Behind Enemy Lines:
Kiwi freedom fighters in WWII
Random House, Auckland 2010
The cloak and dagger, secretive, mercurial, exceedingly
hazardous life behind enemy lines . . . ' (Allan Yeoman)
Between 1941 and 1945 a fair number of young Kiwi combatants found
themselves loose behind enemy lines in occupied southern Europe -
mostly Greece, Yugoslavia and Italy. Most were escaped prisoners of
war, trying to reach friendly territory. A few brave souls such as John
Mulgan and Dudley Perkins took even riskier routes, actually landing in
occupied territory to bolster the resistance and carry the fight to the
When need arose, the escapees fought, often as members of partisan
bands. 'We decided that if it was too late to get across to Turkey or
Palestine the alternative was to kick up a bit of a bloody shindig in
southern Greece,' Bill Griffiths recalled of his experiences.
Resourceful and determined Kiwis helped make life a headache for German
and Italian occupying forces.
This book, edited and with commentaries by Matthew Wright,
recounts many extraordinary feats of heroism and survival. We have only
to look at Bill Griffiths' adventures, scudding into Piraeus harbour
amidst a storm, right under the noses of the Nazis; or at the way Frank
Gardner took the war into his own hands, dynamiting German trains with
or without the help of the partisans, to realise just how remarkable,
determined and capable these young New Zealanders really were.
For release 1 April 2010
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||Torpedo! Kiwis at sea in World War II
Random House, Auckland 2007
thoroughly worthwhile World War Two book...it's a real treat to read
personal accounts by...men who were there...Wonderful stuff."
- Graeme Barrow, Northern Advocate, 29 September 2007.
"Much of Torpedo's
material comes from the Royal New Zealand Navy Museum Oral Archive, and
the museum, along with historian Matthew Wright, should be commended
for bringing it out on deck."
- Lindsay Wright, Taranaki
Daily News, 6 October 2007.
Between 1939 and
1945, New Zealanders fought on, below or above every ocean of the
world, from South American waters to the Pacific, from Cook Strait to
the Arctic and most seas between. Editor Matthew Wright has collected
some of their most exciting, harrowing, emotive and adventurous tales.
These are human stories from the age that forged New Zealand, an era
when civilisation seemed on the brink of catastrophe - and when New
Zealanders were fighting to save the world they knew.
ISBN 978 1 86941 916 5
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||Escape! Kiwi POWs on the run in World War II
House, Auckland 2006
"...this is a remarkable book...WWII is still providing us with some
rattling good adventure yarns"
- Alan Dick, NZ Today, Issue 30
During World War II
many New Zealanders fell into enemy hands. Once they became
prisoners, many plotted their escapes, but few succeeded. Escape!,
an anthology edited by Matthew Wright, recounts some of our escapers'
tales in their own words. These are the stories of everyday New
Zealanders - farmers, professional soldiers, a politician and a lawyer
among them - who took huge risks in the pursuit of freedom.
ISBN 10:306941 811 5
Out of print