Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

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

61 — The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom2 to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom2 to the Prime Minister of New Zealand

25 July 1942

The question of keeping the New Zealand Division up to strength has been raised by General Auchinleck. In asking you to consider ways and means of maintaining this splendid unit on its present basis I cannot do better than quote Auchinleck's own words: ‘The value to the Middle East of a trained, acclimatised force such as the New Zealand Division is very great, and I view its possible reduction at the present stage with great concern.’ 3

The alternatives to the despatch of reinforcements for the existing force would be either to break up the New Zealand Base organisation with its training centres, schools of instruction, &c., or gradually reduce the Division in size. I should be sorry to see either alternative adopted and hope they can be avoided by the despatch of reinforcements from New Zealand.

page 46

I think you intended this month to review the possibility of moving your Army Tank Brigade to the Middle East. If you decided to keep it in New Zealand for the present, I certainly would not press for its despatch overseas.1

2 Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom during the war were:

28 May 1937–11 May 1940Rt. Hon. Arthur Neville Chamberlain, PC.
11 May 1940–26 Jul 1945Rt. Hon. Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, PC, OM, CH.
26 Jul 1945–to dateRt. Hon. C. R. Attlee, PC, CH.

3 This extract is from a cable from General Auchinleck to the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (General Sir Alan Brooke), dated 23 Jul.