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

338 — The Chief of the General Staff (Wellington) to the New Zealand Liaison Officer (London)

The Chief of the General Staff (Wellington) to the New Zealand Liaison Officer (London)

16 July 1942

Most secret and personal for Brigadier Park from General Puttick. Your ML 2915 of 13 July.1

1. Have no definite information as to possible area of operations or time. Assume that at some future date offensive operations will be undertaken in the Pacific and that New Zealand will be asked to co-operate. There are three possible roles. First, amphibious. Second, island garrisons. Third, participation in large offensive operations from Australia. Assumption is confirmed by cables from Washington suggesting that the 3rd New Zealand Division on return from Fiji should train with the 1st United States Marine Division for amphibious operations.

2. Would appreciate War Office advice on the organisation and equipment of forces for these operations. My preliminary view is that brigade groups on the present organisation, but with reduced equipment, would be suitable for amphibious and garrison operations. I do not visualise the Army Tank Brigade taking part as a brigade in the initial operations unless Australia was invaded in strength. 3·7-inch howitzers would be valuable and we should have an additional twenty-four to be able to equip one battery in each of three field regiments with these weapons.

3. Cannot state requirements in landing craft. America has offered to provide and has inquired if craft can be assembled locally.

1 Not published. Requested General Puttick's views on the likely divisional organisation for amphibious operations in the Pacific, the area in which the force would be employed and its requirements in landing craft.