July 10th, 2010
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Never seen a Haka? Sure I have (you'll be please to know I am an All-Blacks fan), and I completely disagree, I think it is the screaming that is so frightening, not the "dance". Seriously, could you imagine watching a Haka on Mute? Its the noise that creates a mass physiological fear effect.
Here's a test: Play a Brittany Spears song at full blast and feel your spine shiver!!!
And remember there was an entire Maori Battalion on Crete, I don't know how many troops actually participated in the Haka, but the noise they made must have been deafening.
Actually the fighting at Crete was done at very close quarters, so close the Aussies fought hand to hand as the German paratroops dropped right INTO their positions. So its absolutely likely the Germans could have heard it. During the Ardennes US soldiers could hear the Germans sing Xmas Carols from their foxholes and I doubt the German Ardennes choir could sing as loud as a Moari chant (or whatever you want to call it).
This is the only mention of the Haka and is taken from the 28th Maori Battalion war diaries for its actions on Crete beginning at 1500 hours May 20th 1941...
The 22nd Battalion, hard-pressed at Maleme, had asked for help and Colonel Dittmer was instructed to send a company to Headquarters 23 Battalion, where guides would be provided for the rest of the journey to 22 Battalion. B Company was given the job but Captain Royal, who had returned from hospital two days earlier, did not know the suggested round-about route and decided to use the main road and fight if forced to. The Arawa Company left at 7 p.m. and was unmolested until close to 23 Battalion area, when 10 Platoon (Lieutenant Vercoe) encountered a few paratroops who were cleaned up without much trouble. Very soon afterwards a larger body was met and the platoon was held up until 11 Platoon (Lieutenant Pene) reinforced it. The Germans, who had concentrated around a tree, shouted 'We surrender' and at the same time a grenade was thrown which wounded two Maoris. That grenade was the signal for, as far as is known, the first use of the bayonet by New Zealand troops in the war, for with a yell of 'Surrender be ' the Maoris charged and killed twenty-four Germans. Those not actually engaged assisted with hakas. A pocket a little further on yielded another eight dead Germans, after which B Company reached 23 Battalion without further incident.
This does not indicate a "Massed" Haka aimed at a large German formation but rather a portion of a relieving Company aimed at maybe 30 or so surrounded Germans and I would suggest that it was probably more likely to be the use of the bayonet that scared the crap out of them than the Haka.
We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Last edited by MontyB; July 10th, 2010 at 09:55..