Conflict in Kiribati

Conflict in KiribatiElsewhere on this blog I've discussed New Zealander Peter McQuarrie's writings on Tokelau. I neglected to mention that Peter is also an authority on Tokelau's larger neighbour to the north. His book, Conflict in Kiribati - A History of the Second World War, tells the story of the tiny gem-like islands and atolls which now form the Republic of Kiribati, part of the huge archipelago known as Micronesia, covering approximately half of the Central Pacific Ocean between the Philippines and Hawaii. During WWII Kiribati was part of the British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.

Setting Kiribati's wartime history within its larger political, social, and military context, this publication documents the many dimensions of the war as it affected these Pacific islands. From the arrival of people of German descent who were fleeing the harsh Japanese rule in Micronesia between the two world wars, it moves to the early days of the Pacific War, of coast-watching and German raiders, in addition to dealing with the Japanese and American occupations. It's the history of a time and place, and of the people directly involved; the indigenous I-Kiribati, Tuvaluans, German/Marshallese, New Zealanders, British, Chinese, Americans, and Japanese. The book ends by examining the after effects of the war and how they impacted post-war developments.

Conflict in Kiribati - A History of the Second World War (ISBN 1-877175-21-8) was published by the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2001. This important paperback contains 237 pages, 36 photographs, 10 maps, an index, notes, and a bibliography.

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