On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Allied objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front and more particularly from France, where an offensive was planned for the following year.
Commonwealth and American forces landed near Salerno on 8-9 September 1943 and there was fierce fighting for some days in the bridgehead that they established. The site for the cemetery was chosen in November 1943 and it contains many burials resulting from the landings and the fighting that followed, but graves were also brought in later from a wide area of south-western Italy. The 59th General Hospital was in the vicinity of Salerno at the end of 1943 and early in 1944.
Salerno War Cemetery contains 1,851 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, which includes 109 that are unidentified. In addition there are two non-war graves and the grave of a Russian soldier. One casualty of the First World War is also commemorated in the cemetery by special memorial, his grave in a local cemetery having been lost. The cemetery was designed by Louis de Soissons.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.