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New Zealand, Its Allies and the Second World War

24 January 2020

Conference: 'Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice, New Zealand, Its Allies and the Second World War'.

The North African campaign in the Second World War is set to be refought in a conference in Wellington in February. For the first time ever in New Zealand, a leading German historian, Dr Peter Lieb, will discuss the campaign from the perspective of the famed German commander, General Rommel. Dr Lieb is from the Bundeswehr’s Centre for Military History & Social Sciences, Potsdam. Among the international specialists discussing other aspects of the war are Dr Jonathan Fennell (King's College London), Dr Rob Engen (Canadian Defence College) and Dr Claire Cookson-Hills (Queen’s University, Canada). Top historians from New Zealand speaking at the conference include Sir Wira Gardiner, Professor Glyn Harper, Professor Charlotte Macdonald, Dr Christopher Pugsley, Dr Steven Loveridge and John Crawford. The conference is entitled 'Heavy and Continuous Sacrifice, New Zealand, Its Allies and the Second World War' and will break new ground in the study of our nation’s role in the most terrible conflict the world has ever seen

Sir Wira Gardiner will give an opening address on ‘The Price of Citizenship’, an assessment of the war from a Maori perspective. Dr Jonathan Fennell will give a keynote address on ‘Power, Legitimacy and Consent: Dynamics of Mobilisation in New Zealand in the Second World War’.

John Crawford, New Zealand Defence Force Historian, says "We are very excited about the visit by Dr Peter Lieb and the opportunity it will give us to compare New Zealand and German experiences of the desert war." A wide range of other topics will also be discussed, including Jewish refugees in New Zealand and sexual violence in war.

Papers at the conference are being grouped into sessions on: Pre-War Policies & Developments; New Zealand’s Foreign Relations during the War; The Home Front; The Campaign in Greece and Crete; War in the Pacific; The Air & Naval War in the Pacific; The Cost of War; 2nd NZEF at War; Personal Experience in War; and The Aftermath: Veterans and Families;

The conference is the latest organized by the New Zealand Military History Committee, which has run a series of major conferences since 1996. These have covered the New Zealand Wars, South African War, First World War and Cold War, and this is the second on the Second World War. Chaired by John Crawford, the committee comprises Peter Cooke, Dr Damien Fenton, Dr Steven Loveridge and Dr Ian McGibbon. Papers from all the previous conferences have been published.

The conference is held with the sponsorship support of the NZ Defence Force and Ministry for Culture & Heritage.

Registrations are open for the conference, which is being held on 13-15 February 2020, in central Wellington, and further details can be had from Peter Cooke.

Conference ‘Heavy & Continuous Sacrifice - NZ and the Second World War’, 13-15 February 2020

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