447 Mr Winston Churchill, U.K. Prime Minister, to Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister

Cablegram Winch 20 LONDON, 30 March 1942, 9.23 p.m.


During the latter part of April and the beginning of May, one of our armoured divisions [1] will be rounding the Cape. If, by that time, Australia is being heavily invaded, I should certainly divert it to your aid. This would not apply in the case of localized attacks in the north or of mere raids elsewhere. But I wish to let you know that you could count on this help should invasion by say eight or ten Japanese divisions occur. This would also apply to other troops of which we have a continuous stream passing to the East. I am still by no means sure that the need will arise especially in view of the energetic measures you are taking and the United States help.

1 In cablegram Winch 21 of 1 April (AA:A3195, 1942, 1.13016) Churchill corrected this to read 'the 2nd British Infantry Division'. The Armoured Division was to be sent one month later and both divisions were to be available to Australia under the conditions stated in Winch 20.

[AA:A3195, 1942, 1.12853]