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

Cablegram sent March 10, 1918

To OPNAV, Washington.                      Serial No. 4833.

AC        Ad. & Capt


25 ADR.       


4953.     Referring your 1168.2   Am forwarding by next mail recommendation of Rodman3 with my approval that DELWARE be withdrawn and ARKANSAS substituted. Reasons,

     One: It is policy of Grand Fleet to concentrate fire of two or more ships on one of enemy.

     Two: The position of Rodman’s Command at van or rear makes it encumbent on us to carry out this policy.

     Three:    We should have all ships of the same calibre and muzzle velocity of guns.

     Four:     If three not possible, two pairs of ships in which guns of each pair are the same.4

     ARKANSAS to be fitted with paravanes and under-water castings and fittings of heavier pattern than those sent over on TEXAS for self and other vessels. DELAWARE not to be withdrawn until ARKANSAS ready in all respects to operate. Owing to fuel oil situation reason three above cannot be realized. 4953.


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

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims; Cheif of Staff.

Footnote 2: This document has not been found.

Footnote 3: RAdm. Hugh Rodman, Commander, Battleship Division Nine. For the recommendation referenced herein, see, Rodman to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, 28 February 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 382.

Footnote 4: In his letter to Daniels, Rodman wrote that New York and Texas had 14-inch guns, whereas Wyoming and Arkansas had 12-inch ones. He added that the ideal force would be comprised of New York, Texas, Oklahoma, and Nevada all with 14-inch guns but concedeed that would “make too much demand on oil fuel.” Therefore he wished to substitute Arkansas for Delaware, because the latter’s guns did not have enough range. Ibid.

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