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svedala

The Māori Battalion

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From Wikipedia

The 28th Māori Battalion was formed following pressure on the Labour government by the Māori MPs and Māori organisations throughout the country wanting a full Māori unit to be raised for service overseas. Its Companies were organised along tribal lines.

The Maori Battalion followed in the footsteps of the Pioneer Battalion of WWI which had been very successful, and was wanted by Maori to raise their profile, and to serve alongside their Pākehā compatriots as citizens of the British Empire. It also gave a generation of people with a well-noted military ancestry a chance to test their own warrior skills.

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3500 joined the 28th Maori Battalion. 655 died. 1,949 were wounded or taken prisoner. Altogether 17,000 Maori took part in WW2

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Victoria Cross

One member of the Māori Battalion, Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu, was awarded the Victoria Cross during the War.

In December 2005 the Waitangi Tribunal released their finding to a claim that was lodged by iwi Te Arawa, in 2000, for a Māori Battalion member, Haane Manahi. Te Arawa lodged that Manahi should be posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery at the Battle of Takrouna in 1943. Sergeant Manahi led his men up a sheer limestone escarpment to capture positions; the following day he set out to capture Italian outposts. Four generals, including Bernard Freyberg and Bernard Montgomery had recommended that Manahi receive the Victoria Cross but this recommendation had been overruled in London. 12

In October 2006 the New Zealand Minister of Defence announced that Manahi would be recognised by the presentation of an altar cloth, a personal letter from the Queen acknowledging his gallantry and a sword. The Victoria Cross could not be awarded as King George VI had ruled in 1949 that no further awards from World War II ought to be made. 3 The award was presented at a ceremony in Rotorua by Prince Andrew to Manahi's son on 17 March 2007.

Awesome piece of history isn´t it. Didn´t know of this. Any documentaries or movies about the Battalion?

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The Flames of War Wargaming rules has under the army lists rules for Māori units. The word is hard as nails and some of the finest troops the Commonwealth ever put into the field.

If you are wargammer these rules are good and the army lists even better. For a start they make some of the Italian units very tough indeed. I really would not want to run into a unit of Italian Paratroops!

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