Desert Haka, 80 Years Ago Today

Via Time to Go Home.

25 June 1941, Egypt: Members of the 28 (Māori) Battalion, Royal New Zealand Army, performing a haka, the ancestral Māori war cry.

“The four men in the foreground are (from left to right): Private John Manuel (he was killed in action six months after this picture was taken), Private Maaka White (he was killed in action five months after this picture was taken), Private Te Kooti Reihana (he was later wounded by enemy fire), and Lance Corporal Rangi Henderson (he was killed in action two years after this picture was taken).”

The 28th is recognized today as the most decorated Kiwi battalion during WWII, receiving battle honors: Olympus Pass, Crete, El Alamein, Tebega Gap, Takrouna, North Africa 1942–43, Orsogna, Cassino 1, The Senio, Italy 1943–45, Mount Olympus, Greece 1941, Maleme, Canea, 42nd Street, Withdrawal to Sphakia, Middle East 1941–44, Tobruk 1941, Sidi Azeiz, Zemla, Alem Hamza, Mersa Matruh, Minqar Qaim, Defence of Alamein Line, El Mreir, Alam el Halfa, Nofilia, Medinine, El Hamma, Enfidaville, Djebibina, The Sangro, Castel Frentano, Monastery Hill, Advance to Florence, San Michele, Paula Line, Celle, Saint Angelo in Salute, Santerno Crossing, Bologna and Idice Bridgehead, as a unit.

Its men would receive no less than 7 DSOs, 1 OBE, 21 MCs, 13 DCMs, and 55 MMs in addition to a U.S. Silver Star and at least one was recommended, but ultimately did not receive, a VC.

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