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

Action Copy.                                File No. <25-20-3>

Cablegram Received  April <4, 1918.>    02005     SFM1

Origin    Opnav     Washington.         Ser. No. 4570

Ref’d. to




Apr 5

<Cabled-Opnav 6151- Apr 7 NCT>2





4570.     Duplicate Opnav 4487.    Presence of hostile cruiser submarines around Canary Islands and Cape Verde operating as indicated in the estimate by your planning section, coupled with recent requests to run sailing vessels to African Coast through the zone for lumber leads the Department to look with favor upon the establishment minor bases of our own at Madeira Islands and Cape Verde. As base from which a few of our submarines might operate assisted by heavily armed cruising craft of the P or Q type these Islands seem to present possibilities. Matter has been taken up with Portug<u>ese authorities through our State Department but has not progressed to a decision. What is opinion of Admiralty as regards feasibility of such a scheme and if considered feasible what pressure can Admiralty bring to bear to further it provided United States agrees to furnish operating craft and to make scheme merely an extension of present Azore Islands operations<?>3 22001.   4487. 15004.   4570.


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

Footnote 1: Initials of the trascriber.

Footnote 2: “CS” and “NCT” both refer to Sims’ Chief of Staff, Capt. Nathan C. Twining.