Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, Commander, Battleship Division Nine, to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels

U.S.NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS.

Battleship Division Nine

                  UNITED STATES ATLANTIC FLEET

U.S.S. NEW YORK, Flagship.

VERY CONFIDENTIAL_______                      5 September, 1918.

From:     Commander BATTLESHIP DIVISION NINE.

To:       Secretary of the Navy (Operations).

Via:      Force Commander.1

Subject:  Attacks on Convoys.

     1.   The enemy’s submarine campaign against trans-Atlantic convoys having proved a failure, it stands to reason that he must consider other means to accomplish his purpose.

     2.   One of the most logical would be for him to employ his fastest fighting ships, battle or other cruisers, with the longest steaming radius, to the same end.

     3.   Anticipating such a move, and supposing that some of his vessels might succeed in reaching the high seas on transport routes, it would soon seem wise to base more of the dreadnaughts of our Atlantic Fleet on this side for the protection of our transportation lines.2

     4.   The more of our own ships used for this purpose, the less the demand on the Grand Fleet; in addition to which our ships would be at hand to reinforce the Grand Fleet should that ever be necessary.

     5.   Scapa and the Firth of Forth having sufficient forces at hand, the remainder of the battleship force might be based on Lough Swilly and Berehaven, they being protected by nets, etc. and are most advantageously situated.

     6.   This policy is approved by the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet.3

     Hugh Rodman.

Source Note: D, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 413. Notation in upper-left corner: “File 153.” Distribution list below close: “To: OPNAV.(2)./Copy: F. Comdr./C-in-C., Atl. Fleet./File.”

Footnote 1: VAdm. William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters.

Footnote 2: The United States sent Battleship Division Six, under the command of RAdm. Thomas S. Rodgers, to Berehaven as a line of defense against the possibility that one or more German surface raiders would escape the blockade and attack Allied shipping (this never happened). For more on this, see: Plan for Protecting Against Raiders, 30 July 1918.

Footnote 3: Adm. Sir David Beatty.

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