Emperor William 11. on the Samoan Disaster.
On the 15th of April last the Emperor attended a dinner at the Marine Casino at Wilhelmshaveu, and in answer to the speech of the commanding admiral (Baron Von Galtz), assuring His Majesty of the faithfulness and devotion of his navy, answered : “I am deeply moved by the words which the commanding admiral has spoken on his own behalf and on that of the officers of my navy. Two reasons induced me to be present with you this day—first, to offer my best wishes for the success of the corvette which I had the honor to christen some years ago by order of my ever-glorious late grandfather, the founder of the German Empire, William I, and to wish this addition to our national navy a hearty adieu. She bears the name of the favorite sister (the Dowager Grand Duchess of Meckleuberg), the only living member of Emperor William’s generation. May the corvette in her future activity do honor to the illustrious name she bears, and may God protect her. But, secondly, I am most anxious with you te remember the brave men whom we lost in that fearful day at Samoa, Brave men they were, and no doubt to you good friends and comrades ; but let us not grieve about their sad misfortune, but rather let them serve us as an example in the honest discharge of our duty. After they had fought victorious against men they found their death in the wild elements, which are above human control, and it has pleased God to give us this heavy calamity. Let us rest assured that these men also died in fulfilling their duty to the German Empire. I would remind you here of a well-known historical fact—namely, when the Admiral Medina Sidonia appeared in deep humility before the King of Spain, with the information that his all-powerful Armada, sent to conquer England, was destroyed, the King answered: ‘ God is above us. I sent you to fight against men, but not against the elements,’ So is it in this our painful case. I wish you to know, all who are commanding vessels in the German Navy now or may do so at a future time, that the officer who dies in the discharge of his duty through the act of God and the force of the elements has, in my opinion, such a noble death as a hero as the commander in my army who, at the head of his regiment, sabre in hand, storms a position of an enemy and then loses his life. Not drowned arc our comrades in Samoa, but lost only in the true fulfilment of their duty to the last moment. Now, my comrades, may this beautiful example which these brave men have given us be our guide for the future, and in this sense I take my glass and drink to the health and prosperity of the German Navy and her brave officers and men.” —Translated from the ‘Hamburg News.’
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Emperor William II. on the Samoan Disaster., Evening Star, Issue 8035, 11 October 1889
Emperor William II. on the Samoan Disaster. Evening Star, Issue 8035, 11 October 1889
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