Author(s): Megan Hutching
New Zealanders Remember The North African Campaign
In this, the fourth book in the on-going Oral History Heritage series, Megan Hutching and Ian McGibbon have collected and edited the stories of veterans of the 1941-1943 North African Campaign of World War Two.
The New Zealand Division fought in all the major battles during the North African Campaign: Sisi Rezegh and Belhamad, where many were taken prisoner, the famous breakout at Minquar Qaim then the whole division was surrounded, the two battles at El Alamein and the pursuit of the Germans and Italians westwards to Tripoli, with the eventual German surrender to the New Zealanders, whom they had come to respect as worthy opponents.
Their stories record times of great excitement and great sorrow, with the Division suffering high losses, with many of its men distinguishing themselves with acts of valour and courage.
The interviewees include the complete range of units who took part - infantry, including the 28 Maori Battalion, engineers, artillery, Air Force and Navy, nurses and Tuis. The end result is a moving account of the personal stories and experiences that make up our history of a very significant an memorable campaign of World War Two. "The 16 men and women whose interviews for these oral histories are included in The Desert Road were well chosen. The result is a significant insight into the lives of New Zealand servicemen and women in that theatre of war, on land, at sea, and in the air... The Desert Road is a wonderful record of what ordinary Kiwis endures and achieved." - The Dominion Post "The old soldiers Hutching has recorded talk openly, many for the first time. Hutchings sensitive editing and the superb use of photographs make this a book all New Zealanders will want to dip into." - The Press