Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations
Cablegram Sent August 30 <1917>
To Opnav Washington Serial No. 403
Via N.C.B.D. Prepared by BAL Appvd. by
403. Referring Opnav 185 after consulting with French authorities following recommendations are made stop Send to France only those transports and supply ships that are self-supporting. Reduce speed in crossing if necessary to accomplish this, build in extra bunkers, or carry extra coal in cargo spaces. The delay in crossing due to reducing speed will not equal the delay in attempting to coal in French ports, and the saving of tonnage will be a very great help to the Allied cause. During the actual crossing of the submarine zone full speed should be used. stop. Ship no coal from U.S. stop. Coal needed for our naval vessels based on French ports should be bought from England under present arrangements stop Arrange to land as many troops and supplies in France as possible, so as not to further tax the transport facilities of England stop If large vessels requiring coal on this side are used as troop transports, send them into the outer roads of Brest with troops and kit only, then dispatch these vessels to English ports to be coaled stop Admiralty offers use of OLYMPIC as troop transport if desired stop Full report on the subject being made by mail.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. A filing note, “Information Copy” appears in the upper-left corner, and a file number, “S 176” appears to the right of center at the top of the document.