Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, Commander, Battleship Division Nine, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

Battleship Division Nine

UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET,

U.S.S.NEW YORK, Flagship.

[Rosyth, Scotland]

CONFIDENTIAL 9 August 1918.  

From:       Commander BATTLESHIP DIVISION NINE.

To  :       Secretary of the Navy (OPERATIONS).

Via :       Force Commander.

Subject:    BATTLESHIP DIVISION NINE – Composition of.

References:    (a) C.B.D.9 letter, file 79 to Secnav. of 28 Feb.1918

(b)    "      "     "   79  " F.Comdr. "      " 1

(c)    "      "     "    7  " Secnav.  " 27 July 1918.2

 

     1.     Have hard unofficially that the OKLAHOMA, NEVADA and UTAH are to be sent to this side for duty other than with this Division.

     2.     REITERATION; RECOMMENDATIONS; and_REASONS

(a)    DIVISION NINE to consist of NEW YORK, TEXAS, OKLAHOMA, NEVADA, primarily, with WYOMING and ARKANSAS as fifth and sixth ships; six ships in all.

(b)    Object to have maximum strength; four leading ships. Homogeneous, particularly in guns (14 inch), and other two sister ships, practically so for maneuvering purposes; both of latter have heavy batteries.

(c)    On account of possible increase in German fleet by addition of Russian ships, reported recent greater activities at German yards, and concentration of enemy’s fleet, the strengthening of our force is most desirable.

(d)    UTAH, FLORIDA or DELAWARE would be homogeneous in every way, size, guns, fuel, etc., a very important consideration.

(e)    FLORIDA and DELAWARE are ready now to operate with confidence in accordance with methods (communication, etc.) in vogue on this side.

(f)    OKLAHOMA and NEVADA could be broken in to operate with DIVISION NINE.

(g)    CONSIDERATIONS. Oil fuel would no doubt be as available if operating with the GRAND FLEET as it would be elsewhere.3

Hugh Rodman.       

Source Note: TDS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 381. Distribution list below close: “To: OPNAV.(2)./Copy: F.Comdr. [VAdm. William S. Sims]/CinC.Atl.Fleet [Adm. Henry T. Mayo].” Documentary identifiers at top of page: “File 7.” and “1/L.”

Footnote 1: These two letters, which were identical, can be found at DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, box 382. They concern the composition of Battleship Division Nine and advocate that it be composed of battleships NEW YORK, TEXAS, ARKANSAS, and NEVADA with FLORIDA as the “spare.”

Footnote 2: This letter has not been found.

Footnote 3: Despite Rodman’s plea, NEVADA and OKLAHOMA were assigned to Battleship Division Six, which operated out of Berehaven, Ireland. Neither of these battleships were sent to join Rodman’s force until after the armistice. Jones, “U.S. Battleship Operations,” 191-207.

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