Rear Admiral Charles J. Badger, President, General Board of the United States Navy, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
February 4, 1917.
From: Senior Member Present;
To: Secretary of the Navy.
SUBJECT: Steps to be taken to meet a possible condition of war with the Central European Powers.
On account of existing conditions, the General Board recommends that the following steps be taken to meet a possible condition of war with the Central European powers;
1. Complete complements and allowances of all kinds, first of the A and B fleet, then of the C fleet, and naval districts.
2. Mobilize the A fleet in the Lower Chesapeake, and increase it immediately to the B fleet (See Black Plan).
3. Dock and repair all ships in reserve and ordinary that will be used.
4. Arrange for the supply of fuel to the fleet and stock all fuel depots to capacity.
5. Establish additional recruiting stations and increase personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps to the total number required to supply complements for all the ships built, building, and authorized, and to maintain shore establishments and naval defense districts, including aviation service, with ten per cent additional for casualties as follows:
Enlisted force . . . . . . . . . . . . 150,000 30,000
Officers in the proportions
prescribed by law.
6. Mobilize the naval districts, including the coast guard and light house services, and put patrol vessels, mine sweepers, etc., of the Atlantic Coast districts, on their stations; no commercial vessels to be mobilized in the Pacific Coast districts at present.
7. Prepare to the utmost detail for the employment of mines along our coast as may be necessary.
8. Prepare nets and other obstruction for submarines, ready for immediate use, at the Chesapeake Capes, Delaware Capes, Entrance to New York Bay, Eastern Entrance to Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, Panama Canal, and Guantanamo. Other places as their need becomes apparent. The General Board considers it of the utmost importance that net protection shall be immediately provided for the fleet during its mobilization in Chesapeake Bay.
9. Establish immediately the guards at all Navy Yards, magazines, radio stations, powder factories, munitions plants, bases, shipbuilding yards, and naval shore utilities in accordance with the Mobilization Plans.
10. Reduce the force of Marines in
the Haiti and Santo Domingo to the smallest number that can maintain order there; transferring these men to the United States to perform necessary guard duty at Navy Yards, Magazines, radio stations, shipbuilding plants, and to form cadres for the organization of new regiments as recruits are obtained. Organize the Advance Base Force and complete its equipment.
11. Leave in the Caribbean a sufficient number of light cruisers to keep a lookout for submarines in those waters and for the protection of our interests there. Protect the Canal and Guantanamo as far as possible, by the use of mines and where possible by monitors, submarines, and nets.
12. For the present use the greater part of the destroyer flotillas as patrol for submarines in the vicinity of the principal ports or entrances leading to them.
13. Base the submarines at Canal, Guantanamo, and points along the coast in accordance with the Black Plan.
14. Rush to completion all naval vessels building or authorized; also build up the Aviation Service as rapidly as possible.
15. Guard all bays and harbors on the coast of Maine, to prevent their use as bases of supply. Patrol waters of Haiti, Santo Domingo, Porto Rico and Danish West Indies; Cuban Coast Guard Service to assist in patrolling all bays and gulfs of the coast of Cuba.
16. Prepare to close
all entrances to all ports at night and discontinue or change such aids to navigation as may be necessary.
17. Organize a comprehensive system of intelligence service covering the whole theater of war in accordance with the plans of the Office of Naval Intelligence.
18. Take possession of all interned vessels of war of central powers, also take control of all commercial vessels of central powers now in United States waters.
19. Place under surveillance all citizens of the central powers in the Navy or in government employ in naval establishments and remove them from positions in which they may do possible harm.
20. Arm our merchant ships for purposes of defense.
21. In accordance with Black Plan, carry out the following:
a) Issue proclamation prescribing defensive sea areas and put rules in regard to them in force.
b) Issue proclamation prescribing press regulations and establishing censorship of cable and radio, including naval control of all commercial and private radio stations.
c) Issue President’s order in regard to visit and search, capture, etc.
22. And as most important arrange, as soon as possible, plans of cooperation with the naval Forces of the allies for the joint protection of trans-Atlantic commerce and for offensive naval operations against the common enemy.
(SIG) CHAS. J. BADGER.