...The Soldiers' Story
…an utterly moving film.”.
Producer | director
Drama documentary | history
A vivid, poignant documentary...
“…what gave a vivid, poignant documentary its edge was the madness within the madness …an utterly moving film.” Herald.
“… reminiscent of the landmark TV series ‘The Great War’.” Scotsman
The Soldier's Story
50′ drama-doc for C4 and NDR with Wark Clements
German version: Die Schlacht um Monte Cassino
First TX 2004
Camera JERRY KELLY
Sound ANNIE NEEDHAM
Lighting STEVE ARTHUR
Production Manager ROSIE RIDING
Coordinator NELL KEAY
Music SHERIDAN TONGUE
Research LAURA GORDON DUFF
Archive JUDY PATTERSON
Editor NOEL NELLIS
Executive Producer PAUL MURRAY
Commissioning Editors CHARLES FURNEAUX (C4)
VOLKE ZIELKE (NDR)
Producer (NDR) KNUT WEINRICH
Written, produced and directed by IAN LILLEY
The story of the extraordinary four-month battle on the mountain of Monte Cassino - one of the bloodiest and most controversial of the Second World War.
In 1944, Allied troops faced a tough German defensive line that ran over the mountain and barred the route to Rome. Hitler’s orders were clear: he wanted the line held at all cost as he thought a successful defence might make the Allies’ think twice about D-Day.
The Allies however, disagreed about the whole point of the campaign in Italy. Many commanders mistrusted each other and at times they badly mishandled the battle.
At the core of the fight was a modern-day siege played out over an ancient castle on the slopes of the mountain. A bitter five-day fight that saw the men of both sides suffer terrible losses, yet eventually strive to help each other, in a remarkable truce.
The battle of Monte Cassino was terribly destructive but it also built a curious and extraordinary respect and comradeship between the men who fought there – most notably the British 1st / 4th Essex Battalion and the German 1st Parachute Regiment.
This is the story of that battle, told by those men.