Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Richard H. Jackson, United States Naval Representative in Paris, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

Communications Copy.

Cablegram Received <November 6, 1918.> Y 3

Origin    Amnavpar Paris.                   Ser. No. 66

     CS Nov 6

     42 ADR                  SECRET

Simsadus:

66. Following for your information and for transmission of appropriate orders in accordance therewith to Rear Admiral Bullard:1 at meeting on Tuesday afternoon of Naval Representatives of France, Great Britain, United States and Italy it was resolved that each of the first three named should delegate a Naval Officer to be associated with the Italian Admiral2 charged with the supervision of carrying out the terms of the armistice with Austria-Hungary, it being agreed that orders concerning the principal points should be sent these delegates by the Allied Naval Councils.

     Rear Admiral Bullard is designated as the delegate to represent the United States Navy.

     The delegates designated will obtain the information required by clause one and four of the Naval conditions of the Armistice with Austria Hungary.3

     They will take charge of the submarines referred to in clause two and these submarines should be concentrated at Pola.

     The several delegates will detail ships surrendered by Clause three, but following ships should be selected unless good reasons against it exist: namely battleships PRINZ EUGEN, TEGETHOFF, RADATZKY, and Cruisers HELGOLAND, NOVARA, SAIDA; nine most modern destroyers and twelve of the most modern torpedo boats (KAIMAN Class), surrendered ships to be kept at Pola.

     Remaining vessels of fleet to be paid off and should be concentrated at Pola or other base at committees discretion and be placed under their control.

     Delegates designated will be ready to proceed to form commissions referred to in clause five assisted by representatives of ministries of shipping with special knowledge.

     Cattaro and Pola to be bases referred to in clause six.

     All other conditions of armistice to be carried out by committees and in any case where armistice conditions are not clear each representative to refer questions to his government for decision before acting.

     Direct Admiral Bullard that in case of doubt to refer questions for decision to department through Admiral Benson. You should impress upon Admiral Bullard the necessity for expediting action in every possible way.

     The Italian Admiral with whom the other delegates will be associated is at Venice and Admiral Bullard should be directed to proceed to Venice Italy immediately and get in touch with other delegates and carry out the above instructions.4

     Department has been informed of this action. 09206 60

SIMS     

Sent 8:04 a.m. Nov 6

Recd 925 a.m. Nov 6

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

Footnote 1: RAdm. William H. H. Bullard, Commander, United States Naval Forces in the Eastern Mediterranean. Bullard had been ordered to Corfu, Greece to take command of U. S. naval forces there in light of the surrender of the Austro-Hungarian fleet. See: Benson to Bullard, 3 November 1918. For Bullard’s updated instructions, see: Benson to Opnav, 10 November 1918.

Footnote 2: VAdm. Paolo Thaon di Revel, Commander-in-Chief, Italian Fleet, and Italian Naval Chief of Staff. For the minutes for the meeting of the naval representatives at Paris on 5 November see, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 679.

Footnote 3: The full text of the armistice with Austria-Hungary is available through the Library of Congress website. See: https://www.loc.gov/law/help/us-treaties/bevans/m-ust000002-0001.pdf. For the naval terms of the agreement specifically, see: Roosevelt to Wilson, 4 November 1918.

Footnote 4: Negotiations with the Italians became complicated, and President Woodrow Wilson grew increasingly frustrated with Italy’s territorial ambitions. The United States continued to occupy over 100 miles of the Dalmatian coast for nearly three years after the Armistice to protect the newly-created Yugoslavia from Italy. For a detailed study of this aspect of the war, see, A. C. Davidonis, The American Naval Mission in the Adriatic, 1918-1921 (Washington, D. C.: Navy Department Office of Records Administration, 1943).

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