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ANZAC - New Zealand at War

Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands Since the First World War
by William Livingston, William Roger Louis  Hardcover (1979)

Allies & Mates:
An American Soldier With the Australians and New Zealanders in Vietnam 1966-67

by Gordon L. Steinbrook    Hardcover   (1995)

The Vietnam Scrapbook: The Second ANZAC Adventure
by Mike Subritzky  Hardcover

"Kia Ora Mike", I have recently been reading my copy of 'The' Scrapbook... it is really something of a time machine.   During a recent discussion at the local RSA (Returned Services Association) it was mentioned that Henry Rau, a private in Whiskey 2 Company RNZIR received the Cross of Gallantry (with Silver Star) apparently this was presented to him by 'Big Mhin'.   This didn't ring a bell so I checked the book and see that Henry is conspicuous by his absence.    This isn't meant to be a criticism, and it's not as if Henry is upset, I just thought that I would let you know in case you had recovered from your exertions sufficiently to contemplate another edition...  All the best for 97, Ron R. Vietnam Vet, New Plymouth, NEW ZEALAND.

Hi Mike, Thanks for the book - I enjoyed the presentation, layout and the way it sets about dispelling a few myths about what soldering is really about...in this era of 'Rambo Fairy Tales'.   Kind Regards, Martin Knight-Willis M.C.; Takapuna, NEW ZEALAND.   (Post Script - The citation for the above New Zealand soldiers award of the Military Cross reads as follows...Ed)    CITATION FOR MILITARY CROSS LIEUTENANT M.J. KNIGHT-WILLIS: "On the 15th April 1969, his platoon contacted a larger enemy force well entrenched in a bunker system.    Lieutenant KNIGHT-WILLIS immediately moved to the front of his platoon to direct their fire and that of supporting artillery and mortars. Burdened with a number of wounded and realising the enemy was too large to be overcome he skilfully broke contact, defeating a flanking attack in the process.   As soon as his wounded had been evacuated, Lieutenant KNIGHT-WILLIS led his platoon back to the enemy position and started to engage it. In the ensuing action he suffered a serious shrapnel wound to the head but continued to direct the battle.   It was only after the enemy position had been struck from the air and he had led his platoon back to the company base that Lieutenant KNIGHT-WILLIS was evacuated.   A search of the area the next day showed that an enemy force, vastly superior in numbers, had vacated its position immediately prior to the airstrike, and as a direct result of the determined assaults led by Lieutenant KNIGHT-WILLIS.   On the 3rd June 1969, his platoon engaged and killed two enemy soldiers.   The platoon was immediately engaged from three sides with automatic weapons.   Lieutenant KNIGHT-WILLIS again displayed outstanding courage and leadership, moving constantly amongst his soldiers, encouraging them and directing their fire.   Throughout the action he skilfully directed the fire of supporting mortars, artillery and aircraft, and for nearly four and a half hours, until the enemy withdrew, his platoon had encountered an enemy battalion position.   On both occasions large enemy forces were dislodged and forced to retire because of the aggressive and determined leadership of Lieutenant KNIGHT-WILLIS, his calmness under heavy enemy fire and the skill he displayed in directing the fire of his own soldiers and supporting units.    His personal example in placing himself in dangerous situations during these actions attest the courage and outstanding leadership displayed by Lieutenant KNIGHT-WILLIS". (New Zealand Army Information Service, March 1970).

Dear Sir, Just recently I borrowed the book "The Vietnam Scrapbook" from the local library.   My late nephew Colin von Rickenbach, a Vietnam Veteran had purchased a copy of the book and had mentioned to me that he would lend it to me when he had read it...  however he passed away in May this year.  It was a big comfort to me to see his photo taken with all the other men of the Victor Company's.    Also a mention of Gunner Stuart Ellwood (Killed in Action 6 February 1968) whom we knew personally and had contact with during his time in Vietnam.   If I had been able to read the book before Colin died I would have had a greater understanding of the problems that some of those guys returned with... namely the anger bursts and the inability to talk about what they really felt. I witnessed a few of the anger bursts and was at a loss as to why it happened at all ... but after reading the book I do understand and this is a step nearer helping some of the guys to come to terms with it if at all possible.   Thank you for putting the book together and I have mentioned to various friends and relatives that they should read the book in depth.   Once again.. thank you. Mrs. C. McG....Hawkes Bay, NEW ZEALAND.

Reviewed by "Notewell" for CONTACT Magazine, the official newsletter of the New Zealand Ex-Vietnam Services Association.   Hard on the heels of "Deep Jay" and "Three Lanyards in Vietnam", comes another book on Kiwis in Nam.    The Vietnam Scrapbook is a big book, as in big in size, hard cover - hence no doubt the price, which is still pretty reasonable. The author has served 23 years in the New Zealand Armed Forces and has written and collated this book in "scrapbook" form, that is a collection of reminiscences, experiences, maps and photographs obtained from Nam Vets, and official sources.   The listings in the book are impressive - a complete list of everyone of the 186 casualties suffered, where they were evacuated to (WIA's), type of wound suffered, the list of those who died and subsequent burial place, honours and awards issued from 1965 - 1972, including Unit Citations, and probably the most interesting list in terms of historical significance - the "Flinkenberg" list, a complete listing of the 3,500 New Zealand Military personnel who served in Vietnam - so if you served "up top" - you're in the book.   This is not just an Army book - it also reflects the Royal New Zealand Navy and Royal New Zealand Air Force personnel who served; along with the sometimes overlooked other Army Corps and trades who kept the 'Grunts' (Infantry), 'Supertroops' (SAS) and Gunners at the sharp end with their support. Cooks etc (OK - Bill Joyce, as an ex Grunt, I for one appreciated what you guys did for us with limited resources in the "Dat" (Nui Dat), and on the "Horseshoe" (Fire Support Base Horseshoe) between operational trips out in the sticks...but the powered eggs weren't that great; that aside the Cooks did us proud...you were OK guys!).   Tankies, Int, Clerks, Drivers, Medics, Ordnance, and of course Grunts, Supertroops and Gunners.   Some of the recollections in the book are printed verbatim - so the blurb on the cover concerning language rings true, (although I can't see anyone going ballistic over it).    The photographs are from official and private sources - so some of them are no doubt seeing the light of day for the first time in print. Three interesting articles in the book are the personal recollections of that day in August 1966 - Long Tan, by each member of 161 Battery's Forward Observer party who fought with Delta Company, 6 RAR (Royal Australian Regiment).   Captain Maurie Stanley MBE, Lance Bombardiers Willie Walker MID and Murray Broomhall who contributed their own accounts of that fateful day in the rubber plantation at Long Tan...very interesting. (Ranks shown were at the date of the battle).   Also reproduced - verbatim - in the book are the charge sheets of some naughty Gunners - one in particular "the most famous charge sheet of a New Zealand soldier during the Vietnam War"...namely decking an officer, in possession of alcoholic liquor, using threatening language (shown exactly as said).   Nice to see that the Gunners can cut it with the Grunts when it comes to "going over the wire".   Overall this book is a pretty impressive effort, which the author has obviously put a lot of effort into.   It's well produced in an easy to read style...scrapbook fashion.   Is it worth the cost?  - definitely, an essential addition to your book collection and of historical value for future generations of family.   A GREAT READ. - (and Thanx Mike for putting the photo of "Notewell" in it !)...and No - it wasn't a jackup either. ****

Reviewed by Bruce Hill for the NZSAS Newsletter "The Free Glance".    This is a book that all Vietnam Veterans will want to have in their bookshelves.   This book contains a brief history of all NZ Army units that took part in the Vietnam War and also the NZ Surgical Team at Qui Nhon.   There are over 300 (A4) pages of text, including over 200 pages of personal accounts.    There are more than 400 photographs, maps etc.   The book includes lists of the Roll of Honour of the 39 dead and 200 wounded of that war, and also lists of the honours and awards presented to New Zealanders for service in Vietnam - including honours and awards presented by the Governments of USA and SVN.   I found the book a very useful reference, with a good range of material.

Dear Mike Subritzky, Just a short note to let you know that I have just read the book that you have written "The Vietnam Scrapbook".   However I must let you know that none of us were expecting no heroes welcome.   We only went there to do a job that was given to us, nothing else.   As for being treated poorly on return, that is correct; nobody gave a *$#* about us and nowhere more-so than our Government... however life must go on so good luck with your book. "Kia Ora". 309048 Private W.T.H. Victor 1 Company, RNZIR. Vietnam Veteran.

The Waikato Times Newspaper, 17 July 1997.   A Te Awamutu author has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of membership by the American Vietnam War Veterans Association for his book 'The Vietnam Scrapbook'.   Mike Subritzky, who wrote the book as a 150th Anniversary project for the New Zealand Army, received the medal after a contingent of 100 NZ Vietnam Veterans laid a copy of the book at "The Wall" in Washington DC in May.   The names of 47,253 American servicemen and women who died in Vietnam on active service are inscribed on the wall.   The book presents stories by men and women who saw action, with photos and a roll of honour.    Though Mr Subritzky did not serve in Vietnam, he was 23 years in the Armed Forces.

Reviewed by Sandy Beverley for the Marlborough Express Newspaper.   In considering this book it first pays to note the forward is given by General W.C. Westmoreland (Rtd), Commander-in- Chief of American Forces during the conflict, Prime Minister Jim Bolger, Major General P.M. Reid CBE, New Zealand Chief of General Staff; Captain Charles Upham VC and Bar, and the present Battery Commander of 161 Battery (the first NZ force in Vietnam), Major Mark Ogilive RNZA.   Not only in its physical size, but also in its subject matter, The Vietnam Scrapbook is a heavyweight.    New Zealand author, Mike Subritzky saw 23 years service in the New Zealand Armed Forces and later with the Polish Government (In Exile) as a Captain, and, while he did not serve in Vietnam, he has managed to present one of the most accurate and compelling accounts of it yet.   The Vietnam Scrapbook presents personal stories written by men and women who saw action in that 'police action', with maps and photos from all parties involved.   Added to this is a roll of honour of New Zealand service personnel killed in action, a list of battle causalities, honours and awards, foreign decorations, an Armed Services calendar from 1945 - 1985, which spans 20 years either side of the start of New Zealand's involvement, and a biography of NZ units involved.    There is now a number of books by, or about, Kiwi's in Vietnam, however the Vietnam Scrapbook manages to win credibility because of the technical detail of both history and war statistics alongside the personal accounts. Initially it ploughs through lists - killed in action, wounded in action, awards, citations - and would appear a dry and clinical official record.   However the majority of the book is taken up with personal stories which are so simple in their forthright honesty, they are eloquent.    This book is humorous and sad, poignant and vulgar.   A sticker on the cover warns this is a book of war - not a war story but the real thing.  It contains photos of the dead and dying, the confessions and outpouring of men pushed beyond the bounds of humanity, for a cause none fully understood.   Mike Subritzky passionately defends the conduct of Kiwi service personnel while in Vietnam.    This is a much needed testament to those who fought in a very ugly and unpopular war.   They joined up for a country who honoured its WWII veterans but upon their return they were shunned, ignored and hidden.   No one knew what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was, and we are only now coming to understand that this is one of many post-war conditions that effect veteran's entire families.   Whether you like it or not, this book will force you to look at life and existence of an average man caught in this terrible war...  It should be a compulsory school text.

 

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