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Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, R.N., Commander, Southern Ireland, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Admiralty House,   


27. 10. 18

My dear Admiral

Two matters,

(1) We must hold Heligoland in the armistice; that should be a ‘sine qua non’. If I were on the conference I would say Borkum as well, but Heligoland must be occupied by one of the Allied nations (and never given up).1

(2) Surely it is not true that recommendations placed on US naval officers’ records by foreign officers are to be removed. They say so here, and are very sad, but I cannot believe it. I think relaxing escorts at present is very dangerous; if we have not been able to trust the Hun before why trust him now.2

Yours very sincerely,

Lewis Bayly   

The niece3 is delighted to hear that you wear thick socks.

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 47. This letter is written on Admiralty House stationary.

Footnote 1: Heligoland is a German-held island chain in the North Sea, and a major naval and submarine base. Borkum is a German island in the northwestern North Sea. Both islands remained in German hands after the war, and Heligoland was reactivated as a major naval installation in World War II.

Footnote 2: German submarines had recently evacuated the Bay of Biscay, leading to a reduction in escorts for convoys leaving France. See: Sims to Henry B. Wilson, 26 October 1918, and Sims to Opnav, 26 October 1918.

Footnote 3: Miss Violet Voysey, Bayly’s niece.

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