Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Brought to life: New Zealand's pivotal last battle of the First World War

The New Zealand Division’s capture of the French town of Le Quesnoy was its last and most successful action in the First World War. 

An authoritative new book on the campaign will be launched in Le Quesnoy on 4 November as part of the inauguration of a New Zealand Memorial Museum — 100 years on from those desperate days. 

The book is on sale in New Zealand from 25 October. 

In an action that made the front page of the New York Times, Kiwi troops scaled the town walls by ladder and overwhelmed the defenders, freeing Le Quesnoy from years of German occupation. 

Drawing on his detailed knowledge of the landscape and those involved, distinguished military historian Christopher Pugsley puts together the story with his mastery of drama — while paying tribute to the New Zealanders who died (and whose details are fully recorded here for the first time). 

Richly illustrated with maps, photographs and paintings of the battle by George Butler, Le Quesnoy 1918 is a passionate account of how the Great War ended.

The battle and the book will be the subject of a major feature in the Listener magazine, to be published this Friday. 

Dr Christopher Pugsley is one of New Zealand’s leading historians. A retired Lieutenant-Colonel in the New Zealand Army, he was a lecturer in military studies in New Zealand, Australia and UK until his retirement in 2012. His first book, Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story remains in print in its fifth edition; his most recent work was the monumental The Camera in the Crowd: Filming New Zealand in Peace and War, 1895–1920, published last December with a foreword by Sir Peter Jackson. 

Publication: 25 October 2018  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-49-0  |  RRP $39.99
Paperback, 297 x 210 mm portrait, 168 pages (8 pages colour)

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