Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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

 

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED           07310 February

Opnav Washington.                               2851

CS                 10 Feb.                 <February 10, 1918>

SIMSADUS LONDON

HIGHLY SECRET

2851. Your 3561.1 Ingeneral the broad plan suggested in that cable is approved for study and consideration, for

     First, it should have the political effect of strengthening the Allies’ position in the Mediterranean Sea and

     Second, it is the logical sequence to the Barrage Plan of the North Sea which effort it supplements.2

     The details affecting the cooperation of the United States can be taken up after the general plan is considered abroad. In general, as outlined in your cable, the the details can be said to appeal to us. Has any plan been formulated yet with regard to closing theing the final exit for submarines, namely, the Dardanelles, Turkey.3 03010.

          BENSON       

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Notation below close: “(Note:- Typed by C-2. Only two copies made, one for CS and the other for Highly Secret File via CS)”.

Footnote 1: See: Sims to Opnav 2 February 1918. Sims laid out a 12-point plan for operations in the Adriatic that included seizing islands for bases of operation, conducting multiple raids on accessible enemy bases, and laying minefields.

Footnote 2: Work had already begun on the North Sea Mine Barrage, a massive minefield stretching from the coast of Norway to the Orkney Islands in northern Scotland. The barrage was intended to block German submarines from exiting the North Sea.

Footnote 3: The Dardanelles is a strait connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, and is controlled by Turkey, which was at the time (as the Ottoman Empire) allied with Germany. Sims’ office replied that it fully understood closing the Dardanelles was essential to its plans for the region. See: Twining to Opnav, 10 February 1918.

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