Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II
350 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
Events in the Dodecanese Islands have greatly disturbed the New Zealand Government. They have throughout been at a loss to understand the objective of these operations which, without full information as to the facts, they cannot help regarding as ill-advised in their nature and most unfortunate in their consequences. They would also appreciate information as to the manner and scope in which it was anticipated this operation was to have been carried out.
Owing to the participation of the New Zealand commando unit known as the Long Range Desert Patrol Group,1 the deterioration in the situation has naturally been watched with particular concern.
His Majesty's Government in New Zealand wish to observe that they were never consulted as to the use of their troops in this connection nor, they are advised, was their Commanding Officer in the Middle East advised until the men had actually landed.
The reversion of this unit to the control of the GOC 2nd NZEF had already been discussed with the United Kingdom authorities, and it would seem appropriate at this stage to make it clear that His Majesty's Government in New Zealand desire that this unit should cease to be under the control of General Headquarters, Middle East, and that any survivors, about whom early information is requested, should be made available for service with the 2nd New Zealand Division.
1 When the unit was formed in July 1940, it was first known as the Long Range Desert Patrol. With the expansion of the unit into several squadrons the title was changed to Long Range Desert Group. Besides New Zealanders, British and Rhodesian patrols of the Long Range Desert Group also took part in the Dodecanese operations.