War oral history programme

Page 13 – Further information

A good oral history is always well researched. In the background notes and questions section for each campaign we offer a brief summary of the different campaigns and aspects of the Second World War that may be relevant to your veterans.

The following books and links will give you the chance to read and know more before you go to your interview.



See also the NZHistory.net.nz military links page.


All the following books should be available in your local library.

  • Wira Gardiner, Te mura o te ahi: the story of the Maori Battalion, Reed, Auckland, 1995
    This gives good background information if you are interviewing a veteran of 28 (Maori) Battalion
  • John Keegan, The Second World War, Hutchinson, London, 1989
    If you're looking for the big picture, an overview of the entire war, this is a good place to begin.
  • Ian McGibbon, Kiwi sappers: the Corps of New Zealand Engineers' century of service, Reed, Auckland, 2002
    This gives excellent background information if the veteran you are interviewing was a sapper.
  • Ian McGibbon, New Zealand and the Second World War: the people, the battles and the legacy, Hodder Moa Beckett, Auckland, 2003
    This includes time lines of the Second World War as well as explanations, maps and illustrations. It is well worth a look if you want a general understanding of the war from a New Zealand perspective.
  • Ian McGibbon (ed.), The Oxford companion to New Zealand military history,  Oxford University Press, Auckland, 2000
    This contains detailed information on each of the services and all the campaigns that New Zealanders were involved in – a good reference.
  • Deborah Montgomerie, Love in the time of war: letter writing in the Second World War, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2005
    This is an insight into the personal side of war conveyed through the wartime correspondence of three New Zealanders.
  • Deborah Montgomerie, The women's war: New Zealand women 1939–45,  Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2001
    This provides valuable background information for any interviews with women who were on the Home Front during the Second World War.
  • Anna Rogers, While you're away: New Zealand nurses at war 1899–1948,  Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2003
    The chapters concerning the Second World War are a useful introduction to the life of New Zealand nurses who served overseas.

The following series of books based on oral histories will provide useful insights when preparing interviews with veterans.

  • Neill Atkinson (ed.), Hell or high water: New Zealand merchant seafarers remember the war, HarperCollins, Auckland, 2005 [related web feature]
  • Megan Hutching (ed.), A fair sort of battering: New Zealanders remember the Italian Campaign, HarperCollins, Auckland, 2004 [related web feature]
  • Megan Hutching (ed.), Against the rising sun: New Zealanders remember the Pacific War, HarperCollins, Auckland, 2006 [related web feature]
  • Megan Hutching (ed.), A unique sort of battle: New Zealanders remember Crete [related web feature]
    HarperCollins, Auckland, 2001 [related web feature]
  • Megan Hutching (ed.), Inside stories: New Zealand prisoners of war remember,
    HarperCollins, Auckland, 2002 [related web feature]
  • Megan Hutching (ed.), The desert road: New Zealanders remember the North African Campaign, HarperCollins, Auckland, 2005 [related web feature]
  • Alison Parr (ed.), The big show: New Zealanders, D-Day and the war in Europe
    Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2006 [related web feature]
  • Alison Parr, Home – Civilian New Zealanders Remember the Second World War, Penguin Books, 2010 [related web feature]
  • Alison Parr, The Occupiers – New Zealand Veterans Remember Post-War Japan, Penguin Books, 2012
  • Pip Desmond, The War the Never Ended – New Zealand Veterans Remember Korea, Penguin Books, 2013
  • Claire Hall, No Front Line – Inside stories of New Zealand’s Vietnam War, Penguin Books, 2014 [Find interviews and more at VietnamWar.govt.nz ]
How to cite this page

'Further information', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/hands/from-memory/useful-books-and-links, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-Mar-2015