Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral of the Navy George Dewey, President, General Board, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

 

CONFIDENTIAL

MAR 13 1915

 

To:       Secretary of the Navy.

SUBJECT:  Preparation necessary to made by the Bureaus and offices of the Navy Department to insure a state of preparedness for war.

Enclosures: As enumerated in paragraph 2.

The strategic study of war in the Atlantic Ocean,1 in which the United States is a belligerent, shows that the full Naval Force of the United States, together with the necessary merchant auxiliaries must be manned, fitted out and mobilized within two weeks after the government decides that war is imminent and a mobilization of the Naval Force is necessary. In order to accomplish this it is necessary that all preparations possible be systematically made during time of peace and this state of preparedness be constantly maintained.2

2.   The Administrative Section of the plan for war in the Atlantic3 gives generally the work to be inaugurated now and diligently prosecuted by the Bureaus of the Navy Department to insure a state of preparedness, and there are forwarded herewith copies of that part of the plan that concerns the activities of the following offices and bureaus:4

          Office of Solicitor

          Office of Naval Intelligence

          Bureau of Ordnance

          "    "    Construction and Repair

          "    "    Steam Engineering

          "    "    Yards and Docks

          "    "    Medicine and Surgery

          "    "    Supplies and Accounts

          "    "    Navigation

          Headquarters of Marine Corps.

3.   The General Board recommends that each office and bureau be furnished with the part of the plan that pertains to its own duties and directed to comply with the requirements of the plan as far as may be practicable, and especially to be directed to report to the Department as soon as practicable, not later than one month from the approval of this letter, and thereafter at the end of each calendar quarter, the progress made in the work of preparation and to comment upon any defects in the plan which make its execution impracticable or that seem cumbersome.

4.   It is recommended that copies of these reports be forwarded by the Department to the General Board for the purpose of keeping the war plans up to date.

(Sgd) George Dewey

Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG 80, GB425. In the upper left corner of the first page is the identification number: “G.B.No. 425.” and in the upper left corner: “HP/425.” The date is stamped.

Footnote 1: See: Adm. George Dewey to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, [March], 1915, DNA, RG 80, Entry 289.

Footnote 2: For the initial procedures to engage the services of merchant vessels, see: Dewey to Daniels, “Mobilization Plan for a War in the Atlantic,” 9 May 1916, TD, DNA, RG 80, GB425.

Footnote 3: For the administrative section of War Plan Black, see, Dewey to Daniels, “Administrative Section of the Mobilization Plan for War in the Atlantic,” DNA, RG 80, GB425.

Footnote 4: A collection of these reports can be found in the General Board files at DNA, RG 80, GB425, Box 125.