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Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels All Navy Communication Cable

                Operations.              OL-4373

March 29th, 1918.  



OPNAV     4373  (RADICODE) To ships and stations having following (BOX F)2 Recent events have accentuated the possibility of an intensive campaign directed by the Germans comma and carried on through their paid agents comma directed particularly against US Shipping of any description period Such a campaign would be supplemental to the submarine campaign and directed at the delay and destruction of American Ships comma particularly those engaged in furthering the military and naval operations of the United States period To safeguard against such enemy measures the closest scrutiny and inspection should be carried out at all times on all ships comma of the personnel comma supplies comma and cargoes carried in order to guard against any dastardly attempts at incendiarism or destruction period Wherever practicable trusted agents of our own should be employed for counter espionage period Too much care cannot be exercised to safeguard our ships by every means possible3 23029 4373.

Josephus Daniels,  

Secretary of the Navy.  

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

Footnote 1: This notation means this message was the fifty-third message from the Secretary of the Navy issued to the entire Navy (“ALNAV”) and that this particular copy was sent to the headquarters of VAdm. William S Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 2: As “BOX F” is no longer with this message, it is unclear what the criteria were for determining which “ships and stations” received this communication.

Footnote 3: There is no evidence that the Germans mounted a sabotage campaign to cripple or destroy American shipping.