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

46 — Headquarters 2nd NZEF to Army Headquarters (Wellington)

Headquarters 2nd NZEF to Army Headquarters (Wellington)

31 March 1941

Your telegram of 26 March.4

Wastage prior to the arrival of the 5th Reinforcements will reduce the figures much below the 4800 mentioned by you. The transfer page 33 of Cavalry and Artillery was only a suggestion and may not be put into effect. Wastage from the Second Echelon was higher than expected and a steady drain, particularly on infantry, has resulted from the formation of Base training and administration establishments and the establishment of Advanced Base. Contingents have arrived so far at longer intervals than was first estimated, and the increase in battalion establishment from the lower to higher [scale] has to be implemented somewhat sooner than was expected. Therefore, I suggest that additional infantry and Maori reinforcements be added to the 6th Reinforcements over and above the normal 7th Reinforcements.

4 Not published. This telegram from the Adjutant-General (Colonel A. E. Conway) concerned the composition of the 6th Reinforcements. The part to which telegram No. 46 refers read: ‘According to my reckoning you will have on the arrival of the 5th Reinforcements approximately 4800 infantry and 200 Maori reinforcements, exclusive of first reinforcements and of 300 Cavalry and 200 Artillery reinforcements which you propose changing to infantry. Is it intended, if 50 per cent infantry and Maoris are added to the 6th Reinforcements, that the 7th Reinforcements (normally 4100) be correspondingly reduced?’