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

461 — General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

6 May 1945

Now that the war in Europe and danger of battle casualties is over and the 15th Reinforcements are available in Egypt after six weeks' training, it would appear opportune for me to accelerate the New Zealand Government's replacement scheme by sending back immediately the 6th and 7th Reinforcements, which number approximately 3000. This will necessitate special shipping arrangements being made. Before any steps are taken I must first be relieved of my present operational role and I would appreciate having the approval of War Cabinet. The despatch of the 6th and 7th Reinforcements would reduce the number of troops exposed to malaria, although for the time we remain in Italy we would be under strength, but when we join up with the 15th Reinforcements in Egypt that would be remedied. Will you say if War Cabinet concurs in my proposal?