All articles by David Child-Dennis

David Child-Dennis (R.I.P.) was a writer, author, and commentator, with a particular interest in aviation, naval, and military history.

NZ's Infamous Founding History (Part II)

Bloodshed in the Bay of Islands

by David Child-Dennis

Last issue, we heard of the terrible conquest of Hongi Hika, a warlord whose bloodlust began by avenging Ngāpuhi. But there have been other killers in New Zealand’s past, who didn’t need war to justify their slaughter. Meet young Maketu, son of a Ngāpuhi…

The Greatest Years of Formula One Racing

Wigram Memories 1967–70

by David Child-Dennis

The late 1960s saw the best pre-Formula One racing this country has ever experienced. Racing took place over January, during the European winter, giving the Formula One teams a chance to test new chassis and suspension systems prior to the upcoming Europ…

NZ's Infamous Founding History (Part I)

Hongi Hika: NZ’s Biggest Killer, Man-eater and Marsden’s Mate

by David Child-Dennis

New Zealand has its noble history – the glossy version which is safe for our children to learn about in school, the version of peace, pasture and parchment. But then there’s the other history of New Zealand, a history in which men like Hongi Hika orche…

Reliving The Era of The Great Airships

by David Child-Dennis

Most of our readers are too young to remember the great airships that sailed, ever so majestically, across the Atlantic between Europe and the Americas. Those fortunate enough to do so, remember them as a sight never to be forgotten. Probably the best r…

Top Secret: U-Boat 196 (Part V)

Out Of The Black U-196’s Full Mission Is Revealed

by David Child-Dennis

The story so far- The Mission… The U-196 arrived off the Northland coast sometime in May 1945, with a small team of German nuclear scientists and their equipment. They had been ordered there by the commander of the German submarine forces, Admiral D…

Top Secret: U-Boat 196 (Part IV)

Deep Black: What was hidden in New Zealand, and why?

by David Child-Dennis

Author’s note: I believe with the unconditional surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945, the then commander of Germany’s submarine fleet, Admiral Karl Dönitz, used the only bargaining chip he had left, German nuclear research, spirited away from the advanc…

Top Secret: U-Boat 196 (Part III)

The Real Treasure! Ghost Ship Reveals

by David Child-Dennis

On May 8, 1945, with Germany’s unconditional surrender, Admiral Dönitz, the commander of Germany’s submarine force, ordered a number of specialised cargo U-boats, still at sea, to proceed to foreign ports across the world. In the early 1980s local divers…

Top Secret: U-Boat 196 (Part II)

The Mystery Continues…

by David Child-Dennis

Gold Bullion, Uranium, Loot… What really happened? Will we ever know? The ‘Monsun Gruppe’ Before continuing my attempt to reconstruct what I believe to be the fate of the crew of U-196 after they reached New Zealand, it might be useful to give readers…

Top Secret: U-Boat 196 (Part I)

German WWII Submarine Found North of Auckland

by David Child-Dennis

Sixty years later, an underwater research group has discovered U-196 partially submerged, stern down, in the sand and apparently not fully flooded in 15 meters of water. It is surmised that U-196 refuelled from the German convoy raider ‘Orion’, somewhere…