Your kind letter of the 17th has just reached me this morning and I hasten to thank you for the kind feelings you express in its lines. I am most grateful and highly pleased to see by your letter that I shall really have the great pleasure of meeting you near Dantzig.1 The more so as I shall do it at the head of my fleet, which will be most eager to salute its Admiral and which hopes that it will be able to earn his satisfaction when he inspects it. For it is well known among the officers and crews of my Navy, that with your interest in and knowledge of naval matters you look upon your position as our Hon. Admiral in real earnest and that you inspect with the eyes of an expert. Consequently they will use every effort to show what they can do. I only beg you not to forget -- what you perfectly know through our publications -- that my fleet is just in the act of expansion and transformation. This of course is a drawback to its outward appearance, as old material and new and many different types are grouped together, by which the general appearance of the Fleet shows a lamentable want of harmony and homogenousness.
You have kindly alluded to Adalbert's visit, whom you have awfully spoilt by your grand hospitality: your prise makes Papa and Mama very proud. I hope he will allways be worthy of it. Your sympathy in my bereavement by the death of poor dear Mama2 has deeply touched me. You are of course able to judge from your own sad experience, when your poor father died, what it means to lose a parent who to all human knowledge might have been spared to live for many long years! Yet in this case the suffering was so terrible, that one could look upon the end as a release, when the Lord called her away, and her last hours were I am thankful to say quite peaceful and painless. Thanks to the great speed of my Yacht and her consorts who took me in 28 hours from Bergen to Kiel, I was able to reach Cronberg in time to find her still conscious. I have communicated your kind invitation to meet him, to the Chancellor,3 who is deeply honoured, that you show him such confidence, as he was quite unprepared. I myself am very happy, because he is a very good "connoiseur" of Russian affairs and traditions and retains a thankful memory and deep attachment to your family from his stay in Petersburg. Regarding Count Lamsdorf4 I shall of course receive him should he be on board your Yacht; should that not be the case, and as we are not on shore at all, please do not trouble the poor Minister to make the long voyage to Dantzig. The heat we suffered from in Norway5 was appaling, up to 30° Reaumur in the shade! Like in Syria! My suite some 20 men managed to finish off 167 bottles of Apolinaris in one day! -- May the weather be fine, without the above result when you come; the details of the programme will be forwarded to you by Paulis. Best thanks for the Anna Medal just received, which pretty and gives me great pleasure and best love to Alix from your most devoted and aff-ate
I. The meeting of the Czar and the Kaiser at Danzig took place on September 11th, 1901.
2. The Empress Frederick died at Friedricherahe on August 5th, 1901.
3. It was announced in Berlin on August 26th that Count Bulow would be present at the meeting of the two Emperors.
4. The Russian Foreign Minister.
5. The Kaiser had been recalled from Norway by the death of the Empress Frederick.
Neues Palais 17/XII 1901
Your own dear brother Micha's1 visit is coming to an end and with great regret we see him leave. He is a cheering and most engaging young man, who has captivated everybody here, even my daughter! He shot very well 1and has bravely gone through all the "corvées" of an official dinner with presentations and cercle, though greatly relieved that there was no "speechifying." All the people who met him were struck by his clear, open manly countenance and frank expression! He was a success! I am most grateful for the kind words about Dantzig, which make me uncommonly proud. I hope that on my visit next summer I may be able to show a more homogenous squadron and one of the new protected cruisers! I am looking forward to our beeing together with pleasure! Colonel Kasnakof is here with the officers of my Dragoons and seems a remarkably nice oflicer; I am so glad to have them all here. -- I beg you, as a souvenir of my dear Mama, to accept a pin from me and a locket for Alix. Micha will hand them over to you. With the sincerest wishes for a happy new year and merry Xmas, I remain your loving cousin and friend
1. Grand Duke Michael, the Czarevitch, arrived in Berlin on December 15th, where he was received by the Kaiser at the station. The Czarevitch was present at a banquet at Potsdam on December 16th and went pheasant shooting with the Kaiser on the following day.
Neues Palais 3/I 1902
These lines are to wish you a merry Xmas and a happy new Year.1 May God bless and protect you and wife and children and keep you all sound in body and soul. May your work for the Peace of the world2 be successful and well as the plans you are maturing for the wellfare of your country.
I send you as Xmas present an officers dirk3 corresponding to the model I introduced into our navy by order dated from the "Variag"; which I beg you to accept as a souvenir of the kind visit you paid me off Danzig and of the merry hours we spent together.
This new sidearm is so popular among our officers that I believe they even go to bed with it.
My fleet Henry and I are allready looking forward to the day we shall be able to repay your visit4 this year, and I shall be most glad to know when you expect us and where?
As you take such interest in our navy, it will interest you to hear, that the new armoured cruiser "Prince Henry" is rapidly nearing completion and has allready tried her engines on the spot with most satisfactory results. She is expected to join the fleet after her trials end of the winter. The new Line-of Battleship, "Charlemagne" the 5th of the "Kaiser Class" will it is hoped be ready for her trials at sea end of next week, and Henry hopes he will join him in a month.
The "Wittelsbach" Class is beeing pushed forward with all speed and it is hoped will be able to join Henry's Flag after the maneuvres. This means an addition of 5 Line of Battleships, which will enable him to dispose of a fully homogenous fleet of "Peacemakers" which no doubt will make themselves most agreeably felt and useful in helping you to keep the world quiet. The 5 new Line of Battleships have all been contracted for and have been begun, they constitute the first Division of the second Squadron.
By the bye I see by the papers that the "historical" "Variag" has arrived at "Koweit".5 That is a very wise thing that your flag is shown there. For it does not seem impossible that another Power6 was in the act of repeating the very successful experiment it made on the Nile, to haul down the Sultans flag, land some men and guns, hoist some flag or other under a pretext and then say: "J'y suis, j'y reste"! In this case it would have ment paramount rule of all the trade routes of Persia leading to the Gulf, by this of Persia itself and by that "Ta-Ta" to your proposed establishment of Russian Commerce, which is very ably begun by the conclusion of the "'Zollverein" with Persia7 by you. The behaviour of the Foreign Power at "Koweit" sets into a strong relief, the enormous advantage of an overwhelming fleet which rules the approaches from the sea to places that have no means of communication over land, but which we others cannot approach because our fleets are too weak and without them our transports at the mercy of the enemy. This shows once more how very necessary the Bagdad Railway8 is which I intend German Capital to build. If that most excellent Sultan had not been dawdling for years with this question the Line might have been begun years ago and would now have offered you the opportunity of despatching a few Regiments from Odessa straight down to "Koweit" and then that would have turned the tables on the other Power by reason of the Russian Troops having the command of the inner Lines on shore against which even the greatest fleet is powerless for many reasons. The main one -- according to an adaptation of the Commander of Cronstadts answer to Peter the Great for not saluting him -- "D'abord, parceque les vaisseaux ne peuvent pas marche sur terre",9 whereas you may say "celà suffit"! The original answer of the gallant Admiral: "D'abord parceque je n'ai plus de poudre''l0 was vouchsafed the day before St. Nicholas to Henry by the Captain of the "Askold". My squadron has received orders to feast your namesday, by a rich display of bunting and of a Royal salute. But when Henry enquired from the Captain v. Reitzenstein at what a clock the ceremony was to take place, the latter declared he would do nothing of the sort, and even after Serge had sent word to him, flatly refused to hoist his pennant and to salute his Emperor, notwithstanding, that she is in commission and has her whole crew on board. My Squadron was deeply disappointed and much -- if I may venture to say so disgusted -- at the behaviour of this man! I am sending you beside the dirk a most interesting book about the South African war, written by an Englishman, who wholly condemns the way it was entered into and the ends for which it was begun. It is very lucid to the point and shows that the Author maintains his impartiality to the last moment; a most gratifying exception to the rule now at work in England. The parallel he draws between this war and the war against American Colonies, 1775-83, is most surprising and striking. The bearer of my gifts is my Aide-de-Camp, Captain von Usedom11 -- years ago for a time Henry's adjutant -- he was in Command of the "Hertha" during the China affair, and it is he who saved the Seymour Expedition and brought it safe back to Tientsin. He was in fact the Admiral's Chief of the Staff and to him was given the now "historical" order of which my "bluejackets" are so proud "Germans to the Front", when the British Sailors refused to go on any farther. He was not present at Danzig, having injured his leg by a fall from his horse, so I thought you would like to hear from his own lips the record of what men composing that illstarred expedition suffered. Now dearest Nicky, Goodbye, best love to Alix, Micha and your Mama from
most aff-ate and devoted Cousin and friend
1. The Russian New Year was thirteen days later, according to the old style.
2. The Czar proposed a conference of the Powers for the preservation of peace by disarmament on August 24th, 1898. A second proposal was issued in January 1899, and the first Hague conference sat from May to August of that year.
3. The Kaiser and the Czar were on the Russian cruiser "Variag" on September 30th, attending the German naval maneuvres, when the German Emperor issued an order directing that all German naval officers, following the example of the Russian officers, should wear the dirk of a naval ensign.
4. The Kaiser and Czar met at Reval, August 6-8, I902.
5. It was announced on December 20th, 1901, that the Sultan had sent for the Sheik Mabarouk of Koweit, to come to Constantinople. Mabarouk appealed to Great Britain for protection. A Bombay telegram of that date stated that a Russian cruiser "Variag" had just arrived in dock, where her four funnels and six searchlights had greatly impressed the natives. The situation was complicated by a report that a Turkish flag, which had been hoisted over Mabarouk's residence, had been hauled down by the commander of a British gunboat, who had it replaced by Marabouk's own flag in token of the Sheik's independence.
6. Obviously Great Britain.
7. A financial agreement was concluded between Russia and Persia on January 30th, 1900. The Russo-Persian commercial agreement was not ratified by the Czar until February 14th, 1903.
8. The Baghdad Railway Concession was granted to a German syndicate at the end of November, 1899.
9. First, because ships do not proceed on land.
10. First, because I have no more powder.
11. He was in command of the German troops which accompanied Admiral Seymour in his attempt to relieve Peking in June, 1900. In the published official diary of the Captain, the following entry was made: "June 22nd, 1900. At 1 a.m. we continued our march, Seymour ordering 'Germans to the front,' but were delayed by junks running aground.... The Germans had to go to the support of the English marines, who were hard pressed." Admiral Seymour, in a letter to the "London Morning Post" of January 10th, 1920, gave his version of the "Germans to the front" order. The Admiral writes: "Owing perhaps to the ex-Kaiser's occasional uncertain memory, the statement about the Germans is not correct. I do not believe I ever gave the order stated, but if so it was only as a tactical arrangement for the moment of one day. Our own men were the most numerous body, and therefore took the chief part throughout; while the other seven nationalities all behaved well. Captain von Usedom was a fine officer and loyal to me, but I only made him Chief of my Stafl after Captain Jellicoe (now Admiral of the fleet) had been severely wounded and because the Germans were next in numbers below ours."
Berlin 30/I 1902
Let me once more thank you by letter for your kind thought of sending your favorite Aide de Camp Obolenski with the presents for my birthday. The "pelerine" is most practical and will do good service in all weathers, notabene in going in a launch to and from the "Standart" to the "Hohenzollern" at Reval! Then the vases are quite charming; the blue one with "pâte sur pâte" is an exquisite specimen and a most handsome decoration in my salons. Obolenski accompanied me all through the different functions of my birthday and will be able to tell you what a poor, overworked ''Landesvater''1 has to go through before he is able to sit down quietly for a morsel of food and a cigarette!! However we managed to be very jolly as all my "Geschwister"2 were here and Henry managed to keep the family alive, elated as he is with the prospect of paying the Americans and their fair ladies a flying visit,3 which to our great amusement seems to create considerable "toothache" in the shores on the side of the Channel!
But I must not take up your precious time any longer; Obolenski4 brings you the tables of the
Russian, American, and Japanese Navies drawn up according to the latest reports, and photographs
from Danzig, upon which I allways look back with thanks and pleasure as your most dutiful and aff-ate cousin and friend
Best love to Alix.
I. Father of his country.
2. Brothers and sisters.
3. Prince Henry arrived in the United States on February 23rd, 1902.
4. Prince Vladimir Nicholaievitch Obolensky, Colonel of the Preobrajensky Guard Regiment.
Generalcommando Posen 2/IX 1902
Since my return from Reval I have been very buisy, as you will have seen by the papers. Now that my illustrious guest the King1 has left after a successful visit I am able in the "trouble" of maneuvres to spare a few minutes, which will consecrate to these lines I send you. For needless to say so, the souvenir of Reval is still vivid before my eyes; with it the kindness and friendship you showed me, the fine military display, the efficiency of your fleet at target practice and at evolutions and last not least the many hours of amiable and undisturbed companionship with friendly intercourse I was allowed to spend with you, all that is still forward in my thoughts and still fully occupies my suites and my mind that I feel it would be a decided want of tact and education if I did not once more thank through this letter from all my heart. The whole stay was a continuous treat for me; but it was more. The school of Naval gunnery which was shown to me by your orders is the most vital part of the development of the Navy and of its preparation for "business." Through this permission you showed me a special mark of confidence in fact a reciprocity for what I showed you at Danzig -- which implies a complete trust in the visitor, only possible between men having the same ideas and principles, and which between two Monarchs means united work in the common cause of preserving the peace for their countries. This trust and faith you have shown me is, -- I can assure you -- not misplaced, for I fully reciprocate it. That is shown by the fact that the secret plans for my newest ships -- invisible to the foreigner -- were handed over to you and to the discretion of your Naval authorities. To these facts add that we both have the same interest in the de" velopment of our Navies, that the passion for the sea is inborn to us, that will suffice to show that we must look at our two navies as one great organization belonging to one great Continent whose interest it must safeguard on its shores and in distant seas. This means practically the Peace of the World.
For as the Rulers of the two leading Powers of the two great Continental Combinations we are able to exchange our views on any general question touching their interests, and as soon as we have settled how to takle it, we are able to bring our Allies to adopt the same views, so that the two Alliances -- i.e. 5 Powers -- having decided that Peace is to be kept, the World must remain at peace, and will be able to enjoy its blessings. This is a vivid illustration of the fact that the two Alliances hold the balance of Europe and of the World in keeping in close communication with each other by the annual meeting of their two leaders to exchange their views.
This is the more necessary as certain symptoms in the East seems to show that Japan is becoming a rather restless customer and that the situation necessitates all coolness and decision of the Peace Powers. The news of the attachment of the Japanese General Yamai2 -- former leader of the Jap. troops in China -- to the Legation at Peking in order to take in hand the reorganisation of the Chinese Army -- i.e. for the unavowed object of driving every other foreigner out of China is very serious. 20 to 30 Million of trained Chinese helped by half a dozen Jap. Divisions and led by fine, undaunted Christian hating Jap. Officers, is a future to be contemplated not without anxiety; and not impossible. In fact it is the coming into reality of the "Yellow Peril" which I depicted some years ago, and for which engraving I was laughed at by the greater mass of the People.
As it is interesting to see how the distribution of Naval Power would be in case complications should arise in the East I have made a rough and approximate calculation, which has taken the form of a table, which I submit to you. The numbers are not accurate as the ships are constantly changing, but are more to serve as a general clue. The vessels nearing completion are counted as available, and the oldest ones as well as smaller ones are omitted.
The review went off very well and the V Corps was as good as when you saw it near Görlitz. Everybody was glad to welcome your officers and the Governor General Tschertkoff.3 I am most grateful you allowed them to come and am quite charmed with the whole bearing of the fine old soldier, who has shown himself exactly as you described him to me. I have given him the Black Eagle to show how I appreciate his visit. He as well as all your officers -- who made an excellent impression on me -- were deeply afflicted and of course we all too including my wife, at the mishap of Alix; God grant she may soon recover, and that she may feel no ill effects. With Victoria's and my best love to you ~both I remain your most devoted friend and cousin
Ad. of Atlantic
1. The King of Italy, in Germany August 27-31, I902.
2. Major-General Yamai was Military Attaché at the Japanese Legation in Peking in 1902-1903.
3. The Governor-General of Warsaw.
Berlin 14/I 1903
These lines will be presented to you by my boy. My sisters generally call him "Billy No. 2" or "Little Willy''1 to discern him from his father. I place him under your kind protection and hope you will be satisfied with his manners; he is still very young and only beginning to form himself, so that should he make any "bèvues" you will kindly overlook them. Besides these lines he is the bearer of a number of Xmas presents for you which I was unable to send earlier. I/ a large Model of our new (H) class of battleships,2 which you said at Reval would please you to accept. Schimmelmann is able at any moment to explain it to you. 2/ a watercoulour representing a history of the forms and coulourings of our regimental coulours and Standards since the time of the Great Elector down to my time. The first half is from the Elector to 1806, the second 1900.
3/ The whole of the uniforms, arms, cuirasse and accoutrements belonging to yout new Cuirassier Regiment,3 which I hope will fit you. They are in charge of my old Kammerdiener you saw at Reval, "Father" Schultz. He is to instruct your "man" how to put on the different things.
4/ Some brochures and Magazines which I thought might perhaps interest you in your hours of leisure.
With respect to the coulours of our army I have a request to make to you. On the first (Electoral Table) there are the first coulours which belonged to the Regiment of Guards of the First King given after his coronation as Frederick I. Blue with gold flames, crowns and eagles, and white with black Eagle and gold crowns. These colours have been kept in our Arsenal until in the 7 Years War they were carried off from there by the Russian troops that occupied Berlin, with many other things out of the Arsenal. We are now with great care and difficulty rewriting the history of our colours and I would be so thankful if you kindly would allow them to be copied in aquarell or oil so that we may be able to have an authentic likeness of them as they are in Petersburg. Trusting that all will come off well and enveying my boy the pleasure of seeing you
Ever your most aff-ate friend and cousin
"Billy" No. 1
1. The Kaiser was generally called by his brothers and sisters "big brother." The Crown Prince arrived in Petrograd on January I6th, and left on January 24th, 1903.
2. The "Braunschweig." It carried four II-inch guns, displaced 12,997 tons and had a speed of 18 knots.
3. The "Nicholas II. Emperor of Russia" 8th Regiment of Cuirassiere of the Guard.
Neues Palais 19/IX 1903
It is impossible for me to pass over the sudden and tragic death of that sweet little sunshine,1 without sending you just a word to tell you, how deeply I feel for you all in this sad affair. It is really very difficult to realise the fact; that this darling child is no more among us! How joyous and merry she was that day at Wolfsgarten2 when I was there, so full of life and fun and health, and to think that one shall never see her again in this world! What a terrible heartrending blow for poor Ernie,3 who doated and adored that little enchantress! May heaven give him power to bear up under such a blow! I am still under the charm of the 2 days I was able to spend with you and they remain a delightful souvenir for me. You remember our conversation about the Balkans and Turkey, and my later telegram with my instructions to my Ambassador to give the Sultan an energetic lecture that it was hightime for him to at least conform himself to the "Mürzsteg Programme"4? Well these instructions have led to a conversation between my Ambassador5 and the Sultan a few days ago, which took an hour and three quarters. The Sultan was very tough; and decidedly in the idea, that a refusal to comply with the wishes of Russo-Austria backed by me, would bring no great harm to him! The Ambassador had to make use of every power of expression feasible for him versus a Monarch, to bring the gravity of the situation home to His Majesty, and left him "a sadder but a wiser man" after he had made it quite clear to him that on no account whatever would I raise a hand in his support or speak a word for him, should he involve himself and his country into serious consequences, by refusing to fullfill the wishes of H. M. the Russian and the Austrian Emperors, who had shown almost angelic patience and forbearance with his bearing, and who strictly adhered to the February6 and Mürsteg Programm backed up by me. The Ambassador is under the impression that very animated intrigues are going on in the Palace among a band of organs of very shady nature who surround the Sultan and with incredible lies managed to abuse of his credulity and to keep away the Grand Vizier, whose influence is feared by them, and who is perfectly in harmony and loyally "d'accord" with our 3 ambassadors.
Another interesting piece of news reached me from Sofia. The Prime Minister7 of the "Archplotter"8 in a conversation after dinner, gave utterance of his and the country's extreme dissatisfaction at the Mürzsteg Programme! That it was not enough for them, and that they must insist on getting more. But as he was quite sure that the Imperial Powers would not grant more, they all in Bulgaria turned to Italy, England and France! From these countries alone hope was forthcoming for the future of Bulgaria and Macedonia; alone they would bring "freedom"-- i.e. Parliaments and Republics -- for the suppressed Balkan Races! This shows you again, what I hinted at in our conversation, that the "Crimean Combination" is forming and working against Russian interests in the East. "The democratic countries governed by parliamentary majorities, against the Imperial Monarchies." History allways will repeat itself.
With best love to Alix and hopes for her speedy recovery I remain ever
Your true and devoted friend and cousin
1. Princess Elisabeth of Hesse, only daughter of Ernest Louis Grand Duke of Hesse by his first marriage with Princess Victoria of Sase-Coburg-Gotha. The marriage was dissolved in 1901. The Princess, who was only eight years old, was staying with the Czar's children. There was a story current in Russia that she was poisoned. It is said that one day at dinner the Czar served with a plate of soup passed it with some smiling remark about "ladies first" to the little princess who died the same night. It was officially announced that the child had died of abdominal typhus.
2. Near Darmstadt, where the Czar and Kaiser met on November 4 and 5, 1903, a fortnight before this letter was written.
3. The Grand Duke of Hesse.
4. The program of Macedonian reforms drawn up by Count Lamsdorf, the Russian Foreign Minister, and Count Goluchowslry, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, at their meeting in Mürtzeg, October 9th, 1903.
5. Baron Marschall von Bieberstein.
6. The preliminary Austro-Russian reform program was presented to the Porte on February 21st, 1903.
7. Major-General R Petrow, the Bulgarian Prime Minister.
8. Ferdinand of Bulgaria, formerly Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, recognized by the Powers as Czar of Bulgaria in 1909.
Neues Palais 4/XII 1903
Enclosed I send you some interesting material for your amusement. Articles about politics, about naval matters, a description of floods in Petersburg -- which I do not know whether it is right -- and an illustrated magazine about the last maneuvres. Perhaps you will find topics which will remind you of our last conversation, and show how the development of events is looked upon in Europe, perhaps sometimes different from the aspect at Petersburg. If they are old news I beg your pardon, but as you said at Wolfsgarten, it did not matter, provided it were news relating to the interests common to the surety of our 2 nations I venture to submit them to you; they come from cuttings from quite different sources and papers. How glad I am that Alix is all right again and free from that abominable pain! The shooting results are very fine and I wish you "Weidmannsheil" with all my heart. I sent Gen. Adjut. v. Loewenfeld1 to London to give the long service cross (25 years) to Uncle Arthure2 and in the same time to reconnoitre the frame of mind and the flow of public opinion about the Eastern Question. His mother is an English Lady, so he speaks it very well. What he saw or heard I shall let you know.
The Officers in Command of my troops in China have been for a long time allready ordered closely to survey the intercourse between Japs and Chinese Military and the growing influence of Japan with the Chinese Army. 2 days ago I got a report that the Japs are clandestinely arming the Chinese behind your and my backs against us. That they have concluded a secret engagement with China to provide the Army with 20000 new repeating Rifles and ammunition, 48 field guns, and 12 Mountain guns (rapid firing) with ammunition to be there till next summer. The Chinese troops are drilling day and night, as the people who watched them for instance at Pao-tins-fu say, remarkably well! Commanded by Jap. instructing officers, whose numbers are steadily increasing! Nice business! I believe the Chinese might not to be allowed to have Japs in their Armyl They are sure to rouse Chinese hopes and inflame their hatred against the White Race in general and constitute a grave danger to your rear in case you would have to face a Jap adventure on the Seashore. Begging your pardon for my liberty I have taken I hope the Admiral of the Pacific will not be angry with the Admiral of the Atlantic's signals, who is allways on the lookout! Ta, ta, best love to Alix
From your devoted friend and cousin toujours en vedette
1. General Alfred von Loewenfeld was General a la suite from 1901 to 1904
2. The Duke of Connaught. There is no record of the Long Service Cross having been conferred on the Duke. He was appointed Prussian Field Marshal in 1906.
Berlin 3/I 1904
These lines are meant to reach you on your Xmas Eve and will I hope find you well and happy with Alix well again at your side and the merry little company1 romping around you in the glimmer of the light of the Xmas tree. I once more wish you every blessing of Heaven on all your ways, may your precious life be spared to us all as well as of all those dear to you. May your plans meet with full success: if in peaceful ways, softly as a rippling brook; if by the decision of the arms, may they be victorious and your Standards wave enwreathed with fresh laurels.
Many thanks for your kind letter from December 20th which is a new testimonial of your confidence so precious to me. We only shall have to be careful lest the scheme,2 so auspiciously started, should get wrecked on some question of detail. When I parted from your dear old Grandfather the King I was under the impression that the subject occupied his mind, and that he was meditating, in order to find the form best suited to the requirements of his country. As base for our conversation, I used some Danish Newspaper Articles about Danish neutrality. As their comments appear to have attrackted a good deal of attention in Denmark, I enclose a short extract of them, which may serve as help to show you the nature of the difficulties that the king seemed to foresee and to apprehend from his people at home. Hence it becomes evident that the King, as the party most concerned in the issue of the question, is doubtless first of all entitled to an expression of his views, and to have them worded and drawn up by somebody possessing his absolute confidence. It therefore struck me as the next step to be taken in this matter would be the best, if you were to write to your grandfather to submit the proposals to us as soon as they have attained a form acceptable to him; and that we look forward to his giving us the full scope of his ideas concerning the question of the Danish neutrality. Considering the bygone days of '64 it is clear that the Danes still look a little askance at us and therefore they will view a proposal relating to their destiny with more favour if it comes from you; who are so nearly related to their King and who are the son of a Princess passionately adored by them. I send you enclosed some interesting articles. One about our Navy and Russia's Policy from the 19th Century; one about your Commercial Fleet. 2 English Paper cuttings from a penny Newspaper3 which is daily read by thousands in the streets of London and elsewhere in England. It is to show you with what stuff and in what a tone this Press is feeding its readers for many weeks all ready, and how they are blowing at the flames were they can. To us here on the Continent this hypocrisy and hatred is utterly odious and incomprehensible! Everybody here understands perfectly that Russia following the laws of expansion must try to get at the Sea for an iceless outlet for its commerce. By this law it is entitled to a strip of coast where such harbours are situated (Wladiw,4 Port Arthur) their "Hinterland" must be in your power so as to allow your building the Railways which are to carry the goods to the ports (Mandschuria) Between the two ports is a tongue of land which may -- in one adversaries hand -- become a new sort of Dardanells. That is impossible for you to allow. These "Dardanells" (Korea) must not threaten your communications thereby hampering your commerce. That is allready on the "Black Sea" and that is not what you want to the Far East for! Therefore it is evident to every unbiassed mind that Korea must and will be Russian. When or how that is nobody's affair and concerns only you and your country. That is the opinion of our People here at home and therefore there is no exitement or "emballement" or war roumors or anything of that sort here. The sure end that Korea will once be yours is a foregone conclusion here like the occupation of Mandschuria, hence nobody troubles themselves about it here!
The new years cards will amuse you, they were taken at your arrival at Wiesbaden! a little souvenir of the happy days. A happy new Year and Weidmannsheil also for "Big game"5
from your devoted cousin and friend
best love to Alix.
1. The Czar's four daughters, aged from two to nine.
2. The reference is to the effort to obtain Denmark's adherence to a Russo-German alliance. On December 17th, 1903, King Christian IX. visited Germany. The Kaiser prophesied to him that in the event of a Russo-Japanese war the British fleet would undoubtedly attack the Russian ports of the Baltic and that the German fleet would defend Danish waters, but that Denmark "ought to defend its neutrality" against England. The "dear old grandfather, the King" is the father of Maria Feodorovna, the mother of Nicholas II., who was a Danish Princess.
3. This may refer to "The Morning Post" of December 31st, 1903, which printed the following in its leading editorial: "Japan's whole policy and prospects are threatened by the Russian policy in the Far East, so that Japan is in the position of feeling her national existence challenged.... Great Britain is absolutely bound to help Japan in case Russia should find an ally. But the best way to prevent Russia from finding an ally is for Great Britain to make plain at once that she will assist Japan and that she is able and ready to do so."
4. Wladiwostok or Vladivostok.
Neues Palais 9/I 1904
Only a line to tell you how my thoughts are occupied with you in this serious time. May God grant that everything will come off smoothly, and that the Japs may listen to reason; notwithstanding the frantic efforts of the vile press of a certain country. That also seems to have money left to sink it into the Japanese mobilization abyss. I thank you for the communique you sent me officially through Osten-Sacken. It is very clear and will doubtless lead to a strengthening of Peace. I hope it will appease the feelings of the impertinent war party in Japan as it will surely satisfy the rest of the Powers anxious for their commerce to whom "open door" was once promised.
I send you a copy of "Marine Rundschau" with an article about "Ironclad Cruizers" written by L.1 This L. is a mask under which I hide myself, for I wrote it, but nobody has a blessed notion except Tirpitz. As material for my article -- written in November -- I managed to get very interesting details about "Rivadaria" and "Moreno" -- now presented to Japan by England2 -- who were then building for Argentina. These plans which are quite "confidential" and were submitted to me by express permission of the President of the Argentine Republic, were sent me by Amaldo. As the ships may interest you, I send you the Atlas, for your personal use. I think the ships a perfect type of "Ironclad Cruizer" because they manage to get much into a small tonnage "multum in parvo". They cost 15 Mill. francs each, which is not much. May your men not have to fight against them; it is indeed a great pity you did not buy them. The paper cutting shows you what a certain people call neutrality.
Best wishes for a year of happiness and Peace and in the hopes of meeting you in it and with warmest love to Alix
Ever Yours most aff-ctionally
P.S. Forgive me if I trouble you so often with telegrams, but at Wolfsgarten, you kindly said that you
were thankful for any news worth while which I was able to communicate to you; of course I rely on
your secrecy, as they are only for you.
Admiral of Atlantic.
1.. The article appeared in the January, 1904, iscue of the "Marine-Rundschau" and is the only one in the files of this magazine bearing the pseudonym of "L." It takes up and answers the question, "What exactly is an armored cruiser?"
2. The "Rivadaria" and the "Moreno" were not presented but sold by England to Japan.
Berlin 11/II 1904
The answer to your kind letter of congratulation for my birthday1 which made me so happy, was already begun, when the events occurred which led to the war2 between you and Japan. I thought it better to wait for some sort of communication from you, in case I should be able to answer you. The outbreak of hostilities3 has had sad consequences for your brave Navy, which have deeply moved me! How could it be otherwise seeing that I am a Russian Admiral and proud of this rank too! Evidently the serious events show that the warning news I could send you through my ciphers were absolutely correct, and that since long the Japanese Government were in bitter ernst and decided to have war. Part of the ships at Port Arthur are known to me by my inspections, and also their officers and crew and my heartis full of sympathy for the poor families stricken by the loss of many numbers. I can well imagine how sore at heart you must feel that all your pains to secure peace were of no avail. But on the other hand this gives you a good conscience and a clear one too, which allows a man -- as I often say -- to march to the fray without knapsack or impedimenta. It seems that Heaven on whose help and will we both rely has willed that it should be so! Then you must look upon the events in the light of a Trial for yourself and your country, which is to enable you and them to show and develop all the great qualities which are dormant in the Russians, which they allready once proved in the great times of the first years of the I9th Century!
It is my wish that -- subject to your kind approval -- if possible a Prince of my house should accompany your troops as spectator to learn the Art of war. I would choose the Prince Fr. Leopold4 my brother in law, who is burning to go and speaks Russian. Perhaps you will kindly let me know whether my application can be granted.
You may rest assured that day and night my thought are occupied with you all! I send this letter through Schenk5-- your Colonel -- who is to offer you the "Grenadier Cap" which the Alexander Regiment begs you to accept. I pray Heaven may shield and protect you and all your family through coming times. Warmest love to Alix and your mother from
Ever your most devoted friend and cousin
The news I gave you a month ago concerning the sale of arms to China-Youan-shi-Kai from Japan is confirmed. I managed to get a copy of the contract signed last October with the firm of Okwa and Comp. in Japan.
1/ 14000 new Jap. Inftry Rifles (Meyji) with cartridge boxes etc. 22 taels each and 7 mill. cartridges
to be delivered at Tientsin April next.
2/ 48 (Arisaka) field Guns 7,5 at 5668 yen each. 12 (Arisaka) mountain guns 7,5 cm. I710 yen each
48 ammunition carts at 8 yen, 5 Forges
200 shell, 200 shrapnel per gun at 10 yen and 8 yen.
The row steel material is being produced in France (Greuzot) -- your Ally! -- and to be finished in Japan. To be delivered at Tientsin in May next. The Vice Roy of Nanking has ordered from the same firm in September, 1903, 200,000 chests of Ammunition and Knopsacks for 70000 Men.
I. The Kaiser was born on January 27th, 1859.
2. Japan had formally declared war the day before this letter was written.
3. On February the 8th, 1904, the Japanese torpedoed three Russian warships lying off Port Arthur.
4. Frederick Leopold, Prince of Prussia, the Kaiser's cousin, married Princess Louise Sophie of Schleswig-Holstein, the Kaiserin's sister. He hoisted the red flag on his palace at Potsdam in November, 1918, when the German revolution broke out.
5. The Kaiser sent a telegram of sympathy to the Czar after the Russian reverse at Port Arthur and through Colonel von Schend; supplemented the telegram by this letter. Von Schenck also brought the Czar from the Kaiser the helmet of the Alexander Regiment of Prussian Grenadier Guards, of which the Czar was the chief.
Gaeta 29/III I904
You will I am sure be interested in the cruise1 of mine in the Mediterranean. Our voyage on the big Lloyd Steamer "König Albert" was most successfull. We allways had smooth water; even the Bay of Biscay behaved like the lake at Peterhof. When we had some breeze or sea it was direct from the aft. The big ship -- she displaced between I5000-I6000 Tons, was most comfortable without any motion, no vibration from the engines, was very well kept, and splendidly handled by her first rate Captain. The kitchen was excellent, the company was merry. What a pity you could not be there, how you would have enjoyed it all! The Spanish coast is very fine but without vegetation. Vigo a grand bay with room for all the fleets of the world. British fleets visit there every month; Henry was there last year with our Squadron. The Straits are imposing. But Gibraltar is simply overwhelming! It is the grandest thing I ever saw. Words are utterly inadequate to give the slightest idea of what it is. Grand in its nature by the military Power, that is stored on and around this mighty Rock. In military circles I found much interest in the war but no preparation for it and no animosity against Russia. Port Mahon is a quiet and the cleanest Spanish town, with a pretty land locked harbour. Something like Malta en miniature. Naples is too lovely and bewitching; summer climate, lots of flowers, carnations especially, orange trees full of oranges! The King was well, and much interested in the war, which he is accurately studying. He mentioned that he had news of the mobilisation of the Turkestan and Caucasian Troops, who were allready moving. I said I thought it most unlikely, and that I had never heard a word about it. I quited him about the Balkans, which always have, it seems, a great attraction for him and said that nothing would happen there, the great Empires beeing resolved not to stand any nonsense from anybody. By the way I see from the papers that our Treaty of Commerce2 seems to have come to a deadlock. I fancy the Geheim-Räthe and Tschinowniks3 are gone off to a sweet slumber, after having spoiled a lot of ink, more than is good in fact. I would give anything to see it, what a lark it would be if you suddenly were to thump your Imperial fist on the "Table of green cloth" and give the lazy ones a jumpl After all one cannot wait for ever considering the many months that have allready been wasted. A promise of a nice pic-nic in Siberia will I am sure do wonders. Perhaps it would tend to quicken the pace of affairs if you were to send some person of importance to Berlin straight to Bulow to finish the game off with him personally; a man of first rate capacity and well versed, in such matters; that would do much good.
Tomorrow we leave for Sicily-Messina where we shall spend Easter week. Good-bye, dearest Nicky, God bless you and be with you through all the important times, you know how my thoughts are now with you. Best love to Alix from Your
affectionate cousin and friend
I. The Kaiser left Bremerhaven in the "König Albert" on March 12th. He met the King of Spain at Vigo, and arrived at Gibraltar on March I8th. He was entertained by Sir George White, the Governor, and by Lord Charles Beresford on board his flagship. He is said to have remarked when visiting the signal station on the Rock: "It has quite reached my expectation. It is grand like everything British. I am not surprised at Gibraltar's being impregnable." He reached Naples on March 24th and there boarded the "Hohenzollern." He met the King of Italy on March 26th.
2. The Russo-German Commercial Treaty was signed on July 28th, 1904. This treaty at the time of its conclusion provoked a storm of protests in Russia. Germany had made use of Russia's difficulties in the war against Japan and exacted from the Czar's Government important economic concessions. Russia was compelled to grant practically an open market to German manufacturers and preferential railway terms without any reciprocal benefit.
3. Literally civil servants, but in the popular terminology bureaucrats.
Berlin 6/VI 1904
Your kind letter which Kroupensky delivered to me two days ago has greatly touched me. In these days which are of course trying to you, your army and the country it is doubly kind of you to give up so much time to me, but on the other hand it beeing so, I felt the more proud as I may infer from this fact that you count upon me as your real friend as you rightly express it. So it is! And I can assure you that nobody follows all the phases of the war with greater interest and assiduity than I do. Your remark about Kouropatkin1 was a perfect revelation to me! I am most astonished at his shortsightedness in not implicitly obeying your commands. He ought all the more to have followed your counsels, as you had been to Japan yourself, and therefore were a much more competent judge of the Japs than him. Your warnings were quite right and have been fully borne out by the facts. I only hope to goodness the General wont jeopardise the final success of your Forces by rashly exposing them to an "êchec" before the whole of his reserves have joined him, which are as I believe still partly on the way. The old proverb of Napoleon I still holds good "la victoire est avec les gros Bataillons"; one can never be too strong for the battle; especially respecting the artillery; an absolute superiority must undoubtedly be established to ensure victory.
I had an interesting conversation about the war with the French Milit.Attaché2 who, on my remarks that I thought it most astonishing that the French as your "Allies" did not send their Fleet down to keep Port Arthur open till your Baltic Fleet had arrived, answered that it was true, but that they had to reckon with other Powers! After many hints and allusions I found out -- what I allways feared -- that the Anglo-French agreement had the one main effect, viz: to stop the French from helping you! Il va sans dire, that if France had been under the obligation of helping you with her Fleet or Army I would of course not have budged a finger to harm her; for that would have been most illogical on the part of the Author of the Picture "Yellow Peril" !
I am sure England will by times renew her efforts to make proposals to you about mediation -- it is in fact the special mission of Harding3 as I know -- though you have allready so strongly repudiated it, and which is most presuming in the extreme on her part, seeing that the war has only just begun she is afraid for her money, and wants to get Tibet cheaply--; I shall certainly try to dissuade Uncle Bertie4 as soon as I meet him from harrassing you with any more such proposals. Should in the course of events mediation seem advisable to you, it is clear that the first wish for it must come from you; and you may be sure that I shall also allways be at your disposal! I may compliment you on the bravery and gallantry of your soldiers and sailors who deserve all praise and who have fought very well! I have thought over your suggestion about the Com. Treaty5 and talked the matter over with the Chancellor. We have no special interest respecting the place where the negociations should be concluded, but as you kindly offer to send Witte over here, we will welcome his arrival, and the sooner you invest him with your powers to negociate the better for our two Countries. I have selected major Count Lambsdorf, my personal aide-de-camp, as Milit.Attaché. He is instructed by me to consider himself as attached to your person solely as it was in the days of Nicolai I and Alexander II. He is only responsible in his reports to me personally, and is forbidden once for all to communicate with anybody else either the Gen. Staff, or Foreign Office, or Chancellor. So you may entrust him with any message, enquiry, letter etc. for me and make use of him in every respect as a direct link between us two. Should you like to send me one of your suite who enjoys your full confidence, I will receive him with pleasure, for I think it highly necessary during these grave events, that you should be able to quickly communicate with me, without the lumbering and indiscreet apparatus of Chancelleries, Embassies etc. I wonder what I am going to hear from Uncle Bertie at Kiel, at all events I shall keep you informed. Now good bye dearest Nicky best love to Alix and your Mama and God protect you all, that is the sincerest wish of
Ever Your most aff-ate friend and cousin
1. At this time the advance of the Japanese on Port Arthur was reported to have greatly increased the dissension between Admiral Alexeiev and General Kuropatkin. The Admiral insisted that Port Arthur must be saved as a base for the fleet. Kuropatkin, on the other hand, declared that he had not enough men for a forward movement and consequently he must leave Port Arthur to defend itself.
2. The Marquis de Laguiche, Chef d'Escadron d'Artillerie.
3. Count Lamsdorf, the Russian Foreign Minister, gave a banquet in Petrograd on June 2nd in honor of Sir Charles Hardinge (now Viscount Hardinge), the British Ambassador.
4. King Edward of England. The meeting between the King and the Kaiser took place at Kiel on June 26th, 1904.
5. Count Witte arrived at Norderney to confer with Bülow on the Commercial Treaty on July 12th, 1904. The conclusion of the treaty on the 28th constituted a great personal triumph for Count von Bülow.
6. Lambsdorff, the Kaiser's aide-de-camp, not to be confused with the Russian Foreign Minister, Lamsdorf.
Schloss Wilhelmschohe 19/VIII 1904
What a very kind thought that was of yours to ask me to be Godfather to your little boy! You can well imagine what our joy was when we read your telegram announcing his birth!1 "Was range wahrt wird gut"2 says an old German proverb, so may it be with this little dear one! May he grow to be a brave soldier and a wise and powerful statesman; and may Gods blessings allways rest on him and preserve him from all harm of body and soul. May he allways be as a ray of sunshine to you both during your life as he is now in the time of trial! Henry is the bearer of these lines and of my sincerest and heartfelt wishes for you, Alix and the boyl Accompanied by the gift of a Goblet for my little Godchild which he will I hope begin to use when he thinks that a mans thirst cannot for ever be quenched by milk only! Perhaps he may then find out for himself one day that "Ein gut Glas Branntewein, soll Mitternachts nicht shadlich sein"3 is not only a "truism", but that often "Im Wein ist Wahrheit nur allein"4 as the butler sings in "Undine",5 to be wound up by the classical word of our great Reformer Dr. Martin Luther: "Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib and Gesang, der bleibet ein Narr sein Leben lang".6 These would be the maxims I would try to see my Godchild educated up to!! There ist great sense in them, and nothing can be said against them!
The course of the war has been most trying to your army and navy and I deeply grieve for the loss of so many brave officers and men who fell or were drowned in doing their duty, loyally fullfilling the oath they swore to their Emperor. May the reinforcements which are being sent out increase the numbers and powers of your army to such a extent that the absolute supremacy may be established also in numbers. As far as I could make out Kouropatkine has 180,000 men in the field, where. as the Japs muster about 250-280,000. This seems a disparity still and makes your valiant General's task a very heavy one. Should your battleships in making their last dash from Port Arthur,7 not be able to reach Wladiwostok on account of injuries received in the fight, their best chance is to try for Tsingtau, where they will be well looked after till the end of the war, instead of beeing blown up or sunk; just as well as we will take care of "Zesarewitch" and the Torp. boats. May next year bring better luck when the Army prepared and formed in full strength will be able to takle their enemy with better chance as there is for the moment; for it seems to me that Kouropatkine is still in danger of beeing cut off from his retreat, which he will have to fight for in the direction of Mukden; God grant he may get through unscathed. The old saying of Napoleon I still holds true "la victoire est avec les gros battaillons".
There is no doubt to me that you will and must win in the long run, but it will cost both money and many men; as the enemy is brave and well led and can only be beaten by overwhelming numbers and time and patience. Of course the operations of the field army will be easier and will give better results, as soon as the Baltic fleet8 will have arrived on the scene, and forced the Jap. Fleet back into their ports, thus restituting the command of the sea to you, now lost by the inefficiency of the Admirals in command of the Naval Forces at Port Arthur. The command of the sea is an absolutely necessary equivalent to the final success of the land campaign of the army. As it deprives the enemy of his base supports, reinforcements etc, which he can now use freely for the pouring in of reserves, ammunitions, commissariat, evacuation of wounded etc.
When the war broke out in February I worked out a plan of Mobilisation9 on my own account founded upon the number of Jap. Divisions of 1st line. These being 10-I2 Div. it gives 20 Russ Div. absolute supremacy over them, that means 10 army Corps. Of these 4 Siberian Corps may be deducted as beeing on the spot forming the Manchourian Army, it leaves 6 Corps to be sent from Russia. They would be formed in 2 Armies of 3 Corps each, served by a cavalry corps of 8 brigades with 4 mounted batteries per Army. That was what I expected would be sent out and what would be sufficient to win with. Leaving the Manchourian Army as a sort of advance Guard to mask the arrival of the Russian Corps at their base and their formation and dislocation as an Army. I did not venture to write you my ideas as it is not my business to meddle with your affairs, and I was afraid of your telling me to mind my own business, as you know better what Russia requires. But at this moment the first stage of the campaign being practically over I thought it might be of interest to you.
With best love to Alix and the ''sunray''l0 I remain Ever Your most devoted
and aff-ate friend and cousin
1. The Czarevitch was born on August I2th, I904, and christened Alexei on August 24th.
2. The good long looked for comes at last.
3. A good glass of brandy will do one no harm at midnight.
4. In wine alone is truth.
5. One of the most charming German fairy-tales by Friedrich de la Motté Fouque, 1777-1843.
6. Who loves not women, wine and song remains a fool his whole life long.
7. On the night of August I0th, 1904, a Russian battleship, a cruiser and three destroyers escaped from Port Arthur to TsinTao, by breaking through the Japanese cordon.
8. It sailed in October, 1904.
9. The Kaiser's plan of mobilization was useless in solving Russia's difficulties, which were mainly of transportation. Against the Japanese army of 520,000 men at the outbreak of the war, Russia only had 150,000 troops east of Lake Baikal. Russia'. problem was how to carry enough men eastward.
I0. Presumably the little Czarevitch.
Hubertushöhe I0/X 1904
In order not to lose time I at once telegraphed to you after having seen Shebeko.1 I am much touched by all the kind messages you sent me through him and I see by them that your faith in my loyalty is unshaken. It will indeed simplify matters vastly, now that Alexejew has been recalled.2 One General who has the absolute command and control of all the troops in Mandschuria will I am sure answer better to all the requirements of the war. Kouropatkine is it seems popular with his troops, and they place full faith in him; that is the point most vital for final success.
Shebeko informed me of your intention to send the Black Sea Fleet out also in conjunction with the Baltic Fleet, and asked me to express my opinion about this plan. I confess that long since I have been expecting this plan to be executed. It is a sound military idea and will ensure victory. As to the best manner of proceeding, I have after ripely maturing the question and after having taken information, come to the following conclusion. The best plan would be to silently and quietly prepare the Fleet for its destination, not to breath a word about your intention to anybody and any other Power. Then at the moment you think right, calmly and proudly steam through the Dardanells. The Sultan -- as we both know for certain -- will not offer the shadow of resistance and once you are out, we all shall be vis à vis of a fait accompli, which we all shall quietly accept. I have not the slightest doubt that England will accept it too, though the Press may fume and rage, and their Squadrons steam about a little as they often do in the Mediterranean. But they wont stir in earnest when they see that the rest of the Powers remain quiet. The main point is, that it must happen quite suddenly and unawares and take the whole world by surprise, without letting the secret out beforehand. Here everything shall be kept absolutely mute.
With your approval I shall sign an order appointing Lambsdorff to your suite attached to your person and you will kindly do the same with Shebako.
Ever yours aff-ate
Best love to Alix
Notes I. Colonel Shebeko, Russian Military Attaché in Berlin, since December, 1901, was appointed personal aide-de-camp to the Kaiser by the Czar, in the same way as Count Lambsdorff was the Kaiser's representative attached to the Czar's person.
2. Recalled October 25th, 1904
Neues Palais 30/X 1904
My dear Nicky
Your kind telegram1 has given me the pleasure to feel that I was able to be of some use to you in a serious moment. I have at once communicated with the Chancellor and we both have secretly -- without informing any other person -- drawn up the 3 Articles of the Treaty you wished. Be it as you say. Let us stand together. Of course the alliance would be purely defensive, exclusively directed against European agressor or agressors, in the form of a mutual fire insurance company against incendiarism. It is very essential that Amerika should not feel threatened by our agreement. Roosevelt, as I know, owing to the innate American dislike to all coloured races, has no special partiality for Japan, allthough England does her utmost to work upon American feeling in favour of the Japanese. Besides the Americans have a clear perception of the indisputable fact that a powerful Japanese Empire is a lasting danger to the American Philippines. As for France, we both know, that the Radicals and antichristian parties, which for the moment are the stronger ones, incline towards England, old Crimean traditions, but are opposed to war, because a victorious General would mean certain destruction to this Republic of miserable civilians. The nationalists or clerical party dislikes England and has sympathies for Russia, but does not dream of throwing in its lot with Russia in the present war. Between these two parties the Republic Government will remain neutral and do nothing, England counts upon this neutrality and upon the consequent isolation of Russia. I positively know that as far back as December last the French Minister of Finance Rouvier2 from his own accord told the Financial Agent of another Power, that on no account whatever would France join you in a Russo-Japanese war, even if England should take sides with Japan. To make these Republicans doubly sure, England has handed Marocco3 over to France. The absolute certainty that France intends to remain neutral and even to lend her diplomatic support to England is the motive which gives English policy its present unwonted brutal assurance. This unheard of state of things will change for the better as soon as France finds herself face to face with the necessity of choosing sides and openly declaring herself for Petersburg or London. As I said before, the Radicals who gravitate to England abhor war and militarism, whereas the Nationalists while not objecting to war itself, wont fight for England nor against Russia. Thus it evidently lies in the interest of both parties to bring pressure to bear on and warn England to keep the Peace. If you and I stand shoulder to shoulder, the main result will be that France must openly and formally join us both thereby at last fulfilling her treaty obligations towards Russia which are of the highest value to us, especially with respect to her fine harbours and good fleet, which would thereby be at our disposal too. This you may rest assured will put an end to made up grievances about so called breaches of neutrality. This consumation once reached I expect to be able to maintain peace and you will be left a free and undisturbed hand to deal with Japan. May I add that I sincerely admire your masterful political instinct which caused you to refer the North-Sea incident to the Hague Tribunal.4 For just this systematically distorted incident has been used by the French Radicals, Clemenceau and all the rest of the tag-rag-and bobtai1 as a further argument against the necessity of France's fullfilling her Treaty obligations towards Russia. Of course before we can take any steps in this question and approach France that tiresome North Sea incident must have been brought to a close. For as, I am informed, Declassée and Cambon have allready adopted the British view of this incident and accordingly fixed the attitude of the French Government in a friendly way for England. Should we therefore on this question bring pressure to bear on France, she would no doubt choose the British side, just what we dont want her to do. "Il faut que l'incident de la Mer Noire soit close"5 first, then only after that our action may begin.
I herewith enclose the draft of the Articles of the Treaty as you wished, may it meet with your approval; nobody knows anything about it, not even my foreign Office; the work was done by Bülow and me personally. "Moge Gottes Segen ruhen auf dem Vorhaben der beiden hohen Herrscher, und die Machtige 3 fache Gruppe, Russland, Deutschland. Frankreich für immer Europa den Frieden bewahren helfen, das Walte Gott";6 those were his words when we had finished.
I send to Suwalki7 in order to salute you on nearing our frontier. General der Infanterie vd. Goltz and Oberpräsident von Estpreussen von Moltke. The former commands the I Army Corps, after having been chief of our Engineering Corps; which post he filled after his return from Turkey, where he spent many years in the fruitless attempts at reorganisation. The latter is Governor of Eastern Prussia, a nephew of the old Field Marshal, and brother of my Gen. Adjutant, who commanded your Grenadiers and was often kindly received by you, when he came in special mission. With best love to Alix
I remain Ever your aff-ate cousin and friend
1. Undoubtedly the telegram dated October 28th, the text of which follows: "Of course you know the first details of the North Sea incident from our Admiral's telegram. Naturally it completely alters the situation. I have no words to express my indignation with England's conduct. I agree fully with your complaints about England's behaviour concerning the coaling of our ships by German steamers. Whereas she understand the rules of keeping neutrality in her own fashion, it is certainly high time to put a stop to this. The only way, as you say, would be that Germany, Russia and France should at once unite upon arrangements to abolish English and Japanese arrogance and insolence. Would you like to lay down and frame the outlines of such a Treaty? As soon as it is accepted by us France is bound to join her ally."
2. Maurice Rouvier, who was Minister of Finance 1902-1905. He became Premier January 25th, 1905, with M. Declassé as Foreign Minister. He was still Prime Minister when the Moroccan crisis arose, and M. Declassé resigned as a result of German threats.
3. The Anglo-French agreement of April 8th, 1904, contained a clause in which France recognized British predominance in Egypt and Great Britain recognized French influence in Morocco.
4. The Czar's proposal that the dispute arising out of the Dogger Bank incident should be submitted to an international commission of inquiry on the basis of the Hague Convention, was accepted by the British Government on October 28th, 1904.
5. The North Sea incident must be closed.
6. May the blessing of God rest upon the acts of the two high Rulers and may the mighty triple group, Russia, Germany and France forever help maintain peace in Europe; May God bring that about.
7. The Czar left Petrograd on November 8th, 1904, on a tour of military inspection of the western frontier of Russia. General von der Goltz and Herr von Moltke, Chief President of East Prussia, left Berlin for Suwalki on November 9th, and lunched with the Czar at Suwalki on November l0th.
Draft of Treaty
Leurs Majestés l'Empereur de Toutes les Russies et l' Empereur d'Allemagne afin de localiser autant que faire se peut la Guerre Russo-Japonaise ont arrèté les Articles suivants d'un traité d'Alliance defensive.
Au cas our l'un des deux Empires serait attaqué par une Puissance européenne son Allié l'aidera de Toutes ses forces de terre et de men Les deux Alliés, le cas èchéant, feront également cause commune afin se rappeler à la France les obligations qu'elle a assumées aux termes du traité d'Alliance Franco-Russe.
Les deux hautes parties contractantes s'engage' a ne conclure de paix séparée avec aucun adversaire commun.
L'engagement de s'entreaider est valable églaement pur le cas ou des actes accomplis par l'une des deux hautes parties contractantes pendant la Guerre tels que la livraison de charbon à un belligérent donneraient lieu après la guerre à de réclamations d'une fierce Puissance comme prétendues violations du droit des neutres.
The following is a translation of the Kaiser's original French text reproduced above:
Their Majesties the Emperor of All the Russias and the Emperor of Germany, in order to localize as much as possible the Russo-Japanese war, have agreed to the following Articles of a treaty of defensive alliance.
In case one of the two E:mpires should be attacked by a European Power its ally will aid it with all its land and sea forces. The two Allies, in case of need, will also make common cause in order to remind France of the obligations she has assumed by the terms of the Franco-Russian treaty of alltance.
The high contracting parties undertake not to conclude any separate peace with any common adversary.
The undertaking to help one another also extends to the case where acts, committed by one of the two high contracting parties during the war, such as the delivery of coal to a belligerent, should give rise after the war to complaints by a third Power as to pretended violations of the rights of neutrals.