Name: Mike Subritzky
Location: New Zealand
Background: Born in Kati Kati, New Zealand, from an old Polish noble family
(enobled Poland 1495). Retired professional soldier. Captain. Served in
the Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal New Zealand Artillery, Royal New Zealand
Air Force, US Navy-Task Force 43 Antarctica, Polish (Independent) Reserve
Brigade. 13 Tours of Duty. New Zealand War Poet. Numerous published
papers, documents, articles and poems in a wide variety of media; a dozen
books on a variety of subjects and, The Subritzky Legend (Heritage Press,
1990) - Official New Zealand Sesqui Centenial Project, The Vietnam Scrapbook
"The Second ANZAC Adventure" (Three Feathers, 1995), History of the Polish
Government (in exile) 1939-1990 (Three Feathers, 1996). Nominated for New
Zealand Book of the Year Awards 1996; named Book of the Quarter by Texas
State University April - June 1998; honoured by the NZ ex-Vietnam Services
Association by having a copy of his book The Vietnam Scrapbook "The Second
ANZAC Adventure" laid at the Vietnam War Memorial "Wall" in Washington D.C.
during the 1997 pilgrimage; awarded the American Vietnam Veterans
(honourary) Distinguished Service Medal 1997, citation "for his contribution
to all veterans of the Asian conflict and immortalising the Vietnam Veterans
of New Zealand for all time". Most recent project, assisted with the
official New Zealand Millennium Television Series "Our People - Our Century"
TVNZ, 2000.
Leisure: The study of Eastern European heraldry and chivalry, collecting
old silver.



Thumping down the valley floor,
contour flying - open door.

Squadron's choppers in a line,
the Air Assault goes in on time.

Heart is pumping - temples too,
Cobra Gunships - standing to.

Caribina locked in place,
try to hide my fearful face.

Check my bag and check my rope,
God give me some bloody hope.

Rifle slung behind my back,
Grenades and ammo in my pack.

Machine gun belts cut in my neck,
join the Gun Group on the deck.

Two fingers up - two minute test,
check my kit and do my best.

Chopper flaring - out the door,
stand on skids and count to four.

Throw my bag - back and behind,
Go! Go! Go! - you're on the line.

Thumb up bum - rappel to earth,
clear the line and hit the dirt.

Pull the pack strap roll away,
God just get me through this day.

By: Mike Subritzky
161 Battery RNZA


Sarge I think I'm buggered,
I'm bitten on me back,
a bloody snakes bin crawlin' thru the grass.

So call the Medic quick,
to give me arm a prick,
and take away the pain until I pass.

Yer mate the Bombardier,
can have me 'ish' of beer,
I won't be drinkin' Fosters when I go.

I've wrote me mum a note,
and I've put it in me pack,
she's livin' down near Kunga-munga-mo.

So tell me Aussie mates,
you'ze Kiwi bloody skates,
have caused the death of one of Anzac's finest.

And when I pass away,
don't put me in the clay,
the bloody dingo's here are rife as goats.

What's that you bloody say,
the choppers on its' way,
it won't be here in time to save this Digger.

The Doc he said it's what?
Now how did that get there?
A tear tab from a beer can caused this wound?

Well, the pain will pass away,
and I'll fight another day,
but PLEEZE you'ze Kiwi's keep this to yourselves!

By: Mike Subritzky


Young Kiwi soldiers, lying so quietly,
merged into the rotting jungle floor.
Spaced in a line, rifles in hand,
machine guns steady, silent and still.

Platoon detailed as the Ambush Group,
covering a jungle trail.
Waiting for the little Asian man,
dressed in his black, bag of rice, armed with a Klashnikov.

The hours tick so slowly by,
insects bite, birds and monkeys call.
But still they lie so silent,
on the rotting jungle floor.

A first footfall! the snap of a twig!
minds alert, eyes focused, safety catches off.
Place the foresight in the centre of the visible mass,
take the first pressure, silent prayer, the killing begins.

BY: Mike Subritzky

Gunner Stratton's 13th Jump.

One sunny day in Raglan,
the twenty sixth of May,
the Battery had it's guns out,
all gleaming on display.

The B.C. yelled "Get Ready Boys!.
the planes are comming in,
with Para-Gunners all onboard,
the show will soon begin.

The first Herc dropped a streamer.
to give them wind and berth,
the second dropped Gus Rivers.
and we watched Gus glide to earth.

The third plane dropped a Howitzer.
all packaged in a crate.
and then the Para-Dak flew in,
'cause the show was running late.
Inside the Gunners hooked their chutes.
and shuffled to the door.
then launched themselves out into space.
and counted up to four.

It was Gunner Stratton's thirteenth jump.
and he was last in line.
but as he shuffled to the door,
he tripped upon some twine.

He tumbled out the aircraft door,
and spun into a candle.
then rigging lines and capewell clips.
snagged his reserve chute handle.

And as he flew directly down.
Sergeant Bill James yelled the score,
"kick out for God's sake Stratton!".
"you're heading for the floor!".

Gunner Botica yelled out to the stic.
"Steer Away! Dons comming through!
He couldn't count his "right-left-right".
and now he's in the poo.

The Paratroops were soon dispersed.
and floated in the sun.
as Gunner Stratton tumbled through.
his speed now reached "the ton!"

Then as he closed with Mother Earth.
he popped his second chute.
but it hung there like a Christmas tree.
and hooked around his boot.

When all at once Don gave a kick.
and he tried to free his pack,
then he ploughed into a big sand hill,
and he landed on his back..

And as we watched in shrieks of awe.
the wind deployed his chute,.
and dragged the poor unconcious sod.
by the rigging on his boot.

It dragged the poor unconcious bloke.
for nearly half a mile.
with a stick of Gunners racing behind,
running hard in the steeplechase style.

When finally they caught him up.
all that he could say.
was "If I ever find who packed that chute....
the Airforce bitch will pay!.

She didn't pack me chute right mates.
she didn't pack the handle,
and when I jumped out of the door,
I turned into a candle..

It was Gunner Stratton's thirteenth jump,.
and he nearly died that day,.
so the Battery went to the Raglan Pub.
and we kept the ghosts at bay.

Mike Subritzky
161 Battery


Pastures green, poppy fields,
graves for soldiers fallen.
A wooden cross marks a resting place,
a thousand miles from loved ones.

Rusted wire, silent guns,
trenches torn and broken.
A helmet rests on a rifle butt,
the tools of war unspoken.

Anzac Days, colours blaze,
their battle honours borne on.
Old men march and a bugle plays,
in memory of the fallen.

BY: Mike Subritzky


One day at the South Pole a plane touched down,
and I got out, and I stood on the ground.

And all about me the earth was still,
not a bird in the sky, not a tree or a hill.

Just bright white snow that was frozen and cold,
and a radio mast, and a barber shop pole.

BY: Mike Subritzky


They clad us in the colours of the forest,
and armed us with the weapons made for war
. Then taught to us the ancient trade of killing,
and lead us to the sound of battles roar.

So give us comfort as we lay down bleeding,
and pray upon our cold and stiffened dead.
But mark our place that we might be accounted,
this foreign soil becomes our graven bed.

Now children place upon this stone a garland,
and learn of us each Anzac Day at dawn.
We are New Zealand's dead from distant conflict,
our sacrifice remembered ever more.

BY: Mike Subritzky


Gentlemen - Welcome to this lesson on small arms instruction.
"Instruction Sergeant!"
This weapon is the 7.62 millimeter Self loading Rifle.
"Self Loading Rifle Sergeant!"
It has a muzzle velocity of 2,800 feet per second.
"2,800 feet per second Sergeant!"
With a 20 round magazine attached, it weighs 12 pounds.
"12 Pounds Sergeant!"
It is capable of rapid snapshot fire at short range opportunity targets.
"Rapid snapshot fire Sergeant!"
Excellent quick and accurate individual fire at a range of 100 metres.
"100 metres Sergeant!"
Accurate individual aimed shots up to 300 metres.
"300 metres Sergeant!"
Effective section fire at ranges up to 600 metres.
"600 metres Sergeant!"
I used this weapon in Vietnam and it was very bloody deadly.
"Very bloody deadly Sergeant!"
It has the capability to cut through rubber trees.
"Cut through rubber trees Sergeant!"
It can penetrate concrete gentlemen.
"Penetrate concrete Sergeant!"
It shows no mercy to the Viet Cong.
"No mercy Sergeant!"
Now look downrange and observe the tethered goat.
"Downrange and observe Sergeant!"
I will now engage the tethered goat with my SLR...Bang!
"Tethered goat...Oh Shit Sarge! Yuk!"

BY: Mike Subritzky


There's death all around me, there's death in the air,
I can smell it and feel it - and I know now the fear.
The road could be mined, or an ambush await,
it may be the end - our appointment with fate.

The escorts have left us, we're now on our own,
I'm as frightened as hell - and we're all so alone.
Our armour is moving, we're leaving the town,
Rhodesians are waving, yelling - "Keep your heads down!"

I look at the Gunner, his face is all drawn,
his machine gun is loaded - and the safety catch on.
We drive through the war zone, on dirt roads blood red,
past African kraals - with children unfed.

Expecting a tank mine, or bullet to tell,
or a Russian made rocket - to take us to hell.
At Assembly Place "Lima", the site of an old kraal,
we finally halt - and put our backs to the wall.

Raise the stars of our Nation, raise the Brit's Union Jack,
put the dread right behind us - for there's no turning back.
Not there for the fighting, not there for the fall,
we are the friend of no one - and the enemy of all.
...We are the Peacekeepers.

By: Mike Subritzky
NZATMC. AP Lima 1979


Dear Mr Subritzky, sorry to be a bore,
but we're sending your son Danny to the Bosnian War.
Yes, we know you did Rhodesia, your cousin Bill did Vietnam,
but we're running out of soldiers and we need a few good men.

Sure, your uncle Jack the Anzac, was in the Battle of Chunak Bair,
and Bob Subritzky caught a packet on the Somme.
But we need a few good men, to send to Europe once again,
and we'll kit them out and send them with a song.

Cousin Fredo got a head wound in the Monte Cassino fight,
and poor old Archi, he went crazy on the wire one stormy night.
Yes, your family's done its' bit, but it doesn't count for shit,
and when your son gets back, we'll give the lad a gong.

Now you know the bloody score, it's just another friggin' war,
and we're off in a couple of days, to the blood and smoke and haze.
Of course your boy should be alright, unless the Serbs decide to fight,
because the Moslems in his sector seem OK.

By: Mike Subritzky

(This poem was written by Mike Subritzky, himself a veteran during a journey
to farewell his son when he was posted on Operations to Bosnia in 1998, and
served with B Battery, Royal Horse Artillery).


I was on the Kiama, when I went to sea,
Little more than a lad, when I joined the Navy.
The ship, she was old, she was built for the war,
But they'd refit her yearly, and she'd sail on some more.

She had guns, Bofor Cannons, one for'd, one aft,
She was a hundred feet long, with a thirteen foot draught.
Her deck it was wooden, till aft of the bridge,
And below was a messdeck, a galley and fridge.

A 'sweeper' by trade, and Bathurst by Class,
She wasn't too big and she wasn't too fast.
And the sailors who manned her, about eighty in all,
Each slept in a hammock, that he lashed to the wall.

Now life wasn't easy on a ship of her size,
when a storm would approach and cover the skies.
She'd bob like a cork and shake a bit to,
But we'd batten the hatches and sail her on through.

Long years have now passed and left me ashore,
But at night in my dreams, I'm a'sailin once more.
On my old ship Kiama still serving my time,
And the old matelots called it "The Grey Funnel Line".

By: Mike Subritzky


The BSM yelled "Haircut!"
And looked me in the eye.
The RSM yelled "Sideboards!",
But I didn't ask him why?

The BC he yelled "Hat Badge!"
His mouth it gave a twitch!
My Section Boss yelled "Muddy Boots!",
The dirty rotten bitch.

My Section Sarge yelled "Muddy Boots!",
Ye Gods what have I done?
You've just become a Gunner son...
And this is 1 - 6 - 1.

By: Mike Subritzky
161 Battery RNZA


The wind is crisp, it blows from the West, and the moon slips behind a cloud.
It is 4.45 as I rise half alive, feet numb, fingers numb, and the barrel of
my rifle a dark silouhette against the grey dawn sky...Duty!

Tussock cold and wet about my legs, webbing tight about my waist, boots
stumbling blindly towards the machine gun post.
Test the phone, check the gun, turn up the collar of my combat jacket, back
resting against the wet clay walls of the pit...One hour till dawn.

Eyes blur, mind wanders, thoughts of home wife and kids; water bottle
presses against my back, knees draw up, helmet and head resting between them
for warmth.
Time drags, mind plays tricks on my vision, heaven would be a warm bed or a
hot cup of coffee...Half hour till dawn, test the phone.

Dawn nears, hills take shape, trees take shape, to my front is the back
menacing shadow of a field gun; lethal against the skyline.
The tannoy clicks, the phone rings, "Stand To!" is quietly passed by word of
mouth, human shapes move quietly, each in the direction of its' own slit

Experience shows this to be the most likely time for an attack.
Time lapses, nothing moves, save only the chill wind blowing gently through the
Birds break into song, the first rays of the new dawn sun burst forth
spreading warmth and life into everything it reaches out and touches; and
for the Regiment another day begins..."Stand Down!"

By: Mike Subritzky
"Treasure your Polish Heritage"