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

344 — Memorandum from Lieutenant-General Puttick to the Minister of Defence — Request from Commander South Pacific Area for Kiwi Forces

344
Memorandum from Lieutenant-General Puttick to the Minister of Defence

20 October 1942

Request from Commander South Pacific Area for Kiwi Forces

1. With reference to the recommendations contained in paragraph 5 of my memorandum of 16 October 1942, and which were approved by War Cabinet, I now wish to advise that I anticipate being able to despatch with the main body, or shortly afterwards, the following additional units:

(a)

One troop field artillery (four 25-pounders).

(b)

One section field engineers.

(c)

1st Battalion New Zealand Scottish.

(d)

1st Battalion Ruahine Regiment.

(e)

Workshops for—Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment.
Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment.
Heavy Regiment.

(f)

10th Reserve Motor Transport Company.

2. Of the above, (a), (b), (c) and (d) are in replacement of units sent or being sent to Norfolk Island and Tonga. (e) and (f) were provided for in the original composition of Kiwi ‘C’, but have not yet been brought up to War Establishment.

3. The War Establishment of the complete force is approximately 13,500 all ranks. The War Cabinet approval for the despatch of the force was based on the War Establishment of Kiwi ‘C’ less troops assigned to Norfolk Island and Tonga, namely 11,073 all ranks.

4. May I have War Cabinet approval for the despatch of the force with a War Establishment of 13,500 all ranks?

5. I estimate the strength of the force on embarkation will be about 80 per cent of War Establishment. It is intended to make good the deficiencies as opportunity offers.

6. Provided approval is given for their despatch, there is a possibility of the troops mentioned in paragraph 1 (a) to (d) being disembarked at Norfolk Island and Tonga respectively. The New Zealand garrisons page 363 at those places thus relieved will be able to rejoin the 3rd Division in New Caledonia.

7. As shipping arrangements are now being made, I request that this matter be treated as urgent.

(Sgd) E. Puttick

,

Lieutenant-General,
commanding new zealand military forces