Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, Commander, Southern Ireland, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
My dear Admiral,
With great regret I differ from the opinion. If you care to know why, read on: if you are bored with the subject the fire is handy. We should keep Heligoland, not so much because of its va[l]ue to the ally that holds it, but in order to prevent the Germans hold[ing] it. It would greatly reduce the area of mines that they could lay. It would take from them an advanced harbour for their destroyers and submarines.
The island being exposed to bombing from Germany would not have guns on top, but would be fortified with 50 cl guns in pierced galleries like the galleries at Gibraltar. The island being composed of soft material, could easily be tunneled. 50 calibre guns would fire with their muzzles exposed and w[o]uld therefore damage the outer wallof the island very little.
Thanks for your letter. In view of my approaching retirement I wrote to the Admlty for my sea time. The reply is that I have 40 years and 23 days sea service. Not bad.
Yours very sincerely
sgd Lewis Bayly.
The nieces sox crusade goes on successfully.
Source Note: ALS, DLC-MSS, William Sims Papers, Box 24. Notation appearing in the top-left corner of the page: “Admiral Sims/Personal File.” Identification numbers “1/3/2” appear in the top-right corner.