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

                                                TELEGRAM.               No. 99

From      Admiralty                                                   Date 15 16/6/17.1

To        N.A., Washington.

Following for Secretary of Navy (Operations) from Vice-Admiral Sims. Begins Twenty-nine.2 Mine-laying in last few days particularly yesterday Thursday [16 June] indicates that enemy is giving particular attention to our forces (stop) Queenstown harbour entrance, Berehaven and Shannon River mined and unusual mining activity along south western shore line Ireland (stop) British mine-sweeping forces strained severely to meet situation (stop) About five hundred mines total swept up during past month. (stop) Queenstown was mined night before DIXIE’S arrival3 (stop) Two large torpedoed ships towed into Queenstown last two days.4 Ends.

Source Note: Cy, UK-KeNA, Adm. 137/656. Below the message is a notation indicating that a copy of this cable was sent to First Sea Lord Adm. Sir John R. Jellicoe. There is also a stamp-“COPIED”-on the message as well. Due to concerns about the security of American codes, Sims sent many of his messages through the Admiralty employing its codes. This cable was sent to Commo. Guy R. Gaunt, British Naval Attaché at Washington (“N.A., Washington”), for delivery to Daniels and the office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Footnote 1: The date “15” was originally typed here but someone wrote “16” over it in pencil. Most likely, the same person added “99” after “No.” and “1653” below the date. At the top of the page “L (in its turn)” was written with a different pencil. This refers to the code used to transmit the message.

Footnote 2: This is the number Sims assigned to this message fur future reference.

Footnote 3:  DIXIE arrived at Queenstown on 12 June. See: Sims to Daniels, 15 June 1917.

Footnote 4: In his diary entry for 12 June, Cmdr. Joseph K. Taussig mentioned that the Cunard line passenger ship Ausonia had been torpedoed and towed into Queenstown. He added that there was a large amount of submarine activity at that time and that several other vessels had been torpedoed, though he did not give their names. See, Diary of Joseph K. Taussig, 12 June 1917, RNW, Joseph K. Taussig Papers, Mss. Coll. 97 .

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