Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Lieutenant Commander Charles R. Train, United States Naval Attaché in Rome, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

 

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED  May [10] <1918>: 21310.  RLM.

Origin Alusna, Rome.                          Ser. No. 115.

Ref’d to       Date

  CS          10 May

32 ARD

VERY SECRET

Simsadus.

115. In personal confidential talk learn that the Minister Marine1 would like the Duke of Abruzzi to command the French Italian squadron at Corfu which I understand will consist of the 5 Italian dreadnaughts and 3 French battleships the former under the command Vice Admiral Solari.2 It is apparently decided that the Italian dreadnaughts are to go but no official statement has been issued. Believe Abruzzi will do well. Still believe that Revel should be relieved.3

     11008                                             115.

Train.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 415. Identifiers “16/3/17” appear in the right corner, and further identifiers “J/K/1/5/6” appear in the same corner in columnar fashion.

Footnote 1: The Italian Minister of Marine was VAdm. Albert del Bono.

Footnote 2: Prince Luigi Amedeo di Savoia-Aosta, Duke of the Abruzzi; and VAdm. Emilio Solari, Commander, Taranto Battle Squadron. Abruzzi never received this command and did not have the opportunity to make any meaningful contribution to the war. Halpern, Naval War in the Mediterranean: 336. The Italian dreadnaughts likewise were never deployed to Corfu. See: Train to Sims, 9 May 1918.

Footnote 3: Italian Chief of Naval Staff and fleet commander, VAdm. Paolo Thaon di Revel. The Allies were frustrated with the Italian Navy, and di Revel in particular, because they believed the Italians were withholding their forces from the fighting in hopes of emerging from the war with their navy intact. See: Sims to Benson, 30 April 1918.