Where to find out about the loss of Prince of Wales and Repulse

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

All about the history of Hawke’s Bay, and some other things

A few years back I discovered something about myself in in an academic magazine. They’d reviewed my major book on the New Zealand Wars and, according to the reviewer, I’d apparently written this book to intentionally displace a particular Oxford professor in the public eye. It was the first I knew of this supposed motive. … More All about the history of Hawke’s Bay, and some other things

The Treaty of Waitangi and ‘Hobson’s pledge’

I have always thought it ironic that the Treaty of Waitangi was signed on 6 February 1840 largely by accident. If everything had gone according to prospective governor William Hobson’s plans, it would have been signed on 5 February. That was the day Maori assembled outside the house of James Busby at Waitangi to discuss … More The Treaty of Waitangi and ‘Hobson’s pledge’

Remembering the Hawke’s Bay quake of ’31 – and the ‘big ones’ of 1460

It’s the eighty-seventh anniversary today of New Zealand’s most lethal historical disaster;  the Hawke’s Bay earthquake. Around 10.47 am on the sunny morning of 3 February, a magnitude 7.8 quake struck the district and threw the towns of Napier and Hastings into ruin. Damage extended from Gisborne in the north to Whanganui in the south-west, … More Remembering the Hawke’s Bay quake of ’31 – and the ‘big ones’ of 1460