Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral Williams S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
CABLEGRAM RECEIVED August 28. <1917>
Origin Chief of Naval Operations Serial No. Opnav 265
Via N C B R 15 Date No. 21028
Copies to C of S, J.V.B., Nav. Att.1 File No.
Action Referred to:
From Chief of Naval Operations.
To Admiral Sims.
Opnav. 265. Replying your three hundred ten and three hundred thirty one2 following method will be followed period Naval Attache London will be ordered to act as Intelligence Officer on your staff in addition to present duty period The Naval Attaches, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Petrograd, and Christiana3 will communicate direct with you through your Intelligence Officer stop Office of Naval Intelligence will issue instructions to the above officers to furnish you all important information immediately in this manner and to cooperate with and render you every possible assistance in the collection and co-ordination of information stop Also to obtain any and all information which you request and you are authorized to communicate direct with them for this purpose stop In turn you will instruct your Intelligence Officer to forward to them such information as you receive from other sources which concerns them paragraph
Other important information received by Department will be forwarded direct to or through you or if sent direct to persons concerned you will be informed of the gist of contents, paragraph
Attaches will be appointed to The Hague, Holland; Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen at the earliest practicable date and similarly instructed.4 paragraph
Information from military sources will be centralized in the Embassies of the countries specified in this table and Naval Attaches will be kept informed so as to furnish information immediately and direct to you.
Arrangement for secret codes and ciphers between attaches and your intelligence officer have been made and new codes and ciphers are prepared and will be issued.
Intelligence service has been organized on above lines and should in near future be working smoothly and efficiently so as to furnish you all available information directly and promptly. 20128
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document is: “Information Copy. R 456.”
Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining served as Sims’ Chief of Staff. Cmdr. John V. Babcock acted as Sims’ aide and de facto Intelligence Officer. Capt. William D. MacDougal was the United States Naval Attaché at London.
Footnote 2: See: Sims to Benson, 22 August 1917.
Footnote 3: Capt. William R. Sayles, Capt. Charles R. Train, Capt. Benton C. Decker, Capt. Newton A. McCully, and Lt. Horace U. Gade, respectively.
Footnote 4: Lt. Eugene D. McCormick, Lt. E. B. Robinette, and Lt. John A. Gade, respectively, were appointed to these posts.