Lt Col Herbert Kappler's second in command was Erich Priepke. He was arrested in South American and extradited to Italy where he was after a trial released due to his age. After a public outcry he was placed under house arrest in Italy until his death. Kappler was imprisoned after the war and in old age contracted cancer, was refused release under medical grounds. His second wife a nurse smuggled him out of prison in a suitcase, yes due to his health was very frail. She got him to East Germany where he lived out his last days. During his imprisonment in Italy Fr. O'Flaherty visited him Kappler regularly.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
This was Leo Mckern's first movie role since " Ryans Daughter". It was a gruelling schedule which began in March 1969 and was completed in February 1970. It was so tough a shoot that Mckern almost considered quitting movies altogether. At 500 pounds a week, it was also his most lucrative pay day yet.