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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Admiralty Sir Oswyn A. R. Murray

August 19, 1918.

FROM: Force Commander,

TO  : Secretary of the Admiralty.

SUBJECT: U. S. Battleship Division to be stationed at Berehaven.

REFERENCE: (a) Force Commander’s letter No. CS-28563 of August 10, 1918.1

     1.   The following is a summary of the instructions to be issued to Commander Battleship Division Six,2 which is to be stationed at Berehaven, as started in my letter, Reference (a), in so far as such instructions affect the relations of the Commander of that division with British Naval Authorities.

     2.   This Division is instructed that upon receiving notice of the escape of an enemy raider it is to proceed at top speed toward the Azores. The Commander of the Division is instructed that he may receive notice of the escape of an enemy raider or orders to proceed in accordance with his general instructions either from the Force Commander or from the Admiralty, or from some source subordinate to one or the other of these.

     3.   The following paragraph has also been included in the instructions to the officer in question:

“Owing to the necessity for prompt action officers commanding the forces will take action on any information or orders which they believe to be authentic, regardless of the immediate source”.

     4.   The following additional extracts from the instructions will be of interest to the Admiralty:

“The Commander Battleship Division Six shall keep the British Commander-in-Chief, Coast of Ireland,3informed of his movements, actual and prospective.

 The Commander Battleship Division Six shall not exercise command over any British naval forces afloat or ashore at Berehaven nor shall any command over his force be exercised by any British naval officer except as provided in paragraph 3(x)”.


Paragraph 3(x) is the quotation under paragraph 3 of this letter.

/s/ WM. S. SIMS.        

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

Footnote 1: The referred to letter has not been found.

Footnote 2: RAdm. Thomas S. Rodgers, Commander, Battleship Division Six, Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 3: Adm. Sir Lewis Bayly.

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