The Salamander and the Fire
First published in 1986, these collected war stories are told in the order of the Middle East campaigns that provide their settings. The characters are mainly men from the New Zealand Division seen in battle, and in the intervals between battle, sometimes scared, bored, drunk, and disillusioned, like soldiers everywhere.
One story, ‘The General and the Nightingale,’ gives a vivid picture of General Freyberg, the man Churchill called ‘the Salamander of the British Empire’. The men of the 2NZ he described as ‘a ball of fire’. The author of these stories was one of them.
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