XXXII Berlin 11/II/1904
The answer to your kind letter of congratulation for my birthday which made me so happy, was already begun, when the events occurred which led to the war 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 hostilities 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. Leopold 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 Schenk-- 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.
- The Kaiser was born on January 27th, 1859.
- Japan had formally declared war the day before this letter was written.
- On February the 8th, 1904, the Japanese torpedoed three Russian warships lying off Port Arthur.
- 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.
- 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.