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

Chronological Copy.                          File No. <27-5-5>

Cablegram Received       <September 12, 1918.>  Y 11

Origin Opnav Washington                        Ser. No. 1383

CS-2      Sept 13  

53 ARD.                       SECRET.


1383. There are in European waters 8 United States ships, and 12 spare guns for replacements. The Army cannot meet its program for great guns in time to bring any of their large caliber guns into action during the 1919 campaign. It has requested the Navy to do everything in its power to assist in this emergency. There are now in reserve in United States for replacing in ships Battleship Force 2, 5 fourteen-inch 45 caliber, 8 twelve-inch 50 caliber. What is the Admiralty’s view of probability of fleet action and if probable before the end of 1919, what is your estimate of the spare guns that will be needed by ships in European waters over and above the 12 guns now abroad. This information requested in order to form an estimate of the number of sparks <spares> in United States that can be turned over to Army for working on Western front. 18012 1383.1


                         9:55 a.m., September 13, 1918.


“Sparks” comes clear, but evidently should be “spares.”

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

Footnote 1: On 14 September, Sims forwarded this message to RAdm. Hugh Rodman, commander of Battleship Division Nine then serving with the British Grand Fleet. After quoting this cable, Sims added: “Your comment and recommendations requested.” Ibid.

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