17th April 1915
FIRST PHASE OF OPERATIONS.
SWEEPING THE STRAITS
- The operation is to consist of a fast deliberate search for mines by destroyers, and their removal, if they are very heavily moored by French Sweepers.
ORDERS FOR SWEEPING.
- Six large buoys are to be laid by the SAPHIRE in positions ordered at a distance of 500 yards apart (literally). They will carry numeral flags numbered from N.N.W. to S.S.E. Two more buoys are to be laid in the following positions, No.7 being 8 cables N.61 E from Kum Kale Lt., and No.8 being S.S.E. 500 yards from No.7, next day by Destroyers as soon as the enemy’s gun fire is under control.
- The course to be steered when sweeping is E.N.E., and after each sweep, destroyers will return to the line of buoys to start the next sweep.
- One division of 6 destroyers is to sweep in “U” formation. The outer destroyers will take their departure first from 1 and 3 buoys, secondly from 2 and 4 buoys, and so on up the line; thus if accurate courses are steered, the whole ground will be covered twice; at all events it will allow for divergences of course.
If not required for any other service, the second division of four destroyers will be signalled to commence sweeping, and they are then to take up “A” formation, and commence sweeping E.N.E from No.8 buoy, and gradually work back across the line being very careful to overlap their last sweep every time. The buoys being 500 yards apart are not ideally spaced for this formation, but will give a good guide so as to cover all the ground.
- If under any fire that is likely to damage a destroyer seriously the leader of the Division when arriving at a position S.S.E. of Domuz Deresi is to order ”Slip Sweeps”. If however he finds no serious interference by the enemy, he is to go on as far as possible, but not more than a mile beyond that position.
Each time the sweeps are slipped the port destroyer of the division is to drop a white buoy to mark the distance of advance.
- In the event of a sweep being spoilt by any misadventure such as a parting sweep, the leader is to order ”Slip Sweeps”, and the Sweep is to be recommenced over again.
- AGAMEMNON will follow the destroyers in the first instance, and after that keep in the previously swept area to cover the operations.
- Captain ”S” will be on board “AGAMEMNON”, and with the concurrence of the Captain of that Ship, will give any necessary orders such as to suspend operations temporarily until the enemy’s fire is controlled, and to recommence again, or in case of one or more destroyers being temporarily disabled to replace casualties.
- Destroyers are at liberty to return the enemy’s fire whilst sweeping.
- Three French Sweepers will follow AGAMEMNON, and are to be prepared to go ahead at once and clear any obstruction that may have been found, and parted the destroyer’s sweeps.
- After this area is swept the destroyers are to be prepared to sweep the area to the southward of it. Both divisions acting as before, but sweeping from east to west, slipping their sweeps close to Henders Shoal.
A.W. Henage CAPTAIN (S)