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Rear Admiral Albert P. Niblack, Commander, Patrol Forces Based on Gibraltar, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters


Personal                          Tuesday July 16th

Dear Billy :-

     There are rumors of reorganization in the Mediterranean. Admiral Grant1 said yesterday he had heard rumors that Admiral Jellicoe2 had been offered command _ but had declined. He said “In case he gets to Malta I presume you will go too.”

     At any rate the question may arise anyway. Any rear adml junior to you that might come out here would be junior to me. This job here is a flag officers command and if there is to be a shake up I think the senior should go to Malta. At any rate I am willing to go there or stay here. Under the present arrangement, I am “under the gun”, and have very little say about anything. However the job is well organized, and we have a smoothly working Base. It is however very much like Pringle’s,3 but it would not work on any other basis, and I am satisfied_If you reorganize, however, it may lead to some change in my stations.4 I am ready to go or stay. . . .

Very sincerely yours

                   Nibs. . . .

Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Container 76.

Footnote 1: VAdm. Sir William Lowther Grant, Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station.

Footnote 2: Adm. Sir John R. Jellicoe, formerly First Sea Lord.

Footnote 3: Capt. Joel R. Poinsett Pringle, Chief of Staff, Destroyer Flotillas.

Footnote 4: The Allies had attempted, more than once, to get Jellicoe appointed at “Generalissimo” of the Mediterranean, in hopes of creating greater cooperation among the various naval forces operating there. In the late summer of 1918, they made one final attempt, which was again unsuccessful. Halpern, Naval War in the Mediterranean: 522-534.

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