The British reaction
General Sir Alan Brooke had planned to meet the Director of Military Training after spending the morning of 21 September in his ofﬁce. He then had an appointment with the New Zealanders’ commander, Major-
General Bernard Freyberg, VC, who was on the point of departing for the
Middle East.1 He was woken at 0500 hours with the reports of radar sight-
ings of large groups of vessels on the move in the English Channel and the
assessment that Sealion was starting. Although he felt that preparations
were far from complete it was a relief to be in action again. The ﬁrst of his
appointments was cancelled and he put a call through to Freyberg at once.
The New Zealand Division was near Maidstone and Brooke ordered them to
stay there unless directly attacked; they were a card to be played later.