Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman, Commander, Sixth Battleship Squadron, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters

SECRET

U. S. NAVAL FORCES OPERATING IN EUROPEAN WATERS

Sixth Battle Squadron

Grand Fleet

U.S.S.NEW YORK, Flagship.

15 September 1918.      

From:     Commander SIXTH BATTLE SQUADRON.

To:       Force Commander.

Subject:  Spares for turret guns.

Reference:(a) Your telegram 972 of 14 September 1918.1

     1.   The Commander-in-Chief2 always states that he believes there will be a fleet action.

     2.   Amongst other flag officers, if any decided opinion prevails, it is that there will be no general fleet action; but opinions are most divided.

     3.   My own opinion is that even though a fleet action may not be probable, we cannot afford to take any chances of any kind that would mitigate against our maintenance of vastly superior strength in the fleet, as command of the sea is vital.

     Recommendation.     That four of each type of turret guns be kept for spares for ships on this side, in accordance with present plans.

     Reasons. These are sufficient to replace ordinary service casualties. Should a ship be severely wounded in action, it is assumed that she would be immediately replaced by another from the Atlantic Fleet. A ship badly wounded and repaired, even with reduced main battery, would no doubt still be useful for convoy work.

Hugh Rodman   

Source Note: TLS, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520, Box 678. Addressed below close: “To: F.Comdr./File.” Document reference: “File 23,” and “6/H.”

Footnote 2: Rodman is probably referring to Adm. Henry T. Mayo, Commander, Atlantic Fleet.

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