Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
272 — Letter from Major-General Arthur Smith, General Headquarters, Middle East,1 to General Freyberg
Letter from Major-General Arthur Smith, General Headquarters, Middle East,1 to General Freyberg
We are very much alive to the desirability of returning your signals, sappers, and transport to you as soon as possible.
We are still terribly short of signal personnel and equipment; in fact the elastic is already fully stretched, and if stretched much more it will break. We hope, however, to be able to return a proportion of your signallers early next month, and the remainder directly we get sufficient trained personnel from England, but this may not be until March. However, the situation may be eased by further help from Australian signallers and, although I do not want to make any rash promises, it is possible that we may be able to get all your fellows back to you next month.
Your Field Companies are at the moment urgently required in the forward area, but, when we get Australian Field Companies up, your sappers will be returned to you. The situation is complicated by an additional call for sappers in Greece.
With regard to your transport; as you know, we are very short of MT and the urgent necessity of sending lorries to Greece has made the problem acute.page 206
I know you want to get your Division together to train, and we are doing our best to help you. In this connection we realise you need more equipment and this will be supplied as soon as we can possibly do so.
1 Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Francis Smith, KCB, KBE, DSO, MC; Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Middle East, 1939–40; Chief of the General Staff, Middle East, 1941–42; GOC, London District, 1942–44; GOC-in-C, Persia and Iraq Command, 1944–45; GOC-in-C, Eastern Command, India, 1945–46; Chief of the General Staff, India, 1946; GOC, British Forces in India and Pakistan, 1947–48.