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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I

398 — General Freyberg to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

page 293

General Freyberg to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

5 May 1941

Many thanks for your cable.1 Cannot understand nervousness. I am not in the least anxious about an airborne attack. I have made my dispositions and feel that with the troops now at my disposal I can cope adequately. However, a combination of seaborne and airborne attack is different. If that comes before I can get the guns and transport here the situation will be difficult. Even so, provided the Navy can help, I trust that all will be well.

When we get our equipment and transport, and with a few extra fighter aircraft, it should be possible to hold Crete. Meanwhile, there will be a period here during which we shall be vulnerable. Everybody is in great form and most anxious to renew the battle with our enemy whom we hammered in Greece whenever we met him.

All the New Zealanders are greatly and justly incensed at not being mentioned adequately in the BBC and press accounts of the vital and gallant part played by them in the Greek rearguard action.

1 This could hardly refer to Mr. Churchill's cable of c. 1 May (No. 391) congratulating General Freyberg on his ‘vitally important command’ nor to his No. 396 of 3 May to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. The reference to ‘nervousness’ fits neither cable. No other can be traced.