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 enemy.

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.

253 pp
ISBN 9783069790691

See this book at Random House
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Torpedo! Kiwis at sea in World War II
Random House, Auckland 2007

"A 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.

272  pp 
ISBN 978 1 86941 916 5

Out of print.


Escape! Kiwi POWs on the run in World War II
Random 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.

270 pp 
ISBN 10:306941 811 5 

Out of print


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