Diary of Lieutenant X (Aime Ernest Motsch)

Friday, May 27, 1898

What will be the German strategy?

The Spaniards have great hopes in the Germans who have extensive interests in the Philippines. “They will defend us, not out of generosity, but out of the need to defend their interests in the islands. They will lend us their assistance against both the Americans and Aguinaldo.” There they are waiting for the fleet of Admiral von Diederichs! They are counting on the arrival of the Deutschland with Prince Heinrich on board. They have reason to believe that the Germans can change the course of events, basically due to their strength in the Far East; their ships, their traders and their goods are everywhere. Secondly, the German expedition against China, the taking of Kiao-Tcheon, the decisiveness displayed, the brutal raids, and the swiftness of action have had an impact on the Spaniards. Germany’s rationale for its invasion in China is the safeguarding of the former’s interests by establishing a strong base in the Gulf of Pe-Tchi-Li. Why did they not use the same strategy for the Philippines?

Now there is no doubt that the Germans will send their squadron from China. The Americans have made no further moves after their discussions with Aguinaldo, who is setting up his headquarters in Cavite. Both the insurgents and the Spaniards seem to be staying in their respective positions. The Americans have left the way open to the rebels but are not providing any artillery. It is rumored they are not bombarding Manila because the German consul has made representations on the matter. The Spaniards are certainly expecting the German squadron to appear in the bay.

Of course, there will be a few fools in Europe who will appreciate Admiral Dewey’s passive position, just as much as they have exalted him for what he has done. They are so lacking in foresight! In my opinion, Aguinaldo seems more cunning and resolute than all the rest. I hope he will make use of all of them. But can he count on the rebels? Would the Tagals be loyal to him on all fronts?