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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels


SENT: June 29, 1917:             TO: Secretary of the Navy:

THROUGH: State Department: (Mr. Shoecraft’s code)

          Number fifty-four: The situation is not only critical but dangerous stop I now recommend sending immediately in addition to all destroyers yachts and tugs also gunboats of DENVER and PADUCAH and AUSTRIA1 and similar classes stop The necessity is to force the submarine to fight and divert it from shipping if allies main forces naval and military are to be preserved for action stop


Source Note: Cy, UK-KeNA, Adm. 137/656. Below “THROUGH:” someone has written “Admiralty.” At the bottom of the page in columnar fashion is a list of where copies of this cable should be filed.

Footnote 1: The gunboat Don Juan de Austria, which was captured during the Spanish-American War. A total of four Navy gunboats were later sent to Gibraltar. Office of Naval Intelligence, Information Concerning the U. S. Navy and Other Navies (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1919), 25.

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