Skip to main content

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

Subject Copy.                              File No. <16-4-14>

Cablegram Sent 15 April <14,> 1918.   RES

To Opnav Washington                   Serial No. 6460

Prep. by CS                  NCT1    D.R.

40 ARD             

6460. My 6430.2 The British Rear Admiral at Mourmansk3 has been instructed to take any steps he considers necessary and desirable with the forces at his disposal to protect and further Allied interest generally; to assist the repatriation of Allied subjects; and to do what he can to assist in the recovery of the Allied stores at Archangel.

     He has also been told he is not to commit himself to land military operations away from the port, but subject to this restriction he may use the crews of the ships to stiffen local resistance against Germans if found practicable.

     French Senior Officer has same orders.4

     The Admiralty consider it essential that the Allied ships at Mourmansk should be placed under the orders of the Senior Allied Commander and be instructed to cooperate with him in carrying out the above instructions. I concur and recommend accordingly. 00514. 6460.


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

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ chief of staff.

Footnote 2: See: Sims to Opnav, 12 April 1918.

Footnote 3: RAdm. Thomas Kemp. Kemp was the commander of the British North Russia Squadron, which was formed in 1917 as part of an initiative by other Entente Powers to keep Russia in the war. One of its main goals was to protect the large stockpiles of Allied material at the ice-free port at Murmansk. After the new Russian Bolshevik government made a separate peace with Germany, the squadron remained in Russia throughout most of the Allied North Russia Intervention (the command of which Kemp held, until he was replaced by Lt. Gen. Frederick C. Poole in July), although it played no major part in the operations that took place. Clifford Kinvig, Churchill’s Crusade: The British Invasion of Russia, 1918-1920, (London: Hambledon and London, 2007).

Footnote 4: Cmdr. Charles Alain Marie Berthelot, Commander, Amiral Aube.

Related Content