Michael Wynd


Centre for Defence and Security Studies – Massey University


Professor Glyn Harper, Dr Adam Claasen

Academic Interests:

New Zealand's military history of the First World War
19th Century Colonial Warfare
American Civil War
19th Century Revolution in Military Affairs
Organizational change and developments within military formations
Impact of technology on doctrine and formations
Administrative history of military forces.


The Royal New Zealand Navy in the Pacific War 1941-1946: A Small Nation’s Navy in a Big War and Our Relationship to the United States Navy

Bio Note:

Currently, Michael Wynd is a Historian at the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Museum in Devonport, Auckland. My role is to maintain a research library and archives, and conduct historical research into New Zealand’s naval history as well other aspects of the military history of the nation.

His thesis examines how an armed force goes about learning while at war? This thesis seeks to use the New Zealand Division as a lens to show how the BEF learnt from its experiences on the battlefields of France and Belgium. Building upon a discussion of the learning process and theoretical basis, a series of case studies will show the process in action. The first study will focus on the New Zealand Division's début on the Somme on 15 September 1916, the same day when tanks were first introduced to warfare.  Research conducted so far has turned up a questionnaire sent out on 17 December to the NZ Division seeking information on the performance of the tanks. The study will continue with analysis of the period between October 1916 and August 1918. The third study will focus on the NZ Division in September 1918 to show what has changed when compared to 1916. This analysis will draw material from Haig’s Headquarters to the individual battalions that made up the NZ Division in order to support the argument put forward in the thesis.

Updated September 2020

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