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Commander William R. Sayles, United States Naval Attaché at Paris, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels




May 23rd, 1917.



Referring to 14020 it is possible for French authorities to furnish yachts with coal and supplies but they request and I urgently recommend that they be accompanied by collier and supply ships and be self supporting. Stocks of coal, oil and food in France steadily decreasing.1 16023.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. There is an identifying number, “112” in the upper right-hand corner of the copy. There is also a note in the upper left-hand corner that reads: “Copy for the information/of Admiral [William S.] Sims.”

Footnote 1: In a cable to Sayles on 21 June, Daniels informed the Naval Attaché that the United States was sending 10 or more yachts that had been converted for use in antisubmarine warfare; Daniels asked if the French could supply these vessels with coal and stores. There was an acute shortage of coal in France in 1917 as the fuel, imported from Great Britain over submarine infested waters, was used for both civilian and military consumption. Still, Crisis at Sea: 186.

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