By Ian Knight

The Maori humans of recent Zealand have been skilled box engineers even ahead of they got here into clash with Europeans within the nineteenth Century. war among rival teams used to be endemic in Maori society, and it used to be universal perform to guard villages with surrounding entrenchments and wood palisades, often called pas. As touch with the ecu global elevated, the Maori spoke back by means of adopting firearms into their conventional armory. It used to be now not till 1845, although, with the 1st scuffling with among the Maori and the British, that it grew to become transparent simply how robust and complex the Maori fortifications have been. For the simplest a part of twenty years, the Maori held off the dominant and technologically more advantageous British forces, by means of adapting and constructing their defenses in accordance with each new development within the British artillery. The advanced community of trenches and sheltered 'bomb-proof' dug outs, designed to withstand additional British attacks, proved so potent they had a powerful effect at the trench conflict structures of global struggle I. This ebook explores the evolution and layout of Maori fortifications, and charts the process a clash that might eventually see the British holiday the Maori pas, resulting in a sour guerrilla bush struggle.

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Author’s collection) 44 The British response to the pa Across 30 years of intermittent warfare British troops were faced with not only the physical difficulties of overcoming successive pa, but also a persistent conundrum. The gunfighters’ pa of the New Zealand Wars differed from a traditional fortified village not only by its design, but also in intent. Most of the old pre-colonial pa were permanent fortified villages, built to protect their inhabitants for so long as they lived in the area. Although the British certainly attacked some long-standing settlements – such as Chief Pomare’s pa at Otuihu at the beginning of the Northern War – most pa built during struggles against Europeans were not intended as settlements but were intended as a short-term military challenge.

Over the next 20 years the situation was further exacerbated by a large influx of British settlers, to the extent that by 1859 it has been estimated that Maori and pakeha population levels had achieved parity at about 60,000 each. With the Maori still owning title to most of the land, but effectively utilizing only a fraction of it, and with European settlements unable to contain the expansionist ambitions of frustrated settlers, the stage was set for further conflict. The British were, moreover, increasingly inclined to resolve disputes by extending British authority across hitherto independent areas.

An increasingly common feature was the use of outlying rifle pits, built some way in advance of the main works, and often protected by wooden roofing and difficult to spot. Yet even these trends were subject to considerable variation – Titokawaru’s pa at Tauranga-Ika, built as late as 1869, was widely acknowledged as a superb 10 Despard, quoted in Ryan and Parham, The Colonial New Zealand Wars. The British attack on Orakau at the beginning of April 1864. British troops had assembled at a peach grove, right, and then advanced towards the pa by means of a sap.

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