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The New Zealand Wars, 1820-72 (Men-at-arms) [Paperback]

Ian Knight , Raffaele Ruggeri
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Mar 2013 Men-at-arms
Between 1845 and 1872, various groups of Maori were involved in a series of wars of resistance against British settlers. The Maori had a fierce and long-established warrior tradition and subduing them took a lengthy British Army commitment, only surpassed in the Victorian period by that on the North-West Frontier of India. Warfare had been endemic in pre-colonial New Zealand and Maori groups maintained fortified villages or pas. The small early British coastal settlements were tolerated, and in the 1820s a chief named Hongi Hika travelled to Britain with a missionary and returned laden with gifts. He promptly exchanged these for muskets, and began an aggressive 15-year expansion. By the 1860s many Maori had acquired firearms and had perfected their bush-warfare tactics. In the last phase of the wars a religious movement, Pai Maarire ('Hau Hau'), inspired remarkable guerrilla leaders such as Te Kooti Arikirangi to renewed resistance. This final phase saw a reduction in British Army forces. European victory was not total, but led to a negotiated peace that preserved some of the Maori people's territories and freedoms.

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The New Zealand Wars, 1820-72 (Men-at-arms) + The New Zealand Expeditionary Force in World War II (Men-at-Arms)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (6 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780962770
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780962771
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 18 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 370,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


."..a must for any international military history collection, highly recommended."
- --The Midwest Book Review

The colour plates are excellent, both in terms of colour representation and reproduction quality. […] This latest Men At Arms books is certainly recommended. --Military Modelcraft International

About the Author

Ian Knight is a leading international expert on colonial-era warfare, notably the Anglo-Zulu War. He has written, co-written or edited over 30 books, many for Osprey, including FOR 081 Maori Fortifications.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The illustrations are much superior to the caricature-like pictures in many books in the Men-at-arms series. The (of necessity) very brief recounting of some of the wars fought in New Zealand in the 19th Century is also informative, and hopefully will whet readers' interest sufficiently to inspire them to look further into the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The art work is very, very good. I also found that I learned enough about the Maori campaigns to look for other sources. Often I find that this is the real value of Osprey books. They light up an area of history that allows further study. Excellent book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A typical Osprey work, excellent drawings 27 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This work would have been much better changing several pages about the Maori culture and equipment of the armies for a more detalied information of the battles and campaigns fought there, as Peter Abbot did with his excellent Congo Wars. It includes just a list of the british regiments that fought there, and an interesting black and white map. The summaries of the campaigns are Ok as introduction. The drawings, from Ruggiero, are excellent, and the best of the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent service 27 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book arrived on time in excellent condition. Thank you very much I haven't read it yet but will do soon.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview 30 May 2013
By Nick Dowling - Published on
This book covers both the intra-Maori Musket Wars during the 1820s and colonial-era fighting between British settler and Maori forces which lasted from 1845 until 1872.Ian Knight has previously produced an excellent book for Osprey on Maori fortifications during this era, and this volume is almost as good.

The book begins with a 19-page summary of the wars which provides a good overview of this complex period in New Zealand history. Subsequent sections of the book discuss the characteristics, equipment and clothing used by each of the factions. This material is largely focused on the Maori and locally-raised New Zealand settler forces, with the sizable regular British military forces deployed to NZ receiving lesser coverage; given the ready availability of works on the Victorian-era British military this seems sensible. Overall, Knight does a good job of describing the forces involved in the wars, the only shortcoming being that he doesn't address the experiences of individual soldiers in the fighting. The graphics showing the clothing worn on both sides might be useful to modelers, but aren't very realistic given that everyone depicted is freshly washed and their clothing is in excellent repair - the book notes that the harsh terrain generally meant that the fighters were pretty scruffy.
5.0 out of 5 stars New Zealand Waars 1820-72 2 Jun 2014
By Ronald M. Howard - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great overview of the New Zealand wars. Background causes - on both sides - help see what led to the outbreak of war. However, it was easy to see that the native population was eventually doomed to lose the war. Stone age cultures always fall to the great white wave and its gunpowder and numbers of soldiers.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Got What I paid for! 2 Oct 2013
By Patrick Wilson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not the most inspiring text, but a good, basic primer on the subject.

The color plates were particularly helpful, along with the extra information in their captions.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly disorganized it might be the worst osprey book I've ever read 17 Jun 2013
By Graves - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In know these Osprey books are not supposed to be the be all and end all on a topic but just a rough over view, but after reading Ian Knight's badly organized and poorly written "The New Zealand Wars 1820-79" I almost feel like I know less about the topic than when I opened the book.

Basically the theme of the book is in a period of about 50 years the European settlers fought a series of wars with the various indigenous peoples of New Zealand who had a fierce warrior culture and were very well adapted to using firearms. Unfortunately in the 48 pages of the book this gets rather muddled.

In the start Knight goes into a very good explanation of the Maori culture but from there he launches into a description of the wars with the Europeans without really explaining too much about weapons, tactics or equipment. We're nearly half way through the book when he seems to end the text on the fighting before he goes back to start describing in detail the weapons and equipment worn and used by each side. Something that should have come well before writing about the battles so we can visualize how someone might be `out generaled."

When he does get around to the people doing the fighting he spends a great deal of time on soldiers' uniforms rather than, oh, say, the tactics they were using well or not, against the Maori and how they changed. It is wonderful to go into details about cuffs and collars if one is doing period costuming but in all honesty with less than 50 pages to cover the period there are other, far more pertinent things it could have been applied to-such as how bloody were the fights? Was it a slaughter or a waving of the flag? Knight wrote about the Rangers who were involved in "30 major actions and dozens of skirmishes" though only existed for 4 years. That sounds like fighting of a level the book doesn't even begin to describe. Foods and such used by both sides? Transportation? By the time he got to telling us how the cavalry dressed I found myself saying "There was cavalry?" because he hadn't made any mention of them before.

The last paragraph of the text is probably the very best example of the mess that some would call text as Knight writes that the New Zealand police were raised in the belief the wars were at an end , he then goes on to say they were about to face some of the most determined fighting yet. This is the end of the freaking book but he's setting it up as if there's to be a `to be continued' post mark or a dramatic fanfare.

In the end there is some good to be tweaked from the pages of this mess but it is a struggle. Between writing style and I can't call it organization because that would imply there was some, this is easily the worst Osprey book I've read in a long time. Possible ever. I cannot recommend it to anyone except costume designers working on a movie set.
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