Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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

File No. 16-3-1.

<October 17, 1918.>          

CABLEGRAM RECEIVED Y-12.

Origin Comfran Brest (Paris Naval Staff Rep)

Ser.No. 8851.

Simsadus.

8851. Bruges and Ostend, Belgium1 captured and rapid enemy retirement to Eastward of Bruges. Advance towards Lille continues and is expected to fall immediately2 17317. 8851.

Wilson.

Sent:  945 PM 17 Oct. 1918.

Recd:  1010 PM 17 Oct. 1918.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date notation immediately following the text. The message was sent via the Navy’s headquarters at Brest and over the signature of the commander there, VAdm. Henry B. Wilson.

Footnote 1: This also included Zeebrugge, the location of a major German submarine base. Jackson’s information was premature. Although Allied troops entered Ostend on this date and reached the gates of Bruges, that city was not captured until 19 October. J.E. Edmonds, Military Operations, France and Belgium 1918: 26th September-11th November The Advance to Victory, 276-94.

Footnote 2: As Jackson predicted, Lille was re-captured on 17 October. http://www.gwpda.org/wwi-www/Warbook/wb1918.htm, consulted 10/10/18.

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