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Author Topic: 3rd New Zealand Division  (Read 5084 times)
MontyB
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« on: 25 April 2010, 08:40:36 »
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In October 1942 the main elements of the 3rd NZ Division were:

Divisional Headquarters
8 Infantry Brigade
29 Battalion
34 Battalion
36 Battalion
14 Infantry Brigade
30 Battalion
35 Battalion
37 Battalion
Divisional Artillery
17 Field Regiment
33 Heavy Coast Regiment
28 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment
144 Independent Battery
53 Anti-Tank Battery
54 Anti-Tank Battery
Divisional Engineers
20 Field Company
23 Field Company
37 Field Park
No. 1 Signals Company
Army Service Corps
4 ASC Company
16 ASC Company
10 Reserve Mechanical Transport Company
Medical
7 Field Ambulance
22 Field Ambulance
4 General Hospital

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_Division_(New_Zealand)
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We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
MontyB
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« Reply #1 on: 25 April 2010, 08:45:11 »
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Operational History:

Campaign in the Solomon Islands
The 3rd NZ Division moved to Guadalcanal in August 1943. From this base, the Division provided the ground component for three campaigns against small island groups in the Northern Solomons (in all operations the United States Navy provided the naval forces while squadrons from the Royal New Zealand Air Force formed only a small part of the US dominated air forces). While the islands were only lightly held by the Japanese and New Zealand casualties were relatively light, the Kiwi ground troops had to overcome challenging terrain and climatic conditions in these operations.


Vella Lavella

3rd NZ Division's operations on Vella Lavella ran from 21 September to 9 October 1943. The Division's 14th Brigade Group was initially landed at the American base on the island's south coast and mounted amphibious landings and patrols to drive the small Japanese garrison from the north of the island. The New Zealanders killed between 200 and 300 Japanese, with the remaining 589 Japanese personnel being evacuated on the night of 6-7 October. Total New Zealand casualties in this operation were 32 killed and 32 wounded.

The main units involved were:
* 3rd NZ Division Headquarters
* 14th Brigade Group
** 30 Battalion
** 35 Battalion
** 37 Battalion
** 17 Field Regiment
** 207 Light AA Battery
** 53 Anti-Tank Battery
** 20 Field Company


Treasury Islands

3rd NZ Division's operations in the Treasury Islands ran from 25 October to 26 November 1943. 8th Brigade Group landed on the islands on 27 October in New Zealand's first opposed amphibious operation since Gallipoli in 1915. The New Zealanders encountered only scattered opposition, with the last organised Japanese units being defeated on the night of 2-3 November. New Zealand casualties were 40 killed and 145 wounded.

The main units involved were:
* 8th Brigade Group
** 29 Battalion
** 34 Battalion
** 36 Battalion
** 38 Field Regiment
** 29 Light AA Regiment
** 54 Anti-Tank Battery
** 23 Field Company


Green Islands

3rd NZ Division's operations in the Green Islands ran from 15 February to 27 February 1944. Like the operation in the Treasury Islands, the heavily reinforced 14th Brigade made an opposed landing on Nissan Island against light Japanese resistance on 15 February. The small Japanese garrison resisted the invasion strongly but was overwhelmed by the much larger New Zealand force, with organised resistance coming to an end on 23 February. New Zealand casualties were 10 killed and 21 wounded.

The main units involved were:
* 3rd NZ Division Headquarters
* Divisional Signals Regiment
* 3rd NZ Division Tank Squadron (Valentine tanks)
* Divisional Artillery
** 17 Field Regiment
** 29 Light AA Regiment
** 144 Independent Battery
** 53 Anti-Tank Battery
* Divisional Engineers
** 20 Field Company
** 26 Field Company
* 14th Infantry Brigade
** 30 Battalion
** 35 Battalion
** 37 Battalion


Disbandment
In early 1944 the New Zealand Government faced a manpower crisis caused by the demands of maintaining two divisions overseas while simultaneously maintaining agricultural and industrial production to meet the needs of the Allied countries. In order to cope with this crisis the NZ Government saw no option other than to disband one the country's two infantry divisions. The decision to disband the 3rd NZ Division was made after consulting with the British and United States Governments, who were of the view that 2nd NZ Division's contribution to the campaign in Italy was of greater importance than 3rd NZ Division's contribution in the Pacific.

3rd NZ Division was withdrawn to New Caledonia in June 1944 and returned to New Zealand in August. The Division was rapidly downsized and was formally disbanded on 20 October 1944. About 4,000 veterans of 3rd NZ Division were dispatched to Italy to reinforce 2nd NZ Division with the remaining men of the division returning to civilian employment.

Sources:
* Lieutenant Colonel Oliver A. Gillespie, 1952. The Pacific War History Branch, Department Of Internal Affairs, Wellington, New Zealand. (Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939â€"45 series)
* Warwick Hughes. 3rd NZ Division in the Pacific
* Royal New Zealand Artillery Old Comrades' Association NZ Artillery of World War 2 in the Pacific
* Lance Whitford. History of the 3rd NZ Division Tank Squadron
« Last Edit: 25 April 2010, 08:56:40 by MontyB » Logged

We are more often treacherous through weakness than through calculation. ~Francois De La Rochefoucauld
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