Roberto Rabel’s introduction provides a fascinating overview of New Zealand’s participation in this hard-fought campaign. In October 1943, the New Zealand Division landed in Italy, and by 14 November the troops had entered the line and engaged the enemy at the Sangro River. They had come straight from the harsh deserts and searing heat of North Africa, only to find themselves fighting a very different war. Beset by snow, sleet and mountainous terrain, the Division fought its way up the east coast of Italy before crossing the Apennines, where the advance came to a halt at Cassino. Three ferocious battles then took place. Over the next few months, the New Zealanders suffered heavy casualties in vicious street fighting amongst the ruins of the town. After Cassino, they continued up Italy to reach Trieste in April 1945.
A Fair Sort of Battering tells the story of this campaign in the words of those who experienced the battles, the cold of winter and the heat of summer, the loss of friends, and the warmth of the Italian people.
About the Author:
Megan Hutching is the editor of A Unique Sort of Battle, the story of New Zealand’s involvement in the battle for Crete, and Inside Stories, accounts from prisoners of war. This time she has again teamed up with Roberto Rabel, from Otago University, to develop this companion volume. Megan has been responsible for recording the oral histories featured in the book, while Roberto will write the introductory essay. This project is part of a series commissioned by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.
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