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

Action Copy.                                 File No. <28-3-1>

Cablegram Received Jan 07015 <January 15,> 1918 IT

Origin   Opnav- Washington                       Ser. No. 2211

Ref’d to




16 Jan.

<Jan- 15. 1918



Matter under advisement with


27 ADR

     Simsadus.                      VERY SECRET

2211. Your 2915.1 Departments policy is first formal notification warning shipping from mine area when promulgated should issue from British authorities second postpone any notification as long as possible third make notification covering as wide area as practicable. Notified areas should at least embrace all North Sea between about latitude 56° North and 60° 40' this including both barrage locations so far considered and areas between them but department considers best plan would be to warn against possibility of mines in any part of North Sea below latitude 61° this will give free hand in mine campaign and provide against mines adrift or otherwise out of intended place. Neutral shipping between British and Neutral ports in North Europe to be informed by British authorities what routes are safe at the time they inquire this being a matter for British at once to handle. It is suggested that any international phases to the matter be taken up by British government through our ambassador2  17015.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The original “signature,” which appears to have been “SIMS” is crossed through and “opnav” is written in. The date was taken from the handwritten date added later. That date was a translation of “07015,” which is presumably a combination of the date and time on which the cable was received. Most of the material in the table is handwritten; it is indicated by angle brackets starting with the date in the first line, third column. There is also a handwritten note below the table that is crossed through. It apparently reads “Refers to 3069 to Opnav H.C [unreadable].”

Footnote 1: This cable has not been found.

Footnote 2: Presumably referring to the fact that the part of the proposed mine barrage would violate Norwegian territorial waters. United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom Walter Hines Page.