Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
CABLEGRAM RECEIVED June <15, 1918.> 07416 ALS
Origin Opnav Washington Ser. No. 7346
Ref’d to N-2 Date 16 June
7346. State Department has following from Berne QUOTE loss German submarines during April May 17 and 21 respectively while boats launched both months only 27. German Admiralty believes that some of those missing may turn up but this is considered improbable. Boats interned in neutral countries included in above. Loss in May greatest monthly loss during war Admiralty announced to Officers that loss of small consequence considering merchant tonnage destroyed.
Commanders submarines again being urged take few risks as possible and economize torpedoes. They have been instructed to continue destroying tonnage regardless of nationality cargo or passengers and to attack transports and freight vessels instead of men of war. 22015. 7346.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the date/time stamp at the end of the text. Document identifier in top right-hand corner in columnar fashion: “1/3/C/H/J.”