Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral Lewis Bayly, R.N., Commander, Naval Forces, Southern Ireland, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in Europe

Admiralty House,


10. 8. 17.

My dear Admiral

          Very many thanks for the knife! Exactly what I wanted. Herewith a postal order.1 I think things are on the right track now; there was bound to be a jolt or two on starting, but Jellicoe and you both have hold so I feel that the machine will go on all right.2 It is quite evident to me that the outward bound ships will have to be convoyed, for it I were the German chief of staff and the S/Ms3 returned saying they had not met any deep ships.4 I should tell the next outgoing S/M to look for deep laden ships in a certain area and if he did not find any after he had been out 1/4 of his time he was to spend the rest of it sinking empty ones, the biggest he could find.

There are still complaints that the convoys show lights, and signals, and that destroyers sometimes meet them at night. Offenders will have to be seriously dealt with, and light must be shaded, in two dimensions-bearing and distance. For instance I read today in the convoy orders that a light was to be put on the main mast 60 feet above the stern light shaded so as to only show (I quote from memory) about 3 points on each quarter. But it is quite as important that it should be shaded so as not to show over a mile away.

But I only mention this because we must not lose a single point at present we are in clover because our enemy has not yet elucidated our plans. But when he does we shall have to keep very wide awake, for a weak spot will speedily become a big rent. I had not got the schedule you sent me; it is just what I wanted.

sgd    Yours very sincerely,

sgd.      Lewis Bayly,

Source Note: CyS, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Container 23. Notation in top left-hand corner “Admiral Sims./Personal File.”

Footnote 1: The postal order is not with the copy. It was to reimburse Sims for the purchase of Bayly’s knife.

Footnote 2: First Sea Lord Adm. Sir John R. Jellicoe. See: Sims to Bayly, 8 August 1917 and Sir John R. Jellicoe to Bayly, 8 August 1917.

Footnote 3: That is, submarines.

Footnote 4: That is, ships laden with cargo.

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