A tale about sacrifice, loyalty and love set against the background of New Zealand's involvement in the Battle for Crete.

Soldiers shelter amongst olive trees on Crete.

Photo: 'Soldiers shelter amongst olive trees on Crete', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/soldiers-shelter-olive-trees-crete, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 15-Jul-2013

From the author

Crete and New Zealand shared more than just a common enemy - they shared a love of liberty, respect for courage and a passionate commitment to the land that holds their stories. I have been fascinated with Crete ever since the moment – researching in the mid-70s for my novel Love and War – I first set foot on that semi-mythical island. What I was looking for on that first visit were stories of the 18th New Zealand Battalion who fought in the doomed Battle for Crete in May 1941. The lead character of my novel was in that battalion and it was his story I was telling. No way was I prepared for the deluge of stories that came my way: tales of Kiwi soldiers holed up in the mountains after the Allied retreat; stories told over long, wine-fuelled meals of how in the days before the German invasion soldiers from the Maori Battalion helped the farmers get their tractors working and their wells functioning more efficiently; rumours of love affairs between Kiwi soldiers and Cretan girls; tales of heroism during the dark years of the Occupation. I came away with enough material for half a dozen novels. Many years later some of these stories resurfaced in the drama that is The Cave of Winds. The story is fictional but its origins lie in the official history of that time and the stories still being told on Crete today. Amid the horrors of war and the subsequent reprisals, a love affair that was larger than any personal story began and continues to this day. Two island nations – Crete and New Zealand – shared more than just a common enemy. They shared, and continue to share, a love of liberty, respect for courage, and a passionate commitment to the land that holds their stories - Elspeth Sandys.

Novelist and playwright, Elspeth Sandys, has published eight novels and two collections of short stories, and written numerous plays and adaptations for BBC Radio and RNZ.

Cast: Simon Ferry, Jamie McCaskill, Tolis Papazoglou, Ivana Palezevic, David Goldthorpe
Produced by Duncan Smith for RNZ