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

42 — General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence — [Extract]

General Freyberg to the Minister of Defence

2 December 1940

….2 With reference to your telegram of 2 December,3 I feel that I must most strongly represent that should we be cast for an page 31 operational role we must have at least three months' reinforcements, amounting to 4200, fully trained, in our Base depots. Owing to the need for sending troops to Fiji, I would point out that we were 2300 reinforcements short with the Third Echelon, and with expansion and new units to be formed immediately we shall require an additional 2600 not originally budgeted for. Even if the 4th Reinforcements arrive to time and complete, we should only just be able to have reserves ready by the end of March. I have gone into the whole reinforcement position with General Duigan, who will arrive in New Zealand about the New Year. I strongly urge, and he agrees, sending the 4th Reinforcements complete and trying to expedite part of the 5th Reinforcements to arrive by March. This could be done by drawing some men from Fiji.

2 See Volume I, Concentration of the 2nd NZ Division (No. 263) for complete text.

3 Not published. This telegram from Army Headquarters to Headquarters 2nd NZEF advised that the shipping position prevented the despatch of the remainder of the 4th Reinforcements until late January, and notified a reduction in the size of the draft (2nd section, 4th Reinforcements) then being prepared for embarkation.