ANZACS At The Frontiers 1941-45, Northern Italy. Volume 1 & 2
Paperback | English
What happened in northern Italy over the years from 1941 to 1945 affected the lives of thousands of New Zealand and Australian servicemen, caught up in the events that were taking place in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. Ken Fenton has been able to draw on many recollections of Anzac ex-servicemen, along with his personal knowledge of northern Italy during World War 2, as a young soldier with the 2nd NZ Division. His two volumes give a detailed insight into the varied fortunes of those initially imprisoned, and into how escapers from among them later coped with the challenges of war-torn Italy. They were confronted by many difficult situations resulting from the actions of the warring regimes.
Before the Italian Armistice of September 1943, thousands of Aussies and Kiwis were held in the prisoner of war camps of northern Italy, particularly in the notorious Campo 57 at Gruppignano. There the physical and mental states of those incarcerated were under considerable threat. Some Anzacs were fortunate to be transferred to the farm work camps around Vercelli in the northwest, or around and beyond Torviscosa to the northeast.
This is a book that is both macro and micro. It looks into some of the higher policies and decisions that affected both Anzacs and Italian civilians. It also contains many accounts by both servicemen and civilians who speak naturally and candidly about the situations in which they found themselves, accounts which have not been modified to any extent. In doing so, it extends our historical records and enables many who have been relatively silent over the years. to have their views heard.