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

327 — General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

18 July 1944

The enemy so far have not identified the New Zealand Division in the line. For security reasons therefore, our part in the attack on the night of 14 July has not been reported by the BBC or the press. For your information, our 6th Infantry Brigade captured the Lignano feature which was the key to the enemy position covering Arezzo. The British 6th Armoured Division and the Guards Brigade attacked on our left, captured Arezzo and, following up, have gained an important bridgehead over the Arno. Your Division is now in reserve. Our future role will be to move along the valley of the Arno close to Florence, depending on the way the battle develops during the next few days.

We have taken opportunity of the lull to implement the leave scheme for the 4th Reinforcements. The announcement was made yesterday (17 July) and the first quota will go back to Advanced Base on the 20th. We are arranging that all who have not seen Rome will have a day there on the way back. I will see the men on parade before they leave to thank them for what they have done and to wish them God-speed. The news here is good and all are in excellent spirits.