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Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to the Staff of Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, second cable of the day


CABLEGRAM RECEIVED <September 20, 1918> Y-12

Origin:   Opnav Washington.                  Ser.No. 1869.

     Ref’d to            Date

       CS                Sept 21

53 ADR                        SECRET


     1869 6974 4523 48851 Plan for meeting raider menace approved and will be substituted in place of present plan. For the present our Division 8 with duty corresponding to Division 62 will base at Hampton Roads, though later some ships of the division may base at Halifax. Issue necessary instructions to put this plan into effect and furnish Department with rendezvous route. Directions will be given to Commander-in-Chief and Commander Cruiser Force3 to issue instructions from this end putting plan into effect immediately after. Though plan does not embrace westbound shipping proceeding independently Department infers that the provision of paragraph 3 first sentence4 your cable 4523 will hold and that if necessary westbound shipping will be guided by warning received and by any subsequent instructions broadcasted, is this correct? 21020 1869


N.B. No record this office of 6974

Time sent 4:00 AM Sept 21, 1918

Time recd 9:42 AM Sept 21 1918.

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

Footnote 1: 6974 and 4885 have not been found. For 4523, see: Sims to Benson, 10 September 1918. For more on plans to counter a German surface raider, see: Benson to Sims, 30 July 1918; Raider Plan, 8 August 1918, and The American Naval Planning Section in London (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1923): 213-223.

Footnote 2: Battleship Division 6 was based at Berehaven, Ireland to guard against the possibility of a German surface raider escaping from the blockade.

Footnote 3: Adm. Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and RAdm. Albert Gleaves, Commander, Cruiser and Transport Force.

Footnote 4: The first sentence reads: “The Following Plan shall govern all vessels and convoys at sea after they have received warning of a raid.”

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