Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Richard H. Jackson, United States Naval Attaché at Paris, to Rear Admiral Henry B. Wilson, Commander, United States Patrol Squadrons Operating in European Waters

May 16, 1918.      

From:     Staff Representative, Paris.

To:       Commander U.S.Naval Forces in France

SUBJECT:    Employment of submersibles for cutting cables.

REFERENCE: (a) Letter from Commander U.S.Naval Forces in France, dated May 13, 1918.1

           (b) Letter from Staff Representative, Paris, to Commander U.S.Naval Forces in France, (B.11) of February 28.2

     1. The French Ministry has no further information concerning the probable employment of submersibles for cutting cables other than that indicated in my report of February 28, reference (b).

     2. The conclusion given in that letter was based upon the movements of 3 submersibles, which were known to have been in the vicinity in which the cable was cut, at about the time when it was discovered to have been cut. The movements of 2 of these submersibles were fairly accurately checked up,- concerning the third there was some doubt.

     3. There has been no further information concerning the use of submersibles for cutting cables, nor any additional data relating to this particular instance received either by the Ministry of Marine or by Colonel Cartier or General Russell.3

R. H. Jackson.

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

Footnote 1: The letter from Wilson has not been found.

Footnote 3: German U-boats certainly had the capability to cut cables; in fact, U-151 cut two cables off the coast of the United States on 28 May 1918. Col. François Cartier was the head of the French War Ministry's cryptanalytic agency. Gen. Edgar Russel was Chief Signal Officer, American Expeditionary Forces.

 

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