We hold a great variety of records of New Zealand participation in the Second World War. Most are Army records, but there are also some Air Force (RNZAF) and Navy (RNZN) records.

Access to some Second World War records can be gained through the War History Branch card index in the Register Room, Wellington. For detailed listings of the WW2 War Archives see Volumes 3, 4 and 5 in Volumes 3, 4 and 5 in Agency note for ADQZ.

For detailed official accounts see the Official War Histories published by the War History Branch online at NZ Electronic Text Collection.

Although New Zealand was less prepared for the Second World War than for the First, by mid-1940 some 20,000 men had embarked for overseas service with the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force (2 NZEF). They went first to the Middle East, Greece and Britain. Later many were also to fight in North Africa and Italy.

New Zealand first sent troops into the Pacific, to Fiji, in November 1940. After war was declared against Japan in December 1941, many more troops were sent into the Pacific, though some were later transferred to Italy.

The Home Guard in New Zealand was an important force until the threat from Japan eased in late 1943.

A total of about 105,000 men and women from New Zealand served overseas during the Second World War. Of those nearly 7000 died on active Army service and a total of over 11,000 in all services. Nearly 16,000 were wounded as well. Casualties were a much smaller proportion of service men and women than in the First World War.