Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Intercepted Intelligence on Why German Submarines have not sunk American Military Transports

M.D.                         Office of the Chief Censor. 16-7-15

INTERCEPTED MESSAGE                  ADMIRALTY, S.W.

From:- Baskerville, Rome.            10th May, 1918.

To:-   New York World Agency, London.         Date:- May 9th.

Copied: May 10th.1

     Hungarian paper “Posti Hirlap” and German “Lokal Anzeiger” interviewed German naval expert regarding reason why German submarines have not yet sunk American military transports. Export [i.e., Expert] explains that construction of American ships such that a tough hit by submarines cannot sink them immediately and therefore there is ample time for all the men to be saved by the convoys. Also American transports are exceedingly fast, so submarines complain that it is extremely difficult to hit them. Convoys are most vigilant. Many British ports are safe from submarines, whilst channel has formidable mines and nets. Expert adds more cheerful note to this admission of enemy’s incapability to destroy American army before it reaches France, saying “After all we need not worry about America landing a few million men more or less.” Germany will take care, but don’t yet explain how German submarines will overcome with food munition transports those difficulties which submarines complain of in military transports.

(PASSED.)          

/s/ D.Browning.2  

Source Note: D, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. After the close is a distribution list including a number of individuals and divisions within the British Admiralty.

Footnote 1: Interpreting the meaning of the information in this section, the editors believe that a report from someone named Baskerville in Rome was sent to an office of the New York World. It was intercepted by the British Office of the Chief Censor who reviewed it, released it and passed it on to representatives of the United States Navy.

Footnote 2: Presumably, the name of a person in the Chief Censor’s office who reviewed this intelligence.

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