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Commander John Halligan Jr., Chief of Staff, Patrol Force, Atlantic Fleet to Commanding Officers, United States Patrol Squadrons Operating in European Waters


FORCES IN FRANCE,                 

U. S. S. PROMETHEUS, Flagship,    

Brest, Frence.

14 March,1918.

From:     Commander U.S.Naval Forces in France.1

To:       Commanding Officers.

Subject: Morale of Enemy Submarine Crews.

     1.   In a paper recently received the following is noted:

          “To affect directly the submarine morale requires naval effort, which can be exerted in the following forms:-

          (a) Hunting to the maximum possible degree with available hunting forces. They must be not only active, but also persistent whenever contact is made.

          (b) Hunting by destroyers assigned to convoy work, whenever at sea and not actually engaged in escort duty. When proceeding at sea to pick up convoys, and when returning to port after dropping them, destroyers may deploy so as to sweep a large area.

          (c) By making the maximum offensive effort possible at every contact with an enemy submarine. For example, whenever a convoy is attacked, several destroyers may abandon their duties and make an intensified depth charge attack on the submarine, remaining in the vicinity several hours if necessary, hunting.

          (d) A liberal use of depth charges on all contacts, even though the submarine position may not be known accurately, will disturb enemy morale, as it is difficult to estimate the distance off of an exploding depth charge.

          (e) By periodically scouting at night over areas probably used by submarines for charging batteries under [cover] of darkness. The middle of the Channel and of the Irish Sea are areas probably utilized for this purpose.

          (f) ++++++++++:::::

          (g) + + + + + + + + + + l

     2.   While it is impossible at this time to make the foregoing a part of the present doctrine, it is desired that all Commanding Officers and especially Escort Commanders, bear in mind the points quoted and set as nearly in accordance therewith as circumstances may permit.

J.HALLIGAN, Jr. <Chief of Staff>

Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520. Addressed below close: “Copies to District Commanders.” Document reference: “COMFRAN’S FILE 675.”

Footnote 1: RAdm. Henry B. Wilson.