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Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to Rear Admiral William S. Sims



RECEIVED.      April 17th, 1917.  To: Naval ATTACHE.1


          Is it not practicable to blockade German coast efficiently and completely thus making practically impossible the egress and ingress of submarines.

          The steps attempted or accomplished in this direction to be reported at once.2

          Yours of noon fourteenth April will be given earnest and immediate attention.3

                    Above for Sims.


NO. OF COPIES. 3                             REFERENCE NO.

Source Note: C, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517.

Footnote 1: This cablegram was addressed to the U.S. Naval Attaché in England, Capt. William D. MacDougall, but it is clear from the context that the message was intended for Sims.

Footnote 2: In his diary entry for 18 April, Daniels wrote: “[Chief of Naval Operations William S.] Benson: What course shall we (the Navy) take in the war? He thought some policy should be pursued by which subs were retained in German waters.” DLC-MSS, Josephus Daniels Papers, Diary, Roll 1. This comment reflected a belief within the U.S. Navy that the British Royal Navy was not aggressive enough in confronting the German submarine menace. See Still, Crisis at Sea: 18-19.

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