Victor 2 Company 2 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion, Vietnam 1967–1968

By Tony Howell MC

Published by John Douglas Publishing

At first glance you wonder how the history of a single deployment by a rifle company could translate to a narrative of more than 400 pages, but once you start reading, it all becomes clear.

Tony Howell deployed as a platoon commander with V2 and has written a fascinating account of a NZ rifle company on operations in Vietnam. What makes this book special is the way Howell has recorded the facts of what V2 did for posterity for the former company members and their whanau. Howell has written the book so that the next of kin of those who deployed, and any reader without military service or a basic understanding of the military can easily assimilate and understand.

This superb book outlines, in clear and easily understandable form, every aspect of the formation, deployment, activities and operations of V2. All aspects of a rifle company on operations are covered; armoured and air support, the weapons used, the fire and logistics support, the equipment carried by the individual soldiers, the Standard Operating Procedures etc.

Once the basics have been covered, Howell takes the reader through a detailed account of the operations undertaken by V2. One chapter in particular offers a detailed and riveting account of what was the “the largest enemy action against New Zealand infantry since World War 2” when the company, on 7 February 1968, while in a harbour position, fought off a Battalion attack. The detail Howell has gone into, and the research required are a real testament to this being a labour of love. Putting in the hard yards has resulted in the creation of a wonderful record of V2’s service which has preserved it for posterity.

Book reviewed by Captain Jeremy Seed (NZ Army News).