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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

The Division Returns to the Desert

The Division Returns to the Desert

In Syria on 14 June the New Zealand Division received an order from General Freyberg, who had earlier been called to Cairo, to move forthwith to the Western Desert. Within a few hours coded instructions for movement were flashed to units scattered all over Syria from the Turkish frontier to Beirut. The move caused no real page 328 surprise, for news that all was not well with the Eighth Army made the necessity of sending reinforcements to the desert obvious, and the move was accepted with resignation. Two days later, under cover of strictest secrecy, the New Zealand Division began a dramatic dash of 900 miles in five days back to the Western Desert.