Skip to main content

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations



Date: July 31, 1918.

To:  Opnav

Prepared by CS      Approved AE1       Code <46ADR>    No. <17>


31 July 1918

SIMBEN 17. Referring your Simben 7:2 I consider Berehaven3 better than Queenstown as a base for the ships referred to but there is some doubt as to adequacy of protection against submarines. Am investigating. Provision would have to be made for fuel supply as there is at present no fuel storage in Bantry Bay. It seems probable that a small tanker would have to be stationed permanently at Berehaven. Regarding mining proposition: I do not recommend mine force laying a line of mines all the way across Northern Barrage at present. The question of surface mines in Area B4 and close up to Orkney Islands is materially affected by questions of maneuvering of Grand Fleet and handling Scandinavian convoys. This matter now under discussion with Admiralty and hope to reach conclusion soon. We have already laid two lines of surface mines in Area C but none in Norwegian territorial waters. British Government is now preparing representations to Norway to induce her to mine her waters to prevent passage of submarines on surface or submerged. <-19331> SIMS.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. Document identifier in columnar fashion: “3/Q”. Handwritten note at top of document: “4 copies”.

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Chief of Staff, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters. Lieutenant-Commander W.A. Edwards, Aviation Section, United States Naval Forces Operation in European Waters.

Footnote 2: Document not found.

Footnote 3: Berehaven, Bantry Bay is located approximately twenty miles southwest of Queenstown (Cobh, Ireland). Bantry Bay was a large shared sheltered anchorage for destroyers on patrol and escort duties. The British also maintained fuel and storeships there. See: Still, Crisis at Sea: 341.

Related Content