In this cartoon from April 1964, Uncle Sam pushes prime ministers Robert Menzies of Australia and Keith Holyoake of New Zealand to make stronger contributions to the Vietnam War. While officially supporting the American efforts, Holyoake was reluctant to commit New Zealand forces. New Zealand recognised the South Vietnamese regime, but initially sent only a surgical team and later a party of non-combatant army engineers. In 1965 increased pressure from the US, along with an Australian commitment to send troops, led Holyoake to send combat troops to Vietnam, initially an artillery battery. Later, infantry companies, a Special Air Service troop, a joint services medical team and air force personnel were also committed. In contrast to the Australians, Holyoake was never prepared to commit a large force, or to send conscripts.
Courtesy of New Zealand Herald
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