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Rear Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

19 November 1917,

From:     V A Sims

To:       CNO

I have gone over situation fully with British Admiralty Admiralty outlined what I believed to be the best plan for future naval operations but am convinced that British are not prepared now to offer definite plan of their own for our consideration. From my observation and after careful consideration I believe that such plan satisfactory to both countries can xxxxx not be developed until we virtually establish the strict planning section for joint operations here in order that the personnel therein may be in position to obtain latest British and other Allied information and to urge as joint plans such plans as our estimates and policy may indicate. This action appears to be all the more necessary considering the fact that any offensive operations which may be undertaken must be in conjunction with British forces and must be from base established or occupied within British territorial waters.

The officer detailed for this duty should come here fully imbued with our national and naval policy and ideas. Then with the intimate knowledge they can obtain here from data available actual disposition of Allied forces, reason therefore, they will be in a position to urge upon British any plans that promise satisfactory results. In order to initiate this policy I recommend Captain Schofield and Commander Knox be xxxx ordered to report to Admiral Sims and Admiral Jellicoe1 comma first sea lord, for duty. A third officer to be selected after return. This matter is an urgent one and action should be taken at once.

Captain Pratt cable me his recommendations for officers to fill vacancies created thereby in Dept.2 acknowledge. Signed BENSON 19319.


Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document reference: “1550.”

Footnote 1: Capt. Frank H. Schofield, Cmdr. Dudley W. Knox, VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, and Adm. Sir. John R. Jellicoe, First Sea Lord.

Footnote 2: Capt. William V. Pratt, Assistant (Acting) Chief of Naval operations.

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