Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations
Subject Copy. File No.
CABLEGRAM SENT 15 nov 1918. Y-40
To Amnavpar Paris Serial No. 144
Prep. by N-5 SX D.R.
144. URGENT. For Benson. Seventeen mines dragged up in old fields northeast of Zeebrugge, the existence of which was not heretofoer known. The repatriation channels are about clear of mines. The KOINGSBERG WILL ARRIVE AT the Fleet about 2:00 p. m. Information received that while authorities in control in Germany wish to carry out terms of armistice as speedily as possible they are finding difficulty inducing the men to form part of the crews of the ships to be given up and as inducement offering them sums of money from five to ten thousands marks with insurance for their families in case they are killed. No particulars significance is attached to this except that there is reluctance among individual men to carry out disagreeable duty. Certain information has been exchanged between Germans and British suggesting methods of bringing out submarines, having groups of 8 or 10 accompanied by steamers of their own to bring back crews, etc. Baltic submarines have been ordered to Kiel. Measures being taken to get possession of submarines that have been interned in Swedish waters. Reported conditions in Holland better this morning. Italians still having difficulty in carrying out terms of armistice in Adriatic. They are proceeding to take the port of Spalato. It is announced that the British Naval Attache has agreed that the Italians should proceed to take this port. Admiralty discussed this morning question concerning continuing building programme of light cruisers, destroyers and submarines of various classes. Some of these that are well along will be continued and some less advanced will be abandoned and scrapped. 162915 144.
Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520.