Author(s): Ron Palenski
How We Saw The War will retell to a new generation of New Zealanders how their mothers and grandmothers learned where their loved ones were and what they were doing during World War II. It will republish newspaper stories from the time which reported on the activities of New Zealand soldiers in the Middle East and the Pacific, North Africa and Italy; in the air and at sea. From Michael Joseph Savage's "Where Britain goes, we go" declaration of war in 1939 until the Japanese surrender in 1945, How We Saw The War will bring back the war years. It will tell of the heroism of double VC winner Charles Upham as New Zealanders first learned of it; of the fearsome fighting of the Maori Battalion; of the roles New Zealanders played in the great air and sea battles ...but there will also be stories from the homefront: the 'Battle of Manners Street' when New Zealanders and Americans clashed in the streets; of the 'mutiny' when soldiers on leave refused to return to the war; of the increasing role women played both in the armed services and in the domestic economy. An explanatory linking narrative will accompany the original newspaper articles, placing them in context and in some cases adding information that was not known at the time, such as what Freyberg really knew but couldn't tell when he was charged with defending the island of Crete. Anzac Day is a day when the minds of people turn to the war years and the sacrifices made - How We Saw The War will complement their thoughts.
Ron Palenski is one of New Zealand's most respected writers. He has written numerous books, including many in the sports field. He is also an acknowledged student on New Zealand history and is currently completing a PhD on the subject at Otago University.