New Zealand’s Special Forces history is not only rich, its historic
roots go back long before the creation of the New Zealand Special
Air Service (NZSAS) in 1955. The Kiwi contributions to the Long Range
Desert Group (LRDG), Special Operations Executive (SOE) and Z Special
Unit during World War Two, to mention just three, have their antecedents in
Von Tempsky’s Forest Rangers during the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s.
Irregular warfare, you could say, is in the New Zealand soldiers’ DNA.
The author writes: 'I interviewed Eric Batchelor several times during the years I worked as a journalist in Timaru, usually in the lead up to Anzac Day or some other military commemoration. Sitting in his homely kitchen he shared stories of his exploits during World War Two in his quietly spoken manner. He was always frank with detailed accounts of battles as well as his personal experiences and recollections away from the front lines. He went into details of combat, death and survival few other returned soldiers were willing or able to do.