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

34 — Army Headquarters (Wellington) to General Freyberg (London)

page 27

Army Headquarters (Wellington) to General Freyberg (London)

2 September 1940

The numbers of reinforcements agreed upon were as specified in our telegram of 9 March (No. 31). Excluding first reinforcements, the total number with the Third Echelon, plus the 4th and 5th Reinforcements, was to be 13,100 all ranks. However, the programme of despatch has now been altered as follows to meet the changed situation:

A total of 606 reinforcements accompanied the Third Echelon1 in addition to its first reinforcements, the remainder of the reinforcements originally intended for despatch with the Third Echelon being required for other purposes. As already advised, it is intended that the 4th and 5th Reinforcements will each consist of 6500 all ranks,2 thus approximately completing the original programme and strength. The estimates of reinforcements to replace wastage in twelve months, viz., 16,200 all ranks, were based on the rates prescribed for France, and the original programme and strength of drafts were arranged accordingly. Similar estimates on the Middle East scale totalled 9700 all ranks.

Having regard to the alteration in the situation and the change in the probable theatre of operations of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force since the original estimates and plans were made, your views on the amended programme given above and the strength of the reinforcements required for despatch with the 6th and 7th Reinforcements would be welcomed.3

1 The Third Echelon left New Zealand for Egypt on 28 Aug.

2 This telegram or memorandum cannot be traced. See also Formation of New Zealand Armoured Brigade (No. 67).

3 General Freyberg replied on 19 Sep that he would send early in October the estimated requirements of 2nd NZEF based on the new situation. These were given in a letter on 26 Oct, not reproduced in this volume.