Sunday, February 05, 2006
The role of Dominion troops in the Middel East
The Official History notes the important role played by Australian and New Zealand troops in the war in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Their commanders had a dual allegiance and had privileges not available to British and Colonial forces (such as the Indian Army). They had the responsibility to keep their governments informed as to developments, and to keep their formations intact, as much as possible. General Blamey commanded the Australians and General Freyberg the New Zealanders. Despite their status, both very much desired, and their troops, as well, to make a significant contribution to the war effort. However, after the debacle on Crete, the New Zealand Government was concerned that their forces not be put into such an untenable position again, as had happened on Crete. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.