XLIII Berlin 2/I/1905

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Berlin 2/I/1905

Dearest Nicky

Best thanks for your kind letter and New Years cards which are well executed. The Cossack charge is most effective, and one cannot help thinking what might have happened if at Liao-Yang1 General Samsonoff 2 had ridden a charge like that with his 17,000 sabres and lances against the Japan left wing. The news of the fall of Port Arthur3 received here yesterday evening created a very great sensation. We all here feel deepest sympathy for the valiant Generals and the brave diminishing band of heroes under their orders who strove to the utmost and last to fullfill their duty towards their Emperor and their Country; their defence of Port Arthur will become proverbial for all ages, and be upheld as an example to be emulated as long as a soldier will exist, honour to them forever! The imminence of the fall of the doomed fortress had for some time already set the diplomatic tongues wagging in the different capitals of the world; many and different were the rumours and news of armistices and even peace arrangements which reached me from everywhere. It beeing rather difficult to discern truth from invention of phantasy, I hope you wont fancy that I intrude upon your privacy, when I address myself to you to beg you to tell me what your plans for the future are, so that, if possible I may make myself useful to you, and be enabled to shape my course of my policy. The more so as Lambsdorff told Alversleben the other day "Que la France connait déjà nos conditions."4 Now, I prefer being informed by yourself directly, instead in a round about way through other agencies, as I have firmly stood to you and your country from the first as your faithful friend. After a long spell of unusually warm and foggy weather which enabled us to ride up to Xmas nearly, a very heavy gale suddenly burst upon us followed by sharp frost and snow, and winter seems to have set in in earnest, this makes me think of the conditions of life through which the Armies in Manchuria have to go now, remaining stationary for so long time as the months gone bye? I am so glad that you rewarded the bravery of my Regiment, which has greatly distinguished itself on the Sha-ho, by so many decorations, I hope they also get a good number of St. Georges Crosses

Now that the programme for the renewal of your fleet has been published5 I hope you wont forget to remind your authorities to remember our great firms at Stettin, Kiel, etc.; They will I am sure furnish fine specimens of line of battle ships. I am so glad that Ernie6 has again become engaged and I will go to his wedding beginning of next month. I hope you will kindly accept the two vases for Xmas, which come from our Royal Porcelain Factory, they are a symbol of my warmest wishes for you and your family and country for the coming year in which God may preserve you all believe me Ever your

most aff-ate cousin and friend

1. August 24th to Sepeember 4th. The Japanese left, after heavy fighting in which General Samsonoff's cavalry took part, broke the Russian right, and captured Liao-Yang, the Russian military capital of Southern Manchuria, and a point of great strategic value.
2. Commanded at the above battle the Siberian Cossack Division. General Stoessel offered to surrender on January Ist, 1905. The Kaiser conferred the "Ordre pour le Mérité" on both General Nogi and General Stoessel.
3. France already knows our conditions.
4. In the London "Morning Post" of January 2nd, 1905, stating that $800,000,000 were to be expended.
5. After the dissolution of his marriage with Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse, was married to Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich on February 2nd, 1905.

Return to 'Willy-Nicky' Letters XXXIX - XLVIII (17 November 1904 - 27 July 1905)