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Rear Admiral Samuel S. Robison, Commander, Submarine Force, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations

19 November 1918.  

From:       Rear Admiral S.S. Robison,U.S. Navy.

To  :       Chief of Naval Operations.

Via :       Commander U. S. Naval Forces, European Waters.

SUBJECT:    Progress Report in connection with Armistice Terms.

Reference:  (a) Force Commander’s Letter No. CS 47225, dated 11 November, Instructions Concerning Duty of U.S. Naval Representatives on Commission for Carrying Out Naval Terms of Armistice with Germany.

            (b) Conclusions of Allied Naval Council at Meeting of 13 November 1918.

            (c) Memo on Meeting of Commission for Supervising the Execution of Naval Conditions of Armistice. with Germany.

            (d) Abstract of Agreement made between Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet and German representatives.1

     1.   In compliance with paragraph 7 of reference (a) the following is submitted:

     2.   The CHESTER, CORSAIR, and HARVARD, have been ordered to Gravesend to be available for carrying out work of the Commission.

     3.   Referring to the proposal of the British member (reference C) that the Commission proceed to German bases in the HERCULES and that a corps of British experts be employed to inspect German surface vessels for the Commission, unless otherwise ordered I will accompany the HERCULES to German bases in the CHESTER and will arrange for U.S. representatives to be associated with the British for the inspection of German craft, in accordance with the terms of the armistice. I will also make arrangements for securing photographs of the German vessels. Either the CORSAIR or HARVARD, or both, will be used to carry our inspecting force.

     4.   I will make similar arrangements for the association of our representatives with British representatives for the inspection of German Naval aircraft.

     5.   Since all modern German surface vessels and all submarines are being sent to British ports where they will be available for technical inspection no detailed technical inspection of German surface craft at German bases is considered necessary and no action relative to making such vessels available for our detailed technical inspection other than that provided in the preceding paragraph will be taken unless otherwise ordered.

     6.   With reference to the objection made by the British member (reference C), the question of a more detailed technical inspection of aircraft than is necessary to carry out the armistice terms will be given further consideration, and on this point instruction are <is> requested as to whether such inspection should be insisted upon. My recommendation is that it should be.

     7.   It is to be noted that unless the duration of the armistice is extended its expiration may be reached before an opportunity occurs to make a detailed inspection of German aircraft, should that be decided upon, since no date has yet been set for the preliminary inspection by the Commission.2

     8.   Copies of references (S and D) are forwarded herewith.

S.S. Robison       

Rear-Admiral, U.S. Navy.

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

Footnote 1: References (a), (b), and (d) have not been found. For reference (c), see: Robison to Nathan C. Twining, 18 November 1918.

Footnote 2: The Armistice was extended three times before peace was finally ratified on 10 January 1920.

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