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

317 — General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

14 March 1944

As you will know from the news, bad weather here has prevented any large-scale operations. The New Zealand Corps, now composed of the 2nd New Zealand Division, the 78th British Division, and the 4th Indian Division, together with over 500 guns and an American armoured force under command, is waiting to resume the offensive in the Cassino area. We are undoubtedly facing one of the most difficult operations of all our battles. The enemy position is a natural fortress flanked by the Rapido River. The New Zealand Corps' plan is a very detailed one. It provides for the fullest use being made of our great air and artillery strength and aims to pass through over 400 tanks.

Regrouping of the armies is now taking place. Eighth Army will take over the sector on this front and, as soon as the present phase of the battle is over, we will resume divisional status and become part of 13th Corps under Eighth Army.