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LEAVING EUROPE GENERAL'S TRIBUTE N.Z.E.F. Official News Service TRIESTE, July 29. "I consider your achievements are without parallel in this war," said the Commander of the Eighth Army, General McCreery, when reviewing the history of the New Zealand Division at a function tendered him by Lieutenant-General Sir Bernard Freybery, V.C., at divisional hearlquarters. Senior officers of the Corps : and Armv were present as well as officers of the Division, and the function was in the nature of a farewell to the Eighth Army which ceases to exist to-day. "I feel that after five years and a half association with the armies in the Middle East everyone in the Division would wish me to express our thanks to those who have been so generous and kind to us," said General Freyberg in proposing the toast of the Commander ot the Eighth Army. "We are now moving from the European theatre, and, although we feel the break of leaving ola friends, we know we are leaving the Eigiitn Army after a triumphal enuing. "We fully appreciate the fact—and I speak for the whole oi' the Eighth Army—that your force is much more than'a division." General McCreery sai.'i in reply. "It is an Expeditionary Force and in the operations during the past few years it has often been called the New Zealand Corps. We also appreciate that your forces have played a much longer part than the Eighth Army itself. We are always inclined to think of recent events and forget how in the first two years of the war such a great amount was done when Britain was fighting alone on such slender resources. Some of the historic campaigns you took part in, such as Greece, had a tremendous effect, and without the assistance you gave the Greeks, Russia might well have gone under in the summer of 1941, and we might have had another Napoleonic war lasting twenty years. "Achievements Without Parallel" "You have played a unique part against the German Army," General McCreery added, "and I consider your achievements without parallel in this war. They have been of tremendous importance. You have been the spearhead of many of the big battles which the Eighth Army carried out. Your unique part is due to certain qualities which your Division have always had; you have got that fighting spirit, which is the basic thing a soldier must have in war. You have got endurance and you will die, if necessary, for your country; you have always shown great initiative and a high standard of individual enterprise and skill. "Credit for much of the Division's success must go to the gunners, sappers and supply columns," General McCreery added. "All these had a high level of efficiency and a will to get things done. All this had enabled the Division to develop a high standard of battle drill in every phase of operations. In the latest offensive in Italy New Zealand sappers had always got the troops across the most difficult obstacles before anyone else could have done so. __

'You go away with a great record, General McCreery concluded. 'The Eighth Army wishes you every success in the future,, whatever it may be. This is an appropriate time for me to say goodbye, because this is the end of the Eighth Army. Shortly the Eighth Army will officially disappear, and we will become the Headquarters British Troops in Austria. This end of the Eighth Army is the result of victory; I wish the N.Z.E.F. the very best of good luck and success in the future."

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Bibliographic details

N.Z. TROOPS, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 178, 30 July 1945

Word Count

N.Z. TROOPS Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 178, 30 July 1945

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