Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

C A B L E G R A M   Sent October 9 1918.

To   Opnav, Washington                      Serial No. 6574

Prep. by  CS                 NCT                42 ARD

     6574  VERY URGENT My 65731 Have cabled Paris for full text of Naval agreement as the brief above quoted is not entirely clear in all respects. Possible General Bliss2 may have cabled Naval agreement more fully.

     Proposed terms of armistice appear to me to be satisfactory in general but believe no enemy naval forces now away from home bases should be permitted to return to such bases but should proceed to Allied ports as hostages and that all enemy naval and air forces which may proceed to Allied ports should be definitely surrendered to Allies in case terms of armistice violated by enemy or in case armistice is followed by resumption of hostilities. Believe further that to prevent Germany increasing submarine force she should be required to deliver to Allies during each month of armistice a number of submarines equal to her estimated building capacity, probably not less than fifteen. These to be treated the same way as vessels already delivered as hostages.3 134809 6574

SIMS.             

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identification number “G/ J/ K/ 1/ 2/ 3” appears in the top-right corner.

Footnote 1: This cable has not been found.

Footnote 2: Maj. Gen. Tasker H. Bliss, United States Representative, Allied Supreme War Council.

Footnote 3: Adm. William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, replied the same day that, “while matter was done without consulting President [Woodrow Wilson] he feels that no instructions can be sent you until he is informed by the Civil Authorities of the Governments concerned of the purpose and significance of what they have done.” Benson to Sims, 9 October 1918, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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