Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, Commander, Naval Forces, Southern Ireland, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
23. 2. 18.
My dear Admiral,
I have got your official letter about the Troop Convoys; I know that you fight hard for us, and your letter explains the difficulty there is in deciding where the ships are to go. By limiting the command of the TC escorts to a few of the best men, the danger is lessened, and with this new scheme of meeting them with destroyers from France, the T.C.’s ought to have a fair chance of getting through.
I quite understand that you cannot get away now, though I am sorry; but shall look forward to your coming here after Easter to get clear of the political atmosphere and to breathe clean fresh air. Spend Easter here. There has arisen a rather serious matter; the Admiralty have written to say they are going to take away 12 sloops from here. At present out of the 35 U S destroyers we practically have 30 always ready making 42 with the sloops. Of course 30 ships cannot do the work of 42, and in addition it has to be remembered that the Escorts to Troop Convoys, Leviathan and mail steamers cannot be reduced, so that the other convoy escorts will be rather less than half what they are at present. As some of the blame of losses would be put down to your destroyers (the public would not know about the sloops being taken away) it seems to me reasonable that you should know of this. To take them for the barrage in the North Sea is bringing all the reserves into the front line, to carry out an experiment.
Yours very sincerely,
Sgd Lewis Bayly.
Source Note: LTS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 23. At the top of the page is written, “Admiral Sims/Personal File.” and “1/3/J”.