NAVAL HISTORY



  • U-Boat in New Zealand Waters
  • The Waikato River Gunboats
  • A Mission of Honour
  • In the Hour of Victory
  • Voyage to Gallipoli
  • False Flags
  • HMNZS Bellona 1946-1957
  • HMNZS Black Prince 1946-1959
  • HMNZS Royalist
  • HMNZS Puriri
  • The Story of HMNZS Blackpool
  • HMAS AE1's Kiwi Sailor
  • Kiwi Bathurst Tales
  • North Sea Warrior
  • A Kiwi Sailor at War
  • The Enemy of the New Zealand Coast
  • Naval Footprints in New Zealand
  • Salty Dits
  • Rainbow Warrior Salvage
  • Operation Pilaster
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    U-BOAT IN NEW ZEALAND WATERS.
    U 862's War Patrol off Gisborne and Napier in 1945.

    By Gerald Shone, Softcover, 210mm x 298mm, 218 pages, Black & White, Colour photographs. Published 2016

    U-boat In New Zealand Waters is a book about the farthest U-boat patrol of World War Two, a journey which brought the ultra-long-range submarine U 862 to New Zealand's East Coast in January 1945. U 862 was one of three U-boats based in the Far East chosen in Berlin for operations against merchant shipping off the Australian coast in 1944. After sinking the US Liberty ship Robert J. Walker south of Sydney on Christmas Day, 1944, U 862 headed for New Zealand waters and conducted a war patrol along the East Coast of the North Island. Looking for ships to sink, U 862's Commander Timm made a daring entry into Gisborne harbour at midnight on 15 January and the following night chased and fired a torpedo at a merchant ship in Hawkes Bay. These operations in New Zealand waters remained known only to a small number of Allied codebreakers until 1992 when the First Watch Officer of U 862, Gunther Reiffenstuhl made his personal diary available to the German U-boat Archive in Cuxhaven-Altenbruch.

    In 1997, the author met and interviewed Gunther Reiffenstuhl as well as the medical officer aboard U 862,Dr Jobst Schaefer and radio operator Gunter Nethge.

    The book is based mainly on the First Watch Officer's personal war diary and investigates in detail the war patrol of U 862 in New Zealand and Australian waters.

    NZ$40.00 + delivery.

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    THE WAIKATO RIVER GUNBOATS,
    By Grant Middlemiss. Paperback, .33kg, 165mm x 250mm, 118 pages. Black & White, and Colour Photos. Line drawings and maps. Published in 2014.

    New Zealand's First Navy. The story of the gunboats used during the British invasion of the Waikato.

    Her Majesty's Waikato River Gunboat Flotilla. New Zealand's First Navy, helped to mould Waikato history. Although they are mentioned in passing by most historians there is little detail of the ships or the pivotal role they played in the Waikato land war.

    The Waikato War of 1863-64 was the most important of the many campaigns fought. With it, the Colonial government aimed to destroy the power of the Maori King whose policy it was to stop Maori selling land to the government. Governor George Grey, who returned in 1861, (as second term Governor), claimed the Waikato tribes had hostile intentions, including plans to invade Auckland. These claims were part of an orchestrated litany of lies aimed at convincing the British Government of the threat that the New Zealand settler colony faced from the local tribes. Today, the Waikato campaign is now seen for what it was - a well-contrived and deliberate land grab. While Grey spoke of peace and reconciliation, he prepared for war. by the time it was clear that Maori were not going to attack Auckland, London had already sent 3000 additional troops to New Zealand. Between 1861 and 1863, at Grey's direction, a force was assembled and developed. The Waikato River was the key, as it provided a road to the interior of the Waikato. Eight purpose built armoured iron river gunboats were deployed as a naval force and transport service to move the 12,000+ troops and supplies into the interior past the Maori fortifications...

    This is the story of that conflict, and the river gunboats that played such an integral part of the campaign.

    NZ$42.00 + delivery.

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    A MISSION OF HONOUR. The Royal Navy in the Pacific 1769-1997.
    By John McLean. Hardback, 160mm x 246mm, 518 pages.
    Covering more than two centuries, from Captain Cook to the handover of Hong Kong, the forty-nine chapters of A Mission of Honour deal with such diverse topics as exploration, marine surveying and charting, carrying convicts to Australia and taking New Zealand kauri spars back to Britain for the Royal Dockyards, maintaining stocks of provisions on remote islands for the benefit of shipwrecked sailors, fighting wars against the Russains, Chinese, Maori, Germans and Japanese, shipwrecks, mutiny, piracy, desertion, ceremonial, shore leave and raising the Union Jack on distant shores to create new colonies such as Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

    "Britain's gift to the Pacific has been sea power. By almost singlehandedly bringing peace, order and security to the Pacific the Royal Navy carved for itself the honour of being the most positive factor in the develpment of the peaceful trade of the world's largest ocean. A Mission of Honour tells this remarkable and uplifing story with a sharp eye for detail and a sense of adventure".

    "By its constant presence and vigilance off the coast of British Columbia the Royal Navy ensured that Canada would be a nation on two oceans, by establishing and supplying Australia's northern outposts it helped ensure that the southern continent would be a single country, by a subtle combination of persuasion and force it succeeded in eradicating cannibalism from New Zealand, Fiji and other islands, by its vital role in the Maori Wars it made New Zealand safe for settlement, by its victory in the First Opium War it enabled Britain to acquire Hong Kong and turn it into the world's greatest and most dazzling free port, by eradicating piracy from the seas around Borneo it secured the safety of honest trade in and out of Singapore and, by compiling thousands of charts of virtually every part of the Pacific, it ensured that the world's greatest ocean was made safe for mariners and known to the world. All this and much more is contained in this well researched and highly readable work of naval history".

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    IN THE HOUR OF VICTORY,
    By Sam Willis. Paperback, .92kg, 165mm x 230mm, 396 pages. Colour illustrations and maps. Published in 2013.
    This is the paperback edition of this history of the Royal Navy in the age of Nelson, and it loses nothing in its transition to a smaller format.

    Between 1794 and 1815 the Royal Navy repeatedly crushed her enemies at sea in a period of military dominance that equals any in history.
    When Napoleon eventually died in exile, the Lords of the Admiralty ordered that the original dispatches from seven major fleet battles - The Glorious First of June (1794), St Vincent (1797), Camperdown (1797), The Nile (1798), Copenhagen (1801), Trafalgar (1805) and San Domingo (1806) - should be gathered together and presented to the Nation. These letters, written by Britain's admirals, captains, surgeons and boatswains and sent back home in the midst of conflict, were bound in an immense volume, to be admired as a jewel of British history.
    Sam Willis, one of Britain's finest naval historians, stumbled upon this collection by chance in the British Library in 2010 and soon found out that only a handful of people knew of its existence. The rediscovery of these first-hand reports, and the vivid commentary they provide, has enabled Willis to reassess the key engagements in extraordinary and revelatory details, and to paint an enthralling series of portraits of the Royal Navy's commanders at the time.
    In a compelling and dramatic narrative, In the Hour of Vicory tells the story of these naval triumphs as never before, and allows us to hear once more the officer's voices as they describe the battles that made Britain great.

    NZ$35.00 + delivery.

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    VOYAGE TO GALLIPOLI
    By Peter Plowman, Softcover 180mm x 240mm 0.78kg, 304 Pages. Black & White Photographs. Published 2013
    At the commencement of World War I in 1914, Australia had only been a nation for 13 years and the RAN was only three years old (NZ had been a dominion for 7 years and had no independent navy). As young men rushed to enlist, the governments of both countries had to find ways of transporting them to a war being fought half a world away, and protecting them against German raiders en route. It was a massive undertaking. In Voyage to Gallipoli maritime historian Peter Plowman takes the story from the planning stages and the requisition of ships through to the Gallipoli landing of 25 April 1915.

    This book tells of the mobilization of troops and sailors, requisition and refitting of ships,one convoy false start, a number of voyages, various changes of plan and destination, and the assistance offered by ships of allied navies. Included are many newspaper accounts of various events in port and on board and quotes from diaries and memoirs of sailors and soldiers involved, giving descriptions of conditions on board - training, sport, exercise, living and eating conditions, hygiene, medical examinations and supervision, even 'crossing the line' festivities; also conditions for horses - and details of convoy formation. By the time of the blooding of ANZAC forces at Gallipoli, the force had been moulded very much 'on board' and 'in transit'. Two appendices give details of all the transport ships involved.

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    FALSE FLAGS.
    By Stephen Robinson, Paperback, 314 Pages, 150mm x 243mm. 0.57kg. Black & White Photographs. Line drawings. This Edition Published 2019

    False Flags tells the epic untold story of German raider voyages to the South Seas during the early years of World War II. In 1940 the raiders Orion, Komet, Pinguin and Kormoran left Germany and waged a ‘pirate war’ in the South Seas — part of Germany’s strategy to attack the British Empire’s maritime trade on a global scale.

    Their remarkable voyages spanned the globe and are maritime sagas in the finest tradition of seafaring. The four raiders voyaged across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans as well as the Arctic and Antarctic. They sank or captured 62 ships in a forgotten naval war that is now being told in its entirety for the first time. The Orion and Komet terrorised the South Pacific and New Zealand waters before Pearl Harbor when the war was supposed to be far away. The Pinguin sank numerous Allied merchant ships in the Indian Ocean before mining the approaches to Australian ports and capturing the Norwegian whaling fleet in Antarctica. The Kormoran raided the Atlantic but will always be remembered for sinking the Australian cruiser Sydney off Western Australia, killing all 645 sailors on board in devastating circumstances.

    False Flags is also the story of the Allied sailors who encountered these raiders and fought suicidal battles against a superior foe as well as the men, women and children who endured captivity on board the raiders as prisoners of the Third Reich.

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    HMNZS BELLONA 1946-1957
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 0.86kg, 148mm x 210mm, 414 pages. Black & white photos and colour illustrations. Published 2017.
    HMNZS Bellona was commissioned in Chatham, England, with the New Zealand crews of the cruisers Achilles and Gambia in October 1946. On her arrival in Auckland she became the New Zealand Flagship and toured the country's ports showing the flag. Bellona made one cruise to England in 1947. She was in Australia when the 1947 mutiny occurred over pay. When the 1951 wharf strike occurred she was again in Australia and was recalled to work the wharves. Bellona made several tours of the Islands and New Zealand before being laid up in Reserve to be replaced by her sister ship HMNZS Black Prince. Recommissioned in 1955 Bellona sailed for England to be replaced by the modernised Royalist.

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    HMNZS BLACK PRINCE 1946-1959
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 0.52kg, 148mm x 210mm, 252 pages. Black & white photos and colour illustrations. Published 2017.
    The Royal New Zealand Navy cruiser HMNZS Black Prince replaced HMNZS Achilles in 1946 and served New Zealand well during the 1950s. She attended the Coronation Spithead Review in 1953 and visited Istanbul, Gallipoli and Greece before rendering aid to the Greek Ionian Islands following a devastating earthquake. On her return to New Zealand she escorted the Royal Yacht Gothic during Her Majesty's tour of New Zealand in 1953/54 before carrying out a Vice Regal tour of the Islands. Finally sold for scrap in 1962 and towed to Japan.

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    HMNZS ROYALIST
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 1.80kg, 210mm x 298mm, 458 pages. Black & white photos and colour illustrations. Published 2018.
    In 1955 little did Prime Minister Sid Holland know that the Admiralty was seeking someone to take the orphan cruiser Royalist off their hands and recover their ill advised expended funds.

    Royalist was a modernised sister ship of Bellona and Black Prince that the British Exchequer had strongly criticised. So the Admiralty orchestrated a plan to get rid of this orphan ship. Royalist had been poorly maintained while in Reserve after 1945. While the bridge superstructure, radars and fire control systems had been modernised to a high standard, little had been done to improve the hull, machinery and accommodation. The cruiser required 550 men to crew her with accommodation for only 500 maximum, an outdate messing system and little air-conditioning. No other British warship had her type of guns. At great cost New Zealand kept Royalist operational until a fortnight before the end of her final commission, on 1 November, 1965.

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    HMS PURIRI
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 0.20kg, 148mm x 210mm, 86 pages. Black & white photos and colour illustrations. Published 2017.
    HMS Puriri (1938-1941) The story of the only warship to be lost by enemy ction in New Zealand waters and the environment in which she served. The coaster MV Puriri was built in 1938 to work on the west coast of New Zealand, but in 1941 she was taken over by the New Zealand Navy and converted to a minesweeper.

    This book records Puriri's Story and the environment that she worked before her untimely loss.

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    THE STORY OF HMNZS BLACKPOOL
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, , 148mm x 210mm, 480 pages. Black & white photos and colour illustrations. Published 2012.

    In 1965, in an effort to maintain four operational frigates while one was in refit, it was agreed to hire a frigate from the Royal Navy while HMNZS Canterbury was being built. Initially offered HMS Whitby it was eventually agreed to hire HMS Blackpool for a period of five years.

    This is the story of HMNZS Blackpool, and those who served in her, during her service in the Royal New Zealand Navy between 1965 and 1971.

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    H.M.A.S. AE1's KIWI SAILOR
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback,0.40kg, 148mm x 210mm, 188 pages. Black & white photos and colour illustrations. Published 2017.

    This is an updated edition of Kaikoura Submariner since the discovery of HMAS AE1 in December 2017.

    The story of John (Roy) Reardon, 9 February 1891 - 14 September 1914, one of the first two New Zealanders to become submariners in 1914. This book covers his life until his death in the submarine HMAS AE1 off New Guinea at the start of World War One.

    A new updated edition includes the discovery of AE1 on 20 December 2017, with information and images supplied by the Fugro Equator search team.

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    KIWI BATHURST TALES
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback,0.73kg, 210mm x 298mm, 174 pages. Black & white photos and colour illustrations. Published 2017.

    Following World War II the New Zealand Government modernised the Royal New Zealand Navy by obtaining from Britain the loan of two modern cruisers and purchase of six Loch Class anti-submarine frigates.

    An offer to purchase four Bathurst minesweepers from Australia in 1952 resulted in Australia gifting four surplus minesweepers, HMAS Echuca, Stawell, Kiama, and Inverell, to New Zealand.

    This book records teh history of the Bathurst Class Ships and some of the stories of those who served in them during their lond service to New Zealand.

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    NORTH SEA WARRIOR.
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 0.56kg, 148mm x 210mm, 404 pages. Black & white photos. Published 2012.

    The story of Lieutenant Commander G J (Jim) Macdonald. DSO DSC & two bars RNZNVR

    Jim Macdonald was the most highly decorated New Zealand Naval Officer of World War II. He joined the Naval reserve in 1938 as a 16 year old ordinary seaman. Sent to England, he was promoted to officer rank and soon earned his first bravery award. he bacme the youngest man to command a Royal Navy Warship and by 23 years of age was in command of a flotilla of torpedo boats.

    This is his story.

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    A KIWI SAILOR AT WAR.
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 0.90kg, 150mm x 210mm, 542 pages. Black & white photos. Published 2012.

    The story of Lieutenant Douglas L Hazard. RNZNVR

    Doug Hazard was one of 7,000 young men who were sent to Britain during the Second World war to help man the rapidly expanding Royal Navy. After six months escorting North Sea Convoys, he trained as an officer. He then took part in escorting convoys to East Africa, Canada via the cruel North Atlantic and Russia. He took part in the sinking of several German U-boats.

    On his return to New Zealand, Doug became well known as an accountant and yachtsman.

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    THE ENEMY OF THE NEW ZEALAND COAST.
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 0.35kg, 150mm x 210mm, 198 pages. Black & white and sepia photos. Published 2012.

    As far back as 1870 the Russians were reported to be in New Zealand Waters, which promoted Government action. During World War I and World War II, German raiders appeared close off the New Zealand coast. (One actually landed armed men on a shooting expedition). During the Second World War, the German operations were supported by a submarine. Japanese submarines were also active off our coast.

    This is the story of those reported enemy visits and the response of the community that each caused.

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    NAVAL FOOTPRINTS IN NEW ZEALAND.
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 0.27kg, 150mm x 210mm, 130 pages. Colour photos. Published 2012.

    This book has been written, and published, to assist travellers, with a naval interest, to see the places around New Zealand where the Navy has left its mark, or footprint. Laid out geographically from North to South, including the Chatham Islands, this little book is a wealth of facts and figures. Many many historical naval sites are shown and discussed, within time periods ranging from the Maori Wars to the Second World War.

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    SALTY DITS.

    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 145mm x 204mm, 334 pages, monochrome photos.

    During the Second World War the New Zealand Government purchased three Bird class minesweepers and four Isle Class minesweepers.

    To this small fleet, eleven minesweeping trawlers were added all of them built in New Zealand along with twelve anti-submarine, B-Type fairmiles. Sixteen harbour Defence Motor Launches (HMDLs) were also opurchased from overseas.

    After the war many of these 72 foot HDMLs were retained to work around the New Zealand coast. Gerry Wright who has published five other books about New Zealand's naval histiry, had command of one of these craft in 1965.

    NZ$38.00 + delivery.

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    RAINBOW WARRIOR SALVAGE.
    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 0.24kg, 148mm x 210mm, 130 pages. colour Photos, published 2010.

    When the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior was sunk in Auckland Harbour on July 10th 1985, it promptly became a crime scene. The Royal New Zealand Navy was tasked by the Police with raising the wreck without disturbing evidence, and to allow them to carry out a forensic examination of the wreck and harbour bed. This is the story of that salvage and how many problems encountered were overcome.

    NZ$25.00 + delivery.

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    OPERATION PILASTER.

    By Gerry Wright. Paperback, 0.58kg 208mm x 298mm, 138 pages, Colour and black & White photos. Published 2015

    The successful story fo the Kirk-led Government's protest against French testing nuclear weapons in the atmosphere over Mururoa in 1973.

    'Operation Pilaster' is the account of the voyages of HMNZS Otago and HMNZS Canterbury to the vicinity of Mururoa in 1973 and is a compilation of official records of the day and interviews with many who were involved.

    This is an updated version of his book ' Mururoa Protest'and includes recently released classified documents.

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    NAVAL HISTORY




    See also: Nautical History of Polar Exploration, Nautical Tales, Yarns and Biographies,
    Nautical Dictionary and Sea Terms

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