Events In History


The Cold War

  • The Cold War

    Although the origins of the so-called Cold War can be traced back to the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, this intense ideological struggle between the Western powers and the Soviet Union really began after the Second World War.

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  • Page 2 – Overview

    New Zealand’s participation in the Cold War was shaped by its decision to support the Western powers in their confrontation with the Soviet Union after the Second World War.

  • Page 3 – Choosing sides

    New Zealand backed Britain and the United States against the Soviet Union as the Cold War began in the late 1940s. Like the other Western Allies, New Zealand’s relationship

  • Page 5 – South-East Asia

    During the 1950s the focus of New Zealand’s defence strategy shifted from the Middle East to Asia.

  • Page 8 – War at home

    Apart from a period during the 1950s, New Zealanders remained relatively tolerant of communism.

The Spanish Civil War

  • The Spanish Civil War

    While New Zealand had no official involvement in the Spanish Civil War of the late 1930s, a small number of New Zealanders fought in Spain (six were killed there), or served as doctors and nurses. Many others supported the Republican war effort through fundraising efforts back home.

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  • Page 2 – Background

    The Spanish Civil War was primarily a fight between the nationalist Fascists and the democratic Republicans. 

  • Page 3 – Attitudes in New Zealand

    The deaths of at least six New Zealanders in Spain went largely unnoticed at home. But some groups within New Zealand saw Spain as more than a ‘far away side issue

  • Page 4 – NZ combatants in Spain

    Short biographies of New Zealanders who fought in the Spanish Civil War

Royal Visit of 1953-54

  • Royal Visit of 1953-54

    For those New Zealanders who experienced it, the visit of the young Queen and her dashing husband, Prince Philip, to New Zealand in the summer of 1953-54 was a never-to-be forgotten event.

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  • Page 3 - Popularity Why was the royal visit of 1953/4 greeted with such enthusiasm by New