When the Armistice was signed, Admiral Beatty remarked that the fighting had finished and that the talking was about to begin. In no theater did this prophecy prove more true than in the Adriatic. The talking went on for two years and there were times when it looked as if the talking would finish and the fighting would begin again.
It came as a surprise to the American people to find their Navy taking part during those two years in the settling of that much debated Adriatic question. Why should we be there ? Was there any place in the world where we apparently had less reason to be mixed up in other people’s quarrels? And yet there we were from the end of the war until the spring of 1921, accepting the burden of a thankless duty thrust upon us, using our good offices to smooth over other nations’ difficulties and in one case at least actually avoiding bloodshed and probable war: the Navy of the youthful transatlantic power taking a unique part in keeping the peace of the world; demonstrating back there in the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of sea power an ability to make peace just as thoroughly as on its proper occasions it has made war.