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 Rear Admiral Herbert O. Dunn, Commander, Azores Detachment

June 18th, 1918.   

My dear Dunn,

     Lieutenant Dresel turned up yesterday and presented me with your letter of June 5th.1

     I discussed the points that you wished me to discuss with him very thoroughly, and I think he agrees with my views in the matter as expressed to you in a letter some time ago. I refer particularly to the question of the kind of craft that are necessary to oppose a submarine, particularly the kind of craft that is most useful in preventing a submarine from using your neighborhood as a base of refuge.

     I base this upon the experience of the Allied navies during the last four years. I[t] has been our experience that an enemy submarine dreads one of our submarines more than anything else. Every time we have sent a submarine out in the neighborhood of the Cape Verde, and so forth, the enemy has been obliged to move on. They have received a couple of rude shocks and they are not anxious for more. A submarine attempted to use a small port in the Canaries but was run down by a British submarine who fired two torpedoes into her which unfortunately failed to explode. Upon another occasion a British submarine was more successful, and blew up one of the big cruising submarines and all of her people.

     I have telegraphed to the Department upon the advice of Captain Robinson the names of submarines that would be most suitable to send out to relieve your boats and allow them to go home for repairs.2

     I note what you say about Admiral Neuparth,3 but I feel quite sure that you will be able to handle any situation which he may create.

Very sincerely yours,        

Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 23. Addressed below close: “Rear Admiral R.O. Dunn, U.S.N. Azores.” Document is from: “Admiral Sim’s Personal File.” Document reference: “1/5/J.”

Footnote 1: Lt. Alger H. Dresel. Dunn to Sims, 5 June 1918; has not been found.

Footnote 2: Capt. Samuel S. Robison was head of the Submarine Force. Robison suggested: “that in case the Department desires to replace the submarines at the Azores by vessels of later type, the M-one, L-five and L-eight, be sent, accompanied by U.S.S. FULTON. This suggestion is submitted for the Department’s consideration.” Sims to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 18 June 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. For more information on problems with the submarines sent to the Azores, see: Sims to Dunn, 7 June 1918; and Sims to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 7 June 1918.

Footnote 3: Adm. Augusto Eduardo Neuparth, was commander of Portuguese Naval Forces in the Azores.

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