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 Joseph Strauss, Commander, Mine Force, Atlantic Fleet

Subject Copy.                          [File Number] 28/1/1.

CABLEGRAM SENT                         29 June 1918 RES.

Aminfor Inverness                           303.

M-4                                          NCT1

31 ADR                 S E C R E T

303. 264. The Force commander has sent the following Cablegram to Opnav2 QUOTE After further consideration of mining area A in Conference with Commander Mine Force, recommend that the three rows of mines of of the third system in area A be laid at 65 feet below surface instead of 80 feet,3 the antennae being shortened from 70 to 55 feet<.> Modified plan for area <A> will then require mines as follows<:> three rows of mines 65 feet below surface, two rows of mines 80 feet below the surface, two rows of mines <160> feet below the surface, two rows of mines 240 feet below surface. Proposed change will require shortening of antennae and plummet cords on about nineteen thousand mines UNQUOTE. The Force Commander has not received a reply to the above cablegram.

          Upon request of British Admiralty it has been <a>ggreed that the second two rows of mines to be laid by the United States Mine Force in Area C shall be laid <w>ith the short antennae, that is 65 feet below the surface. This will require for area C two thousand mines with the short antennae, which were included in the nineteen thousand mines mentioned in above cable to Opnav. If you decide to lay the second two rows of mines in area C before the arrival from the United States of the above mines with the short antennae, it is suggeste<d> that the antennae of sufficient mines at Base 17 and 184 to permit proceeding with the operations in area C.5 082<29> 303.

/s/   Sims.        

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document identifier in columnar fashion: “1/2/A/J.”

Footnote 1: “M-4” indicates an aide on Sims’ staff, probably in the Materials Division; “NCT” are the initials of Sims’ chief of staff, Capt. Nathan C. Twining.

Footnote 3: For a cartographical representation of the different areas of the Northern Mine Barrage, see the illustrations section for April 1918.

Footnote 4: Base 17 was at Invergordon, Scotland; Base 18 at Inverness, Scotland; the American portion of the North Sea mine barrage project was based there.

Footnote 5: On the same day, the Bureau of Ordnance, under Benson’s signature, replied that it assumed that the antennae sections should be in two sections, thirty and twenty-five feet; that the circuit breakers shipped before 28 June were “unsatisfactory” and should not be used; and requested a tally of the “number of mines of various characteristics” needed to complete the “entire North Sea project.” Benson to Sims, 29 June 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B

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