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'Our bounden duty' : an analysis of the arguments justifying the introduction of peacetime Compulsory Military Training in New Zealand, 1949

Defence administration Defence New Zealand

This dissertation examines the arguments presented in favour of the introduction of compulsory military training (CMT) in New Zealand in 1949. It deals primarily with the perceptions of the advocates of CMT and the assumptions that underpinned their arguments. Central to this thesis is the pervasive impact of the dawning of the Cold War upon New Zealand's collective psyche. As the international landscape became transformed by the emergence of bipolar superpower conflict, New Zealand's domestic political arena became charged with the ideological black and white qualities of Cold War dogmatism. While the official stance of the New Zealand government owed much to the traditional Commonwealth loyalties and lingering memories of World War II, public pronouncements on CMT reveal equally strong Cold War and anti-communist sentiments. To the proponents of CMT, these two positions did not appear to be mutually exclusive.

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