Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
<August 29, 1917.>
From: Force Commander
To: Secretary of the Navy (Operations)
Subject: Shipping in the Mediterranean.
Reference: Opnav Cable 210 of August 21, 1917.
The whole question of handling shipping in the Mediterranean is now in the process of a change, preparatory to installing the convoy system in so far as practicable. The problem is a very complicated one as British, French, Italian, Japanese and American forces are operating in the Mediterranean. Before the arrival of the American forces the allied naval representative decided to place the whole control of shipping of the Mediterranean under the British.Admiral, with headquarters at Malta. The admiral at Malta will co-ordinate the activities of the allied forces available for escort duty, and place the convoy system in effect so far as possible with the limited number of vessels available for this duty. There will undoubtedly be delays of shipping, caused by the convoy system; but the system has been successful thus far, and the increased safety warrants the delay.
Ships westbound out of the Mediterranean are regularly formed into convoys at Gibraltar, but the shipping within the Mediterranean is a much more complicated problem.
Wm S. Sims
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.