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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. <49-6-4>

          Cablegram Received March <26, 1918.> 07827 LEM

Origin Opnav, Washington                             Ser. No. 4253

     CS2  Mar 27



4253. After discussion with Commander Blakely1 just reported from abroad am much impressed with one feature of situation. Our touch with and assimilation of methods abroad as they apply to battleships and destroyers fairly complete and growing better every day but while considerable knowledge on material features relative to submarines has been gathered the practical operating methods including upkeep rendered necessary by actual contact with enemy have probably been absorbed by our submarines here to a smaller degree than in any other type. This is an important matter to consider both as because this present type is one of our chief reliance in defense and also because future operations may bring our submarines more prominently to the fore. Consult with Commander Hart2 and with other officers you may deem wise and submit any practical recommendations which you think would tend to put our home submarines more on a real fighting basis. 16026


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: Capt. John R. Y. Blakely, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Footnote 2: Cmdr. Thomas C. Hart, Commander Division Five, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet. Hart also concurrently served as Director of Submarine Operations.

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