Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
357 — General Freyberg, General Officer Commanding, New Zealand Division (Greece), to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
General Freyberg, General Officer Commanding, New Zealand Division (Greece), to the Prime Minister of New Zealand
1The absence of messages during the period 15 Mar - 8 Apr 1941 (the date on which No. 357 was received) is due to the United Kingdom Government's anxiety ‘that no information regarding lustre should be released whilst movement is still in progress.’ A telegram to this effect was sent by the Dominions Secretary to the Prime Minister of New Zealand on 24 Mar. News of the arrival of British, Australian, and New Zealand troops in Greece was released on 7 Apr.
After a difficult journey from Egypt the complete Division has moved forward into Macedonia and is preparing a defensive position. We are now linked with the 6th Australian Division; thus the Anzac Corps is again in being.2 General Blamey's experience and the Australians' fighting qualities will prove great assets.page 264
The Government must be following the present events with anxiety. It should give them confidence that the year's intensive training overseas has seasoned and fitted the New Zealand Division for war. I can assure the Prime Minister that our officers are excellent and our men well trained and equipped. The Greeks and Yugoslavs are good fighters but are short of modern equipment and motor transport.
It would be wrong to minimise the difficulties of the present situation or the importance of armoured forces in modern warfare, but, on the other hand, the German communications are not good and this theatre of war is not suited to his tactics.
I know that our men will do well in the difficult days ahead. They are fit and in great heart, and I have great confidence in them.
2 See Volume II, Proposed Formation of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.