Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Captain Nathan C. Twining, Chief of Staff to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Allied Naval Council

SECRET

October 16, 1918.

FROM: Chief of Staff to Vice Admiral Wm. S. Sims, U. S. Navy.

TO  : Secretary, Allied Naval Council.

SUBJECT: Reports concerning items discussed at Fifth Meetings of

         Allied Naval Council.

     1.   I am directed by Vice Admiral Sims to forward to below given information respecting certain items discussed at the Fifth Meetings of the Allied Naval Council:

Item LXXXV – Mining Operations in the Mediterranean.

          The United States has selected Bizerta as its Mediterranean Mine Base and preparations are now going forward for the equipment of the base. No date can yet be fixed for the beginning of mining operations from this base.

          With respect to the proposed Adriatic Barrage: the United States Representative concurs in the remarks of the Chief of the Italian Naval Staff1 as set forth in Paper No. 223 and agrees that the line “D” from Cape Cavallo to the Island of Sas<s>eno is the most suitable for this barrage. The laying of this barrage, however, depends upon the successful production of a mine which can be laid in depths of about 500 fathoms.

          With reference to the proposed Aegean Barrage: the United States Government regards the Islands of Samos, Furni and Nikaria as Grecian territory. Therefore, after the general concurrence and cooperation of the Hellenic Government has been obtained, the United States will be prepared to lay the entire Aegean Barrage, except that part which is to be laid in the Strait of Samos which is within the territorial waters of the Ottoman Empire. It is understood that this portion of the barrage will be laid by Great Britain. It is understood that Great Britain is taking the necessary steps to verify the soundings, nature of bottom, direction and strength of surface and sub-surface currents, and other necessary hydrographical particulars in the area in which the Barrage will be laid.

Item LXXXVIII – The anti-submarine position in the Mediterranean

          Since the Fifth Meetings of the Council nineteen additional submarine chasers have sailed from the United States for European Waters. One of these was lost on passage due to a casualty; of the remaining eighteen, six have been assigned to Queenstown to bring the strength of the force there up to thirty-six. Twelve are temporarily assigned to Plymouth for training and when trained, will be transferred to Brest to operate with the other United States Naval Forces based on that port.

Item XCV – Brazilian Mine Sweeping Service.

          In accordance with the conclusions of the Council at the Fifth Meetings, the United States Representative recommended to the Navy Department that the United States offer its services to Brazil to assist in organizing and training the necessary Mine Sweeping Flotillas and also, offer to supply any wire, kites, or other mine sweeping materials which might not be available in Brazil.

          The Navy Department has replied expressing its willingness to detail an Officer of experience to organize a Mine Sweeping Flotilla for Brazil and it has also agreed to furnish Brazil with such necessary mine sweeping material as is not available in that country. The Navy Department assumes that Brazil can furnish the necessary mine sweepers. If this is not the case, the number that can be sent her from the United States will be limited in view of the other demands for such vessels of this type as are now available or building in the United States.

     2.   It is suggested that the information herein given be prepared for circulation in the form of an Allied Naval Council paper.

N. C. Twining,

Captain, U. S. Navy.

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

Footnote 1: VAdm. Paolo Thaon di Revel.

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