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


Cablegram Sent      Nov. 8, 1917

To Opnav Washington                            Serial No. 1341

Via N C B 18 ADR                  Prep. by BAL Appvd. by NCT1

Sent                         Initials                  File No.

Copy to BAL


1341. Your 925.2 From Benson. My understanding with Secretary3 and Operations was that no decision on mine barrier project would be made until after I had arrived here and discussed subject with Admiral Jellicoe4 and Admiral Sims. Operations action in sending 925 has embarrassed me very decidedly. During remainder my absence send all Departmental decisions involving policy to me before sending them for transmittal to Admiralty. Consider that 925 should not have been sent until after I had arrived here and been informed.

Sims, 19208                     

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Benson was in Britain at the time, and VAdm. William S. Sims sent this cable on his behalf.

Footnote 1: Cmdr. Byron A. Long, on the Operations Section of the staff of VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, and Capt. Nathan C Twining, Sims' chief of staff.

Footnote 2: See: Benson to Sims, 1 November 1917. Although signed by Adm. Benson, Opnav 925 was sent three days after Benson left for Europe, and was probably signed on his behalf by Acting Chief of Naval Operations Capt. William V. Pratt. Benson was upset that major decisions concerning the North Sea Mine Barrage were made without consulting him, particularly as he was trying to better understand allied needs on his trip to Europe. See: Sims to Anne Hitchcock Sims, 1 November 1917.

Footnote 3: Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels.

Footnote 4: First Sea Lord Adm. Sir John R. Jellico, R.N.

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