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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

12 Dec 1917.  

From:     SIMS

To:       CNO

     2085 Following dates are those which admiralty proposes should be adhered to if possible regarding North barrage period weekly draft of 200 men commencing arrive in England February 1 period First weekly cargo 3500 mines and sinkers leaving United States February 1 period United States mine layers arriving bases 17 and 18 March 15th. Commence laying area A April 1, period1 Expect complete one system Area A by May 1. 18112.


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

Footnote 1: The North Sea Mine Barrage stretched from the Orkney Islands to Norwegian territorial waters. Area B was off the Orkey Islands, C was off the Norwegian coast and A constituted the largest portion between B and C. Josephus Daniels, The Northern Barrage and other Mining Activities (Government Printing Office, 1912), 38, 121. The schedule above turned out to be ambitious and minelaying suffered from constant delays. While bases in Scotland were establish in February 1918, the first mines did not arrive from the United States until 29 May, 1918. Stills, Crisis at Sea: 437.