The triumph and tragedy of the battles fought in the toughest year of World War I will be recounted by a Massey University professor this week.
Military historian Glyn Harper will give lectures about three 1917 battles, including Passchendaele, as part of a history tour to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Palmerston North.
The tour, called Triumph and Tragedy: Battles of 1917, is also to promote the Centenary History Pro ject, which will see up to 12 books published on New Zealand's involvement in World War I.
Prof Harper will work alongside Massey University, the New Zealand Defence Force, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association (RSA) to complete the project by 2017.
Prof Harper said the lectures would provide an insight into New Zealand's worst military conflicts.
"We are focusing on 1917 for two reasons, that it is 95 years ago, and because it was the toughest year of war for the Allies and the New Zealand division," he said.
"There were three large battles that were all significant in terms of the military history of the First World War. Passchendaele is important in our military history because it's our worst ever military disaster. We had more New Zealanders killed and wounded on that day [October 12] than any other day in our military history. It's our one great disaster on the western front."
Prof Harper - who received a Queen's Service Medal this year - has written 16 books on New Zealand military history.
The lecture in Palmerston North will be held at the Massey University Japanese lecture theatre on Thursday at 5.30pm.
If you wish to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 06 350 5865.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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