Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

General Bulletin Prepared By Staff of Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

[Extract]

U.S. NAVAL FORCES, EUROPEAN WATERS,

                    London, England,     23 October 1918.

GENERAL BULLETIN NO. 6

  1.  It is reported that the leaflets dropped over the German lines by Allied Aircraft are widely read. Two prisoners stated that in one case a Battalion Adjutant distributed the leaflets among the companies. Those dealing with German losses and withdrawals do not seem to be very effective. Upon the other hand, those urging desertion with a promise of good treatment strongly affect the weaker element, while those giving a menu including white bread, meat, sugar, etc., make a deep impression.

  2.  A poster issued by La Ligue Civique has received a wide circulation throughout France. This poster calls the attention of the public to the fact that no real peace is intended by the enemy, that all his protestations are made merely to gain time, now that he is really beaten, and that unconditional surrender is the only offer to be made to assassins, robbers and incendiaries.

  3.  A prisoner recently taken, of the  3d Machine Gun company of the 7th B.R.I.R.,1 stated that he had received a letter from his brother a recruit of the enemy’s class of 1920, in which he expected to be sent to the front October 15, 1918. Other reports conflict with this. An order from Ludendorff2 dated June 26th, prescribed twelve weeks as the minimum training period for this class, while a later order from the same source forbids the employment of this class at the front without the express authorization of Ludendorff himself.

  4.  The President3 has issued a Proclamation, calling for further men to join the merchant service; with special reference to the overseas transportation. Men who volunteer for this type of service will be given deferred classification.

  5.  Letters of commendation have been addressed by the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces in France,4 to Lieutenant-Commander W.B. Porter, U.S.N.R.F. and to Lt-Commander W.W. Wetherspoon, Construction Corps, U.S. Navy. Lt-Comdr Porter commanded the CORSAIR when she picked up the Norwegian steamer DAGFIN, on September 10th. The steamer had a broken shaft, and had been totally disabled for six days. The CORSAIR kept touch until the weather moderated, and then towed the Dagfin to port, a distance of three hundred miles, arriving September 14. Lt-Comdr Wetherspoon, on the occasion of the salving of the CELEBES by the wreckmaster in France, Lieutenant Sloan Danonhower was commended for his courage in going down into the hold repeatedly in the fumes from the paint locker, for the purpose of saving life.

  6.  It is estimated that 20% of the population have subscribed to the Fourth Loan which means one member of each family, and has resulted in large over subscription. New loans have been announced of $200,000,000 to Italy and $100,000,000 to France. This brings the total loans to the allies to $7,520,470,000.

  7.  Lieutenant George F. Parrott, U.S.N.R.F., and Lieutenant (j.g.) John D. Edwards, U.S.N., with ten enlisted men were lost as the result of the SHAW’s accident.5

  8.  The total subscription of the Navy to the Fourth Liberty Loan is announced as $40,000,000. This exceeds by 8,000,000 the sum of all subscriptions made to the First, Second and Third Loans, and is some 15,000,000 more than the Navy’s assigned quota.

  9.  Medical researches show that the Spanish influenza seems to be much more apt to attack men of northern, rather than of southern or latin races. The disease which has been frequent among the Allied troops in Italy has effected the Italians themselves but little. An alkaline solution, for example of carbonate of soda, with 3% menthol, used in the throat and nose, has given good results as a preventive, while quinine has been extensively used in the treatment.

  10.  The German steamer Magdalena Fischer, which formerly carried supplies between Antwerp and Zeebrugge, has been interned at Hanaweert by the [Germans.]

     This report in full is circulated to the Force as it is the first occasion upon which our submarine chasers have been in action with enemy surface craft6. . . .

Source Note: DT, DLC-MSS, William S. Sims Papers, Box 24.

Footnote 1: Presumably, Seventh Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment.

Footnote 2: General Erich F. W. Ludendorff was the Quartermaster General of the German army.

Footnote 3: President Woodrow Wilson.

Footnote 5: On 9 October, the transport Aquitania struck the SHAW and cut off 90 feet of its bow, mangled the destroyer’s bridge, and set it afire. Through heroic effort, the crew saved the ship and brought it into port under its own power. SHAW had 12 killed and 12 injured in the incident. DANFS.

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