Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, May 08, 1921, Page 10, Image 10

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    10 A'
Mysterious Disappearance of Black
Plans for Naval Warfare on Germany
Remains Unsolved to the Present Day
Th ar ln ttit l"t "ProWwn lullan, Hl-V." doling with tuvil Urtlr (gainst
nrmuir In Atlantlo miiatki Did Hermans attml our secret! or wso they good (Utwrs!-Trubable
solution ef mitt;.
former Swntiry of th Navy 1913 to 1921.
Copyright, 1121. by John f Dlltt. Copyright by National Nawipapr.r Servlus. Copyright In final
Britain, Canada and throughout France. All rtohta reserved. Including translation Into foralgn
laoguago, Including Ilia Scandinavian. Unauthorized reprinting (or any purpota forbidden.
What became of the lost Black plan is still a mystery. Made out by
the general board, guarded with the greatest care, handled by the proper
authorities, is was carried into effect and then it vanished utterly.
The discovery that one of our secret naval plans was missing came
when it was too "late to have any effect pon the situation. But that did
not prevent the newspapers making the most of the sensation, especially
such as, for political reasons, had it in for the navy department.
They would never have heard it
was missing, nor would we have
known it was missing, had we ot
looked it up for the purpose of prov
ing to certain clamorous critics that
we had not gone to war without
plans. Long ago it had served its
purpose as a plan, and, as we tup
posed, had been filed away with
thousands of other documents for
purposes of record. But there we
were wrong. The plan had not b :cn
filed away, nor could any trace of it
be found. To this day it has not
been found.
And it was an important plan at
the time it was used. It was a plan
of vital importance.
' Navy's "Black Plan."
The navy for many years has had
a set of plans to cover possible sit
uations which might develop in the
Atlantic, the Pacific, the Caribhcm
sea or other open waters. These
plans originated with the general
board, of which Admiral Dewey
was chairman until his death in Jan
uary, 1917, and were kept up to dale
by frequent revision.
The plan dealing with possible
hostilities in the Atlantic was known,
as the "Black plan." In February.
1917, in its rqyised and up-to-the-minute
form, it dealt, of course, with
the probability of war with Ger
many. On February 4, the day after
BcrnstorlT was dismissed, the Fun
eral board had recommended in de
tail the principal steps to be taken in
case of war with the central powers
mobilization of the fleet, naval dis
tricts and auxiliary vessels; large in
crease of navy and marine corps u?r
sonncl; nets and mines to guard
ports and home waters against sub
marines, arming of merchant ships,
and other measures, and, "most im
portant, arrange, as soon as possible,
plans of co-operation with the naval
forces of the allies for the joint pro
tection of trans-Atlantic commerce
and for offensive naval operations
against the common enemy."
The general war plan was com
prehensive; special recommenda
tions had been made as to the vari
ous steps we should take. But I
wanted also a definite statement as
to the strategy and general policy
we should pursue upon the declara
tion of war. These studies are
called "problems," and on February
10 I addressed this letter to the gen
eral board:
"February 10, 1917. To the Gen:
cral Board: Subject, 'Solution of
"1. The department desires the
general board to consider the fol
lowing problem and submit its solu
tion as soon as practicable:
"General Situation Conditions as
at present except that war with Ger
many is declared.
"Special Situation The allies do
not desire our battleship force at
"Required Naval estimate of the
"First, as to the grand strategy
demanded by the, situations.
"Second, as to disposition of bat
tleship force.
"Third, as to the method of assist
ing in maintaining communications
with Europe, including scheme for
co-operation with allies.
"Fourth, as to the methods of
driving submarines from the sea.
"Assume Mobilization of all na
val vessels and possibility of mobil
izing merchant vessels as required.
The board made a careful study
of the whole situation, and a week
later made a report covering all the
matters set forth and sent it to me,
with the following note of trans
mittal: Problem Is Solved.
"General Board, Navy Depart
ment, Washington, Feb. 17, 1917.
To Secretary of the Navy: Subject,
'Solution of Problem,' Black.
"Reference (a) Navy Department
Confidential Letter of February 10,
1917. '
"1. In accordance with reference
(a) the general board submits here
with problem and solution based
upon the general and special situa
tions described in the Navy depart
ment's instructions.
Such care was taken to keep this
document from anyone except the
secretary and the office of "naval
operations that even the general
board retained no duplicate of it.
Aftre being submitted to me for ap
t roval, it was turned over to the
chief of naval operations;-all plans
ihat had been approved were in their
turtody. They were familiar with
:heir provisions and drafted the
necessary orders for carrying them
into effect. But plans were s care
ful'y safeguarded that only those di
rectly concerned were allowed to see
And yet, in spile of all our pre
cautions, the document containing
the general board's "Solution of
Problem. Black" was gone!
The most thorough search failed to
find any trace of it.
How long had it been missing? No
one could answer.
Not Stolen by German Spy.
The newspapers hinted that it had
been stolen by some German spy.
Cuch was the obvious suspicion. The
suggestion that it might have been
stolen by some ' German spy was
given n,o credence in the department.
Nothing is so carefully guarded as
war plans, and so far as we know the
Germans never got hold of any of
ours, although early in the war a
lumber of things, occurred which
made us wonder how much they did
know. For example:
Movements of vessels and orders
relating thereto were known only to
the few officials in the navy depart
ment who issued the orders and -to
the men on the vessels. Great pains
were taken to prevent the Germans
from learning about the first de
stroyers sent over. They sailed tinder
scaled orders, and until lie was fifty
miles at sea and broke the seal, not
even the commander of the flotilla
knew :ts destination.
Yet the day before the division ar
rived, German submarines, for the
'x time in months, sowed mines all
across the entrance to Quecnstown,
a:id the German papers printed the
news of our destroyers' arrival be
fore it was published in England or
America. The latter is more easily
Accounted for, as it was several days
before we announced that they had
reached a British port, but the mine
la Og led many to believe that the
enemy had, in some way, learned
they were coming.
When our first troop convoys
went to Europe they were attacked
far out at sea, and Admiral Sims
cabled that it was "practically cer
tain that the enemy knew positions
of the first rendezvous and accord
ingly sent a submarine to intercept
before junction with destroyers."
Though Sims afterward discounted
the idea that the convoys were at
tacked, he was excited enough about
it r.t the time, lor he sent me two
cablegrams about it in three days.
Germans "Doped It Out."
But whatever the Germans might
have, icarncd about our ship move
ments on the other side, I am con
fident that they did not get any in
formation from this side of the At
lantic. The navy had control of all
radio, every cable message was
scanned and even the destroyer and
transport captains did not know their
destination until they were well out
at sea. My own opinion is that the
uermans, who knew of General
i'crshir.g's arrival in England, which
occurred the day alter our first con
voys sailed, inferred that troops
were being dispatched and inerclv
"doped out"' the probable route. The
mine Living at Quecnstown was, as
likely as not, simply a coincidence.
so 1 am satisfied in my own
mind that the missing plan, the
"'roblini Solution, Black." will yet
be found carefully too carefully
liiiW.-n away in the Navy department,
1 have ncer believed it was stolen,
or that it in any way fell into Ger
man hands.
T':e explanation of its vanishing, I
think, will, be found to be quite
simple, and will show that it was
due to an over anxiety to preserve
the plan in absolute secrecy.
As 1 have said, but one copy was
made of it. It was probably given
in'o the care of Cant. Yolncy Chase,
chitt assistant to Admiral Benson,
and a man to whom matters of the
utmost importance were frequently
committed. Captain Chase was an
exceedingly able and unsparingly
devoted officer. It is not unlikely that
he put the "Black plan" problem
away in some secret drawer or cab
inet, confiding in no one as to its
win readouts.
Then, in June, 1917, worn out with
almost ceaseless work, he died died
sud lenly. .So far as we know, the
"Black plan" problem was never
seen by any one after the death of
Captain Chase. He probably took the
secret of its hiding place with him.
Certaitilv. no encmv learned it as
lone as it was locked in his brain.
One of our latest destroyers
tinnier! after liim the "Chase.
merited the, honor, and I was glad
pay that tninitc to ins memory.
(Another nrflrlo by former HccrvUu?
Daniels will lie printed tomorrow).
i brain,
ivers if
He I
glad to
0Ty- J
Omaha Grocery Finn Sued
On $9,200 Sugar Contract
Suit for $9,200 against the Williams-Murphy
Grocery company of
Omaha was filed in federal court
yesterday by the Thomas J. Hen
derson company of New Orleans.
Damages of that amount arc sought
on an alleged breach of contract for
sugar, the petition states. The Omaha
firm refused acceptance of the ship
ments after the market had fallen, the
petition states.
All Mail Orders
Will be Filled
the Same Day
As Received
-W mmf mtf w
Elegant Dining buite
American Walnut or Brown Mahogany
W pride ourselves on showing the moat exclusive line if fine dining room furni
ture in Omaha "LIMBEr.T" from Michigan the home of the best in fur
niture. The Queen Anna period suite shown below is made of solid mahogany and walnut
and is an. xample of the character of furniture you ran expect to see at Hart
man's. We qiute you the greatly reduced pi-iocs that you may know that It is
possible to save money here. KEGl'LAK Pit ICE ?73 'rOMOISHOW
72-inch Buffet
Host Chair . . .
Chairs, each . .$27
Enamel Lined
Is scientifically built of selected
ash and is lined with mineral wool.
Oval Table 8 feet (43x60) .$105
China Cabinet $115
No Server Included
partment is heavily $0150
white enameled. A real I
bargain, at . J A
JL JL first .
Mail Orders
Will Receive
Our Immediate
Attention. '
Recent Shipments of Reed and Fiber
Furniture Now on Sale f
Fiber Torch Swings ..$20.00
Fiber Chairs and Rockers to)
match $8.00
) Fiber Settees ( 2
Fiber Flower Stands . .$12.50
(Fiber Sun Room Tables.
each $29.50
For Monday
Sale of
$2.25 Values
Square Yard
Extra duality in
laid, perfect goods
large purcl.Mse
Just received, the
entire lot on sale
at the above spe
cial price.
For Monday
50 Dozen
$1.00 Values
6 ft. Cloth Shades,
heavy quality per
fect goods, 36 in.
wide, guaranteed
rollers, cream, tan
and slate.
Reed and Fiber Furniture at a Real Saving
r See 16th St. Window Displays.
Our foresight in delaying the purchase of this season's stock of reed and fiber
furniture' saves our customers a tidy sum! ' Ordinarily furniture of this type )s pur
chased at the January Furniture Market, but tve found wholesale prices had not
dropped to the low icvcls avo anticipated, therefore, Ve delayed buying until March
and secured an added 25 reduction on every piece of reed and fiber furniture. You
Windsor Style
The quaint design will add greatly
to the appearance of any room you
choose to put It In- X' aA.c n'
will like the flnjsh5,J,75U
on the rocker we offer g .
tomorrow at mm 9
Four Poster Bed
. . . .$35 .inrn , w . , Km
em ail w Wi jki i r m i i if; am
f - iy
Large Size Buffet g
There is a certain charm about It
that is not attained by the ordinary
Dea. jn manogany nn
ish and at tomorrow's
price is an excellent
Use Your Credit
sr N
Solid Oak Porch Swings ,.$3.50
Solid 0a2 Cliairs and Rockers to -match,
each '.. $5.00
Solid Oak Settees to match, Sale price,
each $7.00
$15.00 Lawn Swings $10.00
Dresses for CLUB WEAR
Just Arrived Very Attractively Priced
$39.50, $59.50, $79
Smart Sport Dresses,
Dainty Dinner
and Dance Dresses
in materials now in
constant demand
Rare Bargain
Special Tomorrow
If you are seeking a parlor suite that
will give the utmost in comfort and sat
isfaction, Ave ask you to come Monday
and see the handsome suite illustrated at
this very special price. Loose cushions up
holstered in rich tapestry suite complete, at
The World's Greatest
Home Furnishers
Sport Suits
For Club and Street wear. Smart
styles in' the Tvanted shades and smart
combinations. Grouped special
Hosiery Specials
In Our Monday's Sale
TTomen's Tiber anf Thread Silk
Hoe Hemmed or rib top, reg
ular and extra sizes, urith mock
team back, - splendid wearing
qualities. Sold regularly at
11.98. Eala price SI. 50 :
Women'f Mercerized lisle and
Cotton Hose "5c -values. 39d
Boys' and Girls' Cotton Hose
"Medium weight, black, white and
cordovan. Sale price 19
Children's Boll Top Socks All
' sizes, pair 35
ThTM pairs for... SI. OO
Corset News of
, Interest
Lady Ruth Front Lace
Corset, made by R & G;
pin brocade, medium bust,
wido rubber in back. 2 pairs
hose supporters, also has
shield in front Extra special
value, at
Sizes 21 to 36.
Second Floor
Specials for Monday
At 69c
Soft Muslin or Batiste Chemla
and Tailored Gwns trimmed
with lace and embroidery.
At 95
Batiste Gowns and Chemise,
pink or white, trimmed with
fine laces and embroidery, built
up shoulders, ribbon shouldei
At $1.85
Crepe de Chine Chemisev and
Camisoles trimmed with Val.
lace and crepe. Batiste and
'Nainsook Gowns, lace yokes.
Petticoats, muslin tops, lace and
embroidered" flounces.
9x12 Seamless
Velvet Eug-s
Offering patterns from a ship
ment just received. Priced at a
figure which is about half the
recent retail price. On credit
and for this sale, only
27x54-Inch Velvet' and
Axminster Rugs
Odds and ends values up to
$10. Several patterns, all col
ors and specially priced for
quick selling st, each
Easy Terms
At Hartman's
If you want to make your dlnln?
room attractive, secure the hand
some (-oioniai uci6" i.n
buffet on sale tomorrow. J A IIdU
.o center nrawers us
xhnwn. Quartered fumed V
oak, at
WW n
Monday's Price
For the Entire Suite
If j-ou are thrifty you will not pass up
this unusual bargain in a high-grade ma
hogany and cane suite. We particularly
call your attention to the quality of these
r.tiites you must actually see them to appre
ciate their worth; several patterns in veloui,
Let Hartman's
Feather Your Nest .
m i
Sixteenth Between Harney and Howard
m As Illustrated' j
HH Patterned after the William and
Marv period with prrace- . ..,. h
ful turned legs. An un- M flRS
usuajly pood looking li- P KM"0
brary table in mahogany ,tj '
The "bed spring luxurious" guaran
teed for a lifetime. Its quality is
inherent, with a structural integrity
that has been proven in years of
service in thousands of homes. Ask
to see this spring. -
J , y
In Queen Anne m
Gracefully patterned after the Queen r
Anne period. If you 5
have priced davenport J- ( Crt 5
tables recently, you will r 1 MOv as
appreciate this price... t tq
Ik This gif
I -t Hartinai
I hand to
Down Sale
gigantic tale starts TOMORROW at
Hartman's. A factory expert will ne on
tr, cive s. practical demonstration
xnlaining in detail the many features
of this nationally known kitchen cabi
net. Don't delay ACT TOMORROW !
7 Exclusive Features:
Xo. 1 Oil hand-rubbed fin-. 'o. 2 Automatic Lowering
Are You a
While the casual observer cannot
aeieci u, mis auoroia
opens to a full size bed. I
Fumed or golden finish'
in Spanish fabricoid...
g A Spinet Desk
Shop where you will you'll find no
V. n ,-r-n i , allr.ll D a thi3.
Mahogany or walnut $
finish. Cash or credit. r.
s .tomorrow, at
Xo, 3 A u t o m a t i c
Shelf Extender.
Xo. 5 Dust-Proof Base Top
Underneath the Torceliron
Work Table,
Flour Bin.
Xo. 4 Dovetail
t ion in good
Xo. fi Glass Knobs.
-Ant-rroof Casters.
Kitchen Slave? c
Don't Be a Slave
to your kitchen, when a down payment
of only Jl will systematize your work
and give you time for recreation and
rest. The privilege Is yours "The Best
Servant in Vour House."
9 I Sk1.. I
a 975 m
See Our
Window Display
M fib
Copper Bound B
Finished In a manner to bring out s
the natural neauty or,
red cedar. Of goodly.
proportions with trim
mings of copper, at.
tr in unnff out
29 1
I Down I IllllllilllllliillllllllHillllHlllllllSI
i:j..It Pays TRY HAYDEN'S FIRST It Pays
ii at a My i i b a i ttJt 9