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

Chronological Copy.                     File No.

Cablegram Sent 19th August <1918>  EWC

To   Opnav, Washington.            Serial No. 3211

Prep. by O-1        SX   D.R.

46 ARD             

SECRET.

3211 URGENT Your 44.1 There are 28 destroyers based Brest, of which 5 are under repair, leaving 23 active destroyers available for offshore escort. I consider that about 18 of these is maximum available for troops, leaving 5 to be divided between HN and HB convoys.2 On special occasion total number assigned to troops might reach 20, which number should not be exceeded until more destroyers are available. With average size of troop convoy about 12 destroyers are needed, and with 3 fast ships at least 6 destroyers are necessary, making total of 18 destroyers used in handling troops. As fast groups3 may arrive every 5 or 6 days this provides for 6 fast groups arriving every month, or a total of 18 fast transports, in addition to regular troop convoys. On account of abnormal size of group 58 it is not desirable to increase size of Group 59. It is most important to keep size of convoys as regular as possible so as to get full efficiency from destroyers and increase protection.     23219 3211.

Sims.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: The document referred to has not been referred to.

Footnote 2: HN convoys were store ships from New York for France, and HB convoys were store ships from New York for the Bay of Biscay.

Footnote 3: Troop transports were referred to as Groups. For more on Group 59, see: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to Sims, 12 August 1918.

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