File No. 763.72/2077

The Ambassador in Germany (Gerard) to the Secretary of State


2791. There is no doubt but that a grave fight is on between Von Tirpitz on the one side and the Chancellor and the Foreign Office on the other side. The final decision rests with the Emperor. Both sides are with him in Posen. Our naval attaché thinks Von Tirpitz will succeed; best informed correspondents and I personally think Chancellor will succeed. Von Tirpitz has the unthinking mob [Page 528] and a clever press bureau with him. Probably some other naval authorities are against him. There are three distinct naval branches each reporting direct to Emperor: the Naval Ministry, equivalent our Navy Department, of which Von Tirpitz is head; the Naval Academy Staff; and the Marine Cabinet, the latter having to do with the placing of officers of the various commands. It is quite possible that either Bachmann or Von Müller, heads of these other Departments, will oppose Von Tirpitz. Members of the Reichstag do not want war with America but there are some hot-heads. Even if Von Tirpitz wins, regrets and offers of payment in Arabic case may be conceded but no guarantees against reoccurrence will be given. If the Chancellor wins, the whole matter of submarine war will be settled now. Reventlow, in article August 25, states that submarine war will not be changed and that no submarine commander will be censured.