Skip to main content

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


Date      March 14, 1918

To        Opnav

Prepared by    CS1           No. 5151


- - - - - - -

Allied Naval Council met March twelfth, adjourned March fourteenth. Session of fourteenth was joint session with military representatives Supreme War Council to discuss Adriatic matter.

Council decided to continue liaison with War Council by means of Naval Officers detailed as at present and to have joint sessions with military representatives when necessary.

     Council was strongly of the opinion that to requisition four hundred thousand tons of Dutch tonnage as recommended by War Trade Board would be likely to force Holland into war on one side or the other. It was decided that the addition of the tonnage to the Allied resources would not be of sufficient advantage to outweigh the disadvantages incident to Holland entering the war on either side.2

     No decision was reached as to publication of shipping losses. All members of Council in favour of publication except French, who wished to reserve their opinion pending further consideration. French Minister of Marine3 attended Council and stated that the French Government had decided that publication of the losses would adversely affect the French morale.

     The Council was of opinion some offensive action necessary and approved principle of Adriatic proposal, leaving details to be determined later. Whole project is to be thoroughly considered and discussed with Supreme War Council. Matter was explained to military representatives at joint session March fourteenth. Content of Department’s cable Number three seven three four will be given fullest consideration.4

     Next Meeting of Council probably May seventh.


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

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims' Chief of Staff.

Footnote 2: For more on the expropriation of Dutch shipping, which, despite Sims' fears, did not lead to war with the Dutch, see: William S. Benson to Sims, 16 March 1918.

Footnote 3: Minister of Marine Georges Leygues.

Related Content