Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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

[File No.] 16-6-6

     CABLEGRAM RECEIVED <September 16, 1918.> Y-7

Origin Opnav, Washington.               Ser. No. 1570

Re’d to             Date

  CS                17 Sept.

  N5

  N2

45 ADR

Simsadus.

1570.     Following information from State Department from reliable source QUOTE present Chief of Staff German Admiralty former Admiral of High Sea Fleet1 intends to have fleet operate and engage in British Waters and is now busy forming plans for German destroyers raid on British Coast; also work plans to carry mines in great quantities into British Waters.2 He is ambitious for another sea fight which he may as well as military leaders, now believe necessary to raise the lowering morale of the German soldiers and civilians. All German submarine cruisers mine-laying cruisers and other large boats are operating. German submarine loss thus far 128. Loss for July and up to August are given 14. 17 Commissioned during this period. Energetic German Fleet movement now confidently expected as Scheer is determined to show the world that the German Navy can hold its own even if army cannot UNQUOTE 13016 1570

Benson.

Sent: 1.P.M. Sept. 16th.

Recd. 10:11 AM Sept 17th.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date notation at the end of the cable and the “Sent” notation after the signature. Identification number “2/3/J/4” appears in the top-right corner of the page.

Footnote 1: Adm. Reinhard Scheer.

Footnote 2: The German High Sea Fleet never engaged the British Grand Fleet, nor did any ships manage to escape the British blockade. There were no significant naval engagements involving the High Sea Fleet for the remainder of the war. Sims wrote back to debunk this entire cable. See: Sims to Benson, 18 September 1918.

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