For more than a hundred years, New Zealanders have gone overseas to fight in foreign wars; they've gone to places few had heard of before but whose names now are as familiar as if they were just down the road. Names such as Gallipoli, Messines, Passchendaele, Crete, El Alamein, Cassino entered the New Zealand lexicon through the blood, sweat and tears of its soldiers. The fighting New Zealander helped shape the country's identity and what it means to be a New Zealander. They entered the psyche of a nation. From the high veld of South Africa to the mud of the trenches of the Western Front, to the deserts of North Africa, the snows of South Korea and the steamy jungle of Vietnam, the New Zealand soldier earned a reputation as one of the best; a soldier who rolled his sleeves up and got the job done. Kiwi Battlefields brings a unique perspective to the wars of the world and New Zealand's part in them. It presents a series of chapter on significant battles in which New Zealanders fought but paints them in the context of their times. It shows not just what happened, but how each was reported to New Zealanders waiting anxiously at home for news, and what the soldiers themselves thought.
Ron Palenski is one of New Zealand's most experienced writers and journalists. Mainly known for his sports books, Palenski is currently completing his PHD in New Zealand history, and in 2009 received wide acclaim for his first military book, How We Saw The War.