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

28 — War Office to the Chief of the General Staff (Wellington)

page 23

War Office to the Chief of the General Staff (Wellington)

6 January 1940

With reference to your telegrams dated 6 December (No. 26) and 2 January (No. 27).

Reinforcements will be required from New Zealand at a low rate during the training period and at a high rate from the date that the contingent is engaged in active operations. The proposals for reinforcements contained in your telegram of 6 December are considered adequate to cover the training period. To cover active service wastage War Office propose that, in addition to those mentioned in your telegram, the following reinforcements be despatched:

One month's active service wastage for the entire contingent, approximately 2000, to accompany the third flight. Similar numbers to arrive monthly from 1 October onwards.

For reasons of escort and convoy, it will probably be necessary for Australian and New Zealand reinforcements to sail together at intervals of two or three months, which would entail 4000 or 6000 being despatched from New Zealand in September and similar numbers every two or three months. The suggested scale of reinforcements is now being worked out in greater detail and the shipping programme considered in conjunction with Admiralty, Board of Trade, and Australian representatives. A detailed programme of reinforcement sailings will shortly be cabled out for your consideration.