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15 January 1900

South Africa - About 60 men of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, commanded by Captain W.R.N. Maddocks, rout a Boer attack on a hill at Slingersfontein, Cape Colony, with a bayonet charge down the slope at the advancing Boers. The feature is renamed New Zealand Hill by General French.

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15 January 1900

South Africa - About 60 men of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, commanded by Captain W.R.N. Maddocks, rout a Boer attack on a hill at Slingersfontein, Cape Colony, with a bayonet charge down the slope at the advancing Boers. The feature is renamed New Zealand Hill by General French.

Here's a contemporary newspaper report from New Zealand about this action - good stirring Victorian stuff! :)

And a map from the Australian Light Horse website showing the location

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16 January 1770

Lieutenant James Cook establishes the first naval ‘base’ in NZ – Ship Cove in Queen Charlotte Sound. Some 12,000 miles from home, Cook deliberately beached his ship in order to clean and overhaul the hull.

16 January 1941

The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) is formed to enable the Royal New Zealand Air Force to release more men for service overseas. Within 18 months a Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and a Women’s Royal Naval Service are also created. My Grandmother was a WAAC.

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16 January 1942

HMNZS MONOWAI fights an inconclusive gunnery duel with Japanese submarine I-20 off Suva, while escorting the SS Taroona.

16 January 1957

The Air Board decides that RNZAF roundels are to carry an identifiably New Zealand symbol in place of the old red, white, and blue rings.

75px-Rnzaf_roundel.svg.png

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17 February 1944

Italy - 28 (Maori) Battalion crosses the Rapido River south of Cassino and captures the railway station. They are forced to withdraw the following day as the Germans counter attack.

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Members of the Maori Battalion on the 5th army front, Cassino, Italy, 9 February, 1944, photographed by George F Kaye.

From left: Captain JC Reedy (m.i.d., twice wounded), Captain R Tutaki (twice wounded; wounded and p.w. 27 Jul 1944), Lieutenant Colonel RRT Young (DSO, wounded 26 Dec 1943), Lieutenant Moana Raureti (m.i.d.), Captain George T Marsden (three times wounded).

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18 February 1944

- RAF Mosquitos attack Amiens prison (in German-occupied France). The raid is remarkable for its precision and daring, and succeeds in breaching the walls and buildings of the prison, as well as destroying guards' barracks. Of the 717 prisoners, 102 were killed, 74 wounded, and 258 escaped, including 79 Resistance and political prisoners, although two thirds of the escapees were recaptured.

Operation_Jericho_-_Amiens_Jail_During_Raid_1.jpg

Eighteen Mosquitos from No. 464 Squadron RAAF, No. 487 (NZ) Squadron, and No. 21 Squadron RAF are involved (plus one PR Mosquito to record the raid). The Mosquitos of 487 Sqn were assigned the task of bombing the prison guards' mess hall and breaching the outer prison wall in two places, while 464's aircraft were tasked with bombing the prison's main walls if no prisoners were seen escaping. Close support was to be provided by fourteen Typhoons from No. 198 and No. 174 Squadrons RAF.

Two Mosquitos (3 KIA, 1 PW) and two Typhoons (1 KIA, 1 PW) failed to return.

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Of the 717 prisoners, 102 were killed, 74 wounded...

Many, many long years ago I read an account of this raid that offered that the reason for the large number of prison casualties was that the bombs used to breach the walls were larger than needed, about twice as big in fact. Did anything like that turn up in your researches?

Michael

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No, just some comments that the raid overall was a botched SOE fiasco. It seems that maybe the French didn't need - or want - rescuing, but SOE off its own bat decided they probably really did (and were too shy to ask? Gallic reserve?). SOE being SOE, they were able to get the resources they wanted.

The raid is still an impressive example of precision low level flying and bombing.

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According to wiki at least some of the prisoners knew, and asked for a fairly grim conclusion if a breach could not be made:

No. 21 Squadron was assigned with the grim alternative of bombing the prison and all in it, as requested by those prisoners aware of the proposed mission.

Aspersions cast in the direction of SOE may be a bit misplaced, although the controversy is also discussed on that page - it is, of course, entirely possible that all positions are true, at least in the minds of the people of the time who made the decisions based on the information they had.

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19 February 1918

Palestine – the battle for Jericho begins. The town is taken the following day by the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade. It is found to be full of dead or dying Turks suffering from typhus.

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Many, many long years ago I read an account of this raid that offered that the reason for the large number of prison casualties was that the bombs used to breach the walls were larger than needed, about twice as big in fact. Did anything like that turn up in your researches?

According to various publications by the Author Martin Bowman (including 'Mosquito Bomber/Fighter-Bomber' and 'Mosquito: Menacing the Reich: Combat Action in the Twin-engine Wooden Wonder of World War II')

255 of 700 held prisoners escaped. 182 were recaptured and 37 were killed on their escape attempt.

The Australian War Memorial website indicates 102 died, 74 were hospitalised and 258 escaped.

So I take it another 65 (102-37) were killed by the raid itself?

The reason given for Operation Jericho was that a number of prisoners were to be executed on a given date, including key resistance members, and hence the raid went ahead a few days prior to prevent this.

btw the latter book is quite good, and gives a lot of detail of key mosquito sorties in the ETO.

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BTW, the reason for the overkill given in the article was interesting if true. It seems that tests were performed to determine what size ordnance would be optimum. Only, the walls built for testing turned out to be quite a bit stronger than the walls of the actual prison. And IIRC for some reason those tests were conducted at Eglin AFB, Florida, USA!

Michael

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20 February 1916

Egypt – the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion is formed as part of the New Zealand Division. It is a mix of Maori, Pakeha, and Pacific Islanders.

CowMaorP014a(h280).jpg

20 February 1942

Egypt – Headquarters “A” (New Zealand) Squadron of the Long Range Desert Group is formed.

NCWA_00018.preview.jpeg

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20 February 1916

Egypt – the New Zealand Pioneer Battalion is formed as part of the New Zealand Division. It is a mix of Maori, Pakeha, and Pacific Islanders.

20 February 1942

Egypt – Headquarters “A” (New Zealand) Squadron of the Long Range Desert Group is formed.

NCWA_00018.preview.jpeg

I didn't know Moses was in the LRDG.

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The guy with the cool shades is a bit of an anachronism, don't you think? Yes they had sunglasses, and they certainly had sand goggles—which may be what the artist was actually trying to represent—but those just don't look right to me.

Michael

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21 February 1946

Japan – Jayforce, 4320 strong, raised from the 9th Brigade of the 2nd New Zealand Division, sails from Naples, and will arrive in Kure, Japan, on 19 March. The deployment forms part of a 40,000 strong Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan. The original members were replaced by drafts from New Zealand in July 1946 and the Force was maintained in Japan until being finally withdrawn between July and October 1948, except for some officers who were not withdrawn until early 1949.

Wh2Pac41b.jpg

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The guy with the cool shades is a bit of an anachronism, don't you think? Yes they had sunglasses, and they certainly had sand goggles—which may be what the artist was actually trying to represent—but those just don't look right to me.

Michael

they look pretty much the same as the goggles here I reckon - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vickers_armed_LRDG_trucks8.jpg

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The guy with the cool shades is a bit of an anachronism, don't you think? Yes they had sunglasses, and they certainly had sand goggles—which may be what the artist was actually trying to represent—but those just don't look right to me.

Michael

The artist, Peter McIntyre, was the Official War Artist of the 2NZEF, and,iirc, went out on a patrol with the LRDG. So he was painting from life.

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Reading wiki about RAMB I - it was one of 4 "banana boats" built to ship refrigerated bananas from Eritrea to Europe for the Regia Azienda Monopolio Banane (Royal Banana monolpoly, hence RAMB). They were all designed from the outset to be able to be fitted as auxiliary cruisers, and the 3 sister ships all had "interesting" fates:

RAMB II: escaped the British blockade of Eritrea and sailed to Japan...however the Japanese were still neutral and not keen for an Italian raider to operate from their ports, so disarmed it and chartered it as a merchant. When Italy surrendered in 1943 the Italian crew scuttled it, but it was raised and eventually sunk by US aircraft in 1945.

RAMB III: In Italy when war declared, was armed and used as convoy escort in the Adriatic - fought British surface forces during the raid on Taranto. Torpedoed by the British in Benghazi harbor, raised & returned to Trieste. Seized by the Germans in 1943, refitted as a minelayer & laid 500 mines in Adriatic before hitting one of them & returning to port in running astern. Sunk by allied a/c in 1944.

RAMB IV: fitted as a hospital ship and captured by the British in Eritrea. Pressed into British service, bombed and set afire by Luftwaffe a/c & sank off Alexandra May 1942.

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28 February 1910

The Defence Act 1909 comes into force. The 52 year old volunteer system is disbanded and replaced with a Territorial Force, raised by compulsory military training. After his visit to New Zealand, Lord Kitchener recommended that a Territorial Force of 30,000 men be established – the 1909 Act set no maximum number.

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28 February 1942

12 Whitley bombers (5 captained by New Zealanders) drop parachute troops at Bruneval to capture enemy radar apparatus.

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28 February 1946

Italy – the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force is officially disbanded.

2nz-div.jpg

28 February 1990

The Royal New Zealand Navy abolishes its rum issue.

220px-Splice_the_mainbrace_onboard_HMS_York.jpg

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