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 10103 Feb.<uary 2, 1918> HWC1

Origin Opnav Washington                       Ser. No. 2682

     CS2 3-2-18

     23D.

VERY SECRET

Simsadus.

2682.     No Cruisers available to furnish thorough escort for additional convoy from Hampton Roads, Va., to Bay of Biscay sailing every sixteen days unless we were to take over four French cruisers mentioned in your Ref. 3328. However before considering accepting them or attempting to allocate Naval personnel to them, a matter of considerable difficulty in face of other pressing needs, necessary to know exact state of material readiness of cruisers, fitness for convoy service, and state of battery and ammunition supply.3     20002.

Benson.       

Ref. 3328. In this cable, Department was asked if it could undertake to furnish personnel for any or all of VICTOR HUGO, MONTCALM, DUPETIT[-]THOUARS, GUEYDON.4

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “11-2-5B/1/3/J/C.”

Footnote 1: Initials of the person who decoded and transcribed the message.

Footnote 2: “CS” is Sims’ chief of staff, Capt. Nathan C. Twining.

Footnote 3: For the request concerning the additional convoy, see: Sims to Josephus Daniels, 27 January 1918.

Footnote 4: For more on these cruisers and the convoy from Hampton Roads, see: Sims to Richard H. Jackson, 16 February 1918.

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