Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

Letter No. 41.

July 21st, 1917.

FROM: Commander, U.S.Naval Forces operating in European Waters.

To : The Secretary of the Navy (Chief of Naval Operations)

SUBJECT: Addenda to Weekly Report of Operations,Letter No.32

  1. The following information has been received since my report of 18th inst. (letter No. 32) was written.

  2. Enemy Submarine Operations. Apparently eighteen large boats were out at the beginning of the week 11-17 July and twenty-one at the end, but, considering these numbers, the results received have been comparatively small. Of the total number out at present, ten left their bases during the last ten days

     Eleven submarines, an average of have been operating to the west of the British Islands.

     The enemy appears to have located each of the last two approach routes used to the souht-west of Ireland on the last day on which it was in force. The system of periodically alerting the approach routes appears on the whole to be working with success.

     The submarine which bombarded Ponta del Gada, Azores, on 4th July apparently is making slowly to the eastward, and the last authentic report received placed her 300 miles to the east of the Azores on 8th July. It seems almost certain that she is a commercial submarine converted and armed with a 6” gun or guns.

  3. Convoy. Thefollowing table gives statistics and particulars up to the 14th July inclusive of vessels under organized convoy

Convoy

Dates No. Convoyed

Losses in Convoy

Remarks

from & to

This week

Prov. figs.

Totals

This week

Prev. figs.

Total

North Atlantic.

24 May 14 June

21

50

71

-

-

-

Gibraltar.

10 May 20 May

-

16

16

-

-

-

1 convoy only.

Scandinavia- Lerwick- Humber

29 Apl. 14 July

230

1741

1971

4

20

24

French Coal Trade.

Mch 14 July

445

6008

6445

1

11

12

TOTALS.

694

7809

8503

5

31

36

 

 

As regards the North Atlantic route, for the immediate future four convoys should reach the United States Kingdom every eight days.

  4. Mine-laying. The south-east coast of England and the English Channel have been markedly free from mine-laying, but there are indications now that the western portion of the Channel is being visited by the U.C. boats. Areas in which minelaying activity has been experienced are – the Orkneys and Shetlands, Aberdeen, between the Tyne and Whitby (after a lull of two months), Lowestoft, the Butt of Lewis and the south coast of Ireland.

     Eighty-six German moored mines have been destroyed during the week.

  5. Submarine Engagements. Reports of twenty-one engagements have been received (as regards Home Waters), as follows –

3 by Torpedo Boat Destroyers.   4 By Seaplanes (1 French).

2 by Special Service Ships   2 by Airships (1 French).

1 by submarine   1 by French Sloop

6 by Auxiliary Patrol   2 by Merchant Vessels.

Wm S Sims

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B.

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