Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters to Commander Charles R. Train, United States Naval Attaché in Rome
July 1st, 1918.
My dear Train,
Your two letters of June 25th.received yesterday and today your cable concerning the Admiralissimo. I have also received your account of the Versailles meeting on this subject and have read it with great pleasure. It certainly wasa fine scrap between the principal dignitaries, and the Italians came out at the very small end of the horn. It is astonishing that white men could consent to put up the arguments that they did. I was particularly pleased with the remarks of Mr.Lloyd George and Monsieur Clemenceau. If you were to judge of the military competence of the Italians as compared with Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Clemenceau based exclusively upon the arguments they presented, you would unhesitatingly say that thecivilians knew more about war than the other fellows.
You know the kind of a showing they made up here. Triangi very decidedly weakened after the Council was finished. They tried to get him to submit any corrections he wanted to before he left London but he held on to his paper until he got aboard the boat at Folkestone and then sent it back to London and fled for Rome. He practically took back everything he had agreed to. He evidently had cold feet as to what di Revel would do when he got back. I do not recommend that either of these gentlemen be given the American Military Cross.
I note what you say about the favorable attitude of the Italian Navy. I think they are fine fellows. The trouble with the ones above mentioned is that they are undoubtedly bound down by political instructions. I should like to see the Military Cross given to Rizzo.
No doubt the festive Romans had a fine time gutting theGerman Embassy. However, they probably know by this time that that is an expensive sort of an amusement as all of the damage will have to be paid for by the Italian tax payers.
I am glad to learn from your letter that our Government, through Ambassador Page, have represented to the Italian Government, the desirability of getting together in the Mediterranean. I recommended that this be done and I am glad that the recommendation was adopted.
I hope that the evvect [i.e. effect] of this will be that they will come to come practical solution. The Admiralissimo will be no good unless he has the proper power over all the forces in the Mediterranean.
I do not think that you have anything to fear at all from the Selection Board. I think it is well understood now that this question of sea service during the war is in abeyance. I am not clear as to whether it has been legally settled, but I think it is well understood that men like you and the men serving on my staff, and Captain Pratt, and so forth, should not be obliged to suffer because they are doing invaluable work for the war, instead of sitting on a battleship training recruits up Funk River.
I received the map from Yarnell, so I am happy again.
Please give my love to Madame Train, and your husky young son, and believe me,
Very sincerely yours,
Sd. W. S. SIMS
Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 24. Addressed below close: “Commander C.H.Train, U.S.Navy,/American Embassy.,/R o m e ./I t a l y.” Document is from: “Admiral Sims’/Personal File.” Document reference: “1/5/6/J/Q.” and “11.”