In early 1944 the Italian town of Cassino was the site of a devastating World War ll battle. Kiwi soldiers were part of the Allied forces attacking a German-held stronghold. Kiwi General Bernard Freyberg made the decision to bomb the town, including an iconic 1,400 year-old hilltop monastery. Both sides suffered heavy losses as the Nazis utilised the ruins to their advantage. This documentary follows Kiwi veterans CJ 'Brick' Lorimer and Stewart Black (aka Tai Paraki) as they return to confront the brutality and horror of war, as part of events marking the battle's 60th anniversary.
For me it was a disastrous battle from go to woe. How to explain the monastery? It became, not a monster, but a hypnotic attraction really. It embodied everything in evil: waiting, watching, glowering down from that sheer hill.– NZ 19th Armoured Regiment soldier Brick Lorimer
Dedicated to those who served, and those who gave their lives at Monte Cassino, Italy. Rest in Peace.
More Kiwis remember the battle for Cassino, Marlborough Express, August 2009
Chapter on the Battle for Cassino, from the Official History of NZ in the Second World War
NZ History article on the battle for Cassino, from the Official History of NZ in the Second World War
Photograph of Tai Paraki and friends at Cassino, 28th Māori Battalion website