Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations
DISPATCH TO BE SENT.
Date December 31, 1917.
To Opnav. Prepared by C. S. Approved
Your 1862. Deep mine fields already extend half way across Straits and will soon extend entirely across with narrow gates each side for necessary traffic. Listening squadrons are already established from Isle of Wight due south across channel and those will be reinforced until a practically complete barrage of this nature is established. Surface patrol is to be intensified and Admiralty expresses determination to take vessels from other areas if necessary to make this patrol effective. There has been lack of cooperation heretofore between forces at Portsmouth and Dover. First Sea Lord states that whatever steps are found necessary to correct this condition will be taken. Am convinced that Admiralty is thoroughly alive to the absolute necessity of closing the Straits and of vigorously carrying out whatever plans are adopted. Rear Admiral Roger Keyes who has a reputation for vigorous action has been assigned to the Dover command in place of Vice Admiral Bacon.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.