Pressured by Winston Churchill for action, in November the Western Desert Force, renamed the Eighth Army, readied itself to make a third attempt to lift the siege of Tobruk, where an Australian division had been cut off since April. Operation Crusader, codenamed after the new British tank to be used, would entail the Eighth Army blanketing the German and Italian coastal strongholds near the Egypt–Libya frontier while the Tobruk garrison broke out. The new Commander in Chief of the Eighth Army, General Sir Claude Auchinlech, was to use most of his infantry, including the Second New Zealand Division, to envelop the area between Bardia and Tobruk, while his armour – about 530 tanks – thrust inland to hunt down and annihilate Rommel’s Afrika Corps.
The Māori Battalion’s first objective was the military barracks above the township of Sollum, near the northern end of the Egypt–Libya frontier. Like the rest of the Division, they began the Crusader offensive with confidence that there would be no repeat of the Greek fiasco: this time they had plenty of artillery, armour and air support.
At the beginning of November the Battalion had a complement of 34 officers plus the doctor, chaplain and YMCA representative who were attached.
- Lt-Colonel: George Dittmer
- Majors: Humphrey Dyer
- Captains: Tiwi Love, Doug Harvey, Rangi Royal, Parekura Tureia, Chris Sorrenson
- Temporary Captains: Charles Bennett
- Lieutenants: Ben Porter, Reta Keiha, Terry Gilroy, Dan Urlich, Tiwha Bennett, Reta Keiha
- Second Lieutenants: Peta Awatere, Don Stewart, Henry Toka, Ariari (Addie) Mitchell, Hone Green, Jim Matehaere, Pine Taiapa, Aubrey Rota, Mervyn Mitchell, Paki West, Jack Reedy, Rangi Logan, Jim Tuhiwai (away all month on a course), Ruhi Pene (at FGCM), Tutu Wirepa, Ted Pohio, Wai Awarau, J.R.Ormsby
- Attached: Capt. M. Kronfield (RMO), Capt. Chaplain Kahi Harawira (unit padre), Charles B. Bennett (YMCA)
By the end of the month the Battalion was down to 25 officers.
- 1 Nov (Sat): Normal routine. 0700 hrs a party of officers with the Battalion 2IC. Maj. Dyer in charge left on a reconnaissance of the forward area by motor transport. The party had water rations, petrol, etc for four days. A small percentage of the Battalion left by this mornings train on 7 days’ leave and in the afternoon representative NCOs from each company went to witness an anti/tank demonstration by one of our battalions. Opening the winter session in the Western Desert, recreational periods for the afternoon took the form of inter-platoon rugby games played on improvised football fields. 2/Lt Wirepa marched in from hospital returning to C Company. The unit’s strength for the week ended 1 November, excluding officers, was 760 ORs – two more than required (incl. 5 attached – 1 sgt armourer, 1 sgt fitter, 1 pte fitter, 1 shoemaker, 1 NZCD). There were 34 officers, of whom 3 were attached, but Lt Keiha went to hospital, reducing the number to 33. He was transferred to the x(ii) list.
- 2 Nov: 0640 hrs a further selected group of NCOs with 1 officer as ic. party left to witness an anti-tank demonstration shoot. The usual church parades were held, the unit chaplain visiting each area in turn.
- 3 Nov: 0930 hrs normal training as per adjusted syllabus. 2/Lt Wally Wordley and 2/Lt Hati Rangiuia joined the unit from the Composite Training Depot. Two FSS men attached to 5 Brigade sent by Division visit Battalion on a general tour of inspection. They met as many officers as possible and were shown throughout the Battalion area. Particular attention was paid to ammunition and petrol dumps. The former dump was well tucked away underground while the latter was non-existent. The issue of petrol is made daily and the 300 gallons received is expended as it arrives thereby calling for no specialised storage dump. The spacing of stationery vehicles was good and after lunch, when the inspection was finally completed, both visitors expressed a favourable impression of the Battalion layout. 1700 hrs return of recce party from forward area after having travelled approximately 270 miles (435 km) – general axis of route from the top of Baggush Box through to Bir el Khamsa, thence north to Sidi Barrani, returning by road via Mersa Matruh.
- 4 Nov: 0615 hrs reveille and preparation for Brigade ceremonial parade in honour of the C in C, Middle East Forces – General Sir Claude Auchinlech. 0830 hrs Companies proceed to assembly point. 1120 hrs march past completed. The C in C complemented the Battalion through CO on its very fine marching. Further leave personnel marched out by this mornings train. Officers and NCOs were not granted leave. OCTU candidates were interviewed by Lt-Col Dittmer.
- 5 Nov: Normal routine. A change in dress uniform – battle dress serge issued and tropical shirts and KD shorts (1 pair) were returned to QM store. 1915 hrs mobile cinema unit of the NZ YMCA screened another film in Battalion area. OCTU candidates proceeded to Divisional Headquarters.
- 6 Nov: A special demonstration in assaulting wire was given by one of the Battalions of the Brigade. A loudspeaker was used to simplify the job of explaining in detail the various stages of the assault. This was a brigade demonstration held in the forenoon and appreciated by all ranks. Swimming after lunch. 1400 hrs five officers, including Capt. Royal who was in charge, went to check magnetic bearings of compasses.
- 7 Nov: 1100 hrs normal routine. Lt-Col Dittmer gave a special talk to A Company, HQ Company and Bn Hqrs on the significance of desert warfare. He stressed again the importance of dash, initiative and intelligence and the troops took heed of every word spoken. Some remarked later that the lecture had done them a lot of good and expressed the opinion that it came at the right time. Among all ranks there seems to be a gradual keying-up of spirits; a certain buoyancy in feeling in expectation of action at last.
- 8 Nov: Normal routine. Visit by Brigade Major who visited some of the companies and checked up on intelligence activities generally. He also witnessed a tank hunting activity by B Company in their area. The Intelligence Officer from Divisional HQ also came to see us. Referring to the Libyan Campaign he expressed the opinion that resistance would be slight if at all. 1420 hrs an international rugby match was played against a South African XV in Divisional HQ area, NZ Division winning by a small margin. A good percentage of the Battalion went to watch the match and they were treated to a fine exhibition of the code. The assembled men presented a juicy target to an enemy bomber but Jerry did not know we were having a gala day in honour of the national game. The heaviest showers to date fell at intervals this day. Battalion bayonets were collected today and sent away to be sharpened. The unit’s strength for the week ended 8 November, excluding officers, was 747 ORs (incl. 5 attached). Six reinforcements were still required to bring the Battalion to full strength. There were 35 officers, of whom 3 were attached.
- 9 Nov: Normal church parades. All company commanders attended a conference at Divisional Bn Hqrs this day and the Intelligence Section went to Brigade FGCM and was placed on the LOB. Read letter from Capt. Chaplain Harawira to Sir Apirana Ngata.
- 10 Nov: Troops complete arrangements for Divisional exercise. At night more rain fell which to certain members of the Battalion was a omen of good luck. 2/Lt H. Maloney marched in from x(ii) list and placed on LOB. 2/Lt Ruhi Pene returned from FGCM and was placed on the LOB.
- 11 Nov: 0600 hrs reveille and Battalion prepares to move with 5 Brigade on Divisional exercise, the day ending with the convoy digging in. The RAF affords the convoy’s protection.
- 12 Nov: Reveille at first light and there is a conference of company commanders while a further reshuffling of motor transport is carried out to minimise vulnerability from air attack. The front wheels of all vehicles are dug down and the troops consolidate by digging slit trenches. The Battalion otherwise spends the day in rest. 1200 hrs a small convoy consisting of two trucks – one water carrier, the other a 3-ton lorry with two 300 gallon tanks are sent back to WP near Mersa Matruh. They found movement slow owing to intensity of traffic moving west. Convoy was back by 0730 hrs.
- 13 Nov: This day was spent by Battalion in light training consisting mainly of grenade and sticky bomb demonstration and bayonet work.
- 14 Nov: Normal routine while special lectures were delivered to all officers and NCOs re war situation. The Intelligence Section spent a busy day at Brigade Headquarters pinpointing the latest enemy dispositions. Battalion receives pay.
- 15 Nov: 0500 hrs reveille and the Battalion moves in conjunction with 5 Brigade and NZ Division. This marks the first division move on a brigade front with 5 Brigade leading and convoy in desert formation. Being a daylight move things run smoothly. C Company and D Company were forward with C Company on right. A & B Companies in rear with A Company on right flank. HQ Company & Bn Hqrs were across the centre – five vehicles abreast between the two forward and two rear companies. The Battalion’s left flank was protected by a screen of three Bren Carriers. The Brigade group plus all attached troops moved in formation – 21 & 22 Battalions in front, 23 & 28 Battalions in rear, the latter battalion on the left flank. The spectacle thus provided by 5 Brigade moving on wheels was most impressive. 1500 hrs Bir el Thalatha. During the advance an enemy plane flew high above the convoy and three shots were fired by one of our Bofors. This was the first sign of enemy aircraft as our own RAF protection has been thorough. The unit’s strength for the week ended 15 November, excluding officers, was 752 ORs (incl. 5 attached). Six reinforcements were still required to bring the Battalion to full strength. There were 36 officers, of whom 4 were attached. Included in these numbers were the 6 officers and 56 ORs who were LOBs. See nominal roll.
- 16 Nov: An easy day is spent with the Battalion awaiting time of next advance. Company Commanders hold a brief conference and the Intelligence Section is busy marking officers’ map. 1640 hrs Battalion moves out again. 2330 hrs Battalion arrives at bivouac area and moves into close formation. This advance was the first done at night since the beginning of the Divisional exercise and the convoys were slightly disarranged owing to the soft patches of sand encountered en route. The lighter 8-cwt & 15-cwt trucks had great difficulties in holding ground resulting in a general mix up.
- 17 Nov: 0430 hrs reveille. 0600 hrs Battalion moves to a dispersal area and at 0645 hrs with the sun having risen slowly the Battalion digs in with the forward companies facing west. From this day on vehicle movement within areas is restricted to a minimum. 1640 hrs Battalion again continues advance with 5 Brigade heading NZ Division. This night advance was a spectacular one as the Division encountered an electrical storm of some magnitude from last light until practically the end of the journey. No rain fell but the sky was split with brilliant flashes of lightning showing up the convoy as clearly as if by day. Many thought that we were in for a severe hammering from enemy artillery until we realised it was a storm. At midnight the Battalion reached the end of the advance for the night in the vicinity of Trig 198 at Haytayet el Tarfis, having covered approximately 28 miles (45 km).
- 18 Nov: 0500 hrs reveille and move to dispersal area. 0530–0630 hrs Battalion stands to. 1200 hrs Company Commanders conference. 1700 hrs now that we are close to the Libyan border one battalion of I Army Tank Brigade is placed under command of NZ Division and 4th Indian Division and 7th Armoured Division are cooperating in tonight’s advance when the wire is to be crossed. See image of border. NZ Engineers preparing a 300-yard (274-m) gap through frontier wire and NZ Divisional Calvary is to cover assembly of NZ Division in new area. 2200 hrs Battalion converges at the wire, dodges past one or two telegraph poles and but for several vehicles rubbing each other rather closely the Battalion crosses the frontier with no incidents of importance and now we are in Libya. The Battalion beds down for the night shortly afterwards. B Company is outpost company on left flank joining up with 22 Battalion outposts while in rear A Company detailed one platoon for unit protection.
- 19 Nov: At first light after Battalion stand to Battalion moved to dispersal area finally digging in around Pt 184. Two enemy planes fly over Battalion area but no bombs are dropped. 1500 hrs orders to move are issued and at 1600 hrs we are advancing once more. 1740 hrs convoy passes Trig 187 and at last light bed down just North-East of Garet el Doma. Throughout the night flares were visible 3-4 miles (5-6 km) north of bivouac area.
- 20 Nov: Move to dispersal area commenced when it was daylight and the 12 miles (19 km) covered was slightly in access of area allocation so the Battalion fell back about 1500 yards (1370 m) North-East of Trig 187. Reports came to hand today that NZ Divisional Calvary had contacted elements of the enemy in vicinity of Sidi Omar and a number of enemy tanks had been destroyed. Several squadrons of our bombers and fighter planes flew regularly over the area towards enemy positions out west. Tank battles in progress ahead of us, but the Battalion spends the day in this area and does not make any advance. Full protective measures are in operation. Bren Carrier patrol on outside of Battalion perimeter together with the heavier guns of attached troops and infantry patrols by night.
- 21 Nov: 0530–0630 hrs Battalion stands to. 1130 hrs advance continued in desert formation as per operation orders issued by Brigade. The 28 Battalion continues with 5 Brigade GPHQ and the other Battalions are allotted specific tasks. 8 miles (13 km) from today’s starting point we go past some elements of the 4 Indian Division together with their artillery, our bearing of march being 20°. 1405 hrs bearing changes to approximately 10°. Three shells burst to the side and right of convoy but no casualties result and the Battery located here fire several shots towards Sidi Omar. 1620 hrs convoy halts just in view of Bir el Hamarin. It begins to rain fairly heavily but again the advance continues. One mile (1.6 km) past Bir el Hamarin we pass an open spring full of water and at 1650 hrs a temporary halt is made in an area which is littered with enemy effects. Marks on the ground show that a tank battle was fought out in this area only a few hours prior to our arrival. Boxes of enemy anti-tank shells, tins of petrol and water, a burnt out enemy ammo wagon, and quantities of spent .303 bullets covered the area. It was in this vicinity that the Battalion encountered for the first time extremely marshy country and about ten of our vehicles were disconnected from the convoy owing to the deep mud. These did not rejoin the Battalion until the following morning. The Battalion with 5 Brigade GPHQ halt at last light at Bir Bu Tabel.
- 22 Nov: At daylight the Battalion moves out to dispersal area in close proximity to 5 Brigade GPHQ and Bir Bu Tabel and dig in. C and D Companies facing West and North while B and A Companies in rear facing more or less the West and South. Within the Battalion area motor transport are dispersed and protected as much as possible. A Company entrenches itself around Pt 206 in square 50593824 as an extra precautionary measure. There is considerable activity within the area this day and the unmistakable signs of war are apparent. The 23 Battalion has completed its task of the night 21/22 November and all morning we witness the steady flow of captured Italian vehicles and prisoners taken at Fort Capuzzo. 1600 hrs Lt-Col Dittmer and several officers made a recce of area past Fort Capuzzo and reaching Musaid viewed Sollum Barracks, which was to be used the Battalion’s first objective of the campaign. 23 Battalion had ejected the Italian garrison at Capuzzo and were entrenched forward of the fort in the direction of Musaid astride the main road to Bardia, Sollum and Halfaya. Recce party learnt from the most forward elements of 23 Battalion that Sollum Barracks appear to be unoccupied or only lightly held. It was dark when the recce party returned to discover that the Battalion was already in formation for its task―the taking of Sollum Barracks. The unit’s strength for the week ended 22 November, excluding officers, was 685 ORs (incl. 4 attached). 46 ORs and 7 officers were required to bring the Battalion to full strength. The Battalion was down to 29 officers, 4 of whom were attached.
- 23 Nov: 0000 hrs the Battalion leaves for Sollum Barracks as per operation order with C & D companies forward followed by B & A, HQ & B Echelon in rear. There is a little delay en route because of marshy ground but on striking main road Capuzzo–Bardia the Battalion advances in column of route to debussing point. 0230 hrs Ridotta (i.e. Fort) Capuzzo is reached where B Echelon remain, and A Echelon, comprising CO's Sedan car, company commanders 8-cwt trucks, troop-carrying 3-tonners and Bren Carriers, carry on to Fort Musaid which is debussing point. 0330 hrs Battalion debuses and a section of Bren carriers is detailed to watch the flanks of the Battalion. Read about the attack on Sollum Barracks.
- 24 Nov: 0645 hrs our artillery is ranging on to Halfaya and enemy guns in turn shell a portion of the Barracks. 0915 hrs three Italian PWs are brought in by D Company also trying to escape. They were holding a machine-gun post hidden away in the lower part of the Barracks and were using a Bren gun firing explosive bullets. For the remainder of the day there is spasmodic interchange of shelling. Around the pier in Lower Sollum the enemy is holding out in several buildings with mortars and machine guns. Estimated strength 1 to 2 sections. The buildings around the hospital are unoccupied but the wadis below Halfaya Pass are filled with innumerable vehicles and troops can be seen moving about. Their long range guns afford them good protection. Three or four of their guns are on the flat towards the sea and others are on top of the Pass. A report from Brigade requesting more prisoners is received so a patrol is planned to operate in Lower Sollum – Lt Tiwha Bennett and one platoon from B Company with 2/Lt Ormsby and one platoon from D Company. 2000 hrs patrol departs but before they could reach their main objectives they were forced to withdraw from a heavy artillery barrage from Halfaya which commenced at approximately 2350 hrs. Shelling continued for one hour, the centre of the barrage being the road into Sollum and the buildings around the Battalion observation post. Two ORs in the patrol were wounded.
- 25 Nov: 0645 hrs there is more shelling from Halfaya area throughout the day. Our artillery is not idle and they shell buildings around the pier registering direct hits on the warehouse. 1500 hrs B Company is sent back to assist in closing the gap between Battalion and the 23 Battalion line at Fort Musaid and D Company less one platoon fill in the positions vacated by B. Towards last light another heavy barrage is sent over from Halfaya on A & C Companies area. It is fortunate that approximately 10% of the enemy shells are duds as casualties would have been much higher.
- 26 Nov: 0700 hrs our artillery shell lower Sollum around Pier Point for half an hour. See image. 0730 hrs the smoke and dust from heavy artillery explosions is visible upon Halfaya Pass, apparently it is being shelled by one of our units. The Battalion 3-inch mortars also begin to shell buildings around the pier and the machine-gun section from C Company area fire periodic bursts at points on Beacon Point and towards the Pier. This naturally results in Halfaya sending more shells into C Company area. This happens throughout the day, which coupled with the bitterly cold winds sweeping across the area, makes conditions very unpleasant. In the evening, towards failing light, A Company reported the movement of an enemy convoy from Halfaya Pass, and from Battalion OP at 1610 hrs two vehicles are seen moving up the Pass road. 1620 hrs single rifle shots are heard from C Company area and ten minutes later we are forced to abandon the OP by the heaviest barrage yet experienced. From the C Company area this attack lifted and struck the building on escarpment forward of the Barracks where the OP was located. A Company was shelled in turn and it was dark before barrage lifted. Later reports referred to the fact that an enemy column was making a break from Halfaya or Point 207 area via Fort Musaid. This coincided with a report received next day from B Company that at 1600 hrs this afternoon 23 Battalion carrier patrol had sighted an enemy column advancing. In a brilliant but hopeless defence B Company engaged the approaching column with 23 Battalion 3-inch mortar on the right flank. Read about B Company facing its first tank attack. Capt. Royal expressed his sincere admiration and gratitude to all ranks under his command for their coolness and determination under such difficult conditions. This night at Sollum Barracks the acting CO Capt. Tiwi Love ensured the safety of the unit by strengthening elements on the front facing Fort Musaid.
- 27 Nov: Normal interchange of the artillery shoots throughout the day. Two German prisoners are brought in, captured by D Company. They were swimming off Biv el Quattra 500 yards (460 m) north of Beacon Point. A machine-gun post is also taken from this area while a 75-mm gun with ammunition is hauled up from this vicinity and placed in rear of A Company’s right platoon. Movement in Lower Sollum is still confined to the Pier area. About six men moving about from one building to another. 1500 hrs B Echelon at Fort Musaid spotted what appeared to be a Battalion of motorised infantry approaching from Bardia. Lt Dan Urlich who was OC of Headquarters Company and in charge of B Echelon immediately prepared to meet the attack. The approaching column, however, had the support of tanks and with infantry and mortars combined. The sorely pressed B Echelon, despite a determined stand with no supporting fire apart from SA, was compelled to surrender. It was a one-sided affair as the tanks hurled sticky bombs into the shallow trenches of the defenders. Some escaped in the general confusion of the heat of the battle, but before last light the German column had subdued all opposition from the remaining defenders. Prisoners taken were 43 all ranks which included 2/Lt Ted Pohio, attached engineers, RMT drivers and some 23 Battalion. 2000 hrs the prisoners were left at a point 5-6 miles (8-10 km) from Capuzzo. The Germans had abandoned them. At least 40 of their number were killed. Our casualties were 5 ORs killed. Lt Urlich was wounded with 2 ORs. Among those killed was Sgt L. Wilson, armourer sergeant of this unit since Palmerston North.
- 28 Nov: 0630 hrs very little movement in Lower Sollum. 1040 hrs enemy artillery shell Barracks, C and D Companies for half an hour but no casualties. 1209 hrs enemy shelling resumed for half an hour. 1410–1510 hrs enemy shelling begins again. 1520 hrs heavy explosions held over Halfaya. 1600 hrs 18 Platoon of D Company with 2/Lt Matehaere in charge of the patrol make bold raid across Beacon Point objective being an RAP underground post at foot of escarpment. Our artillery and 3-inch mortar give supporting fire and the attack commencing from the wire proceeds towards flat east of bend in road. It is held up at this point by heavy artillery fire from Halfaya and machine-gun fire from Pier. Beacon point is clear of enemy and one section of 18 Platoon is left to consolidate there while the remainder of the platoon withdraws to original area under cover of darkness. It was noticed in this attack that flares were used by the enemy to open up and close down artillery fire from Halfaya. No casualties. 28 Battalion Bren Carrier patrol under command of 2/Lt Jack Reedy on duty north of the Barracks penetrating to the wire, south of Bardia, is attacked by an Italian patrol. This patrol is captured: 1 sgt and 9 ORs of the 4th Gruppo Mitraglieri Cavalleria. The sergeant - regimental no. 53476 - name Violante Italian - being questioned stated, “I am an inhabitant of Genoa. I came into the war from Italy to Tripoli thence Bardia. My unit is stationed at Bardia. We left Bardia at 1300 hrs to recce Sollum area to see whether Italians still held it. Every night the news bulletin from Italy and even last night told us that Sollum and Sidi Omar were still in our hands. My party had 1 Breda, 1 pistol and rifles. Our casualties 1 OR killed.” All efforts today and for the past few days to contact Brigade Headquarters proved unavailing. The last report received being from Sidi Azeiz. Other reports received tell us that our ration line has been cut off and we are to salvage all food supplies offering in the Barracks buildings. Fortunately there is much to be found in the Italian QM store and three truck loads of hard biscuits, tinned stuffs, tinned meat, coffee beans, sacks of macaroni are carried back to the Battalion QM store at night. There is also a quantity of orange syrup and cases of soda water. Good water was discovered forward of A Company’s right flank, but like the foodstuff it was only obtainable at night. Movement by day was strictly curtailed by the heavy guns from Halfaya.
- 29 Nov: 0630 hrs six men observed moving in the area of the pier and Lower Sollum. 0745 hrs heavy rumbling sounds can be heard on Halfaya Pass. 0825 hrs what appears to be a submarine is observed making its way towards the pier. The machine-gun section in C Company area and one 3-inch mortar open fire on it forcing it to turn back and disappear in the direction of Bardia. The artillery from Halfaya commences shelling C Company area for 15 minutes. No casualties. As a result of the raid on Beacon Point yesterday members of C Company go swimming today at Birr el Quattara. They bring back a German prisoner who had been hiding in a cave. Three trucks are also discovered and other trucks have been abandoned along the road towards the pier. These facts seem to confirm the idea that ration supplies were being landed by submarine somewhere in this vicinity. 1430 hrs D Company, less one section, having salvaged Italian mines from the Barracks, lay a minefield along their outer section posts facing west between them and the aerodrome tower. Two gaps are marked by empty drums for the passage of traffic, and the actual field itself by benzine tins. B Company which returned from Fort Musaid, on being relieved by 22 Battalion yesterday, is entrenched on the right of D Company. Lower Sollum is quiet and but for the usual enemy barrage from Halfaya everything is normal. The unit’s strength for the week ended 29 November, excluding officers, was 684 ORs (incl. 4 attached). 47 ORs and 7 officers were required to bring the Battalion to full strength. The Battalion was down to 29 officers, 4 of whom were attached.
- 30 Nov: 0745 hrs enemy artillery shell C Company area, then a few shells land within barracks. A vehicle moves back to Halfaya pass from Lower Sollum. 5 Brigade HQ reorganises as it is assumed now that 5 Brigade HQ has been captured by enemy forces. Lt-Col Andrews VC of 22 Battalion is appointed to take temporary command of the Brigade. 2/Lt Awatere, Intelligence Officer of the Māori Battalion, is marched out to take control of Brigade HQ Intelligence Section. We are to leave this area when relieved by Buffs, a regiment of the 4 Indian Division. Battalion’s defences around barracks are further strengthened by the placing of three French 75-mm guns in D Company area. These were hauled up from the escarpment in Lower Sollum complete with ammunition. Except for several flares this night in the South Western and Western sky the month of November closes without further incident. Read Capt. Rangi Royal's account of November 1941.
Archives New Zealand = Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Ref: 28 NZ (Māori) Battalion Diary, WAII 1 1664 DA 68/1/23