Ohaeawai

Summary: During the Flagstaff War in New Zealand, the British carelessly charge into a Maori pa.

The British bombarded the pa at Ohaeawai for two days before charging in. Henry Despard remembered what tactics worked against Napoleon a generation before and in India against the Marathas. He was eager to apply them against rebel Maori like Hone Heke and Kawiti. He ordered a charge.

The Maori sprung out with muskets and shotguns, annihilating a third of the attacking force in a single volley. The survivors were finished with axes and clubs. Despard, unable to bring more forces to bear, slunk from the field like a wounded animal.

The victorious rebels dug another pa up in a nearby hill, hoping to repeat their success.