Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Bureau of Ordnance
C O P Y
July 22, 1918.
From: Force Commander.
To : Secretary of the Navy (Bureau of Ordnance).
SUBJECT: Torpedoes for Battleships.
2. With reference to paragraph 2(1) and the statement therein “the North Sea is literally full of mines”, the following information is furnished:-
Not more than five ships during the war are known to have hit and exploded drifting mines – moored mines broken away. Drifting mines are not considered more dangerous particularly with ships moving at a high speed with considerable bow wave.
3. Roughly speaking in a month – say from June 15 to July 15 – there have been 300 drifting mines destroyed in the North Sea of which 80% were English. It is believed that double this number are adrift and the number of such mines I am informed will probably increase in the future. In this connection the attention of the Bureau of Ordnance is invited to Admiralty Secret “Bi-monthly Minesweeping Statement” #146 covering period from 1 July to 15 July 1918, which was forwarded to Operations.
4. If the Bureau of Ordnance has an 18,000 yard 26 knot torpedo it is urgently recommended that same be supplied as soon as practicable to vessels of the 6th. Battle Squadron.
Wm. S. Sims.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.