More than 2100 New Zealanders were killed and 6700 wounded during the liberation of Italy; that’s a lot for a little country.
This gorgeous picture of New Zealand soldiers in Molise was put up on the site: https://www.facebook.com/Molisenelcuore/ on 15 July 2018. I found it incredibly moving having just come from Campobasso in June, where the picture was taken. It makes the leap from war time to now seem narrower and the connections between us all immense.
“Like a well-oiled machine, we’ve all been connected since the beginning of time through a beautiful, mystical process of unity.” Amy Leigh Mercree.
Most of the New Zealanders were members of the 2nd division that had come from north Africa. They now had 18 months in front of them of grueling combat, freezing winters and rugged terrain. They arrived in Taranto then assembled in Bari. They were tasked with crossing the Sangro River and breaking the Gustov Line. Due to making no progress in their attempts to take Orsogna they switched focus to the West and the Liri valley and Monte Cassino. Here they faced fierce opposition and further setbacks loosing many men and controversially, the monastery at Monte Cassino. From October 1943 until May 1944 they persisted, finally breaking though and arriving in Rome.