One week after the fall of Monte Cassino in May 1944, New Zealand Prime Minister Peter Fraser visited the site and surveyed the ruins of the Benedictine monastery where the New Zealanders had fought. The 2nd New Zealand Division had landed in Italy in October 1943, and in early February 1944 it was involved in an attempt to break the German defensive line by driving up the Liri valley. The valley was guarded by the 500-metre high hill topped by an ancient monastery. Despite the decision to bomb the monastery (which was controversial), it was a long drawn-out battle to break through and capture Monte Cassino. The fighting cost New Zealand 343 lives.
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Reference: Weekly Review 150. National Film Unit, 1944
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