Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Albert P. Niblack, Commander, Patrol Squadron Based on Gibraltar, to Commanding Officers, Vessels in Gibraltar Patrol Squadron

U.S. NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS,

PATROL SQUADRONS BASED ON GIBRALTAR.

               U.S.S. DECATUR FLAGSHIP.           HFN

April 19, 1918.

From:  Commander Patrol Squadrons Based on Gibraltar.

To:    Commanding Officers.

SUBJECT:  Instructions as regards offensive ag<a>inst enemy submarines.

     1. There has been received from the Force Commander|1| blue-prints and instructions with regard to operations against enemy submarines, which can be seen on personal application to the Flag Office.1

     2. The Force Commander has recently cabled as follows:

“You should impress on all Commanding Officers necessity for taking the offensive against submarines whenever they are sighted or their location is known. Force instructions on this subject are in course of preparation, as several instances have arisen recently both in our own service and in allied services, in which an escorting vessel has abondoned  the attack on an enemy submarine for reasons that it thought that its convoy was in no further immediate danger from that particular enemy.”2

     3. As there is considerable doubt in the mind of some Commanding Officers as to the extent to which it is justifiable to pursue the attack in order to insure the e scape of the convoy, the Squadron <C>ommander will be very glad to discuss this question definitely with any Commanding Officers.

A.P. Niblack.           

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identifier: “File -675.”

Footnote 1: VAdm. William S. Sims.

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