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The New Zealand Wars 1820-72

by Ian Knight

Part of the Men-at-Arms Series

The New Zealand Wars 1820-72 Synopsis

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.

The New Zealand Wars 1820-72 Press Reviews

The Men at Arms series is as much a book on weapons and uniforms as it is on a historical background. This one is no exception and has not only some superb period photos of those involved, but some excellent full color art work showing the weapons and the dress of these folks. It makes for a most interesting book for those who know little to nothing about the period and place. A book I very much enjoyed reading and I know you will as well. --Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (April 2013) Knight concisely but thoroughly conveys the history as well as the weapons and dress of the Maori warriors, British forces and colonial troops. Color plates by Raffaele Ruggeri are teamed with lots of illustrations and photos in black and white to punctuate this intriguing chronicle of clashes between the British Empire and formidable foes. --Toy Soldier & Model Figure (August 2013) ...this account from an expert on colonial warfare features rare photos and color plates to examine the tactics and perspectives of both sides, and is a 'must' for both military and New Zealand history holdings. --The Midwest Book Review (July 2013) ...a must for any international military history collection, highly recommended. --The Midwest Book Review (May 2013)

Book Information

ISBN: 9781780962771
Publication date: 6th March 2013
Author: Ian Knight
Publisher: Osprey Publishing an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 48 pages
Categories: Military history, Australasian & Pacific history, Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900, Warfare & defence,

About Ian Knight

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.

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