Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Starting with the anniversary of the United States' entry into the war on 6 April 2017, through the anniversary of Armistice Day on 11 November 2018, the Naval History and Heritage Command will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Navy’s experiences in World War I. Throughout the commemoration, NHHC will feature documents that will allow you to see the war through the eyes of the participants. In addition to these highlights, you can learn more by exploring additional resources from the command. 

Featured Documents

 

Is the German fleet coming out? Does the United States owe Britain compensation? How effective are the Navy’s railway guns? All these questions are addressed in this week’s documents.


16 September 1918. Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to the Office of Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters. Are Germans preparing to fight a major sea battle? Our intelligence says “yes.”

 

17 September 1918. Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Rear Admiral Albert P. Niblack, Commander, Patrol Forces Based at Gibraltar. Sims chastises his former U.S. Naval Academy roommate.

 

17 and 18 September 1918. Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations.Sims debunks U.S. intelligence and explains his chastisement of Niblack.

 

19 September 1918. Memorandum from the First Lord of the Admiralty Sir Eric Geddes. Geddes believes the United States owes Britain a debt—here is what he wants in repayment.

 

20 September 1918. Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to the Staff of Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, second cable of the day. Sims wins—the Navy changes its plans on how to combat German surface raiders.

 

21 September 1918. Bureau of Ordnance to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters. The United States is dispatching lots and lots of depth charges to use against German U-boats.

 

22 September 1918. Rear Admiral Henry M. Wilson, Commander, United States Naval Forces in France, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters. General report from France—interesting information concerning the Navy’s railway batteries.

 

Learn More

Click the links below to access additional Naval History and Heritage Command resources on the Great War including photo and art collections, archival material, and publications.