The Battle of Monte Cassino was, in fact, a desperate and costly series of battles fought by the Allies during January and February of 1944 with the intention of liberating and linking up with allies contained within the Anzio pocket.
The first battle started on January 4, 1944 and the monastery atop the hill was destroyed by Allied bombing on February 15. Allies aircraft heavily bombed the ruins of the monastery and staged an assault on March 15.
The eventual connection of the forces was to lead to the capture of Rome on June 4th 1944 just days before the invasion in Normandy.
But the battle at Monte Cassino waged on until May 18 when exhausted Germans evacuated the stronghold and Allied forces moved in. At least 20,000 soldiers were killed in the battle.
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