Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
203 — 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)
For Brigadier Park from General Puttick.
Your telegram of 25 February.
My personal views, which may not necessarily be shared by the Chief of the Naval Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff,1 are as follows:
1. The scale of attack on New Zealand depends upon the following factors:
The power of Allied naval forces to interfere decisively with an expedition or at least to inflict serious casualties.
The number and quality of RNZAF units.
The Japanese estimate of the strength and quality of the New Zealand land forces which could be concentrated at the point or points of attack.
The Japanese estimate of the value of New Zealand as
Axis strategical plans, of which there is insufficient data to form an opinion. If these include a south-east drive by Germany and a western drive by Japan, both aimed at India, which seems to depend upon the Axis estimate of Russian strength and of the actual and potential strength of India, both military and political, then the scale of attack on New Zealand may possibly be reduced, though from an estimate of the Japanese divisions available she could simultaneously attack New Zealand in strength.
The Japanese shipping situation. In a recent survey there is some indication of a shortage, and casualties have since occurred but are probably balanced by captures and charters. On the information available I do not accept the shortage of shipping as restricting Japanese expeditions.
The Japanese estimate of the effect of a heavy attack on New Zealand on the morale of the NZEF in the Middle East, and the consequent effect on operations there.
3. I regard any suggestion of a brigade group as fantastic. What could it hope to achieve? It is a case of either initially a division, perhaps of a special type, or mere raids.1