over the area warning that, in view of the German occupation, "with very heavy hearts we are going to have to turn our weapons on the abbey". Field Marshal Lord Carver, former chief of general staff, who is writing the Imperial War Museum's official history War in Italy,said he had not previously heard of the intercept. He becomes theologian St Thomas Aquinas Monte casino marketing vacancies damages buildings - Buildings repaired and extended Late - early The town of Cassino becomes a key German defence point against the allied advance on Rome February 14 Allied artillery fire leaflets alleging German occupation of the monastery and warning of bombing February 15 Allied bombers obliterate the monastery Monte Cassino is rebuilt after an international appeal.

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Some men, women and children died. From his own study of the papers of British, American and Commonwealth generals in the Imperial War Museum, Lord Carver said he did not think the reportedly misread intercept was likely to have influenced the decision to bomb.