Diary of Lieutenant X (Aime Ernest Motsch)

Friday, 29 April, 1898

The departure is set for Sunday morning instead of Monday. Orders have come from Paris and the Bruix will be leaving for Manila. We should have weighed anchore since yesterday, but we did not have any coal. We need a hundred tons more, in case of a prolonged mission; and to economize, we shall go at no more than 10 knots. I am not happy about this delay. This ship, after 20 days in Saigon, should be ready for immediate departure even at a few hours’ notice. But the existing regulations are inept. Every warship should be strictly required to refuel as soon as anchor is dropped. Indeed, one should always be prepared. One day we are at peace, the next day we could be at war.

The dispatches from Europe inform us about the departure of the squadron from Cape Verde for an unknown destination.

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