Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Roger T. Welles, Chief of the Office of Naval Intelligence, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Admiral Sims’

Personal File.

PERSONAL and                                                              In reply refer to No

CONFIDENTIAL                                                                                14484

NAVY DEPARTMENT

EMcC-MEF1                  

Office of Naval Intelligence

Washington.   November 7, 1917.      

Dear Admiral Sims:

     Following is a letter which I have received from Captain de Blanpre, the French Naval Attache:2

     “I wish to inform you in quite a confidential and personal way, of the contents of a letter I have received from Admiral de Bon, Chief of the General Staff of the Navy,3 giving me instructions as to the relations which he wishes to see enshrined between the American and French Navies.

     “As I told Admiral Mayo,4 I wish that the most complete intimacy should exist between our two admiralties. You will show the greatest good will in giving satisfaction to all the demands of the American Navy; you will transmit to me immediately all the requests for information, all the explanations asked for by the naval authorities at Washington, and you will inform the Secretary of the Navy5 that it will be given satisfaction to all without delay. I have given instructions on order that the American Naval Officers in Paris shall be furnished with all the information they desire; they will always be welcomed at the Ministere de la Marine and all help will be given to them for the fulfillment of their task so as to increase the good understanding and bring closer the relations of our two fleets.

     “‘I have no doubt that in Washington you will meet with the same facilities and I direct you to neglect no effort to develop in  Washington the same good relations which exist in Paris between the naval officers of the two nations.

     “‘In order to assist you in your task and especially in the part of your duty I have mentioned in this letter, I have detailed Lieutenant Chovel of the Naval Reserve, to serve on your staff as 2nd. Assistant Naval Attache.6

     “You know how much I agree with the ideas expressed in Admiral de Bon’s letter which are those of the General Staff, and I shall personally be very grateful to you if you will give me your advice and help to enable me to carry out the instructions I have received.”

          Sincerely yours,

sd. ROGER WELLES  

Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 23. At the top of the page are identifying marks, “1/3/J”, and following the close, the letter is addressed to “Vice Admiral Wm.S.Sims, U.S.N.,/ Commander U.S.Naval Forces,/Operating in European Waters.”

Footnote 1: Capt. Edward McCauley Jr., Welles’ assistant. It is uncertain to whom, or what, “MEF” refers.

Footnote 2: Bernard de Blanpré, French Naval Attaché in Washington, D.C.

Footnote 3: Ferdinand Jean Jacques de Bon. This letter has not been located.

Footnote 4: Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 5: Josephus Daniels.

Footnote 6: Joseph Fernand Victor Georges Henri Chovel.

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