Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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.

Cablegram Sent  April 12, 1918 MJK

To Opnav, Washington.                           Serial No 6392

Prep by A C

JFD1                       

29 ARD            

VERY SECRET.

6392.  Four Commissioned Officers, one warrant, thirty-three men German prisoners captured 17 November by FANNING from U-58, transferred LEVIATHAN with necessary papers.2 Germany was notified at time of capture without stating nationality of captors. British Government will notify enemy of transfer prisoners to United States but U.S. should also notify enemy stating that we were original captors and prisoners have been in temporary custody of British.3 Report follows. 21112          6392

SIMS.             

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identification number “1/3/H/J” appear in the upper-right corner in columnar fashion.

Footnote 1: Probably Cmdr. Joseph F. Daniels, a member of Sims’ staff assigned to the Operations – Convoys and Miscellaneous Section.

Footnote 2: For the sinking of U-58, see: Arthur S. Carpender, to Sims, 18 November 1917.

Footnote 3: There was some controversy over whether the officers and crew taken from U-58 were British or American prisoners. The Army regarded them as British prisoners shortly after their capture, but the Navy objected since two American ships sank the submarine. The British Admiralty agreed that the captured Germans were clearly prisoners of the Americans. See: Sims to Opnav, 16 February 1918.

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