David Littlewood reviews Our First Foreign War


David Littlewood has reviewed Our First Foreign War by Nigel Robson for Kete:

‘For a people whose involvement in conflict is often said to have exerted a major influence on their national identity and characteristics, New Zealanders have shown remarkably little interest in several of their overseas wars. Nowhere is this more apparent than for the 1899-1902 South African War. Only a handful of scholars have examined the conflict in any real detail, with the common tendency being to skirt over it as a minor prelude to the cataclysmic events of 1914-1918.

‘But as Nigel Robson demonstrates in this very welcome study, the course and legacies of New Zealand’s involvement in the South African War were significant enough to demand attention on their own merits. Robson provides a wide-ranging analysis of the conflict’s impacts. While two chapters examine how the 6500 soldiers New Zealand sent to the war conducted themselves on and off the battlefield, this is not primarily a history of tactics and campaigns.’

Read the full review here.