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

Communications Copy.

Cablgeram Sent March 10 <11>, 1918

To   OPNAV WASHINGTON                   Serial No. 4977

Prep. by C-1   Ap’vd. by Sx1          D.R.

Recd      Coded C-2 and C-5   Cypher 34 ADR  D'spchd}Cable}Mess.

HIGHLY SECRET

4977.     Your 3615.2 At joint conference March 11 with Ministry of Shipping and Admiralty following facts were brought out:-

(a) Ministry of Shipping and Admiralty are now placing British shipping in hand to transport troops from U.S. at the rate of 60,000 per month. This shipping includes OLYMPIC, MAURETANIA, AQUITANIA and LEVIATHAN and 40 additional British liners. The 60,000 troops mentioned are in addition to any that may be carried in American or French ships and in addition to the troops now being carried by U.S. transports direct to France.

(b) The Conference was of the opinion that there is no difficulty to be anticipated in transporting two divisions of troops per month and that necessary facilities would be afforded in English ports for handling the additional troops.

(c) It was the sense of the Conference that only difficulty that may arise is that of providing adequate tonnage to transport supplies. The Allied Maritime Transport Council is holding its first meeting in London March 11, 1918 and proposes to deal fully with the whole question of Allied tonnage. I have delegated two officers to attend this Council and its conclusions will be forwarded promptly to the Department.3

(d) The conclusions reached by the Department at the Conference of March 7th for expediting the flow of troops are concurred in, subject to modifications necessitated by enemy activities, especially mining.

          Southampton is congested by cross-Channel service to France. Ministry of Shipping therefore recommends use of Liverpool for large ships.

          Generals Bliss and Pershing4 have been furnished copies of this cable, together with copies of your 3615.

SIMS          

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

Footnote 1: Code for British Admiralty.

Footnote 4: Maj. Gen. Tasker H. Bliss, the American representative to the Allied Supreme War Council, and Maj. Gen. John J. Pershing, Commander, American Expeditionary Forces.

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