Freyberg's high-command relationships, 1939-1941 : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Defence and Strategic Studies at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
This thesis analyses General Bernard Freyberg’s highcommand
relationships from November 1939 to June 1941. The
civil-military relationship was inadequately formed and therefore
incapable of functioning effectively. Coalition relations with Middle
East Command became disharmonious in September 1940 because
the British refused to accept Dominions as independent allies.
Unable to unite his force until February 1941, Freyberg’s officers
formed an independent subculture that challenged his command.
The 1941 campaign in Greece brought these relationship
shortcomings to the surface. The turning point in all three
relationships took place in Cairo in June 1941 where, in meetings
with Freyberg, Prime Minister Peter Fraser implemented remedies
to the relationship failures and also initiated changes in the New
Zealand Government’s alliance relationship with Whitehall.
Personalities and interpersonal relations are shown to be central to
effective high-command relationships.