Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Demobilization Plan – Memorandum No. 1

DEMOBILIZATION PLAN – MEMORANDUM NO. 1

     The following plan considers demobilization of United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters only. There are two cases:

(1)    Austria accepts armistice terms while Germany does not.

(2)    Austria and Germany both accept armistice terms.

In both cases certain principles of demobilization to govern, as follows:-

(a)    No Force to be demobilized so long as there is possibility of a renewal of hostilities in which its services might be needed.

(b)    No Force to be maintained in Europe longer than necessary.

(c)    Personnel to take precedence over material in shipments home, sufficient personnel being left behind in every case to prepare material for shipment, to care for it, and to close finally and legally all obligations.

(d)    Cargo vessels used in demobilization to carry cargoes both ways when practicable.

NOTE:     It is assumed that demobilization on the U.S.

    Atlantic coast will be co-ordinated with demobilization of United            States Naval Forces in Europe.

(e)    Commanding Officers of Forces, Bases and Stations, with suitable staff, to remain to superintend and expedite demobilization.

(f)    All Port Officers with their organizations to remain until amount of American military and Naval traffic at their ports is inconsiderable.

(g)    Naval demobilization to be done with Naval vessels so far as may be practicable.

(h)    Each station to submit cargo capacity – weight and space required for demobilization and estimated dates when shipments will be ready.

          DEMOBILIZATION --- CASE (1)

                        PART I.

     WHEN AUSTRIA ACCEPTS THE TERMS OF ARMISTICE.

(1)    Stop all preparations for mining in the Mediterranean and Aegean including cancellation of all manufacturing orders in the United States.
COMMENT:  If mines have still to be used against Germans

they can best be used in the North Sea.

(2)    Stop all shipments of Naval material for United States Forces, to Italy and to Corfu, except that necessary for demobilization.

                   PART II.

WHEN AUSTRIA TURNS OVER NAVAL VESSELS AS PER ARMISTICE TERMS.

(1)    Demobilize completely the U.S. Naval Air Stations in Italy and stop all preparations for Adriatic Bombing Squadrons including the production of material for these squadrons in the United States.

(2)    Demobilize Submarine Chaser Base, Corfu, Vessels and equipment proceed to Gibraltar.
COMMENT:  Even if Germany continues fighting she will not 
be likely to

                    send submarines into the Adriatic or even beyond the line Sicily-           Cape Bon so that our chasers are more likely to be of service if             base on Gibraltar than elsewhere in the Mediterranean. Gibraltar is         also desirable because of the base organization already in                     existence there.

(3)    Northern Bombing Group will continue as at present with a possibility of being used as a support for the Seaplane Unit at Zeebrugge.

              DEMOBILIZATION --- CASE (2).

                   PART I.

WHEN AUSTRIA AND GERMANY BOTH ACCEPT ARMISTICE TERMS.

(1)    Carry out steps indicated under case (1) part (I) above.

(2)    Stop all Naval Aviation shipments from United States.

(3)    Stop all mine shipments from United States.

                   PART II.

WHEN AUSTRIAN AND GERMAN VESSELS ARE DELIVERED IN ACCORDANCE

              WITH ARMISTICE TERMS.

(1)    Demobilize Northern Bombing Squadrons.

(2)    Demobilize U.S. Naval Base, Gibraltar, except as to repair facilities, salvage units, tugs and Flagship.
COMMENT:  Considerable Army demobilization may take place

through French Mediterranean ports so that the repair facilities of Gibraltar may assist American vessels running to those ports.

(a)    Naval vessels proceed to United States when practicable. They should convoy the Corfu submarine chasers to the United States if Season permits.

NOTE: Ask Department concerning policy regarding

 disposition of sub-chasers. Take up question of selling them in Europe.

(b)    Army store ships carrying stores to French Mediterranean ports may take surplus Naval stores from Gibraltar.

(3)    Demobilize Azores except tugs, salvage units and repair facilities.
NOTE: In both (2) and (3) above get recommendations of Base

 Commanders before acting.

(4)    Demobilize all Naval Air Stations, sending home personnel as fast as practicable. Mine Carriers and colliers can be used to assist in this work.

(5)    Demobilize mine bases sending home all vessels, mines and material belonging to United States. Retain facilities for operation of United States Mine Sweepers in case United States is to participate in sweeping up United States mines in North Sea.

(6)    Send all battleships and their accessories home.

(7)    Send home all vessels, personnel, and material based on Queenstown and Plymouth with the exception of tugs, repair ships and salvage units, which will be needed. Completely demobilize both bases.

(8)    Cardiff and Liverpool organizations to remain in full commission for the present. Suggest at least one repair ship for the Cardiff Organization. Cross Channel steamers and their shore organization to remain in full commission so long as their services are required.

(9)    With exceptions hereafter noted send home from French coast all naval vessels, naval material, and naval personnel:

EXCEPTIONS: Vessels, material and personnel needed in
(a)         connection with demobilization of the Army.

(b)         Retain United States Mine Sweepers as long as
            their services are required.

(c)         Retain destroyers as necessary in Europe for

  emergency duty. This provision also to apply to

  other Bases.

(10)  Suspend immediately all construction work not necessary for demobilization purposes.

(11)  NAVAL RAILWAY BATTERIES: Commander of Battery1 take charge of disassembling and returning to United States, guns and useful ordnance equipment. That part of battery which can be used commercially such as engines, sleeping cars, etc., to be turned over to the Army.

(12)  HOSPITALS: These will be retained with full compliment or reduced as may be necessary, corresponding to demobilization of Naval Units which are dependent upon them. It may be that the Hospital at Queenstown will have to <be> kept up after the Base at Queenstown is entirely demobilized for the purpose of taking care of the sick at the Cardiff Base.

(13)  MURMANSK, RUSSIA: Inasmuch as the Naval Forces in Northern Russia serve diplomatic purposes rather than Naval or Military, its continuance will necessarily depend upon diplomatic conditions which at present cannot be foreseen.

WM. S. SIMS,                

Vice Admiral.           

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

Footnote 1: RAdm. Charles P. Plunkett.

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