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 the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

Subject Copy.

Cablegram Sent          March 3, 1918 TCH      

To Opnav, Washington.                      Serial No. 4633

Prep. by CS                       NCT1    D.R.

25 ADR       

VERY SECRET

4633. Your 3118.2 This matter has been under consideration for sometime, and was thoroughly discussed at morning conference at Admiralty to-day. The question was asked whether enemy vessels proceeding from the Skaggerack <Skagerrak> would not enjoy a considerable advantage over our own vessels based on Scapa [Flow]. It was pointed out by Admiralty that no considerable German Force had ever used the Skaggerack in this manner because their movements would be known long before they could get out. This does not apply to smaller forces like destroyers, which have used this method of egress. In case an enemy force should come out from the Heligoland Bight to attack the barrage, it could be intercepted before reaching its objective and its retreat cut off. Nevertheless it was determined that vessels engaged in laying mines must be protected by heavy forces against a possible raid while destroyers would be used to protect them against the attack of submarines. <02403>

SIMS                    

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

Footnote 1: Capt. Nathan C. Twining, Sims’ chief of staff.

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