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

141 — General Freyberg to the Prime Minister

General Freyberg to the Prime Minister

4 June 1942

In my appreciations (Nos. 1368) plans to meet a German attack through Turkey have been the main consideration. Although these plans are still being considered, there is no indication at present of an attack developing. Information indicates that the main German thrust is aimed at the oilfields in and around the Persian Gulf, and the planning now being given first priority is the defence of Persia from attack through the Caucasus. The capture of the Persian oil supply would be a great loss to the Allies, especially in the Middle East.

This message is to inform you of the trend of thought here, and also to advise you that I have been asked at short notice to leave tomorrow with the GSO 11 for ten days' reconnaissance in Persia. The reconnaissance is purely exploratory. I shall keep you fully informed of any possible change in policy, which will be referred to you in the ordinary way.

I have to thank you and the Government for my promotion,2 which will help me in my dealings here and elsewhere.

1 Colonel W. G. Gentry.

2 In a telegram sent on 3 Jun the Prime Minister advised General Freyberg that he had been granted the temporary rank of Lieutenant-General as from 1 Mar 1942.