Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
380 — General Freyberg, General Officer Commanding, New Zealand Division (Crete), to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
General Freyberg, General Officer Commanding, New Zealand Division (Crete), to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
After a most difficult month's fighting I have just arrived at Crete from evacuating the 6th Infantry Brigade, the last of the New Zealand Division, from the southern extremity of Greece. With the exception of stragglers, inevitable in such a campaign, I can assure the Government that the Division has been kept intact and that our losses have not been excessive; it is impossible to get the full figures until a great deal of sorting out has been done. I estimate our losses at between 100–200 killed, 500–600 wounded, and approximately 800 missing, but at the moment these can only be taken as a very rough estimate.
The Division has carried out a very difficult role and has done excellently. The readiness and fortitude of all ranks under very trying times has been commended by all and fully justifies the high opinion formed of the quality of our forces. I am not in a position to send any detailed account, which will follow later. As I had to destroy all codes and was cut off from all cable communication, I hope my Prime Minister will make allowances for the lack of communications during the operations. We are all in good heart. The 6th Brigade and details are en route to Egypt and the others I hope will follow. I am to see General Wavell today and will then travel with my staff to Cairo by air to carry out the refitting of the Division.