Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
431 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand (Cairo) to the acting Prime Minister
The Prime Minister of New Zealand (Cairo) to the acting Prime Minister
I deeply regret to have to state that I feel the situation in Crete has become impossible and that no adequate measures to hold the position can be taken in time. I have reason to believe that a decision to evacuate will shortly be made,1 and although confident that all precautions will be taken, I am afraid it must be accepted that the operation will be a hazardous one and that New Zealand losses are to be expected.
1 In his despatch on the Battle of Crete, dated 4 Aug 1941, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, C-in-C, Mediterranean, states that in a message timed 8.24 a.m. on 27 May, General Wavell informed Mr. Churchill ‘that he feared we must recognise that Crete was no longer tenable and that the troops must be withdrawn as far as possible.’ The Chiefs of Staff replied that Crete was to be evacuated forthwith.
General Wavell's message to General Freyberg ordering the evacuation of the island cannot be traced.