New Zealand Memorial at the Cassino railway station for all the Kiwi fallen across the Italian Cassino battle field during 1944. This photo being a close-up of the plaque.
I'd like to quote a few paragraphs from one of the New Zealand Official War History series created after WW2.
This from "18 Battalion and Armoured Regiment" published 1961 and written by W.D. Dawson.
Chapter #31 Cassino and The Mountains
This railway station was an evil place. It had been captured in one of the bloodiest assaults in 2 NZ Division's history. (refering to 28 Battalion/Engineers assault 17/18 Feb) There the attack had bogged down in the face of German paratroopers on the rising ground and impassable waterlogged meadows ahead. All we had to show for the gain of the costly assault was a bare little island surrounded by flooded marsh, fearfully exposed, under direct observation, so that it was impossible to move round by day without being shot at by "spandau joe" A viler place to live could hardly be imagined. And yet, somehow, we clung to it for two months, losing more good men than the place was worth, but sticking grimly to it as an outpost that threatened Jerry's route into Cassino and kept him worried. Troops were relieved after about three days there..that was all most men could stand.
There were three Shermans (tanks) parked closely side by side in what had once been the station platform building, but was now reduced to one flimsy wall which barely hid the the turrets from Jerry. Crews, tanks and all changed over every second or third night here. A noisy process, this, and calculated to attract all the fire Jerry could put over, but it was about the only way to bring up food and ammunition, which had to come to the station somehow.
The road forward to the station was terrible. The only way up was along the narrow railway embankment and accross the Rapido river by a shrapnel-riddled bridge, an impossible trip in day-light and next to impossible even at night, the tanks pitching blindly nose down and then nose up through shell holes, every spare inch of inside room crammed full of ammunition. The men had been prepared for a few fireworks when they drove up in their great Shermans, and they certainly got what they expected. Spandaus from straight ahead, their tracer fire streaking through the dark like a swarm of falling stars, mortars bursting thick all around the tanks as they drove up and edged in behind the station wall.
Life at Cassino station was about as bad as it could be. The whole place stank of death. The bomb-holes were full of brackish water covered with green slime. During the daytime, even when no mortars were falling, our own smoke canisters were constantly whistling down all around. Everybody was filthy, unshaven, perpetually on edge for whatever might happen the next second. Cassino was the noisest place on earth.