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Maori Fortifications (Fortress, Band 81) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. April 2009

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"Ian Knight is the author of a previous Fortress volume... Like that book, this one is unusually well written, combining technical description with a fascinating narrative... This is one of the most interesting and enjoyable books I have read in this entire series, and it is whole-heartedly recommended to anyone." -Bolling Smith, Coast Defense Journal (March 2010)

"In this book, author Ian Knight covers the history of conflict on these islands and complete design and implementation of styles of the Maori pas (or wooden pallisades) and shows how the various works were modified or improved to meet the needs of the areas in which they were placed... The book looks at the design and development, the principles of defense, what it was like to live in these walled structures and how they performed their task in war... All of this is additionally enhanced by photos of the current sites, period art work and the illustrations of Adam Hook. In all, a superb addition to the Fortress series and a book that I believe you will find interesting." -Scott Van Aken, www.modelingmadness.com (August 2009)


The Maori people of New Zealand were experienced field engineers and it was common practice to protect villages with surrounding entrenchments and wooden palisades, known as pas. However, it was not until 1845, with the first fighting between the Maori and the British, that it became clear just how strong and sophisticated the Maori fortifications were. For the best part of 20 years, the Maori held off the dominant and technologically superior British forces, by adapting and developing their defences in response to new British assaults. This book explores the evolution and design of Maori fortifications, and charts the course of a conflict that would ultimately see the British break the Maori pas, leading to a bitter guerrilla bush war.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x94185294) von 5 Sternen 3 Rezensionen
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x93ffaef4) von 5 Sternen Good overview of New Zealand Maori Fortifications 20. November 2009
Von Kiwi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
As with all Osprey books, this is an overview rather than an in-depth work, but it's a very good overview. And again, as with all Osprey books, the illustrations are good as well. Speaking as one who has been over a few old Maori Pa's (as they were called), it's a pretty good piece of work. The book covers the history of these fortifications (going well back before European contact, as warfare between Maori tribes was endemic and ongoing - and the losers were generally eaten - as were many early European visitors incidentally - not for nothing was New Zealand known as "The Cannibal Islands" in the 18th Century).

As the book covers very well, once contact was established with Europeans, the Maoris were quick to seize on firearms and their employment in warfare, with the tribes that adopted firearms early on gaining a considerable military advantage over the others, and their Pa's were quickly adapted and modified to cope with the effects of the new weapons, as were their methods of fighting. With the losers of inter-tribal wars generally killed and eaten (now there's an incentive to learn new tricks), the Maoris were very quick to adapt. When what is known within NZ as the Maori Wars began in the late 1840's, the British Army found out just how effective the Maori fortifications were - the book covers this really well. A sizable portion of the British Army was tied up in these wars, which in the end were only won by the British because around half the Maori tribes sided with the British - in effect, it was an inter-tribal war with the British Army weighting one side heavily enough for them to win - if the Maori's had united against the British, they would have lost. Badly. As the book clearly sets out, for the best part of 20 years, the Maori held off the dominant and technologically superior British forces (and their Maori allies), by adapting and developing their defenses in response to every new improvement in the British artillery. T

What I didn't know, but learnt from this book, was that the complex network of trenches and sheltered 'bomb-proof' dug outs, designed to resist further British assaults, proved so effective that they had a strong influence on the trench warfare systems of World War I. Overall, a very good coverage of the Maori Pa. I learnt a bit from this book and I grew up in New Zealand living near one or two old Pa's that we used to picnic on - similarly to the old British Hill Forts, what's left is impressive enough.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0xa0d7869c) von 5 Sternen Unique Source On The Subject 2. Oktober 2013
Von Patrick Wilson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
As an introduction to a subject clearly even deeper than this volume goes, I found it the perfect companion to the author's other work on the New Zealand Wars.

I was particularly interested in the plans for Maori Pa's in their various periods, and was not disappointed. Again, the Author is well acquainted with his subject, but "gripping text" does not appear in his phrase book.
HASH(0x941a7c84) von 5 Sternen Excellent 7. Oktober 2010
Von Nick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book provides a very through and well illustrated overview of Maori pa. It opens with a short chapter which provides a clear explanation of the role of warfare in Maori society before moving onto a longer chapter on pre-colonial pa. This is followed by a short chapter on the evolution of pa after firearms were introduced to New Zealand and the resulting 'Musket Wars'. The bulk of the book is a 32 page chapter on the roles pa played in the New Zealand Wars fought between the 1840s and 1860s. The book concludes with a short section on pa sites today and a useful biography.

As someone not familiar with NZ history, I found the book to be clearly written and informative. Ian Knight's descriptions of the roles pa played and how (and why) their design evolved over time were clear and interesting. He also made good use of contemporary accounts of pa to provide descriptions of how they appeared at the time and the experiences of British troops who came up against them. The text is supported by several excellent colour illustrations of different types of pa and a large number of well chosen maps, photographs and contemporary drawings and paintings. All in all, this is a first-rate book and probably one of the best things Osprey has published.
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