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 Office of the Chief of Naval Operations

C O P Y

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DISPATCH TO BE SENT

Date      October 26, 1918.

To       Opnav Washington.

Prepared by             CS1                    No. 8097

HIGHLY SECRET.

8097  All enemy submarines now at sea have been ordered to proceed to an area sixty miles square just east of the Firth of Fourth.2 Information in our possession does not indicate whether they are to remain and operate in that area or what the purpose of concentration is.3 All indications as to location of submarines point to their being now on the way to this rendezvous, so that with the exception of one or two of the larger cruiser submarines the Atlantic is now practically clear. Thirty British destroyers and ninety trawlers have been ordered to this area for offensive action against submarines and to assist in screening capital ships should they proceed to sea.

SIMS.    

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Document identifier: “JHK123.”

Footnote 1: That is, Chief of Staff, which was Capt. Nathan C. Twining.

Footnote 2: That is, Firth of Forth, Scotland.

Footnote 3: This movement of submarines was preparatory to a planned attack on the English coast and a battle with the British Grand Fleet that was planned for 30 October. Because of a mutiny in the German fleet, this plan was never executed. Halpern, Naval War at Sea, 444-46.

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