When New Zealand troops arrived in Italy to join the Allied forces in brutal warfare against the Germans, it was inevitable they would mingle with the civilian population. Welcomed into Italian homes, New Zealanders experienced a diverse culture, learned a new language and everywhere encountered attractive young women.

For the New Zealand Command curtailing fraternisation between Kiwi soldiers and Italian women provided a huge challenge. Trying to combat the soaring VD rates or stem the tide of marriage applications was, however, from the outset a lost battle.

In Love and War recounts encounters, liaisons and love affairs of New Zealand soldiers and their Italian sweethearts during World War Two. For some the result was marriage, leading to a new and often strained life for the Italian war brides on the other side of the world. For others, their wartime romance ended in heartbreaking separation when the Kiwi soldiers were posted elsewhere or returned home. Unknowingly or otherwise, some left behind children who would grow up without ever meeting their natural fathers.

These fascinating stories of wartime love within the social and cultural context in which they developed reveal the emotional, complex and touchingly human side of war.

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