Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Destroyers Operating from British Bases, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels
SENT: 31st May, 1917. TO: Sec. Nav. Operations.
THROUGH: State Department.
Total losses allied and neutral for week ending twentyseven May onehundred seventeen thousand fourhundred fiftyfour tons (stop) Reports indicate that during week an average of twelve large submarines had been operating six probably in enemy main area of operations to westward of Ireland (stop) Considerable activity in Mediterranean and renewal of activity in Bay of Biscay (stop) On twentynine May evidence indicated increased submarine pressure in English Channel and Irish Sea approach (stop) Mine laying by submarines which has shown temporary lull has recommenced principal areas affected between Dover and Cromer (stop) Daily average of mines destroyed in last three months seventeen (stop) Twentyfour encounters with enemy submarines during past week three by destroyers one by submarine six by special service ships five by merchant ships six by auxiliary patrol craft two by seaplane one by French submarine(stop) With increase of available antisubmarine craft enemy is being forced to attack by torpedo instead of gunfire and this results in shorter cruises and more uncertain dates of return to bases and difficulty in maintaining definite prearranged programmes (stop) Hence we may expect from now on alternating periods of greater and lesser activity (stop) Admiralty desires to report officially that U.S.destroyer force working on Atlantic approaches are rendering most efficient and valuable service.
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Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517.