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Commodore Guy R. Gaunt, British Naval Attaché at Washington, to Admiralty

                                             Copy of TELEGRAM                        28-8-6

From      Washington                                   8.9.17

To   Admiralty                                    Recd.

Following from Commodore Gaunt

365. From Lieut. De Salis experimental mine mechanism.1 Mechanism is simple and safe but is still in trial stage. Functioned for perfectly for bumping and safety. Trials were somewhat crude no suitable vessel being available. Counter mining not very satisfactory yet but faults can be got over. A 33-inch diameter mine is designed which could be used with Mark XI or B.E. type sinker.2 If desired a 38-inch diameter mine would be designed. No sinker at present designed. Intended to copy ours or use B.E. They state that they can produse 1000 mines? and sinkers a day about 1st December. Their proposals are to work out combined operations with these mines they providing mines and mechanisms of? trawls minelayers and sinkers. They would provide sinkers if desired but point out difficulties of freight. Offer of mines is absolutely free they propose to give 100,000 mines Admiral Mayo knows strategical recommend acceptance American offer without decreasing our own output.3 Question of size of mine manufacture of sinkers and supply of explosive to be settled subsequently Americans have sufficient crude T N T and are willing to supply. Opinions in my 358 3rd Sept. still adhered to but advantages of larger danger zone certainty of firing and simplicity combined with element of surprise if kept secret considered to outweigh them. Propose returning next ship and will bring samples of mechanisms.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Following the message there is the following routing list: "3rd S.L. [Third Sea Lord, RAdm. Sir Lionel Halsey]/ D.T.M. [Director Torpedoes and Mining, Rear-Admiral the Hon. Edward S. Fitzherbert]".

Footnote 1: Lt. Rodolph H. F. de Salis had been sent by the Admiralty to inspect mines, especially the American Mark VI. See: William S. Sims to Bureau of Ordnance, 22 August 1917.

Footnote 2: That is, the British Elia Mine, a mine of Italian origin that the British arms manufacturer Vickers built under contract.

Footnote 3: Adm. Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet.

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