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Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Rear Admiral Sir Reginald Hall, Director of Naval Intelligence


15th May, 1918.    


SUBJECT: Confirmation of attacks by U.S.vessels on enemy submarines.

          With the gradual increase of U/S/vessels operating in European Waters, and particularly in view of the recently adopted policy of using depth charges on the slightest evidence obtained of the possible presence of a submarine,1 I am particularly desirous of having all such actions followed up and confirmed. It is considered very important not only to keep up the enthusiasm of the personnel afloat, but also with a view of improving methods of attack, to furnish the vessels concerned as soon after the attack as possible with some expression of opinion as to the success of the attack.

          The enthusiasm afloat at present will undoubtedly lead even more than in the past to many attacks on suspicions in which there is actually no submarine in the vicinity at the time.

          May I therefore ask that insofar as it does not encroach upon the necessity for secrecy, the action reports from U/S/ vessels whichare in all cases furnished to the admiralty, be subjected to an expression of opinion by Admiralty officials as soon after the attack as practicable/.

          I  fully realize how busy all hands are in the Admiralty and have no desire to add unnecces<s>ary burdens to their work/ Lieut. Neilson2 of the Intelligence Section of this Staff, a former officer of the Regular Navy, who had resigned, has been definitely designatedas a lia<i>son officer with the Admiralty Intelligence Division/ His discretion is to be fully trusted and it is hoped that by making full use of his services in the Intelligence Division,the minimum of trouble to the office of the Director will be involved.

          There are attached a selection of action reports from U.S. vessels which illustrate what is desired/3

          Copies of all of these action reports have been submitted immediately upon receipt. It is also understood that the Commander in Chief Ireland,4 likewise furnishes the Admiralty with reports concerning these actions.

Source Note: TL, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 414. Identification numbers “AC 17511” appear in the upper left corner and “6 Copies.” appears in the upper right. Right of center are further identifiers “3/H/I/J” in columnar fashion.

Footnote 1: See: Sims Circular, 9, and 11 April 1918.

Footnote 2: Lt. Raymond Perry Rodgers Neilson.

Footnote 3: Enclosure not included. For an example of thse type of action reports, see: War Diary, Cummings, 28 April 1918.

Footnote 4: Adm. Sir Lewis Bayly, Commander, Southern Ireland.

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