Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

 

Chronological Copy.                          File No.

Cablegram Sent   May 23 <24>, 1918.   TOH

To Opnav, Washington. (Buord)1              Serial No. 8353

Prep. by M-4                  SX   D.R.

                                        29 ADR

8353. Your 6315.2 Expenditure of depth charges in all forces materially increased owing new depth charge policy,3 approved tactics provide laying barrage of 20 or 30 depth charges each attack. Refer Buord letter 32800 of 14 February 1918 paragraph 4.4 Urgently recommend daily output 125 mark 2 depth charges be at least doubled immediately if not already done, necessary establish stock of depth charges at various bases as recommended in my 7957,5 the possible loss of ship carrying large supply depth charges en route might seriously handicap successful prosecution of an[t]i-submarine campaign if sufficient stock is not maintained at each base. Supply of depth charges base 66 including shipments via BESOEKI and U.S.S. CULGOA will probably be completely exhausted June 15, recommend additional depth charges be shipped base 6 via U.S.S. GLACIER.7 As the number of United States Naval vessels in European Waters increases the supply of depth charges recommended for the various bases will have to be materially increased. 03024, 8353

Sims.              

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date stamp at the end of the document.

Footnote 1: The Bureau of Ordnance.

Footnote 2: This cable has not been found.

Footnote 3: Sims had given orders to all officers under his command to use depth charges liberally at every possible submarine sighting. While earlier in the war commanders had to be cautious about running out of charges, increased production made it possible to unleash as many as possible and thus maximize chances of destroying a German U-boat. See: Sims Circular of 9 April 1918; and Sims Circular of 19 April 1918.

Footnote 4: This letter has not been found.

Footnote 5: This cable has not been found.

Footnote 6: Located at Queenstown, Ireland.

Footnote 7: Culgoa and Glacier were both storeships.

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