Jonathan Cook Columnist

My father brought back an inspiring story from Italy in World War 2. As chaplain to the SA sixth division he was visiting troops in a forward position. Dug into an isolated observation post ahead of the rest of the army on one side of a valley, they stared over to the other side where their equivalents in the German army were no doubt staring anxiously back.

From time to time artillery shells would scream overhead, making them press down even further into the ground. But as they crouched and watched, an extraordinary picture emerged in the valley below. An Italian peasant farmer hitched up his horse and began ploughing his field!..

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