Politics of Forgetting

New Zealand, Greece and Britain at War

Martyn Brown

In World War II New Zealand was heavily involved on the battle lines of the Mediterranean. A lasting bond was formed with Greece, and the complex, now fading from memory, are vividly recounted by the author.
Publication date:
February 2020
Publisher :
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781925984217

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
This book is available


• World War Two, Greece, New Zealanders in the thick of it

New Zealand, with close ties to Britain, was heavily involved in the war against Nazi Germany on the battle lines in Greece, Crete, the Middle East, North Africa and Italy. The experience was eye-opening for the new emerging nation, and a lasting bond between New Zealand and Greece was formed.

Greece was a poor country in turmoil and pain during the 1940s. A military dictatorship was followed by invasion and terrifying occupation by Germany and its allies, starvation, civil war, political unrest and mutiny in its free military armed forces. New Zealand entered this arena and found a bond with a people that it still celebrates to this day. Absent is the complex, divisive and sometimes violent and surreal relationship between the two countries and the inescapable influence of Britain. Their story stretches from the mountains and open country of Greece and Crete to Middle East deserts, autumn-swept plains of Italy, and the blood-splattered streets of post-liberated Athens. Ironically New Zealand has forgotten the unpalatable but also sacrificed something that would have enhanced its own national storytelling about the war.


Overall Brown's book provides an excellent contribution to the field of New Zealand military and diplomatic history, demonstrating the role of politics in the formation of memory coming out of the Second World War.
Journal of Military History