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Battle of Ohaeawai

The Battle of Ohaeawai ocurred on 1 July 1845 North Island of New Zealand.

This incident happened during the First Maori War where it is described at length. A combined force of British Troops and Maori Allies were attacking a Maori Pa or Fortress. After a desultory bombardment the British commander, Colonel Despard, grew impatient and ordered a frontal assault. Very quickly over a third of his force was dead or injured. The Maori Allies were not impressed.

Having made their point the enemy Maori withdrew a few days later

After the Battle two models were made of the Pa. One went to Britain and sat forgotten in a museum. The other travelled around the various Maori tribes of New Zealand where it was studied with interest. It became the basis of what is called the Modern Pa, an aggressive-defensive tactic that the British Army never successfully cracked.

See also: Maori Wars

More Information

The New Zealand Wars by James Belich, Auckland University Press, 1986



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