Back in 2001 I wrote a book on New Zealand’s naval history. Blue Water Kiwis was picked up by the Royal New Zealand Navy to mark their sixtieth anniversary that year, and launched (but not literally) on the flight-deck of HMNZS Te Mana. I remember that evening rather well, not least because my wife and … More Blue Water Kiwis – second edition out now!
On 8 December 1941, Japan raided Singapore from the air. Their bombers were engaged by the new British battleship Prince of Wales and the elderly battlecruiser Repulse, which were in the naval base at Sembawang on the northern side of the island. What isn’t usually realised is that this basically happened at the same time … More Where to find out about the loss of Prince of Wales and Repulse
It’s the anniversary once again of the 1941 Japanese attack on the US Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor – and of their simultaneous assault on the Malayan peninsula. So began the rather inaptly named Pacific War – an oxymoron, for the fighting spread from the central Pacific to India, from China to northern Australia. And … More A memorial to the United States Marine Corps in New Zealand
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2018
It is both poetic and poignant that the armistice signed at 5 am on 11 November 1918 was intended to come into effect six hours later, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The decision was deliberate; but it also meant that fighting in the First World War’s main combat … More On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month
All empires, it seems, decline and fall, often disgracefully. The one exception is the British Empire, which faded away in a quite civil manner by comparison with the usual way these entities collapse. It happened during the twentieth century, largely on the back of two world wars that effectively bankrupted Britain. By 1945 – when … More Britain’s last battleships – at last
This week marks the 101st anniversary of Passchendaele, the New Zealand part in the Third Battle for Ypres – and the day of New Zealand most lethal human catastrophe of all time. On that dark day, 12 October 1917, some 843 New Zealanders were killed – either outright, or left dying on the battlefield. And … More Remembering Passchendaele, 101 years on