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Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

<Cablegram. April 1, 1918.>


OL. 4487.    


Vice Admiral Sims.

Opnav 4487 (box) Presence of hostile cruising submarines around Canaries and Cape Verde operating as indicated in the estimate by your plans section, coupled with recent requests to run sailing ships to African Coast through the zone for lumber lead the Department to look with favor upon the establishment of minor bases of our own at <Madeira> and Cape de Verde. As bases from which a few of our submarines might operate assisted by heavily armed cruising craft of the P type the islands seem to present possibilities.Matter has been taken up with the Portug<u>ese authorities through our State Department but has not progressed to a decision. What is the opinion of the Admiralty as regards such a scheme and if considered xxxxxxxxxxx feasible what pressure can Admiralty bring to bear to further it provided the United States agreed to furnish operating craft and to make scheme merely an extension of present Azores operation. 22001.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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