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Major General John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief, American Expeditionary Forces, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters


8 Copies


  From: Pershing, HAEF1                         Date 24-3-18.

To:   General Biddle, London.2

Subject: Transportation of Troops.       Code Cypher

Copies to: C.G.3  Admiral Sims.

Referred for section to:

Decoded by RT          Typed by: IMS

March 24th. Confidential for Admiral Sims,London.

          With reference to your cablegram 1488 and your cablegram to OPNAV replying to their No.3615.4 As understood the statement that British shipping is in hand to transport troops from the United States at the rate of 60,000 permonth means that the British are not counting upon supplying British ships except for the m<o>vement as previously agreed upon of 12,000 per month for A.E.F. and the six divisions for training with the British. It <is> my opinion that- understanding that the agreement as to the transportation of these troops in British ships from the United States was to be made exclusively of <in> the Aquitania, Maur<e>tania and Olympic. These ships had been lent to us specifically and they have been counted upon by me to meet the situation stated in the cablegram 3615 to you requiring us to dispatch two divisions per month in addition to those which the British agreed to transport in British Ships. Trust my understanding as herein stated will be confirmed by the British. Early reply requested.5


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

Footnote 1: That is, Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces.

Footnote 2: Gen. John Biddle, Army Chief of Staff.

Footnote 3: Commissary General Maj. Gen. Henry G. Sharpe.

Footnote 4: Sims’ cable 1488 has not been found; for cable 3615, see: Sims to Pershing, 9 March 1918.

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