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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I

92 — General Freyberg to Headquarters 2nd NZEF (Cairo)

General Freyberg to Headquarters 2nd NZEF (Cairo)

13 September 1940

The following is for Brigadier Puttick:

The New Zealand Government is disturbed by information received from the Dominions Office as to your present equipment deficiencies and operational role. The Minister of Defence reports that your brigade group probably has 18 2-inch mortars instead page 77 of 36, 23 anti-tank rifles instead of 95, 182 Brens instead of 215, 19 Vickers instead of 36, 6 light tanks instead of 28, 21 Bren carriers instead of 30, nil 25-pounders instead of 24. To enable me to assure the Government will you as soon as possible send me answers to the following questions: (1) Is the main New Zealand force together or is it split up into two groups, one under you and the other under Inglis? (2) Are our main forces cast in a role to defend Lines of Communication or are they with the Desert Army? (3) When are you likely to get the balance of your equipment?