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

DISPATCH TO BE SENT.

Date  29 October 1918

To:  OPNAV.

Prepared by   CS

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HIGHLY SECRET.

          There are now believed to be nine submarines in the concentration area.1 Two cruiser submarines and four others believed to be still in Atlantic probably bound for North Sea. Only three sightings of submarines reported october twentyeight, one southwest of Gibraltar, one in Donegal Bay, one in south entrance to Scapa Flow.

          Reliable information indicates that all German submarines in Mediterranean are to fill up with fuel immediately and return to Germany. No indications as to whether or not they will operate offensively while on the way home. This movement is due to expected action of Austria with respect to peace.2

     A British submarine destroyed a German submarine October twentyeight in North Sea about latitude fiftysix longitude five east.3

     If the report of a submarine in the entrance to Scapa Flow was correct it is possible that it was destroyed by mines as some mines in the field were exploded.4

      SIMS.

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

Footnote 1: On the concentration of German submarines, see: Sims to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 26 October 1918.

Footnote 2: In early October, representatives of the Austro-Hungarian army had begun a series of meetings with the Allies concerning an armistice, which was signed on 3 November. http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/armistice.html, consulted 10/17/18.

Footnote 3: U-78 was destroyed by a torpedo fired by H. M. submarine G-2 in latitude 56°02' north and longitude 05° 08' west. Kemp, U-Boats Destroyed, 58.

Footnote 4: UB-116 was sunk by a mine near the British Grand Fleet’s base at Scapa Flow on 28 October. Ibid., 58-59.

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