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

388 — Letter from Admiral Halsey to the Prime Minister

Letter from Admiral Halsey to the Prime Minister

21 August 1943

My Dear Mr Fraser


Your liaison officer, Colonel Salmon, who recently returned from a trip to the Fijis, advised my Deputy Commander1 that he had received word from you, and that you desired that I should clearly understand from the conference with Mr Perry that New Zealand page 404 could only furnish two brigades for the 3rd Division, and that replacements for those brigades could not be furnished in excess of the numbers for which New Zealand had made provision. Colonel Salmon stated that he did not know the exact numbers of such replacements but believed they were about 10 per cent.

It is needless for me to tell you that I have been greatly disappointed that New Zealand could not furnish a division with three full brigades, and accepted the decision on two brigades with great reluctance. I do feel that these two brigades should be maintained at full strength at all times.

I hope that their losses will not be such as to require more than the 10 per cent replacements for which you have provided, but should these unfortunately be insufficient, I am counting on you to furnish such additional replacements as may be necessary to maintain these two brigades at full strength.

Our operations in New Georgia progressed somewhat slower than we had hoped. There is a hard fight ahead of us, and we are relying upon the New Zealand Division to bear its share of the effort.

With the assurances of my continued high esteem, I am,

Most sincerely


(Sgd) W. F. Halsey,
admiral, united states navy

1 Admiral R. B. Carney, USN; Chief of Staff to Admiral Halsey, Jul 1943 – Nov 1945; Chief of Naval Operations 1953–55.