Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commander Charles R. Train, United States Naval Attaché in Rome, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United State Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Naval Attache       American Embassy

Telegraphic Address      Rome

ALUSNA    ROME                          16 April, 1918.

PERSONAL

CONFIDENTIAL

Vice Admiral Wm. A. Sims, U.S.N.

     Force Commander,

          London.

Dear Admiral:

     I suppose of course, you will have heard how the British Prime Minister has hinted, through the Italian Prime Minister that it is very desirable that the Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Revel, should attend the Allied Naval Conferences.1 This case developed because Revel told Larking2 that it was impossible for him to attend the Allied Conference in Paris on the 16th. Larking remonstrated because Revel said he would have his Naval attache in Paris represent him. This was the message given to Larking by the Under Chief of Staff.3 L. then went to the Admiral’s residence and caught him just as he was leaving for Taranto and explained how necessary it was that a date be given when he could attend a conference, also how the council would look with disfavor upon his being represented by a Naval Attache. Revel finally said that possibly he would be present on the 25th, which information L. cabled home. A few hours later the Admiralty telegraphed saying that the Conference is postponed owing to the inability of the Italian Chief of Staff to take part, and a few hours later the British Ambassador4 received a telegram from Lloyd George to take the matter up with the Prime Minister Orlando, which has accordingly been done, and I understand that it has led to something.

     Through me particular friend in the Ministry I feel that there is some friction between the Minister, Vice Admiral del Bono,5 and Revel. As I size the whole thing up, Revel is not in sympathy with any of the Allied efforts in the Adriatic. There has always been some effort in getting Revel to take part in conferences. Perhaps friction between the Minister and the Chief of Staff may so develop that the latter will lose his job. I head from another source that there was no great reason why Revel should not have taken part in this conference or why he should not be free by the 22nd.

Very sincerely and respectfully.

C H Train.         

Source Note: TCy, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 23. Document is from “Admiral Sim’s Personal File.” Document reference: “1/5/6/J/Q.”

Footnote 1: British Prime Minister Lloyd George, Italian Prime Minister Vittorio E Orlando, and Chief of Naval Staff VAdm. Paolo Thaon di Revel, Italian Navy.

Footnote 2: British Naval Attache in Rome Capt. Dennis A.H. Larking.

Footnote 3: Deputy Chief of Navay Staff, VAdm. Emanuele Curtinella-Rendina, Italian Navy.

Footnote 4: British Ambassador to Italy Sir Rennell Rodd.

Footnote 5: VAdm. Alberto Del Bono, Italian Navy.