Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II
60 — General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence
General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence
The present campaign2 again raises the reinforcement question. At the moment we have 3500 reinforcements available while known casualties as at 9 July amount to approximately 900. We shall be better off than the estimate of 1 August given in my telegram of 5 January (No. 54), and will probably be able to carry on until 1 October, at which date the 2nd NZEF may be up to establishment but no reinforcements may be left.page 45
For purposes of training and future policy I assume the Division is to remain in the Middle East for the present. I realise this is a matter for the New Zealand Government, but it is perhaps not out of place to say that the Division is most highly thought of and withdrawal would cause dismay at General Headquarters, Middle East, especially at the moment, when the Middle East garrison is not adequate.
In your telegram of 17 March (No. 57) you warned me that in certain circumstances it might be necessary to reduce the size of the 2nd NZEF. I always have this in mind although, as you will understand, I feel it would be a sad step to break up our existing organisation with all its associations and its great fighting record. As it will be many months before any men can arrive here, and as I shall have to discuss the matter with the Commander-in-Chief,1 I should like to have some early indication of the New Zealand Government's policy.
1 General Auchinleck.