Battlefield - Monte Cassino


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Parental guidance is recommended for younger viewers.

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In 1944 the Allies launched one of the largest amphibious assaults of the war at Anzio. Code-named "Operation Shingle", it has come to be regarded as one of the great lost opportunities of the entire war. Thereafter, the Allies tried desperately to break through the German winter defensive line that blocked the advance to Rome. At the centre of the line was the heavily fortified town of Cassino, which was dominated by a sixth century Benedictine monastery. This imposing hilltop site became the subject of bitter controversy and a symbol of some of the most savage fighting of World War II. There were major disagreements between the Allies over strategy and tactics. In the first two months of 1944, attacks by the British 10th Corps, US 2nd Corps and the French Corps were all repulsed with terrible losses, and the decision was made to bomb the monastery itself. The 4th Indian Division and 2nd New Zealand Division made some headway on Monastery Hill but it took a ferocious artillery bombardment which flattened the town, to clear the way for the capture of the railway station. The final battle began on May 11th when, after yet another enormous artillery bombardment by 2000 Allied guns, the Polish 2nd Corps made their famous attack on Monastery Hill as British, French and US troops attacked positions to the west and south. By 18th May, both town and monastery were in Allied hands - but at the most appalling cost of human lives. Featuring fascinating archive footage from all over the world, this episode includes a review of the political and military situation before the battle, portraits of leaders and commanders, an explanation of weapons and tactics, as well as the story of the battle itself. Vivid computer-generated maps place the battle in the context of the war as a whole providing viewers with a highly comprehensive and entertaining story.
Release date NZ
July 31st, 2004
Movie Format
  • DVD
DVD Region
  • Region 4
  • Standard Edition
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.33 : 1
Length (Minutes)
Supported Audio
  • Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
  • Documentary
Product ID

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