9781846033704

Maori Fortifications

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9781846033704

  • ISBN10:

    1846033705

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-21
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing
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Summary

The Maori people of New Zealand were experienced field engineers even before they came into conflict with Europeans in the 19th Century. Warfare between rival groups was endemic in Maori society, and it was common practice to protect villages with surrounding entrenchments and wooden palisades, known aspas. As contact with the European world increased, the Maori responded by adopting firearms into their traditional armory. It was not until 1845, however, with the first fighting between the Maori and the British, that it became clear just how strong and sophisticated the Maori fortifications were. For the best part of 20 years, the Maori held off the dominant and technologically superior British forces, by adapting and developing their defenses in response to every new improvement in the British artillery. The complex network of trenches and sheltered 'bomb-proof' dug outs, designed to resist further British assaults, proved so effective that they had a strong influence on the trench warfare systems of World War I. This book explores the evolution and design of Maori fortifications, and charts the course of a conflict that would ultimately see the British break the Maoripas, leading to a bitter guerrilla bush war.

Author Biography

Ian Knight is a leading international expert on the Anglo-Zulu War. He has written, co-written or edited over 30 books, including several in the Osprey Men-at-Arms, Elite, Warrior and Campaign series. He studied Afro-Caribbean Studies at Kent University, and is an Honorary Research Associate of the Natal Museum and Vice President of the Anglo Zulu War Historical Society. He has also contributed to a number of television documentaries on the war. In 2000 he was the historian advising the Glasgow University team who made the first archaeological survey of the Isandlwana battlefield.

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