About Aime Ernest Motsch (“Lieutenant X”)

About the author: Aime Ernest Motsch (January 1, 1867 — April 30, 1911). Wrote under the pseudonym, “Lieutenant X.” The Philippine publication of his Philippine diary contains the following information:

He was squadron leader in charge of torpedoes on the sole French battleship, the Bruix, anchored then in Manila Bay.

Born in Cernay, a small town of Alsace, on January 1, 1867, Motsch entered the navy at the age of 18 and rose quickly through the ranks. His superiors rated him highly, and found him an excellent and intelligent officer, always exceeding the tasks defined for him…

After commanding a destroyer in Dunkirk from 1899 to 1900, Lieutenant Motsch spent the last ten years of his life commanding destroyers and attending several staff colleges. On April 30, 1911 Motsch, then commander of the frigate Danton, died of typhoid fever in a military hospital in Brest.

About the diary: Published as The Diary of a French Officer on the War in the Philippines 1898, by “Lieutenant X” (Aime Ernest Motsch) Translated from the French by Marietta Enriquez-de La Haye Jousselin, National Historical Institute, Manila, 1994. From the introductory material of the book:

…[Using] the pseudonym “Lieutenant X,” [Motsch] wrote this unofficial account of the battle of Manila, covering the period from April 28 to August 31, 1898…

His keen observation, along with his fluency in English and German, facilitated interviews with the officers of the other ships as well as with important figures and witnesses of this battle…

His official account was published in Paris in 1904, and entitled La Guerre Hispano-Americaine aux Philippines: du 21 avril au 16 aout 1898, par E. Motsch.

The same edition in its bibliography cites the sources of the translated diary as:

Lieutenant X (Aime Ernest Motsch). “La Guerre aux Philippines.” Revue de Paris. 5e anne, tome 4 (Aug. 1, 1898): pp. 512-540; (Aug. 15, 1898); pp. 861-894.

Lieutenant X (Aime Ernest Motsch). “Le Siege de Manille.” Revue de Paris. 6e anne, tome 4 (Oct. 15, 1898): pp. 802-832; “Les Americaines a Manille.” tome 6 (Nov. 15, 1899); pp. 358-394.