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

Chronological Copy.                               File No.

Cablegram Received June 10013  RES

Origin Opnav Washington                           Ser. No. 7175

<June 12 – 1918>

<CS> 13 June 

     40 ADR             CONFIDENTIAL


7175. Your 9399.1 Department does not deem it advisable to begin the operation of Q boats on this side of the Atlantic.

     (First) In the operations this far conducted by U151 considerable precaution has been taken to safeguard life, the result has been very few casualties. The military value with ships sunk has been very small.

     (Second) The success of Q boats would be entirely in the initial stages, later their value as taken from your own report would be very small2 and their use would be met by reprisal in some form. The great danger of reprisal lies in its effect on the public mind and the pressure it might bring to bear to hold force here which should be dispatched abroad.

     (Third) Department feels that in a short time through its routing and arming of ships and with the proper distribution of its available forces it will have the situation well in hand without materially decreasing its out put across Atlantic. 19012 7175.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 415. The date is handwritten. It is confirmed by the date/time entry at the end of the text.