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War Economy

The End of the Pacific Division

The End of the Pacific Division

In September 1944 the Government bowed to the impossibility of maintaining all its manpower commitments. It decided to leave 2 Division in Europe and to use the balance of 3 Division to reinforce it.2 This was a disappointing ending for the Pacific division; the only consolation was that New Zealand would continue to be represented in the Pacific by her Navy and Air Force.

Actually, by the end of August, the Army had only 3400 men left in the Pacific theatre, 2600 of them in New Caledonia and the Solomons.3

Gillespie says,4 ‘A total of 17,134 all ranks returned from the Pacific, and by the beginning of September were scattered far and wide. Of these, industry absorbed 12,069; another 3229 had embarked to join 2 Division; 38 were on their way to the United Kingdom; 830 were in camp with 16th Reinforcements, and 968 were held on home service.’

At the end of November 1944, 9100 men from 3 Division were held under direction in the following industries:5

Farming 4,286
Building and construction 1,386
Meat freezing works 478
Logging and sawmilling 474
Railways 811
Coal mining 143
Butter and cheese factories 473
Other approved industries 601
Other industries 448
Total 9,100
page 497

Meantime industry was repeatedly being combed through to find fit men suitable for armed service who could be taken into the forces without hampering essential production.

2 This was eight months after the decision had been made to reduce the strength of 3 Division. See also p. 489.

3 Parliamentary Paper H–19b, 1948, p. 10.

4 The Pacific, p. 202.

5 H–11a, Report of the National Service Department, 1946.