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Full text of "The Armies of to-day : a description of the armies of the leading nations at the present time"

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"Darlington Memorial Library 

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Copyright, 1892, by Harper & Brothers. 
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Brigadier -General Wesley Merritt, U.S.A.: 


General Viscount Wolseley, K.P., Etc. : 


Lieutenant- Colonel Exner : 


General Leioal : 


A Russian General: 


General Baron Von Kuhn : 


G. Goiran, General Staff Colonel: 


Thomas A. Janvier : 


Lieutenant- Colonel Exner : 




cavalry — the regimental standard Frontispiece 
















JAGER 106 
























































TRAIN 297 






























A RURAL 387 





HE organization of the army of the United 
States depends on the law-making power 
of the nation — Congress. Its strength has 
hitherto been regulated by the apparent 
necessities of the country, being at times 
reduced to a few thousand men, while at 
m i others it has numbered more than a mill- 

" ""■ynfe^r' ion. Its history, on the whole, is one to 
be proud of, though, through no fault for 
which it can be said to be responsible, there is much in its 
record that reflects discredit on the country. Its recruit- 
ment depends ordinarily on voluntary enlistment, and its 
efficiency on the ability of its officers and the length of 
time the men have been in the service, subjected to dis- 
cipline and drill. With the officers of the army as a body 
the history of our last two wars shows there is no short- 
coming. Whether graduates of the Military Academy — 
the best for the purpose in the world — or selected for 
their energy, capacity, and brilliancy in actual service, 
they are by common consent equal to the officers of the 
best of European armies. In the war with Mexico and 
in that of the rebellion it required at least one year to 
make the army fit for the field. At the end of that time 
these armies, as well as that disbanded in 1783, were soul 
and body like the army maintained in times of peace, and 
then called the regular army. 

The genius of the Government contemplates that all 
able males of proper age in the country should constitute 


the army of the United States. The officers and soldiers 
are at all times citizens of the country, with all the rights 
and privileges of the most favored civilian. The army 
is the body in which the military spirit of the people is 
fostered. The relation of the parts could be improved, 
and some ways in which this improvement might be ef- 
fected will be incidentally suggested in the course of this 

It is an anomaly in history that the people of the col- 
onies immediately after the war of the Revolution neg- 
lected to recognize the services of the army, and treated 
it with great injustice. Men and officers who had given 
their time and property for the welfare of the nation were 
turned out of the service without pay or recognition of 
any kind. Representing their grievances for themselves 
and for the men of their commands, a committee of offi- 
cers in an address to Congress said : " Our embarrass- 
ments thicken so fast that many of us are unable to go 
farther. Shadows have been offered to us, while the sub- 
stance has been gleaned by others. The citizens murmur 
at the greatness of the taxes, and no part reaches the 
army. We have borne all that men can bear ; our prop- 
erty is expended, our private resources are at an end." 
Taking advantage of this discontent and unjust treat- 
ment, there was no lack of evil-disposed persons who for 
sinister purposes sought to foment an insurrection, but 
these were foiled, and the army remained true patriots 
to the end. " It was," says Bancroft, " a source of irri- 
tation that the members of the Legislatures never ad- 
journed till they had paid themselves fully, that all on 
the civil lists of the United States regularly received their 
salaries, and that all on the military lists were as regularly 
left unpaid." 

This history is in marked contrast to that which char- 


acterizecl the disbandment of the army of the country 
three-quarters of a century later. This army numbered 
thousands where the army of the Revolution counted tens, 
but it disappeared noiselessly and quietly, well paid and 
full of honors, and continues without dissent to receive 
the care and blessings of the nation it saved. 

Following the war of the Revolution there was on all 
sides a fictitious fear of a " standing army." Whether 
this arose from the events which we have hastily sur- 
veyed, or whether it was an inheritance born of the hatred 
of monarchical institutions, it is not the purpose of this pa- 
per to inquire. In the sequel it proved worse than disas- 
trous to the honor of the country. Less than thirty years 
after the close of the war of the Revolution the American 
people were again called upon to take up arms to perfect 
their independence of Great Britain. The records of the 
events of the War of 1812, so far as the army was con- 
cerned, contain a history which is calculated to bring the 
blush of shame to the cheek of every American. Blun- 
ders of officers, misbehavior on the part of men, mixed 
with failures in every direction, were the governing inci- 
dents of a campaign which ended in the rout of the army 
and the destruction of the Capitol and public buildings of 
the infant republic. Almost the only gleam of the mili- 
tary spirit which had achieved the independence of the 
country came from the South, at New Orleans, where 
Jackson with a command of volunteers defeated a force 
of the veterans of Europe. 

After the conclusion of the war with Great Britain, 
Congress reorganized the army on a peace footing, with 
proper proportions of Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery. 
Its strength was 10,000, exclusive of the Engineer estab- 
lishment. This force was reduced in 1821. 

The war with Mexico, whatever its political aspects, re- 


suited with great honor to the army. The known weak- 
ness of the militia system, still fresh in the memory of 
those responsible for the transaction of affairs, was avoid- 
ed. The President called for volunteers, not to exceed 
50,000, and these with the regular army fought a series of 
successful battles, which ended in the capitulation of the 
capital of Mexico. 

At the inception of the War of the Eebellion the army 
of the United States was by law about 12,000 strong. 
The system initiated and tried in the war with Mexico 
was again adopted. Volunteers were called for, and in- 
corporated as far as was possible with the regular army, 
so that the army was increased to 186,000 in 1861, to 
637,000 in 1862, to 918,000 in 1863, and finally to the 
enormous strength of more than 1,000,000 in 1865. 


At the present time the army consists of twenty - five 
regiments of Infantry, ten of Cavalry, and five of Artil- 
lery, constituting a force of — not to exceed 25,000 men. 
The organization of each infantry regiment is familiar to 
the reader, consisting, as in the State volunteer organiza- 
tions, of ten companies each, officered by a captain, one 
first and one second lieutenant, and of two extra lieuten- 
ants, who are the adjutant and quartermaster of the regi- 
ment. This, with the colonel, lieutenant-colonel, and ma- 
jor, completes the officers of the infantry regiment. The 
cavalry regiment consists of twelve troops, or mounted 
companies, with three officers to the troop, one captain 
and one first and one second lieutenant, and has three 
majors instead of one as in the infantry. In the artillery 
the regiment contains twelve companies, or batteries, each 
being officered by one captain, two first lieutenants, and 


one second lieutenant. Consequently, in the artillery reg- 
iment there are twent}^-six first lieutenants, allowing two 
for each company, and one each as adjutant and quarter- 
master. The field officers consist of a colonel, lieutenant- 
colonel, and three majors. 

In each regiment of artillery there are two horse bat- 
teries, the officers of which are changed from time to time 
with the officers of foot batteries, so that all may be in 


structed in this important part of the artillery officer's du- 
ties. The other batteries, or companies, are foot troops, 
instructed both as infantry soldiers and in the handling 
of heavy guns in the permanent forts on the sea-coast and 

The General officers of the line of the army are three 
Major-generals and six Brigadier -generals. The senior 
Major-general now commands the army. The other 
Major-generals command departments, as do also the 

The administration of the army is conducted by bureaus 
or staff departments, whose chiefs or heads have the rank 
of Brigadier - generals. These are the Adjutant -gener- 
al's Department, the Inspector-general's Department, the 
Judge - advocate - general's Department, the Quartermas- 
ter-general's Department, the Subsistence Department, 
the Medical Department, the Pay Department, the En- 
gineer Bureau, the Ordnance Department, and the Signal 
Corps. Each of these departments has a history of which 
its members are proud. It is not the intention to enter 
into these histories. It is enough to say that each depart- 
ment is the growth of necessity, and each has been re- 
modelled, changed, and improved as experience has indi- 
cated. Nor is it too much to say that each of these 
departments is as near perfection in the accomplishment 
of its duties as the creations of man for such purposes usu- 
ally become, made so by trials in war which tested them 
in a manner not possible in generations of service in peace 

The Adjutant- general's Department is charged with 
the correspondence of the army, the issuance of orders, 
the keeping of the records, and the general management 
of recruiting the army. Here are kept the monthly and 
other reports of the army, so filed and tabulated that on 


any day in any year of his service the exact status and 
occupation of any enlisted man or officer can be deter- 
mined. The records are as complete for the millions of 
men in the army during the Civil War as for the thou- 
sands who now constitute the regular establishment. 
Does X claim to have been injured in the line of duty at 
any time in the past, even beyond the memory of man, 
the proper machinery set in motion in the Adjutant-gen- 
eral's office will soon determine whether the claim is well 
founded. In short, without entering into particulars, ev- 
ery matter that is of interest to soldier or civilian, cover- 
ing the service of a soldier duly enlisted, can be investi- 
gated in the smallest details, and most positive conclusions 
arrived at through this well-conducted department. "With 
its rests the supply of recruits for the different organiza- 
tions of the army, the assignment of officers to arms of 
the service, the discharge of officers or men by sentence 
of courts-martial or otherwise, and generally all the de- 
tails resulting from the orders of the President of the 
United States, the Secretary of War, and the General-in- 
chief . If an officer desires a leave of absence or a soldier 
a furlough, he applies through this department, and the 
result of an application on this or any other subject is re- 
turned through the " channels." It has been the fashion 
to decry the "red tape" connected with the administra- 
tion of the army through the Adjutant-general's Depart- 
ment, but the charge is not well founded. For work that 
demands celerity the telegraph is brought into requisition, 
and through this medium the entire army of the United 
States could be put in motion, equipped for war service, 
in six hours or less time. 

The Inspector-general's Department, as the name indi- 
cates, is charged with the inspection of the army through 
every department and branch of service, and of all mat- 


ters relating to its operations and involving its efficiency. 
This department is responsible that no order goes long 
neglected, no continued fraud or mismanagement of fiscal 
concerns exists, that want of discipline is discovered, and, 
generally, that the state of efficiency of the army in all its 
parts is known to the authorities in command. It is the 
great safeguard of the military establishment, for when it 
is properly conducted no neglect, incompetency, or mis- 
management, anywhere throughout the system, can long 
g-o undiscovered, and as a matter of course uncorrected. 
The office has from time to time been combined with 
that of the Adjutant-general, but experience has taught, 
as reason indicated, that by the present management, 
when each department is separate, and responsible in its 
own sphere of action, the best results are accomplished for 
the good of the army. 

The duties of the Judge - advocate - general's Depart- 
ment are, as indicated by the name, those that are de- 
manded by the jurisprudence of the army. 

Of the supply departments of the army that of the 
Quartermaster - general is second to none in importance. 
On it depends the supply of the army of clothing, forage, 
transportation, and everything that is required by the 
soldier in barracks or in the field connected with these. 
The quarters of the soldier, whether houses or tents, the 
storehouses, the stables for animals, the wagons, or cars, 
or steamboats, or other means of transporting the army 
or the supplies of the army, all depend on this depart- 
ment. Beds and blankets for the men, forage, straw, and 
shelter for the animals, must be looked for from the quar- 
termaster of a command. In fact everything, save what is 
eaten by the men or used in the case of the sick or wound- 
ed, or especially intended for armies in their special work 
of giving battle, must be furnished by this department. 


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It is not difficult, then, to conclude how easily a poorly- 
conducted Quartermaster -general's Department embar- 
rasses and paralyzes an army. It was this that Washing- 
ton had to contend with in the dark days at Valley Forge. 
It was this, in part, that stultified the preparations of the 
army in 1812. It was from such cause that resulted the 
suffering of the British army in the Crimea in the war 
with Eussia. And to a well-conducted Quartermaster- 
general's Department may be attributed, in so far as these 
things go, our successes in the great War of the Eebellion. 
Equal in importance with any other for the army in the 
field is the Subsistence Department. In fact, while its 
duties are not so complicated as are those of the Quarter- 
master-general's Department, the adequate supply of food 
to the men is of more importance than is the supply of 
forage to the animals of an army, or of clothing. Any neg- 
lect in the Subsistence Department is quick to be felt and 
resented, and soon ends in demoralization. "An army 
moves on its belly" is an aphorism which officers of the 
army have had impressed on them by every experience, 
commencing with the first day in campaign. When it is 
considered that each man's ration, of an army consisting 
of 100,000 men, is made up of some dozen or more articles 
of food, and several of the parts of the ration are inter- 
changeable with three or four others, the exactions of the 
duties of the Subsistence Department may be understood. 
The magnitude of the operations of the Subsistence De- 
partment is indicated by the fact that during the four 
years' war of the Rebellion this department disbursed for 
supplies nearly $362,000,000. Secretary Stanton, in his 
annual report after the close of the war, said : " During 
the war this branch of the service never failed. It an- 
swers to the demand, and is ever ready to meet the na- 
tional call." 


To the Medical Department belong the duties of taking 
care of the sick and wounded of the army, and the preven- 
tion, as far as human science can go, of the first and great- 
est source of an army's depletion in the field — sickness in 
camp. These duties involve part of those of the Quarter- 
master- general's Department, and part of those of the 
Subsistence Department, while they have much that is 
common to neither to attend to. In other words, an effi- 
cient medical officer must be a good quartermaster and a 
good commissary, and, above all, a skilled surgeon and 


The Hospital Corps is a body of soldiers permanently 
attached to the Medical Department, and all the duties 
devolving upon the Medical Department must be dis- 
charged by it. It consists of non-commissioned officers 
(hospital stewards) and privates, a small proportion of the 
latter being graded as acting hospital stewards. 

This corps is recruited by the voluntary transfer from 
other branches of the service of men who have served at 
least one year, and have thus become trained to military 
discipline, or by direct enlistment of soldiers whose terms 
of service in other organizations have expired. In time 
of peace not more than ten civilians may be enlisted in 
the Hospital Corps, but each of these must be attached to 
a company of the line for at least one year, to become 
thoroughly instructed in a soldier's duty. 

The qualifications of a private of the Hospital Corps, 
in addition to the physical soundness required of all sol- 
diers, are ability to read and write, natural intelligence, 
temperate habits, and good general character. No mar- 
ried men are accepted, and if a private marries he cannot 
be re-enlisted. 


The acting hospital stewards are detailed by the Secre- 
tary of "War from the privates, after at least one year's 
service in the corps, and passing an examination in phar- 
macy, arithmetic, dictation, the regulations of the Medical 
Department of the army, the principle of cooking, minor 
surgery, and nursing. Their pay is $25 a month and the 
other allowances of a private. They may lose their posi- 
tion for misconduct, on the recommendation of a medical 
officer, or by sentence of a court-martial. 

Hospital stewards are non-commissioned officers of the 
highest grade, ranking as sergeants of the non-commis- 
sioned staff. They are appointed by examination from 
among the acting hospital stewards after at least one 
year's service in that grade. They are examined in the 
same subjects as the acting stewards, but more thorough- 
ly, and their capacity to control men is taken into account. 
They must be men of good habits and of unimpeachable 
integrity. They cannot be reduced to the ranks. Their 
pay is $±5 a month. 

At every post in the army there are at least one stew- 
ard and three privates, and at the very large posts there 
may be as many as three or four stewards or acting stew- 
ards, and twelve or fifteen privates. They are subject to 
the same conditions of subordination and discipline, and 
differ from other enlisted men only in the nature of their 
duties. They are equipped as infantry, excepting when 
serving in the field with cavalry or light artillery, when 
they are mounted, but they carry no offensive weapons. 
They are armed with a large knife, and one -fourth of 
them carry a medicine case — a box supplied with certain 

They are instructed in their special duties both theoret- 
ically and practically, every man being required to learn 
all forms of work necessary in a hospital. This instruc- 


tion is given by the medical officers, by the stewards, and 
by the privates longest on duty. When well instructed 
they are assigned to such duties as they are best suited 

Besides their duties in-doors they are drilled in the use 
of litters and ambulances, which involves the careful and 
expeditious transportation of a wounded man from the 
place of casualty to the bed of the hospital. These drills 
in and out of doors are carried out with the precision and 
attention to detail that mark other military exercises. 

A day in a military hospital for the enlisted men of the 
Hospital Corps is much as follows : All the men rise at 
reveille; the cook, his assistant, and the mess-room at- 
tendant earlier. In the wards the nurses see that those 
patients allowed to do so wash and dress themselves prop- 
erly, open their bedding for proper airing, and later make 
their own beds if strong enough. They wash and make 
more comfortable those patients unable to get up. They 
carefully sweep the floors, opening such windows and ven- 
tilators as the weather may allow ; dust all chairs, tables, 
windows, and other objects ; cleanse the spittoons and any 
vessels belonging to the bedridden, and prepare the ward 
for the morning visit of the medical officer. In the mean 
time breakfast has been prepared, and the nurse sees that 
the patients who go to the table are neatly dressed. He 
brings in the breakfasts of those who cannot go to the 
table, and gives them such assistance as is necessary. All 
day he is employed in keeping the ward tidy, in adminis- 
tering the medicines or arranging the dressings that may 
be ordered, and in keeping the apparatus in the ward, and 
the wash-room and water - closet that usually adjoin it, 
scrupulously clean. In the rougher and more ordinary 
part of this work he is assisted by such patients as are 
convalescent. The nurse is in military charge of the 


ward, and is responsible for the good conduct of the pa- 
tients, who are bound to obey him. In case of disobedi- 
ence he at once reports to the steward, who exercises his 
authority, or, if that is unavailing, reports the case with- 
out delay to the medical officer. 

The right of appeal to the medical officer always exists. 
The nurse sees that there is no disorder at any time dur- 
ing the day and no noise at night, the lights being extin- 
guished at a fixed hour, except such as are necessary for 
the care of the sick. The nurse carefully observes the 
sick, and at any sudden change for the worse he prompt- 
ly notifies the steward. When patients require special 
watching or care, drafts are made from the other patients 
for temporary duty. 

The privates not directly employed as cooks and nurses 
begin their duties at reveille, and keep the administrative 
parts of the hospital and the grounds and out-buildings in 
order, take care of the cows and the garden, and generally 
discharge the several duties to which they are assigned. 
As they usually are intelligent men of good habits, all this 
work is done regularly and uniformly with little urging. 
^Nevertheless, the stewards exercise a general supervision, 
and are held responsible for any lapses in neatness or dis- 
cipline. About nine o'clock every morning the sleeping- 
rooms of the hospital corps are inspected by a medical of- 
ficer, as the company barracks are by a company officer ; 
the wards are visited and the patients examined at least 
twice daily ; and the whole hospital and every man in it 
is carefully inspected once every week. To be ready for 
these inspections requires constant and intelligent work 
by the men of the corps. 

The stewards are directly occupied with dispensing; 
with acting as dressers for the graver cases ; with draw- 
ing and distributing the rations and supervising the cook- 


ing; with attending to the clerical work, which is always 
large and requires exactness and skill; and with a con- 
stant oversight of the more seriously sick or injured, un- 
der the medical officer's instructions. 

The duties of the Pay Department are sufficiently in- 
dicated by its name. 


The Corps of Engineers was called into existence by 
the necessities of the war of the colonies for indepen- 
dence. Its origin was in the appointment by Washing- 
ton, under resolution of Congress, of four officers of en- 
gineers from the army of France, who came to this country 
seeking service immediately on the outbreak of hostilities 
with the mother - country. At that period France had 
produced the best military engineers in the world. The 
list of eminent men in this branch of science included dur- 
ing- the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the names 
of Pagan, Cormontaigne, Vauban, Carnot, and Montalem- 
bert, and their pupils were the founders of the Engineer 
Corps in this country. As early as 1778 Congress estab- 
lished an organization of three companies of engineer 
troops with proper officers, which companies served through 
the war of the Revolution with distinction, but were mus- 
tered out of the service, together with the Corps of Engi- 
neers of the army, in 1783. 

In 1794 Congress provided for a permanent establish- 
ment of a Corps of Artillerists and Engineers, and the es- 
tablishment of a school of instruction at "West Point, 
Eew York. From this originated the Military Academy, 
though it was not fairly established, owing to accidents 
from fire and a want of funds, until some six or seven 
years afterwards. From the date of its establishment up 


to a period after the Civil War the Military Academy at 
West Point continued by law a part of the Engineer Corps 
of the army, and it was controlled and managed by officers 
of that corps. By act of Congress of 1866 this control 
and management passed to the army at large, or rather to 
the War Department, the superintendent being selected, 
and the officers and instructors being detailed, from any 
arm of the service. This step was taken by Congress af- 
ter discussion based on the experience of the Civil War, 
with a view to liberalizing and broadening the instruction 
of the students who were to become officers. The Acad- 
emy, whether considered before or since the change, has 
produced results of which its friends are justly proud, and 
which must for all time be a credit to the country and a 
monument to the corps of officers who nursed it into life 
in the early history of the country, and have since given 
it vigor and vitality in the performance of its important 

Up to 1863, when it was merged by law with the En- 
gineer Corps, there existed with variable importance a 
Corps of Topographical Engineers. The duty of this 
corps in time of war was such as is intrusted to officers 
charged with the details of preliminary reconnoissance of 
a theatre of war. In peace times this corps was occu- 
pied in the then western country making explorations — 
geographical and geological. The result of their labors in 
this direction and those of the Engineer Corps proper for 
more than three-quarters of a century has been the loca- 
tion and construction of the roads, canals, important pub- 
lic works and improvements of the country, including the 
accurate methods of surveying — geodetic, topographic, 
and hydrographic — that are now in use. 

In the time of war the duties required of the Corps of 
Engineers are mainly the work of planning and superin- 


tending the construction of all fortifications required in 
military operations, including the auxiliary works involved 
in the attack or defence of fortifications. The corps is 
also charged with procuring and embodying in maps all 
information involving the topographical features of the 
country comprising the theatre of war or a field of bat- 
tle. They may be charged, as staff-officers, with the se- 
lection of camps, and should be consulted in the choice 
of all places to be fortified and held, as also to obtain 
information of the enemy's strongholds, works, and re- 
sources. They are charged with the care and management 
of the bridge equipage of the army, with the construction 
of bridges in an advance, and the destruction of those 
which, being of value to the enemy, are ordered to be 

The only troops authorized by law as a part of the En- 
gineer Corps are four companies, officered by captains and 
lieutenants of engineers. These companies, three of which 
are stationed at Willets Point, and one at West Point, 
New York, constitute the basis for an increase to meet 
the exigencies of war. They are constantly instructed, 
theoretically and practically, in sapping, mining, and pon- 
toniering, and comprise a force of material for non-com- 
missioned officers in the event of a large increase of the 
enlisted force of engineers. 

In time of peace the Engineer Corps must attend to all 
usual duties expected of such corps in an army always 
ready for war, besides being charged by legislative enact- 
ments or by executive orders with a multitude of respon- 
sibilities which it is difficult to enumerate in detail. These 
include surveys for planning and construction of perma- 
nent fortifications on the sea -coast ; the surveys for the 
planning and construction of works for the improvement 
of rivers and harbors ; the construction of beacons, light 


houses, and all fixed aids to navigation ; the construction 
of public buildings and works in charge of the War De- 
partment ; the surveys of the great lakes of the country ; 
the astronomical determination of boundaries and initial 
points ; the surveys of the Territories ; the supervision of 
the construction of bridges over navigable waters ; and 
the study and perfecting of the system of defence depend- 
ing on the use of torpedoes, and the necessary submarine 
mines connected with the defence of our large commercial 

With all these diversified duties, which require at times 
the application of the highest attainments in science and 
the arts, it is the pride of the Corps of Engineers that with 
an expenditure of millions of money yearly for the last 
half-century no defalcation or misappropriation of govern- 
ment funds has ever occurred; but, on the other hand, 
through care, industry, and intelligent supervision of the 
officers of the corps in charge of public works, the Govern- 
ment has habitually received full value in work for the 
money expended. If there is a single exception to this, it 
in no way involves the reputation of the corps, and stands 
chargeable to the individual, who, as an exception, is the 
more prominent. 

In the discussions already referred to in Congress grow- 
ing out of the experience of the war, it was urged that the 
education and daily duties in his profession unfitted an 
engineer officer for brilliant, independent, and responsible 
command of an army engaged in a hazardous campaign. 
It was urged that his habits of thought in the prosecution 
of the labors of an exact science, in the work of which a 
large factor for safety is always allowed, unfit the engineer 
officer for the risks of independent command. There is 
no need to discuss this question at this time. It is enough 
to say that officers of engineers combat the proposition 


with fervor, and insist that they should be considered as 
officers for command of troops rather than as staff -officers. 
Whatever may be the conclusion in regard to this, the 
army at large will always share in the pride of the En- 
gineer Corps, which arises from the fact that if the educa- 
tion they receive unfits the officers for command when 
large risks are involved in contending with an active en- 
emy, it peculiarly fits them for control in public works 
and scientific pursuits where constant watchfulness, ex- 
treme caution, and a large element on the side of safety 
are inseparable from satisfactory service. And thus the 
loss of the corps in one direction is its gain in another. 


As early in the history of the country as 1791 three or 
four arsenals were provided for, and between 1791 and 
1812 more than eight millions of money had been appro- 
priated for ordnance purposes. 

The Ordnance Department was formally established by 
act of Congress in 1812. It consisted of a Commissary- 
general of Ordnance, having the rank, pay, and emolu- 
ments of a colonel of infantry, and thirteen other officers, 
eight of whom had the rank of second lieutenants of in- 
fantry. The duties of the department as prescribed by 
this act are almost identical with those now performed, 
which, in general terms, are to procure by purchase or 
manufacture the armament for sea-coast defences, and the 
arms and equipments and all other ordnance stores for the 
army, the militia, the Marine Corps, and for all the execu- 
tive departments, to protect public money and property. 
The colleges authorized by law to receive arms for in- 
struction are supplied by the Ordnance Department. 

In 1813 the number of assistants of ordnance was in- 


creased to sixteen, and their pay raised to that of a first 
lieutenant of infantry. By act of 1815 the duties of the 
department were reiterated, and the senior officer of ord- 
nance — no longer called the Commissary-general of Ord- 
nance — was given general control of the public armories. 
Six years later the Ordnance Department was merged in 
the artillery, and ordnance duties were performed by artil- 
lery officers selected by the President. 

In 1832 the Ordnance Department was re-established, 
and in 1838 the number of officers increased. 

The present organization of the Ordnance Department 
is as follows : A Chief of Ordnance, with the rank of brig- 
adier-general ; three colonels; four lieutenant - colonels ; 
ten majors ; twent}^ captains, and sixteen first lieutenants. 

All vacancies in the grade of first lieutenant are filled 
by transfers from the line of the army, and promotions to 
the other grades are regular, except that the Chief is ap- 
pointed by selection. 

The Ordnance Office is at the War Department in 
Washington, where the Chief of Ordnance, with several 
assistants, supervises and controls all matters pertaining 
to the department. The arsenals of construction are : the 
National Armory, and the Frankford, Watervliet, Eock 
Island, Watertown, and Benicia arsenals. The arsenals of 
storage are : the Allegheny, Augusta, Fort Monroe, In- 
dianapolis, Kennebec, New York, and San Antonio. Be- 
sides these there are a number of powder and ordnance 
depots located at points in the country most convenient 
for the purposes of supply. 

From 1875 to 1882 an officer was designated as Con- 
structor of Ordnance, and to him was intrusted, under di- 
rection of the Chief of Ordnance, the designing and con- 
struction of all guns and carriages. In 18S2 this office 
was abolished, and its duties were assumed by the Chief 



of Ordnance. While utilizing the services of officers sta- 
tioned elsewhere, he has a staff of officers in Washington 
mainly employed on construction work, and officers em- 
ployed as resident inspectors at private foundries and es- 
tablishments engaged in work for the Government — such 
as the West Point and South Boston foundries, and the 
Alidvale and Cambria steel-works. These inspectors are 
the medium of communication between the Chief of Ord- 
nance and the establishment to which, they are attached, 
and it is their duty to supervise every detail of the work, 
and make the various inspections provided for in the con- 
tract and in the ordnance instructions. 

Intimately associated with the Ordnance Office has 
been, since 1875, the Ordnance Board, which to-day con- 
sists of three members, with stations at the New York 
Arsenal, Governor's Island. This board has charge of 
such experiments at the proving -ground at Sandy Hook 
as are not by law required to be otherwise conducted. 
The members of this board, associated with, two other of- 
ficers, constitute the board for testing rifle cannon. The 
proceedings of this board, limited, as its title indicates, to 
experiments with rifled cannon, are forwarded through, 
the Chief of Ordnance to the Secretary of War. 

A third board, designated the Board on Ordnance and 
Defence, relieves the two before - mentioned boards of 
much work. Being a mixed board, it is independent of 
the Ordnance Department, except in the matter of expen- 
ditures for ordnance purposes. 

The ordnance proving-ground is under the command of 
the president of the Ordnance Board, with an officer as 
assistant in charge. Here are mounted and proved all 
new constructions in the way of guns and carriages. All 
experiments are here also made with powders, high ex- 
plosives, projectiles, fuzes, sabots, primers, etc. The estab- 


lishment is provided with the most modern ballistic instru- 
ments, with devices for the analysis of gunpowder, and 
with a testing machine for metals. There is a machine- 
shop at the station, where all repairs are made, and occa- 
sionally original constructions of considerable importance. 
Prior to the completion of the testing machine at Water- 
town Arsenal, all the metal employed in gun construction 
was tested here, and the specimens were here cut out and 

It is at the proving-ground that the various inventions 
presented by civilians from any part of the country are 
tested. The inventor, through his member of Congress, 
approaches the Secretary of War with his war balloon, his 
contrivance for firing dynamite shell, his improved pro- 
jectile, sabot, or fuze, and is referred to the Chief of Ord- 
nance, and by him to the Ordnance Board, which carefully 
examines the plans and specifications. Unless the device 
is palpably absurd, the inventor is then given the oppor- 
tunity of a test. 

The National Armory was established at Springfield, 
Massachusetts, in 1794. Excepting occasional experimen- 
tal work, the only products of the armory are rifles, car- 
bines, and side-arms. Pistols and Gatling-guns for issue 
are obtained by purchase, but they are inspected by offi- 
cers and employes of the armory. In 1888 there were 
manufactured not to exceed 41,130 rifles and carbines, but 
it is stated that the armory can now turn out 1000 rifles 
per day. During the Rebellion, from 1861 to 1865, there 
were made at this armory 805,537 rifled muskets. One 
important result of the establishment of this National 
Armory should not be overlooked. The Government has 
here educated a class of skilled workmen, who have been 
distributed from time to time through the various private 
establishments in the country. These from their training 


have attained a high, standard of workmanship, which has 
placed our private manufactories at the head of this in- 
dustry. Under this tuition have been developed the great- 
er number of the labor-saving and accurate machines 
which are now universally employed in the fabrication of 

Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, was established in 
1816. At the present time its productions are limited to 
the manufacture of ammunition for the rifle, carbine, pis- 
tol, and Gatling-gun, of fuzes, primers, and military pyro- 
techny. The powder used is obtained from private man- 
ufacturers, after inspection by ordnance officers. 

Watervliet Arsenal. — In 1887 the principal fabrications 
at this arsenal were leather-work, harness, equipments, and 
accoutrements. Selected, however, that year by the Gun 
Foundry Board as the most eligible arsenal for the con- 
centration of the Government plant, it is now one of the 
most important of ordnance establishments. Machinery 
was transferred from Waterto wn and from the South 
Boston Iron-works, and with the facilities already exist- 
ing in September, 1888, its capacity was about fifty field- 
guns and one eight-inch and one ten-inch gun per year. 
As funds become available this plant will probably be in- 
creased, enabling the Government to make, in limited 
quantities, modern guns of at least twelve-inch calibre. 

The Rock Island Arsenal was established as an arsenal 
of storage and repair, but from its inception it was hoped 
that it might be developed into an arsenal of construction 
commensurate with the requirements of the Mississippi 
Valley and the West. In 1865 General Rodman assumed 
command, and commenced the preparation of plans for 
the construction of an establishment which should be at 
once an arsenal and an armory. The buildings and equip- 
ments, the plans of which were somewhat modified after 


his death, are now almost completed. Eight immense 
finishing -shops, one forging -shop and foundry, and one 
forging-shop and mill are now finished, and provided with 
every modern appliance. A large part of the stores for 
issue to the army are now made at this arsenal. These 
include horse equipments and cavalry accoutrements, in- 
fantry equipments, targets and supplies for target ranges, 
arm racks, and other like appliances. 

The Watertown Arsenal, near Boston, Massachusetts, 
was established in 1816. The principal work undertaken 
there of late years has been the manufacture of field-guns 
and projectiles, the alteration of sea-coast gun-carriages, 
and the manufacture of various experimental siege and 
sea-coast guns. 

The United States Testing Machine, the finest as well 
as the most elaborate machine in the world for testing 
the strength of materials, is located at this arsenal, and is 
in almost continual use on work connected with civil pur- 
suits as well as for the Government. 

Benicia Arsenal is important as the only manufactur- 
ing arsenal on the Pacific coast, and efforts have been 
made to increase its capacity. At the present time it is 
dependent upon other establishments for most ordnance 

The method of appointment of officers to the Ordnance 
Department has resulted in its being filled by some of 
the brightest and most talented officers in the service. 
Among the young officers of the department are found 
those who by earnest application have mastered and be- 
come eminently proficient in the courses taught at the 
Military Academy or the colleges of the country, and who, 
having carried their habits of study and application into 
the army, have in the season provided for by law been ex- 
amined and admitted into this important corps. 


In this method of appointment it is claimed by its 
friends that the Ordnance Department is being recruited 
by much of the best material in the army. The nature 
of its duties and the constant emulation in these most im- 
portant departments of supply among armies make this 
a source of gratulation to the American people. 

The Signal Corps, as now constituted, can scarcely be 
said to be a part of the army, and its organization is well 



Though this school was established as early as 1824, 
when eleven companies of Artillery were ordered to take 
station at Fort Monroe to constitute a corps of Artillery 
instruction, yet the school, as such, existed in name only. 
No attempt was made at any system of recitation or 
study; but instruction was confined to practical artillery 
work, discipline, and such other exercises as should be 
practised at any well regulated Artillery post. Indeed, 
the institution was established as a school of Artillery 
practice, and was intended to supply a remedy for the 
evils which " inactivity and want of competition," conse- 
quent upon the wide dispersion of the Artillery troops in 
small garrisons along our extended frontier, entailed upon 
this diminished arm of the service. This gave to the 
Artillery the benefits of concentration, and these benefits 
were sufficiently manifest within two years to remove all 
doubt of the excellence and utility of the school. 

The troops selected for the school represented all four 
of the Artillery regiments ; some regiments furnished two 
companies and some three, so that by a system of rota- 
tion, all the Artillery companies could, in time, be brought 
under the established course of instruction. 


In 1867 the school was reorganized and placed upon a 
new basis ; it became a school in the true sense, where 
student officers pursued a prescribed course of theoretic 
instruction by recitation, and followed this by practical 
work in the field. 

The system of to-day is essentially that of 1867, with 
such improvements in the methods of instruction as ex- 
perience suggested, and such modifications of the curric- 
ulum as were necessary from time to time to keep pace 
with the progress of the times. 

Prior to 1875 the course covered but one year ; at that 
time it was changed and extended to cover two years, 
though no corresponding increase in the scope of instruc- 
tion was introduced. 

In 1878 Congress appropriated $3925 for the purposes 
of the school equipment, etc., and since that time has ap- 
propriated $5000 annually; this amount has been judi- 
ciously expended, so that now the school is fairly equipped 
in its various departments. 



" The Artillery school consists of the commandant, the 
directors of instruction, instructors, assistant instructors, 
and such officers, troops, and enlisted men as may be 
assigned to it for duty or instruction." 

The management of instruction is intrusted to the staff 
composed of the commandant, the two other field officers 
of Artillery stationed at the school — who are the directors 
of instruction — and the commanding officer of the Fort 
Monroe Arsenal ; the adjutant of the post is secretary of 
the staff. 


The instructors are selected at large from the Artillery 
arm on account of special fitness, and assigned to the 
charge of the different departments of instruction. 

Five batteries of Artillery, one from each Artillery 
regiment in the service, are stationed here as instruction 
batteries. The captains of these batteries are instructors 
in practical tactics, discipline, etc., and remain permanently 
with their batteries, 'while the subalterns of each battery 
are the student officers from the regiment to which the 
battery belongs. 

The garrison includes one extra batter v. making a total 
of six batteries, but the officers of this are not in the class 
undergoing instruction. A band is also specially provided, 
and forms a part of the permanent garrison. 


The instruction is divided into two general depart- 
ments : one for officers and one for enlisted men. the 
latter being naturally much simpler than the former, and 
a decidedly secondary object of the school. 

Let us look first at the commissioned officers' depart- 

The class is composed ordinarily of twenty officers, 
four from each regiment, who are nominated bv the reg- 
imental commander. A regular roster is kept, and those 
officers are detailed who have been longest off this duty. 
The custom has been to detail two first lieutenants and 
two second lieutenants; but as this operates to return 
some lieutenants who have been through the school, 
while leaving- others with the regiment who have not had 
that advantage, it is probable that the custom will be 
modified so that four lieutenants, irrespective of rank, 
will be detailed. This will operate to send young officers 


to the school within from two to five years after joining 
their regiments, a period best suited to the benefit of the 
individual and the interests of the school. The course 
covers two years, and but one class at a time is under 

The members of the new class report on September 1st, 
when ten days are allowed for settling in their quarters 
and getting ready for work. On the 10th the course be- 
gins and continues until July 1st ; on the 1st of September 
following the work is resumed and continues until July 
1st as before, a short period of cessation being allowed at 
the discretion of the commandant for the holidays. 

This covers all the time except July and August of 
each year, and these months are devoted to the regular 
Artillery target practice. 

The day is divided into two recitation hours ; the a.m., 
9.30 to 12.30, and the p.m. from 2.30 to 4.30 ; dress parades 
and drills in season, take place after the p.m. recitation. 
Practical work in any branch of instruction is usually 
assigned to the p.m. hours. 

The course comprises the following subjects, each cover- 
ing the time set after it : 

Engineering, 10 weeks (a.m. hour) ; Steam and Mechan- 
ism, 13 weeks (a.m. hour) ; Ballistics, exterior, forty-nine 
recitations (a.m. hour) ; interior, sixteen recitations (a.m. 
hour) ; Artillery, theory, IT weeks (a.m. hour) ; Electricity 
and Submarine Mining, theory and laboratory, 13 weeks 
(a.m. and p.m. hour, alternate days) ; Military Science, 
15 weeks (a.m. hour) ; Chemistry and High Explosives, 
13 weeks (a.m. and p.m. hours) ; Cordage, 7 weeks (p.m. 
hour), Telegraphy, 25 weeks ; Photography, 7 weeks, (p.m. 

In addition to the foregoing, which may be called the 
theoretical part of the course, Artillery practical exercises 


are carried on through the entire two years. These com- 
prise exercises in field guns, including machine guns; 
siege guns, howitzers, and mortars; sea -coast guns and 
mortars, and machines and appliances for moving heavy 
Artillery ; Artillery firing practice : This latter includes 
firing at known distances and at unknown moving target, 
and with sea-coast guns and mortars, siege guns and how- 
itzers, and mortars ; field and machine guns. Instruction 
in Infantry drill, as well as the small-arms firing, is also 
carried on in appropriate season. 

A graduating thesis is prepared by each member of 
the class upon some military subject assigned to him by 
the staff. The class is arranged according to order of 
merit, as determined by the staff from a consideration of 
the daily marks of the instructors, the examinations, es- 
says, maps, etc The staff notes in each department those 
student officers who are entitled to be " Distinguished," 
and also states the professional employments for which 
any of them seem to be specially qualified. Those offi- 
cers who pass successfully through the entire course of 
instruction receive certificates, signed by the staff, setting 
forth their proficiency. 

The compass of this article will not permit the mention 
of more details of this course of instruction ; it may be 
remarked, however, that the course is comprehensive and 
thorough, as well as exceedingly well adapted to fit the 
student not only for his own arm of the service, but for 
the more general duties that may devolve upon an officer 
of the line. 


The charge of this department is consigned to an officer 
or officers detailed by the commandant for the purpose. 


Attendance is compulsory upon the non-commissioned 
officers, and optional with, the privates. Upon completing 
the course and passing a satisfactory examination, each 
non-commissioned officer is entitled to a certificate of 
proficiency, which excuses him from further attendance. 
The course extends over two years, and comprises the fol- 
lowing subjects : 


The use of angle-measuring instruments, including quad- 
rants, azimuth instrument, transit and protractor, plotting 
board in vessel -tracking, etc. ; sights and sighting; im- 
plements used in mechanical manoeuvres ; adjustments of 
instruments used in target practice. 


Tidball's Manual ; gunnery ; use and care of machine 
guns, etc. 


Elementary surveying ; lectures on permanent and field 
fortifications ; practical work in field fortifications, con- 
structing batteries, revetments, bridges, etc. ; lectures on 
high explosives. 


Electricity : batteries, telegraph instruments, dynamos, 
etc. ; transportation of Artillery on land and water ; notes 
on military hygiene ; practical instruction in moving boil- 
ers and engines in Artillery school shops ; tactics, outpost 
duty, scouts, etc. 

Examinations in this department are annually conducted 
by the staff of the school, or by committees thereof ap- 
pointed by the commandant. 



It should be remembered that the best military author- 
ities advocated the necessity of this school at the time of 
its first establishment. To understand how much more 
important it is now, Ave have but to consider how im- 
measurably greater are the requirements of an artillery 
officer of to-day. The requirements are based upon the 
modern development of Avar appliances, the use of elec- 
tricitA T , torpedoes, and dynamite, a knoAvledge of which 
involves a knoAvledge of many cognate branches of science 
heretofore considered as unconnected Avith the military art. 


The method of instruction was and is still, to a large 
extent, by recitation; the need for this has passed away, 
and the school is rapidly approaching the system indispu- 
tably adapted to the class of students sent there, i.e., the 
lecture system. 

In 1867 many men Avho had gone to the Avar instead of 
the college and served their country Avith distinction, 
Avere assigned to the Artillery arm. These men lacked a 
fundamental knoAvledge of mathematics, especially in the 
higher forms, so essential to the pursuit of a scientific 
course; they lacked also the mental discipline and habit 
of study that might have been theirs had they continued 
their collegiate courses. JSoav all this has been changed. 
The student officers are, almost without exception, young 
graduates of the Military Academy, and as a result the 
study of mathematics has been dropped, and the time 
heretofore allotted to that preparatory study is noAv spent 
on the main objects of the school. In tAvo of the courses 
recitation has been entirely abandoned, and it is doubtless 


the intention of the present staff to go further in this 
direction. They are moving with wisdom, and hence with 
caution, towards this important change. It is even to be 
hoped that the change will go further, and result in an 
elective course at this school. This is an age of specialists, 
and we could perhaps better subserve the interests of our 
service by educating a special talent in one subject. 


The school library has received special attention from 
the staff of the school, and every effort has been made to 
improve its condition. The library began with a donation, 
many years ago, and has been added to from time to time 
as funds became available. It is essentially a military 
library, and comprises upwards of 4000 volumes of stand- 
ard authority. The lighter books of romance, etc., have 
been removed from the library and consigned to the post 
readinff-room for the enlisted men. 


This school, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., was estab- 
lished in 1881, as a school of application for Infantry and 
Cavalry, "similar to that now in operation for the Artillery 
at Fortress Monroe." The Artillery school at Fortress 
Monroe was taken as a model, and the regulations gov- 
erning there were to prevail until a new code could be 
prepared and approved ; necessarily, then, this school is 
very similar to the one just described. 

The school consists of three field officers of Infantry or 
Cavalry, such instructors and assistant instructors from 
the army at large as may be needed, and eight instruction 
organizations, four companies of Infantry and four troops 


of Cavalry. In addition to these there is, of course, the 
class of student officers who are detailed one from each 
Cavalry and Infantry regiment in the service, and such 
other officers and enlisted men as may be sent there for 

The headquarters of an Infantry regiment is habitually 
stationed at the post, and the colonel is the commandant 
of the school. This furnishes a band to the school for 
military exercises. The student officers are assigned to 
the different companies for regular instruction in duty and 
discipline, as the Artillery officers are attached at For- 
tress Monroe. 

The staff of the school consists of the instructors in 
charge of the seven departments of instruction, hereafter 
to be mentioned, and their duties are analogous to those 
of the Artillery-school staff. A secretary of the school 
is appointed by the commandant ; he acts as secretary of 
the staff, and is the custodian of school records, the school 
fund, and property purchased from this fund. 

The school is divided into seven departments : 

Department of Military Art, department of Military 
Engineering, department of Infantry, department of Cav- 
alry, department of Law, department of Military Hygiene, 
department of Artillery (including a limited course in 
Ordnance and Gunnery). 


The course of instruction embraces two years of study 
and practical exercises, each year constituting a term. 
The first term begins on September 15th, the second on 
September 1st, and both end on May 31st. The fifteen 
days from September 1st of the first term are allowed for 
the new class to get settled in quarters. The months of 


July and August are devoted to practical exercises in the 

The student officers are arranged in one class, and 
divided into sections of convenient size for the purpose of 
instruction. Daily marks are kept of the recitations, and 
student officers may be transferred from one section to 
another by the commandant upon the recommendation 
of the instructor. At the end of each week the instructors 
submit a report of the marks given to the officers under 
their instruction, and such marks are considered by the 
staff in determining the proficiency and standing of the 

The studies embrace the study of text-books and recita- 
tions therefrom, supplemented by lectures and exercises 
in application. 


Examinations are semi-annual, and are held in January 
and June, under the supervision of the staff of the school. 

In determining the order of merit of the students in 
any branch, the daily recitation marks, the examination 
marks, and any essays, papers, maps, etc., that may have 
been required, are all taken into consideration by the 
board. In determining final order of merit, due weight 
is given to the proficiency of the student in field exercises ; 
his ability to command, direct, and impart instruction ; 
his soldierly bearing, and such other qualities as go to 
make up a good officer. 


Of the course of instruction but a brief general idea 
may be given. 

The department of Military Art comprises eight differ- 


ent parts, including strategy, tactics, grand and minor 
tactics, reconnaissances, military geograplw, etc. Under 
each of these heads the details are thoroughly studied. 

Exercises in application also form one of the branches 
of this department, and under it the student is required 
to write an essay, and make drawings explaining in detail 
the attack and defence of a selected piece of ground as- 
signed to him for the purpose. 

The department of Engineering is divided into six 
parts, including topography, field engineering, field forti- 
fication, signaling and telegraphy, and building superin- 

Under the first, instruction is given in the use of sur- 
veying instruments, and in making the various kinds of 
surveys, leveling, etc. Under the second, hasty intrench- 
ments, defilade, and like instruction is given practically 
in the field. Under field engineering, bridge -building, 
and railroad - building, management, and destruction are 
taught. The other subjects indicate the scope of instruc- 
tion given under them. The department of Law is di- 
vided into three parts : military, constitutional, and inter- 

Under the Infantry and Cavalry departments, instruc- 
tion is given in the authorized tactics pertaining to these 
branches, as well as in Infantry field service, fire tactics, 
equitation, and hippolgy. 

Under the department of Artillery instruction is given 
in the manual of field pieces, machine guns, mechanical 
manoeuvres, ammunition, official courtesies, and the dif- 
ferent systems of breech-loaders. 

The student officers of this school may be either grad- 
uates or non-graduates of the Military Academy at West 
Point; but it is to the non- graduates that the school is 
specially beneficial. Many of these young men, appoint- 


ed from civil life or from the meritorious list of non-com- 
missioned officers, have had but an elementary education, 
and no instruction in the military art. Here they find 
opportunity to familiarize themselves with their profes- 
sion, and acquire information and habits of study which 
prepare them for their subsequent duties, and put it in 
their power to become efficient army officers. 

It is customary to send these young men to the school 
within two to four years after their appointment, if pos- 
sible, and there teach them the rudiments of their profes- 
sion early in their career. 



By act of Congress, approved January 29, 1887, the 
Secretary of War was " authorized and directed to estab- 
lish upon the military reservation at Fort Eiley a perma- 
nent School of Instruction for drill and practice, for the 
Cavalry and Light Artillery of the United States. . . ." 
By the same act the sum of $200,000 was appropriated 
for the construction of necessary quarters, barracks, and 
stables. Work upon the buildings was begun as soon as 
practicable, and we now have constructed a post credit- 
able to the service, and entirely adequate to the purpose 
for which it is intended. 

The post is divided into two parts; one for Cavalry 
and the other for Artillery, and both are well supplied 
with quarters, barracks, and stables. A riding- hall has 
also been erected, in which the troopers can be thorough- 
ly instructed in horsemanship, and the various exercises 
pertaining to that branch of instruction. 

All recruits for the Cavalry are required to be sent to 
this post, and, as a result, the mounted organizations are 


to receive recruits well grounded in the duties pertaining 
to the horse. The school is not yet in full operation, it 
havino- been regularly established as recently as March 
14, 1892, by orders from the War Department. 

The order establishing the school requires that "the 
garrison shall consist of one regiment of Cavalry, such 
batteries of Light Artillery, not exceeding five, as may be 
found practicable, and such other officers and enlisted 
men as may be assigned to duty at the school for instruc- 

The colonel of the Cavalry regiment is the command- 
in D- officer of the school, and he, with the field officers of 
the Cavalry and Artillery present, constitute the school 

The troops of each arm constitute a sub-school of prac- 
tice, each under a director, who is the senior officer of the 
arm present, not including the commanding officer of the 
school. The adjutant of the Cavalry regiment is the 
secretary of the school. 

The principal object of the school, as announced in the 
order establishing it, is instruction in the combined opera- 
tions of Cavalry and Light Artillery. One -half of the 
school year is to be devoted to the instruction of the sub- 
school in its own particular arm ; the other half to the 
instruction in combined operations. The schedule of each 
year's instruction is to be arranged by the staff of the 
school, but nothing has as yet been announced from this 


With this hurried glance at its organization, we now 
proceed to consider the method of recruiting the line of 
the army. 

The recruiting of the army depends on voluntary enlist- 


ment ; the term of service is five years. In all the princi- 
pal business centres of the country, on a side street near 
one of the main thoroughfares, the recruiting office may 
be found. It is designated by an American flag not too 
ostentatiously displayed, and is generally up one flight of 
uncovered stairs. In front of the doorway in favorable 
weather a neat, dapper, well-dressed man in blue, with 
brass buttons, stripes on trousers, and chevrons on close- 
ly-fitting, well-made blouse, may be seen ; this is the re- 
cruiting sergeant. And while none of the wiles known 
to the English recruiting sergeant in securing recruits are 
supposed to be practised by him of the United States 
army, he undoubtedly paints the service to the inquiring 
seeker after military glory in as rose-colored tints as his 
views of fair dealing will permit. The first inquiry as to 
the candidate is regarding his physical fitness for the serv- 
ice. To determine this he is critically examined by a 
surgeon of the army. This examination also involves his 
habits, and as far as possible his character and past record. 
If everything is satisfactory the candidate is received as a 
recruit, is dressed in the fatigue uniform of a soldier, and 
despatched to the rendezvous at Jefferson Barracks if he 
enlists for the cavalry, or to Columbus Barracks or Da- 
vid's Island if he chooses the infantry or artillery. At 
the rendezvous he is taught his duties, and is drilled to a 
fair state of soldierly perfection, after which he is assigned 
to his regiment and conducted to his new home on the 

Here for more than half a century, with the exception 
of the period of the Civil War, the greater part of the reg- 
ular army has been employed in keeping the peace be- 
tween the Indians and whites. This has required mili- 
tary operations of more or less importance, which have at 
all times been attended with bloodshed and loss of life, 



though not always recognized as attaining 1 
a magnitude to entitle them to the name 
of war. Faithfulness to its trusts has 
characterized the army in all this work 
as an advance-guard of civilization, in 
the immense regions added to our 
territory by the Louisiana purchase 
and the war 
with Mexico. 
It stood guard 
over the scat- 
tered and mea- 
gre improve- 
ments of the 
pioneer long 
before and 
during the 
time that thou- 
sands of miles 
of railroads 
were being 
built, and 
when the only 
lines of travel were the trails of millions of wild animals 
now nearly annihilated. In this time cities numbering 
thousands of inhabitants have replaced the rude habita- 
tions of the frontiersmen, and the walls of hundreds of 
manufactories stand where a few years since the Indian 
pitched his tepee unmolested. 

In recent years much as been done to popularize the 
army with the young men of the country. By new regu- 
lations a soldier may be discharged under certain condi- 
tions after three years' service upon his own application, 
or he may purchase his discharge under regulations made 



in the interest of those who have good reasons for en- 
gaging in other pursuit. In addition to these advantages 
in the case of legitimately severing his connection with 
the army, everything possible has lately been done to im- 
prove the daily life of the soldier. He is furnished with 
good clothing, excellent food, means of amusement, school 
advantages which, in addition to liberal pay and pros- 
pects of promotion equal to those of any profession, open 
to young men of the country a most desirable occupation. 
A term of service, judiciously spent in the army, is an ad- 
vantage to a young man, second only to a university 
course. It improves him physically, broadens his mental 
view, and fits him to compete in life with the educated 
and enterprising. Some of the most successful men in 
the western country are among those who have served a 
term of enlistment in the army. They are proud of their 
service and grateful for the advantages it has brought 
them. Ko young man not having superior advantages 
need now hesitate to adopt the army as an experience 
which will increase his opportunities for success in any 


Any characterization of the occupation of the army 
which fails to refer to its services in maintaining order as 
a national police is not complete. True, the intervention 
of the army has not often been necessary, but the occa- 
sions when it has been called on, and the manner of effi- 
cient work, show how much the knowledge of its existence 
alone does in keeping turbulent spirits quiet. 

The particulars of the riots of 1877 are now matters of 
history. They commenced in West Virginia and Mary- 
land, reaching their greatest fury in Pennsylvania, and 


spread throughout the Middle States and the West. The 
civil authorities were unable to contend with them, and 
in the three States above mentioned the State Executives 
called on the President for assistance from the army. In 
other States threatened, as in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, 
Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, and New York, United 
States troops were present to protect the property of the 
general government, and their presence undoubtedly saved 
communities from depredations. 

It is not necessary to enter into calculations as to what 
might have occurred if the power of the army had not 
been invoked. It is a fact that wherever the army was, 
in even the smallest force, the mobs were awed into silence 
and quietness, and peace, without the destruction of prop- 
erty or loss of life, was established ; and where the army 
was not, the reverse occurred. The blood shed and prop- 
erty destroyed were not the only injuries resulting from 
the success of the turbulent elements. A graver danger 
threatened the thousands of residents in the larger cities, 
resulting from the paralyzation of traffic and the failure 
of supplies. 

The riots threatened for about a month, and in some 
parts of the country the presence of troops was required 
for a much longer season. The Executives of States and 
officers of corporations, without dissent, bore testimony to 
the efficiency of the army, wherever present, in quelling 
disturbances, and this effectively and without loss of life 
or property. Could the better classes of those who com- 
menced the troubles have expressed themselves, they 
would undoubtedly have joined in commending the meth- 
ods of the army, for 

"If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well 
It were done quickly." 



From whatever point of view the operations of the army- 
are discussed, whether as a force to defend the country 
against foes from without, to fight Indians and compel 
their obedience to the laws of civilization, or to maintain 
the domestic peace of the nation, one fact is prominent 
above all others, and that is that our army has not been, 
and is not now, of adequate strength. The changes which 
have taken place in the science of war render an increase 

The militia of the United States will answer well the 
purpose of a " second line " in case of war with a foreign 
power, but it is not now, and never has been in the first 
days of war, fit to take the field. This may not be a pop- 
ular view to take of our citizen soldiers, but it is a fact 
that not one single circumstance in all our experience as 
a nation contradicts. Our Civil War was with an enemy 
as deficient as ourselves in instructed soldiers, and during 
the first year of the war there was not a battle fought 
where half the number of regular soldiers would not have 
defeated both armies united. In saying this in regard to 
the militia it is not intended to underrate the material of 
which it is composed. In my opinion there is not an 
army in the world that could defeat an equally strong 
American army, prepared with proper drill and discipline. 
But these take time, and neither ukase of Czar, bull of 
Pope, nor act of Congress can make an army without 

It was not till one year after the commencement of the 
Rebellion that we had an army prepared to take the field, 
endure the hardships of a campaign, and fight battles ; but 
from that time on, supplying fresh material from the 
farm, the shop, and the office, we had till the end as good 


armies as the world ever saw. But if we are involved in 
war with a foreign power a year's time will not be given 
us to prepare. 

The war between France and Austria (1859) lasted two 
months, and that between Austria and Prussia (1S66) last- 
ed little more than a month. The Franco-Prussian war 
of 1870, in which the territory of the French was com- 
pletely overrun, their capital and central city besieged 
and captured, and the nation made to pay a ransom such 
as modern statesmen had not dreamed of, was finished in 
a little more than half a year. The war between Kussia 
and Turkey, with its sieges of fortified places and severe 
battling at the passage of rivers and mountain ranges, was 
concluded in much less time than one year. In other 
words, no war between the war-making powers of Europe 
in the last thirty years has occupied the time it would 
take to prepare the best reserves we have for the field. 

It is easy to understand why the militia are not efficient 
for war. The merchant cannot go into court and conduct 
an intricate law case to a successful conclusion, nor can 
the mechanic prove a successful tradesman. Enthusiasm 
and patriotism will not only not gain battles, but may add 
to the gravity of disaster ; and experience shows that in 
the midst of hardships in the field and the terrors of battle 
they soon disappear, succumbing to the thousand and one 
reasons which present themselves to the mind why one 
should rather be at home supporting those who are de 
pendent on him than in the field following a trade he has 
never learned, and in regard to which he has been de- 

Then when battles come, and disasters follow, there is 
an accord in the disposition to make excuse—" incompe- 
tent generals," "overwhelming numbers," "masked bat- 
teries," and " Black-horse Cavalry," any or all these, with 


a thousand and one consequences, such as being " cut to 
pieces," " overwhelmed and demoralized," and other imag- 
inary features, figure with themselves and with their 
friends at home to account for defeat. This was not only 
so in the commencement of the Civil "War, but the same 
things were heard from individuals in the army of France 
during the war with Germany. As the unfitness of un- 
trained soldiers is more marked the more difficult war- 
making becomes, it is certain that the militia will be even 
less efficient in the future with the changed conditions of 

An English authority on this subject says : " Formerly 
we depended on the perfect drilling of our men ; hence- 
forward it is upon the efficiency of battle training and fire 
discipline we shall have to rely. Unless our regiments be 
first-rate in both those points we can no longer hope for 
victory, although they may be able to march past like a 
wall, and go through the most complicated barrack-yard 
evolutions with the utmost precision." 

It is said that even in the German army, perfected as it 
was for war in 1870, numerous mistakes in troop-leading 
and tactics were made. "What is claimed for this army is 
that its discipline is so perfect that the officers and men 
learn by actual experience in battle how to avoid and 
how to repair their mistakes, and apply these lessons at the 
time. The state of preparation which permits this con- 
cedes an amount of drill and discipline of which the best- 
trained soldiers in our army have never dreamed. 

It is no part of the purpose of this paper to enter into 
the details of the changed conditions of war, or the mod- 
ifications which they necessitate in the modern army. It 
is enough to say that the officer must be as intelligent 
and brave as heretofore, and more than this, he must be a 
student, and devote his time to his profession as has hith- 


erto been required of those who hoped to succeed in the 
law or in medicine. The days for the devil-may-care, hap- 
py-go-lucky leaders of forlorn hopes have passed. An ac- 
complished authority has declared that armies are no lon- 
ger machines — they are living organisms ; and the leaders 
of men in the line of the army must know all about tac- 
tics, and must not be without a knowledge of military sci 
ence in its higher applications. The heavy lines in battle 
have disappeared. Fighting must hereafter be done in 
dispersed order. The shoulder - to - shoulder movements, 
under fire, which gave confidence to the recruit standing 
side by side with • the veteran, will not be known in the 
successful armies of the future, but the dispersed order, 
where the individual discipline of the poorest soldier in 
the shock of battle is the measure by which the strength 
of armies must be tested. 

There is one reflection with which the people of this 
nation may be gratified, and that is that the material it 
possesses for the war-making of the future is superb. The 
pluck, intelligence, and self - reliance inherent in the An- 
glo-Saxon are the qualities which, properly handled, must 
make the best soldier for the modern army. But while 
we have the metal in the crude state, it needs reducing 
and refining to become the stuff of which armies are 

As it seems to be the policy of Congress not to increase 
the army to the strength thought necessary, it remains to 
devise the best means open for the Government to pre- 
pare, without an increase of the army, for the exigencies 
of war. The suggestions made by those who have studied 
this subject all look to an expansion of our present organi- 
zations for the purpose. With a view to this the infantry 
regiments should be given an organization to consist of 
three or four battalions, with a corresponding increase of 


officers. Then the details of the expansion could be ea- 
sily carried out, and our small army augmented to over 
100,000 men, composed in its increase of those who had 
seen service of one kind or another. Such an army might 
be strong enough to combat the advance of any foreign 
army which could be thrown on our shores, and the militia 
in volunteer organizations would form a " second line." 


TK England, from time immemorial, there has been an 
-*- instinctive dislike and distrust of a standing army.* 
In days gone by it was commonly regarded as a menace 
to what we believed to be our inherited liberties. When 
" divine right " carried real power with it, our kings gen- 
erally understood when it was necessary to give way with 
a generous grace to all just and strongly expressed popular 
demands. The strong and wise knew when to concede; 
the weak, foolish, obstinate, and shallow seldom perceived 
when the time had arrived for concession. The Tudor 
sovereigns belonged to the former, the Stuart kings to the 
latter class. Charles I. strove long and gallantly to coerce 
his people by means of an army, which, it may be said, was 
furnished by the landed gentry. Cromwell, one of the 
very greatest of our rulers, governed the country by means 
of an army with a grasp and power which no sovereign 
since his day could pretend to wield. His standing army 
of about 80,000 men was, I think, by far the finest in 
every respect that we know of in modern history. His 
government was essentially military, and the civil rights 
of the community were ignored when they clashed in any 
way with the army exigencies of the moment. In this re- 
spect Charles II. would have liked to follow in his foot- 
steps, but he lacked the spirit and courage to make the 
attempt, nor did he possess the self-abnegation which fail- 
ure would have entailed. His great dread always was 

* This was written in 1888-89, but the figures have been corrected to 


that he might have to begin again those " travels " which 
were associated in his mind with everything that made 
life miserable. His brother, James II., less wise, but more 
obstinate and daring, openly strove to rob the people of 
their civil and religious liberties by means of the standing 
army he had collected ostensibly for the suppression of 
Monmouth's rebellion. He was driven from the throne by 
William III. and his Dutch troops, backed up by a combi- 
nation of those who then possessed most power in Eng- 
land, and, above all things, helped by the influence which 
Lord Churchill was able to exert over that very standing 
army in which James, had placed so much reliance. Had 
the Prince of Orange failed — and I believe he would have 
failed if Churchill had thrown his conscientious scruples 
about Protestantism to the winds — James would certainly 
have ruled despotically without a Parliament by means of 
a standing army, as Cromwell had done. 

All through the reign of William III. the people evinced 
the greatest jealousy of the troops he kept constantly un- 
der arms. The nation was determined he should have 
only a few battalions to guard his person, and to garrison 
the scant number of fortified places on the coast we then 
possessed. Ungenerous as this conduct was towards a 
prince to whom they owed so much, with the events of 
the Commonwealth and of James II. so fresh in their 
recollection, it is little wonder that our forefathers should 
have had so great a dread of a permanently embodied 
army. This dread became an inherited prejudice with 
the English people, and continued to be an article of na- 
tional belief long after the danger which gave it birth had 
entirely disappeared. 

To this prejudice was added, later on, a strong dislike 
to an establishment whose members were governed by 
laws on entirely different lines from those under which 



the civil community existed. Then, again, the officers 
were drawn almost exclusively from the sons of peers and 
the landed gentry — an exclusiveness that did not add to its 
popularity. The idea of a military caste, separated from 
the general body of the people, was extremely distasteful 
to all classes. The debates in Parliament, when it was 
first proposed to build barracks for our soldiers at home, 
instead of having them billeted upon the public-houses 
indicate the prejudice which then existed against the 
army, and the objections entertained against any measure 
which tended to widen the gulf already existing between 
the soldier and the citizen. In fact, until lately, the sol- 
dier has never been permanently popular in England, 
whatever might be the feelings towards him in moments 
of great national danger. The following doggerel has 
always been only too true : 

"When war is rife and danger nigh, 
' God and the soldier ' is the people's cry ; 
When peace is made and all things righted, 
God's forgot and the soldier slighted." 

It was the creation of the Volunteer force which first 
gave the British soldier any good and permanent social 
position. That force so well represents all classes that its 
respect for the army on which it was modelled, and by 
whose members it was drilled and trained, has caused the 
soldier to be now regarded everywhere with general in- 

It is a curious fact that the objects for which our army 
exists have never been clearly defined. Its original purpose 
was the defence of the realm, to which was subsequently 
added that of aiding the civil power to maintain law and 
order. In the preamble to the annual "Mutiny Act," 
which governed the army until the passing of the "Army 


Act" in 1880, it was stated how the "raising or keeping 
a standing army at home in time of peace, unless with the 
consent of Parliament, is against law." It then recorded 
the decision of Parliament, " that a body of forces should 
be continued for the safety of the empire and the preser- 
vation of the balance of power in Europe." This policy 
of the " balance of power " had, I may say, been invented 
by William III., and the reference to it which I have 
quoted was retained in the preamble to our military code 
until 1868, when it disappeared forever. 

The early history of our oldest regiments would be a 
history of England .between the military but glorious rule 
of Cromwell and the accession of the house of Hanover. 
It would be impossible to attempt here even any bare re- 
cital of those regiments' names and titles. Two regiments 
of Foot and one of cavalry had their origin in our acquisi- 
tion of Tangier as part of poor Queen Catharine's dowry. 
In the reigns of Charles II. and James II., and for many 
reigns afterwards, most of our foot regiments consisted of 
only one battalion of from six to sixteen companies. In 
peace these companies were often reduced to only fifty 
men each ; but, as a rule, the company was composed of 
one captain, two lieutenants, two ensigns, three sergeants, 
three corporals, two or three drummers, and one hundred 
privates. The captain when on duty carried a pike, the 
lieutenants partisans, the ensigns half-pikes, and the ser- 
geants halberds. In each company of a hundred men 
thirty were armed with pikes fourteen feet long, sixty 
with matchlock muskets, thirteen with firelocks, and all 
carried swords besides. Not until 1745 were the swords 
taken from the private infantry soldier. In 1678 a grena- 
dier company was added to all regiments, each man of 
which carried a fusil with slings, and a bayonet, a grenade 
pouch, a hatchet fastened with a girdle, and a cartridge-box. 


This use of the grenade by the infantry soldier was con- 
tinued only to the end of the seventeenth century. The 
peculiar dress and special arms, etc., of these men are thus 
referred to in the old and well-known song of the " British 

"Then let us crown a bumper, 

And drink a health to those 
Who carry caps and pouches, 

Who wear the looped clothes ; 
We'll give it from our hearts, my boys, 

We'll give it with three cheers, 
Then huzza, huzza, huzza, huzza, 

For the British Grenadiers." 

Although grenades soon fell into disuse, the companies 
concerned continued to retain their name of grenadiers 
until quite recent years. The men in the Grenadier Com- 
pany were selected as being the tallest in the battalion, 
just as those of the Light Company were chosen for being 
the smartest, best drilled, and best shots in it. The flank 
companies of each battalion were thus composed of select- 
ed men, and during war it was a very common practice to 
form those of each Division or Brigade into one or more 
choice battalions. Altogether, this system of flank com- 
panies was a bad one, for in order to form two good com- 
panies in each battalion the remaining companies were 
almost emasculated. It exists no longer, but we perpetu- 
ate the name in the very old regiment now known as the 
" Grenadier Guards." 

The pikemen and musketeers wore round hats with 
broad brims turned up on one side, not at all unlike the 
present full-dress hat of the United States army. The 
grenadiers wore fur caps with high crowns, and crests 
made of fox tails. Evelyn in his diary mentions seeing 
this newly raised arm during a visit he paid to the camp 



at Hounslow in 1678. He says, " They had furr'd caps 
with coped crowns like Janizaries, which made them look 
very fierce, and some had long hoods hanging down be- 
hind, as we picture fools. Their clothing being likewise 
pybald, yellow and red." 

The practice of clothing soldiers, by regiments, in one 
uniform dress was not introduced by Louis XIV. till 1665, 
and did not become general in our army for many years 
afterwards. It is, however, curious to note, that for the 
hard marching and many bodily exercises which fall to 
the soldier's lot on active service, our army was more suit- 
ably dressed in the reigns of "William III. and of Queen 
Anne than it has been generally this century. We have 
lately done something to improve our style of soldier's 
dress, but no men tied up as ours are in tightly fitting tu- 
nics can do a satisfactory day's work during war. We 
dress our sailors for the work they have to do, but we still 
cling to a theatrical style of garments for the soldier. 
There are, however, some difficulties attached to this ques- 
tion of dress in an army raised, as ours is, on a system of 
voluntary enlistment. We must make the soldiers cloth- 
ing acceptable to the men who have to wear it, and, strange 
to say, they like very tightly fitting coats and trousers, to 
swagger about in with their sweethearts. They like those 
ridiculous forage-caps stuck on the side of their heads, and 
which are no protection from either sun or rain. I sup- 
pose the house-maid " Jill " prefers her soldier " Jack " in 
this outlandish costume, for in no other way can I under- 
stand why the wearers should like such tawdry and un- 
comfortable finery. The change hoped for generally is 
that we should have two costumes — one for active service 
and field manoeuvres, of the color we use in India — it is a 
light tawny, resembling that of the hare — and fitting very 
easily everywhere, especially about the throat ; the other, 


scarlet and very smart, and ornamented with braids and 
buttons as at present, to satisfy the young soldier and his 
"Mary Anne." In all our recent little wars we have used 
a special dress made for the occasion, and what we now 
want is to make that special dress the undress uniform of 
the army. Is there any one outside a lunatic asylum who 
would go on a walking tour, or shoot in the backwoods or 
the prairies, trussed and dressed as the British soldier is ? 
This applies to all ranks, for I confess to a feeling that the 
dressed-up monkey on a barrel-organ bears a strong resem- 


blance to the British general in his meaningless cocked hat 
and feathers of the last century, and in his very expen- 
sive coat, besmeared both before and behind with gold- 

From Queen Elizabeth's time to that of William III., 
each company carried a color, and the company was, in 
consequence, styled an " ensign." The latter monarch re- 
duced the number of colors to three per regiment — one 
for the pikemen in the centre, and one for the grenadiers 
and musketeers on each flank. Each arm had thus its own 
color in the event of its being separated from the others. 
In Queen Anne's reign the number of colors was reduced 
to two, at which it still remains. Modern arms of pre- 
cision, and the tactics they have rendered necessary, have, 
however, struck a death-blow at the use of colors in ac- 
tion. The color in the German army has been reduced to 
a pole, for when the silk part faded away and disappeared 
in the course of time, it was never renewed. This color- 
staff can be easily carried in action without attracting an 
enemy's attention, while our large silken colors cannot be 
so. We give each regiment and battalion new colors 
when the old ones are worn out, and consequently we have 
been forced in all our recent little wars to leave our col- 
ors behind. The general who would condemn any one 
to carry a large silk standard under a close musketry fire 
ought to be tried for murder. 

Until the days of Frederick the Great our men always 
stood on parade with their legs somewhat apart, as all or- 
dinary human beings do when standing still. It was then 
we introduced the grotesque absurdity of standing with 
heels close together. A child can push over sideways the 
tallest soldier when standing in this unnatural and con- 
strained position. Until we go back to the ordinary hab- 
its of man as regards his natural movements, we shall 


never get as much out of the soldier as he is able and 
willing to give the nation. 

When James II. came to the throne our standing army 
numbered about 20,000. The population of England was 
then about 5,000,000 — that is, one soldier to every 250 
people. Now the proportion is 1 to about 183. 

It was onr wars with France which made us a nation. 
It would seem that constant pressure from ever-present 
danger is required to consolidate the foundations on which 
alone true, sound nationality can be built up. The history 
of those wars is a proud record for the English-speaking 
race of all countries. But although our reputation for 
courage and dogged determination has been high in all 
ages, I think that our present military renown may be 
said to date no further back than to the victories of Marl- 
borough. For centuries we have plumed ourselves upon 
the glorious events of Crecy and Agincourt, but it was 
Marlborough who first showed Europe that England could 
not only produce stout soldiers, but also able generals to 
lead them. William III. was found great fault with be- 
cause he preferred to employ Dutch to English generals ; 
but the accusation was unfair. With the exception of 
Marlborough, we had no man then capable of conducting 
a war. The science of war had not been studied in Ene 1 - 
land, and even its arts were very imperfectly known. In 
Charles II.'s time we had to send to Holland or to France 
when we required a general. 

Until political faction had undermined Marlborough's 
reputation he was generally popular, and his popularity 
rested very much on the fact that he was the first Eng- 
lishman who had distinguished himself abroad as a gen- 
eral ; indeed, the first great English military leader since 
the regicide Cromwell. Marlborough showed astonished 

Europe that an English army, led by English officers, 


could triumph over the veteran armies of France, led by 
the ablest marshals of Louis XI Y. It may be said with all 
truth that the military spirit which characterized our army 
under Wellington, and which still animates her Majesty's 
troops, was born at Blenheim. 

Military service has never been very popular with the 
English people. Even in Anne's reign, when Marlbor- 
ough's victories gave glory and lustre to our arms, re- 
cruits were obtained with much difficulty. The jails were 
often emptied to send the prisoners as soldiers to Spain 
or Flanders. During Marlborough's glorious decade the 
press-gang was at work everywhere; all justices of the 
peace were authorized to use it. Only those who had 
votes for Parliament were exempt from its dreadful clutch- 
es, and the power it gave was often shamefully abused. 

We now obtain as many recruits as we require, and they 
are quite as good as those we used to obtain thirty years 
ago, or at any period during this century. ISTo one can 
have a higher opinion of our rank and file than I have. 
Yaried recollections of their daring valor when greatly 
outnumbered, their uncomplaining endurance, unquestion- 
ing obedience, and their devotion to Queen and country, 
endear them to me with the strongest ties. It is because 
of my regard and affection for them, as well as on public 
grounds, that I long to see all bad characters, and those 
who have no love for their trade, driven from the army. 
But to enable this to be done, a solid increase to the pay 
of the private soldier is indispensable. Without such in- 
crease we can never hope to compete for the best men in 
the open labor market. The number of recruits we re- 
quired annually was very small during peace, when men 
enlisted either for life or twenty-one years. The few who 
joined a regiment during the year could be easily hidden 
away in the rear rank until they " filled out " and grew to 





be men. We cannot do this now, for every corps requires 
from three to four times as many recruits as formerly, and 
the consequence is, battalions at home are so drained an- 
nually to sujjply trained soldiers to the foreign battalions 
of their own regiments that they consist almost entirely 
of young striplings. In the seventeenth and eighteenth 
century wars the men forced into the army by the press- 
gangs were kept as long as the Crown had use for them ; 
but those who enlisted voluntarily were engaged for only 
two or three years, or, still more commonly, for the dura- 
tion of the war. Men have, very naturally, always had a 
great repugnance to engaging for long periods ; and even 
with the high bounties we offered during the great war 
with Napoleon, we could only obtain lads so young and 
unformed as to be unfit for the fatigues of active service 
in the field. Whenever in our history we have experienced 
difficulty in obtaining the number of recruits required, we 
have invariably made it a practice to reduce the period for 
which the man was asked to engage. For instance, dur- 
ing the Crimean war we were glad to enlist mere boys — 
we could not obtain men — for two years. A short-service 
system is therefore nothing new in our army. How much 
men prefer short periods of enlistment was proved a few 
years ago when the numbers in our brigade of Foot Guards 
fell off very seriously. We could not obtain suitable re- 
cruits, so the period of service with the colors was reduced 
to three years, and with the best results. The brigade 
filled up to its establishment in a few months. There has 
been a great deal of a very misleading character said and 
written about our adoption of a short-service system, but 
the fact is, it was forced upon us. We could no longer 
keep the army up to its establishment under the old sys- 
tem ; so, if for no other reason, we should have been com- 
pelled to reduce the term of service with the colors. But 


there was another and a very cogent reason, namely, the 
necessity of creating an army reserve. To have left the 
army any longer without a good reserve would, in our next 
big war, have inevitably led to a military collapse and fail- 
ure similar to that which we experienced in 1854-55 when 
at war with Eussia. When our little army perished before 
Sebastopol, chiefly through the ignorance of the ministry 
which had sent it there, we had no troops in reserve to 
replace it. That lesson sank deeply into the minds of all 
thinking soldiers, and, as a consequence, the creation of an 
effective army reserve had long been called for. The sub- 
ject was never grappled with in any practical fashion un- 
til 1870, when Mr. Cardwell put it in the fore-front of the 
army reforms he meant to carry out. 

You may collect together in a few months a great mass 
of armed men that will do to fight another mass of men 
similarly organized and constituted, but all experienced 
soldiers know how ridiculous it would be to send newly- 
raised and untrained levies into action against a well- 
established regular army. As no State could afford to 
keep permanently under arms all the soldiers it would re- 
quire for a serious war, the present system of army re- 
serves has become general, and such reserves can only be 
obtained by a well-regulated short-service system. Our 
present system of Army Reserve is not satisfactory. The 
men are never called out for training, nor are they ever 
inspected to see that they are fit for work, or even in the 
country. To drill them for a fortnight every two years 
would cost money, so it must not be thought of. This is 
on a business par with the man who bought an expensive 
engine to protect his house from fire, but who would not 
pay the few shillings annually for the oil which was nec- 
essary to keep it in working order. 

The present establishment of the British standing army 

\^Ww rr -/j 





(all ranks included) is as follows : cavalry, 20,896 ; infan- 
try, 141,602 ; artillery, 35,902 ; engineers, 7420 ; colonial 
troops, 5239 ; departmental corps, 9702 ; staff of militia 
and volunteers, 6934; and miscellaneous establishments, 
857. This gives a total of, say, 228,000 of all ranks. The 
First Class Army Keserve now consists of about 80,000 
men, wmich, added to this total, gives a grand total for our 
standing army of, say, in round numbers, 308,000 men. 
The number of horses and mules — officers' chargers not 
included — is 25,871, of which a very small proportion are 
mules. The law forbids us ever to exceed by one man or 
horse at any time throughout the year the establishment 
fixed annually by Parliament ; so, with an army scattered 
all over the world, it is practically impossible to keep it 
actually up to that fixed number. As a matter of fact, we 
are generally now about one thousand under our estab- 
lishment. Our number of field guns on peace establish- 
ment is 600, to which 36 guns would be added upon the 
mobilization of the army. 

Of this army 72,648 British soldiers, 11,303 horses, and 
318 guns are in India; 36,126 men and 947 horses are 
abroad elsewhere ; the balance being at home. 

In addition to this, we have an Indian regular army of 
21,700 native cavalry, 109,000 native infantry, and 2000 
native artillery, all under the command of 1411 British 
officers. With the exception of 48 mounted guns, all the 
artillery in India is now English. From these figures it 
will be seen that of the army with which we hold India, 
not more than 36 per cent, are English, while 64 per cent. 
are natives. 

This article deals only with our regular army, but still 
it would be absurd to make no allusion in it to the yeo- 
manry, militia, and Yolunteer forces. I shall not attempt 
any description of them, but will content myself with giv- 


ing their numbers. The actual strength — all ranks includ- 
ed — f a ll the military forces of the Crown is as follows : 


Total of all Ranks 

At home 114,931 

Abroad 108,774 

First Class Army Reserve 80,000 

Militia Reserve for Regular Army 30,000—333,705 

Yeomanry Cavalry 11,000 

Militia, exclusive of Militia Reserve 108,000* 

Volunteers 260,000-379,000 

Native Army of India 134, 100 

Grand Total 846,805 

Besides the numbers here given there are about 800,000 
men who have been trained as Volunteers, one-quarter of 
whom, it is calculated, would be available for the defence 
of the country if the emergency were great. I do not 
profess to enter upon the strength of the military forces 
maintained by Canada, Australia, and our other colonies, 
but they are of great importance. Their importance will 
be fully recognized by the world whenever God in His 
mercy is pleased to send us a statesman wise enough and 
great enough to federate and consolidate into one united 
British Empire all the many lands and provinces w T hich 
acknowledge Queen Victoria as their sovereign. 

The organization of our infantry of the line is based 
on the theory — I regret it is still only a theory— that one 
half of the battalions should be at home, the other abroad. 
This balance is, however, often disturbed, for many years 
together, by foreign complications — the occupation of 
Egypt, for example ; but the measures prescribed by our 
military system to meet these contingencies are never 

* Includes Channel Isles milita. 



carried out by any government. The reason for this un- 
businesslike departure from our accepted military system 
is, that to readjust that balance would require the addi- 
tion of some battalions to the army, and would consequent- 
ly entail expense, owing to the somewhat larger estab- 
lishment of men we should require. The result of this 



false economy is, that our whole military machinery is al- 
ways seriously strained, and that, in order to make " both 
ends meet " we have to send young and immature youths 
to fill up the annual wear and tear of our battalions 

This expedient leads to increased mortality, more young 
soldiers in hospitals, a larger number sent home annual- 
ly for discharge as invalids, and consequently a larger 
number of recruits to take their places. These broken- 
down and starving creatures, who are to be found in our 
workhouses and as beggars on every highway, bring the 
army into disrepute among the classes from which we 
obtain recruits. There never was a more cruel or a 
more short-sighted or a more unbusinesslike policy than 
that of sending immature youths to do the work of men 
soldiers in India and in other very hot countries. But 
until the home establishments have been augmented, and 
the balance restored between the number of battalions 
abroad and those at home which have to annually supply 
the former with drafts of trained soldiers, our present 
vicious, dangerous, and unbusiness-like practice will have 
to be continued. The British soldier is now enlisted for 
twelve years, seven of which, if at home, and eight if in 
India, are spent with the colors, the remainder as a civil- 
ian in the First Class Army Reserve. In our depart- 
mental service we seldom keep the private soldier more 
than three or four years, the remainder of his term of 
twelve years being passed in the army reserve. In the 
Foot Guards, also, the men are only enlisted for three 
years' color service. Those household troops never go 
abroad during peace, so there is no difficulty in carry- 
ing out this very short service system with them. It is 
very much to be regretted that we cannot extend that 
system to the whole of the army. It would vastly in- 


crease the popularity of our military service if we could 
do so. 

A far larger proportion of well-to-do men enlist now than 
formerly. The advantages which the non-commissioned 
officer enjoys, both in pay and pension, are at last begin- 
ning to be generally known, and men enlist for the career 
thus offered to all w^ell-behaved and fairly-educated men. 
Many sons of gentlemen also enlist now in the hope of 
obtaining commissions. Fifty-three sergeants became of- 
ficers in 18S6; in 1S87 the number was fifty- one; and 
in 1888, up to September 1st, forty-five commissions were 
given to men from the ranks. In one regiment not long- 
ago the colonel told me he had thirty sons of gentle- 
men in the ranks, whose influence he assured me had im- 
proved the tone of the whole regiment. A large propor- 
tion of these young gentlemen come from those who have 
failed to obtain commissions by competitive examination. 
The pay of a private soldier of a line infantry regiment 
— which is the smallest man's rate of pay in the army 
— is Is. per diem. In addition to his pay he receives 
a daily ration of three-quarters of a pound of meat and 
one pound of white bread. During peace everything else 
he requires as food he has to purchase from his daily pay. 
When on active service he is well fed free of all charge. 

There has been a great deal of nonsense talked and 
written of late about the insufficiency of the soldier's 
food. The fact is, he gets plenty to eat, but he has to 
pay for much of it out of his own pocket. Examine any 
corps on parade, and the plump, ruddy appearance of the 
men will prove how w r ell he is fed. In addition to the 
daily rations, which I have already described, every com- 
pany mess purchases tea, sugar, milk, vegetables, etc., at 
a daily cost of about Z\d. to each man. Most men also 
buy in their canteens beer, hot sausages, butter, jam, and 


other luxuries. In his recreation-room the soldier can be 
served at all hours with good tea, coffee, bread-and-but- 
ter, etc. The question for the Government to consider is 
how much of the soldier's daily food is to be paid for by 
the State. 

Except when on guard or other duty, the soldier is gen- 
erally master of his own time after 3 o'clock p.m. He has 
to be in barracks at 9 or 9.30 p.m., according to the season 
of the year, but all fairly behaved men can obtain passes 
to stay out till midnight, to go to a play or other late 

Every well-behaved soldier begins to draw Id. a da} r 
extra as good-conduct pay when he has been two years 
in the army. For every year that he serves with the 
colors he earns £3, which is given to him in a lump sum 
when he passes into the reserve at the end of seven years' 
service, or whenever he is sent to the reserve on public 
grounds before that period. He thus takes away with 
him into civil life a little capital, which helps him to es- 
tablish himself in some business. While in the First 
Class Army Reserve he receives 6d. per diem, and when 
the full term of twelve years for which he enlisted has 
expired, if he be a good soldier, he can re-engage in the 
Supplemental Reserves for four years more, receiving pay 
at the rate of M, a day. Of course while in either of 
these reserves he is liable to be recalled to the colors 
at any moment in the event of war. 

Those who are allowed to re-engage to complete twen- 
ty-one years' army service, at the expiration of that time 
receive pensions, the lowest of which is Is. per diem. If, 
when discharged, they are non-commissioned officers, they 
obtain pensions for life of twice, three, and even four times 
what the private soldier is given. No man can now become 
a sergeant unless he passes a good educational examination. 




The necessity for amusement is fully recognized in our 
army, and regimental officers do a great deal to amuse 
and make their men happy. A love of cricket, foot-ball, 
quoits, and all other manly out-of-door games is fostered 
in every corps, and the officers join freely in them with 
their men. This does much to maintain the good feeling 
and comradeship between officers and privates, which has 
always been strong in our army. I am sorry to say that 
much yet remains to be done by the Government in the 
way of making the men's barrack -rooms more habitable 
and comfortable. More light in the evenings and far bet- 
ter fires in the cold weather are required. We cannot ex- 
pect men to sit night after night in their present cheerless, 
comfortless, and dreary sleeping -rooms, for with us the 
soldier has his meals in the room where he sleeps, and 
where he is also supposed to sit with his comrades at 
night. An excellent canteen, and a recreation-room are, 
however, now provided in almost every barrack. They 
are entirely self-supporting institutions, and all profits 
earned by them are spent for the benefit of the soldier. 
In fact, these institutions are very much like ordinary 
clubs. In the latter the soldier can have good extra 
meals, and in the former plenty of beer on payment. He 
has bagatelle and billiard tables ; plenty of books and 
newspapers are provided for his amusement ; and in many 
places there are good barrack theatres for private theatri- 
cals. Fives courts, skittle-alleys, and quoit -grounds are 
also to be found in most barracks. Altogether, his life is 
by no means a bad one, and he has enjoyments and 
amusements and creature comforts unknown to his broth- 
er in civil life. 

The present standing army may be said to date from 
the reign of King Charles II., although some few of the 
oldest regiments claim, and with justice, to date back to 


the previous century. Cromwell's army, which was dis- 
banded at the Kestoration, was certainly the best, most 
disciplined, most sober, and most highly trained army we 
have ever had in England. The reason for this is easily 
understood. Whereas at present we make no attempt to 
compete in the great labor market for others than the 
youngest and poorest hewers of wood and drawers of 
water, Cromwell paid his men so well that he induced 
those best suited for a soldier's life to join his ranks. 

He fixed the pay of the private soldier of the remod- 
elled parliamentary army considerably above the rates 
paid them for ordinary labor, and so attracted to his 
ranks a class of men morally and physically superior to 
those who have since then composed the bulk of our 
army. If now we would only offer as pay and rations 
what the United States soldier receives we should obtain 
all the recruits we want, a far larger number of eligible 
men would seek to enlist, and we could then afford to 
be more fastidious and particular as regards the health, 
strength, moral qualities, and social position of those we 
enlist. Such a proposal would, of course, shock the regu- 
lar Treasury official ; but I verily believe it would, in the 
long-run, pay the nation hand over hand to do so. Not 
only would such a system provide us with a far more 
efficient army than any we have had since Cromwell's 
time, but in the end it would be an economical plan. We 
should save large sums in both our hospitals and prisons. 
Fewer men would be annually enlisted with such weak 
constitutions that they break down in the first years 
training, or are sent home early in their career as invalids 
from foreign stations, to fill our hospitals and increase our 
pension list. We should have far fewer men in prisons 
all over the world, for we would enlist no suspicious char- 
acters, and a bad man found out would be at once dis- 


charged. The annual loss from these causes would be less, 
and consequently we should require fewer recruits an- 
nually. I am certain it would pay us well to give every 
soldier at home and abroad, when at his duty, 6d. a day 
at least in addition to his present pay, and to make his 
barracks comfortable by lighting and heating them prop- 
erly. This is a big question, but it is one which well de- 
serves the serious attention of the people, and unless they 
take it up seriously, no ministry is ever likely to do so. 

The charms and romance of a soldier's life, the variety 
of scene and incident which army service affords to all 
ranks, will never fail to attract the roving, adventurous, 
and ambitious spirits of all classes. But the supply from 
this source is not large enough or sufficiently constant 
during peace for our wants. The better classes, who now 
only enlist in small numbers, would flock to the army if 
we could protect them from the undesirable associates to 
be met with in all barrack-rooms under our present sys- 
tem of low pay. At present we only offer boy's wages, 
so, as a rule, we only obtain boy recruits. It ought not 
to require much genius or brains to understand that a 
standing army only about 220,000 strong, more than one- 
half of which is always abroad, cannot be in a healthy or 
effective condition that has to absorb annually into its 
ranks between 30,000 and 40,000 young lads, and that has 
to send abroad every year about 19,000 or 20,000 trained 
soldiers to maintain the corps in our foreign garrisons at 
their established strength. Our best officers who have 
most studied the question tell us that the army at its pres- 
ent strength cannot effectively fulfil the many duties im- 
posed upon it at home and abroad. 

Under our present short-service system we require an- 
nually from about 25,000 to 40,000 recruits. Of those 
who present themselves for enlistment, we reject for vari- 


ous medical reasons from about 50 to 55 per cent. If we 
offered the British soldier the same pay and rations that 
are given in the United States army, the number of desir- 
able young men anxious to enlist would be so much larger 
than at present that we could afford to reject a larger 
percentage than we do. That extra percentage of rejec- 
tions would cover all the cases of doubtful physique which 
we are now forced to accept in order to keep our ranks 
full. The physical standard for our recruits is higher 
than for any other European army ; but as a man's age is 
not to be ascertained by his teeth, we are obliged to accept 
the ages stated by the men themselves. We are supposed 
to accept only those between the ages of eighteen and 
twenty-five, and in order to protect the army as far as pos- 
sible against youths below the minimum age, we have laid 
down what we assume to be its fair physical equivalents. 
If the recruit possesses them, he is accepted ; but, as might 
be expected, we are often taken in by youths under that 
minimum age. 

To somewhat alleviate the evils attendant upon this un- 
fortunate system of boy recruits, Parliament, I rejoice to 
say, has forbidden any to be sent to India who, if under 
twenty years of age, have not been one year in the army. 
Had Parliament gone thoroughly into the matter it would, 
I think, have fixed that period at two years instead of 
one. Putting aside altogether the inhumanity of sending 
immature lads to India and other tropical climates, com- 
mon-sense tells us how much wiser and more economical 
it would be to send there none but trained men soldiers. 
To do this would require an addition to the army estab- 
lishments at home ; an increase which sooner or later we 
must have for defensive purposes if our coaling stations 
abroad, and our coasts at home are to be rendered secure. 

We pride ourselves upon being a practical, business-like 


people, and so we are in our private concerns ; but as a 
government we are often short-sighted and penny -wise 
and pound-foolish about the army. The present adminis- 
tration has done much to supply our military shortcom- 
ings, but much still remains to be done. Until public 
opinion forces us to keep the army sufficiently strong to 
enable it to properly discharge the duties imposed upon 
it with due regard to the health of the men, and until we 
deal with our soldiers on the business principles on which 
the United States treat theirs as to food and pay, short of 
resorting to some form or other of compulsory service, it 
is impossible that it can ever be as efficient and as useful 
as it ought to be. At present we are like the "jerry" 
builders who use poor materials — soft deals, for example, 
where there should be seasoned oak. The officers must, 
however, do the best they can with the raw material sup- 
plied them by the State ; that it is not as good as it should 
be, and that they are not permitted to keep it longer to 
season in England, is not their fault. They do their best 
to let the people know the truth ; they cannot do more. 

Because our army is so small for the amount of work it 
has to do all over the world, it should be composed of 
first-class materials only. It should have the best men as 
soldiers, and the best arms and equipment that money 
can purchase. There may be two opinions as to what its 
numbers should be, but there is no one silly enough to say 
we should be content with boys instead of men ; with ob- 
solete guns and rifles in place of the best modern weapons. 
If the army were governed upon a purely military system, 
upon common business principles, it would soon be for its 
numbers the finest in Europe, which it certainly is not at 
present, and the gain to the nation would be incalculable. 

Thanks to the enlightened views on army matters enter- 
tained by the late Prince Consort, the army was provided 


with a rifle musket in 1854. We were thus well ahead of 
the French, Russians, Turkish, and Sardinian armies in 
the Crimea. At present we have in use the Martini-Henry 
rifle, an excellent arm, but now being replaced by a supe- 
rior magazine weapon. The new arm is of 0.303-inch 
calibre, and is believed to be equal to all and superior to 
most of the magazine arms now being adopted by other 
European nations. 

The armament of our field artillery still leaves much to 
be desired. If we mobilized now for the defence of the 
kingdom, the Volunteer field artillery would turn out with 
guns of three calibres, some loading at the breech, others 
at the muzzle, and all different from the guns of the 
standing army. This is and has long been our condition, 
although the most ignorant soldier is well aware of how 
pregnant with disaster in battle such a condition of things 
must be. 

I leave all experienced soldiers to estimate the confu- 
sion, possibly ending in disaster, which this medley of 
breech-loaders and muzzle-loaders of many different cali- 
bres would entail had we now to mobilize all our military 
forces to fight for our national existence. 

The command of the army is vested in a general officer. 
He is controlled in all his actions outside the military 
training of the troops by the Secretary of State for war. 
He may point out that the forts for the protection of our 
ports and arsenals and dock-yards are badly and insuffi- 
ciently armed, and that the garrisons of our foreign for- 
tresses — without the aid of which our fleets could not in 
these days of steam keep the seas — are dangerously small. 
But not only has he no power to correct all this, but his 
opinions on these subjects of life and death consequence 
to the empire are not made known to the people. In fact, 
the British nation has no recognized means of ascertaining 

t?. Ote-W.^-.'' 



what its best soldiers and sailors think of the strength 
and state of the army and navy. It is content to take the 
opinion of whosoever may be the two civilian ministers 
whom the accidents and exigencies of the party govern- 
ment have for the nonce made responsible for those two 
great services. 

Our system of military administration has been growing- 
more and more civilian in character since the days of 
Wellington. Then, the Commander-in-chief had far more 
power and influence in the decision of military questions 
than at present. Then, the supply of guns, arms, ammuni- 
tion, and of all sorts of military materials was in the hands 
of an officer selected on account of great experience in 
war. He was styled the Master-general of the Ordnance. 
He was a member of the Government, and often a cabinet 
minister. He was, in fact, the adviser of the Government 
on all military matters. That office was abolished, and at 


present all this duty of supply, which requires great tech- 
nical training and military experience, is relegated to a 
civilian member of Parliament. Soldiers don't think the 
arrangement a good one. 

Our army has far greater practice in war than that of 
any other nation. At this moment we may be said to 
have three little wars on hand, besides having a number 
of officers engaged in the defence of Suakin, which is be- 
sieged by the Arabs.* If there were a temple of Janus in 
England, it would seldom be closed, and never for long. 
While the armies of other European powers can only gain 
annually some insight into war with the blank ammunition 
fired during autumn manoeuvres, Queen Yictoria's soldiers 
learn their lesson with ball-cartridge fired in real warfare, 
and with almost annually recurring regularity. It is the 
varied experience, and frequent practice in war, provided 
for our officers by the nature of our wide-extending em- 
pire, which makes them what I believe them to be — the 
best in the world. A far larger proportion of them know 
the sensation of being under fire than, those of any other 
army. Other things besides this frequent practice of war 
also contribute to make the English officer what he is. 
He belongs to the class which has at all times been the 
backbone of the nation. As an English gentleman, he is 
by birth what we believe to be the representative of all 
that is noblest, most manly, brave, and honorable in hu- 
man nature. His innate love of sport in every form drives 
him to the remotest corners of the earth. You will find 
him climbing Alpine mountains, crossing Swiss glaciers, 
tiger shooting in Bengal, hunting lions in equatorial Afri- 
ca, or other big game amid the snows of Thibet. To 
ride well to hounds is one of his cherished ambitions, and, 

* This was written in 1888-89. 


as a matter of course, he loves cricket, polo, and all manly 
out-of-door games. All these experiences train him to a 
self-reliance unknown to the men of other nations. In 
fact, the British officer is by birth and education the nat- 
ural leader of the British private, who has the same sport- 
loving instincts. The officer of to-day is a far better sol- 
dier in every way than his predecessors of thirty or forty 
years ago. In future it is intended only to accept men as 
officers on probation. The period of this probation is to 
be three years, and if at the expiration of that period, or 
at any time within it, the young officer be found wanting 
in zeal, energy, ability, tact, or character, he will be ruth- 
lessly discharged. The nation cannot afford to pay useless 
officers, and, above all things, it must not allow them to 
be intrusted with the lives of gallant soldiers. 

There are and long have been two distinct schools of 
thought in our army. One of pure and simple conserva- 
tism, whose articles of faith are based upon the fact that 
our army under Wellington overthrew, time after time, 
the finest armies of France. This school flourishes almost 
exclusively among our older officers. The other, the 
young school, wishes to make the army a profession, and 
has " progress" for its motto. The men of the new school 
wish to see every encouragement given in the adoption of 
new ideas, while all that is best in the sentiment and tra- 
dition of our old army is retained. They wish to see the 
able and hard-working officer selected for promotion, and 
the stupid and lazy passed over. This is the system we 
have long followed in making our non-commissioned offi- 
cers, and it answers admirably. The young school want 
to know why it is not followed in the promotion of offi- 
cers? The system of cold seniority kills all emulation, 
and is a serious bar to all efficiency. The young school 
want to have the army ruled and administered upon sound 


and simple business principles. Our ancestors gave up the 
long-bow when it grew out of date, and we have in this 
century given up the use of the flint musket, with which so 
much of our military glory was associated. We now begin 
to recognize that all our old-fashioned stiff dress and formal 
drill would be as much out of place on the field of battle 
of to-day as the cross-bow would have been at Waterloo. 
We see that it is now necessary to train the army for war 
instead of, as heretofore, drilling it for parade. We have 
at last awoke to the conviction that Ave must cease to train 
our men for a condition of warfare that Ave can neA r er see 
again, for war will not conform its procedure to the pict- 
uresque notions Ave had formed of it from field-days and 
from the pages of Napier. We must closely study in the 
history of recent Avars Avhat battles now are really like, 
how they are conducted, how they are lost and won, and 
train our soldiers for those new conditions. 

Armies to be efficient must not stand still, and ours, 
Avhich is so very small, and has such wide extending duties 
to perform, can least afford to do so. 



AFTER the close of the war of 1870-71, from which 
- Germany came forth as a national unity, it was de- 
sired that visible expression should be given to the latter 
by a uniform organization of the German military forces. 
The necessary provisions have been embodied in the Im- 
perial Constitution of April 16, 1871. 

Its first article provides that all German States shall 
constitute a federal territory under the name of the 
" German Empire," over which the King of Prussia pre- 
sides as " German Emperor." The Emperor has the pow- 
er, in the name of the empire, to declare war and to con- 
clude peace ; a declaration of war, however, being subject 
to the consent of the Federal Council, composed of rep- 
resentatives of the members of the federation, except in 
case of an invasion of the territory of the federation or 
its coasts. 

The entire land forces of the empire form a union army 
under the command, in war and in peace, of the Emperor, 
who has the power and whose duty it is to see to it that 
every part of the army is complete in numbers and in 
fighting trim, and that uniformity is established and pre- 
served as to organization and formation, armament and 
equipment. The Emperor also regulates, by way of impe- 
rial legislation, the active strength, formation, and dis- 
tribution of the several contingents composing the impe- 
rial armv. 


In conformity with the treaty of federation of Novem- 
ber 23, 1870, the above-cited provisions do not apply to 
Bavaria, the Bavarian troops, however, being pledged to 
render in war-time unconditional obedience to the orders 
of the commander-in-chief of the federation. The Bava- 
rian army, therefore, forms a distinctive contingent of the 
imperial army, Avith an entirely independent administra- 
tion. While her army budget is not submitted to the 
consideration of the Eeichstag, Bavaria has pledged her- 
self to expend for her army the same amount propor- 
tionally as is per capita appropriated by federal legisla- 
tion for the remainder of the federal army. Eegarding 
formation, strength, armament, and equipment, the Ba- 
varian army corps are perfectly assimilated to the other 
army corps. 

Unless otherwise provided by distinctive conventions, 
the reigning princes of the federation appoint the officers, 
and are themselves the chiefs of the military contingents 
belonging to their own territories. 

The military relations of the several States are regulated 
by distinctive conventions. While Saxony and Wiirtem- 
berg put up an army corps each for herself, the other con- 
tingents are amalgamated with the Prussian army. 

All expenses for army purposes are included in the 
budget for the maintenance of the empire, and any 
savings made on army appropriations do not revert to 
the different States, but invariably to the imperial treas- 

While the most important provisions of the Military 
Constitution are thus contained in the Constitution of the 
Empire, additional provisions, such as to the strength in 
peace-time — that is, the number of men actually kept 
under arms and forming the peace army, their organiza- 
tion and completion, discharge from service, and service 


relations of those absent on furlough — are contained in 
the military law of the empire of May 2, 1874, which has 
been repeatedly amended in the course of time. By its 
original provisions the peace strength was placed, up to 
December 31, 1881, at 401,659 non-commissioned officers 
and men (not including officers and one-year volunteers) ; 
this number was increased, after April 1, 1881, to 427,274 ; 
after April 1, 1887, to 468,409 ; and after October 1, 1891, 
to 486,983 men. Adding to these 22,000 officers, surgeons, 
and bureau officials, and also 7000 one-year volunteers, we 
have a total strength of 516,000, which is still 30,000 less 
than the force which the French Republic deems abso- 
lutely necessary to keep constantly under arms. 

In reference to distribution and organization of the im- 
perial army, the amendment to the military law of the 
empire, passed January 27, 1890, provides that an army 
corps shall be formed of two or three divisions, with the 
corresponding artillery, pioneer, and train formations, and 
that the entire land forces of the German Empire shall 
consist of twenty army corps, of which Bavaria furnishes 
two, Wiirtemberg and Saxony one each, while Prussia, 
together with the remaining States, puts up sixteen army 
corps. For military purposes the territory of the empire 
is divided into nineteeen corps districts (Bezirke), the 
Prussian guard corps recruiting throughout the whole 
Kingdom of Prussia. 

A comparison of the peace strengths of the armies of 
the Continental powers of Europe shows that Germany 
stands but third on the list, and keeps a smaller number 
of men under arms than either Russia or France, while it 
has a stronger peace army than Austro-Hungary or Italy. 
The number of troops kept in active service by the above- 
named powers in time of peace is shown by the following 
exhibit, giving the different figures for October 1, 1890 : 





Germany. ...... 
























Every German is liable to service, and in the perform- 
ance of this duty no substitute is allowed. By adhering 
to this principle, which has sprung up in Prussia under 
the necessities of a grave time, but was accompanied by 
brilliant success, a people's army has been created in the 
truest acceptation of the term. Exempt from compulsory 
service are only the members of the reigning or formerly 
sovereign houses, to whom this exemption has been se- 
cured by distinctive treaties, who, however, without ex- 
ception, deem it proper to enter the army. 

The liability to service commences with the completion 
of the 17th year, and ends with the 45th year of a man's 
life. The time is divided between service in the ranks and 
in the defence of the country (Landsturm). During his 
liability to service every German has to serve in the ranks, 
generally from the 20th year of his life up to the 31st of 
March of that calendar year in which he attains the age 
of 39. This period is subdivided into active service in the 
ranks, the Landwehr, and the Ersatz reserve. All liable 
to service, but not enrolled for active duty in the ranks, 
are subject to Landsturm duty. Unqualified for duty are 
those not capable of bearing arms or undergoing the hard- 
ships connected with the military profession ; all criminals 
are excluded from the honor of belonging to the army. 


During the time a man belongs to the army he serves 
3 years in the ranks, 4 in the reserve, then he belongs for 
5 years to the first levy of the Lanclvvehr, up to his 39th 
year to the second levy of the Landwehr, and, finally, up 
to his 45th year to the Landsturm. The time of active 
service in the ranks is reduced to one year in the case of 
young men of education and means, who bear all ex- 
penses of clothing, equipment, and support, and pass a 
certain examination; also in the case of graduates from 
teachers' seminaries, who, in the interest of public educa- 
tion, may be allowed to pass into the reserve after a short 
instruction in the usage of arms, generally confined to a 
period of only six weeks. 


Not all the men, however, enrolled for three years' ac- 
tive army service are kept continually under arms for this 
whole period. As the strength of any troop must under 
no circumstance be exceeded, and the number of recruits 
is generally larger than the number of men whose regular 
term expires, a select number of such men as excel in con- 
duct and training receive their discharge in the second 
year at the close of the fall manoeuvres, and are placed at 
the disposal of their troop. 

The Ersatz reserve is made up of such as have not been 
enlisted, either because of being above the required num- 
ber of men, or of having been found only conditionally 
fit, owing to some physical infirmity. The term of service 
in the Ersatz reserve is 12 years, after which these men 
are subject to Landsturm duty up to their 45th year. 
They may be called out in case of mobilization, or in 
order to fill up the army, and for the formation of depot 
troops (Ersatz Truppen). The duty of the Landsturm, 
finally, is to take part in the defence of the country. The 
Landsturm is called out by imperial order. 

Voluntary entry into the army is permitted at the age 
of IT years ; these young men have the privilege of choos- 
ing their own garrison and troop. Some regiments recruit 
chiefly from such volunteers, as, for instance, the Ziethen 

The number of recruits to be raised every year is deter- 
mined by the Emperor, according to the demands made by 
the different parts of the army, and this number is appor- 
tioned among the several States of the Federation in pro- 
portion to their population. Recruits are generally en- 
rolled in the same army corps district in which they are 
raised. An exception from this rule is made in the case 
of the Prussian guard corps, which is recruited through- 
out all Prussian provinces and Alsace-Lorraine, and to 


which are assigned recruits of superior personal appear- 
ance and behavior. The recruits raised in Alsace-Lorraine 
are at present assigned to Prussian regiments. 

The entire forces of the reserve, Ersatz reserve and 
Landwehr, continue beyond the term of their active service 
to be subject to the control of their respective district com- 
manders, so that the abode, occupation, and number of 
men on leave residing in any one district can be ascer- 
tained at any time. The reservists have to take part in 
two field exercises of 8 weeks' duration each ; the Land- 
wehr men of the first levy in two of 2 weeks' duration 
each. Neither the Landwehr of the second levy nor the 
Landsturm is called out in times of peace. Those assigned 
to the Ersatz reserve have to participate in three exercises 
covering together a period of 20 weeks. 

The institution of the one -year volunteers, originally 
introduced in Prussia, and afterwards adopted b} T all large 
armies of the Continent, requires some remarks explana- 
tory of its importance and peculiarity. The reduction in 
the active army service from three years to one implies 
unquestionably a privilege for certain classes of the popu- 
lation which is not otherwise recognized in the organiza- 
tion of the German army; yet it is just as unquestionably 
in the interest of the people that the studies of those 
striving for a higher standard of learning in the profes- 
sional branches should not be interrupted by a full term 
of three years. 

A young man may be enlisted as one-year volunteer 
either upon passing a scientific examination, or by pro- 
ducing a certificate of maturity issued by one of the spe- 
cially authorized educational institutions attesting his 
qualification for one of the upper classes of a high school 
or college. The one-year service may be rendered in the 
ranks of any troop of the choice of the volunteer, or 



among the pharmacists of the sanitary corps. Medical 
students desiring to enter the sanitary corps have to serve 
six months under arms, and after their graduation six 
months more in the capacity as non-commissioned or un- 
der -surgeon. Having afterwards been elected military 
surgeons, they may be passed into the reserve. All other 
one-year volunteers, so far as they are qualified by gen- 
eral education, military ability, and zeal, are trained for 
the rank of officers of the reserve or Landwehr. They 


receive, accordingly, particularly careful instruction, both 
theoretical and practical, and at the close of their term of 
service, and upon passing the officers' examination, they 
are assigned to the reserve as reserve officer aspirants. 
As such they have to render active service in two exer- 
cises of 8 weeks' duration each, for the purpose of further 
training for the rank of officer. The appointment to this 
rank depends, firstly, upon the civic occupation of the ap- 
plicant, which must command a respect corresponding to 
that due the rank of an officer ; secondly, upon an election 
by his comrades. 

The expenses connected with the service of one -year 
volunteers are by no means inconsiderable, and may be 
estimated at 1500 marks in the infantry, and from 1600 
to 2000 marks in the cavalry and field artillery, as service 
in the latter arms requires extra contributions for the use 
and maintenance of the troop horses. In exceptional 
cases, and on proof of indigency, a few one-year volun- 
teers may be supported at public expense, and allowed to 
lodge in the barracks. 



The executive organs of the administration of the army 
are the War Ministries at Berlin, Munich, Dresden, and 
Stuttgart, for the Prussian, Bavarian, Saxon, and Wiir- 
temberg contingents, headed each by a general officer of 
superior rank as War Minister. The War Ministries reg- 
ulate and conduct all affairs regarding the completion, 
maintenance, armament, and administration of the mili- 
tary forces and war materials. There is no War Ministry 
of the empire, all orders of the Emperor, as well as newly 
prepared or altered regulations, being conveyed through 


the Prussian War Ministry to the War Ministries of the 
other States, by which they have to be put in force in 
their armies. The Prussian War Ministry at Berlin, hav- 
ing a personnel of 390 officers and officials of every rank 
(in the French War Ministry more than 800 officers and 
officials are employed), is, therefore, the centre from which 
issue all measures of organization and administration. Its 
work is divided among the Central Departments; the Gen- 
eral War Department, comprising the army, fortification, 
and foot and horse divisions ; the departments for finan- 
cial management, invalids, and armament, and the supply 
and medical divisions. 

Besides, there are a number of other boards and insti- 
tutions under immediate orders of the War Minister, who 
has also to represent the army in the Keichstag. 


In Prussia all affairs relating to the personnel of officers 
and military officials are attended to by the Military Cab- 
inet, which is placed directly under the Emperor, and 
forms a distinctive division of the War Department. Its 
chief is the Adjutant-general of the Emperor and King ; 
he has to submit to the decision of the supreme command- 
er all matters relating to appointments, promotion, and 
discharge of officers, also applications for pardon made by 
military persons. 


This commission has to examine into and consider all 
questions touching the erection, completion, or abandon- 
ment of forts, as also more important questions of organi- 
zation and training. It receives its orders from and re- 
ports to the Emperor directly. After his retirement from 
the position of Chief of the General Staff, General Field- 



marshal Count von Moltke was placed at the head of this 
commission. His successor is General Field - marshal 
Prince Albrecht of Prussia, Regent of the Duchy of 


The Chief of the General Staff of the Prussian Army 
occupies an independent position, co-ordinate to the War 
Minister, and responsible for the conduct of his office to 
the Emperor directly. He is assisted by three quarter- 
masters-general, who, in case of war, are appointed chiefs 
of the general staffs of the chief commanders of armies. 
There is no exclusive corps of general staff officers, these 
being selected from the standing army, into which they 
return after a number of years' service on the general 

In the field the general staff has to attend to all mat- 
ters touching the movement, quartering, and engagement 
of troops, and to the drawing up of orders. The officers 
of the general staff are the assistants of the generals com- 
manding to whom they are assigned. They must be pos- 
sessed, besides clearness of thought and perspicuity of ex- 
pression, of the gift of quick conception, of indefatigable 
working faculties, and of a high degree of military train- 
ing. Their duties are extensive and arduous, but of a 
thankful character. 

In peace the majority of general staff officers are en- 
gaged at work at the Great General Staff of the army 
at Berlin, which is divided into a department of military 
history, four departments for the study of foreign armies 
and seats of war, and the railway division. On the last 
devolves the disposition of all matters relating to the use 
of railways by military forces. The remainder of the 
general staff officers are detailed to the army corps and 


divisions. A special branch of the Great General Staff is 
serving purely scientific purposes. Under the immediate 
supervision of the Chief of the Great General Staff are 
placed the Railway Brigade, the survey of the empire — 
comprising the trigonometrical, topographical, and carto- 
graphical divisions — and the War Academy at Berlin. 
Into the last, officers especially recommended for ability 
and zeal are admitted after passing an appropriate exami- 
nation. During a course lasting three years they receive 
a careful training in the military and auxiliary sciences, 
which qualifies them afterwards for appointment on the 
general staff as aides-de-camp or teachers. The attend- 
ance at this academy is, however, not an indispensable 
condition for admission to the general staff. The number 
of officers detailed to the latter is about 300. 

Bavaria has her own military academy at Munich ; 
Saxon and "Wiirtemberg officers participate in the course 
of the Prussian academy. 

The Chief of the Great General Staff of the army is 
General Count von Schlieffen, who in February, 1891, suc- 
ceeded Count von Waldersee, who had, in 1888, been pro- 
moted to this eminent position as successor of General 
Field - marshal Count von Moltke, to whose genius the 
army owes the splendid organization of this training- 
school for superior army officers. 


Upon the military intendancies devolves the duty of 
regulating all matters relating to the maintenance, pay- 
ment, and quartering of the troops. In war they have also 
to provide for food, either through organized conveyance 
from home, or by off-hand purchases, or, in case of neces- 
sity, by requisition. 




The army of the German Empire consists, as mentioned 
before, since April 1, 1890, of 20 army corps. With a few 
exceptions, the troops of an army corps are garrisoned 
within the army corps district, and complete themselves 
from the latter. The Prussian guard corps has no corps 
district of its own, and is recruited generally throughout 
the monarchy. The army corps in Alsace-Lorraine re- 
ceive their complement chiefly from other sections of 
the empire, while the recruits raised there are distributed 
among regiments of other corps districts. With the ex- 
ception of the guard and the two Bavarian army corps, 
all other army corps are known by continuous numbers 
from 1 to 17. Their principal forces are stationed and 
headquarters located as follows : 


1. Army Corps (Konigsberg) East Prussia. 

2. " " (Stettin) Pomerania. 

3. " " (Berlin) Brandenburg. 

4. " " (Magdeburg) Prussian Province, Saxony. 

5. " " (Posen) Province Posen. 

6. " " (Breslau) Silesia. 

7. " " (Mtinster) Westphalia. 

8. " " (Coblenz) Rhine Province. 

9. " " (Altona) Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Schwe- 

rin, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, free cities of Ham- 
burg, Liibeck, and Bremen. 

10. " " (Hanover) Province Hanover, Oldenburg, Bruns- 


11. " " (Cassel) Province Hesse -Nassau, and the Grand 

Duchy of Hesse. 

12. Royal Saxon Army Corps (Dresden), Kingdom of Saxony. 

13. Royal Wurtemburg Army Corps (Stuttgart), Kingdom of 


14. Army Corps (Karlsruhe) Grand Duchy of Baden. 

15. " " (Strassburg) Alsace. 



16. Army Corps (Metz) Lorraine. 

17. " " (Danzig) West Prussia. 

1. Bavarian Army Corps (Munich) Bavaria. 

2. " " " (Wiirzburg) Bavaria. 

In peace the army inspections are formed by the dif- 
ferent corps, as follows : 

The 1st, 2d, 9th, 10th, and 17th army corps form the 
1st Army Inspection, at Hanover. 

The 5th, 6th, and 12th army 
corps form the 2d Army Inspec- 
tion, at Dresden. 

The 7th, 8th, and 11th army 
corps form the 3d Army Inspec- 
tion, at Darmstadt. 

The 3d, 4th, 13th, and the two 
Bavarian army corps form the 1th 
Army Inspection, at Berlin. 

The 11th, 15th, 16th, and 17th 
army corps form the 5th Army 
Inspection, at Karlsruhe. 

The army inspectors are : 

For the 1st Army Inspection, 
General Field-marshal Prince Al- 
brecht of Prussia. 

For the 2d Army Inspection, 
General Field - marshal Prince 
George of Saxony. 

For the 3d Army Inspection, 
Grand Duke Ludwig of Hesse. 

For the 4th Army Inspection, 
General Field -marshal Count von 

For the 5th Army Inspection, 


Grand Duke Friedrich of Baden. 


An army corp is headed by the general commanding, 
who has charge of all the troops and of the forts within 
his corps district, and is responsible to the commander- 
in-chief for the condition and training of his forces. He 
has also to see to the maintenance of peace and order in 
his district. The power exercising the highest authority 
in an army corps is called the General Command, the 
business of which is conducted, under the supervision of 
the general commanding, by the chief of the general staff 
of the army corps. The latter is assisted by two or three 
officers of the general staff, two or three aides-de-camp of 
the rank of held officers or captains, the judge-advocate 
of the corps for conducting the courts-marshal business, 
the surgeon-general of the corps, the veterinary surgeon 
of the corps, and the corps chaplain for attending to mili- 
tary-clergical affairs. The intendances have charge of all 
administration business. 

Not all army corps have the same composition. Each 
of the army corps, from the 1st to the 10th, and from the 
13th to the 17th, consists of two divisions, besides the 
artillery, pioneer, and train formations, while the 11th 
and 12th army corps have each a third division, which 
bear the numbers 25 and 32. The latter forms part of 
the Saxon army corps, while the former represents the 
contingent of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. Likewise the 
2d Bavarian corps has a strength of three divisions. Each 
division, except those of the guard corps, consists of two 
infantry brigades and one cavalry brigade (the first divis- 
ion having two of the latter). An army corps, further- 
more, comprises a field artillery brigade, a battalion of 
train, and a battalion of pioneers, the last, as also the gar- 
rison artillery, located within a corps district, being sub- 
ject merely in a territorial meaning to the corps command. 

The Prussian regiments and independent battalions are 


known — besides their regular number, and, in case of the 
cavalry, by the description of arms, whether cuirassiers, 
hussars, or uhlans — by the name of the province from 
which they are recruited. 

By order of the commander-in-chief a number of Prus- 
sian regiments and independent battalions bear the names 
of princes and prominent generals, for the purpose, as it 
is expressed in the order, " of honoring and keeping alive 
for all time the memory of his [the King's] ancestor's 
resting in God, and of such highly merited men as stood 
by their side in peace and in war, and by their distin- 
guished services acquired just claims to a grateful remem- 
brance by King and fatherland." A few regiments were 
also given names of families who have excelled by fur- 
nishing for long years an unusually large number of their 
members to the arnry and to prominent positions in the 


The infantry is the principal arm of the army, not only 
in regard to numbers, but for its capacity of being em- 
ployed at any time and in suny country. It forms, conse- 
quently, the principal part of the army, and is organized, 
since October 1, 1890, in 538 battalions, of which 519 are 
comprised in 173 regiments, while 19 are forming inde- 
pendent Jager battalions. The number of infantry regi- 
ments contributed by Prussia is 133 ; Bavaria, 20 ; Sax- 
ony, 12 ; Wiirtemberg, 8 ; and of Jager battalions by 
Prussia, 14 (including the guard Schutzen battalion) ; Ba- 
varia, 2 ; Saxony, 3. 

The regiments are differently described as infantry, 
fusileer, grenadier regiments, also a Schutzen regiment in 
the 12th army corps, but they do not differ in armament, 
training, and employment. The names of fusileers, gren- 


^ 3C& 


adiers, and Schiitzen have merely a historical meaning. 
In point of fact the infantry in the German army is a 
unity, which extends also to the rifles, although they have 
preserved some peculiarities. The Prussian rifle battalions 
are mainly recruited from professional rangers and forest- 
ers, who, as a rule, engage for eight years' active service, 
whereby they establish a claim for employment in subor- 
dinate positions in the Government forestry service. 

A regiment has three battalions, each battalion four 
companies. The regiment is headed by a colonel, each 
battalion by a staff-officer as battalion commander, each 
company by a captain as chief of company. For internal 
service the company is divided into inspections under the 
supervision of lieutenants, and in corporals' guards under 
the guidance of non-commissioned officers. 

To the infantry belongs also the training battalion at 
Potsdam, which is attached to the guard corps, and to 
which officers, non-commissioned officers, and men from 
all infantry troops except the guard and Bavarian corps 
are detailed, generally for a period of six months. During 
winter the training battalion is reduced to the size of a 

Among the men levied for the army, only such are mus- 
tered into the infantry as are able to bear arms and the 
fatigues of marching. They must have a height of at 
least 1.57 metres (61.8 inches). The most alert men are 
assigned to the rifles. For active service under arms each 
battalion draws annually 230 recruits if it is kept on the 
higher, 200 if on the lower standard. 


The cavalry is the only branch of the German army 
which has not been increased since the Franco - German 


war ended. The authorities consider the present strength 
of 93 regiments, or 465 squadrons, sufficient for all the du- 
ties devolving upon this arm in times of war, which are 
principally reconnoitring, watching the movements of the 
enemy, and pursuit, leaving a sufficient force available 
when the use of large bodies of cavalry appears necessary 
during a battle. Germany has more cavalry than any 
other European power, Russia alone excepted ; the latter, 
counting in the Cossack formations kept under arms in 
peace-time, has 116 squadrons more, while France has 45 
squadrons less than Germany. 

Of the 93 regiments, 73 are formed by Prussia, 10 by 
Bavaria, 6 by Saxony, and 4 by Wiirtemberg. Accord- 
ine- to the lighter or heavier material — horses as well as 
men — entering into the composition of the regiments, 
they are distinguished as light, medium, and heavy cav- 
alry. The hussars, dragoons, and the chevau-legers of 
Bavaria belong to the light, the cuirassiers to the heavy 
cavalry, while the uhlans are an intermediate arm. While 
the existence of these different kinds of cavalry cannot be 
called an absolute necessity, especially as drill, tactics, and 
employment have become uniform, historical tradition 
favors, and to some extent justifies, their retention. 

According to the above distinction, 12 regiments are 
cuirassiers, or heavy horse, 27 regiments are uhlans, 34 
are dragoons and chevau-legers, and 20 hussars. The regi- 
ment of the Garde du Corps is included in the cuirassiers. 

The eight regiments of the Prussian guards form the 
cavalry division of the guards, which is divided into four 
brigades. Of the line regiments, two or three form a 
brigade, which is designated by the number of the divis- 
ion to which it belongs. 

To consider, experiment, and consult upon all questions 
of interest to the arm, a cavalry commission was formed 


"Vv ' * '■ ' 


in 1890. Members of this board are, among others, the 
two cavalry inspectors, whose duty it is to superintend 
the annual cavalry manoeuvres and the journeys of the 
general and staff -officers for the study of tactics. They 
perform these functions under the direct personal super- 
vision of the Emperor, while under that of the Minister 
of War they inspect the training-schools and the depots 
for remounts. 

Each regiment is composed of five squadrons ; of which, 
however, four only take the field, the fifth remaining at 
home to form the depot. Every year another squadron 
is designated for this service. The total strength of a 
regiment is 25 officers, 667 men, and 792 horses ; 62 of the 
last are officers' horses. 

As forming part of the cavalry, must be further men- 
tioned the military riding-academy at Hanover, consisting 
of a school for officers, and one for non-commissioned 
officers of the cavalry and field artillery, who, in a two- 
years' course, receive a thorough training as riding-teach- 
ers. Similar objects are pursued by the military riding- 
academy at Dresden and the Equitation Institute at 
Munich, both of the latter selling also trained horses to 
mounted officers of the infantry at fixed prices. Veterin- 
ary surgeons are educated at the Koyal Veterinary School 
at Berlin ; farriers, in several training-schools formed for 
this purpose. 

The horses for the cavalry are in times of peace en- 
tirely obtained by off-hand purchasing from dealers. In 
Prussia the horses are bought at three years old by com- 
missions composed of officers, and under orders of the re- 
mounting department of the War Ministry ; for the pur- 
pose of further development, they are turned over to 
remounting depots. After remaining there for a year, 
they are sent to the regiments, where they are carefully 


trained, and, as a rule, are not put into active service until 
they are six years old. A similar system prevails in Ba- 
varia, while in Saxony the horses are turned over to the 
regiments as soon as purchased. Germany is fortunate in 
possessing an abundance of excellent horses, which, after 
careful training, answer every requirement of the service. 
For the cavalry, men of good muscular development 
are selected who are accustomed to horses, and physically 
particularly adapted for the exigencies of the service. For 
this reason they should not be too heavy, and the limit of 
weight is about 65 kilograms (or 146 pounds) for the light, 
and 70 kilograms (or 157 pounds) for the heavy cavalry. 


The consideration of all questions relating to the or- 
ganization, employment, and armament of the artillery is 
in charge of the General Committee for Artillery Affairs. 
Tests of new material are carried on by the trial battalion 
under the direction of a permanent commission formed 
for this purpose. In order to reach the greatest possible 
efficiency in target practice and the handling of the guns, 
officers and non-commissioned officers receive instruction 
in two schools of gunnery, which are maintained for the 
field and garrison artillery. In the technical institu- 
tions—artillery workshops, pyrotechnical laboratory, gun 
foundery, ammunition factory, and powder-mills — the 
whole equipment of the artillery as well as the train ma- 
terial for the other branches of the service is manu- 

The artillery consists of field and garrison artillery— 
the former attending the operations in the field, the latter 
being employed at the attack and defence of fortified 
places. Since the war of 1870-71 the artillery has con- 
siderably grown in importance, and in consequence its 


strength has been materially increased. Nevertheless it 
has not reached that of the French army, which has, even 
in peace, 46 field batteries more than Germany. 

Recruiting and training are entirely different in the 
two branches of the arm ; and while the field artillery 
forms part of the army corps organization, and is placed 
under the general commands, the garrison artillery, which 
as foot artillery is often called the infant arm of the 
army, forms a distinctive branch under the command of 
an inspector-general. 

The German field artillery consists of 43 regiments, 
formed in 20 brigades. Prussia has 30 regiments, Bavaria 
5, Saxony 3, and Wiirtemberg 2. One brigade, consisting 
as a rule of 2 — but in the case of the 11th, the 12th, and the 


2d Bavarian corps, of 3 regiments — is attached to each 
army corps. The total number of batteries since April 1, 
1890, is 434, of which 46 are horse batteries, the men 
following the guns on horseback, while in the remaining 
338 field batteries the men ride upon the caissons. The 
horse batteries are naturally able to cover much more 
ground at a quicker pace, and are therefore especially 
adapted for use in connection with cavalry. 

The number of batteries varies in the different regi- 
ments, some having 12, others 6, 7, 9, and 11 batteries. 
As a rule, 3 field and 2 horse batteries form a division 
(Abtheihmg), and 3 or 4 divisions a regiment. A regiment 
is commanded by a colonel, a division by a staff-officer, 
and a battery by a captain as chief of battery. On war 
footing a battery consists of 6 guns, 8 ammunition cais- 
sons, 2 magazine wagons, and a forge. In peace only 4 — 
sometimes 6 — guns are kept in service. For this reason 
the number of horses required on mobilization is increased 
almost twofold. 

Since the field artillery has been attached to the differ- 
ent army corps as to tactical training, organization, mobi- 
lization, and personal matters, the position of Inspector- 
general of the Field Artillery has been created, who has 
the supervision of technical matters and of the target 

The composition of the garrison or foot artillery is of a 
different nature. Under an inspector - general as com- 
mander-in-chief, there are 4 inspections, each composed of 
2 or 3 regiments. In addition, Bavaria maintains a sepa- 
rate inspection. The total strength of the foot artillery 
consists of 31 battalions, of which Prussia furnishes 24, 
Bavaria 4, Saxony 2, and Wiirtemberg 1. In all ques- 
tions relating to territorial matters only the foot artillery 
is subject to the jurisdiction of the army corps within 


whose territory the different regiments are stationed. 
The majority of the regiments are, for speedy readiness 
in war, garrisoned at the large forts near the borders of 
the empire. 

The large quantities of material — cannons, wagons, har- 
ness, etc. — not used by the troops in times of peace are 
stored in artillery depots, under the charge of staff -officers 
or captains, who are responsible for the preservation of 
the goods, which must always be kept ready for imme- 
diate use. For purposes of additional supervision four 
inspections of artillery depots are formed, each under 
command of an inspector with the rank of a staff-officer 
or major-general. 


The engineers and pioneers of Prussia are under the 
command of an inspector-general as highest in authority ; 
they are divided into four engineer and two pioneer in- 
spections. The former comprise all fortifications; the 
latter, the pioneer battalions. Bavaria has one inspection 
of engineers and fortifications, the pioneer battalion of 
Saxony is attached to the artillery, and that of Wurtem- 
berg stands directly under the general commanding the 
army corps. 

The officers of the engineer corps are either employed 
in the construction and maintenance of fortifications, or 
they do service with the pioneer battalions. One of the 
latter is attached to each army corps, bearing the number 
or designation of the latter. But the jurisdiction of the 
commander of the army corps extends only to territorial 
matters, and he is in virtual command only during the 
large manoeuvres of field exercises; the supervision and 
regulation of the drill and the technical training are ex- 
clusively in charge of the inspectors. Of the 20 pioneer 


battalions, Prussia has 16, Bavaria 2, Saxony and Wiir- 
temberg 1 each. As parts of the Prussian engineer corps, 
are to be mentioned the committee on engineering affairs, 
a board composed of general and staff officers, which has 
to consider all questions arising in connection with this 
branch of the service ; a school of fortifications, where 
non-commissioned officers and privates are trained for 
service as subalterns in the construction of fortifications ; 
and the telegraph inspection, with a school of telegraphy. 

A battalion of pioneers is composed of four companies, 
whose drill differs, inasmuch as one company is trained 
principally in bridge-building and another in mining. All 
pioneers must also pass through the regular infantry drill, 
for, in case of need, they are used as infantry, and must 
know how to fight as such. 

The railway troops consist of the Prussian railway 
brigade, in technical and scientific matters under the com- 
mand of the Chief of the General Staff of the army, and of 
the Bavarian railway battalion. The former is composed 
of two regiments of two battalions each, a battalion being 
subdivided into four companies. The Bavarian battalion 
has only two companies ; Saxony and Wiirtemberg fur- 
nish each one company of the second Prussian regiment. 
During a war the railway troops are charged with the 
construction of new railroads, the repairing of lines de- 
stroyed by the enemy, and the demolition of others, when 
this becomes a necessity. In times of peace these troops 
receive a thorough technical training, for which purpose 
the entire management of a military railroad running 
from Berlin to the rifle range at Kummersdorf — a dis- 
tance of about 33 English miles — is under their charge. 
This line is also open for the use of the public. To 
the railway brigade is attached an aeronautic detach- 
ment, which pursues experiments with balloons, with 


special regard for their use in war for military purposes. 
As soon as the problem of aerial navigation has been satis- 
factorily solved, this detachment will, of course, greatly 
gain in importance, and will be correspondingly increased 
in strength. 

For the technical organizations men are selected who 
are fit to work in the open air and under unfavorable con- 
ditions without showing fatigue when special exertion is 
required, and who in their private life have had some ex- 
perience in kindred occupations. 


The German army has 21 train battalions, of which 17 
are formed by Prussia, 2 by Bavaria, and 1 each by 
Saxony and Wiirtemberg. With the exception of the 
16th and 25th, which consist of two companies, and the 
12th battalion, which has four, each battalion is composed 
of three companies. To each of the Bavarian battalions a 
sanitary detachment is attached. In addition each bat- 
talion includes a company composed entirely of men who 
are bakers by profession. They are in peace-time em- 
ployed in the military bakeries established in all larger 
garrisons, where the bread for non-commissioned officers 
and privates is made. At mobilization they furnish the 
material for the field bakeries. 

The train battalions form part of the artillery brigades, 
except in Bavaria, where they are subject to a distinctive 

These train organizations, which have to furnish the 
men and horses for the transportation system of the en- 
tire army, require naturally a large number of men as 
soon as the army is put upon a war footing. For this 
reason their method of recruiting and drilling is entirely 
different from that of the other branches of the service. 


They draw fresh recruits twice a year, who, after being- 
drilled for six months only, are placed in the reserve, only 
a limited number serving three years for the purpose of 
being trained as non-commissioned officers. In addition, 
a number of non-commissioned officers and privates of 
the cavalry are every year instructed in the service and 
placed in the train reserve. 

The whole system is divided into three parts, viz. : for 
the transportation of the baggage of officers and adminis- 
trative officials, together with the latter's bureau materi- 
als, as also of a supply of clothing to replace that worn 
out by the troops ; for transportation of a supply of pro- 
visions ; and, finally, for transporting a supply of ammuni- 
tion to rejolenish the stock of the troops. Sanitary de- 
tachments and field hospitals are also formed by the train 

At mobilization the wagons are divided into two col- 
umns or echelons. One, called the small baggage, carries 
everything necessary for the troops during or immediate- 
ly after a battle, while the heavy baggage follows at a 
greater distance, and carries all supplies required for the 
sustenance of the army during its operations in the field. 

Every army corps has its own train, divided into wagon 
columns as above. They comprise ammunition trains, 
provision trains, the pontoon train, the field bakery, a 
depot of remounts, and the field hospitals. 

While it has been the constant aim of the authorities 
to reduce the number of wagons to what absolute neces- 
sity requires, the train of an army corps at present com- 
prises at least 1700 wagons and 6000 horses. 


In accordance with the principle that the maintenance 
of the efficiency of the army is the prime condition of 

r ^m j ;*& 


final success, and that the care for the troops is one of the 
most important duties of the commander and the admin- 
istration, the greatest attention has been paid in the Ger- 
man army to sanitary matters. The system is divided 
into the medical personnel and the sanitary institutions. 
The former comprises all sanitary officers, including the 
apothecaries, who rank with administrative officials, the 
non-commissioned surgeons and apothecaries, the hospital 
stewards, the nurses, and, in war, the men carrying away 
the wounded. The sanitary institutions comprise, in 
peace, the garrison hospitals and regimental wards for 
sick soldiers ; in war, the sanitary detachments, the field 
hospitals, the war etcvppen and reserve hospitals, and the 
sanitary trains upon the railroads. 

The highest authority in peace is the Medical Depart- 
ment of the Prussian War Ministry ; in war, the chief of 
the sanitary service, who is attached to the headquarters 
of the army. Under the direction of the Surgeon-gen- 
eral of the army, a surgeon-general supervises the sani- 
tary service of each army corps. In Bavaria and Saxony 
a sanitary department or a sanitary director takes the 
place of the Surgeon-general. In each division the sur- 
geon oldest in rank has general charge of the sanitary 
affairs, while the practical work devolves upon the staff 
and assistant surgeons attached to every body of troops, 
who are in turn assisted by non-commissioned surgeons. 
All surgeons have the rank of officers, and occupy posi- 
tions of absolute equality with the latter. 

It may be mentioned here as a matter of interest that 
the death-rate of the German army in peace is smaller 
than that of any other standing army. The same applies 
to the number of sick and disabled persons. 

In war every sick or wounded soldier, as well as any 
person charged with the care for the same, is protected 


by the stipulations of the Geneva Convention. All those 
connected with the sanitary service carry, therefore, the 
well-known badge, the red cross on white ground, which 
is also painted on every wagon belonging to the service, 
while a flag showing the same emblem floats over every 
hospital. Red flags, or red lanterns during the night, 
make known at large distances the places where the 
wounded are collected and where the field hospitals are 

Every soldier carries a small package of bandages, and 
around his neck a badge with his name, for purposes of 
identification. Every hospital steward carries a satchel 
with bandages, and a bottle with restoratives ; every sur- 
geon a case of instruments. Every battalion of infantry 
or regiment of cavalry is followed by a medicine-wagon, 
filled with medicines and bandages, stretchers, and every- 
thing else necessary for the care of wounded or sick sol- 
diers during march or battle. 

The voluntary medical service has become a valuable 
adjunct to the regular military sanitary service since it 
has been regulated by proper rules. It is under the di- 
rection of a commissioner appointed by the Emperor, and 
many excellent young men entered its ranks during the 
last war who were incapacitated from some cause for 
other service. Many eminent physicians devoted them- 
selves likewise to the care for the sufferers by accepting 
positions as consulting surgeons-general. 


Military justice is administered under the direction of 
the Judge -advocate -general in Prussia, the Judge -advo- 
cate in Bavaria, and the Supreme Court Martial in Sax- 
ony, by corps, division, brigade, regimental, and garrison 
courts. Subject to military justice are all persons in ac- 


tive service, all officers retired with half-pay on waiting 
orders, and the administrative officials of the higher 
grades. There are higher and lower courts. The former 
adjudge all cases where officers are concerned, or where 
the accused is a non-commissioned officer or private, and 
the punishment in case of conviction would be harder 
than simple confinement, reduction in rank, or transfer 
into the second class. All other cases belong before the 
lower courts. Every one of the courts named above is 
composed of the commander of the respective troop as 
president, and a judge-advocate. In the regimental courts 
the place of the latter is taken by an investigating officer. 
After an investigation conducted by the judge-advocate 
or the investigating: officer, with one or more officers as 
assessors, the case is submitted to a court-martial of the 
higher or lower order, as the case may be. A court-mar- 
tial is always composed of a judge-advocate or investigat- 
ing officer and five classes of judges, whose rank depends 
upon that of the defendant. If the latter is a private, for 
instance, three judges are officers, one a non-commissioned 
officer, and one a private. The court-martial is presided 
over by a staff-officer or captain. The judgment must be 
confirmed by the president of the judicial district. 

In Bavaria, military district courts take the place of 
the higher courts-martial, and the proceedings are public. 

Offences against military order and discipline for which 
no punishment is mentioned in the code, transgressions of 
regulations, and such infractions of the rules as render 
the defendant liable to slight penalties only, are subject 
to so-called disciplinary punishment. This applies in 
times of war also to all civilians connected with the army 
in any capacity whatsoever, and to prisoners of war. 
Power to execute disciplinary justice is granted only to 
officers in command of troops from the rank of captain 


upward, and the extent of their power is regulated by 
the position they occupy. On the effective use of this 
power the discipline of the troop depends to a very large 


To the army belong several separate organizations. 
One of them is a corps of mounted rifles employed as 
couriers in peace as well as in war, and in the diplomatic 
service. Another one is composed of non-commissioned 
officers of the guards who have passed a long term of 
service, and whose duty it is to watch the royal palaces 
and gardens, and to mount guard at special occasions and 
celebrations ; this organization is called the Company of 
Palace Guards. The corps of body gendarmes furnishes 
the orderlies in personal attendance on the Emperor. 
The territorial or field gendarmery, under command of a 
general, is composed of non-commissioned officers. Its 
discipline and subsistence are regulated by army officers ; 
its functions and duties, by officials of the Ministry of the 


At the head of the military clergy of Prussia are 
placed the Protestant and the Catholic Feldpropste (chap- 
lains-general), directly under the War Ministry. To each 
army corps a chaplain is attached, while two or four 
division chaplains, some of them Protestants and some 
Catholics, are subject to the chaplain's orders. These 
clergymen have charge of the spiritual affairs of the con- 
gregations into which the troops are united. All soldiers 
must attend church on regularly designated Sundays and 
holidays, and take communion at least once a year. In 
the field the duties of the chaplains are especially benefi- 
cial and gratifying. By holding religious services and 
dispensing consolation and encouragement among the sick 


and wounded, they are most efficient instruments for pre- 
serving and animating religious sentiment in the army. 

The army chaplains are officials of superior rank, and 
wear a distinctive official dress when officiating and in 
the field. In Saxony the system is practically the same 
as in Prussia, while Bavaria and Wurtemberg have no 
army chaplains in peace, their duties being performed by 
ministers connected with the churches at the different 

It must be added that all denominations have equal 
rights in the army. 


The final object of all training in peace is to secure 
success in war, therefore all efforts must be directed to 
a martial training of individuals as well as of tactical 
bodies. This duty devolves upon commanding officers of 
every rank, from the captain upward, who shall in their 
work be allowed as much latitude as possible, superiors 
only to interfere in cases of mistakes or failure of prog- 
ress. The system of advancing from less to more difficult 
training has to be strictly observed ; individuals and 
smaller squads must be thoroughly drilled before they 
are made part of larger formations. The thorough and 
skilful schooling of the individual soldier and of the single 
horse is rightly considered of the utmost importance. 

The drilling of the recruits takes generally from two to 
three months, whereupon they are mustered into the com- 
panies, squadrons, or batteries, where they are instructed 
in regular evolutions and movements, in common with 
the older men. Then follow the exercises in battalions 
and regiments and in mixed divisions ; and, finally, the 
fall manoeuvres, which are held in the open field, and 


made to approach as near as possible the realities of war. 
Some army corps have Emperor's Manoeuvres, so called 
from the attendance of the Supreme Commander and offi- 
cers of foreign armies. The remaining army corps exer- 
cise in division formations, with their allotments of artil- 
lery and pioneers. There are also arranged every fall 
fortification exercises on a large scale, and manoeuvres of 
cavalry divisions formed by the concentration of a num- 
ber of cavalry regiments. 

General officers commanding troops have to inspect the 
troops under their care in order to satisfy themselves of 
the degree attained in training. Time and duration of 
such inspections are regulated by general rules. At the 
conclusion of every inspection the inspector-general shall 
give, in the form of an instructive criticism, his opinion 
of the bearing and performances of the troops. 


The rifle model of 1888 in use in the German infantry 
answers all requirements of a hand fire-arm. A breech- 
loader by construction, allowing the simultaneous loading 
of five cartridges united in one frame, it covers a maxi- 
mum range of 3800 metres, although sure effects can be 
guaranteed only at distances up to 1500 metres. The 
rifle is of 8 millimetres calibre, and the bullet, made of 
hard lead with a nickel covering, weighs 14.5 grams; the 
composition of the powder and the size of the powder 
measure are secrets of the Government. Besides the rifle, 
the infantry carries side-arms, which can be attached to 
the rifle as a bayonet, rendering the former also useful 
for close fighting. Officers and sergeants - major wear 
swords and revolvers. 

A uniform armament of the entire cavalry has been 


established by the equipment of cuirassier, hussar, and 
dragoon regiments with steel tube lances. Disputes about 
the value of the lance are probably as old as the cavalry 
itself, says a prominent military author, but its superiority 
over other weapons when used in pursuit or single com- 
bat is generally admitted. The cavalry soldier is armed 
also with carbine and sword, the former enabling him to 
take part in lights at short distances. 

The entire field artillery has guns of 8.8 centimetre cal- 
ibre, as yet of two slightly differing kinds of construction, 
known as the heavy field-gun and the field-gun proper. 
The former is used by the field artillery, the latter by 
mounted or horse batteries. As the construction of heavy 
field-guns has been abandoned, it is but a question of time 
when the entire field artillery shall use uniform material, 
an advantage not gained yet by the field artillery of any 
other country. 

Fortress and siege guns differ in construction and cali- 
bre, according to the different objects of their use in for- 
tress wars. 


The uniform of the German army is handsome and 
practical ; a few changes, however, are just now being 
contemplated. Officers and military officials have to pro- 
vide their own clothing and equipment, while non-com- 
missioned officers and men receive the same from their 
respective troops, special funds being allowed the latter 
for that purpose. 

The regulation or field-service head-dress of the infan- 
try, artillery, dragoons, and pioneers is the helmet ; of the 
rifles (Jager and Schutzen), the " kappi ;" of the uhlans, 
the " czapka ;" of the hussars, the fur cap ; and of the 


cuirassiers, the steel helmet. The uniform coat of the in- 
fantry and pioneers is dark blue ; of the rifles, dark green, 
collars and cuffs being red and black respectively ; the 
shoulder-straps bear the number of the regiment or the 
monogram of the princely chief. Cuirassiers wear white 
coats, the several regiments differing by the color of the 
sleeve revers and braiding ; the dragoons have light-blue 
cpats ; the uhlans, dark-blue " ulankas." The hussar regi- 
ments are distinguished by the different colors of their 
" attila " (red, green, light and dark blue, and black, with 
white or yellow braiding). The difference in color and 
equipment of the several branches of the cavalry is 
founded on historical traditions which the army likes to 
preserve. The cuirass is only worn at parades, but no 
longer in the field, as it oppresses and hinders the horse- 

The trousers are almost without exception made of 
black cloth, riding- boots being worn by all mounted 
troops, as also by the general and staff officers, and by 
mounted officers of the infantry. 

All troops of the guard corps and the body-guard regi- 
ments are distinguished by white or } T ellow stripes upon 
the collar. As to color, style, and equipment, the uni- 
forms of the non- Prussian army corps differ in several 
regards from the above description. In Saxony, for 
instance, the artillery has kept the dark -green, the cav- 
alry the light - blue coat ; in Bavaria the predominant 
color of the infantry is a light blue ; of the cavalry a 
steel green. 

Complete uniformity, however, has been established 
throughout the German armv as to the rank distinction, 
those of the non-commissioned officers being marked on 
collars and cuffs, of the officers on the differently shaped 
shoulder-straps. By the number of stars attached to the 


latter the rank of an officer is recognizable. Epanlets 
are only worn at grand parades, court festivals, and for 
full toilet. 



"The spirit of the Prussian army is moulded by its 
officers," said one of the heroes of the wars against Na- 
poleon I. This utterance is as true now as it was eighty 
years ago, for the spirit governing the corps of officers, 
its condition, and efficiency have a decisive influence upon 
the whole army. The corps of officers is entitled to a 
privileged position in the community, which is shared by 
its individual members in private life. 

The corps of officers completes itself from graduates of 
cadet schools and from young men called " avantageurs," 
who enter the army with the expectation of being pro- 
moted. In cadet schools, principally sons of officers of 
the army and navy and government officials are edu- 
cated ; in limited numbers also sons of civilians. They 
enter the schools at the age of ten in Prussia, at the age 
of twelve years in Bavaria and Saxony. ' The plan of in- 
struction is substantially the same as that of an industrial 
high-school, the tuition fee is moderate, and the principal 
part of the cost of maintenance is borne by the State. 

The officers are divided into four classes or grades : 
subaltern officers, or second and first lieutenants; cap- 
tains, called " Rittmeister " in the cavalry ; staff-officers, 
comprising majors, lieutenant-colonels, and colonels ; and 
finally generals, subdivided into major-generals, lieuten- 
ant-generals, generals of the infantry, cavalry, or artillery, 
colonel-generals, and general field-marshals. 


The pecuniary compensation granted to officers is, 
generally speaking, sufficient, though in the lower grades 
exceedingly moderate. It is hardly possible for a second 
lieutenant, whose monthly income, inclusive of the allow- 
ance for providing quarters, averages about 120 marks 
(about $30), to make both ends meet without the aid of a 
private income, even if he exercises the strictest economy 
and avoids all expenditures not absolutely necessary. 
Officers who have no private means whatever, or whose 
relatives are not in a position to assist them, receive a 
small extra allowance out of special funds or from the 

Officers of the rank of captain of the first class (cap- 
tains and Kittmeisters are divided into two classes, ac- 
cording to the salary they receive) and officers of the 
higher grades receive a compensation which may be 
called sufficient for providing the necessaries of life and 
meeting the expenditures connected with the position. 
Still, the purchase and maintenance of the horses require 
monetary sacrifices of considerable magnitude, as the 
Government grants only an allowance for the daily ra- 
tions and the stabling of horses where they are not pro- 
vided for in barracks. It is intended to extend this al- 
lowance to the purchasing and replacing of horses. The 
total annual income of a captain of the first class is about 
5000 marks ($1250) ; that of a major or lieutenant-colonel, 
6600 marks ($1650); of the commander of a regiment, 
9000 marks ($2250). In addition to the actual salary, 
every officer not stationed in barracks receives an allow- 
ance for providing lodgings, which is measured by the 
prices ruling in the garrison in which he is stationed and 
by the rank of the recipient. 

It is impossible for a young officer to maintain by his 
salary a family in the style made necessary by his social 



position. If he wants to mar- 
ry, he must receive permis- 
sion from the Emperor, and 
is required to furnish satis- 
factory proof of a reliable 
private income amounting 
(in Prussia) to at least 1800 
marks per annum ; in some 
of the other States it is even 
higher. Captains of the first 
class and officers of the high- 
er grades are not required to 
possess private means. The 
future wife of an officer 
must enjoy an unblemished 
reputation, belong to a fam- 
ily of unquestioned Respect- 
ability, and possess all the 
qualities which tend to make 
a worthy member of the so- 
ciety she enters. 

Officers who, on account 
of old age or physical in- 
firmities, are incapacitated 
for service in the field are 
discharged with pensions or 
placed on waiting orders. 
An age limitation, as in France and in the United States, 
does not exist. The amount of the pension is regulated 
by the grade of the retiring officer, the salary he receives, 
and the length of service; it is never higher, however, 
than three-quarters of the amount drawn at the time of 
retirement. Widows of officers, and orphans until they 
are seventeen years old, receive pensions and allowances 

grenadier of the guard (fusileer 


for purposes of education out of the Imperial Fund for 
Officers' Widows. 

As a rule, every regiment maintains a mess, or officers' 
club, which forms the centre of social intercourse among: 
the officers, and affords an agreeable meeting-place after 
duties have been attended to. 


Non - commissioned or under officers are taken from 
among such privates as have distinguished themselves by- 
close attention to duty, manly and honorable bearing 
when off duty, and who exhibit military qualities. Their 
promotion to the rank of officer is not possible in times of 
peace, but may take place in war as a reward for excep- 
tional bravery. 

Only after a term of service as high-privates {Gefreiten) 
are men promoted to the rank of non-commissioned offi- 
cers. They become then superiors of the privates, and 
must be saluted by them. Non-commissioned officers are 
divided into two classes, those with and those without the 
portepee (silver sword-knot). The former class comprises 
the Feldwebel, called Wachmeister in the mounted troops, 
and several classes of officers designated by various names, 
but of the same rank and with the same functions. The 
last - named class is subdivided into sergeants, under- 
wachmeisters, and under - officers proper. The position 
of the Feldwebel (sergeant-major) is a highly important 
one. He is the captain's first assistant in all matters 
relating to the internal management of the company, 
and is therefore appropriately called the " mother of the 

It is the good-fortune of the German army to possess 
in its non-commissioned officers an abundance of material 
fully competent for the arduous duties assigned them. 


Prince Bismarck gave expression to this fact in his mem- 
orable speech of February 6, 1888, when, during the de- 
bate on the bill providing for an increase of the army, he 
said, "We have sufficient material for officers and under- 
officers to lead the army, and no other people on the face 
of the earth can compare with us in this respect." This 
utterance is entirely correct, for in no other country has 
education so thoroughly permeated such large masses of 
the people, enabling them to furnish capable commanders 
and leaders of others, either as officers or non-commis- 
sioned officers. 

In a financial respect it may be said that the non-com- 
missioned officers are adequately provided for, although 
they are not as favorably situated as the same class in 
the French army. In addition to the regular pay, which 
is regulated by the rank and the length of service, and 
which in the case of the Feldioebel amounts to two marks 
per day, an allowance is granted for board. All non- 
commissioned officers are clothed and provided with quar- 
ters by the Government. 


The complement of the army is kept up by the enlist- 
ment of recruits drawn every year, and of young men 
entering the service voluntarily. The drill begins imme- 
diately after the recruits have arrived at the regiment — 
as a rule, in the first days of November. After a few 
weeks the articles of war, a codification of the most im- 
portant duties of the soldier and of the penalties for dere- 
lictions and transgressions, are read and explained to the 
men, whereupon they take the oath. This act is made as 
solemn as possible ; the sacredness and importance of the 
oath are dwelt upon at length, and the recruits swear 
that they will faithfully serve their supreme commander 


and obey the articles of war, and behave like honorable 
and faithful soldiers. 

All soldiers are, as a rule, quartered in barracks ; rare- 
ly, and only in very small garrisons, in rooms rented from 
private citizens. An exception is made during the time 
of the large autumn manoeuvres, or field exercises, when 
the troops are practically in the field. Everything that 
can be thought of is done to provide healthy and com- 
fortable quarters and good substantial food. The food is 
prepared in the barrack kitchens, or menage, under the 
supervision of an officer, and consists of coffee for break- 
fast, meat and vegetables for dinner, coffee in the after- 
noon, and frequently a warm supper. To cover the ex- 
pense, the Government allows a certain amount, varying 
according to the price of provisions ruling in the different 
garrisons, between 12 and 18 pfennings per day for each 
soldier, and 12J pfennings are deducted from the pay of 
the men. Their pay amounts to 30 pfennings daily, and 
is handed to them three times a month. In addition, the 
soldier is entitled to about 1§ pounds of bread per day. 

In order to preserve the mental and physical vigor of 
the men, the duties are regulated in a way to afford con- 
stant variety and change of occupation. The training is 
not confined to the mere drill, and purely military pro- 
ficiency is not the only object aimed at. On the con- 
trary, the principal duty of the officer is to transform the 
raw and ignorant recruit into a perfect man ; while the 
soldier must learn to see in his superior a man whom he 
can follow unhesitatingly, and with unlimited confidence, 
who will not ask more of him than is absolutely necessary, 
and who will care for his welfare to the fullest extent of 
his ability in every respect. It is strictly forbidden to 
submit soldiers to a treatment tending to degrade them 
or to hurt their feelings, and violations of this rule are 



punished severely, without the slightest regard for the 
person of the offender. 

Ambitious soldiers are given an opportunity to perfect 
their education in many ways. In evening schools in- 
struction is given in the elementary sciences ; in other 
schools, " capitulants," that is, men who have signified 
their intention to re-enlist, are instructed in a more ad- 
vanced course, as well as in the theoretical and practical 
use and the construction of fire and small arms. 

A great many of the men honorably discharged join 
veteran associations, or " Kriegervereine," whose aim is to 
preserve among their members military sentiments and 
good-fellowship, and to assist comrades in distress caused 
by sickness or misfortune. These associations are now 
existing in every part of Germany, and are united to dis- 
trict associations, as "protectors" of which, princes or 
other persons of exalted position officiate. The member- 
ship is growing constantly, and may at present be esti- 
mated at not less than 500,000 men. 

In conclusion it may be mentioned that all persons in 
active service are prohibited from voting and partici- 
pating in political agitation ; the same rule applies to all 
reservists for the time during which they are attached to 
troops for the purpose of finishing their practice drills. 


The work of placing the army from the peace organiza- 
tion on a war footing is called mobilization. It must be 
performed and finished within a given number of days. 
The order to mobilize issues from the Emperor, and is 
made known forthwith to all military and civil authori- 
ties, as well as to the people, the former being notified by 
telegraph. A mobilization affects not only public life, 


but the business and professional relations of every indi- 
vidual. From the moment the order is given, a spirited 
and well-directed activity is displayed by every troop to 
get ready in time, everybody knowing beforehand what 
is required of him in this emergency. The first step to 
be taken is to call in the reserves, in order to fill up the 
ranks of the standing army and to form new troops. 
This is done by written summonses issued from headquar- 
ters of the district commanders. These summonses are 
kept always ready, and every man liable to service in the 
army or navy is pledged to heed them without delay. 
At the same time the levy of horses is begun, of which 
there is a very considerable number required for the train, 
for mounting officers and military officials, and for the 
formation of new troops. All measures connected with a 
mobilization are mapped out in every detail during peace- 
time, the army being practically prepared for this change 
at any time. 

The organization of a mobilized army corps is similar to 
that in peace. The additional formations are independent 
cavalry divisions, composed of a number of cavalry regi- 
ments withdrawn from the regular divisions ; also reserve 
divisions and depot and Landwehr formations of every 
kind. The duty of the latter is to maintain the active 
army at full strength, and to garrison places at home as 
well as on or near the seat of war. The army corps is 
further replenished by its allotment of train columns and 
sanitary detachments. The artillery of the army corps is 
partly distributed among the divisions, partly used in the 
formation of a corps artillery, which is placed under the 
independent command of a general. The pioneer battalion 
is broken up, and the several companies are detached to 
the divisions. Additional formations are finally required 
for the mail, telegraph, balloon, and railway service. 


At the head of the entire German army is the Emperor. 
From army corps and cavalry divisions armies are formed 
and placed under special command and administration. 
As soon as the army moves, the etcvppen are organized for 
the purpose of keeping up connection with the rear, if 
possible by railways. 


Since the close of the war of 1870-71 there have been 
several causes for increasing the army expenses, among 
them the increase of the peace strength of the army, the 
armament of the infantry with new rifles, the supply of 
ammunition and the new artillery material, erection of 
fortifications and army buildings, so that the army appro- 
priation in the imperial budget of 1890-91 (the fiscal year 
begins on the 1st of April and ends on the 31st of March) 
amounts to 387 millions of marks for regular or contin- 
uous, and 296^ millions for contingent expenses. For the 
fiscal year of 1891-92 the Reichstag has been asked to in- 
crease the former item 25-^ millions, while a reduction in 
the latter to the amount of 225^ millions is proposed. 

Although these figures seem high, they are lower than 
the expense of the standing armies of France and Eussia. 
The following table shows the sums appropriated by dif- 
ferent countries for army purposes, not taking into ac- 
count any extraordinary and annually varying contingent 
expenses, for the year 1890, resp. 1890-91 : 


Germany 387,000.000 

Austro-Hungary 238,000,000 

France 445,000,000 

Russia 533,000,000 

Italy 206,500,000 

Great Britain ,. 347,200,000 

United States of North America 190,000,000 


The expenses for the army have often been character- 
ized as of the unproductive kind, but this can hardly be 
applied to a State which by its geographical position may 
be entangled into war almost at any time. Past history 
has proved that an unlucky war has caused far greater 
sacrifices than the maintenance of an army which is 
ready to contend with any opponent. 

The army represents not only the people in arms, but 
it is also an educational institution, in which, in addition 
to mental and physical development, the male youth are 
taught the virtues of patriotism, obedience, and a sense of 
duty very beneficial to them in after - life. The army, 
therefore, possesses also from an ethic point of view an 
importance which cannot be overrated. 


j H, my brunettes ! Eh ! You are doing 
J no work there. That does not help 
on the mowing to stretch out your 
i necks and strain your eyes to see if 
there are any husbands growing in 
the young wheat." 

Two fine girls, tiptoe on the points of 
the wooden shoes, clinging like goats to 
the branches of the green hedge, re- 
plied, gayly : 

" We are not losing our time perhaps 
after all, Maitre Durevoix ; the regiment 
is coming back from the manoeuvres ; it 
will be passing here in a few minutes. 
Come and see." 
Maitre Durevoix approached, followed by all the work- 
men. Each one, leaning on his rake, his fork, or his scythe, 
scanned the valley. 

" I see nothing," said one. "Where is the regiment?" ask- 
ed his neighbor. " The brunettes are making fools of us," 
cried a third. " What ! Why, it is passing at the bottom 
of the hill along the new road ; you can see it through the 
trees." " There's a patrol on the hill -top close by us." 
" True." " There's another by the river, and another by 
the ruined house. When the troop is on the march it 
places scouts all around it, as if it were going to meet the 
enemy at any moment." "Ah! now they are leaving the 
road, wheeling round the burnt field. They don't have to 


ask their way. The officers all have papers in their hands. 
They look at them, and then they know the way better 
than we do. Yes, sure. Ask Remy, who has been a soldier. 

" That's true," said the mower questioned. " In my time, 
before the fatal war, we knew nothing about those matters. 
We went through the regular drill, target practice, and 
marching, without ever thinking of war. Nowadays the 
army is always thinking of war, and learning how to make 
war in the best way. Formerly we soldiers did not know 
anything. Now the law obliges us to send our children to 
school, and when they have learned their book they will 
become finer soldiers than we were." 

" So much the better," replied Maitre Durevoix ; " and 
now to work, and sharply." 

" Oh, one minute more, patron /" cried the girls. " They 
will pass close by here. We shall see them splendidly. 
Who knows ? Perhaps we shall see our future husbands 
in the ranks." 

" Ah ! then there are none but soldiers to make hus- 
bands ?" 

" Certainly, patron. One can't many a man who has 
not been a soldier. At any rate, I would not." " Nor I." 
" Nor I," cried all the girls. 

"Let us fetch our pitchers ; we will give to drink to some 
of the men ; it is so hot." 

" And they have to work so hard. This morning they 
started out before daybreak, and they will not get home 
until after sundown." 

" They must be tired." 

" No. They are accustomed to these long marches. Look 
how quickly they go. They don't look as if they were 

The regiment advanced smartly. It was not a simple 
march, but a manoeuvre ; step correct, easy bearing, rapid 



pace, the different movements effected with precision, with- 
out noise, and without a word spoken. Neither bugles nor 
drums ; from time to time a whistle. Absolute silence in 
the ranks ; no talking, no singing, no joking. 

Remy, the mower, noticed this. " In my time," he said, 
" we used to leave behind a lot of weak and lame ; now 
there are no laggards ; all are hardened. We used to make 
a terrible noise ; you could hear us long before you could 
see us. The general commanding yonder men will have 
no nonsense. He has said no laggards, no chatterers, and 
there are none. Who would have thought that Gascons 
could be made to march like mountaineers ? Who would 
have believed that they could be prevented from talk- 
ing? Well, you see, they march and they don't talk, 
and nobody complains. Men and ideas have changed, I 
can tell you." 

Indeed, since the war of 1870 things have been greatly 
modified in the army. The country people are not alone 
in remarking the progress made. More expert and less 
kindly disposed critics abroad have noticed it too. 


They are right. A new era has begun. Formerly men 
built temples to a Fortune whose eyes were blindfolded. 
They waited for Fortune to pass, trusting to boldness, 
luck, or hazard. Now it is different. Materially, it is 
necessary to have perfected instruments ; spiritually, it is 
necessary to have complete instruction. We are endeav- 
oring in France to acquire both. 

The second Saturday of the month used to be the day 
of the fortnightly lecture. All the officers of the 175th 
regiment of infantry assembled in the lecture-room of the 


barracks of Fontenay, and the colonel called upon Com- 
mander Typaud to deliver his address. Typaud, a young 
major, or chef de bataillon, personifying the new army, a 
brilliant pupil of the Ecole superieure de Guerre, endowed 
with fine physical and moral qualities, had distinguished 
himself in the Tunisian expedition. Having knowledge and 
activity at the same time, he was a thorough officer, and of 
great promise. His lecture was impatiently looked forward 
to, the more so as the title was, " Eeorganization after De- 
feat," a palpitating subject, and one worthy of the orator. 

The major's discourse might be resumed as follows. 
After the battle of Cannae the Roman Senate went out to 
meet the defeated consul, and thanked him for not having 
despaired of the safety of the republic. This is a fine 
lesson, a noble example to meditate upon. Recriminations 
in misfortune mean discouragement and the end of every- 
thing ; whereas dignified resignation is the germ of re- 
suscitation, for it is hope itself. Difficult to eradicate in 
a warlike nation that has known both victories and re- 
verses, the hope of a better future is a vital and regenerat- 
ing force, a lever of incomprehensible power. Confidence 
is another thing. Defeat leaves after it, like foul mud, 
a dissolvent impression, a sort of moral depression, an in- 
stinctive sentiment of diminution and of mistrust. Men 
doubt their strength. They hope, and at the same time 
seek serious motives and solid bases for their hope, but 
they do not find them at once. It is the work of labor, 
of energetic efforts, of time, and, above all, of acts. They 
have to make essays and try themselves before entering 
upon great struggles. 

To reconstitute the materiel, to reform old institutions, 
to renew things, is merely a question of money ; but to 
reconstitute the moral of a country is a more difficult task 
than to reorganize its army. Heroic deeds are indispensa- 


ble. The words "victory," "success," must come to make 
the patriotic fibre vibrate and palpitate. Small triumphs 
are necessary to serve as a preface to the future, and from 
small things to great, men must be able to reason, to con- 
clude to a probability, to half see a possibility, to feel some- 
thing almost as good as a certainty. This was the way 
Prussia proceeded. Pulverized at Jena, invaded in a cam- 
paign of a few days, dismembered at Tilsit, almost wiped 
out of the map of Europe, she did not despair ; she set to 
work and patiently reorganized herself. 

For a long time Prussia collected herself in silence. 
She studied war, but she did not possess a single officer 
who had seen war. She was obliged to act in order to 
avoid atrophy. She re-entered the movement in 1848, 
forty-two years after Jena, and supported Holstein against 
Denmark. It was a paltry war, with varied alternatives, 
without great glory, but very useful so far as practical 
improvement was concerned. In 1859, at the news of the 
first successes of the French in Italy, the Prussians mob- 
ilized three army corps ; then three others after Magenta ; 
and, finally, all the federal contingents after Solferino. 
Although the peace rendered these preparations useless 
as warfare, they nevertheless constituted a veritable dress 
rehearsal or essav of mobilization. In 1861 the rei^n of 
William I. opens by the reorganization of the army and 
serious preparations for war. 

Having thus completed her programme, comprising the 
military reorganization of the nation, essays in war, essays 
in mobilization, realization of notable improvements, Prus- 
sia found herself ready; and judging from the carelessness 
of other nations that she could dare a good deal, she be- 
gan to unmask her projects. Nevertheless, carrying pru- 
dence to its last limits, she would not yet venture single- 
handed on a campaign. In 1861 she joined with Austria 



to crush Denmark, and 
in 1866 she demanded 
the aid of Italy in order 
to overthrow Austria. 
These successive trials 
gave her confidence, and 
being thoroughly pre- 
pared, she felt herself 
equal to fighting France, 
whom she surprised be- 
fore the necessary meas- 
ures could be taken by 
the latter. 

All this was rational. 
After the invasions of 
1814 and 1815, the logic 
of facts led France to 
proceed in the same 
manner. The year 1823 
saw an army march to 
help the Spanish Gov- 
ernment, enter Madrid 
unresisted, and push on as far as Cadiz, where the brilliant 
affair of the Trocadero peninsula terminated the war. In 
1827 France took up the defence of Greece against Turk- 
ish oppression. An expedition started for the Levant. 
The capture of the castle of the Morea and the naval bat- 
tle of Xavarino were successes big with consequences. 

Such were the forerunners of the military renovation 
at that epoch, which soon asserted itself brilliantly in the 
battle of Staoueli and the capture of Algiers, July 4, 1830. 
What changes in less than fifteen years ! Iberia restored 
to liberty, Hellas independent, Christian slavery in Africa 
destroyed, the Mediterranean freed from the Barbary 



pirates and opened to the commerce of all nations — such 
was the glorious work that France had accomplished be- 
fore the eyes of astonished Europe. Trocaclero, Morea, 
Navarino, Staoueli, Algiers, were names that re-echoed 
everywhere. The army that had been annihilated at 
Waterloo by the effort of the allies won back by these 
triumphs its old renown, recovered the first military rank, 
and preserved it for forty years. 

This fine period was followed by the reverses of 1870. 
France imposed upon herself the heaviest sacrifices in or- 
der to prolong the struggle. In this gigantic combat, sus- 
tained without warning against a well-prepared enemy, 
she astonished the world by her obstinate resistance, and 
so saved her honor. Hope rose above the trial. Disasters 
were not unknown to France ; often she had been invaded, 
but, like Antaeus, as she fell she recovered strength and 
rose again. What she had done in the past she could do 
in the future, and this conviction sustained her in the 
darkest days. Without hesitating, she set to work and 
rapidly reorganized her army. Excessive expense, inces- 
sant labor, universal effort — nothing was spared in this 
work of patriotic reconstruction. 

In these circumstances some saw salvation only in ex- 
treme prudence. Doubting the vitality of the country, 
they advocated absolute abstention, concentration at home, 
a horizon restricted to the narrowest limits, the renuncia- 
tion of all influence abroad. They forgot both history and 
logic. They did not see that the absorption of a country 
in one single thought is equivalent to effacement, isolation, 
decadence. Anaesthesia prevents suffering, but it is of no 
avail to regenerate. To await in inactivity and oblivion 
the propitious hour of revenge would mean the certainty 
of never seeing that hour ; it would amount to bankruptcy 
in the future, to suicide by atrophy. After great reverses 


great enterprises cannot be faced without prelude, without 
having made the army smell powder and try its strength 
in engagements of less importance. Such was the conduct 
of Prussia after 1806 ; such the conduct of France after 
1815. The method is always the same ; there is no other 
method but this one. Happily France counted not only 
meditative and hypnotized citizens ; she still had many 
men of action who realized the worth of a few acts of 
warfare in restoring confidence. Circumstances aided these 
latter. The repression of the insurrection in Algeria in 1871 
proved that the army had not lost its qualities. Work and 
reforms gave it new qualities, and when there arose in 1874 
and 1875 eventualities of war, the French army, if not 
quite ready, was at any rate very well able to present it- 
self respectably in line. 

Africa was again the land of practical renovation. Va- 
rious movements in 1876 and 1879 necessitated expeditions. 
The rising of the Oulad Sidi Scheikh under Bou Amema 
led to the war in the south Oranais. After a long and 
painful campaign the rebels were definitively crushed in 
the battle of Oued Fendi, south of Figuig. 

Military affairs then resumed hold of opinion, the more 
so as at that moment the Tunisian events began to de- 
velop. In April, 18S1, the borderers redoubled their ag- 
gressions, and the Tunisian Government was powerless to 
repress them. The French columns penetrated into the 
thick of the Khoumirs, and the Bey having accepted the 
support of France, our troops accomplished the pacifica- 
tion of the whole of Tunisia. To the popular names of 
Mouzaia, Isly, and Taguin were added those of Bizerta, 
where Harailcar fought, of Zama, rendered famous by 
Scipio, of Kerouan, the sacred city of the Khalifs. This 
brilliant and rapid campaign struck imaginations and re- 
vived memories of the glorious periods of the past. 



The deception was therefore all the more acute in July, 
1882, when the French Government did not think proper 
to intervene in Egypt in concert with the English. The 
following year the death of Commander Riviere led to the 
Tonkin expedition. Hanoi, Son Tay, the heroic defence 
of Tuyen Kuan, Foutcheou, saw our troops victorious in 
the far East. Indo- China was created. In Senegal a 
French expedition founded the fort of Bamakou, on the 
Niger. At the same time our navy took possession of the 
Bay of Majunga and of the port of Tametave, and assured 
our preponderance in Madagascar. Fine pages of military 
history ; smiles of victory ; three protectorates founded, 
thus increasing the national territory. Everywhere great 
difficulties were surmounted ; volunteers in large numbers ; 
zeal, devotion, endurance. Each of these expeditions 
showed the army to be excellent. It had plenty of men, 

^v v > 


fine arms, first-class materiel. It could make a good fig- 
ure against any enemy whatever. Hence confidence lias 
been restored. From the arniy, always in progress, it has 
extended to the nation. And this confidence is justifia- 
ble, because it is not a thing of chance, but has sprung 
from the efforts of all, and imposed itself little by little. 
The lost materiel has been replaced. The blood shed has 
been renewed. The father-land has recovered its serenity, 
and although still suffering from the amputation of its be- 
loved province, it looks out calmly upon the future. Trust- 
ing in itself and in its army, it eyes proudly the Teuton 
who threw it by surprise. 

France is still the Yelleda cherished by her children ; 
the immortal Gaulish prophetess adored by her warriors ; 
often vanquished, but never killed, retiring to bind up her 
wounds in the depths of her great forests, and reappearing 
again radiant with fresh youth. After the disaster of 
Rosbach she contemplated Jena ; after the woes of Sedan 
she will have, if it please God, the joy of another Jena. 
The duel is not yet ended, but at the next reprise the en- 
gagement will no longer be unequal. The sons of Yelleda 
remember, and others will remember too. 


By contact with misfortune characters have been steeled. 
The instruction of the French army has been developed, 
and even its amusements have become more serious, and 
those which necessitate exercises useful in warfare, such 
as drag hunts, raids, and " rally-papier," or paper chases, 
are very popular. A brilliant example was recently seen 
in Brittany. In the middle of the trees the polygon of 
Bennes, with its hawthorn hedge in bloom, looked like an 

immense Coliseum of verdure. The study batteries and 
the hill offered to the crowd every facility for viewing 
the marvellous panorama formed by the River Yilaine, 
winding through the meadows striped with lines of tall 
poplar -trees, the woods of the domain of La Prevalaye, 
the town of Rennes rising up the hill-side terracewise, 
and dominated by the incomparable promenade of Thabor. 
The plateau on the top of the hill was the best spot whence 
to watch the incidents of the paper chase, and so it was 
occupied by all the notabilities of the district. A crowd, 
too, was gathered round the huntsmen at the starting- 
point, fixed in a clearing of the woods of the old Chateau 
de la Fresloniere, whence issued the sounds of the hunt- 
ing-horns announcing le lander. The expectation is in- 


tense. At last the signal is given ; all the horsemen go 
away at a gallop along the avenues and roads, following 
the track indicated by the scraps of paper. When they 
get out of the wood they see the " stag." He has made a 
wide double, and is already near the bridge over the Yi- 
laine. All the troop clash into the meadows, putting to 
flight a herd of heifers astounded by this sudden invasion. 
The bridge crossed, the huntsmen enter the domain of La 
Prevalaye. The horns sound the Men-aller, and the echoes 
reach the polygon, where the crowd watches eagerly, with 
its race -glasses fixed in the direction of the old manor- 
house, whose pointed gables emerge from the midst of the 
trees. A fault cleverly prepared by the " stag " leads the 
huntsmen off the track towards a decayed old oak-tree, 
under which Henri IV. is said to have sat ; they have to 
return in a direction almost diametrically opposite, and 
then turn to gain the polygon. Their zigzags in the broad 
avenues of the park, and the leaping over ditches and 
hedges that enclose the rich meadows, are all visible to 
the spectators, who can distinguish through the trees the 
dashing company of officers in varied uniforms, with here 
and there the red coat or the black jacket of a civilian. 
They get nearer, and finally they enter the polygon, bend- 
ing forward over their foaming horses. When the hunts- 
men feel that the eyes of the ladies are upon them their 
animation redoubles ; their horses bound forward respon- 
sive to the spur ; the jumps arranged around the hill are 
cleared with ease and style; and the splendid finish is 
greeted with bravos and hurrahs as the horsemen pull up 
and salute the company. 

The paper chase is over, but the day is not yet finished. 
The ladies know very well that the officers are not going 
to rest, and that they themselves have not come merely to 
look on, but also in the hope of having a dance after. 



All the carriages laden with sight-seers are drawn up 
in line along one side of the polygon. The huntsmen, in 
ranks of six abreast, defile past the company and dismount 
at the extremity of the line, when all the carriages follow 
them. The officers then conduct the ladies into a little 
wood, where a delicate lunch has been prepared. A mili- 
tary band plays, and after a few overtures it strikes up 
dance music. A closely-mown lawn is ready hard by ; the 
officers are not tired, the ladies are not tired either, and in 
a few seconds the ball is in full swing, and lasts until the 
dinner -hour and the approach of night warn the gay 
waltzers that they must go home, and that the charming 
fete must come to an end. 


Pleasure, however, does not interfere with work. After 
a day's amusement each one feels all the more zealous in 
his service. The recruits have just joined the regiment. 



The pessimists are in despair. The contingent seems to 
them to be very mediocre. It is the same story every 
year. Going back to the old days in Africa and the 
Crimea, they vaunt those vigorous generations which 
braved everything — danger, climate, privation. The 
young armies of the terrible war of 1870 were not bad 
either. Improvised, badly trained, badly armed, poorly 
officered, always in presence of an enemy superior in num- 
ber, they nevertheless managed to make a good figure 
during that rigorous winter, when they were incessantly 
beaten and yet always resisted. 

The troops of to*day will be just as good. The soldier 
has changed ; that is incontestable ; but he has preserved 
his essential qualities. His carelessness, his " chaff " — 
which foreigners sometimes mistake for indiscipline — con- 
sole and sustain him in the hour of trial, and render him 
well fitted to endure privations. The retreat from Mos- 
cow, the siege of Sebastopol, the siege of Metz, the expe- 
ditions in Asia, Africa, and Mexico, have all borne witness 
to the same solidhvv, the same endurance, the same con- 
tempt of danger, and indifference to the hardness of cam- 
paign life, the same zeal and pluck ever ready to manifest 

The French soldier possesses bravery, the legendary 
virtue of the Gauls ; his spirit is warlike rather than mili- 
tary. Our endeavor has been to preserve the one while 
developing the other ; to add method and prudence to in- 
nate fancy and spirit of adventure. Military education is 
the great preoccupation of the modern French army, and 
in this matter the subaltern officer is the most precious 

When young the subaltern is a little light, familiar, and 
too near the age of the soldiers under his orders. When he 
re-engages, after he has settled down and won his medal, 



he is excellent, and possesses a considerable situation vis- 
a-vis the recruit or the reservist. His brusqueness is of 
the right sort ; he reprimands, scolds, and punishes, but 
he does not abuse the men ; still less does he strike them. 
His whole being is a picture of action and movement. He 
joins example to precept ; he demonstrates and he exe- 
cutes. Athletic in form, of bronzed complexion, cleanly 
shaven, with heavy mustaches, a long mouche under his 


lower lip, his dress irreproachable, his physiognomy is 
kindly, his aspect serious, and he rarely laughs. 

Such was the appearance of Sergeant Trevert when he 
was instructing the newly arrived conscripts. "All your 
duties," he used to say to them, " may be reduced to one, 
namely, obedience. Obedience includes all the others. 
Discipline is obedience. It is very simple, you see. To 
wear a uniform, handle a gun properly, put a bullet in the 
target — all that a militiaman can do as well as a soldier. 
But a soldier is a different thing from a militiaman ; he 
is disciplined ; that is to say, he obeys ; whereas the mili- 
tiaman criticises ; there's the difference between them. 
When I tell you to obey, that means that you must exe- 
cute an order at a word or a sign, and divine the thoughts 
of the commander, because that is always the right track. 
Obey, and never make reflections ; that, young conscripts, 
is the occiput and great toe of discipline. If you do not 
understand my anatomical comparison, I will complete it 
for your limited intelligences by adding that it is the be- 
ginning and the end of the soldier's business. When I or- 
der you to do something, you need not understand. Tre- 
vert speaks. Trevert knows what he is talking about. 
Trevert thinks for you. All you have to do is to execute 
his orders, and sharply. Always keep your eye on me, 
whether in a manoeuvre or on the battle-field. I march, 
you follow me. I run, you run. I fall down wounded . . . 
and what do you do ?" 

" We pick you up." 

" Nonsense ! On the battle-field we do not stop to pick 
up the wounded. You continue all the more sharply ; you 
go on, marching over me. I shall be pleased to feel how 
vigorously you are going along, and if I am not killed out- 
right I shall shout to you, ' Trample on me, crush me, nom 
<Tun lieu, but charge !' " 


This was not perhaps academic eloquence, but it was 
nevertheless eloquence of a certain sort, warm and com- 
municative, because it was sincere. All his young listen- 
ers, students, tradespeople, farmers, were stirred by this 
picturesque and often incorrect language, always frank, 
always to the point, and always exalting duty. A sub- 
altern officer well educated and a good literary speaker 
would never have produced such an effect. 

Sergeant Trevert thus terminated his discourse : " Here 
is the order for to-morrow. At nine o'clock review of 
the regiment ; reception of the newly promoted ; presen- 
tation of the recruits to the colors. You understand? 
Try and furbish yourselves up brand-new from head to 

The men who have just come to the regiment are dressed 
on the day of their arrival, and set to work the next day. 
They do not take part in the manoeuvres of the regiment 
until they are in a condition to figure decently under arms. 
The moment when they are, so to speak, declared soldiers 
is that when they are presented to the colors— an old cus- 
tom which is not followed everywhere, and which has an 
imposing and inspiring character. It strikes } r oung imag- 
inations, and at the same time it fills with emotion the 
hearts of the old soldiers. 

In order that everything may be in order, the men sit 
up late and rise early, busy making up their knapsacks, 
brushing their clothes, polishing their accoutrements. 
Then comes the examination by the subalterns and the 
platoon officers. The men after that go down into the 
drill -yard, and are inspected by the captain. The bat- 
talions are then set in line. The colonel arrives. The 
band plays. The colonel reviews the men in detail. 
The recruits feel their hearts thumping when they see 
so many officers examining them minutely. The officers 


and subaltern officers recently appointed are recognized 
according to the regulation formulas. Meanwhile a com- 
pany has gone to fetch the flag, which advances with its 
escort, and stops in the middle of the court-yard of the 

The drums roll. The colonel orders the presentation of 
arms, and salutes the flag with his sword. Drums, bugles, 
and music sound the order, " To the flag !" All the old 
soldiers of the regiment who have a decoration or a medal 
go and take their place around the colors. The newly 
promoted officers stand in front of them. Then the colo- 
nel orders, " Shoulder arms ! vanguard in open order," and 
pronounces the formula of investiture before each officer, 
strikes him on the shoulder with his sword, hands him the 
insignia of his grade, and kisses him. 

Then he orders the vanguard to close its ranks, and the 
guns to be stacked. 

The recruits, without arms, then come and stand in 
a semicircle before the flag, which is still surrounded 
by the officers and the soldiers who have decorations or 

" Soldiers," says the colonel, " in your towns, in your 
villages, in the fields, the church-steeple was your rally- 
ing -point. Around it were your families, your homes, 
your interests. Here the colors take the place of the 
steeple. They are even more ; the colors are the image 
of the father-land itself, the sign of honor, the symbol of 
devotion even unto death. Proud to serve them, feeling 
honored to defend them, you cannot abandon them with- 
out becoming cowardly deserters, traitors to your country 
and to your countrymen. You see how we love and ven- 
erate our national colors. Let this same spirit of affection 
and respect henceforward animate you, and in all circum- 
stances rally always to the cry, Au drapeau ! cm dm- 



peau ! You will be told the history of the colors and the 
history of the regiment which is now your military family. 
It contains already many fine pages ; try by your valiant 
deeds to increase the number of those pages." 

Then each captain explains to his men the signification 
of the flag. Symbol of the father-land, it remains in the 
middle of the regiment. Its folds speak. What words ? 
On one side "valor" and "discipline," which embrace all 
the duties of a soldier ; on the other, the names of the bat- 
tles that recall all his souvenirs. The captains mention 
the brilliant actions in which the regiment has been dis- 
tinguished, the losses it has sustained — in a word, its whole 
history ; and when this record is ended, the men take up 
their arms and march past the colors, saluting them, to 
the sounds of the regimental march. 

The presentation to the colors is followed by their ex- 
hibition in the salle cfhonneur, where they remain all day, 
with a guard relieved every hour. The recruits, guided 
by their subaltern officers, come to visit them, and to see 
the room where are displayed all the souvenirs of the 
regiment — pictures, portraits, photographs, relics, busts, 
statues, etc. An attempt is made to explain to them all 
that concerns the regiment, and to give them a high idea 
of the military family to which they henceforward belong. 

It is not easy to find one's way without a guide in the 
Alpes Maritimes. A company of tourists more venture- 
some than prudent discovered that not long ago. They 
had started from the charming inn of La Girandola, 
perched on a rock on the banks of the Boy a, and intended 
to climb the peak of Gonella, in order to get a view of 


the high ridges. They missed their way, passed the point 
they were seeking, and continued up and down, almost all 
the time through woods, until at last fatigue caused them 
to stop. The ladies of the party were in despair, and be- 
gan to talk of dying of hunger in those fearful solitudes, 
when the notes of a bugle were heard in the distance. 
The tourists recognized the French clairon, which is much 
shriller than the Italian cornet, and advancing in the di- 
rection of the sound, they were soon out of the wood and 
within view of a troop on the march— a battalion of chas- 
seurs de montagne, with gray dolmans and trousers and leg- 
gings. As they advanced, the tourists distinguished clear- 
ly the column developing its spirals on the side of a steep 
spur, mounting from the depths of the valley of Luceran 
towards the peak of La Calmette. On a point to the 
left a group halted, forming the vanguard ; the main body 
of the troop climbed slowly, followed by a long line of 

At that moment the firing of a cannon re-echoed from 
rock to rock, and announced the beginning of the attack. 
Little by little all the battalion got footing on the top of 
the spur, deployed on this difficult ground, and advanced 
towards the principal peak. The musketry rattled, backed 
up by the thundering of the artillery. Lines of agile foot- 
soldiers rose from the hollows of the rocks, from the midst 
of the bushes, from the irregularities of the ground, showed 
themselves for a moment, then disappeared, and kept on 
advancing. The frightened chamois, surprised by these 
sounds in their solitudes, bounded from rock to rock. 
Their wild flight will carry news to the inhabitants of 
the Italian slope, who have a proverb saying, " When the 
chamois come down in flight, the French are mounting 
on the heights." 

The attack continues. The noise redoubles. The chas- 


seurs are running up the steep slopes. At last they reach 
the summit. What lungs ! what legs they have ! 

Now the troops halt, assemble together, make coffee, 
and take a rest. The tired tourists join them. The of- 
ficer in command, having been informed of their misad- 
venture, promises to help them. 

" I cannot have you taken back to the plain to-day," 
he says to them. " You will have to stay with us until 
to-morrow, and follow us to our camp to-night." 

"Oh," said one of the ladies, " that is impossible. We 
cannot walk another step." 

"Do not be alarmed, ladies," replied the officer. "Our 
pannier mules will carry you. We will put you up 
comfortably in the bivouac; and to-morrow we will 
go down to La Bollene, where you will find carriages for 

The proposition was promptly accepted. The bugle 
sounded the signal for departure, and the ladies were 
placed on the backs of the ambulance mules, accompanied 
by the men of their party, and intrusted to the care of 
the doctor of the battalion. For a time the road was fair- 
ly good. An hour's march brought them to the wood- 
cutters' camp, a group of huts inhabited by the men who 
work the forest. Here the mules' straps were tightened, 
their shoes examined, and their burdens carefully put in 
order, for the last part of the road is the hardest. The 
wood-cutters' camp is the last point where there is any 
water, and so, before starting, all the animals are given 
to drink, and all the pots, gourds, and other receptacles 
are filled. 

The zigzag and very precipitous path, mounting up a 
steep incline formed of loose fragments of rock, is ham- 
pered by roots and branches of trees. The men march 
briskly. Their step shows that they are accustomed to 


the mountain, its steep paths, and its rarefied air. Their 
lungs, like their muscles, are strengthened by these re- 
peated exercises in the woods, on the heights, and across 
the glaciers all through the fine months of the year. 

Farther on the ground gets bare ; the path runs over 
the rock itself; the zigzags are so short that they have 
scarcely the length of a mule. The animals advance but 
very slowly, and by the time the ambulance reaches the 
plateau the soldiers have already been there some time, 
and the bivouac has been rapidly formed. 

The officer in command comes forward to meet the 
tourists, and, to their great surprise, proposes to conduct 
them to their hotel. They follow him. The mules stop 
at the extremity of the plateau, where the woods begin. 
Under the trees a bivouac has been installed for the tour- 
ists. A gourbi of pine branches will protect them from 
the coolness of the night. The entrance is decorated with 
bouquets of mountain flowers. 

" Here is your home for one day, mesdames," says the 
officer. " We will send you the mule litters, and, with 
some fern and a rug, you will have a fairly comfortable 

" We accept the lodging, but not the beds. We will 
not deprive your sick." 

" I have no sick," replies the officer. " There is nobody 
in the ambulance. The ambulance is, so to speak, useless. 
We have been on the march during the past three months. 
We have just inarched six long spells without a rest. We 
shall march again to-morrow, and then perhaps we shall 
take a day's rest. My men are in perfect training. Now 
I will leave you, mesdames. In an hour I will come to 
take you to dinner." 

At the appointed time the officer came, and all the 
tourists followed him across the plateau, admiring the 


splendid panorama spread out before them. From the 
summit of the Aution (2060 metres) they saw at their 
feet, like a gigantic ditch, the valley of the Mimiera join- 
ing the Roya at the east near San Dalmazzo, and com- 
manded by an Italian fort, the most advanced of the 
works that defend the Col de Tende. Beyond the depth 
of the Mimiera rose the last chain of the Alpes Maritimes, 
throwing up heavenward the ridge Del Diablo (2687 me- 
tres) and the peak of L'Abisso (2TT5 metres), an enormous 
mass, with its snowy covering tinted rose by the setting 
sun — a grand and striking spectacle, especially when seen 
from the midst of a bivouac, itself always so curious and 
so attractive. The sentinels watch as they pace to and 
fro. The mules browse the scant but tasty grass of the 
high plateaux. Seated on old tree -trunks, the officers 
finish their itineraries, complete their notes, draw up re- 
ports on the country they have traversed, make sketches 
of the distant mountain silhouettes. The soldiers sing as 
they clean their arms, shout, run, and amuse themselves 
with games. To see their movements and their activity 
you would never think that they had marched twenty- 
five miles and accomplished a manoeuvre amid all the 
obstacles of mountainous ground. The Italians have rea- 
son to be proud of their Alpine companies. Our chasseurs 
de montagne are not one whit inferior to them in tenacity 
and endurance. 

Night closes in. Dinner is served on a table formed 
of wattled branches covered with flowery turf. Old pine 
trunks, cut down in time of former wars, serve as seats. 
A big fire and torches formed of pine branches light the 
guests at this original and rustic feast. At such an alti- 
tude frugality is obligatory, nevertheless the fare is quite 
respectable. The chief dishes are red partridges and civet 
de chamois, pine mushrooms, an ice made with ewes' milk 


and snow, while strawberries, arbutus berries, and wild 
forest fruits, served in nests of moss, formed the dessert. 
The tourists are delighted, and thank the officers by 
drinking- their health, and soon all retire to rest, for the 
next morning they will have to be up betimes. 

At daybreak the battalion resumes its march along the 
ridge, alternately through woods and across meagre past- 
urages. The solitude is absolute except for some pasto- 
rello guarding his goats, who seem literally to cling to the 
mountain-side. The view is marvellous when the distance 
appears through a rent in the opaline morning mist. 

The summit of the Tuor is reached without great diffi- 
culty, and after that the road follows the jagged edge of 
an extinct crater, at the bottom of which winds a silver 
ribbon, the Planchette, which at the end bathes the foun- 
dations of the Hotel cle la Bollene, whose dazzling white 
walls seem not far away, although it will take hours to 
reach it. The inclines become steeper and steeper, and 
the path narrower and narrower. The ladies seated in 
the panniers and swayed by the movements of the mules 
above the abyss are not without alarm. They are not 
accustomed to the sensations of these giddy heights and 

The road gets worse, and becomes absolutely execrable 
at the point where the grand descent begins, and where 
the track is scarcely marked out in the sinuosities of the 
rocks. At one point great blocks overhang ; at another 
sharp projections have to be turned ; almost all the way 
the road follows the edge of a precipice. One cannot im- 
agine how the mules will pass with their burdens, or how 
they can even get footing in this dangerous pass. The 
battalion passes without winking, as if it were the simplest 
thing in the world, and the mountain battery follows in 
its turn. But not the tourists ; they find the danger too 


imminent and dismount, preferring to trust to their feet. 
Meanwhile they wait till the path is free, sitting on a 
granite promontory, and watching the whole battery de- 
file along this track, which seems impracticable even for 
the goats themselves. It is a work of strength and pa- 
tience, and requires as much skill as it does coolness. 
The soldiers hold up the mules, and even their burdens, 
by means of ropes. Thus relieved, the animals glide along 
rather than walk, stiffening their fore -legs, and almost 
touching the ground with their hind quarters. A few ac- 
cidents happen, but, thanks to the manifold precautions 


and to the care of the drivers, they are rarely serious; 
the mules that fall are soon put on their feet again. At 
last this long and perilous pass is cleared ; the battery and 
the ambulance rejoin the battalion, and after a short halt 
the march is resumed, and La Bollene is reached. 

The tourists rushed into the hotel, delighted to find 
themselves once more in a civilized place, and to be able 
to rest for a few hours. The column, however, continued 
its march. Later on the tourists started for Nice in a 
carriage. Towards the end of the day they overtook the 
indefatigable chasseurs, who were still inarching along, al- 
though more than- twelve hours had passed since they had 
begun their day's work. 


Towards the end of the month of August the station of 
Florae on the Midi railway presented an unaccustomed 
aspect. The employes were all on the qui vive. A picket 
of soldiers under arms was waiting at the door. An of- 
ficer was superintending the arrangement of tall wooden 
indicators with the inscriptions, " Caserne haute," " Ca- 
serne Ducale," Caserne des Celestins." A number of sub- 
altern officers were walking up and down the platform in 
the midst of a crowd of people who had come merely to 
see. The 4.30 train was expected, bringing most of the 
reservists who had been convoked to do their twenty- 
eight days of military service. 

The train steams into the station with a bunch of heads 
straining through every car window, and with a din of 
cries, calls, and songs. From all the compartments issued 
young men, each carrying a valise or a bundle. Most of 
them wear civil costume ; some are in military uniform. 


The agitation is extreme. The officers at the top of their 
voices call out the names of the barracks, and group the 
reservists around the indicators. Gradually order is estab- 
lished ; the noise ceases ; a roll of the drums has sufficed. 
The reservists follow the subaltern officers out of the sta- 
tion, and proceed to march firmly along behind the reg- 
imental band which has come to meet them. The mass of 
men, so noisy and loquacious a minute ago, has become si- 
lent, taken place in the ranks in correct order, and marches 
along to the rhythm of the music in the most methodical 
manner, without murmur or protestation. 

When they reach the barracks the detatchments are 
handed over to their captains. The roll is called. There 
are few missing. The reservists take up their quarters in 
the rooms that have just been occupied by the men of the 
territorial army. In military life there is no dull season ; 
the various categories of men succeed each other ; recruits, 
disponibles, non exerces, dispenses, territoriaux, reservistes, 
come, one after the other, to receive or to renew their in- 

The next morning, as if they had been touched by a 
magic wand, all these men were dressed, equipped, armed, 
and at work on the drill-ground. To see their bearing, 
their zeal, and their readiness in the exercises, inexperi- 
enced eyes might confound them with the regular soldiers 
of the regiment. This rapid transformation — one of the 
necessities of modern warfare — has become part of the 
manners and customs of the country. Three days after- 
wards the regiment left Florae to take part in the grand 
autumn manoeuvres, absolutely in the same conditions as 
if it had started on a real campaign. 



During the autumn manoeuvres the cantonment of the 
troops has a peculiar and picturesque character. It is 
neither a fete, nor a fair, nor a market, but all three put 
together. The streets are crowded with vehicles, horsemen, 
estafettes, troops, canteen women, sutlers, contractors, all 
hurrying about and very busy. Every house is changed 
into barracks. The stables, the sheds, barns, and store- 
houses are full of soldiers cleaning their accoutrements, 
furbishing their arms, cooking their food. The population 
has suspended its existence. Those who can find anything* 
that the troops want, offer it for sale. Those who have 
nothing to sell stroll about to satisfy their curiosity. Cart- 
loads of bread and meat follow wagons laden with straw 
or wood, and no sooner have they arrived in the market- 
place than they are emptied into the regimental carts, which 
distribute their contents in the different quarters. Mean- 
while the telegraphists unroll their cables and fix them 
along 1 the houses; the ambulant station is installed in front 
of the town-hall, and messages begin to go and come. 
There is the staff — the motor, the brain, the apparatus, 
that transmits the will of the commander of the army 
corps. On horseback, surrounded by all his officers, the 
chief of the staff listens to reports, gives orders, signs 
papers ; the officers write on the pommel of their saddles ; 
messages are despatched in all directions, and conveyed 
rapidly by estafettes on horseback, orderlies on foot, ve- 
locipedists with light trousers, gaiters, and little caps. 

A big cart with four horses arrives at a trot, with diffi- 
culty cleaving its way through the crowd. It contains long 
baskets that seem to hold poultry. The crowd- salutes this 
apparition with a volley of jokes, but soon it becomes all 
attention when it sees that the baskets contain carrier- 


pigeons. The birds are to be let go, and all crowd and 
crush, to see the operation. An officer verifies the indica- 
tions on the baskets, and has them opened one after the 
other. The pigeons come out slowly, rise, sweep round two 
or three times, and then start off in a straight line for their 
homes, not a little alarmed by the cries and the joy of the 
public deeply interested by the spectacle. 

ISText follow the aeronautical carts, with a big balloon 
swaying over the first one, while on the other carts are 
numbers of little pilot or reserve balloons, the oven for 
making the gas, and ropes and tackle of all sorts. The 
sight-seers are much impressed by this new war apparatus, 
which they now see for the first time, and which, in their 
enthusiasm and astonishment, they honor with an ovation. 

Suddenly the market-place is cleared. The people hasten 
away as quickly as they came. A word has sufficed : " Les 
etrangers arrivent !" The foreigners are coining ! And 
everybody hurries away to the railway station. 

A regimental band plays when the train arrives bringing 
the foreign officers. The chief of the staff welcomes them 
in a room decorated with flowers and verdure, where the 
local authorities are assembled. After these compliments 
the foreign officers are conveyed in breaks to the principal 
hotel, where rooms have been engaged for them, and while 
the regimental wagons are bringing their baggage, a lunch 
is served in the dining-room. After lunch the foreign 
officers go for a walk through the town in little groups. 
The crowd gazes at them deferentially, trying to distin- 
guish their nationality from their uniforms, and discreetly 
manifesting its sympathies. 

But the streets are so crowded that it is not easy to walk 
about. It is the hour of the evening meal. The streets, 
the open spaces, the court -yards, are encumbered with 
tables. Hotels, inns, cafes, make every effort to satisfy 


their swarms of customers. Soldiers and reservists are 
eating, drinking, laughing, and singing. During the march, 
the manoeuvres, and the corvees, the men have remained se- 
rious, but now that they are no longer on duty, gauloiserie 
resumes it rights and overflows like the glasses. There are 
no sulkers, no sufferers from homesickness. Oblivion wipes 
out all cares. The soldier's life is hard at times, but there 
is no help for it, and the men are gay and joyous all the 
same — a precious quality in manoeuvres, admirable in war, 
and an excellent resource against adversity. 

Night comes on. Lamps, lanterns, and candles are 
lighted, and throw into relief the dark shadows of the 
garlands of foliage and the transparencies, with their in- 
scriptions in honor of the army. In-doors and out-of-doors 
there are sounds of music and dancing. No scandalous 
scenes, no drunkenness. This frank gayety, this vigor of 
our men, who, after marching all day, and with the pros- 
pect of hard work the next day, still run about and dance, 
always astonish foreigners, who are struck by their phys- 
ical endurance and good-humor. 


A little after sunrise solitude reigned in the little town 
of Monvel, that had been so animated the previous night. 
The troops had all disappeared, and nearly all the inhab- 
itants too, for they had gone to see the manoeuvres. At a 
distance of about six miles from the town the columns of 
troops begin to appear and to close up. A long file of 
breaks brings the foreign officers up to a vast circular tent, 
where a well-provided buffet awaits them. The general- 
in-chief is announced, and all the officers place themselves 
according to nationality, and the official presentations take 




place. Then the general retires to order 
operations to begin. The foreign officers 
find horses ready for them, and under the 
guidance of French officers placed at their 
service they disperse, in order to follow 
the incidents of the action. 

The attacking troops advance slowly in 
long lines of sharp-shooters. The defence 
retreats, and concentrates its efforts on 
defending the passage of the valley, the 
hedges from which tall poplar-trees rise, 
the mill, whose dam, running parallel with 
the river, augments its power of resistance. 
Still the defence is obliged to yield, and ac- 
cordingly falls back half-way up the hill, 
where a village forms its centre. This point becomes the 
object of all the efforts of the assailants. The defenders 
are once more forced to fall back to the summit of the 
hill ; the position is excellent and difficult of access. 
The defence has taken its measures well. The attack, 
however, behaves equally well. The lines close up ; the 
reserves approach. You feel that the denouement is not 
far off. 

To the right a long cloud of dust and a dull rumbling 
announce the approach of artillery, which dashes forward, 
and soon deploys on a hill-side. They are no longer small 
cannons of shining bronze, such as the Prussian pieces 
destroyed in 1870, without fear of being touched by their 
projectiles. In place of these old-fashioned guns we see a 
long row of stiff and black steel tubes without artistic 
character — artillery of long and precise range, with which 
the enemy will have one day to count. 

The public hurries up on foot, on horseback, in carriages, 
eager to see the exciting spectacle of the image of war. 


On the side that forms the left of the attack is an eleva- 
tion commanding the Canal du Midi. Some horse batteries 
trot up and take their position there. They clear walls 
and ditches, then deploy at a gallop, stop in line, and run 
out their guns. Two squadrons of chasseurs, on their little 
smoking horses, gallop after them, leap over all obstacles, 
dash through stones and bushes, and take up their position 
a little in the rear of the batteries, to protect them. 

The crowd applauds the artillerymen and the chasseurs, 
whose rapid evolution has been executed with incompar- 
able dash, boldness, and maestria. Absorbed by their en- 
thusiasm, the spectators want to see everything without 
heeclino- the dangers that surround them. No sooner are 
the batteries in position than the firing begins. The re- 
peated detonations frighten the horses in the throng of 
carriages. The ladies stop their ears. Screams and cries 
of lamentation are heard. One horse bolts away with a 
carriage full of people ; the coachman has lost all control ; 
the descent is steep ; the road runs along the brow of the 
hill that dominates the canal ; the turn is very short, the 
danger imminent, and no help appears possible. A lieu- 
tenant of the supporting squadrons sees the danger and 
the way to meet it, makes his horse leap over hedge and 
ditch, and places himself tranquilly across the road. The 
carriage comes tearing along ; there is a terrible shock ; 
officer and horse are overthrown, and the runaway horse 
and carriage come to a stand-still in a cloud of dust. The 
people in the carriage are unhurt, but the lieutenant, who 
has saved their lives, is picked up grievously wounded and 
unconscious. Thereupon the men of the Ked Cross Society 
come up and take charge of him. The canal is near, and 
on it is a section of the floating ambulance, a recent crea- 
tion of the Union des Femmes de France, whose litter-men 
carry the wounded officer on board, and convey him to 

ad 1 .. «i^K 



no change 
every second, 
the reserves 
from right to 
fire. Platoons of 
veritable human 
of the musketry in- 
cumulates all its re 
its intention of making 
the right wing the cav- 
trot, a little masked by the 
ground. The horses are 

the village of Pontpetit, where at night 
the ambulance of the army corps is to be 

This episode could naturally make 

in the normal development of the 

the intensity of which increases 

The riflemen thicken their ranks ; 

enter in line in compact masses ; 

left the artillery quickens its 

infantry well sheltered form 

mitrailleuses. The rattle 

creases. The attack ac- 

sources, thus intimating 

a vigorous effort. On 

airy advances at a 

irregularities of the 

You feel 


from their restrained step that the charge is about to take 

The signal is given. From all sides the troops dash 
forward, the cavalry towards the enemy's flank, the in- 
fantry in the same direction. Bayonets are fixed. Drums 
and bugles beat and sound the charge. In spite of the 
steepness of the ascent the step is quickened to a run, to 
repeated cries of " En avant ! en avant !" The enemy re- 
treats, and the public too, terror-stricken by the torrent of 
mounting bayonets. The assault is finished ; the crest of 
the hill is reached ; the position is won. 


A few days afterwards the army corps was assembled 
on the banks of the Gers, in the splendid Armagnac re- 
gion near Audi. The grand autumn manoeuvres were at 
an end. The final review was about to take place. This 
event is the fete, the crowning of the efforts, the recom- 
pense of the labor of all. 

From very distant points the spectators have gathered 
in such immense crowds that, although very numerous, 
the troops are almost lost amid the ocean of heads. The 
faubourg is decorated with flags, garlands, triumphal 
arches of greenery, banners, and handeroles bearing in- 
scriptions in honor of the army. The Place de Strasbourg 
is thronged with people — on the roofs, on the trees, at 
the windows — every corner is occupied. The review is 
passed. The general - in - chief returns to the Place, fol- 
lowed by all the foreign officers in full-dress uniform, 
and the marching past begins amid the applause of the 
spectators, who comprehend the importance of the re- 
sult manifested by the smart and regular step of the in- 


fantry, still fresh and in fine form after twenty days of 
hard manoeuvres. 

In this part of France people are impressionable ; they 
feel and appreciate vividly ; their demonstrative nature 
delights in exterior manifestations ; they feel a need of 
giving vent to their enthusiasm. To see their reservists, 
their children, their fellow -citizens, inarch smartly past 
and represent their province brilliantly in the eyes of all 
the foreign military missions excited their enthusiasm to 
the highest degree, and made them prodigal of their 
cheers. All the regiments, all the arms, all the colors, 
were greeted with roars of applause ; the very length of 
the spectacle seemed to revive them; and their enthusi- 
asm was justified. 

"When it was over, when the commander-in-chief saluted 
the foreigners and the authorities, and then returned into 
the town, followed by his brilliant cortege, cries of " Vive 
le general !" rose from all sides. The crowd seemed to 
have but one voice to say to him, " Merci !" — thank you. 
Among these ardent Southerners it was, as it were, a ver- 
itable explosion of national sentiment and local self-love. 
Doubtless there was in it a warm and grateful feeling 
towards the chief who had directed the manoeuvres, but 
this unanimous homage was addressed principally to the 
army, to its activity and its good training, which are pledges 
of security and of hope. And in their enthusiasm you felt 
the vibration of the nation itself applauding the living ex- 
pression of its resuscitation. 


Other manoeuvres, more restricted but not less interest- 
ing, were then taking place in the Yosges district, where 
excellent troops found enthusiastic hearts to admire them. 
Under the less luminous sky of eastern France you no 
longer find the noisy expansiveness of the south. On the 
frontier the attitude is silent and melancholy, and cries 
are replaced by looks that are as eloquent as words. 

The contrast is complete between the two sides of the 
mountains. On the west, calm, tranquillity, hope. On 
the east, agitation, persecution, alarm. A strange specta- 
cle. The Germans live in a state of perpetual suspicion. 
The smoke that rises in the air, the wind that blows, the 
gunshot of a hunter, the digging of a ditch, the building 
of a wall — everything excites their suspicion. The move- 
ments of our troops in particular worry them intensely. 
Military reconnoissances, making rapid explorations on 
the slopes of the Hohneck or the Prayez, drive them wild, 
and all sorts of suppositions come into their heads as to 
the motives, the means, the object. The absence of all 
mystery makes them think that there must be some. 
They want absolutely to know what we are doing. They 
are astonished to see us moving about in our own coun- 
try, so little do they themselves feel at home on the other 
side of the mountains. 

The Germans are tortured with apprehension. Their 
ever-increasing armaments do not make them feel secure. 
The victor, the conqueror, the mighty man, declares that 
he fears nothing, and at the same time he fears everything, 
both what he sees, and still more what he does not see. 
The Germans are peculiarly concerned about the progress 
of the French army. They feel that they are already 
equalled, and that perhaps they will soon be surpassed. 

-\ ' 


Hence that immoderate need of getting information un- 
der all pretexts, by all means, under all disguises. Tour- 
ists, workmen, peddlers, ambulant musicians, etc., are al- 
ways wandering about the frontier zone. But, in spite of 
that, they are always in doubt. All the precautions they 
take, all the spies they send, all the money they spend, do 
not satisfy their curiosity. Why % Because the informa- 
tion obtained is not such as they could wish. 

Refusing to believe in the so complete reorganization 
of the French army, a Pomeranian seigneur resolved to 
judge for himself, and requested his doctor to prescribe 
for him an air cure in the Vosg-es. Armed with an iron- 


shod alpenstock, which he carried so that all could see it, 
and with a revolver hidden in his pocket, accompanied by 
some friends and preceded by a few spies, he climbed up 
the mountain, gained the edge of the woods, and came 
and sat close to the frontier, on the ruins of the feudal 
castle of Zweifelhof. From this point he could see a por- 
tion of the French slope of the Yosges, where a manoeuvre 
was announced to take place. He saw on the ridges some 
Alsacians showing themselves timidly, for they, too, wished 
to see our soldiers. The Pomeranian was well placed in 
order to appreciate the emotion of the former and the 
merit of the latter. 

Soon the solitude became animated. Some scouts are 
seen at the bottom of the valley. Riflemen appear in the 
black woods. There are preparations for a fight, and the 
firing begins. 

" Oh !" cries the foreign spectator ; " by the devil, who 
is the accomplice of these Gauls ? I hear shots, but I see 
no smoke. Another legend gone overboard." 

At this moment an infantry regiment, issuing from the 
forest, crossed the valley calmly, and advanced in battle 
array towards the opposite slope. 

" Always imprudent — the French," remarked the grand 
seigneur. " They are going to mount those long slopes, 
where they would be easily mown down by the fire of the 

" No, Excellency, that is a pretence only ; you see they 
are bearing more to the right." 

"To the right there are rocks. They cannot get up 
that way, I imagine." 

" Still they seem to be doing so. Yes ; they are climb- 

" They must be mad to try to climb up a rock so steep 
that it is almost perpendicular. The ascent is impossible/'' 


" Still, they are getting up." 

" Well, if they did get up they would be cut to pieces 
at once by the enemy on the top." 

" But the enemy could not stay there. See the French 
batteries opposite, half-way up the hill, and covering by 
their fire the eminence that the infantry are scaling. 
Their bold manoeuvre might be successful, after all." 

The Pomeranian seigneur made no reply. He seemed 
ill at ease, and after a moment he asked for his cloak and 
his flask, out of which he drank. " Where does this 
Branntwein come from?" he asked. 

" From Aarau, Excellency ; it bears the mark." 

" The bottle, yes ; but not what is in it. It comes from 
France. There can be no mistake." Then he murmured 
to himself : " Inexorable fatality ! Germany cannot pro- 
duce cognac ! What a subject of observation for the phys- 
iologist and the moralist ! So much weakness combined 
with so much strength !" 

Mute, his eyes fixed on the battalions scaling the rocks, 
he shook his head as if to drive away some disagreeable 
thought. He suffered, and yet he continued to watch. 
He saw the summits carried with impetuosity, while the 
infantry reformed their ranks in an instant, and simulated 
a thick fire against the enemy supposed to be retreating. 

At that moment some women wearing broad bows of 
black ribbons in their hair, and big white embroidered 
aprons, and holding their children by the hand, came out 
of the wood and advanced towards the troops at rest, 
where they were received with cheers. 

"What are all those women doing?" asked the Pom- 
eranian seigneur of one of his followers. 

" The French soldiers are a great attraction for the 
Alsaciennes, Excellency. There will probably be a dance 
to-night at the farm of Le Tanet." 




" I thought our people were forbidden to X3ross the fron- 
tier and enter French territory." 

" Yes, but they cross it all the same." 

"Shall we have to wall in the frontier, then?" 

" That would be a costly and doubtless a useless meas- 
ure. Walls cannot stop hearts or ideas." 

" True," murmured his Excellency. Implacable fatality ! 
The Germans can do everything with the help of God, 
but still they cannot make the Alsacians love them." 

After a short rest, the troops marched back down the 
slopes and regained their bivouac. They had just accom- 
plished, by way of exercise, one of those manoeuvres which 
sometimes secure a victory. Their good-humor bore wit- 
ness to their confidence and to their power of resisting 

The tourist had risen. He wished to go away, and yet 
he could not take his eyes off the French regiment en- 
gaged in disposing its advanced posts and patrols. Short- 



ly afterwards a patrol coming up to the guard posted just 
below the Zweifelhof was met by the cry, "Qui vivef 
And the patrol replied, " France." 

The Teuton wiped his brow, threw a last glance at the 
encampment, and went away with the uneven step of an 
angry man, while the echo of the rocks and the voices of 
the Alsaciennes issuing from the depths of the woods sent 
back to his grieved ears the words, " Vive France !" 


jp SS5S ^0|INCERE and unaffected love for his 

^1^^^^ monarch, profound religious piety in- 

^ ^^K\ timately united with the idea of the 

— -m-— ■■'"■■ M~-~~~ ' ^ sar aT1< ^ °^ the father-land, attach- 

t^sMSMs > ment to the father -land, unlimited 

-'-•^fjr^ -■} confidence in his chiefs, very strong 

- W* ~ = ~"^. esprit de corps, and a faculty of 

" '111f -« *fc| enduring gayly and naturally the 

^^^^^^^ greatest privations— such are the 

Y most marked characteristics of the 

Russian soldier. To these traits 
must be added remarkable bravery and a rare contempt 
of death, combined with naive kind-heartedness and a 
gentle and indulgent disposition. The Russian soldier is 
distinguished by a good-humor that never abandons him 
even in the most difficult moments, by his brotherly un- 
derstanding with his comrades, and by his gay and con- 
tented way of facing all the decrees of fate. Obedience is 
so deeply rooted in the mind of the Russian soldier that 
during my thirty years' experience of the army I do not 
remember to have witnessed one single case of insubordi- 
nation, either in times of peace or in times of war. 

The Russian soldier dies at his post. I have seen him 
in winter on sentry duty on the heights of Shipka die 
standing, surrounded with snow, and transformed literally 
into a statue of ice ; I have seen him die on the march, 
striding over the sandy desert, and yielding up his last 
breath with his last step ; I have seen him die of his 



wounds on the battle-field or in the hospital, at a distance 
of three thousand miles from his native village — and in 
these supreme moments I have always found the Russian 
soldier sublime. 

Although a child of the plain, where his eye rarely de- 
scries the most modest hill, we see him boldly scale the 
topmost summits of the Caucasus, and climb the rocks 
and glaciers of the Thian-Shan, fighting all the time. He 
feels at home everywhere, whether 
in the steppes of the father -land, 
in the tundras of Siberia, or the 
mountains and deserts of central 
Asia. He has an exceptional fac- 
ulty of putting himself at his ease 
wherever he may be, even in places 
where others would die of hunger 
and thirst. 

I have seen the Russian soldier 
at home in time of peace, or dur- 
ing truces in the enemy's country, 
rocking the peasant's child in the 
village where he was stationed ; I 
have seen him bivouacking in the 
desert, with his tongue parched 
and burning, receive his ration of 
a quarter of a litre of salt-water ; I 
have seen him in heat and in cold, 
in hunger and in thirst, in peace 
and in war — and I have always 
found in him the same desire to 
oblige, the same abnegation of self 
for the sake of the safety and the 
good of others. These special 
characteristics of the Russian sol- 



dier — his self-denial, his simple and natural self-sacrifice — 
give him peculiar powers as a warrior. 

The fifteen thousand miles of frontier of the empire 
offer infinite variety of topographical details, beginning 
with the wild heights of that long range of primitive 
mountains which, starting from the Pacific Ocean, sepa- 
rates the Russian Empire from the Celestial Empire, and 
ending with the moss and virgin forests of Lapland, and 
the f jails of Norway, to say nothing of the whole coast of 
the Arctic Ocean. These frontiers traverse mountainous 
countries — parts of which have not yet been enlightened 
by human knowledge — burning deserts, green steppes, 
where thousands of Kirgheez and other nomad tribes past- 
ure their innumerable herds ; they cross fertile plains, and 
seas ploughed by the ships of all nations ; and they touch 
the most civilized and the best cultivated countries of Eu- 
rope. The different tribes and nations which people the 
adjacent territories of these enormous frontiers are so 
widely different and so numerous that their mere complete 
enumeration would take too much space. We can note 
only Coreans, Tunguses, Manchoos, Mongolians, Kalmucks, 
Chinese, Uzbecks, Afghans, Persians, Kurds, Armenians, 
"VVallachians, Poles, Germans, Swedes, Laplanders, etc. 
We might therefore readily conceive the great Russian 
army to be composed of many parts of different nature, 
each specially trained to act in different spheres, in op- 
posite climates, and against different and particular na- 
tionalities. We find, however, in reality, that the great 
Russian army, with the few exceptions only of the irreg- 
ular troops, which are not numerous, forms one grand ho- 
mogeneous mass, organized, armed, clad, and disciplined in 
the same manner. The battalions of the line and riflemen 
of eastern Siberia are not distinguished in any way from 
their comrades of the same arms in Turkistan or the Cau- 


casus, or from the regiments in Poland and in the district 
of St. Petersburg. A few minor details of costume, ne- 
cessitated purely by questions of climate, may alone be 
remarked here and there. The Russian army is there- 
fore, in all its parts, ready and capable to act on every 
possible field of battle, otherwise it would be impossible 
to defend a territory so thinly populated in comparison 
with its extent. 

Ethnographical circumstances play in the construction 
of the army a much less significant role than one might 
be tempted to expect in an empire which comprises fifteen 
great nationalities,' not including the different component 
tribes. In Daghestan alone, which forms a part of the 
Caucasus chain 120 miles long by 90 broad, we find forty- 
eight different tribes, almost all speaking a dialect of their 
own. But in spite of this wealth of ethnographical ele- 
ments, we find the greater part of the different national- 
ities of Russia in Europe, Siberia, and the Caucasus min- 
gled in the regular army. I knew very well one regiment 
stationed on the banks of the Yolga in central Russia 
which was chiefly composed of inhabitants of the gov- 
ernments of Kostroma and Wladimir, but in which there 
were also Lettes, Poles, and 13S Tatares from the environs 
of Kazan. The Peuzates, the Bashkirs, the Finnish Tchere- 
misse tribes, the Tchu wakes and the Mordwa, who dwell 
in the central district of the Volga, along its eastern afflu- 
ents, and in the Ural Mountains, also serve in the ranks 
of the regular army. But at the end of a single year's 
service all these representatives of different races are 
merged into one and the same type, that of the Russian 

In recruiting the troops we endeavor as much as possi- 
ble to follow the principle of forming regiments of men 
taken from the nearest governments. But in a country 

lAjta v^W^- 


where the population is so unequally distributed this is 
not always feasible. Thus, for instance, the Turkistan 
troops are ordinarily recruited from the environs of the 
Kama Eiver, from Oufa, Orenburg, and western Siberia, 
while the Caucasian troops are recruited from the central 
and southern Volga, from the steppes of the Don and of 
the northern Caucasus. For the guards, the artillery, and 


the special arms the tallest and most robust men are se- 
lected from all over the empire. The cavalry is chiefly 
recruited from Little Russia and Ukrania — that is to say, 
from the governments to the north of the Black Sea, 
whose inhabitants are considered to be peculiarly suited 
for this service. The fleet takes its contingent from the 
governments of the North, from the islands, and from 
the Baltic provinces. The sappers, miners, electricians, and 
balloon corps are chosen among those whose trades and 
anterior occupations render them most eligible. 

The Finnish nation has its own army, composed of bat- 
talions of riflemen and a regiment of cavalry, which, with 
the aid of Russian artillery, are charged with the defence 
of the country and the protection of the Russian frontier 
on that side. 

Besides the regular army above mentioned, the Russian 
forces include the following troops, formed specially on 
ethnographical and historical bases : the Cossacks ; the 
Circassian militia, or Tcherkesses, as they are generally 
called ; the squadron of Tatares of the Crimea ; and the 
Turkoman militia. 

Most of the nomad tribes of the steppes of Asia, as well 
as the Laplanders and the Mongolian tribes, are still ex- 
empt from permanent military service. In time of war 
the former act as local militia, as need may require, serv- 
ing principally to keep up the outposts, as train guards, 
foragers, scouts, and on other auxiliary services. 

Russia is divided into fifteen military districts, which 
comprise also Finland, Siberia, the Caucasus, the Transcas- 
pian region, and Turkistan. The Caucasian troops used 
to form an army by themselves, but they are now incor- 
porated in the general organization, and bear merely the 
name of " troops of the military district of the Caucasus." 

At the head of each military district is a general, who 



is often at the same time governor-general of the region. 
In other districts, as, for instance, in those of Moscow and 
Wilna, these two offices are shared by two generals. The 
chiefs of the military districts are directly subordinated 
to the Minister of War. The troops are divided into 
corps, composed of all the arms, together with the neces- 
sary auxiliary troops. The corps, which in time of peace 
and in time of war forms the largest administrative and 
strategic unity, can thus, if necessary, act quite independ- 
ently. In time of peace the commanders of corps depend 
upon the commander of the military district. In war time 
these corps are formed into armies, to which are added, as 
need may be, irregular troops, siege artillery, and other 

The regular infantry comprises 48 divisions of 4 regi- 
ments each ; of which 3 are of Guards, 4 of grenadiers, 
and 41 of the army ; 55 battalions of riflemen ; 109 re- 
serve battalions, which are transformed in war time into 
the same number of regiments ; 164 depot battalions ; 32 
battalions of the line ; and 13 local battalions — represent- 
ing in war time a total force, not including officers, of 
1,371,926 foot-soldiers. 

The Russian Guards, stationed at St. Petersburg and 
Warsaw, composed of the finest men of the whole Russian 
nation, accustomed to exercise and manoeuvre constantly 
under the eyes of the Tsar, and being almost always com- 
manded by some member of the imperial family, form a 
picked corps, which for exterior brilliancy, perfect drilling, 
and precision of movements is unequalled. In the ranks 
of the Guards the members of the imperial family serve 
as simple officers, while the staff is made up of the most 
distinguished military men of the empire. The chiefs, 
who until quite lately were chosen exclusively from the 
highest aristocracy of the country, are now selected from 


among the most eminent and experienced generals and 
colonels of the army, irrespective of birth. 

The Russian infantry is remarkable for its firmness and 
its stoicism, as the walls of Sebastopol and the intrench- 
ments of Shipka bear eloquent witness. Never, up to 
now, has a Russian troop, large or small, yielded arms in 
hand. But how many examples are there where a hand- 
ful of men, surrounded by a stronger and more numerous 
hostile force, have resisted and fought until the last man 
has fallen ! The attack of the infantry is vigorous and 
rapid. When it rushes upon the enemy, its united " hur- 
rah," drowning all other sounds, has carried many a ram- 
part, and often put the foe to confusion without the aid of 

Of late the Russian infantry has achieved remarkable 
precision in shooting. During target practice in peace 
time it is considered nothing extraordinary if 60 or 70 per 
cent, of the bullets hit the mark. The firing discipline, 
too, even in the most critical moments, is very remarkable. 
Towards the end of the famous Khiva campaign a small 
troop of eight battalions, two batteries, and a thousand 
Cossacks was sent to establish order among the Turkoman 
tribes dwelling in the parts to the west of the oasis. These 
Turkomans refused to fulfil the conditions of peace ac- 
cepted by the Khan of Khiva. 

On the night of July 15th (27th) the little troop was 
encamped in a square in the neighborhood of the village 
of Tchandir, not far from the fortress of Illalle. On one 
side was a stretch of gardens following the line of the 
irrigation canal of Schah-Abat ; on the other three sides 
was a plain intercepted by innumerable canals and dotted 
here and there with sand-hills. It was decided, without 
regard to the darkness, that we should break up the camp 
at one o'clock in the night, in order at daydawn to attack 



the Turkomans, Avhom we be- 
lieved to be gathered at a dis- 
tance of about ten miles. The 
start, however, was delayed until 
two o'clock. The cavalry opened 
the march, which was a mistake. 
The infantry had already left its 
quarters, and was advancing ir- 
regularly towards the starting- 
point, where, mingled with the 
artillery, it stopped, waiting for 
the Cossacks to pass, so that it 
could take its place in the column. 
In a word, the troop was in a po- 
sition where it was least prepared 
to meet an attack, and that, too, 
in the middle of the night, and 
in darkness such as no inhabit- 
ant of the North can conceive. 

Hardly had the first squadrons, with Prince Eugene de 
Leuchtenberg at their head, started along the road, than 
suddenly the air trembled with clamor, howls, and savage 
war-cries from a crowd of several thousand men, and seven 
Turkoman tribes, men and women together, fell upon our 
troop. Our squadrons were flung back upon the rest of 
the cavalry by force of the shock upon the infantry. The 
confusion was terrible. We could not see the confusion, 
for it was too dark, but we felt it. No more could we 
distinguish friends from, enemies. At this moment I was 
crowded in the midst of a group of Cossacks, and my horse 
was pushed gently and slowly, as if by waves, first one 
way, then the other. At first not a single shot was heard, 
but only the dull thud of sabres striking human bodies and 
the lamentable cries of the wounded. Suddenly there was 



a flash and a glare in front of us, and a violent explosion, 
then a second, and a third. The rocket battery, being 
among the first squadrons, had succeeded, thanks to the 
darkness, in placing its stands right in the middle of the 
enemy. Unfortunately the rockets burst without rising. 
Probably they had got wet, and the heat had split them. 
However, the explosions frightened the Turkomans, and 
had the result of forming for a moment a little opening 
in the mass of the combatants. Then I heard behind me 
an energetic voice, " Make way !" and two companies of 
the second battalion of Turkistan riflemen passed through 
the midst of the Cossacks, and dashed to the spot where 
the battery had taken its stand. I joined the right wing 
of the first company. "Fire!" re-echoed the word of 
command, and a discharge was heard so uniform that it 
sounded like a single shot. " Fire !" I heard immediately 
alongside, and another similar discharge followed. " Fire!" 
a little farther, and yet farther, and then farther still, to 
the right of where I was, one volley after another ; and 
at last, in the distance near the gardens, we heard the 
rolling of the cannon. Eight successive rounds were fired 
by the companies near where I was, and in peace time, 
during reviews, I have often heard worse firing. Between 
the second and the third rounds a group of Turkomans 
dashed through the first company and killed four soldiers, 
but this did not prevent the regularity of the firing. The 
company was there, standing firmly as if it had not even 
remarked this little episode, waiting all attention for an- 
other command to fire. When the sun, with the rapidity 
usual in the East, rose on the horizon, our troop was found 
to be drawn up in a semicircle, one company by the side 
of the other, in an order as exact as if the manoeuvre had 
been executed in broad daylight and by special word of 
command. It was the regular volley firing which had 



shown the battalions their places. If the firing had been 
confused and irregular, the troops would not have been 
able to discover their whereabout in the general chaos. 
In the camp lay pell-mell the dead and the wounded, 
Turkomans and Eussians. The chief of the detachment, 


General Galowatscheff, and the chief of his staff, were 
both wounded with sabre cuts. In front of our compa- 
nies was piled up in a compact mass of fallen enemies, and 
in the distance the horizon was literally covered by the 
tall caps of the fleeing Turkomans. 


But the quality which above all things distinguishes 
the Eussian infantry soldier is his capacity of enduring 
without exhaustion all the fatigues of campaign life, and 
of making the longest and most difficult marches without 
losing his strength and courage. 

During General Gourko's expedition on the other side 
of the Balkans, the infantry sometimes marched without 
a halt thirty miles, and then began immediately to fight. 

The Turkistan army during its campaign against Khiva 
in 1873, after a two months' march through steppes and 
the wildest deserts, arrived on May 11th on the banks of 
the Amu-Daria with only six men sick in the ambulance, 
although the troop had suffered during this expedition all 
imaginable privations. 

The very first day the troop was caught in the envi- 
rons of the Dchisak Mountains by a blizzard, in which 
several of the natives following the army as militiamen 
and camel-drivers perished of cold. Among the Eussian 
soldiers no fatal accident happened, thanks to the pres- 
ence of mind of the officers, who organized games, told 
the men stories, and tried to occupy them in a variety of 
ways in order to prevent them falling asleep. One com- 
mander of a battalion punished a soldier who had lost 
his horse -brush simply for the purpose of showing the 
other men that the blizzard was not to be allowed to in- 
terfere with the service. 

When the Sixteenth Battalion arrived on horseback at 
Shipka, it attacked, and after serious losses took by storm, 
a height which the Turks had had time to capture from 
our men. But scarcely had this height been captured by 
the brave battalion when the Eussian signal of " retreat " 
was heard, and an aide - de - camp dashed forward to an- 
nounce that the Eussian forces at the other points were 
beginning to retire. Consequently the Sixteenth Battal- 


ion abandoned the position that it had so dearly won. 
But the signal turned out to be false, and, as we after- 
wards learned, had been given by the Turks. Immediately 
the chiefs took measures to restore order. General Ra- 
detzky himself came up to the Sixteenth Battalion and 
gave the order to retake the height. The commander of 
the battalion demonstrated to the general the utter im- 
possibility of this undertaking after the losses that the 
battalion had sustained. The soldiers were scattered 
among the bushes, and the Third Company had entirely 
disappeared. It was late, and for that reason the colonel 
asked permission to retake the position the next morning. 
" Try, perhaps you will succeed," replied Radetzky, with 
his usual cordial and smiling expression. The battalion 
" tried," but did not succeed, and overwhelmed by the 
enemy's fire, intrenched itself in the middle of the slope. 
The next clay, early in the morning, it was decided to 
take the height in a compact mass. Those behind were 
to push on those in front. But scarcely had the battalion 
risen out of its trenches than a loud voice called out in 
pure Russian from the summit of the hill, " The devil take 
you, are you mad ?" The signal of retreat had not reached 
the Third Company of the Sixteenth Battalion, which had 
remained innocently on the height, and, not knowing 
where the others were, the valiant company had repelled 
all night long the attacks of the Turks on the one side, 
and the attacks of its own battalion on the other. 

The costume of the Russian infantry soldier is simple, 
and adapted for service in the most varied climates. It 
consists of a cloth coat with tails, and short trousers 
tucked into long boots. The overcoat is a long garment 
of coarse gray cloth. This latter vestment has given rise 
to the familiar and affectionate appellation common in 
Russia, "our dear gray soldiers," by which is also ex- 



pressed their simple modesty and ready self-denial. On 
his head the infantry soldier wears a cloth cap without a 

peak as working and 
jlll undress uniform, and 
a round fur cap on 
parade duty. During 
the great summer heats 
| the uniform is replaced 
jjj by a white blouse. 
--. ..i The Caucasus and 


i ?<• 


Turkistan troops wear all the summer white caps, with a 
sort of tassel hanging over the nape of the neck. In 
Turkistan the soldiers wear trousers of red skin. As re- 
gards the accoutrement of the Russian infantry soldier, 
it may be remarked that he is a little too heavily loaded, 
for besides cartridges, provisions for four days, and a tent, 
he carries also all the impedimenta that he might need 
when campaigning. This fact, however, has the advan- 
tage of lightening the baggage train and facilitating rapid 
mobilization. When, furthermore, thanks to the strength 
and abnegation of the Russian soldier, the weight of pro- 
visions can be augmented to the extreme limit, you will 
often see, especially in Asia, infantry cross immense dis- 
tances without any baggage train whatever, and without 
a single superfluous man in the ranks. 

This circumstance constitutes in Asia an enormous su- 
periority over the English, whose fabulous baggage train 
and mass of camp-followers, who are useless in combat, 
will sooner or later be fatal to the Indian army. 

The Russian regular cavalry is composed of 57 regi- 
ments of 6 squadrons each, and 56 depot squadrons, rep- 
resenting on a war footing, exclusive of officers, 95,314 
horsemen. The immense herds of horses (taboun) which 
graze on the vast prairies of southern Russia, and in the 
steppes of the Turkomans, the Kalmucks, and the Bash- 
kirs, furnish the Russian cavalry with material of a rich- 
ness unequalled in the other States of Europe. All these 
horses present an endless variety of race, from the tall 
Argamac down to the Bashkir, the latter a small horse, 
but very tenacious and enduring. It would, however, 
take too long to describe the different breeds in detail ; 
it suffices here to say that all the native animals have 
been improved in a multitude of stud farms by crosses 
with Arab and English horses. Hitherto these stud farms 


have been the principal purveyors of cavalry horses. No 
country can dispose of so many well-mounted horsemen as 
Kussia. The regular cavalry has especially improved of 
late years, since the old riding-school principles have been 
modified and greater liberty left both to horse and horse- 
man to develop their natural dispositions. Since all the 
Kussian cavalry soldiers have been transformed into dra- 
goons, the uniforms are not so ornate and brilliant as they 
are in other European States ; but, thanks to the magnifi- 
cent horses and to the superb bearing and easy grace of 
the men, the Eussian cavalry is still very imposing in as- 
pect. Its training is very complete, and it is drilled with 
a view to operating on all kinds of ground. In serried 
columns it jumps deep ditches, hedges, and ramparts ; it is 
drilled to swim across rivers and lakes ; as dragoons the 
men are also trained to fight on foot, and several of the 
regiments are not inferior to the infantry in target prac- 
tice. The consequence is that the cavalry in large masses, 
and in common with its horse artillery, can act in an en- 
tirely independent manner without the assistance of in- 
fantry, and when well commanded it constitutes a re- 
doubtable force. 

The artillery is composed of 51 brigades (303 batteries) 
on foot, 30 horse batteries, 24 brigades of reserves (144 
batteries), representing a total force of 3780 guns. In this 
number are included also the Cossack batteries. The for- 
tress artillery is composed of 42 battalions. 

The Eussian artillery is armed with good cannons ; both 
officers and gunners are thoroughly masters of their spe- 
cialty ; and the excellence of the horses enables the artil- 
lery to surmount difficulties of ground in an astonishing 
manner. The infantry have the highest consideration for 
cannon, and consider it a terrible disgrace to abandon a 
gun to the enemy. For the capture of a gun from the 


enemy the statutes give the cross of St. George. The de- 
fence of a battery in position is entirely the business of 
the infantry that covers it. The artillerymen consequent- 
ly carry no other fire-arms but their revolvers. This 
soems to us a mistake, for there may be occasions when 
the artillery may have to defend itself. 

The other auxiliary troops, like the engineers, sappers 
and miners, signal-men, balloonists, and ambulance corps, 
are all organized in the manner which the modern science 
of warfare has found to be the best. 

The Russian miners have long been famous, and, thanks 


to the efforts and personal knowledge of General Todleben 
in subterranean war, have acquired altogether exceptional 

In the irregular Russian army our attention is first at- 
tracted to the Cossacks. This military force, unique in its 
kind, forms in its present state the connecting link be- 
tween the regular and the irregular troops. 

In war time the Cossacks can keep under arms 155 
regiments of cavalry, 20 battalions of infantry, and 38 bat- 
teries of horse artillery. But in time of peace only about 
half these troops serve ; the others stay at home and at- 
tend to their peaceful occupations. The Cossacks of the 
Don alone send to war 62 regiments of cavalry and 22 
batteries, of which 22 regiments and 8 batteries serve also 
in times of peace. In each division of regular cavalry 
there is, in time of peace, one regiment of Cossacks. 

The military education of the Cossack begins while he 
is still in the cradle, for the first sounds that his ear 
catches are the warlike words of the songs by which he is 
rocked to sleep. All the Cossack children's games are of 
a warlike nature, and almost before the boys have learned 
to walk they are placed on horseback. The Cossacks are 
fine tall men, with bronzed complexions and very ener- 
getic expressions ; their women are renowned for their 
beauty. The Cossack and his strong little horse form one. 
His costume is simple and imposing, without any glitter- 
ing and useless ornaments that would only help the enemy 
to discover him. He wears no spurs, and all his arms are 
so well contrived that they never make the slightest noise. 
Kolon says of them, " A hundred Cossacks make less noise 
than a single regular cavalry soldier." 

On active service the Cossack is the soul and the eye of 
the army, or rather its pointer-dog. He seems to smell 
the enemy where no one even thinks of his existence. The 



Cossack and his horse do not know what fatigue means, 
and no one has yet been able to discover when either of 
them takes rest. Even when slumbering they seem to be 
watching, and at any and ever}^ instant they are ready to 



act. The Cossack finds his way everywhere, and glides fur- 
tively across the ground occupied by the enemy. If a com- 
mander wants to send a communication to a distant column 
whose exact situation he does not himself know, he simply 
gives the letter to a Cossack, who is bound to find a way 
of delivering it. As guerillas the Cossacks have not their 
equals. They give the enemy not a moment's rest night 
or day, and always appear at the point where they are 
least expected. Next to the terrible winter, it was the 
Cossacks who contributed most to the extermination of the 
French in 1812. An enemy's train, however close it may 
be behind the troops, can never be sure of escaping the 
attack of the Cossacks. They appear all of a sudden, and 
attack with lightning rapidity, but in the force of their 
shock they are inferior to the regular cavalry. The con- 
sequence is, that if they happen to find themselves sud- 
denly face to face with regular cavalry, they disperse like 
a cloud on the horizon, but soon come back from an oppo- 
site direction. The Cossack fights as well on foot as on 
horseback, and he is a very skilful shot. When a troop of 
Cossacks happens to be surprised by superior forces, and 
cannot retreat or take up a tenable position, the men make 
their docile horses lie down, to serve them as ramparts. 

Among the privileges of the Cossacks must be mentioned 
one belonging peculiarly to those of the Ural. These 
Cossacks are ardent fishermen, and in the days of the Tsar 
Alexis Michailowitsch they obtained the right of barring 
with a weir the upper waters of the Ural, to prevent the 
fish ascending the river above their territory. In return 
for this privilege they send every year to the imperial 
court, according to old tradition, a present of splendid 
sturgeons and caviare. A refusal on the part of the court 
would be regarded by them as an immense affront. 

Of all the Cossacks those of the Caucasus (of the Terek 

c- 5ggg 


and the Kuban) have more than the others preserved their 
primitive character of pure warriors, for it is scarcely a 
quarter of a century since each one of them, while defend- 
ing the frontier against the enemy, was incessantly ex- 
posed to the aggressions and ravages of the wild mount- 
aineers of the Caucasus. These Cossacks wear the Tcherkess 
or Circassian costume, and ride on Kabardin horses, which 
are remarkable for their endurance and their easy and 
rapid gait — so easy that even a bad rider can travel on 
them the longest distances without fatigue. The Kabar- 
din horse will walk five miles an hour, and his rider will 
simply have the impression of sitting in a swing very gen- 
tly moved. I have often ridden fifty miles a day on one 
of these horses without feeling the slightest fatigue. 

The methods of fighting and the warlike habits of the 
Tcherkesses have been adopted by the Cossacks of the 
Caucasus. Their villages, situated along the rivers Ku- 
ban, Laba, and Terek, used to form what was called the 
military line, and that is why these Cossacks received the 
name of Cossacks of the Line. During nearly three cen- 
turies, and up to the second half of the present century, 
they were fighting day and night with their wild mount- 
aineer neighbors. All along the frontier were always 
posted, on high lookout scaffolds, sentinels whose experi- 
enced eye watched the heights and the plains on the other 
side of the river. In every village there was a cannon 
that warned the neighboring towns of the approach of 

The Cossacks, with their women and children, are busy 
with the hay harvest. Before them, beyond the river, is 
a picturesque scene — fertile prairies, woods, clumps of trees 
— and beyond in the distance the long chain of the Cau- 
casus, with its peaks capped with eternal snow. But the 
Cossacks are on the alert ; for during several days in sue- 


cession they have seen columns of smoke in the mountains. 
When they want to gather together, the mountaineers sig- 
nal to each other by lighting fires. Suddenly a cannon- 
shot is heard in the distance. In the Cossack's ears this 
shot sounds like a plaintive and desperate cry of distress. 
Other nearer shots follow. The sickles and rakes are 
thrown down, and everybody hastens back to the village. 
The Cossack girds on his pistol and poniard, slings his 
sword over his shoulder, and loads his gun, while his wife 
and daughter saddle his horse. In a few minutes the 
troop is ready, and dashes along at full speed to help the 
neighbors in distress, followed by the prayers of the wom- 
en, and their exhortations to be speedy and to be brave. 

Sometimes the Cossacks arrive in time. Near the vil- 
lage besieged by the Tcherkesses the Cossacks from all 
the surrounding villages assemble, and a bloody fight 
begins. Little by little other Cossacks arrive from the 
more distant villages, and the Tcherkesses, vanquished 
this time, beat a retreat. But it also often happens that 
before aid can arrive the Tcherkesses have had time to 
finish their horrible task, and the troop of Cossacks has- 
tening to succor the unfortunate villagers find nothing 
but burning houses and smoking ruins strewn with the 
mutilated corpses of men, women, and children. All the 
cattle and a part of the women have been carried off. 

On the other hand, it may be that the Cossacks them- 
selves have assembled from the different villages to make 
an excursion into the mountains against the Tcherkesses. 
On these occasions they display no less artfulness and 
knowledge of the country than the mountaineers them- 
selves. In their turn they attack the villages unexpected- 
ly, set fire to them, kill the men, and capture the cattle, 
but they never touch the old men, the women, or the chil- 
dren. When the Cossacks return to their villages, young 


and old turn out to meet them. How many loving hearts 
beat anxiously when the dear troop appears on the hori- 
zon ! What cries of joy, and what bitter wailings, too, 
when the troop enters the village ! 

The principal Cossack hero in this century was Gen- 
eral Steptsoff, who, after innumerable heroic exploits, was 
killed in the Caucasus Mountains. His daring attacks on 
the Tcherkesses won him legendary renown, and his name 
and exploits form the theme of the favorite songs of the 

The Caucasian militia consists of the irregular cavalry 
regiments of Daghestan and of Kutais ; of the mounted 



militia of Daghestan, the Kuban, and the Terek ; of the 
foot cohort of the Georgians ; of the foot century of 
Gourie. These regiments and this militia are formed of 
those same Tcherkesses, Kabardins, Tchetcheres, Tatares, 
and other tribes of Caucasian mountaineers, who for two 
centuries and a half struggled so obstinately against the 
Russians, and of whom many have been pacified only 
within the past twenty years. 

The Tcherkesses— the term now most used in Europe 
to designate the different Caucasian tribes — are a wild, 
bellicose, and rapacious nation. The Tcherkess is a war- 
rior in his very soul, sly, cruel, and bloodthirsty. The suf- 
ferings of an enemy awaken in him only a sensual smile 
of enjoyment. He tortures his prisoner, kills him, and 
mutilates him terribly. How many loved comrades have 
I found with their arms twisted out of joint, and other 
parts of their bodies cut off and stuck in their mouths ! 
The Tcherkess is not a fanatic, but he is a great fatalist ; 
and now he is in the Russian service he attacks with the 
same ruthless ardor and bloodthirstiness the Mussulman 
with whom thirty years ago he used to fight side by side 
against the Russians. He always seeks to attack his ene- 
my on the sly, but when he does not succeed in surprising 
him, he dashes upon him and displays prodigious courage. 
Tcherkess boys are trained from their tenderest years to 
ride and handle weapons. The Tcherkess horseman will 
rush at full gallop into a small court -yard, and not turn 
his horse until he strikes his nose against the wall. In 
the same way he will gallop towards a precipice, and turn 
his horse only when his fore-feet are over the abyss. All 
the Tcherkess games and dances are of a warlike nature. 
One of the most picturesque sights one can imagine is a 
Tcherkess fete, when these tall, dark-skinned men, hand- 
some and muscular, with their swords and poniards drawn, 



execute their favorite dance, the "Lesginka," around a 
fire, which, with its red glare, lights up their strong feat- 
ures and illumines the surrounding woods and rocks. A 
favorite game is to leap on horseback over the fire when 
the flame is at its highest. All the natives of the Cau- 
casus carry arms up to the present day, and the Kussian 
Government finds it prudent not to interfere with this 
usage. Still it must appear strange to one who travels 
for the first time in the Caucasus to find himself sur- 
rounded by people who are all armed to the teeth. 
Dless oubtthe Caucasus is pacified, but travelling there is 



not completely safe. The Tatares and Kurds in the 
southern Caucasus, and the Jangouches in the northern 
districts, often indulge in brigandage. 

In European warfare the Tcherkesses are very useful on 
outpost duty and as skirmishers. Even in open battle 
they can make very successful charges. In the last Turk- 
ish campaign it happened once that a trench occupied by 
the Turks was attacked by a battalion of infantry, but the 
deadly fire preventing them from reaching the intrench- 
ments, order was given to the Jangouche militia to mount 
to the attack, and they simply dashed upon the enemy 
like a hurricane, leaped over the defences, and massacred 
the Turks inside. 

The war effective of the irregular troops of the Cauca- 
sus and of the Crimea amounts to 6330 men. 

The Turkoman militia, numbering 2000 men, is com- 
posed of the newly subjugated Teke Turkomans of Merv 
and of Ahal-Teke. It is an entirely new force, whose 
acquaintance the Europeans will have the pleasure of 
making when the next campaign comes. Until the capt- 
ure of Ahal-Teke, and four years later that of Merv, these 
Turkomans were chiefly engaged in brigandage. Like the 
Cossacks in olden times, they were absolutely free, and it 
was only in war-time or for long expeditions that they 
elected chiefs, whom they called Khans. The Turkomans 
were the real masters of the immense desert between the 
Amu-Daria and the frontiers of Persia and Afghanistan. 
They used to make long and prompt pillaging excursions. 
One of their best chiefs, Tyckma Sardar, who subsequently 
obtained as a reward for his services the rank of major in 
the Turkoman militia, told me that he had raided with his 
men as far as the shores of the Persian Gulf. 

The Turkomans used to rob the caravans and the vil- 
lages of neighboring countries, and returned home with 

t $ 


■■■;■<■■■■ „:« 


abundant herds of cattle, provisions, and all kinds of 
merchandise. But their best and most lucrative booty 
was man. The prisoners whom they took in Persia were 
sold advantageously as slaves in the bazars of Bokhara 
and Khiva. This traffic received a serious blow in 1867, 
when the Emir of Bokhara was forced by the Russians to 
prohibit the slave-trade within his dominions. Neverthe- 
less it was continued in secret. In 1873, when the Russians 
took Khiva, they liberated more than 10,000 Persian 
slaves, who had all been sold by the Turkomans. Now 
the slave-trade has been entirely abolished. 

As the irrigated land in the Turkoman country is not 
sufficient to give occupation to all these turbulent spirits, 
the Russian Government has formed military troops of 
them. The Turkomans have received this measure with 
enthusiasm. Unfortunately it would cost too dear to en- 
roll all those who desire to enter the service, for almost 
all the Turkomans are on the list of candidates. If one 
of the men of the militia dies, a hundred offer themselves 
for the vacancy. The only dream that the Turkomans 
now have is to show the Russian Tsar what they can do. 
There is every reason to trust to their loyalty. Nowadays 
you may travel unarmed with perfect safety from one end 
of the Turkoman oasis to the other, as I myself have done. 

The Turkomans are a fine race, with regular features 
and very dark skins. This is true, however, of the men 
only, for the women are generally very ugly. The Turko- 
man is excessively sympathetic, brave, hospitable, and 
honest in his way. He will rob a man whom he does not 
know if he finds anything lying about loose, but he never 
breaks open a lock or a door, and if you lend him a sum 
of money on his mere word, you may be sure that he will 
pay it back, even if he lives 300 leagues off, away in the 


His method of warfare is that of all the Asiatic peo- 
ples. The quality by which he is distinguished above 
all other irregular cavalry is the facility with which he 
traverses incredible distances in a short time. "While the 
Russians were at war against the Turkomans, it often 
happened that the spies in the evening would announce 
that a Turkoman troop had been seen before dinner- 
time near a well ninety miles away, and before the spy 
had finished his story the same Turkomans would be 
upon us. 

When the Turkomans are preparing for a campaign, 
they train their big, strong, and swift Argamac horses for 
ten days or a fortnight so that they can run immense dis- 
tances without eating or drinking. For these occasions 
the horses are fed on a sort of bread made of flour and 
meat. The Turkoman himself is satisfied, when needful, 
with a loaf of wheaten bread and a few drops of water a 

The entire Russian war effective, including officers, 
artillery, engineers, train, etc., consists of : 

Regular army 1,766,278 

Cossack troops 145, 325 

Irregular troops 6,331 

Total 1,917,934 

By adding to these figures the effective of the troops 
not levied in time of peace, say 100,000 men, we reach an 
effective of 2,000,000 men for the war footing. The Rus- 
sian militia, which may be called out in times of war, 
amounts to 3,000,000 men. 

The Russian officers are recruited chiefly from two 
different sources : the Military Schools, composed of young 
men who have passed through the preliminary course of 
the Cadets' Corps, and the Ensign Schools, or Junker 



Schools, where young men 
from the ranks study with 
a view to obtaining ad- 
vancement. The former 
are naturally superior to 
the latter. Besides these, 
there are also the young 
men who receive the rank 
of officers of the first grade 
as a reward for bravery, 
but do not advance higher 
before having passed the 
necessary examinations. 

The Guards have a brill- 
iant corps of officers, for the 
most part rich and well-ed- 
ucated young men ; as has 
been mentioned above, sev- 
eral members of the impe- 
rial family and of the first 
families of Russia serve as 
officers in these regiments. 
But the case of the mass 
of the officers of the great 

Russian army is very different. The army officer is not 
remarkable for any exterior eclat, but he possesses in 
the highest . degree all the qualities that I have noticed 
above in speaking of the Russian soldier. Neither the 
instruction he has gained in the schools nor the reading 
of those books that excite young men's minds can efface 
in his nature those grand traits of the Russian character, 
which are based on love of the Tsar, of religion, and of the 
father -land. Russian discipline has its peculiar cachet, 
which is also the outcome of the national character ; it is 



unlike Prussian discipline ; but it is just as good, and in the 
hour of danger, when all is lost, I believe that it is even 
superior. The colonels often use the affectionate and 
familiar "thee" and "thou" in speaking to the young 
officers, and yet I have never seen an officer forget himself 
in the presence of his chief, even though he might be a 
little drunk. 

How often have I seen General Abramoff in Asia and 
General Skobeleff in Turkey, far from the enemy, in good 
company, where the wine had flowed copiously, after hav- 
ing received a despatch that necessitated prompt measures, 
send immediately one of his guests on an excursion from 
which he had a hundred chances of never returning, and 
which in Asia generally meant a journey of a hundred 
miles or more ! The officer selected would rise immedi- 
ately, hastily button his coat, and compose his countenance 
to seriousness, and in a few minutes he was gone, after a 
hearty shaking hands with the general, and some jocose 
scolding from his comrades. 

During an expedition in the valley of Schackrisial, in 
Turkistan, while our little troop was resting for a few 
hours, after having accomplished half the day's march, 
the officers had assembled around their chief, General 
Abramoff, and were breakfasting on carpets under the 
shade of a gigantic plane-tree. Suddenly a Kirgheez ap- 
peared, and related that the village where we were to 
pass the night was occupied by a group of the enemy. The 
general then addressed me in these words : 

" G , take ten Cossacks, drive the enemy away, and 

fix the resting-places for the troops." 

I hastened forward, gathered my Cossacks together, 
and returned towards the general to report that I was 
ready, and to ask if he had any other orders to give me. 

" No," he replied, " but you have time to eat a cutlet." 



I confess that I did not find the cutlet very good, for I 
realized perfectly the danger of my situation. As I was 
leaving, a few minutes later, one of the officers, command- 
ing a battery, called to me, " Mind you choose a good 
place for the artillery, and not in a marsh, as we were 

We see the same scenes, whether it is the general or the 
captain of a company who gives the orders ; and the same 
scenes occur in time of peace in matters of daily service. 



The Eussian army officer is hardly known in Europe, 
and it is quite possible that the first impression he pro- 
duces is unfavorable, on account of his timidity and his 
ignorance of the usages of society. But the real time to 
see him is when he is campaigning. Then this obscure, 
modest, and insignificant officer is suddenly metamor- 
phosed into a giant, before whose courage, strength, and 
energy one must bow. All his timidity has disappeared, 
and his whole outward appearance assumes a new aspect. 
He always advances at the head of his men, and forms the 
first target for the enemy's bullets. The enormous losses 
in officers which the Eussians experienced during the last 
Turkish war are evident testimonies to their courage. 
Thus, for instance, the Orloff Eegiment of infantry and 
the Fourth Brigade of riflemen lost during the war more 
than 100 per cent, of their officers. Here is a mathemat- 
ical problem to solve ! At the beginning of an engage- 
ment near Shipka I had in the ranks of my troop only 
twelve officers who had survived past combats, and among 
this number five had come out of hospital with wounds not 
yet healed. 

The Eussian officer never thinks of resting himself un- 
til he has made all the arrangements for his soldiers, for 
whom he feels a fatherly solicitude. For this care the 
soldier requites him with sincere affection. 

In speaking of the Eussian officers, I have still a few 
words to say about the staff. Formerly there was much 
to be criticised in this organization, but the rich field of 
instruction and exercise that it has found in central Asia, 
the great experience that it acquired in the last Turkish 
war, and the practical tendency which has been given to 
it of late, place it on a level with the renowned German 

Formerly the staff was not popular among the troops, 


but now that each staff-officer, in order to obtain advance- 
ment, is obliged to serve in the ranks of the army, and as 
many of the staff-officers have accomplished acts of hero- 
ism, this corps has gained the full confidence both of the 
ordinary officers and of the soldiers. As scouts the staff- 
officers have always distinguished themselves. One of the 
finest exploits of this kind is the reconnoissance of Lieu- 
tenant-colonel, afterwards General, Skobeleff, in the desert 
between Khiva and the Caspian Sea, at the end of July, 
1873. One of the Kussian columns, while advancing from 
the Caspian towards Khiva through the desert, got lost in 
the sand, and was obliged to return to Krasnovodsk with- 
out having attained its end. After the capture of Khiva, 
Skobeleff asked permission to reconnoitre in person the 
desert route between Khiva and the spot where the col- 
umn had turned back. Disguised as a Turkoman, but un- 
able himself to speak the language, the brave lieutenant- 
colonel went into the desert accompanied only by two 
faithful followers, an interpreter, and his Russian servant, 
also disguised as Turkomans. The war was then still go- 
ing on, and the country that he was to traverse was peo- 
pled by the most savage inhabitants of the desert, burning 
with hatred of the Russians, who had just vanquished 
them a week ago. Near a well he encountered a hostile 
troop, and saved himself only by feigning sickness, for he 
knew that no Mussulman, unless he is a doctor, will come 
near or take any trouble about a sick man. His servant 
had to hide behind some bushes on a sand-hill. From 
this excursion Skobeleff returned safely, after a journey 
there and back of nearly 400 miles, bringing with him 
valuable topographical details. This expedition won him 
his first St. George's cross. 

As able military theorists the Russian staff-officers have 
always been known, and many of the best works on mod- 



era military science have been written by them. The top- 
ographical and geodesic corps are also perfect, and their 
innumerable achievements in cartography and topogra- 
phy are familiar to all the savants of the universe. The 
explorations and scientific observations of the staff-officer 
Pezewalsky in Mongolia and Thibet are at the present 
time being followed by all geographers with the liveliest 

In the troops forming the army of the Caucasus and of 
Turkistan the warlike spirit is more strongly kept up in 
time of peace than it is in the troops of the interior — the 
traditions of the past are fresher ; duels between the of- 

/ /. 


fleers are more frequent. The infantry soldier, both of 
the Caucasus and of Turkistan, is an excellent horseman, 
often a better horseman than many a cavalry officer. 
Hunting tigers, wild-boars, antelopes, and roebucks is their 
favorite amusement. This occupation fosters vigor and 
presence of mind both in officers and men. 

In general, the Kussian troops in Asia are more practi- 
cal than others when campaigning. As soon as the sol- 
dier learns that he will remain in a place for a day or two, 
he digs out an oven in the first hillock he finds, and in a 
few hours he has made some hot bread and cakes, of which 


the first baked are offered to the commander of the troop. 
The veteran Turkistan soldier never drinks water while 
he is marching in the desert, but when there comes a quar- 
ter of an hour's halt he immediately puts his little teaket- 
tle on the fire. I wished to introduce this usage into a 
troop of the interior army during the campaign in Turkey, 
but the soldiers preferred to rest rather than to trouble 
about their tea before reaching the bivouac where they 
were to pass the night. 


^" consequence of the events of the 
year 1866, the Austro- Hungarian mon- 
archy effectuated a radical change in 
its military system. The principles 
upon which the Prussian military con- 
stitution had been established served 
in general as its basis. 

His Majesty the Kaiser has supreme 
command over the entire armed force 
of the many parts of the empire, and 
as commander-in-chief he also has the 
power to declare war or peace. The 
political dualism, the division of the 
monarchy into two distinct states of 
the empire, each of which has its own 
constitution and a distinct system of 
representation, has not been without 
influence upon the formation of the 
military relations of the imperial state. 
Fortunately, indeed, the real strength 
of the army — the line — exists as a 
unified whole, and the existing army, 
as such, is under imperial regulation ; 
but the right of recruitment and of 
legislation with reference to military 
service has been reserved to those rep- 
resenting in Parliament (Reichsrath) those countries in- 
cluded under the general title of Cisleithania, on the one 

halberdier (emperor's 


side, and to the provinces of the Hungarian crown, Trans- 
leithania, on the other side. 

The Imperial Ministry of War forms the supreme nu- 
cleus of the whole military power of the monarchy. It is 
divided into four sections, comprising fifteen departments, 
in which are united the many branches of the personnel 
of the organization, disposition of troops, administration, 
the affairs of justice, health, debt, etc. The naval section, 
with its two departments for business, forms an independ- 
ent part of the Imperial Ministry of War. There is also 
in each of the two parts of the empire a Ministry of Na- 
tional Defence, to which the affairs of the landwehr and 
landsturm are submitted. The landwehren of the single 
parts of the empire form bodies constitutionally separated 
from each other. Since the new defensive laws of 1S89, 
the army of first class, as well as the imperial and royal 
landwehr, is unconditionally subject to the commands of 
the Kaiser, and relatively to those of the Imperial Minis- 
ter of War. 

But the restriction upon the employment of the royal 
Hungarian landwehr abroad or in other parts of the em- 
pire has been fixed by the decision of the representative 
bodies, though it may be employed without the leave of 
these bodies if there be danger in delay. 

The language of the service is German, excepting in the 
Hungarian landwehr, where the Hungarian and Croatian 
dialects prevail. 

The military system is based upon the required service 
of every man for twenty-four years after reaching his ma- 
jority. The regular required service is as follows : 

1. In the first class, ten years for the army and its 
Ersatz reserve (substitute reserve), that is, three years in 
line and seven in reserve ; ten years in the Ersatz reserve 
for those directly appointed to the same ; twelve years for 


the armed force of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is, three 
years in line and nine in reserve ; twelve years for the ma- 
rine, that is, four years in line, five in reserve, and three 
in marine defence. 

2. In the second class (landwehr), two years after com- 
pletion of required service in the standing army, or twelve 
for those directly appointed to the landwehr or its Ersatz 

3. In the third class (landsturm), three years before en- 
tering upon the age for required service, nine years for all 
who had left the marine and the landwehr, twenty-one 
years for all who have been appointed directly to the 

Through the increase of the annual recruit contingent 
to the number of 103,000 men for the army of the first 
class, which was passed in 1889, an operative military 
force of 800,000 men was assured. 

In the army of the second class the annual recruit con- 
tingent for the imperial-royal landwehr amounts to 10,000 
men ; for the royal Hungarian landwehr, 12,500 men. 

The army of the third class, the landsturm, is intended, 
in case of necessity, to supply the first and second classes, 
to furnish the army with the laboring forces necessary for 
its requirements, and, finally, to directly oppose the en- 
emy that has forced its way into the country. It thus 
represents the last resource of strength on the part of the 
defensive forces of the country. It is divided into two 
summons, and consists of nine years' drill in military 

The military law of 1889, as opposed to that of 1868, 
makes necessary curtailments owing to the shortened 
term of required service. Absolute exemption is wholly 
excluded. A one -year (so called) volunteer service will 
satisfy the military obligation of an educated young man. 


He is not allowed, however, during this volunteer year to 
continue his professional studies ; and in case he fails to 
pass the examination of the reserve officer at the expira- 
tion of this period, he must continue his service a second 
year along with the troops. These regulations cause at 
present a greater number of the one -year volunteers to 
attain the rank of reserve officer. 

In order to distribute the military burden more equally 
upon the shoulders of all the subjects, a war revenue, called 
the military tax, is levied in the Austro-Hungarian mon- 
archy. Excepting those wholly destitute and unable to 
work, every subject liable to service, unless on account of 
unfitness he fails to obtain appointment and is rejected, 
or emigrates before the completion of his service, has to 
pay an annual tax proportionate to his fortune or business 
for each year of service. This sum varies between one and 
one hundred gulden, and in Hungary between three and 
one hundred. The moneys thus collected are employed 
for the support of soldiers' widows and orphans. 

It is desirable that there should be an increase in the 
income from the military tax, in order that it may be ad- 
equate for the support of the soldiers' widows and or- 
phans, as intended. 

The following difficulties still continue in the regulations 
of the new military law for the army of the second class : 
the want of unified management, the inequality of the 
contingents as regards age and training, the need of one 
common official language ; also the restriction upon the 
use of the royal Hungarian landwehr. For military pur- 
poses it is very desirable that these defects should be re- 
moved, yet it is impossible under present political circum- 

Based upon the military laws thus cursorily described, 
the organization has been effected. The Inspector-gen- 



eral of the army, who oversees the instruction and train- 
ing of the army, and also directs and supervises the more 
important evolutions of the troops, is wholly responsible 
to his Majesty. 

The oldest son of the victor of Aspern, his Imperial 
Highness Field-marshal Archduke Albrecht, born 1817, 
has been intrusted for many years with the position of 
Imperial and Royal Inspector-general of the army. 

At the head of the General's Staff is the so-called Chief 
of the General's Staff, personally first in order under the 
immediate command of his Majesty the Kaiser. Second 
in order, he is assistant to the Imperial Ministry of War, 
and generally directs his proposals to the latter, but he is 
also empowered to report directly to his Majesty the 
Kaiser upon important matters. The Austrian corps staff 
of generals forms an exclusive officers' corps, and pro- 
motion in it is made from the captain to the chief. 

The supply to the corps of the General's Staff is as 
follows: (a) In rank of captain, from officers with a 
record of at least three years' successful service in com- 
manding troops, and of at least satisfactory graduation 
from the military school, or completion of the final ex- 
amination of this same school. The assignment to service 
on the General's Staff precedes, without any limit as to 
time, the reception into the corps of the General's Staff. 
(b) In rank of major, from chiefs (Rittmeister) of all arms, 
after passing the examination for staff-officer of the Gen- 
eral's Staff, and after a proof of practical qualification. 

The officers of the General's Staff under occasional 
special orders come in contact with the troops, but they 
are separated from the real life of the inner circle of the 
army. The Chief of the General's Staff has charge of the 
employment, equipment, and instruction of the corps of 
the General's Staff. 


The duties of the officers of the General's Staff are 
service in its six bureaus, in the war archive, in the Im- 
perial Ministry of War, and also in the higher staffs, as 
well as in special military occupations. 

For the purpose of military organization the monarchy 
is subdivided into fifteen military territorial districts — that 
is, into fourteen corps districts and one military com- 
mandery or post. 

The territory of occupation — Bosnia, Herzegovina, and 
the Landschak of Novi-Bazar — forms a separate (fifteenth) 
corps district. The leading posts of these districts — 
corps commands, sometimes called military commands — 
are as follows : first, the corps command in Cracow, in- 
cludes "West Galicia, Silesia, and the northern part of 
Moravia ; second, in Vienna, includes Lower Austria, the 
middle and southern part of Moravia ; third, in Gratz, in- 
cludes Steiermark, Karnten, Krain, Istria, Goritz, and 
Gradisca; the fourth in Buda-Pesth, fifth in Pressburg, 
sixth in Kaschau, and the seventh in Temesvar form the 
divisions in Hungary ; the eighth in Prague, and ninth in 
Josephstadt, the divisions in Bohemia; tenth, in Przemysl, 
includes Middle Galicia ; eleventh, in Lemberg, East Ga- 
licia and Bukowina ; twelfth, in Hermannstadt, Sieben- 
biirgen ; thirteenth, in Agram, Croatia, and Sclavonia ; 
fourteenth, in Innsbruck, Tyrol, Yorarlberg, Salzburg, and 
Upper Austria ; fifteenth, in Sarajevo, the occupation dis- 
trict ; the military post in Zara, Dalmatia. 

The mobilizable commands, posts, companies, and es- 
tablishments of the armed force comprise, as a whole, in 
case of war, the army in the field. It is organized, ac 
cording to the provisional military circumstances, into an 
army corps of higher rank — that is, in companies, in corps, 
and in armies. The companies are distinguished accord- 
ing to their combination in infantry or cavalry troops. 




The first organization of the army in the field into the so- 
called bodies of the army, the formation of this latter, as 
well as the arrangement of the commands and posts, com- 
panies and establishments in the same, are determined by 
his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, as commander- 
in-chief, by means of the military ordre de hataille. 

The companies organized as the army in the field are 
equipped, on mobilization, with all kinds of necessary 
military supplies, so that they may be either joined in a 
corps or arranged in smaller armies, subject to the im- 
mediate order of the commander of the army, able in 
either case, however, to be employed independently for a 
greater or less length of time. 

The infantry troops, formed principally from all kinds 
of arms, constitute the first tactical and administrative 
body of the army of higher order, and, at the same time, 
the basal unity for the combination of corps and army. 
The infantry division regularly consists of two infantry 
brigades, composed of fourteen or fifteen battalions of in- 
fantry and Jager troops, three to four squadrons of cavalry, 
one division of battery (twenty-four cannons) as artillery 
of the division, finally technical troops and the necessary 
establishments. The cavalry section consists regularly of 
two cavalry brigades, including four regiments of cavalry, 
one mounted division of battery, as artillery of the di- 
vision (twelve guns), and the necessary equipments. The 
corps consists regularly of two or three infantry divisions, 
two battery divisions, as corps artillery (forty-eight guns). 
the necessary technical troops, military pontoon -bridge 
conveyances, and finally the equipments. The commander 
of the army has the direction of the greater cavalry forces 
in each single corps ; to the commander of the corps, in 
case of necessity — namely, on the march and in battle — 
is left the power to unite the cavalry which has been as- 


signed to the divisions of infantry, and to dispose of the 
same. The separate corps on the march regularly form 
the army column, to which, in order to make them as in- 
dependent as possible, are assigned two lines or parts of 
the same (field magazine of supplies, field hospital, etc.), 
both according to the need and the conditions of opera- 
tion. If a corps or a company be detached for a greater 
or less length of time for the performance of any inde- 
pendent operations, or even at the very beginning of the 
campaign be detailed for special services, such parts of the 
army are correspondingly organized and equipped with 
supplies and reserve outfits requisite to their self-main- 
tenance in proportion to the number of the fighting force 
and the task assigned. 

The army bodies of higher order which, according to 
provisional military circumstances, are placed under one 
and the same command, form an army. This same is 
composed generally of the number of corps or troop di- 
visions determined by the ordre de hataille, the required 
number of technical troops, military bridge conveyances, 
and the reserve outfits of second order. If several armies 
are ordered to operate on one and the same battle-ground, 
a commander-in-chief of the army is appointed by special 
direction of the highest authorities. A field-marshal is 
intrusted with this leadership. The corps are command- 
ed by the ordnance-master, the divisions by field-marshal 

The division and distribution of the imperial and royal 
army in peace contain thirty troop divisions of infantry, 
four of artillery (Lemberg, Jaroslaw, Cracow, and Vienna), 
sixty-three infantry brigades, six mountaineer, nineteen 
cavalry, and fourteen artillery. The system of supplying 
the army from the territories — that is, the formation of it 
from military territories — cannot be a uniformly perfect 



and strict one, because of the necessary consideration of 
the political boundaries. 

The conditions of housing are for the most part favor- 
able. The most substantial stipulations for a continuous 
progress in this direction were procured through the laws 
on quartering. Infantry, artillery, and technical troops 
are almost altogether quartered in caserns, and only ex- 
ceptionally, in Galicia and in the territory of occupation, 
in barracks. The cavalry is stationed, for the most part, in 
caserns and barracks, but in a few cases among the citizens. 

The first class, according to the single weapons, next 
consists of 102 regiments of infantry, composed of four 
field battalions, each of which numbers four field com- 
panies and one Ersatz battalion of four Ersatz companies. 
In time of peace, only the cadres are present in these 
latter. In case of mobilization, one to two additional 
staffs are appointed to the Ersatz battalions. The field 
companies are numbered from 1 to 16, the Ersatz com- 
panies from 1 to 4. The regiments themselves are des- 
ignated consecutively by number, but usually have in 
addition the name of the commander. 

The peace establishment of a regiment of infantry, con- 
sisting of staff, 4 field battalions, and the staff of the 
Ersatz battalion, amounts to 73 officers, 1422 men, and 
5 horses. 

In peace, one-half of the captains in the infantry are 
mounted, and these are obliged to furnish their own 
horses. In case of mobilization, each captain providing a 
horse for himself receives a ration of forage. 

The peace strength of the Austro-Hungarian infantry 
in line, estimated according to the normal establishment 
in peace, consists of 408 field battalions, together with 102 
Ersatz battalion cadres, amounting to about 7300 officers, 
145,000 men, and 500 horses. 


In war, these numbers are considerably increased. The 
war establishment of a field or Ersatz company regularly 
amounts to 4 officers and 232 men ; at times, 5 officers 
and 228 men. That of the regiment, 110 officers and 4871 
men, of whom 98 officers and 4549 men are in fighting 
order. In Avar order, the whole infantry in line, with its 
510 field and Ersatz battalions, together with the staff, 
presents a force of about 11,200 officers, 496,800 men, and 
5800 horses. 

The Jager troop is composed of the Tyrolese regiment 
and 30 independent battalions of field Jager. The regi- 
ment first mentioned consists of 12 field battalions and 3 
Ersatz battalions, to each of which latter, in peace, 1 staff 
is appointed. Each of the field battalions is made up of 
4 field companies, numbered from 1 to 48 ; each of the 
Ersatz battalions consists of 4 companies, numbered from 
1 to 12. 

The 42 Jager battalions, along with their 42 Ersatz 
companies, enroll in their ranks, in peace, 812 officers, 20,- 
504 men, and 85 horses. Over against these figures stands 
a military force of about 1150 officers, 55,400 men, and 
1730 horses, representing the 42 field battalions and the 
42 Ersatz companies. 

Both infantry and Jager are armed with repeating rifles 
of the Mannlicher system, a six-grooved 8-millimetre cali- 
bre breech-loader, with packet -loading, which may be 
counted among the most precise weapons. Its range has 
been increased to 2500 metres. The pouch ammunition 
consists of 100 cartridges. In the Austro-Hungarian mon- 
archy there is only one manufactory of arms, which is in 
Steyr, and belongs to a stock company. It is remarkably 
well equipped for work, and by running full time, exclud- 
ing night -work, can supply upwards of 9000 rifles per 



The number of regiments corresponds to the divisions 
of the monarchy — namely, 105 military supply districts 
and 3 naval. To each of the 102 regiments of infantry of 
the former, one district has been assigned regularly as 
Ersatz (supply), and to the regiment of Tyrolese Jager 
three districts. For the Ersatz of the other arms and 
military establishments, special regulations have been 
made. There is in every district a command of the supply 
district for the transaction of the Ersatz affairs, the com- 
mander of which is simultaneously commander of the 
Ersatz battalion. 

The Austro-Hungarian army has 42 regiments of cav- 
alry, and of these the 15 dragoon regiments are recruited 
only from Germans and partly from Czechs, the 16 hussar 
regiments from Hungary, and the 11 uhlan regiments re- 
ceive Polish and Croto-Sclavonian recruits. Each of these 
regiments consists of the staff, two divisions of three 
squadrons each, and of the Ersatz cadre, which is locally 
joined to the regiment in time of peace. In mobilization 
an Ersatz squadron is formed from the Ersatz cadre for 
the express purpose of supervising the training of the 
Ersatz troops and procuring substitutes of horses ; further, 
one reserve squadron, which is to be used with the bodies 
of the army and for purposes of occupation, two bands of 
staff cavalry for service at the quarters of the chief and 
the staff, and finally one telegraph patrol. 

A band of pioneers is assigned to each regiment of 
cavalry in order to enable the troops to make those re- 
mote excursions which are often necessary on account of 
the destruction of works ; for example, of railways, etc. 

The peace register of a field squadron is 5 officers, 166 
men, and 156 horses ; in war it numbers 5 horses more, 
but is otherwise the same. 

The pioneer band has 1 officer, 27 men, and 2S horses. 


The regiment of cavalry — staff, 6 squadrons, Ersatz 
staff — registers in peace 43 officers, 1037 men, and 965 
horses; in war, with staff, 6 field squadrons, 1 Ersatz 
squadron, 1 reserve squadron, 2 bands staff cavalry, in- 
cluding the train, which numbers 62 officers, 1649 men, 
1639 horses ; of these, 1386 are mounted in fighting con- 

The force of the Austro-Hungarian horsemen in time of 
peace, therefore, amounts to 252 squadrons, 1806 officers, 
and 43,551 men ; in Avar, 252 field and 42 reserve squad- 
rons, for the Ersatz squadron and staff cavalry bands have 
about 2600 officers, 69,200 men, and 68,600 horses. 

The lance (pike) having been taken from the uhlan regi- 
ments in 1884, the entire mounted force is furnished alike 
with horses and weapons, thus producing that unity of 
the cavalry for which so many had earnestly worked. 
The weapons consist of a sabre and Werndl carbine, which 
allows a shot to be aimed at a distance of 1600 metres. 
The under-officers carry a revolver. 

The military ammunition pouch carries fifty rounds of 
cartridges for the breech -loading carbine, thirty for the 

Up to the present time horses have been procured for 
the army by general purchasing of full-aged ones through 
the three commissions of remount-assent and their four 
expositors, or by retail trading of the individual members 
of the troops. 

The breeding of horses is highly developed in many 
parts of the monarchy, and the horse market very good. 
In each of three colt farms there are kept 400 colts from 
three and one -half to four and one -half years of age. 
These are assigned to the regiments after they have be- 
come full-grown. On the other hand, measures have been 
taken to stop the trading and to purchase the horses as 


directly as possible from the breeder. More than one- 
third are procured b)^ direct purchase, and less than two- 
thirds by contract and free competition. It is calculated 
that regularly the annual demand requires twelve per 
cent, riding and ten per cent, draught horses, making 
about six thousand animals. In case of mobilization, 
owners of horses are bound by law to make up the neces- 
sary increase for the army for an indemnity. 

The artillery is divided into the field and the fortress 


artillery ; and further, the field artillery consists of four- 
teen regiments of corps artillery, twenty -eight heavy 
battery divisions, and one mountain battery in Tyrol. 
The regiments of corps artillery have the numbers of the 
army corps to which they belong, besides the name of the 
commander. The heavy batteries are numbered from 1 
to 28. 

In each corps the regiment of corps artille^ and the 
batteries apportioned to the two companies of infantry 
form one brigade of artillery, whose number agrees with 
that of the corps. 

Each of the twenty-eight batteries is made up of the 
staff of the division, three heavy batteries, numbered 1 to 
3, the munition park, and the Ersatz -depot cadre, from 
which, in time of mobilization, the munition-park division 
is made, consisting of one munition column of infantry, 
one of artillery, and the Ersatz depot. 

The mountaineer battery division in Tyrol is made up 
of the staff of the division, three mountaineer batteries, 
with various mountaineer armament, numbered 1, 3, and 
5 (doubled in time of mobilization, adding JSTos. 2, 4, and 
6), and the Ersatz-depot cadre. 

When the army is in the field, the regiment of corps 
artillery, together with the 1st and 2d battery divisions 
and the corps of munition park, are divided like the artil- 
lery corps, the heavy batteries numbered 1 to 28, then the 
heavy batteries numbered 29 to 42, which are to be distin- 
guished from the regiments of corps artillery, together 
with the divisions of munition park belonging to them. 

In war and peace the mounted batteries have 6 guns, 
with horses. The other batteries have 4 in peace, 8 in 
war, excepting batteries 29 to 42, which, at the least peace 
register, present only 2 guns with horses. 

The normal register of a battery in peace is 3 officers, 1 

W l 'A' , i"' I,':,'. 1 ','!, J|,'j«l :■ ' ,'*,. .';',:V J V ■' '■ . ",' ,.i.|. ; ,,,,;!■' i,,;,':', ' 


cadet officer's representative, 99 men, and 42 horses ; that 
of a mounted battery, 4 officers, 1 cadet officer's repre- 
sentative, 120 men, and 109 horses. In war the register is 
increased to 4 officers, 1 cadet officer's representative, 195 
men, 148 horses; at times, 4 officers, 1 cadet officer's repre- 
sentative, 178 men, and 215 horses. 

The mountaineer batteries have a peculiar arrangement, 
which they have employed with success in the occupation 
of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Ordnance which can be 
taken apart are transported on the backs of animals. 

In peace a mountaineer battery of a regiment of corps 
artillery has 2 officers, 1 cadet officer's representative, 65 
men, 24 mountain horses and beasts of burden ; that of 
the mountaineer battery division in Tyrol, 4 officers, 90 
men, and 13 horses ; but in war there are 2 officers, 1 cadet 
officer's representative, 108 men, 67 mountain horses and 
beasts of burden ; at times, 2 officers, 101 men, 52 mount- 
ain horses and beasts of burden. 

The force of the field artillery in peace, consisting of 14 
regiments of corps artilleiy, 28 divisions of heavy battery, 
and the mountain Tyrolese battery division, with the Er- 
satz cadre belonging to it, contains, in 168 regular bat- 
teries, 42 at the greatest reduction, 16 mounted and 15 
mountaineer, 28 munition parks, 15 Ersatz -depot cadres, 
28 munition parks and Ersatz -depot cadres, with 756 
ordnance of nine centimetres bore, 96 of eight, and 60 
of seven, about 1200 officers, 23,400 men, and 7900 horses 
and beasts of burden. The force in war, including reserve 
ordnance, with 1750 guns of nine centimetres, 96 of eight, 
and 72 of seven, numbers about 1900 officers, 76,400 men, 
64,600 horses and beasts of burden. 

The fortress artillery, intended for the offensive and 
defensive service of strongholds, consists of six regiments 
of fortress artillery and three battalions of the same. 


The regiments are numbered from 1 to 6, having the 
names of their commanders. The battalions are num- 
bered from 1 to 3. 

In peace the companies of fortress artillery are scat- 
tered chiefly in the fortresses. 

In peace the field company of the fortress artillery 
has 4 officers, 1 cadet officer's representative, 99 men ; 
in war, 6 officers, 1 cadet officer's representative, and 239 

The peace register of the fortress artillery numbers, in 
72 field and 18 Ersatz cadres, 408 officers, 7722 men, and 
24 horses ; the war register, in 90 companies, about 640 
officers, 21,700 men, and 100 horses. 

The arms of the artillery troops, determined by their 
special employment, consist of pioneer, infantry, or cav- 
alry sabres. Of these same, the mounted artillery carry 
a lighter variety, also revolvers for the officers and the 
serving troops of the mounted artillery, finally Werndl 
infantry rifles, with 30 rounds of cartridges as military 
wallet ammunition for the fortress artillery. 

The material for the guns is composed of steel-bronze, 
also called Uchatius's bronze, after the inventor, General 
Baron von Uchatius. This is more elastic and more capa- 
ble of withstanding the destructive influence of gases 
than cast -steel. Everything necessary for army and 
navy is prepared at home. In this way Austria not only 
has made itself independent of foreign countries, but also 
gives considerable support to its native industries. 

The engineer corps is composed of the staff and troop 
of engineers. The former consists of officers only, the 
total number being 159, who as engineering directors 
manage the affairs relating to fortifications and militia in 
definitely limited districts. 

The engineer troop consists of 2 regiments, each of 



which consists of 5 field battalions, 2 reserve companies, 
and 1 Ersatz battalion of 5 Ersatz companies. In peace, 
the latter of these consists only of the staff. The field 
battalion x is divided into 4 companies. Furthermore, in 
juncture with the regiments are 15 columns of pioneers, 


provided with the necessary implements for the construc- 
tion of greater or less works, and with the chief engineer 

In peace, both engineer regiments number 276 officers, 
5054 men, and 58 horses ; in war, about 330 officers, 12,- 
700 men, and 1370 horses (together with by- wagons, 1718 
horses, and 558 wagons). 

The pioneer regiment is divided into 5 field battalions, 
each composed of 1 field companies, into 1 reserve com- 
pany, 1 Ersatz company, and 1 reserve of ordnance. In 
war it is broken up, and employed in independent battal- 
ions and companies. 

To this pioneer regiment is leagued also the depot pi- 
oneer ordnance. 

The pioneer company is organized chiefly for the build- 
ing of pontoon-bridges, but its business is also to restore 
and destroy roads, to assist in the construction of tempo- 
rary fortifications, and to construct the necessary water- 
works. The Austrian bridges were built from the plans 
of General Baron von Birago, who died in 1815. 

When mobilized, the entire regiment, together with the 
pioneer ordnance depot, the ordnance reserve, No. 6, and 
2 movable pioneer ordnance depots, extends from 131 
officers, 2631 men, and 29 horses to a force of about 180 
officers, 8100 men, and 920 horses, the regiment alone 
having 170 officers, 7760 men, and 920 horses. The train 
of the regiment numbers 112 drivers and 760 horses. 

The duty of the railway and telegraph regiment is to 
destroy or restore railways and telegraph lines, or, in 
some cases, to construct new ones for military purposes. 
In times of peace, divisions of this regiment are ordered 
to serve in the civil railway companies, in order to be 
better trained for this work. The peace register of the 
regiment, numbering 15 officers, 811 men, and 11 horses, 



is increased on the field to about 110 officers, 4800 men, 
and 350 horses. 

The train troop consists of three regiments. In peace, 
each of these regiments is composed of a regiment's staff, 
five train divisions, and one Ersatz-depot cadre. In peace, 
each train division consists of the division's staff, a num- 
ber of train squadrons, and one Ersatz-depot cadre (with 
the number of the train division). 

The register of the three train regiments in peace 
amounts to only 327 officers, 2535 men, and 1527 horses ; 
but the war register, on the other hand, has about 1100 
officers, 45,300 men, 50,200 horses, and 5000 beasts of 
burden. The armament consists of cavalry sabre for 
officers, cadet officers' representatives, sergeants, under- 
officers of accounts of first class, and farriers of all the 
train bands, heads of bands, under-officers of accounts of 
second class, corporals, and trumpeters of all the train 
bands, excepting the mountaineer train squadrons and di- 
visions of train park, as well as for the mounted train 
soldiers of the squadrons and commands accompanying 
the train. 

In peace, the sanitary band consists of the command of 
the band and 26 sections. In times of mobilization, in 
addition to this, it consists of field and reserve sanitary 
sections, formed in requisite numbers from the former 
sections, next sanitary sections for the German Ordens- 
hospitals for the wounded. Single sanitary sections are 
assigned to the hospitals of the garrison, and have the 
same numbers as the latter. 

The sanitary band is commanded by a special corps of 
officers, which is independently supplied. Its members, 
however, are not to be confused with the military medical 
corps of officers, the physicians proper. 

In peace the sanitary band has a register of 83 officers, 


2834 men, and in war numbers about 400 officers and 21,- 
200 men. 

The landwehren stand next to the line. In peace they 
are kept wholly apart from the standing army, and, 
moreover, are separated from each other by the two divis- 
ions of the empire. They receive their orders from the 
Ministry of National Defence, and are supplied from 
those who have served ten years (three in the line and 
seven in the reserve), and have still, according to law, 
two } T ears' service in the landwehr, as well as from par- 
ticular recruits, enrolled from eight weeks up to three 
months, and also mustered later for military drill. The 
landwehr of those countries represented in the Reichsrath 
is again divided into the so-called imperial-royal landwehr 
and the national guards of Tyrol and Vorarlberg. The 
imperial-royal landwehr is under the control of the com- 
mander-in-chief of the Ministry of National Defence. 
The corps commands belonging to it form in their own 
district, as imperial-royal landwehr commands, intermedi- 
ate bodies. 

The imperial -royal landwehr infantry consists of 82 
battalions of landwehr and 10 of national guards. 

In war, each battalion has 1 staff, 4 field companies, 1 
Ersatz company, also 1 reserve company, and, finally, 1 
staff company. In war, as in peace, the battalions are to 
be combined into regiments. In case of need these regi- 
ments are divided into landwehr brigades and companies, 
whose classification with artillerv comes through the ar- 
tillery of the standing army. The register of a landwehr 
(national guard) battalion's staff amounts to 9 officers and 
95 men. The war register of a landwehr field and re- 
serve company has 4 officers and 232 men ; of an Ersatz 
company, in normal condition, 5 officers and 228 men ; of 

a field and reserve company of national guards, 4 officers, 
236 men ; of an Ersatz company, in normal condition, 5 
officers and 232 men. In mobilization the register of a 
landwehr battalion has 29 officers, 1417 men — when the 
Ersatz company reaches its maximum rate, 29 officers, 
1557 men ; of a battalion of national guards, 32 officers 
and 1188 men — when the Ersatz company reaches its 
maximum, 32 officers and 1628 men. Therefore the total 
sum of the landwehr infantry, according to the regular 
war register, is about 2890 officers and 131,000 men. 

The armament, ammunition, regimentals, etc., are like 
those of the infantry of the standing army. 

The mounted landwehr troops are composed of the 
landwehr cavalry, the mounted national guard in Tyrol 
and Vorarlberg, and the mounted guards in Dalmatia. 

The landwehr cavalry consists of 3 regiments of dra- 
goons and 3 of uhlans. 


The mounted national guard in Tyrol and Yorarlberg 
and those in Dalmatia are intended chiefly for the ord- 
nance, post, and signalling service. The former are en- 
listed from Tyrol and Yorarlberg, the latter from Dal- 

The mounted national guard of Tyrol and Yorarlberg 
is divided into a division's staff, 2 field squadrons, and 1 
Ersatz section. The mounted guards in Dalmatia are 
divided into one field squadron and one Ersatz section. 

The total number of the landvvehr cavalry amounts to 
about 200 officers, 5260 men, and 5200 horses. 

The Hungarian landwehr has a distinct position in the 
army, carries emblems and flags with the national colors of 
Hungary, and is subject during war to the command 
placed over it, but in peace to the royal Hungarian mili- 
tary authority. As such, the commander-in-chief of the 
landwehr acts in union with the Ministry of Home De- 
fence. All the youth liable to service in the defence 
(Wehr) who have not been placed in the army are as- 
signed to the landwehr, and are trained by a course in 
military drill. The 94 battalions forming in peace four 
field companies and one Ersatz company are combined 
into 28 regiments, whose staffs are continued even in 

Much is being done for the training of professional offi- 
cers and for their higher education — namely, through the 
Honved (militia) Ludovika Academy at Buda-Pesth, with 
its three grades, the four-form school for cadets, the one- 
year course in the training of Honved officers for persons 
having the rank of furlough, and the higher officers' 

There are seven district commands existing as inter- 
mediate authorities for the military and administrative 
official duties. 


The royal Hungarian landwehr cavalry consists of 10 
regiments of hussars. In peace, each of these regiments 
is composed of 6 squadrons ; in war, it has, besides, a 
supplementary squadron appointed from the regiments' 
ranks, and a staff. 

The peace register of a royal Hungarian landwehr regi- 
ment of cavalry is 25 officers, 310 men, 212 horses ; at 
times, 218 horses. The war register, 37 officers, 874 men, 
and 795 horses. The officers' corps is educated in the 
Central Cavalry School. 

The landsturm is the military organization of the third 
class in both parts of the empire, and is placed under na- 
tional protection. 

The first call upon the landsturm, consisting as it does 
of those capable men from 19 to 37 years of age who do 
not belong to the army or to the landwehr, or have 
served out their time, is to be made in case of need, when 
it is to be used as an Ersatz reserve for army and land- 
wehr — that is, for the completion of the breaks in the 
army on the field. 

The second call — the landsturm in its narrower sense — 
includes men capable of bearing arms from 38 to 42 years 
of age, the officers retired from service to 60 _years of age. 
For many years in Tyrol and Yorarlberg, men from 18 to 
45 years of age, who are capable of bearing arms but are 
not serving, have been liable to the Sturm service. These 
form, in peace, local bands of landsturm, 50 to 100 men 
strong, which, again, are united into companies of 2 to 6 
bands, and into battalions of 3 to 6 companies, under 
elected officers. The regulations and armament are di- 
rected by the State. 

A beginning was made, November, 1881, in Bosnia and 
Herzegovina to train the strong and skilful men of those 


parts for military service, and since the 1st of October, 
1885, eight Bosnio - Herzegovinian battalions of infantry 
have been sent to the four supply stations of the military 
frontier. The officers and - under - officers are appointed 
from the Austrian companies; the arms and equipment 
are the same as those of the remaining infantry. The 
uniform has the- same cut, but is light blue in color, and 
the red fez, with a blue woollen tassel, is worn on the 

To complete the picture mention may here be made of 
the various body - guards, which are provided with very 
magnificent and peculiar uniforms. These are chiefly in- 
tended for the escort of the Kaiser on festive occasions 
and : for the guard of the palaces and castles. They are 
appointed partly from the troops, partly from deserving- 
officers and non-commissioned officers that have been 
wounded and are half disabled. They are entitled as fol- 
lows : first archers body - guard, Hungarian body - guard, 
halberdier body-guard, mounted squadron of body-guard, 
and infantry company of body-guard. 

A recapitulation of the figures introduced above, in- 
cluding a count of the staffs and the many militarv estab- 
lishments which could not be enumerated in this necessa- 
rily concise review, shows an approximate peace strength 
in the I. class of 265,000 men in army, 6900 in navy, 2900 
in Bosnio-Herzegovinian troops, making a grand total of 
275,000 men •, in the II. class of 10,000 men in the im- 
perial and royal landwehr, 17,000 in royal Hungarian 
landwehr. Therefore the grand total peace strength is 
302,000 men. 

In war, these figures are increased as follows : In the 
I. class, 808,000 men ; in the II. class, 440,000 men. In- 
cluding the members of the III. class (landsturm) that 
have had military training, the monarchy has disposition 



of about 2,390,000 men — six per cent, of the entire popu- 

The unity of the army is secured by the German-speak- 
ing and German-educated corps of officers. Full recogni- 
tion is given to the' thor- 
oughly scientific training: of 
the same. Numerous schools 
for cadets, also special ones 
for special weapons, are pre- 
paring young men for their 
future profession, and a 
great number of training es- 
tablishments, among which 
are the military academy in 
Wiener- Neustadt, the tech- 
nical military academy in 
Vienna, and the Ludovika 
academy in Pesth, are in- 
tended for this purpose, as 
well as for higher instruc- 
tion. Moreover, great care 
is bestowed on the continu- 
ous education of the corps 
of officers. 

The disposable material 
for the training of the corps 
of non-commissioned officers 
varies in the separate prov- 
inces of Austria and Hun- 
gary, but it is for the most 
part good. The greater num- 
ber of the non-commissioned 
officers acquire their instruc- 
tion in their troops, where 



those elements capable of training are united in sections, 
and are trained for a half-year, chiefly in practical service. 

Austria and Hungary possess a well-trained, but, on the 
whole, somewhat too young, corps of non - commissioned 

The improvement of the troops is sought with devoted 
earnestness, and the army itself seeks to profit by the ex- 
perience of past campaigns. 

In general, the training of the Austro-Hungarian army 
is of a high grade. It is influenced by the heterogeneous 
character of its soldiers, further by unfavorable climatic 
conditions, and by the distant connections of many troops. 
However, in consequence of the uniform orders and the 
intense activity of the corps of professional officers, as a 
whole, a homogeneousness of the different sorts of sol- 
diery is not to be mistaken. In the first class the infan- 
try is good ; it shoots and marches very well. The cav- 
alry rides very well, and is well trained in field service. 
The training of the artillery and technical troops is of a 
hio-h grade. 

In the second class, both the royal Hungarian and the 
imperial and royal infantry are well trained. The impe- 
rial and royal cavalry, as well as the royal Hungarian, is 
almost equal to that of the standing army. 

Of the more extensive fixed camps of evolution, that at 
Bruck-on-the-Leytha deserves particular mention. From 
May until September in monthly succession it is visited 
annually by each of the divisions of the garrison at Vi- 
enna. At this place is established the shooting- school 
of the army, which forms the nucleus for practice in 

The territorial division of the empire, which has existed 
for a considerable length of time, will doubtlessly have 
its accelerating effect on the future mobilization of the 


army. For the defence of the country the fortifications 
are put in the closest communication with the army. 
Though few in number, they are sufficient, on the whole, 
for modern requirements, both as regards necessary pro- 
tection against the far -ranging guns, and as fortified 
camps which can furnish the room necessary for the shel- 
ter of more or less large bodies of troops. Opposite the 
neighbor on the east is the important fortified camp 
of Cracow, with the ancient castle on Mount "Wawel as 
citadel, with outlying forts on both banks of the Vistula. 
In middle Galicia, Przemysl, which was assailed during 



the Oriental war, has been built as a fortified camp. 
And the armament in both fortifications has been re- 

The old Sperr forts in most of the passes of the Tran- 
sylvanian Alps serve as a first line of protection against 
the Boumanian frontier ; as a second line, similar fortifi- 
cations in Siebenbiirgen, among which Karlsburg is no- 
ticeable as being a fortified depot. 

Peterwardein, on the former military frontier, com- 
mands the long pontoon -bridge over the Danube. 

Moreover, on the frontier of Servia and Bosnia there 
are fortified points, as Brod, Croatian Gradisca, and Lit- 
tle Karlstadt, on the Save and Kulpa. 

On the Dalmatian coast the fortified military port of 
.Cattaro has been strengthened, and the points of Cattaro 
and Sebenico have been also fortified against Montenegro. 

In Herzegovina the fortified towns of Trebinje, Bilek, 
Mostar, and Nevesinje are surrounded with forts and 
block - houses commandingly located, so as to mutually 
protect and support each other. The capital of Bosnia, 
Sarajevo, is also fortified. 

The chief military port of the monarchy is Pola, which 
is surrounded with strong fortifications both on its sea 
front and on its land side, and is also provided with a 
Noyan. The possession of Pola is of the greatest import- 
ance to the monarchy. Its favorable location offers a 
safe anchorage to the biggest ships, and marks the place 
as a haven of the first class. 

Because of the great dock-yards, where all the ship- 
building and other works pertaining to the navy are 
done, and because of the storage of all kinds of naval 
supplies in the enormous arsenals, this port has been ele- 
vated by Austria to occupy the central position of all af- 
fairs relating to the navy, and its loss would be almost 



equivalent to the crippling of the fleet. Facing Italy, 
Austria also possesses a series of fortifications suited to 
the character of the land. The most important passes 
leading from Venetia to Carinthia and Tvrol, as well as 

O %t * 

the south-south-western frontier of Tyrol, are secured by 
Sp&rr forts, and by the establishment of a uniform plan, 
they are laid out according to a connected system. 

Trient forms the central point for the defence of south- 
ern Tyrol. 

Of the frontier fortresses opposite to the German Em- 
pire may be mentioned Olmutz, Theresienstadt, Konig- 
griitz, Josephstadt, in Moravia and Bohemia ; yet these 
fortifications no longer answer to modern demands,*and 
for this reason are abandoned. Besides the unimportant 
fortified depots of Arad on the Maros, Temesvar, the 
capital of Banat, and Esseg on the Drave, the monarchy 
also possesses in Komorn a strong and important fortress. 
Komorn, built 1472 by Matthias Corvinus, on the great 



island at the confluence of the Waag and the Danube, 
was strengthened by Kaiser Leopold, 1672, and rebuilt 
1805. The stronghold can be defended by a comparative- 
ly small force, and serves doubly as a Ute de jpont and a 
fortified depot. 

In order to assemble great army masses, as modern 
warfare demands, at fixed spaces, and with sufficient 
speed both for the attack and defence, it is absolutely 
necessary that all the avenues of communication should 
be well developed. At present Austria and Hungary 
possess a net of natural waterways in their many naviga- 
ble rivers and canals, the total length of which amounts 
to nearly 7254 kilometres. Among these, the Danube is 
of special importance, not only because it is navigable for 
1452 kilometres, but also because, having this length, it 
flows through the whole extent of the monarchy itself. 

Among the means for transportation in case of war, 
and especially for the march out, the railway plays the 
chief role. In October, 1890, the average length of rail- 
ways in active use amounted to 26,223 kilometres. 

The naval fleet forms the final defensive power of Aus- 
tria and Hungary. For a long time, and principally, in- 
deed, for financial reasons, it has had scarcely that care 
and attention which it deserves. And this was to be re- 
gretted the more since Austria and Hungary, in their ex- 
tensive sea-coast districts, possess excellent material for 
the manning of their ships. And the 116 different Aus- 
tro-Hungarian ports of the Adriatic Sea, moreover, form 
settled markets for pretty valuable trade. Under the aus- 
pices of Archduke Maximilian, the navy recently received 
fresh impulse. Admiral Tegethoff has followed in the 
footsteps of the imperial Prince, and understands how to 
lead the fleet to a brilliant victory. 

The central management of the navy is in the hands of 


the section of the Imperial Ministry of War which it con- 
cerns, and the head of the same is also commander-in-chief. 
The port admiralty of the principal military port, Pola, 
the importance and excellence of which have been already 
noted, and the command of the sea district in Triest, are 
placed directly under his charge. 

At the present time the floating material of the navy, 
including all the school-ships, tenders, hulks, and remor- 
queitrs, consists of 125 ships and boats, which may be 
classified as follows : 

I. Chief class : ships of the navy, to which belong the 
ships of the operative fleet and those for special purposes. 
The operative fleet contains (1) battle ships (iron-clad), and, 
indeed, 2 turret ships, 8 casemated ships, and 1 armed frig- 
ate; (2) the cruisers — that is, 7 torpedo-ships, 5 torpedo- 
boats ; (3) the torpedo-boats — namely, 23 first class, Nos. 
IX.-XXXIV. second class, Nos. I.-YIII. third class ; (4) 
advice-boats, wheel steamers, 3 ; (5) train-ships, 1 torpedo- 
depot ship, 1 workshop ship, 1 material-transport ship, and 
1 ship arranged for the transport of the sick ; (6) 2 small 
monitors on the Danube. 


Ships for special purposes include (1) station and mis- 
sion ships — namely, 2 frigates, 8 corvettes, 6 cannon-boats, 
3 screw steamers ; (2) 6 vessels for harbor and coast service. 

II. Chief class : school-ships and their second ships, 1 ar- 
tillery school-ship, 1 consort, 1 torpedo and sea -mining 
school-ship, sailing brigs, school-ship for sailors — namely, 
1 sailing corvette and 1 sailing schooner, and, finally, 1 
second ship of the occasional casern ship (sailing schooner). 

The III. chief class contains 4 hulks. 

The armament of the navy consists of Uchatius and 
Krupp guns, the former of which were made at home. 

The contingent of the navy is furnished mostly by the 
three supply districts of the sea-coast countries. The pe- 
riod of service is twelve years — four in active service, five 
in the reserve, and three in the sea defence (Seewehr). 
The crews are combined into a sailor corps, which is 
again resolved into two depots of six companies each. 
The peace establishment amounts to 6890 men, which is 
increased in war to 13,752. The corps of sea officers, in- 
cluding the midshipmen, numbers 533 officers and cadets 
in peace, 757 in war. 

The training of the crews— and these are, on the aver- 
age, schooled seamen — for service on the war ships takes 
place in the depots, which the sailors afterwards leave for 
the ships appointed to service. For volunteer youths 
there is an apprentice school-ship and a mechanical school. 
Only the artillery and torpedo crews are trained on the 
various school-ships. The midshipmen are also prepared 
here for their duties, while the naval academy for higher 
scientific instruction is at the service of the officers. 

The Austro-Hungarian navy does not have foreign sta- 
tions, yet regular training voyages are made outside of 
the Mediterranean Sea. 


TTALY, lying partty in the Mediterranean Sea, and 
-\- with on one side France, a sister but rival nation, and 
on the other the Austro - Hungarian Empire, where so 
many interests of its Slavic, German, and Latin races 
mingle, seems by its very geographical position to be 
destined to participate more or less directly in any con- 
flict in which other European powers may become in- 

The history of the Italian army connects itself not only 
with that of the Italian revolution, but also, and more es- 
pecially, with the history of the army of the former king- 
dom of Sardinia. 

It was, in fact, the kingdom of Sardinia that took the 
lead of the Italian movement for independence, and gave 
it the support of its arms in 1848 and 1849, and then again 
in 1859, carrying it to happy consummation through its 
diplomacy and the campaigns of 1859, '60, '61, ^66, '70. It 
was during those campaigns that the Sardinian army, 
steadily increased by new accessions from all parts of 
Italy, became transformed into the Italian army. 

In the time previous to the French invasion of 1796-97, 
and in that which followed from 1814 to 1859, all the prin- 
cipal States into which Italy was politically divided main- 
tained, it is true, standing armies, but these were only 
partially recruited among the citizens, hired foreigners 
forming in most cases the principal bodies or the main 

One State only — namely, the one governed by the house 


of Savoy — was an exception to this rule. That State al- 
ways kept up a standing army, small but well trained and 
disciplined, in which the native element had the predomi- 
nance. Ever since the time of Emmanuel Philibert, all 
the Dukes of Savoy, who became later on Kings of Sar- 
dinia, wisely made the army an object of their special at- 
tention and constant care. It was their solicitude for the 
army that, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centu- 
ries, prevented Italy from becoming entirely a prey to 
Austria, Spain, or France. Victor Amadeus II., and more 
especially his son, Charles Emmanuel III., whose reign ex- 
tended over forty-two years, saved Italy from such a fate. 
His successor, though for forty-four years — 1748-92 — un- 
disturbed by war, did by no means neglect the army. So 
that when, in the time of the French revolution, the sol- 
diers of the republic tried to pass the Alps, they met with 
the most stubborn resistance on the part of the small but 
valiant army, and after five years only succeeded in evad- 
ing it through the strategy of the greatest general of mod- 
ern times. Then, at the first blast of the Napoleonic tem- 
pest, the armies of all the States of Italy, including that of 
the republic of Yenice, were scattered. However, some 
of, the Sardinian regiments were allowed to keep up their 
traditions, even after their aggregation to the French 
army, in which they distinguished themselves on more 
than one battle-field. After 1814, Austria, then mistress 
of the provinces of Lombardy and Venetia, forced the in- 
habitants of those provinces to do military service in the 
interior territory of her empire, mingling them with the 
troops of her Slavic and German subjects. The minor 
Italian States had but poorly organized military establish- 
ments. Of the two more important States — viz., the king- 
dom of the Two Sicilies and that of Sardinia — the former 
maintained an army not indeed deficient in technical skill, 


but lacking military spirit, and its masters, the Bourbons, 
inflicted upon it, as well as upon the people, the shame of 
surrounding themselves with foreign troops as a kind of 
body-guard. The kingdom of Sardinia, on the contrary, 
following up, after 1814, the military traditions which 
had been interrupted by French invasion, reconstituted 
its army with elements entirely national, and organized 
and disciplined it so well that in the campaign of 1848-49 
it fought with honor and valor worthy of better success. 

It was natural and just, then, that in the history of the 
Italian revolution the honor of raising the flag of inde- 
pendence and unity in 1859, and of constituting the nu- 
cleus of the army of resurrected Italy, should have been 
reserved to the army of Savoy, which had generously 
shed its blood, first to save Italy from French invasion 
(1792-96), and then again in 1848-49 to free her from the 
yoke of Austria. 

By the organization of 1862 the military establishment 
of the kingdom of Italy was constituted thus : 80 regi- 
ments of infantry of 4 battalions each ; 40 battalions of 
bersaglieri ; 19 regiments of cavalry, each of 6 squadrons ; 
and artillery and engineers in due proportion. This army, 
comprising in time of war about 250,000 men formed in 
20 divisions, served in the campaign of 1866, the result of 
which was the accession to the kingdom of the Venetian 
provinces evacuated by the Austrians. Four years later 
it was partly mobilized for the military action which, di- 
rected by General Caclorna, ended in the capture of Rome 
and the overthrow of the temporal power of the Popes. 
• The time had now come for improvements in the or- 
ganization and the system of mobilization of the army. 

The experience of 1866 and 1870 had made it apparent 
to all that the principle theretofore followed of making 
the army division the normal organic unit for the three 


main arms, and then allowing army corps to be formed of 
almost any number of divisions, did not work satisfacto- 
rily. That unit was not in correspondence with the mode 
of division of the territory ; on the other hand, some of 
the army corps were not army corps in the modern sense 
of the word, but veritable armies. Now, War Minister 
Kicotti, following in this the system adopted by Germany, 
constituted the army normally on the basis of army corps, 
each of two or three divisions. It is true that the divis- 
ion of the territory did not yet exactly correspond with 
that of the forces, as the territory was divided into only 7 
general commands, and 16 territorial commands of divis- 
ion, while the forces could be established in 10 army corps 
and 20 divisions ; nevertheless, the great military units in 
time of peace were permanently formed nearly in the same 
way as they ought to be in time of war. In the event of 
mobilization it was provided that to every 2 divisions 
there should be added as supplementary troops at the dis- 
posal of the respective commands 1 regiment of 4 battal- 
ions of bersaglieri, and one or two regiments of cavalry, 
besides some field batteries. An aggregate of army corps 
was to constitute an army. The different armies might 
consist of two, three, four, or more army corps, according 
to the different tasks assigned to them severally. 

The mobilization of the army had not proved satisfac- 
tory in either the campaign of 1866 or that of 1870 ; Gen- 
eral Ricotti, therefore, to make it so, created the districts. 
The territory was first divided into 45 districts, and after- 
wards into 62, and at the head of each of them was placed 
a superior infantry officer, to be assisted by a smaller or 
greater number of subaltern officers, and disposing of one 
or two infantry companies to do the service of the district. 
To the district was assigned the whole business of enlist- 
ing and receiving the recruits, of mobilizing the men re- 


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called from furlough, and of giving the instruction. By 
the creation of a new corps, that of the Alpine infantry, 
a very important addition was given to the infantry. 
Originally (1872) the Alpine comprised no more than 15 
companies, but in 1873 they were increased to 24. They 
were distributed along the frontier mountains that sepa- 
rate the Italian kingdom from France, Switzerland, and 
Austro - Hungary. Their contingents were and are re- 
cruited in the regions of the Alps, and the instruction so 
specialized as to fit them as well as possible for the de- 
fence of the Alpine passes. 

Not less attention was given by Eicotti to the other 
arms. He increased the cavalry by creating a 20th regi- 
ment ; reorganized the artillery into 10 field regiments of 
10 batteries each, with 8 pieces to each battery ; and the 
garrison artillery into 4 regiments of 15 companies each. 
The pontoniers and the sappers, who were included in 
the artillery, were instead attached to the engineer corps. 
The services of the artillery and of the engineers were, 
together with the service of forts, placed under the super- 
vision of the general command of some artillery and of a 
few engineer corps. Finally, special corps were created 
for both the sanitary and the supply departments. 

Ricotti's reorganization marked, undoubtedly, a great 
improvement over the preceding one. It increased to. a 
notable degree the efficiency of the army in general for 
all war purposes ; it better systematized all the special 
technical field services, secured a strong defence of the 
Alpine passes by the creation and organization of the 
Alpine troops, and lastly improved all the arrangements 
and services necessary to the quick and orderly mobiliza- 
tion of the army. Italy could now count on 300,000 com- 
batants of the first line. 

"We have said combatants of the first line, for under 


Ricotti's administration there came into existence also a 
second-line army by the institution of the active militia 
(" Milizia Mobile "). In fact, provision was made, for the 
first time in Italy, to the effect that the military districts 
should have in readiness all the means and materials nec- 
essary for the formation of 108 battalions of infantry, 15 
of bersaglieri, and of 24 companies of Alpine troops. So 
likewise each of the 10 field artillery, and each of the 4 
garrison artillery regiments, as well as the engineer regi- 
ments, was furnished with all the elements required for 
the formation respectively of 3 field batteries, 3 garrison 
artillery companies, 1 pontonier and 8 engineer companies. 

Of the local militia ("Milizia Territoriale ") General 
Ricotti laid the foundation under the law June 7, 1875, 
which he obtained from the National Parliament. By 
that law compulsory military service was extended to all 
able-bodied citizens, unless expressly excluded, up to the 
age of forty years. Under the same law General Ricotti 
instituted also a special militia for the defence of the 
island of Sardinia, forming it with those soldiers, native 
of the island, who, after three years' service in the regular 
army, were sent home on unlimited furlough. 

Generals Lamarmora and Fanti were the founders and 
Ricotti the reorganizer of the Italian national arni} r . Let 
us now see how this army, which was already considered 
one of the foremost in Europe, has been further improved 
since 1875. 

The so-called progressive party having in 1876 obtained 
the ascendant in the Italian Parliament, General Luigi 
Mezzacapo, a man of deep and broad mind, was called to 
succeed Ricotti as War Minister. He accepted, in the 
main, the military organization adopted by his predeces- 
sor, and set about developing and perfecting it. 

He increased the territorial army corps commands to 




10, and the divisional commands to 20, corresponding to 
the 10 army corps to be formed in the event of war. The 
districts were established on a more solid basis, and their 
number raised to 88, whereby mobilization was rendered 
more rapid. 

Through the modifications introduced by General Mez- 
zacapo, the military establishment of Italy was put in 
better harmony with the fundamental principle of the 
systems of the principal modern armies, requiring that 
the troops of the first line, at least, be so organized in 
peace-time as to correspond exactly to the war foot es- 
tablishment. Besides this, better facilities for mobiliza- 
tion were provided, the first defence of the frontiers was 
strengthened, and the organization on war foot of the 
second line secured. 

But the political relations between France and Ger- 
many on one side, and between Austria and Russia on the 
other, the new colonial policy of the principal European 
powers, especially after the conditions prescribed by the 
Treaty of Berlin, and the changes of a protective charac- 
ter in the commercial policy, particularly of France, placed 
Italy in a position that appeared full of danger. Further- 
more, the state of the land boundaries, the enormous ex- 
tension of the sea -coasts, the constant improvements in 
the means of attack, which rendered the defences of both 
the Alps and the coast precarious, the geographical con- 
figuration of the country, and the limited means of com- 
munication, which rendered the mobilization and concen- 
tration of troops slow — all these things together made it 
plain that the ten permanent first-line army corps were 
inadequate to the defence of the country. The necessity 
of increasing the first-line forces, then, became imperative, 
all the more as it was not certain that the second - line 
corps could be formed promptly enough to be ready to 


take the field at the needed time. These were the rea- 
sons for the new modifications of the military system in 
1882 by the Minister of War, General Ferrero. 

Under this system the field army was increased by 2 
active army corps ; the Alpine and the cavalry arms were 
also both increased, and furnished, the former with mount- 
ain artillery, the latter with horse batteries. The first- 
line army on war foot comprised 400,000 combatants, per- 
fectly armed and equipped. The active militia was also 
considerably augmented. 

As to the local militia, efficient measures were taken 
which secured the formation in case of war of 320 bat- 
talions of infantry, 30 of Alpine troops, 100 companies of 
garrison artillery, 30 of engineers, 13 of sanitary and 13 of 
supply troops. 

The division of the territory of 1887 was modified in 
accordance with the number of the active army corps of 
the first line which could be formed ; consequently there 
were instituted 12 territorial army corps and 24 territorial 
divisional commands, besides a military command in the 
island of Sardinia. 

But the system of 1882-86 had one great fault— viz., the 
army corps were quite deficient in field batteries, and the 
regiments of the arm had a very slow and difficult task to 
perform, being charged with the mobilization of 10 per- 
manent batteries of 8 pieces each, and of 3 active militia 
batteries, these also of 8 pieces. Indeed, if the field artil- 
lery, following the example of the other European armies, 
had been increased in each army corps, their task would 
have become altogether too slow and too difficult. 

This was the principal reason which caused the consti- 
tution of the national army to be modified anew in 1887, 
making it what it has been ever since. 

The royal Italian army, as at present organized, consists 

3 i ;:;'*; I ! 



of the active or first-line army, the active militia (" Mili- 
zia Mobile "), and the local militia (" Milizia Territoriale "). 
The first-line army is composed of corps which are kept 
permanently in active service. The active militia is under 
arms in peace time only during the period of instruction, 
and occasionally as the maintenance of public order and 
peace may require. In war-time it may be called out to 
co-operate with the permanent army in any military oper- 

The local militia is likewise kept under arms in time of 
peace only temporarily, for the same purposes and under 
the same circumstances as the active militia. In time of 
war it has the special destination of defending the cities 
and fortified places of the kingdom ; but in case of urgent 
need or foreign invasion it also may be called upon to aid 
in any field operation. 

The organization of these three great sections of the 
military establishment is as follows : 

Permanent army : I. A general staff of 163 general 
officers in peace-time, taking charge of the different per- 
manent commands. II A staff consisting of a command- 
ing general, who is the chief of the army staff, of 2 as- 
sistant generals, of 68 colonels, lieutenant - colonels, and 
majors, and of 84 captains. To these are to be added 120 
infantry captains, 6 clerks, and several other assistants. 
III. The royal carabineers. IY. The infantry. Y. The 
cavalry. YI. The artillery. YIL The engineers ; and 
lastly, the sanitary corps, the commissariat, the account- 
ant, and the veterinary corps. 

The staffs of all the various arms and corps of the per- 
manent army are in peace time composed of officers in 
permanent service, whose number in each arm or corps and 
whose rank are determined by special law. However, the 
distribution of the officers among the different services of 


one and the same arm, or any one corps, may be changed 
every year through the Budget law. 

A hasty sketch of the constitution of the several arms 
and corps on both the peace and the war footing will 
suffice to show the degree of efficiency of the permanent 

The carabineers were instituted in January, 1861, by 
bringing together into one body all the military corps 
which had charge of the public peace and order in the 
different provinces of the kingdom. This body was or- 
ganized on the same plan as the one formerly existing in 
Piedmont, from which it received the largest contingent, 
the uniform, regulations, discipline, and the corps pride. 
It is formed of men chosen with the utmost care, and is 
greatly esteemed for its noble traditions. In time of 
peace it looks to the public order and peace, and during 
war it furnishes to the commands of the several armies, 
army corps, or mobilized divisions some sections of both 
its foot and horse men for police and guide services. A 
large portion of the carabineer corps, being replaced in 
the local service by carabineers recalled from furlough, is 
formed into battalions of picked infantry, and is mobilized 
for field operations. The carabineer corps comprises 1 
general command, 11 local legions for police service, 1 
school legion (" allievi carabinieri "), furnishing the in- 
struction to the recruits of the arm. The entire force 
consists of 3 general officers, 58 superior officers, 532 in- 
ferior officers, 40 medical and accountant officers— total 
number of officers, 633; 21,000 foot carabineers, 3888 
horse carabineers — total number of troops, 24,888. The 
troop horses number 3758, of which 3518 are the cara- 
bineers' own property. All the officers are mounted. 
The foot carabineers mobilized in battalions constitute a 
somewhat heavy but select and very solid infantry. 



The infantry is organized 
in 96 regiments, forming 48 
brigades. The entire strength 
is : Officers for 48 brigade 
commands — generals, 48 ; ad- 
jutant field captains, 48. Of- 
ficers for 96 regiments — su- 
perior officers, 480 ; inferior 
officers, 5376. Total number 
of officers, 5952 , total num- 
ber of troops, 124,704. 

Each regiment comprises 
a staff, 3 battalions of 3 
companies each, and a depot. 
Of the 96 regiments, 2 are 
recruited from the tallest 
men in the country, and 
form the brigade of grena- 

The infantry is excellent- 
ly armed. The Wetterly re- 
peating rifle, improved by 
the Vitali system, constitutes 
— more especially now, after 
the adoption of smokeless 
powder, which increases both 
the initial velocity and the 
exactness of the aim — a most 
effective fire - arm. At pres- 
ent, however, a new repeat- 
ing gun of small calibre is 
being experimented. The private of infantry is well 
clothed and equipped. He carries a total weight of about 
25.7 kilograms, including uniform, knapsack, gun, and 88 



rounds of ammunition. He is supplied with poles and 
canvas for the erection of triangular tents capable of re- 
ceiving three or six men. The Italian infantry stands 
long marches, moves briskly and with ease at parade, is 
agile and adroit in manoeuvring. Whenever ably com- 
manded, it has shown coolness under fire and resolution 
in attacking. It very properly forms a constant object 
of the special care of our war ministers, but, owing to its 
large numbers, its equipment still lacks some of the latest 
improvements. The staffs of the infantry are mostly 
men rather young in years. The superior officers and the 
captains are mounted, and the other regiment or com- 
pany officers are of an average age which enables them 
to bear the fatigues of marches and manoeuvres. Of the 
48 brigades, that of the grenadiers and the first nine of 
infantry have a brilliant military history, dating from the 
sixteenth century. All the other brigades, with the ex- 
ception of the last eight, which have never been in any 
war, took part in the campaigns of 1860-61 and of 1866. 

The bersaglieri consist of 12 regiments, each having 
a staff, of 3 battalions, counting together 12 companies, 
and a depot. As there are 67 officers and 1270 men in 
each regiment, the entire strength of the 12 regiments 
is 801 officers and 15,240 men. The arms and equipment 
of the bersaglieri do not differ from those of the infantry. 
The bersaglieri are chosen from among the strongest and 
best-proportioned men in the country, and this, together 
with their uniform, their bearing, and special way of ma- 
noeuvring, renders them the most picturesque and strik- 
ing infantry of Europe. 

In order to secure uniformity in their instruction, the 
bersaglieri are placed under the supervision of a general, 
who is assisted by a captain and a subaltern officer, and 
whose supervisory office ceases in time of war. 


The mountain or Alpine infantry consists of 75 compa- 
nies, formed into 22 battalions, and these into 7 regiments. 
Each regiment has a depot. The aggregate strength is 
represented by 487 officers and 9575 privates. 

This corps, recruited solely from the population of the 
Alps, has special abilities for mountain service. It is armed 
like the infantry, but its uniform and equipment are suit- 
ed to the mode of living and manoeuvring in elevated and 
mountainous regions. Each company in time of peace is 
provided with mountain artillery carried by 8 pack-mules. 
The Alpine soldiers have not yet received the baptism of 
fire, but their bold manoeuvres in the highest mountains, 
their hazardous and successful crossing of the most peril- 
ous passes, in spite of snow and storms, their daring as- 
cents in the coldest winters, warrant the perfect trust 
that is placed in them. 

The Alpine corps is also under the inspectorship of a 
general officer, who is assisted by a captain and a subal- 
tern officer. It need hardly be said that these interesting 
troops, having in custody the gates of Italy, are naturally 
the most exposed to the attack of invaders, and the first 
to carry war outside the boundaries of their country. 

The administration of the 87 military districts is as- 
signed to the infantry It is the business of the district 
in time of peace to prepare and carry out the annual re- 
cruitment, and forward to their respective regiments all 
the men recalled from furlough, who are to raise the in- 
fantry aud the bersaglieri from peace to war footing. 
The districts in peace time have an adequate number of 
officers and privates for the keeping of matriculation 
books and the custody of the military storehouses contain- 
ing the arms, accoutrements, etc., required for the mobi- 
lization of the infantry. 

Eleven of the 87 districts have two permanent compa- 


nies, the other 76 only one, and all together 98. These 
98 companies in war time serve for the formation of as 
many presidiary companies. 

The total force of the districts consists of 1286 officers 
and 8611 men. Twelve superior district commands, com- 
prising 12 generals and 12 captains of infantry, exercise 
a strict supervision over the districts, and in war time, 
after the departure of the mobilized commands, take the 
place of the territorial army corps commanders. The 
commands of the districts have, furthermore, the charge 
of forming 1 the cadres for the second and the third line — 


that is, the active and the local militia. 

It will thus be seen that the districts impart to the mil- 
itary establishment a considerable strength ; for, after 
furnishing the annual contingents of recruits and the 
cadres for the active and the local militia, they are still 
able, in case of protracted war, to organize other forces, 
until all the resources of the country are exhausted. In 
short, the districts constitute the sources which feed the 
army, and, if need be, they can even create the field or- 
ganizations for the infantry. 

The Italian army, as has been seen, is rich in infantry, 
but it cannot be said to be rich in cavalry. The increase 
brought to this arm by the reorganization of 1887 was 
limited to only 2 regiments, so that it numbers at present 
not more than 24 regiments of 6 squadrons each, and a 
depot. Of the 24 regiments, 10 are of lancers and 14 of 
light cavalry. The total aggregate is 1080 officers, 25,- 
752 men, and 20,880 horses. The officers in this arm, like 
nearly every mounted officer in the other departments, 
have horses of their own. They are generally well mount- 
ed, and make bold and elegant riders. Every year the 
love for equestrian sport increases. The cavalry regi- 
ments form 9 brigades of 2 or 3 regiments each, and are 



subject to the supervision of an inspector-general of cav- 
alry. The superior commands comprise 10 general offi- 
cers, 1 superior officer, and 11 captains. 

The artillery, which of 
late years has so won- 
derfully developed in ev- 
ery European army, was 
in 1887 considerably aug- 
mented also in Italy. 
The 12 regiments which, 




under Ferrero"s administration, were to furnish the bat- 
teries, one regiment to each army corps in case of mobi- 
lization, had, as we have said, too difficult a task, especially 
as they were obliged to provide not only to the mobiliza- 
tion of the regular batteries, but also to the constitution 
of the batteries of the second and of the third line. Con- 
sequently, to increase the artillery in the army corps, it 
was necessary to lighten the burden of the regiments by 
increasing their number. This was done by the reorgan- 
ization of 1887, so that at present the artillery consists of 
24 field regiments, 12 of which are divisional, and are to 
furnish batteries of 9-centimetre calibre to the divisions, 
to the number of 4 for each division. These 12 divisional 
regiments comprise 564 officers and 10,848 men, with 
5136 troop-horses. The organization consists of a staff, 
8 batteries forming 2 brigades, 1 train company, and a 
depot. The other 12 regiments have likewise 8 batteries, 
4 of which are of 9-centimetre calibre, 4 of 7-centimetre 
calibre, a depot, and 2 train companies instead of 1. To- 
tal strength, 636 officers, 11,964 men, 5496 horses. These 
regiments are called army corps regiments, as they have 
charge of the mobilization of the artillery of the army 

The organization of 1887 also increased the strength 
of the cavalry divisions by adding 2 new horse batteries 
to the 4 already in existence, and bringing all the 6 into 
one regiment, to which belong also 4 train companies 
and a depot. The total amounts to 64 officers, 1170 
men, and 651 troop-horses. The horse batteries, all of 
7 -centimetre calibre, are perfectly mounted and really 

An addition of 1 battery was made to the previous 8 
mountain batteries, and a regiment was thus formed for 
mountain service with 9 batteries and a depot. These 


batteries have a 7-centimetre calibre. The regiment con- 
sists of 59 officers, 1198 soldiers, and 521 mules and 

The garrison artillery comprises 5 regiments, each of 
from 12 to 16 companies, making together 68 companies, 
and a depot. The officers of the corps are 293, and the 
privates 7266. To these must be added 5 artificer com- 
panies, aggregating 500 men and 15 officers. 

The high direction of the instruction of the arm is in- 
trusted to an inspectorate general, consisting of 6 gen- 
erals, assisted by 12 captains. These oversee the various 
special departments of the arm and the manufacture of 
the materials for the artillery. There are, besides, 4 com- 
mands for the field artillery and 2 for the garrison artil- 
lery, directed by general officers. 

The engineer corps is constituted as follows : 4 regi- 
ments with 43 companies of sappers, 6 of telegraphists, 10 
of pontoniers, 4 of railroad men, 1 for balloon and photo- 
electric service, and 8 train companies. The 4 regiments 
number together 245 officers, 8018 privates, and 562 troop- 

The sanitary department is under the charge of a 
military medical inspector, and consists of 12 territorial 
sanitary directorates, 12 sanitary companies, and of 
military hospitals. The entire department comprises 
205 medical officers, 91 pharmacists, 94 clerks, and 2295 

For the supply service there are 12 supply companies 
with 169 officers and 2238 privates, and a commissariat 
consisting of 12 territorial commissariat directorates, 3 
central military storehouses, a factory of military accou- 
trements, and a " revision office " for the examination and 
verification of military accounts, with a total force of 366 


The cartographic service is intrusted to the Geographi- 
cal Military Institute. This is divided in two sections, the 
one having administrative and supervisory functions, the 
other executive. The former has 21 army officers under 
the high guidance of the chief of the general staff of the 
army, and the latter has 11 geographical engineers and 
110 topographists. The Geographical Military Institute 
has done very important work in the geodetical field, has 
produced excellent topographical maps, among them the 
great one of Italy on a scale of ^Vfforr anc l °f tWoooj 
besides many special works of military or scientific in- 

The present sketch of the Italian military organization 
would be incomplete without a mention of those institu- 
tions which are designed for the recruitment and instruc- 
tion of officers. 

For sublieutenants there are some school platoons de- 
tailed by certain regiments of the several arms of infan- 
try, bersaglieri, cavalry, and artillery, besides a school com- 
pany for garrison artillery. A special academy at Caserta 
furnishes instruction to those sublieutenants who seek 
promotion to a lieutenancy in the field army or in its ad- 

So likewise there are school platoons in some specified 
regiments of the several arms for the recruitment and in- 
struction of officers. Then five military academies, at 
Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples, and Messina, give college 
education to young men whose families wish them to be 
prepared to follow the military profession. The Military 
School of Modena prepares young men for sublieuten- 
ancies in the infantry, cavalry, or the commissariat, while 
the Military Academy of Turin does the same as to the 
arms of artillery and the engineers. 

There are also staff colleges, among which the " Scu- 



ola cli Guerra" of Turin is prominent. This school re- 
ceives officers of any arm who pass successfully a com- 
petitive examination. The course lasts two years, after 
which a vigorous examination, both theoretical and 
practical, determines what men are fit to become staff- 

The graduates of the Military Academy of Turin can- 
not obtain admission to any artillery or engineer regi- 
ment before perfecting their education in the " Scuola 
d' Applicazione delle Armi speciali," also established in 

The staffs for the sanitary department and the cavalry 
are recruited from the graduates of the Medical Military 
School of Florence and the Cavalry School of Pinerolo re- 
spectively. Two central schools, the one at Xettuno for 
the artillery, the other at Parma for the infantry, perfect 
the special education of officers in all matters pertaining 
to arms and the use of them. 

All the above-mentioned schools have given to the army 
numerous officers, whose thorough knowledge, both theo- 
retical and practical, is a sure guarantee that the army 
and military science in Italy will be kept in constant prog- 
ress in every department. 

Until the year 1885, Italy had no colonies, and conse- 
quently no colonial troops. For the military expedition 
to Massowah, which took place in the winter of 1884-85, 
the war administration organized a small army, mostly 
with furlough men drawn from the standing army. But 
in 1887 a special corps for the permanent occupation of 
Massowah and its dependencies was created under the 
special law of July 18, 1887. 

This corps, which was to be considered as part of the 
national standing army, consisted originally of a colonial 
military command, a staff with all dependent services, 2 


regiments of infantry, each of 3 battalions of 3 companies 
each, 1 squadron of horse chasseurs, 4 artillery companies, 
1 supply and 1 train company. 

These troops were recruited from among the men in 
active service who made special application, and also, in 
given proportions, from among furlough men of the first 
category. Their engagement was for a term of 4 years ; 
rescindable, however, after 2 years, upon their demand. 
At the end of ever} 7 two-years 1 term each soldier was en- 
titled to a premium of 1000 francs. The officers were 
drawn from those of the standing army, either in actual 
service or on furlough. 

The strength of the corps was 238 officers, 4762 men, 
134 horses for the officers, and 322 horses and mules for 
the troops. 

In June, 1889, a military corps of African natives was 
also instituted, which varied in size from time to time, as 
circumstances required, and which, under the command 
of Italian officers, has done excellent service. 

The adaptability to the adverse climate shown thus far 
by the Italian troops encourages the hope that Italy may 
succeed in opening up to civilization that part of the Dark 
Continent which has come under her influence. At any 
rate, no such task would have been undertaken by Italy 
but for the existence of her army ; and her army was also 
the starting-point of that triple alliance which has thus 
far secured to Europe the blessings of peace. 

The condition of the Italian garrisons in Africa having 
become safer, especially in consequence of a treaty con 
eluded by Italy with Abyssinia after the death of Negus 
John, the colonial army, already reduced by decree of 
June 20, 1889, was further diminished by decree of August 
28, 1890, so that it at present consists of 2 battalions of 
chasseurs and 1 of bersaglieri, 1 mountain battery, 1 com- 


pany of cannoneers, 1 of artillery artificers, 2 of engineers, 
1 of the sanitary, 1 of the supply, and 1 of the train 
corps. The entire strength is 105 officers, 3208 men, 72 
horses for officers, and 357 for troops. The mode of en- 
listment has not been changed. 

On June 30, 1889, the military corps of natives was 


thus organized : 4 battalions of infantry of 4 companies 
each, 1 squadron of scouts, 1 mountain battery, 2 " bo- 
lucks," 1 "orta" of several companies for service in the 
interior. Total strength, about 4000. 

But by the reorganization decree of September 3, 1890, 
the same corps was formed into 6 battalions of infantry 
of 4 companies each, 2 squadrons of cavalry, and 1 field 
battery, making together 104 Italian and 48 native offi- 
cers, 108 men from the Italian army, 5287 natives, 174 
horses for officers, and 669 for the troops. 

This colonial corps has been found to answer perfectly 
the ends of the occupation, and its troops being naturally 
used to the torrid climate, it is not unlikely that, if neces- 
sarv. it may be sooner or later increased, thus allowing a 
further reduction in the Italian corps. 

Having thus far described the military establishment of 
Italy in its constitution and elements, let us now locate it ; 
or. in other words, let us see how it is distributed among 
the different provinces of the kingdom in time of peace. 

The mode of distribution is determined partly by the 
exigencies of the home policy of the State and the existing 
facilities for the convenient quartering of troops; but, 
above all, by the needs of the defence of the country 
against foreign enemies. In this latter respect the geo- 
graphical position of the kingdom in relation to its neigh- 
boring States, and the peculiar configuration of the terri- 
tory, so narrow, and at the same time so excessively long, 
are circumstances of controlling importance. The land 
communications of Italy with the neighboring States all 
terminate in the valley of the Po. The area of that valley 
hardly exceeds one-third of that of the territory of the 
whole State, while the remaining two -thirds are sur- 
rounded by the sea. Hence the land-forces are assigned 
in the inverse ratio— that is, nearlv two-thirds to northern 



Italy, and little more than one-third to the peninsula 
proper and the islands. So, likewise, of the 12 territorial 
army corps commands, not less than 6 are in the north — 
viz., at Turin, Alessandria, Milan, Piacenza, Verona, Bo- 
logna ; 5 are scattered all over the rest of the country — 
viz., at Florence, Ancona, Rome, Naples, Bari, and the 
12th is at Palermo. 

Nature has clearly defined the principal zone of mili- 
tary stations in the event of war with any of the neigh- 
boring States, but it has at the same time, by the length 
and the mountainous structure of the peninsula, created 
man} r hinderances to the rapid transportation of troops 
from the south towards the north. Therefore the organ- 
izers of the Italian army acted wisely in stationing per- 
manently in the northern part of Italy a military strength 
far superior to that which would have belonged to it in 
proportion to its territory alone. 

The active militia is organized as follows : Infantry, 48 
regiments of 3 battalions of 4 companies each ; bersagli- 
eri, 18 battalions, each of 4 companies; Alpine troops, 22 
companies. The centres of formation for the infantry 
and the bersaglieri are the districts ; for the Alpine 
troops, the respective battalions. 

The artillery of the active militia consists of 52 field 
batteries of 6 pieces each ; 9 mountain batteries, also of 
6 pieces each ; 36 garrison artillery companies ; 14 train 
companies. The centres of formation for the various units 
of this artillery are the artillery regiments of the perma- 
nent army. 

The active militia engineer corps is formed into 21 
companies of sappers, 2 companies of railroad men, 3 
companies of telegraphists, 5 companies of pontoniers, 
4 companies of train. The centres of formation are those 
of the active army engineer regiments. 



To the above corps must be added 12 sanitary service 
and 12 supply service companies. 

The divisions that can be formed with the above ele- 
ments, and that can be mobilized to reinforce the 12 
army corps of the first line, are 12. They are composed 
of all the various arms and furnished with all the re- 
quired services, and, if necessary, all or some of them can 
be united into army corps. 

The island of Sardinia has a special active militia of its 
own, which is thus constituted : 3 regiments of infantry, 
each of 3 battalions of 4 companies each, 1 battalion of 
bersaglieri, 1 squadron of cavalry, 2 batteries of field ar- 
tillery, and 1 train company, 4 batteries of garrison ar- 



tillery, 1 company of engineers, 1 company of sanitary 
service troops, 1 company of supply service troops. The 
centres of formation for the Sardinian active militia are 
the two districts of Cagliari and Sassari. 

The organization of the local militia was not changed 
in any notable degree, but the completion of its cadres 
was attended with great care, and thereby the conditions 
of its formation were improved. 

The cadres for the local militia are, as a rule, constitut- 
ed of officers of the same militia, chosen from among 
the citizens of all classes who are best fitted for the posi- 
tions to which they are called, but occasionally, also, of 
furlough officers of the permanent army. The districts 
are the centres of formation for the active militia battal- 
ions, or companies of infantry, artillery, and engineers, 
while the Alpine battalions of the permanent army are the 
centres for the 22 Alpine battalions of the local militia. 

The various combatant units of the three arms which 
the Italian army is able to form in each of its three great 
sections may be summed up as follows : 











a o< 
o S 
.22 o 



O m 
0) ~ 

Supply Compa- 

Permanent Army. . 

Active Militia 

Local Militia 






9 69 

9 ' 36 
.. 100 









18 205 



Total 1488 + 36 + 108 = 1632 pieces. 

A glance at this table will suffice to show that the na- 
tional army of Italy is far from having the proportions 


of cavalry and horse batteries that the armies of Ger- 
many, France, and Austro - Hungary give to the same 
arms. This comparative deficiency, however, is account- 
ed for and justified by the nature of the frontiers, as well 
as by the international position of the Italian kingdom 
in respect to the neighboring States, excluding on its part 
any aggressive intention. The relative scarcity of cav- 
alry in particular would in any case be justified by the 
actual scarcity of horses fit for military purposes (220,000 
in all, fully one-half of which number would be required 
for the needs of a general mobilization), as well as by the 
state of the national finances, which hardly allows the 
maintenance of such an expensive arm on a large scale. 
Xevertheless, Italy is unquestionably able to check with 
her army any offensive movement from either the west 
or the east. The above table shows that no less than 12 
active army corps, each 30,000 strong, can be formed, pre- 
ceded by 36,000 Alpine infantry, and followed up by 12 
divisions, each 120,000 strong, of active militia, giving a 
grand total of 540,000 men, all ready to take the field, 
the local militia amply sufficing for all garrison pur- 

The law of conscription makes every able-bodied Ital- 
ian liable to military service from the age of 20 to 39. 
There are, consequently, 19 classes to feed the army. 
The men on the conscription lists found fit for service 
are enrolled, and divided by lot into three distinct cate- 
gories — first, second, third. The first category contingent 
is determined annually by law. The men in excess of 
the first category contingent are assigned to the second 
category; those who find themselves in such family cir- 
cumstances as are stated by the law of conscription are 
passed into the third. In determining these circum- 
stances the legislator has conciliated the needs of the mil- 



itary defence of the State with the other interests of civil 
society and the principles of humanity. In this respect, 
of the laws of conscription of all the great States of Eu- 
rope, the Italian is the most liberal. The former, in fact, 
extend the period of liability to military service to 25 
years, and restrict the cases of exemption within the nar- 
rowest limits. 

Another feature of the Italian law is this : it allows all 



conscripts wishing to finish their studies to postpone mil- 
itary service till the age of 25, and grants clergymen the 
right to serve in the sanitar}^ department. 

The period of active service in the army is of 3 years 
for the first category men, if they are in the infantry, 
artillery, or engineer corps, and of 4 if they are in the 
cavalry. Sublieutenants must serve 5 years. 

After 3 years spent with the colors, the great mass of 
the first category are sent home on unlimited furlough, 
remaining, however, liable to service for 6 years, at the 
expiration of which they pass for a term of 4 years to the 
active militia, and then for 6 years to the local militia. 

The second category are, in peace time, liable to service 
in one of the several arms during a period of 9 years in 
the permanent army, another of 4 years in the active 
militia, and a third one of 6 years m the local militia ; but 
they are considered as on furlough, and only subjected to 
some months' military training. 

The furlough classes of the first category being suffi- 
cient to put the permanent army on the war footing, and 
the four classes of the active militia being sufficient to 
complete the cadres of the same militia, the second cate- 
gories are really complementary troops serving to replace 
casualties in the field army. 

The men of the third category are not in peace time 
called to service, except for a few weeks' training. All the 
third category classes concur with the six older classes 
of the first and the second categories to form the local 
militia. This is very numerous, and although its techni- 
cal worth is of very little importance, except in that por- 
tion of it which is formed of first category men, it can, 
nevertheless, in case of protracted war, be used for garri- 
son service and the maintenance of public peace, thereby 
affording means of resistance to the last extremity. 


An institution peculiar to Italy is that of the town 
militia (" Milizia Comunale "), which the town authori- 
ties can by permission of the national government consti- 
tute with furlough men of any category, whether they 
belong to the permanent army, the active or the local 
militia. The town militia assist in case of need in the 
maintenance of the public peace and order. 

The strength of the whole of the Italian military es- 
tablishment is concisely given in the following table : 


Officers. — Officers, partly under arms, partly on furlough. . . 19,453 

Horses in active service 9,554 

Troop. — Men, partly under arms, partly on furlough 804,801 

Horses in active service 38,949 

Active Militia. — Officers on furlough 6,096 

Troops on furlough 369,998 

Local Militia. — Officers on furlough 9,925 

Troops on furlough 1,543,533 

Total.— Officers 35,474 

Troops 2,718,332 

To estimate correctly the real worth of this enormous 
number of men it is necessary to give some facts showing 
the amount and kind of instruction received by them. 
Of the permanent army about 250,000 are kept under 
arms 3 years, and their instruction and military training 
extend over the whole of that period. About 384,000 are 
on furlough, but have also received 3 years' instruction. 
The remaining 170,000 belong to the second category — 
that is, they have received 2 months' instruction and con- 
stitute the complementary troops. Therefore the army 
of the first line consists of only 634,000 men. These, 
however, can be constantly kept to their full total, even 
during a protracted war. 



Of the 370,000 men of the active militia, about 200,000 
have received 3 years' instruction, and these, formed into 
cadres commanded by officers mostly from the active 
army, constitute a very solid body, available for any war 
operation, the other 170,000 men from the complementary 
troops being soldiers of the second category, with only 
a few weeks' instruction. Lastly, about 300,000 of the 
local militia are of the first category, with the regular 3 
vears' training, and have about 170,000 second category 
men as complement. Italy, therefore, is able to oppose 
against her enemies fully 1,444,000 men, perfectly trained, 
armed, and equipped. This number can be maintained 
by 500,000 complementary troops. 

The districts provide for the receiving, equipping, and 
forwarding of these complementary troops to their re- 
spective corps. 

We will not consider the third category, because, al- 
though it is formed of the imposing number of over 
1,000,000 men, it only represents the broadness with 
which the Italian law of conscription has interpreted the 
interests of society. 

A close observer will easily detect in the national unity 
of Italy an ensemble of many diversities, and a typical 
variety of interesting particulars which not even the uni- 
formity of military life and discipline can cancel. Noth- 
ing is more interesting than the sight of the grave and 
exact Piedmontese, the serious and good-natured Lom- 
bard, the sceptical and alert Ligurian. Next to them one 
might see the witty and talkative Venetian or Tuscan, 
and the jovial Emilian or Eomagnese, and contrast them 
with the proud and ardent Sicilian, or the melancholy and 
pensive Sardinian. Then he might be struck with the 
intellectual acuteness of the lazy native of Campania Fe- 
lice or of sunny Puglia standing by the side of a stalwart 



comrade from Calabria, the Abruzzi, or Lucania. But he 
would probably notice, above all others, the sons of Rome, 
of the Sabina, of the Marches, and of Umbria, in whom 
are still reflected the manly beauty of the Italic type, and 
the genuine Italic spirit, which still shines in the artistic 
cities of those provinces. 

If the recruitment were made on the principle of local- 
ization, this diversity of types and characters would be- 
come apparent only through a comparison of entire regi- 
ments from the several regions ; but being on a national 
basis, men from all parts of the kingdom are brought 
together, and their special characteristics are observable 
in each and every regiment. 

The existence of such diversities may at first appear as 
tending to hinder or weaken that harmony and cohesion 
of all elements which is essential to the efficiency of an 
army. But thirty years' experience has proved that 
there exists unity in the army, and that through it the 
union of all the provinces has been cemented. One and 
the same flag gathers under its folds willing and con- 
cordant men, whose hearts beat in unison in the intense 
love of their country, forever freed from foreign masters 
and the oppression of despotic rulers. 

The national system of recruitment, discarding as it 
does the principle of localization, is altogether too expen- 
sive, complicated, and cumbersome, both in respect to the 
requirements of the peace and of the war establishment. 
On the other hand, it has had the inestimable advantage 
of doing away with one of the saddest legacies of ancient 
municipal rivalries, and more recent suspicious policies of 
petty rulers — namely, provincial diffidences, prejudices, 
and jealousies. 

However, the remembrance of these and their evil ef- 
fects on the political and military events of 1S48-49 is still 



so vivid in the minds of many persons who witnessed 
those unfortunate events, and some of whom are now 
holding influential positions in the higher military spheres, 
that it actually prevents a radical change in the existing 
system. Those persons believe that the recruitment on a 
national basis must be continued for the advantage of a 
more intimate social and political fusion of all the ele- 
ments of the nation. On the other hand, a reform is ad- 
vocated with equal zeal and vigor by men not less com- 
petent, honorable, or anxious for the public good. These 
maintain that the time for the adoption of the simpler, 
more natural, and less expensive system of localization 
has come; that the experience of thirty years, as well as 
the straits of the financial and economical situation of 
the country, unmistakably calls for it. 

That victory will finally be with the latter can admit 
of no doubt ; it is only a question of time. But when 
that time will come no one can say. In the mean time 
the Italian army remains what it has always been, the 
most vivid expression of reconstructed Italy, and the 
most elevating and effective school of national unification. 


~\ /TILITARY traditions are strong 
-*-*J- in Mexico. The race that in- 
habited the Plateau at the time of the 
Spanish conquest was a fighting race. 
Each of the several powerful tribes 
into which it was divided was stirred 
by a lively desire to fight one or more 
of the others, and at short intervals 
this desire was abundantly gratified. 
The fighting instinct was manifested 
to a better purpose in the gallant war 
made against Spain between the years 
1810 and 1821, that resulted in Mex- 
ican independence : and it was further 
manifested, together with something 
akin to the ancient division of the 
people into rival tribes, in the civil 
wars which went on almost without cessation for more 
than half a century after independence was achieved. 

But while the tribe fighting of the sixteenth century 
and the partisan fighting of the nineteenth century gave 
the strongest proof of the personal bravery of the Mexican 
people, they gave proof also of the lack of that national 
instinct of cohesiveness without which a people cannot be- 
come great. Cortes effected his extraordinary conquest 
by turning to his own advantage the rivalry of the Mexi- 
can tribes ; the American army of invasion was able to 
accomplish its series of victories (that no right-minded 



American can contemplate without pain and confusion, so 
greatly did they do violence to all sense of political mo- 
rality) because partisan dissension prevented the Mexican 
people from presenting to the invaders a solid front ; and 
partisan feeling went so far in the case of the French in- 
tervention, by which the Archduke Maximilian was made 
Emperor, that a considerable contingent of Mexican troops 
fought with the French against their own countrymen. 

This condition of internal dissension now happily has 
passed away, but so recently that many people still be- 
lieve Mexico to be the prey to factional wars. It is unfair, 
however, to blame the Mexicans because they have worked 
out their salvation slowly. For three centuries they suf- 
fered the cruel oppression of Spain, and for the last of 
these three centuries they were most grievously priest- 
ridden. Threescore years of political fermentation was 
not an unduly long time in which to clear away three 
hundred years' accumulation of political impurities. Our 
own period of severe oppression under English rule lasted 
for less than a century, but thirteen very turbulent years 
elapsed between the Declaration of Independence in 1776 
and the establishment of constitutional government in 
1789. What might have come to the United States under 
a ruler less unselfish than Washington is shown not only 
in the histories of every one of the Spanish- American re- 
publics, but also in the history of France. The crime of 
long -continued misgovernment is not easily atoned for, 
and no matter how thoroughly it may be expiated, it 
leaves a long-lasting stain. 

The three men who have most decidedly and most bene- 
ficially moulded the affairs of Mexico have been : Hidal- 
go, who led the revolt against Spain ; Juarez, who led the 
movement that culminated in the establishment of a lib- 
eral constitutional republic ; and Diaz, who has made this 



constitutional republic a practical working success. Any 
student of history will understand that in this scheme of 
work Diaz has performed the most difficult part. Hidal- 
go and Juarez had to operate with, and at the same time 
were sustained by, an excited popular sentiment that need- 
ed only direction in order to accomplish the work in hand, 
for each was a leader in a profoundly popular cause. In 
the case of Diaz precisely the reverse of this encouraging 
condition of affairs has obtained. His work has been the 
more difficult one of soothing a people excited by more 
than half a century of civil warfare, of establishing whole- 
some but irksome restraints by enforcing obedience to 
laws which to a considerable portion of the younger men 
of Mexico practically were unknown, and at the same time 
he has been forced to solve a problem in political finance 
that a man bred a statesman and financier, still more a 
man bred simply a soldier, very well might have regarded 
as hopelessly insoluble. A great part of this most diffi- 
cult task, with the assistance of the able men whom he 
has drawn around him as counsellors, he already has ac- 
complished, and what remains to be done almost will come 
of itself from the sheer momentum of the reforms which 
he has set in motion, and from the long-continued period 
during which he has secured to the country the blessing 
of profound peace. For the first time since the revolt of 
1810 the men of Mexico now between thirty and forty 
years of age — the class that, being fullest of mental and 
physical energy, is the actual motive power in all coun- 
tries — have had no opportunity to vent their energies in 
other than peaceful ways, and so have acquired substantial 
interests, the desire to protect which is the best possible 
guarantee against further civil war. This wholesome di- 
version of the energies of the country into channels of 
productive industry — at once leading to and stimulated 


by the construction of an extended system of railway that 
has developed abundant resources of wealth heretofore 
latent, and that at the same time has consolidated many 
scattered communities — has resulted in giving to the re- 
public a moral and financial stability and a national 
strength such as it never until now has enjoyed. 

I have no desire to make of this paper a political essay, 
but so much of the political history of Mexico as is out- 
lined above is necessary to a correct understanding of the 
conditions under which the Mexican army has been organ- 
ized. It is obvious from the facts stated that at no point 
of time between the achievement of independence and a 
period not twenty years past could an article treating of 
the Mexican army have been written, for the reason that 
while each of the many governments always has had an 
army, there always has existed at the same time at least 
one other army in Mexico composed wholly or in part of 
Mexicans. That now, as for several years past, the Mex- 
ican army can be spoken of confidently is perhaps the best 
evidence of the reality of the peace that President Diaz 
has secured to this long war- vexed land ; and not the least 
creditable part of what he has accomplished for the good 
of the country at large is that out of very unpromising 
materials he has created an orderly, well-disciplined, trust- 
worthy military force, that has been used solely to main- 
tain the power of the constitutional government by enforc- 
ing obedience to constitutional laws. 

The Mexican army consists of three grand divisions, 
known as the Permanent Army, the Reserve of the Per- 
manent Army, and the General Reserve, together consti- 
tuting nominally a force of about 130,000 infantry, 26,000 
cavalry, and 4000 artillery — in all about 160,000 men. The 
Permanent Army, the effective force actually in service 



and ready for immediate use, is made up of about 40,000 
men of all arms, and is distributed through the eleven de- 
partments into which, for military purposes, the republic 
is divided. Of these, 26,000 are infantry, 8000 are cav- 
alry, and the remainder are attached to the engineers, ar- 
tillery, general and medical staffs, the military schools, 
and the manufactories of material of war. 

The armament of this force, excepting in the matter of 
field artillery, of which the supply is short, is excellent. 
The field batteries in service consist of about forty small 
cannon (80 mms. cal.) of the Bauye type, and in addition 
to these a number of old brass guns, also of small size, is 
available for the artillery reserve. The shortness of the 
supply in this arm of the service is being repaired as rap- 
idly as possible by the manufacture of additional guns at 
the national foundery. For drawing the field batteries 
mules are used in preference to horses, because they are 
believed to be, under the climatic conditions of Mexico, 
better adapted to draught purposes ; but it is probable 
that this advantage is more than counterbalanced by the 
known unmanageableness of mules under fire. The artil- 
lerymen are armed with Remington carbines (cal. 50), and 
the same arm, in addition to the sabre, is carried by the 
cavalrymen. The cavalr} 7 " horses, excepting the handsome 
mounts of the officers, are small animals of native breed, 
as tough and as wiry as the men who ride them, and as 
capable of enduring enormous marches on a scant supply 
of water and food. The infantry is armed with Reming- 
ton rifles (cal. 43). In all arms of the service the officers 
and non-commissioned officers carry Colt's seven -shot 

The disposition of the present administration in mili- 
tary matters is eminently progressive, and measures al- 
ready have been taken to replace the Remington rifles 


and carbines with an automatic breech-loader invented by 
an officer of the engineers. The new arm will be manu- 
factured by the Government in its well-appointed national 
armory (Fabrica de Armas) in the City of Mexico. At the 
national f oundery, near Chapultepec, the Government man- 
ufactures, as stated above, the guns used by the artillery 
corps ; and in the national powder-mill the ammunition 
for the use of the army is prepared. All of these establish- 
ments are organized upon a military basis, and the work- 
men employed in them are carried on the army rolls. 

By the Constitution of 1857 the general-in-chief of the 
army is the President of the republic ; but the actual serv- 
ice usually is carried on by a general of division holding 
the cabinet position of Minister of War, and to his person 
is attached the general staff. The sub-commands of de- 
partments and military posts are held by five generals of 
division and twenty-two generals of brigade, and five gen- 
erals of division and sixteen generals of brigade are car- 
ried on the army lists of the reserves. 

At present about 30 per cent, of the officers of the 
army are graduates of the national Military College at 
Chapultepec, where about three hundred cadets constant- 
ly are in training, and whence about sixty officers are 
graduated annually. The course pursued here is similar 
to that at West Point ; and the gradual retirement of the 
older officers, combined with this constant addition of 
young officers who have been thoroughly trained in ac- 
cordance with the best of modern military theories, is 
having a very marked effect in raising the moral tone of 
the army and in increasing its practical efficiency. The 
cadets, as a rule, are drawn from the upper classes of 
Mexican society, but among them — and this is a very 
promising element in the new army — are a number of 
young fellows whose brown or brownish skins show their 



native Indian blood. It is a notable and hopeful fact 
that the native Indians more and more are coming to 
the front in the government of their own country. Jua- 
rez, who, all things considered, was the greatest states- 
man that Mexico as yet has produced, was an Indian of 
the pure blood, and President Diaz owes in part to his 
dash of this fine strain in his patient resolution and his 
steady courage in contending with great difficulties. The 
presence of these brown-faced lads among the cadets, and 
of brown-faced men in the national Congress and in the 
various departments of the Government, is a sign of 
healthy national growth, of which the importance scarce- 
ly can be overestimated. As a whole, the cadet battalion 
presents a fine soldierly appearance ; and the individual 
cadet, as seen on the streets of the City of Mexico on 
Sundays and feast-days, when off from Chapultepec on 
all-day leave, is as well set-up, soldierly a young fellow 
as is to be found anywhere. And even the " cockyness " 
of these spruce lads in their handsome uniforms, while 
likely to make an old soldier smile a little in a kindly way, 
is a sign of proper pride in an honorable profession that 
an old soldier best appreciates and is least disposed seri- 
ously to condemn. Pride in the uniform means pride in 
the service, and is a sign that when the time comes for 
fighting, neither the uniform nor the service will be dis- 
graced. The Chapultepec boys have gallant traditions to 
sustain them, for in the time of the American invasion 
they bore a brave part in defending the hill on which 
their college stands against the assault of Scott's army. 
At the base of the hill a monument fittingly commemo- 
rates the heroism of these young soldiers, and eloquently 
exhibits how well they fought by the long list of names 
graven upon it of those who that day died. Altogether, 
the Military College is an institution of which the Mexi- 




cans, in the army and out 
of it, are justly proud ; for 
both in its processes and 
in its results it is highly 
creditable to the nation at 
large. An important ad- 
junct to the college, re- 
cently established, is the 
artillery school, in which 
officers of that arm take a 
post-graduate course, and 
to which officers in the 
service are detailed for in- 

The rank and file of the 
army for the most part is 
drawn from the lowest 
classes. For many years 
past the highly objectionable custom has prevailed of draft- 
ing into the service various sorts of criminals, and the strong 
effort that President Diaz is making to put an end to a cus- 
tom so demoralizing is one of the most commendable of his 
many army reforms. The practical effect of making the 
army more or less a penal establishment is to keep good 
men out of it, while the convict soldiers are prompt to de- 
sert whenever occasion offers, and by their example to 
make desertions frequent. Sometimes a rather humorous 
ingenuity is shown in slipping out of the military bondage. 
In Monterey, one rainy night in March, 1883, more than 
a score of men belonging to a regiment drawn up at the 
railway station, in waiting for the arrival of the Presi- 
dent, succeeded in getting away by the device of placing 
their caps on the butts of their muskets, and sticking the 
muskets, bayonets down, in the ground in their places in 



the ranks. By the uncertain torchlight the platoons 

seemed unbroken, and it was only Avhen the order to 

march was given, and the regiment moved away and left 

the cap -bearing 

muskets standing 

scattered over the 

ground, that the 

officers perceived 

the trick whch had 

been played upon 


Recapturing a de- 
serter is anything 
but an easy mat- 
ter, for the com- 
mon people invari- 
ably assist him to 
escape, giving him 
refuge in hiding 
and most generous- 
ly lying about his 
whereabouts, and 
his own comrades 
are not especially 
zealous in their ef- 
forts to recapture 
him. The burden 
of the chase usually 
rests upon the offi- 
cer in command of 
the detail, and he 
frequently has ex- 
periences of a sort 

mucll more eXClt- lieutenant, engineer battalion 


ing than pleasing. I knew a young lieutenant, but re- 
cently graduated from Chapultepec, and all unused to 
military ways — a very natty little officer, whose hand- 
some uniform was a source of great pride and a matter of 
ijreat care to him — who was so mauled and tumbled by 
the big wife of the deserter for whom he was searching 
that but for the laughing interference in his behalf of his 
own men he very well might have been shaken to death 
by her. He came back to barracks with a badly scratched 
face, some rather serious bruises, and his beloved uniform 
in a very shocking condition ; and what was still worse, 
he came back without the deserter. 

On another occasion I had a more closely personal ex- 
perience of this phase of army life in Mexico. I had hired 
a lad of twenty or thereabouts as man-of -all- work — to help 
with the cooking, and wash dishes, and do the chamber- 
work, and run errands, and otherwise to make himself 
useful as occasion required ; for in such multifarious ways 
are men-servants in Mexico employed. I was much pleased 
with my capture, for Telesforo was a pleasant, good-nat- 
ured boy, and willing to a degree. But we soon found an 
exception to his willingness in his strong objection to be- 
ing sent out of the house. To our surprise, each time that 
we wanted to send him into the streets he developed sud- 
denly a pain in his inside, from which he recovered with 
astonishing rapidity when one of the other servants had 
been sent in his place. And he had an anxious manner, 
and a habit of instantly absenting himself when anybody 
knocked at the outer door, that also struck us as queer. 
Our surprise did not last a great while, for on the morning 
of the second day that Telesforo was in our employ I was 
summoned to an interview with a polite young lieutenant, 
who courteously apologized for being compelled to disar- 
range our domestic affairs by taking our servant back to 



the barrack where he belonged. And away Telesforo 
went, a pitiably forlorn object, guarded by four grinning 
soldiers with bared bayonets, and with the polite lieuten- 
ant — very much pleased with himself for having effected 
the capture — jauntily bringing up the rear. 

In order to lessen the incentive to desertion, it has been 
customary to send the men, whether enlisted or sentenced 
to army service, to parts of the country distant from their 
own homes. And since this class of men constitutes a 
part of the military organization, the custom that obtains 
of garrisoning mainly with convict soldiers the unhealthy 
posts in the hot lands is one to be commended. To a na- 
tive of the Plateau the summer climate of the coast is al- 
most sure to bring dangerous sickness, and very often 
death. It is sound economy, therefore, that prompts the 
formation of these garrisons — which necessarily must be 
maintained — of material that the country is the better for 

But while the army is, and probably for some time 
longer will continue to be, tinctured with this unwhole- 
some element (for the pending reform cannot be effected 
quickly), the mass of the rank and file constitutes a credit- 
able body of troops. By far the greater number of enlisted 
men are of the primitive Mexican stock, whose good-nat- 
ured brown faces show their freedom from mixture with 
the race of their Spanish conquerors. They are of the same 
stock as the men who fought under Cortes, who helped 
Kuno de Guzman to conquer Panuco, Jalisco, and Micho- 
acan, who served with Alvarado in his campaign in Gua- 
temala, and who followed this same captain in his un- 
lucky expedition to Nochistlan, where he met his death. 
And they have the same soldierly qualities of obedience 
and bravery now that their ancestors had then. They are 
capital fighters, especially in short sharp work that can be 


carried through with a rush and a hurrah. Moreover, in 
their many strenuous battles with the trained French 
troops they gained a steadiness, a coolness under fire, and 
a resoluteness in defeat as well as in victory which, having 
now become by tradition and training characteristic of 
the army as a whole, has added vastly to the effectiveness 
of the Mexican troops as a warlike force. As to their ca- 
pacity for forced marches, and their wiry strength on short 
supplies of food and water, they are not surpassed by any 
troops in the world, and in endurance of this sort they are 
very far superior to the soldiers of North America and 

In the case of the rank and file comparatively little at- 
tention is paid to set-up or to minor points of discipline. 
Even in front of the National Palace the sentries on duty 
march up and down their beats in a slipshod fashion, 
while the relief loll about on the stone benches smoking 
cigarettes and otherwise making themselves comfortable. 
Doubtless the practical impossibility of keeping up any 
show of smartness in brown linen blouse and trousers — 
which, with leather sandals (the best foot-gear ever de- 
vised for marching), constitutes the undress uniform — has 
much to do with the general carelessness that apparently 
is suffered to go unrebuked. 

But on dress parade these same easy-going soldiers pre- 
sent a very creditable appearance. Indeed, I never saw 
anywhere a more soldierly body of men than the force 
that marched in review past the President on the 5th of 
May, 1885. At this time differences with Guatemala, 
growing out of the interminable boundary dispute, threat- 
ened war, and rumors also were flying about that a certain 
prominent general contemplated trying his hand at get- 
ting up a revolution. Whatever may have been its pur- 
pose, the Government at this time assembled in and 



around the City of Mexico an army of 20,000 men of all 
arms, and on the Fifth of May — one of the two great na- 
tional holidays — this force, splendidly armed and equipped, 
was paraded through the streets of the capital. The linen 
uniforms were replaced by handsome suits of blue cloth, 
and the sandals by leather shoes, in which the men walked 
gingerly ; the accoutrements and arms were in fine form ; 
and the men, massed in broad columns, bore themselves in 
as soldierly a fashion as the most rigid disciplinarian could 
desire. There was, moreover, a prompt, business-like air 
about the demonstration that produced an effect very un- 
like that of an ordinary parade or review. The marching 
pace of the infantry was almost a double-quick ; the cav- 
alry frequently moved at a trot ; and some of the batteries 
— a break in the procession giving them the opportuni- 
ty — dashed by at a gallop. So rapid was the movement 
that the entire force swept past the reviewing stand in but 
a little more than two hours — suggesting possibilities of 
quick evolution in the field and of rapid concentration at 
any given point that must have been decidedly dishearten- 
ing to any intending revolutionists (supposing that a revo- 
lution was contemplated) who were on hand to witness this 
instructive object-lesson. And it is certain that, after so 
salutary a display of a national army abundantly strong 
enough to crush instantly any attempt to overthrow the 
constitutional government, the flying rumors in regard to 
a mutinous outbreak very suddenly died away. 

A serious difficulty under which the army labors is the 
lack of an adequate baggage train. This is a matter of 
less importance than it would be to an army composed of 
Xorth American or European soldiers ; for the Mexican 
soldiers belong to a race that is famous for its burden- 
bearing capacity, and their camp equipment is exceeding- 
ly light, for the lower classes practically know nothing of 



personal comfort, and the common soldiers, drawn from 
these classes, carry very scant kits. In barracks the men 
sleep curled up in their blankets on the floor; on the 
march they think that they are doing very well if they 
can get two rations a day of boiled beans, and they can 
sleep at night on anything. As the officers also go in 
light marching order, the actual amount of baggage to be 



carried relatively is small, yet it is sufficient to pack men 
and horses so heavily as greatly to retard the movement 
of troops. In the case of war this lack of adequate means 
of transportation undoubtedly would be severely felt ; but 
in the routine of the service, in the mere changing of gar- 
risons, it is a matter of no especial consequence, and is 
of less consequence now than it was before the days of 
railroads, for every important city in Mexico, excepting 


Oajaca, Durango, and the ports of the west coast, now is 
connected with the capital by rail. 

Even the women who follow the army — more in pro- 
portion than the rules of our service allow — are no great 
sufferers by the lack of baggage- wagons, for a Mexican 
woman usually can walk with the stride and the strength 
of a man. The presence of the women and a sprinkling 
of children about the camps and barracks adds a pictu- 
resque feature to the army life, and the sight of comfort- 
able little groups deeply interested in cooking processes 
frequently gives an exotic air of homeliness to most un- 
home-like surroundings. Like the men, the women take 
the discomforts of the service with the philosophical 
cheerfulness that is characteristic of the race whence they 
are sprung, and indeed they encounter little more of hard- 
ship in following the army than they do in remaining in 
their homes, and they are sure — as they are not sure in 
their own homes — of a sufficient supply of food. 

Since he must carry his belongings on his own back or 
on the back of his horse, and since both of these already 
are sufficiently burdened, the temptation to the common 
soldier to increase his kit is not strong ; and even should 
he be disposed to provide himself with additional com- 
forts, the limits of his pay would be reached before he 
had greatly enlarged his outfit. The nominal pay of en- 
listed men in the infantry is four reales (a real equalling 
about nine cents of our money) a day, but they actually 
receive only two and a half reales, the remainder being re- 
served in the battalion fund until the termination of the 
period of enlistment. Enlisted men in the cavalry and 
artillery nominally receive five reales a day, and actually 
receive three and a half. As all payments are made in 
silver, the paymaster's cart, drawn by a string of mules, 
usually is as heavy as an ammunition-wagon. 



A very important subdivision of the army is the gen- 
darmeria, a force charged with certain classes of police 
duties, of which the most responsible is that of keeping 
the highways clear of robbers. The section especially 
employed as a road guard is known as the Rurales, and is 
by all odds the most picturesque, and in some respects is 
the most meritorious, body of troops in the Mexican serv- 
ice. The beginning of this famous corps was in the time 
of Santa Anna, when General Lagarde organized a troop 
of ranchmen that was known popularly — because of the 
ranchero dress of leather that its members wore — as the 
Cuerados. On the fall of Santa Anna the Cuerados took 
to the road, and were such successful highwaymen that 
they presently were given, because of the lavish ornamen- 
tation of silver upon their leather garments, the new nick- 
name of the Plateados. The headquarters of the organi- 
zation were in the mountain of the Malinche, near Puebla, 
and its members very diligently worked the highway 
between the capital and Vera Cruz. Nor must these 
highwaymen be classed with ordinary vulgar robbers. 
The conditions of the country at this period were such 
that hundreds of men had no choice between starving 
and stealing, and the Plateados conducted their irregu- 
lar business in a chivalrous fashion, and frequently mani- 
fested a generosity in their treatment of the travellers 
who fell into their hands quite worthy of the gallant tra- 
ditions of Sherwood Forest and of the courteous customs 
of Robin Hood. 

In Comonfort's time the good thought was acted upon 
of turning the Plateados from road robbers into road 
guards, and the rather startling proposal was found to 
work out admirably in practice. The corps was organ- 
ized, and still is maintained — being now about 4000 strong 
— upon a footing unlike that of any other section of the 


army. Each man provides his own horse and equipment 
(excepting his arms), and is paid ten reales a day, out of 
which he provides rations for himself and forage for his 
horse. The men are armed with sabre, carbine, and re- 
volver, and have a service uniform of brown linen blouse 
and trousers, though this is worn less often than the regu- 
lar ranchero dress of jacket and trousers of soft -dressed 
brown leather. The dress uniform is the ranchero cos- 
tume glorified — the leather jacket and trousers loaded 
down with silver buttons and silver embroidery, and the 
wide felt- hat richly trimmed with silver or even with 
gold. The mountings of the saddles and bridles are of 
silver, and frequently silver stirrups match the rider's 
heavy silver spurs. On dress parade the horses wear 
housings of tooled and embroidered leather, and each man 
carries at the pommel of his saddle a light horse-hair lari- 
at, and strapped fast to the cantle a crimson blanket. The 
horses are by far the finest, excepting officers' mounts, in 
the service, and are so greatly beloved and so affectionate- 
ly cared for that they seldom get out of condition, while 
on review they positively shine. The men are magnifi- 
cent fellows, fully looking the dare-devils that they actu- 
ally are. 

The other important subdivisions of the army are the 
contraresguardo, or custom-house guard, mainly employed 
to police the northern and north-eastern frontier; the 
scientific corps, having charge of the National Observa- 
tory and the topographical survey ; and the medical corps, 
that includes regimental surgeons, and that has charge of 
the several military hospitals. 

As is the case with our own army, the normal condition 
of the Mexican army is that of a national police force. It 
is also, like our own, a skeleton organization that can be 
rapidly increased to a much greater size should the need 


g^ H 

f rt4r 


be developed for a larger fighting force. Now that the 
republic is supplied with a complete system of telegraph 
and is well provided with railroads, the existing force is 
ample to subdue all mutinous demonstrations, and so to 
nip revolution in the bud. One fertile cause of the many 
revolutions in former times was the ease with which they 
could be started, and the absolute impunity with which 
they could be developed to very considerable dimensions. 
Without telegraph lines, the national Government could 
know nothing of a rebellion in one of the distant northern 
States until it had gained very dangerous headway, which 
could still further increase during the slow progress of the 
Government troops to the scene of the outbreak. For in- 
stance, news from Tamaulipas (a State adjacent to Texas, 
that was a veritable hot-bed of revolution in former times) 
could not reach the capital under a week, and an army 
could not march from the capital to the central part of 
Tamaulipas in less than three weeks more. Nor could de- 


pendence be placed upon the garrisons in this region to 
check the revolt. In point of fact, the nucleus of the rev- 
olutionary army was very apt to be the local military 
force, and the leader of the movement was very apt to be 
the local general. Yet the last attempt at a rising in these 
parts, three or four years ago, scarcely arrived at the dig- 
nity of a riot. Thanks to the telegraph, to the railways, 
and, above all, to an army that no longer is the tool of in- 
dividuals, but is the loyal servant of the nation, the revolt 
was crushed almost before it could be said to have had an 
organized beginning. In like manner, in April last, a riot 
at Silao — that, having its root in an anti-clerical demon- 
stration, in former times very well might have developed 
into a revolution — was put down in a single day. 

As it is to-day — no longer a confused mass made up of 
scattered commands faithful only to their respective gen- 
erals, but an organization loyal to the nation and to the 
idea of national unity — the Mexican army is an honor to 
the Government that has created it, and affords the surest 
guarantee that in Mexico the days of revolutions are end- 
ed, and that the existing constitutional government will 



OF 1891 

History of all ages has shown that important political ques- 
tions, by which nations are divided and moved, can for the greater 
part be decided only by the sword. " It is the sword alone that 
now keeps the sword in the scabbard," said Field-marshal Count 
von Moltke in the German Parliament, and no power aspiring to 
authority and independence in the council of nations can, in view 
of warlike eventualities, evade the necessity of bringing up its armed 
forces to the highest possible standard of efficiency. But, as in 
the life and development of nations, so in the military realm, there 
is no stop that would not be identical with regress. Although 
not everywhere in pursuance of the maxim Si vis pacem, para 
helium, still with common eagerness and regardless of pecuniary 
cost Germany, the French Republic, the Hapsburg Monarchy, the 
vast empire of the Czar, Italy, Great Britain, and the States of 
secondary rank, rival in the effort of rendering the most perfect 
organization, the best armament, and the greatest possible strength 
to their military forces. The ways leading to this end differ ac- 
cording to public institutions, popular habits, geographical forma- 
tion, and the financial condition of a country ; but one principle is 
being maintained by all alike, Great Britain alone excepted, name- 
ly, that of compulsory and personal liability to service, whereby 
" every able-bodied person is bound to serve in the army and de- 
fend the country while in his full physical strength and health." 

The lively interest taken at present by the public generally in 
the development and formation of armed forces will be gratified by 
the publication of a series of articles comprising reports in detail 
of the present organization, armament, and strength of the several 
armies, preceded by a comparative description of the condition of 
the armies in the several States, and of the military situation in 
Europe in the spring of 1891. 


It should be mentioned that in this essay the armed force of 
Great Britain is touched merely incidentally because her main 
strength does not lie in ber land, but in her naval forces. 

A. — Liability to Service and Military Constitutions 

The principle of compulsory service has been adopted by all 
European States, with the only exception of Great Britain, which 
still holds on to the system of voluntary enlistment. Every able- 
bodied man is liable to service in the army. Prussia was first 
among the Great Powers to enforce this rule, when during the 
memorable campaign of 1813 to 1815 it resolved to fight and over- 
throw the Corsican conqueror. The fundamental law of the mili- 
tary constitution, proposed and drafted by the highly meritorious 
General von Boyen, was enacted September 3, 1814. The gen- 
eral liability to service which had been temporarily introduced in 
August, 1813, was declared a permanent institution, and the army 
the school for educating the nation for war. Not until half a cen- 
tury afterwards the general liability to service was initiated and 
adopted by the other German States, and the remaining Great 
Powers were compelled to follow suit consequent to the experi- 
ences of the war of 1871-72. Everywhere the tried and approved 
precepts of Prussia have served as example. 

Different provisions prevail as to the duration of the service lia- 
bility, the methods of absolving the same, and the enlistment of 
professional and educational classes of the population ; yet among 
all the Great Powers, barring only Great Britain, the principle is at 
present enforced that all men are liable to service during the term 
of their most vigorous age. The armies represent, therefore, in 
the best acceptation of the word, the people in arms. 

Most stringent of all in the enforcement of the general liability 
to service are the military laws of France and Russia. Only those 
unfit for military employment are exempt from service in war and 
in peace ; in Russia also the clergymen of any Christian denomina- 
tion and the psalm - readers of the Orthodox (Graeco - Catholic) 
Church while being educated at clergical academies. 

The French military law of July 15, 1889, recognizes no exemp- 
tions from service whatsoever ; limited furloughs in time of peace 
are granted instead to those who are officially certified as being sup- 
porters of families, and teachers and students at especially desig- 
nated educational institutions. As it would be impossible, however, 
for financial reasons alone, to keep under arms for three years the 


entire annual contingent of recruits, the law provides for the dis- 
charge of thoroughly trained men at the end of their first or 
second year of active service in such proportions as to bring down 
the peace strength of the army to the number annually determined 
by the General Assembly. Preferences in this connection are de- 
cided by lot, and for this purpose every recruit at his enrolment 
draws a number, and only those having the highest are entitled to 

In Russia the general liability to service was introduced by the 
act of January 13, 1874. Subject to the same is the entire male 
population, regardless of social standing, save that the inhabitants 
of certain Asiatic districts and the Mohammedans are exempt in 
consideration of the payment of a money tax. While exemptions 
from, or temporary postponement of, active service are granted 
only exceptionally in cases where it would entail hardships owing 
to family, professional, or civic relations, the educated classes of 
the population enjoy the legal privilege of an abridgment of their 
time of service from 1 to 4 years. The latter is regulated by the 
standard of learning acquired at one of the four designated species 
of educational institutions, and it is larger in cases of voluntary en- 
listment, smaller in cases of regular levy. 

In Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy, the requirements of 
civic life are receiving far more consideration than in France and 
Russia. There are allowed, owing to domestic relations, either 
total exemption from service, or transfer into the Ersatz reserve, 
Landsturm, Landwehr or Territorial Militia without any, or after a 
short active service ; also postponement of service on the part of 
such as are holding positions under the civil service and unable to 
leave their places, and rendition of the active service as one-year 
volunteers. The latter have to fulfil certain requirements as to 
science and learning, they must clothe, equip, and support them- 
selves at their own expense, or, as in Italy, pay into the State 
Treasury a sum of 1000 to 1200 lire according to entering foot or 
horse troops. 

The institution of the one-year volunteers differs essentially in 
that the German volunteers have to do active service for but a 
single year, while in Austria those failing to pass the examination 
for qualification as officers of the reserve or Landwehr have to re- 
main with their troop another year. 

In Germany the liability to service, according to the law of Feb- 
ruary 11, 1888, commences at the age of 17 and ends with the 
45th year. Every German capable of bearing arms belongs for 7 


years to the standing army — serving 3 years in the ranks and 4 in 
the reserve — for the 5 years following to the first levy of the 
Landwehr ; then up to the 31st day of March of that year in 
which he attains the age of 39 to the second levy of the Land- 
wehr. The Ersatz reserve, which is called out in case of mobili- 
zation for the completion of the standing army and for the forma- 
tion of depot troops, is made up of such as have not been enrolled, 
either because of being above the required number of men, or be- 
cause of minor bodily infirmities or domestic relations. The term 
of service in the Ersatz reserve is 12 years, during which time the 
men may be called out to participate in three exercises, lasting 
altogether 20 weeks. After that the men enter either the second 
levy of the Landwehr or the first levy of the Landsturm, accord- 
ing to their training. 

The Landsturm is destined, in case of war, for the defense of 
the country, also in cases of extraordinary emergencies for the 
completion of the army or navy. It comprises all those liable to 
service from the 17th to the 45th year who are not enrolled either 
in the army or the Landwehr. It is divided into two levies, the 
one comprising all men up to the age of 39, the second up to the 
age of 45 years. 

The new Atistrian military law, which went into effect April 
11, 1889, binds to 10 years' service in the army, 7 of which are to 
be absolved in the reserve. Those entered directly into the Er- 
satz reserve — under the same conditions as in Germany — have also 
to serve 10 years; in time of peace they receive military training 
for a period of 8 weeks, after which they are called out for exer- 
cises every second or third year. Having completed his term of 
service in the army, the Austrian soldier enters for 2 years the 
Landwehr or the Ersatz reserve, into which organizations, how- 
ever, some men are entered directly at their enlistment. The same 
conditions prevail in the Hungarian Landwehr and Ersatz reserve, 
which are known by the name of " Honved Army." By the 
Landsturm Act of 1886 the Landsturm is described as a contingent 
part of the military force to be called into service only when the 
country is threatened with war. Those liable to service in the 
Landsturm are divided into two levies, the first comprising all ages 
from 19 to 37, the second from 33 to 42. The Landsturm of the 
first levy may be applied for filling up the army and Landwehr, so 
that the term of service in the army, which was formerly 12 years, 
is actually extended to 17 years. 

Italy also has yielded to the necessity of reforming her military 


system in accordance with modern views. The liability to service 
commences with the 19th and ends with the 39th year, but the 
term of service in the ranks varies according to arms and military 
employment; hence it is not uniformly regulated. The annual 
contingent of recruits is divided into three classes or categories, of 
which tbe men of the first class do active service either for 4 years 
in the cavalry or for 3 years in the other arms ; for the next 5 
years they are kept on an " indefinite army furlough," whereupon 
they join for 4 years the Mobile Militia, and for 7 years the Terri- 
torial Militia. The men assigned to the second category are liable 
to 12 years' service, of which they remain for not more than 8 
years on " indefinite army furlough," and 4 years in the Mobile 
Militia, while for the remaining 7 years they belong to the Terri- 
torial Militia. For a portion of the contingent of the first category 
the term of active service may, probably from financial reasons, 
be limited to 2 years. The men assigned to the third category 
are in time of peace exempt from service, and are enrolled in the 
Territorial Militia. 

In France, by the provisions of the Act of July 15, 1889, the 
liability to service continues for 25 years. As the recruits are not 
enlisted until they reach the age of 21, the French are subject to 
service liability up to their 46th year. They have to serve 10 
years m the active army, generally 3 years in the ranks, and 7 in 
the reserve, 6 in the territorial army, and 9 in the reserve of the 

The whole number of annual classes at disposal in case of war 
amounts, however, to 26, as the law permits a prior enlistment of 
the class to be levied that year. It may be mentioned, also, that 
the War and Marine Ministers are authorized by law, " whenever 
circumstances require it," to keep the third year's class of the ac- 
tive army under arms beyond the completion of 3 years' service. 
Notice of such a step has to be given to the National Legislature 
at once. 

Reservists have to participate in two exercises of 4 weeks' dura- 
tion each, the men of the territorial army in one of 14 days' duration. 
The aforesaid law was amended in 1890 so as to authorize the 
calling out of the territorial army's reserve, heretofore exempt 
from those exercises for the purpose of training in guard duty on 
property of common carriers (railroads, telegraph, and telephone 
lines, and canals). Such drills were had for the first time in the fall 
of 1890, within the Third Army Corps district. As the men of the 
reserve of the territorial army are subject to military control, and 


already in time of peace distributed among the troops and put to 
drilling, this territorial reserve cannot be compared with the Ger- 
man Landsturm, as is frequently done, because there exists no legal 
provision for the calling out of the latter in time of peace. 

Russians are subject to military service from their 21st until the 
termination of their 43d year. The term of service in the active 
armv is 18 years, 5 in the ranks and 13 in the reserve. Next they 
enter into the Imperial Militia comprising two levies. The first 
levy, from which the standing army is completed, is formed by 
men discharged from the latter and by such men as were enlisted, 
although entirely able-bodied, above the requisite number. They 
are under military control, and bound to participate in two exer- 
cises of 6 weeks' duration each. The second levy, destined for 
the formation of Imperial Militia troops, consists of such men as 
are exempt from service because of being sole supporters of fami- 
lies, and of all not entirely able-bodied men. 

In the Cossack armies the liability to service commences with 
the 18th year, and lasts for 20 years, of which 4 are served in the 
active army. To the Cossack Militia belong all Cossacks capable 
of serving, regardless of age. The latter is called out by imperial 
order only in extraordinary emergencies of war. 

The requirements as to physical qualification and size on enter- 
in"" the army are approximately similar in the several countries. 
In France the minimum size is fixed at 1.54 centimetres, in the 
other States at from 1.55 to 1.57 centimetres. In France alone 
voung men who do not come up to the physical standard of serv- 
ice capability are liable to army service; they are employed in the 
services auxiliaires under military control as clerks, mechanics, or 
administrative officers. 

The percentage of recruits who have little or no schooling while 
being infinitely small in Germany, amounted in France in 1888 to 
9.8, and in Russia in 1889 to 70 per cent. 

The war strength of an army is defined by the number of men 
annually enlisted, and by the number of annual classes at the dis- 
posal of the Government. Leaving out of consideration the Ersatz 
reserve and Landsturm in Germany and the corresponding forma- 
tions in other States, the time of service in the standing army is 
as follows: Germany, 7 years; France, 10 years; Russia, 18 
years; Austria-Hungary, 10 years; Italy, 12 years. The entire 
extent of liability to service (including Landsturm, etc.,) is : in 
Germany, 25 years; Austria-Hungary, 22 years; Italy, 19 years; 
France, 25 years; Russia, 23 years. 


As to the number of annually enlisted recruits, Russia takes 
the front rank with 255,000 men ; France follows with at least 
220,000 men, whom she annually levies for her land army, not 
counting the naval contingent. The quota of recruits in Ger- 
many, Austria-Hungary, and Italy may be set down as being in 
average 170,000, 103,000 and 82,000 respectively. 

The French Republic is the only Great Power which levies a 
tax from such of her citizens as either do not enlist in the stand- 
ing army or who enlist, for some reasons, for a shorter term than 
three years. Exempt from such tax are only those who have 
their impecuniousness attested to officially. This tax, known as 
militia tax, is composed of a tax on real estate to the amount of 
6 francs, and of an additional tax to be fixed by the authorities 
in proportion to the earnings or income of the individual or his 
relatives, payable annually as long as the liability to active service 
in the army lasts. As this militia tax has been in effect only a 
short time the revenue derived from it cannot be exactly stated, 
but it may be estimated at 30,000,000 francs at the lowest. 

B. — Composition of the Armies 


The most numerous part of the army in all States is the infan- 
try. It is also, and always will be, the most important arm on the 
field of action, although being excelled as to range and effect of 
firing by the artillery, as to speed and elan by the cavalry. Uni- 
formity in the armament, training, and employment of the infantry 
has been achieved everywhere ; the distinction existing between 
infantry, grenadier, fusileer, jager, zouave, tirailleur, and schiitzen 
regiments is limited to the name, equipment, and manner of re- 
cruiting. Elite troops, as in the time of Napoleon I. the gardes, 
no longer exist; the Prussian and Russian guard corps, although 
filled by a picked complement of recruits, are not to be considered 
as such, for their organization, training, and employment is the 
same as that of the remaining parts of the army. 

For mountain campaigns, France has especially trained and 
equipped 12 jager battalions; Austria-Hungary the Tyrol jager 
regiment, numbering now 12 battalions; and Italy 1 regiments 
of alpine infantry (Alpini). 

The infantry regiment consists in war as in peace of 4 battalions 
in Austria-Hungary and Russia ; of 3 in the remaining States. 


With few exceptions the battalions have 4 companies ; in France, 
however, all of the 30 jager battalions will be gradually formed 
with 6 companies, a change which has been effected already in 17 

The French subdivisionary infantry regiments have so-called 
cadres complementaires, numbering 9 officers and 72 non-commis- 
sioned officers, and intended in case of mobilization for the forma- 
tion and transfer to the regiments mixtes of the fourth battalions 
of the regiments. The only country that maintains reserve and 
fort infantry troops in time of peace is Russia. 

The number of infantry formations on the first day of April, 
1891, was, in the army of the German Empire, 173 infantry regi- 
ments and 19 jager (schutzen) battalions, aggregating 538 bat- 
talions; France,, 162 infantry regiments, 30 jager battalions (of 
which 17 had 6, the remainder 4 companies), 4 regiments of zou- 
aves, 4 Algerian tirailleur regiments, 2 foreign regiments, 5 bat- 
talions of Algerian light infantry — total 561 battalions (the Na- 
tional Legislature had at that time granted the formation of 26 
additional jager companies, and the establishment of an infantry 
regiment bearing the number 163 was intended for October 1, 
1891 ; the French infantry will be further increased by the forma- 
tion of a colonial army under orders of the War Minister, the in- 
fantry of which shall be composed of 8 regiments having each 3 
battalions in the home country, besides the troops maintained in 
the colonies); Russia, 162 infantry (guard, grenadier, and army 
infantry) regiments of 768 battalions — 72-^- schutzen battalions 
formed in 12 brigades and 8-^- independent battalions, 20 Turkes- 
tan, 5 East Siberian, and 8 West Siberian line battalions, 2 regi- 
ments and 80 battalions reserve infantry (each battalion to form 
in case of war a regiment), 7 reserve battalions in Asiatic Russia, 
6 regiments and 12 battalions reserve infantry in the Caucasus, 6 
Cossack battalions — total, 1029-^ battalions. 

It is intended to increase the fort infantry by the addition of 3 
battalions and the transformation of the 40th Reserve Infantry 
Regiment (2 battalions) into Army Infantry Regiment No. 165 
with 4 battalions, which change may by this time have already 
taken place. 

France and Russia have, therefore, a peace organization of 1590^ 
(or, with the proposed increases, of 1598^-) battalions of infantry 
as against 1340 battalions in Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. 

In case of war, however, France and Russia would be compelled 
to leave in their extra-European possessions at least 100 battalions, 


so that their superiority in the number of battalions as compared 
with that of the States of the Triple Alliance would be reduced 
to 150. 


The system of uniformity in training and equipment prevailing 
in the infantry has of late been also adopted for the cavalry. The 
retention of different kinds of arms — cuirassiers, heavy horse, dra- 
goons chevaux-legers, uhlans, and hussars in Germany ; dragoons, 
chasseurs-a-cheval, cuirassiers, and hussars in France ; uhlans, hus- 
sars, and dragoons in Austria ; lancieri and cavallegieri in Italy — 
may be considered justifiable as an historical tradition. Distinc- 
tion between heavy and light cavalry will always be inevitable, 
owing to the heavier or lighter material of men and horses. The 
ideal of a unity as to designation and equipment is nearest ap- 
proached in the Russian cavalry, where, aside from the 10 regi- 
ments of guards, only dragoon and Cossack regiments exist. 

Whether by the new tactics and armament of the infantry the 
decisive part the cavalry has played in battle will be in a great 
measure reduced, and its action chiefly limited to the duty of re- 
connoitring and pursuit, is a question which can be finally decided 
only by the experiences of a campaign. Undoubtedly there is 
also in the future reserved for the cavalry a decisive part by 
prompt and courageous entering into battle, but for such action 
the occasions may become more scarce. 

The latest change in the armament of the cavalry, which has in 
part already gone into effect, is its equipment with repeating rifles 
of small calibre. This shows a tendency of employing on a larger 
scale the cavalry in foot combat. There is no doubt that Russia 
has advanced in this direction further than any other power. Her 
horsemen are equipped with bayonet rifles, they are required to 
carry a large amount of ammunition, and particular attention is paid 
in the new regulations to their training for foot combat in closed 

In the recent increase of army strength the cavalry has partici- 
pated either in no degree or in a relatively small one. 

As to numerical strength the cavalry of Russia takes the lead 
among the Great Powers owing to her almost inexhaustible Cos- 
sack formations. The German and French cavalry will be of 
about equal strength when the formation of the already approved 
6 new French regiments shall have been effected. Conspicuously 
weak in numbers is the cavalry of Italy. 


Cavalry horses in Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary are of 
greatly superior quality to those of France and Italy. 

The total cavalry strength in the spring of 1891 was, in Ger- 
many, 10 regiments of cuirassiers, 4 of heavy horse (2 each in Sax- 
ony and Bavaria), 25 of uhlans, 20 of hussars, 28 of dragoons, and 6 
of chevaux-legers in Bavaria, identical with dragoons — total, 93 
regiments of 5 squadrons each ; total number of squadrons, 465 ; 
the cuirass no longer belongs to the field equipment, but is merely 
worn for parade. In Austria-Hungary, 15 regiments of dragoons, 
16 of hussars, and 11 of uhlans — total, 42 regiments of 6 squad- 
rons and 1 depot cadre each; whole number of squadrons, 252. 
In Italy, 10 regiments of lancieri (uhlans) and 14 of cavalleo-ieri 
(dragoons), with consecutive numbers from 1 to 24, each regi- 
ment having six squadrons; whole number of squadrons, 144. In 
France, 12 regiments of cuirassiers, 30 of dragoons (the 30th being 
formed April 1, 1891), 21 of chasseurs-a-cheval, 12 of hussars, 6 
of chasseurs d' Afrique, 4 of spahis ; each regiment has 5 esca- 
drons, 3 of the spahi regiments 6 each — total number of squad- 
rons, 428. In Russia, 4 regiments of cuirassiers, 2 of uhlans, 2 
of dragoons (guards), 2 of hussars, 46 of army dragoons, and 49-J- 
of Cossacks — in war the number of the latter amounts to 145 

The army dragoons, 6 guard and 40 Cossack regiments are 
formed in 6 squadrons (or Ssotmies, as they are called by the 
Cossacks), the 4 cuirassiers of the guards in 4 squadrons — total 
number of squadrons in peace, 687. 

The cavalry is that arm among all others which cannot be im- 
provised, and the mobilization of which must be effected within 
the shortest time. It requires, therefore, also in peace an organi- 
zation which permits its employment against the enemy at a mo- 
ment's notice. For this reason the German and French regiments 
take the field with but 4 squadrons each ; one squadron is left at 
home for depot purposes, which is designated in Germany by an- 
nual turn, while in France it is without exception No. 5, to which 
are turned over in peace all disabled men and horses. 

In Austria-Hungary and Italy each regiment has a supplementa- 
ry (Ersatz) cadre, which is enlarged at mobilization to a depot 
squadron. The regiments therefore mobilize with 6 squadrons. 

Russia has 18 cadres of supplementary cavalry, each divided 
into 3 or 4 sections, and forming 8 brigades. The sections cor- 
respond with the regular regiments of the cavalry divisions, and 
represent their depot squadrons. In peace the depot sections also 


are training the young horses for the active regiments. The Cos- 
sack regiments have no Ersatz cadres. 


The third of the chief arms, the artillery, has of late gained 
considerably in importance, a fact generally recognized by increas- 
ing the number of batteries and by essential changes made in the 

Yet there is a wide difference of opinion entertained in the sev- 
eral armies as to the leading regulations and the provisions for the 
strength of the artillery, calibre and number of the guns of the bat- 
teries, their assignment to larger bodies of troops, etc., in war as 
well as in peace. Only in one principle a uniformity rule is ac- 
knowledged, namely, that the field artillery enters the fight as early 
as possible, and en masse, under one command. The requirements 
as to manoeuvring facilities and firing speed of the batteries 
have been considerably increased. 

In Germany alone complete uniformity in the guns of the field 
artillery has been attained since the introduction of the 8.8 centi- 
metre field-gun in the horse-artillery ; all other powers still retain 
two calibres. An average of 3 or 4 field-guns to every 1,000 men 
of the several arms is generally considered sufficient. The num- 
ber of mounted guns of the mobile battery is 6 in Germany, Italy, 
and France, 8 in Austria and Russia. Horse-batteries are chiefly 
assigned to cavalry divisions — in Germany and France also to the 
corps artillery. 

In Russia alone the entire artillery of an army corps is at mo- 
bilization assigned to the divisions, no corps artillery being re- 
served and put at the disposal of the general commanding, as in 
other countries. According to present organization, the number 
of field-guns assigned to an infantry division is 48 in Russia, 36 
in Germany and France, 24 in Austria and Italy, while the strength 
of corps artilleries varies between 6 and 8 batteries. For opera- 
tions in mountain regions every nation except Germany maintains 
separate Alpine artilleries, Austria having for this purpose so-called 
narrow-gauge field batteries. 

In view of the perfection of the system of fortifications and the 
necessity of carrying heavy guns also in the field, the strength of 
the garrison or foot artillery and the number and quality of gar- 
rison and siege guns has likewise been considerably increased. 
In the German foot artillery alone the number of tactical unities 


has not been increased for some time, while Russia has formed 3 
field-mortar regiments to serve as light siege artillery, and Austria- 
Hungary has reorganized her formerly independent battalions in 
regimental formation, at the same time forming 12 new companies. 
On the first day of April, 1891, the artillery strength of the 
Great Powers was as follows : 

Field artillery Garrison (foot) artillery 

Germany 434 batteries (including 46 horse-batteries) 124 companies 

France 480 " " 57 " " 100 " 

Austria-Hungary 260 " " 16 " " 72 " 

Russia 405 " " 49 " " 209 " 

Italy 208 " " 6 " " 68 " 


The technical troops consist of the pioneer, pontonier, engineer, 
telegraph, and railway troops, to which have been added recently 
the organizations formed for the signal and observation service. 
Infantry and cavalry, however, must also be able to perform in a 
measure the work of technical troops, such as fortifying positions 
in an open country and interrupting railway and telegraphic lines. 
Spade and pickaxe are at present considered of great importance, 
which fact is generally recognized ; and reckoning with it, the in- 
fantry is being equipped with portable apparatus for throwing up 
breastworks, and the cavalry with appropriate material — tools and 
dynamite cartridges — for the destruction of communication lines 
of every kind. The artillery is likewise required to throw up 
their own works for protecting the guns. 

The performance of the work mentioned above, as also the con- 
struction of passages across smaller watercourses, is the duty of 
the field pioneers, while the solution of larger technical problems, 
especially in a siege campaign, devolves upon the technical troops, 
whose functions also extend to the aerial navigation, carrier-pig- 
eons, and telegraph service. 

It may be mentioned that, in conformity with an old tradition, 
the French pontoniers belong to the artillery ; that in France 
and Russia separate train divisions for mounting wagons form 
part of the engineer troops — certainly an advantageous institution ; 
and that in Russia, Austria, and Italy the organization of telegraph 
troops is being attended to in time of peace, while in Germany 
and France such troops are formed only in case of mobilization 
from State telegraph officials who are liable to service. 


While Germany has a separate aeronautic division, in France 
one company of every engineer regiment is trained in aeronautic 
exercises. Carrier-pigeon stations are being maintained by every 
country at the more important points on the frontier for the pur- 
pose of keeping up outside communications in case of an enclose- 

In Germany alone pioneers and pontoniers are joined in battal- 
ion formation, while the other powers keep up separate organiza- 
tions. Russia has added to her technical troops torpedo compa- 
nies for the defence of the ports of the Black and Baltic seas. 

Railway troops require, besides their military and technical 
drill, special instruction in the operation and building of railway 
lines. In all countries, therefore, certain railroad lines are set 
aside, which are conducted and operated either entirely or in part 
by railway troops. The most perfect system of this kind exists 
in Germany. 

The strength of the technical troops in peace time is : 

Germany : 20 pioneer battalions, 1 railway brigade of 2 regiments 
of 2 battalions each, 1 Bavarian railway battalion of 2 companies, 
and 1 aeronautic division. 

Austria-Hungary : 2 engineer regiments (10 field battalions), 1 
pioneer regiment (for bridge-building), 1 railway and telegraph 
regiment of 3 battalions, and several reserve and depot formations 
for the regiments named. 

Russia : 17-|- battalions of sappers, 6 railway and 8 pontonier bat- 
talions, 4 torpedo companies, and 1 7 telegraph parks. The rail- 
way battalions numbered 2 to 4 form a brigade ; 2 serve on the 
Trans-Caspian lines, while the 1st does duty on the Petersburg- 
Gatschin road. 

France: 4 engineer regiments of 19 battalions, 1 railway regi- 
ment of 3 battalions, and 2 pontonier regiments of 28 companies. 
Each engineer regiment has permanently assigned to it a train 

Italy : 4 engineer regiments with 43 sapper, 8 pontonier, 6 tel- 
egraph, 2 lagune (lake), and 4 railway companies. In the 3d reg- 
iment is included 1 company of experts in the signal, aeronautic, 
and carrier-pigeon service. Ten train companies are assigned to 
these regiments. 



The composition of higher tactical formations, made up of the 
different kinds of arms, varies in many ways in the several armies ; 
yet throughout the division is considered as the fighting unity, 
and the army corps, owing to its permanent composition, as best 
qualified for independent operation. 

In time of peace the divisions generally consist of troops of but 
one species of arms, except in Germany, where 1 cavalry brigade 
is attached to the divisions, besides the 4 infantry regiments, 
which are formed in 2 brigades. The question of assigning them 
also field artillery is at present under consideration, but not yet 
finally decided. The Prussian Guard Corps is organized different- 
ly, in so far as its 8 cavalry regiments form an independent divi- 
sion. In the armies of the other countries the infantry divisions 
are likewise divided into 2 brigades with 4 regiments. The cav- 
alry regiments are joined in brigades, which are either assigned to 
army corps or formed as separate divisions. Russia has to each 
army corps stationed in Europe 1 cavalry division, while France 
has 6 so-called independent cavalry divisions, with horse-batteries 
attached to them also in time of peace. The field artillery is at 
present everywhere joined to the array corps, while with the tech- 
nical troops this is the case only in a territorial respect. 

The regular formation of the German army corps is: 2 divisions 
and 1 artillery brigade (the guard corps consisting of 2 divisions 
and 1 cavalry division, the 11th, 12th, and 2d Bavarian corps of 
3 divisions each). 

The French army corps : 2 infantry divisions, 1 corps cavalry 
brigade, 1 artillery brigade. 

The Austria-Hungarian : 2 infantry troop divisions (the 2d army 
corps in Vienna having 3), 1 cavalry brigade or cavalry troop di- 
vision, 1 artillery brigade with the corps artillery regiment, and 2 
battery divisions. 

The Italian : 2 infantry divisions and, as a rule, 1 cavalry and 1 
artillery brigade. 

The Russian : 2 infantry divisions, 1 cavalry division, and 2 ar- 
tillery brigades numbered after the former. 

It is an important point that organization and formation of army 
corps should require the least possible changes when being trans- 
formed from peace to war footing. These changes extend to per- 
manent assignment of artillery to the divisions (which is not 


necessary in Russia); to formation of a corps artillery ; to organ- 
ization of military trains and columns for the purpose of supply- 
ing ammunition and provisions, as well as for the sanitary service ; 
in Germany and Italy, also, to the formation of cavalry divisions. 

According to press reports a very remarkable change seems to 
be proposed in France, whereby in case of mobilization each infant- 
ry brigade shall be enlarged by a third infantry regiment, known 
as regiment mixte, and formed by the officers of the cadres comple- 
mentaires, the officers of the reserve, and the youngest annual 
classes of the territorial army. 

The regular composition of the division on war footing is shown 
in the following table, in which, however, the jager battalions are 
not taken into consideration, as their insertion in the ordre de bat- 
taille is regulated everywhere by particular provisions : 



















;s Guns 





1 or 2 







The French and Italian infantry divisions have only a temporary 
assignment of cavalry according to demands. The French army 
corps has at its disposal 1 cavalry brigade ; the Italian, 1 regiment. 
In Russia each army corps has a cavalry division in time of peace, 
but the intention seems to be to keep them permanently together, 
and to assign to the divisions Cossack formations to serve as divis- 
ion cavalry. 

Two divisions of the above described composition (battalions 
on war footing numbering 1000 men, squadrons 150 horse — per- 
haps less in France and Italy ) form an army corps, the fighting 
forces of which are still further increased by the corps artillery, the 
strength of which is, in Germany, undefined ; in France, 8 batteries 
with 48 guns; Austria, 6 batteries with 48 guns ; Italy, 8 batteries 
with 48 guns. 

As mentioned already, no corps artillery is formed in Russia, the 
entire artillery being distributed among the divisions. 

The peace organization consists, in Germany, of 20 army corps ; 
Austria-Hungary, 15; Italy, 12; Russia, 20; France, 19. 

France intends to put up a 20th corps, to be known as the " Co- 
lonial army," and formed of the present colonial and marine 


troops, subject directly to the orders of the War Minister. Its 
24 battalions and from 10 to 12 mounted batteries, which are per- 
manently garrisoned in the interior, will presumably be merged 
in the mobile army. 

Germany's 20 army corps are divided into 5 army inspections; 
the army inspectors do not have the prerogatives of commanding 
officers ; they merely exercise the right of inspecting the troops. 
Larger authority is conceded in France to the members of the Su- 
preme Council of War, who act as inspectors of army corps — during 
the fall manoeuvres they assume command of the corps and the 
cavalry divisions united to an army, and may order a mobilization 
of troops and the armament of fortifications for inspecting and 
testing purposes. In Russia the commanding authorities placed 
at the head of the 13 military districts represent local war minis- 
tries, and in the frontier districts they exercise at the same time 
the authority of chief army commanders over all the troops, mili- 
tary institutions, and administrative bodies within the district. 
The commanders-in-chief of the military districts of Warsaw, Fin- 
land, the Caucasus, and the five Asiatic districts of Russia are at 
the same time governors-general, uniting therefore in their person 
the highest military and civic authority of the district. 

Aside from the parts of the standing army put on war footing, 
there will be organized in every country in case of war reserve, 
garrison and depot formations, destined either to support the army 
or to serve garrison or depot purposes. Russia is the only coun- 
try which maintains organized reserve and garrison troops in time 
of peace ; cadres for such are found in France in the territorial 
army, frequently called "the army of the 2d Hue," and in Austria- 

There are formed, according to the army lists, in France, 145 
territorial infantry regiments, having 5 to 6 battalions each, of 
which the first two are transferred to the regiment mixte, 144 
squadrons of territorial cavalry, 18 regiments of territorial artil- 
lery, with the necessary engineer and train divisions ; in Austria- 
Hungary, 22 Landwehr infantry regiments, 4 Dalmation Landwehr 
battalions, 10 battalions Tyrolean militia schiitzen, 28 Honved in- 
fantry regiments, 6 Landwehr cavalry regiments, 10 Honved hussar 

Austria-Hungary differs from other countries in that her Land- 
wehr regiments have recruits assigned them directly, who receive 
their training during an abridged term of service. 

A component part of the armed forces of Russia is the frontier 


guard, and in France the organization formed from custom and 
forest officials. The strength of the former amounts to 26,000, 
of the latter to 30,000 men. The frontier guard is divided into 
28 brigades, each being assigned to a certain border section for 
the supervision of traffic and the prevention of smuggling. The 
French custom and forest officials are organized in peace as bat- 
talions, companies, and sections, officered by superior officials. 
The War Ministry furnishes arms and ammunition, and takes com- 
mand of these organizations on the first day of a mobilization, 
while their clothing and equipment are provided by the Depart- 
ment of Finance. Most likely the above described formations, 
which are composed of old soldiers, will at the outbreak of a war 
be employed jointly with troops of the field army for guarding 
the frontier ; they will also be able to perform efficient service 
during the operations of a campaign. 

C. — Armament. 

The lead taken by the French army in introducing a small- 
calibre rifle and smokeless powder had necessarily to be followed 
by the remaining powers. Apart from improving the firing qual- 
ity of the troops, reasons of moral considerations require their be- 
ing fitted out with the best of arms. 

Five years of untiring efforts and assiduous study, commencing 
with experiments in the direction of realizing the advantages of 
a small -calibre rifle and of the use of a powder producing but 
slight smoke, which had heretofore only been treated theoretically, 
have achieved the desired results, so that we now find the infan- 
tries of the Great Powers, Russia alone excepted, equipped with 
small calibre rifles with multiplied loading capacity, which may dif- 
fer in construction, but are all considered thoroughly reliable for a 
campaign. One fact may be stated right here. Arms with tubu- 
lar magazine (either in the butt end or in the foreshaft of the 
rifle) appear already obsolete, and are superseded by rifles with 
box magazine for cartridge pack-filling, which, besides other advan- 
tages, render unnecessary the tedious filling of the single maga- 
zines, especially disadvantageous in a fight, owing to the loss of 
time. The cartridges are placed from four to six pieces in a frame 
packed above one another. In order to fill the magazine, such 
a frame is taken from the cartridge-pouch and placed in the 
magazine-box, whereupon the frame is pulled out or automatically 
removed from the box. 


In Germany the rifle question was settled by the introduction 
of "rifle 88" (7.9 mm. calibre), with box magazine for cartridge 
pack-filling, the range of which at increased firing and hitting 
efficiency is stated to be 3800 in. 

The French infantry rifle, model of 1886 (Lebel rifle), belongs 
to the tubular magazine species, and is, even in France, no longer 
considered up to the requirements of the times, while in Italy the 
rifles of model 1871 (Vetterli system) are being changed at pres- 
ent into cylinder magazine rifles as proposed by Captain Vitali. 
It is said that 350,000 rifles of this kind have already been manu- 
factured. In Austria-Hungary, also, rapid advance is made in the 
new armament with " rifle 88 " (Manlicher system, box magazine). 
England has chosen in place of the Martini - Henry rifle, model 
1871, of 11.43 mm. calibre, a rapid-firing arm of smallest calibre 
— 7.65 mm. with box magazine, Lee model. 

In Russia the question of newly arming the infantry has been 
only very recently decided. A small- calibre (7.63 mm.) repeat- 
ing rifle has been adopted, and is now being manufactured in 
masses. But even with the greatest practicable haste, the new 
armament of the Russian infantry will not be completed before 
two or three years. 

In order to realize the full advantage of the new arm, an explosive 
is required which will give the projectile a starting speed (that is 
the distance covered by the bullet within one second after leaving 
the muzzle of the rifle) of about 600 m. ; it must furthermore gen- 
erate as little smoke as possible, and prove its usefulness for a 
campaign by durability in climatic changes, and by being easily 
transported. Thorough experimental efforts have succeeded at 
last in producing a so-called smokeless powder, or more correctly 
speaking, a powder emitting little smoke, which develops more 
gases, and consequently more vigor and less smoke than the pow- 
der heretofore in use. 

Owing to these qualities the new powder will unquestionably 
have a decided influence on the tactics of the battle-field, which, 
although carefully considered and estimated, cannot be determined 
upon until after the practical experience of a campaign. The con- 
duct of the fight, the observation of the enemy's position, the cal- 
culation of distances, and the notice of the firing effect will un- 
doubtedly be made more difficult, and the martial training of the 
troops will in future be of still higher importance than heretofore. 

A certain uniformity in the armament of the infantry has been 
attained, or is, at least, being attempted, by all the Great Powers of 


Europe. There still remain differences as to its construction and 
manipulation, but the firing- efficiency of the new rifles is essen- 
tially the same in all the systems described above. 

Thorough-going experiments made in the several countries to 
test the effect of the lately introduced small -calibre projectiles 
have proved the noticeable fact that by the reduction of the cali- 
bre, and particularly by the general adoption of covered projectiles, 
humane tendencies are promoted, as in future wars shot wounds 
will be cleaner and smoother, their healing process more favorable, 
and cripples less numerous than heretofore ; the new infantry 
gun will, therefore, prove not only the best, but the most humane 

A uniform armament of the cavalry of the Great Powers does 
not exist. The German cavalry alone is equipped throughout 
with lances ; in France so far only the first echelon of the dragoon 
regiments use this weapon, which, however, according to latest 
reports, is not to be taken along in the field ; in Russia only the 
guards and some Cossack regiments are provided with the lance. 
In Austria-Hungary it is entirely abolished, while in Italy it is still 
carried by a portion of the cavalry. 

The question whether a uniformly equipped cavalry shall be 
provided with both sword and lance, has in Germany alone been 
decided in favor of the lance. The advantages of a lance for an 
attack, especially against infantry, are no more questioned than 
the necessity of equipping the cavalry with a suitable fire-arm. 
The latter is done everywhere. In Russia the rifle appears to 
have even superseded the sword in the equipment of the cavalry, 
to whose training for foot combat and individual firing readiness 
more importance is conceded than should seem wise. Indeed, 
the bulk of the cavalry has been transformed into mounted infan- 
try, the efficiency of which remains yet to be tested. 

The artilleries of the Great Powers may be considered as of 
equal standard of quality and efficient material. For the guns, 
also, the smokeless powder has already been, or is being, adopted. 

Every country strives restlessly to attain the highest possible 
degree of perfection in armament, and though this contention 
seems to be going on continually, there are, for the nearest fut- 
ure, at least, no thorough-going changes to be expected which re- 
quire time and money, save that France may introduce in place 
of the Lebel gun a rifle model after the system of cartridge pack- 

27 ' 


D. — Some other Factors of Judging the Military Effi- 
ciency of a Country 

Besides the fundamental provisions for liability to service, or- 
ganization, and armament of armies, there are other factors to be 
considered which influence the military efficiency of a country. 
Among these are the extent and form of the railroad system ; the 
fortification of the country ; the conditions and movements of the 
population ; the public finances ; the number of men kept under 
arms in peace ; the distribution and war strength of the armies. 

It is a generally recognized fact that an extensive and widely- 
branched railroad system facilitates in a great measure the mobili- 
zation and the transport of the troops into their positions on the 
frontier, and is consequently of paramount importance for the 
defence of, or display of power by, a country. The military 
administrations and army commands of all Great Powers are, 
therefore, allowed in peace to exercise great influence on the 
formation of the railroad system and its equipment with rolling 
stock for the transportation of troops, and from the moment of 
mobilizing the entire railroad management passes under military 
control. All preparations for the transport of troops and ma- 
terial must be made in peace, and nowhere the error committed 
by France before the outbreak of the war of 1870-71 will be re- 
peated to-day, namely, to indulge in the illusion that the concen- 
tration of armies on the frontier could be effected with order and 
precision without thorough and extensive preparations in peace. 

We find, therefore, in all armies special central bodies which, 
under the direction of the General Staff, have to attend to these 
preparations. They are known as line commissions in Germany 
and France, representing not only the military, but also perma- 
nently the mechanical element; station or line commands in Italy 
and Austria-Hungary ; troop transportation authorities in Russia. 

In all countries, but particularly in France and Russia, military 
considerations have been paramount in laving out new railroad 
lines, and in the first named country pains have been taken in 
completing and multiplying the railway net. Instead of three, as 
at the commencement of the campaign of 1870, there are now ten 
lines leading from the interior to the eastern frontier, almost all 
double track, operated independently of each other and con- 
nected by numerous cross lines; within 17 years the number of 
miles of rails has been doubled, and it requires but the fifth part 


of the entire rolling stock to transport at once the whole army to 
the frontier. Russia, also, has paid due attention to the extension 
of her railroad system ; yet it does not command over more than 
five railroad lines leading from the heart of the country to the 
west and south-west frontier, while Germany possesses ten (after 
the completion of her eastern railway system, even thirteen) lines, 
which come into consideration in case of displaying the army in 
the East. Hence the strategic railroad system of Germany is ad- 
mirably developed against her eastern neighbor. 

Remarkable changes have also been made within the last two 
decades in the manner of fortifying the country. In this con- 
nection there had to be considered first, the adoption and real- 
ization of new fundamental principles of the fortification system ; 
secondly, the strengthening of already existing fortifications in 
order to render them capable of resistance against the effects of 
modern artillery. But while in Germany and Austria a limited 
number of fortified places of the first rank are deemed sufficient, 
France has extended her fortification system almost beyond the 
limit of absolute necessity. Her experiences during the late war 
— twenty-seven fortified places were taken by the Germans after 
a short siege, eleven of which had to be ceded at the close of the 
war — and the conviction that she must strengthen her eastern 
frontier by new forts, has led to a complete reorganization of the 
fortification system, the leading feature of which is the establish- 
ment of two great lines of defence along the eastern frontier and 
of a central position. 

A new element in the defence of a country has been added by 
the erection of blockade forts — independent works, the armament 
and garrison of which do not exceed 100 guns and 1000 men — 
for the purpose of defending and blockading the most important 
railway lines and highways, and of establishing connections be- 
tween the large forts. 

The front line of defence against Germany is formed by the 
great armed places of Verdun, Toul, Epinal, and Belfort ; the 
second by Reims, Laon, La Fere, BesanQon, and Dijon — all for- 
tresses with far advanced detached forts. Of the numerous 
places along the Sambre and Meuse rivers, only Maubeuge can lay 
claim to some importance. Against Italy, likewise, a new frontier 
defence has been established by the erection of blockade forts at 
all Alpine passes, and by the fortified camps of Grenoble and 
Briancon, also by rebuilding and enlarging the fortifications of 


In the third line in the rear of the eastern forts is Paris — rightly 
called a fortified province — surrounded by a double belt of forts, 
the outer works of which cover an area of about twenty -nine 
geographical square miles, encircling a population of more than 
3,000,000, and comprising the three large fortified camps of the 
north, the east, and south-east. In order to prevent a repetition 
of the siege and bombardment of Paris in 1870-71, the fortifica- 
tion lines have been extended in a measure defying any compari- 
son. It is at present intended to tear down the city walls, which 
impede the development of the interior city, and have lost their 
military importance. 

Next to France, Russia has recently made great efforts in the 
direction of fortifying herself. In the military districts of War- 
saw and Wilna, being nearest to the German frontier, the forts of 
Kowno, Warsaw, Nowogeorgiewo, and Beest-Litowsk have been 
made armed places of the first rank, and a line of blockade forts 
connecting with Kowno in the north, and stretching down south 
to Onita on the Niemen River, is in the course of erection. All 
fortifications in the districts mentioned are up to the standard of 
modern times. 

About the merit of fortifications and their indispensability for 
the defence of a country as well as for a campaign, opinions of the 
best authorities differ ; but the one fact is uncontrovertible that 
the initial operations of any future campaign will be directed 
against the great armed places, and only after their surrender the 
field campaign will commence. 

The military efficiency of a country is influenced furthermore by 
the strength of her population, especially the number of young 
men liable to service. Census statistics show that the population 
of Germany has, during the five years beginning December 1, 1885, 
increased 5.7 per cent., which is not surpassed by any other coun- 
try. The increase in Italy is 4 per cent.; in Austria-Hungary 2.5 
per cent.; in France but 1.6 per cent. The proportion of young 
men liable to service is, however, larger in France than in other 
countries, a fact which is noticeable not merely from a military 
point of view, but also in regard to its economical relations. 

The amount of money appropriated by the European Great 
Powers for the maintenance and improvement of their military 
forces, including the navy, is without exception increasing from 
year to year, and may be estimated approximately at an aggregate 
of four milliards of marks. The army appropriations of France 
and Russia are highest, the former amounting in 1890 to 710,- 


000,000 francs, the latter to 226,000,000 rubles. For the mainte- 
nance of the German army for the year beginning April 1, 1891, 
405,250,000 marks have been set out in the imperial budget. 
Austria-Hungary expended in 1890 for the same purpose 156,000,- 
000 florins; Italy 278,500,000 lires ; the British army requires 
300,000,000 marks annually, including the land troops in all 
colonies save India, and not including pensions, which in England 
are provided for in the army budget. 

Yielding to parliamentary demand, the new Italian Ministry of 
Rudini has declared its readiness to making deductions in the 
army budget to the amount of 10,500,000 lires, but it is question- 
able whether such a reduction is feasible without seriously injur- 
ing the militant interests of the country. 

In the figures quoted above are included both the permanent 
and annual expenses known in France as " service ordinaire " and 
" service extraordinaire." 

Comparative statistics of interest are found in a tax report of 
1886, which, although dating back some years, may still be con- 
sidered approximately correct in view of the general and equal 
increase of both public revenues and army appropriations. Ac- 
cording to this report there were expended of the annual revenues 
for army purposes in Germany, 19.2 per cent.; Austria-Hungary, 
15.5 ; Russia, 35 ; France, 31 ; while of the Government expenses, 
after deducting the amounts paid for interest on the public debt, 
the share allotted to the army was, 1885-86, 26.04 per cent, in 
Prussia (the Prussian contingent of the imperial army as com- 
pared with the expenses of the State of Prussia); France, 1886, 
40.46; Russia, 1886, 40.00. 

An exact enumeration of the war strength of the armies of the 
Great Powers cannot be given in this place ; depending upon the 
number of officers, non-commissioned officers, and men serving in 
the standing army, and upon the strength of the annual contin- 
gents, it is as steadily and constantly increasing as the peace 
strength. It may be stated, however, that taking as a basis the 
number of combatants, the States mentioned above rank as fol- 
lows : France, Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. In 
this respect Great Britain takes the last place among the Great 


A. — The x\rmies of the Balkan States 

i. — TURKEY 

Turkey can put in the field a numerous military force, and her 
armies have fought at all times with great bravery, although often 
provided in the worst possible manner with provisions, equipment, 
and armament. Owing to the almost perpetual financial troubles of 
this country, the dues of officers and men are paid very irregu- 
larly. This is demonstrated by the issuance, in 1888, of an order 
which is still in force, to the effect that arrearages due soldiers at 
tbe time of their discharge for which no money is in the treasury 
shall instead be paid in scrip, which may be applied to the pay- 
ment of State and municipal taxes. 

Enlisted in the army, with the sole exception of one single cav- 
alry regiment, are only orthodox Mohammedans or Mussulmans; 
the Christian population is excluded from army service in consid- 
eration of the payment of a military tax. Religion, indeed, is 
still the one main element of strength of the Turkish army. 

The latter has been reorganized after every war, and there re- 
main at present German officers in Constantinople to introduce 
once more some thorough-going reforms. It must be admitted, 
however, that the exuberant expectations set by many on the 
work of these officers have not been realized, although their efforts 
have achieved some success. All sorts of intrigues and an exceed- 
ingly cumbrous routine have paralyzed the efforts of the authori- 
ties conducting the reorganization of the army ; even changes 
sanctioned by the Sultan himself are not put into effect. 

The Moslem part of the population of Turkey is liable to serv- 
ice from the 20th to the 40th year. The term of service in the 
active army, which, however, is always being greatly abridged, is 
6, the Landwehr liability 6, and the Landsturm liability 8 years. 
Those discharged from active service remain in the reserve until 
they enter the Landwehr ; the reserve may be called out at any 
time. The inhabitants of Constantinople are exempt from military 
duty, which privilege ceases with their change of residence; 
neither does it extend to those Moslems liable to service who settle 
in the capital with the intention to reside there permanently. 

The Turkish empire is divided into 6 military districts called 
" ordu ;" in each district 8 infantry brigades (with 2 regiments and 
4 battalions each) should have been formed, but the entire infantry 


in the beginning of 1891 actually numbered but 63 regiments, 15 
jager battalions, 2 zouave regiments, and 1 battalion mounted in- 
fantry. The cavalry consisted of 39 regiments of 5 escadrons 
each; the field artillery of 13 regiments with 144 foot, 18 horse, 
and 36 mountain batteries. There were, besides, 6 fort artillery, 6 
engineer, and 5 train battalions. 

In 1889, 43,000 recruits were enlisted; the peace strength 
amounts to 185,000 combatants, to whom are to be added 65,000 
non-combatants (mechanics, administrative troops, officials, etc.), 
so that 250,000 men have to be provided for. 

Much has been done of late in the way of selecting and edu- 
cating officers, but the learning and zeal of the majority of the 
officers is said to leave much to be desired. Promotions are not 
regulated by law, nor are there any rules governing them ; promo- 
tion depends upon the degree of favor the individual officer enjoys. 

After the arrival of the German officers who, on entering the 
Turkish service had to quit the German army, it was proposed to 
establish for each arm a model regiment for the training of troops 
by proper instruction. This measure, however, has been put into 
effect by the artillery only, which arm is particularly cultivated in 
the Turkish army, the Prussian drill regulations having been in- 
troduced in the held artillery since 1838 ; they are now supplanted 
by the new German regulations. 

The infantry is at present being newly armed with the rifle model 
of 1887, calibre 9.5 mm., which is in the main identical with the 
German rifle model of 1884. The rifles are furnished by a German 
factory which turns out 320 rifles daily. The total number of 
rifles of the new construction was stated in the spring of 1890 
to be 125,000; at present the new armament should be nearly 

The training of the infantry and cavalry is said to be inefficient,, 
yet the continual fights against robber-bands and the guard serv- 
ice on the frontiers offer opportunities for acquiring a certain; 
routine as to the operations of a guerilla war. 

The perfection of the army organization and the training of 
the troops according to modern principles will remain an impossi- 
bility as long as the fundamental conditions of the same — a well- 
regulated commonwealth — do not exist. The proposed reorganiza- 
tion of the army has to contend forever with religious and national 
peculiarities, and the time is not discernible when it shall be accom- 
plished. There is also a want of the necessary financial means. 

The army expenses for the Turkish fiscal year 1.889-90 (i. e. 


from March 13, 1889, to the same date of 1890) amounted to 
about 650,000 Turkish pounds. 

A number of Turkish officers have spent some time in Germany 
in order to acquire a proper knowledge of the service, and they are 
said to have proved quite efficient after their return home, and to 
have done credit to their " Prussian schooling." 

Owing to the splendid physical qualities of her people, Turkey 
is possessed of very able and useful elements for a good army; 
and it cannot be denied that, compared with the past, and consid- 
dering the many adverse circumstances, the Turkish army is in a 
state of advancement, and the German Emperor on his visit to 
Constantinople warmly praised the Turkish army in this regard. 

Turkey does not appear to be prepared for an offensive war, 
but for the defence of her present possessions her army is suffi- 
ciently strong and well armed, and its defeat in the campaign of 
1877-78 was brought about only after long fighting and great 
sacrifices on the part of the Russian army. 


The perpetual financial difficulties of united Bulgaria and East- 
ern Roumelia cannot remain without influence on the strength, 
armament, and equipment of her army. It must be admitted, nev- 
ertheless, that since Prince Ferdinand's ascendency to the throne 
the country has undoubtedly made progress, which has extended 
also to her military affairs. 

While the peace strength of the army at the close of 1889 was 
in round numbers 34,000 men and 1580 officers, the war strength 
amounts to 165,000 men, including the militia which, however, 
owing to defective training and armament, is hardly fit for imme- 
diate employment in a campaign. 

The term of service commences with the 20th, and ends with the 
45th year, and only actual physical inability exempts from service. 
The term of service in the active army is 2 years in the infantry ; 
in the other arms 3 years ; in the reserve 8, respectively 5 ; in the 
first levy of the Landwehr 7, in the second levy 8 years. There 
are annually enlisted from 16,000 to 18,000 recruits. 

It is proposed to arm the infantry with the Austrian Manlicher 
repeating rifle of 8 mm. calibre, and orders for 60,000 rifles of 
this model have already been placed in Austrian factories. At 
present the infantry is still armed with rifles of different systems.; 
the supply of ammunition is also said to be insufficient. 


Great difficulty and expense is experienced in supplying service- 
able horses, since no efforts whatever are made for the improve- 
ment of domestic horse-breeding. In case of war the supply of 
the necessary demand for horses must cause insurmountable diffi- 

In regard to the esprit de corps and the loyalty of the Bulgarian 
officers towards their war lord a conclusive judgment can scarcely 
be rendered at present, although in the campaign against Servia, 
under the brave lead of their former Prince Alexander, officers as 
well as men have shown themselves capable and efficient. Deplo- 
rable excesses, however, committed by individual officers up to the 
latest time, seem to demonstrate the presence in the Bulgarian offi- 
cers' corps of elements which do not keep the faith due their 
prince and war lord. 

The army in peace is formed of 6 infantry brigades with 2 reg- 
iments each at 2 battalions ; 4 cavalry regiments at 4 escadrons 
each and 1 body-guard escadron ; 3 artillery brigades of 2 regi- 
ments each with 4 batteries ; 4 batteries of mountain artillery, with 
only 2 guns each; 1 pioneer regiment, and 1 siege battery. 

In war the infantry regiments are to be formed of 4 battalions 
each, which are to be completed by militia troops ; at the same 
time the number of batteries is to be increased, and 4 reserve 
escadrons are to be formed. 


The abdication of King Milan in favor of his fourteen-year old 
son, March 6, 1889, could not pass without visible effect on the 
development and spirit of the army, neither could the latter be 
benefited by the reduction of the standing army and the return to 
the militia system, which was begun by a radical government. 
These measures created lively dissatisfaction among the Servian 
corps of officers, which was given expression by manifold demon- 
strations against the State administration. 

The ruined finances of the country, which, however, have im- 
proved in the course of the latest years, and the continual revolu- 
tions in the political life, could not but be an impediment of a 
prosperous development of the military affairs, so much the more 
as the standing army is about to be transformed into a national 
militia, the martial efficiency of which is even doubted in leading 
Servian circles. The preparations for the abolishment of the 
standing army and for a " general armament of the people " have 


already been made and appropriate action ordered. It is true that 
by this change the defensive power in case of war will be consid- 
erably increased in numbers, but at the same time its military 
qualities will deteriorate in a great measure. 

The foundation of the army organization is the cadre system in 
conjunction with the institution of a national militia. Every cit- 
izen is liable to personal service from his 20th to his 50th year ; 
nominally he belongs for 10 years to the regular army and for 20 
years to the militia. Yet the army consists of but weak peace 
formations, in which those liable to service receive their military 
training within a few months. The cavalrymen, who have to pro- 
vide and maintain their own horses, are taken exclusively from the 
better situated classes of the population. 

The country is divided into 5 division, 15 regimental, and 60 
battalion circuits ; the permanent peace cadre consists of 5 infan- 
try, 3 cavalry, and 5 field artillery regiments of 6 battalions each, 
1 battalion garrison artillery, 1 pioneer, and 1 engineer battalion. 

In case of war each division circuit puts up three divisions, one 
each of the first, second, and third levy ; so that, inclusive of those 
troops which do not belong to the division formation, the army 
will reach, according to official statements, a total strength of 185 
battalions, 39 escadrons, and 402 field-guns. The army on war 
footing numbers 5000 officers and 150,000 men. 


The Roumanian army has kept up the reputation for military 
efficiency acquired in the campaign of 1877-78, also during peace 
time by its restless strife towards perfection in all military branches. 
Her financial affairs being in satisfactory condition, Roumania is 
able to meet the increased demands made by the military force on 
the financial resources of the State. The army appropriation in 
1889 amounted to 34,500,000 francs, and it is continually in- 

The Organization Act of 1882 divides the military forces into 
the standing army and the territorial army. The latter is adapted 
in its organization to the conditions of the country, and is com- 
posed in peace time of a number of trunk companies and trunk 
escadrons, the cadres of which attend to the training of recruits. 
There is a trunk company to each of the 66 battalions which form 
the 33 regiments of infantry (dorobanzen) ; the cavalry of the ter- 
ritorial army numbers 12 regiments, called kalaraschi, each of 


which has one or two trunk escadrons. All troops of the territo- 
rial army are distributed in peace among 4 army corps ; a 5th 
army corps is about being organized. 

The standing army is composed of 8 infantry regiments, 4 jager 
battalions — total, 20 battalions ; 3 cavalry regiments ; 8 artillery 
regiments with 49 foot and 8 horse batteries ; 4 companies garri- 
son artillery ; 6 battalions technical troops, and 4 train escadrons. 

The service liability commences with the 21st and ends with 
the 46th year. The term of active service is, for the permanent 
troops, 3; dorobanzen, 5; kalaraschi, 4 years; the latter are re- 
cruited for the greater part from among owners of horses who are 
fit for cavalry service. The first-named are granted leave of ab- 
sence after doing service satisfactorily for two years. Those en- 
rolled in the dorobanzen regiments receive a preliminary training 
of two months' duration, after which they may be called out dur- 
ing the three years following once a month for drilling exercises 
of one week's duration each. Every Roumanian stays in active 
service and in the reserve for 8 years, in the militia 8 years, and 
9 more in the Landsturm. 

In case of war in each of the four army corps districts one 
army corps is to be formed jointly from troops of the standing 
and territorial army. An army corps consists of 2 infantry di- 
visions with 1 line regiment and 4 dorobanzen regiments, 1 kala- 
raschi brigade, 1 artillery brigade, and 1 engineer battalion each. 
Apart from this it is proposed to form an independent cavalry 
division from the active cavalry regiments. 

The war strength of the Roumanian army is in round numbers 
200,000 men. 

The corps of officers is said to give satisfaction as to spirit and 
conduct ; the training, similar to that in the German army, is 
based on rational principles. 

At present the infantry is still armed with the Henry-Martini 
rifle, which has not been surpassed by any other single-loader, but 
it is proposed to improve the same by attaching a repeating ap- 
paratus, which change may have been effected by this time. The 
material of the artillery issued from the Krupp factories. 

Roumania strives to promote and secure an independence and 
power not only by the reorganization of the army, but also by 
building fortifications. The centre of the country's defence shall 
be created by fortifying Bucharest in grand style, so that this 
capital will be transformed into a large fortified camp, suitable as 
a basis of operations for an army of 200,000 men. It is expected 


that the erection of the 18 detached forts with iron - clad pivot- 
turrets armed with small - calibre rapid-firing guns will be fin- 
ished within three years. There is planned, moreover, the estab- 
lishment of a fortification line from the Black Sea up and along 
the Danube for the purpose of repelling the advance of an enemy 
from Moldavia in a southerly direction. The total expenses of 
the erection of these fortifications are estimated at 100,000,000 
francs, and distributed over a period of three years. This sum 
was appropriated without opposition by the Legislature in truly 
patriotic spirit, and in acknowledgment of the fact that the ques- 
tion of national independence was at stake. 

All these measures indicate that the military affairs of Roumania 
are in a progressive state of development, and that her army will 
be able to take a decisive part in martial events into which Rouma- 
nia may be easily intricated owing to her geographical situation, 
and in spite of repeatedly renewed assurances of observing a strict 
neutrality in all cases. 

If, as may be presumed, such neutrality cannot be maintained, 
there is no doubt which side in case of war the Roumanian military 
forces will embrace. Roumania has not yet forgotten the fact 
that her alliance with Russia during the campaign against Turkey 
has cost her a most valuable province. 


The Hellenic empire has likewise, by the Act of 1887, introduced 
the general liability to service, but it does not appear that the mar- 
tial spirit of its people has thereby been influenced in a favorable 
way. The service liability begins with the 21st year, and continues 
for 29 years. The term of service is 2 years (mostly a still shorter 
period) in the standing army, 8 in the reserve, 18 in the Landwehr 
and its reserves. Those not enrolled in the active army, because 
of being above the requisite number, enter the Ersatz reserve. They 
receive their military training during a period of only 3 months, 
are at the disposal of the War Minister, and have to pay a military 
tax varying in proportion to their individual income, between 
100 and 1000 drachmas. No provision is made for the formation 
of the Landwehr and its reserve, which are called out in case of 
war only. 

The peace footing of the army is 28,000 men, and consists of 
10 infantry regiments and 8 jager battalions, one of the three bat- 
talions of each regiment being, however, merely formed en cadre. 


The same is the case with 2 of the jager battalions. The cavalry 
numbers 3 regiments with 12 escadrons, the artillery 3 regiments 
with 14 battalions. Besides, there is 1 engineer regiment and 1 
train company. The total fighting force which Greece is able to 
put up in case of war may reach the number of 200,000 men, of 
whom the greater part, however, have received only very defective 
military training. Conduct, training — which latter is moulded 
after the French regulations — and quality of troops are said to 
deserve now a more favorable criticism than in former years. 

B. — The Armies of the Pyrenean Peninsula 


The military affairs of Spain were, up to the time of King Al- 
fonso's ascendency, by whose premature death the country and the 
army suffered an irredeemable loss, in a bad condition. The army 
was not the safest support of the throne and country, and the war 
lord could not absolutely rely upon his generals and troops, who 
frequently enacted military revolts called " Pronunciamientos." 

Not until 1878 was a regular army constitution introduced by 
King Alfonso, which, however, has been subject to many changes 
during the last years, and the reorganization of military affairs has 
not been perfected to this day. 

Although the general liability to service has been introduced, 
exemption from service can be secured under certain conditions on 
payment of a sum of 1200 francs, and in time of peace dispensa- 
tions are granted to a great extent, also from domestic considera- 
tions. The term of active service is nominally 6 years, but the 
soldiers are kept in the ranks for only 2 years, and often for a still 
shorter period. Six years more the men belong to the second 
reserve, while all those not enrolled are classed as " disposable 
recruits," who, after a very short military training, can be used 
for strengthening the army in case of war. 

The kingdom is divided into 14 military districts with 68 mili- 
tary zones. In each of the latter there are organic bodies for re- 
cruiting, administration of depots, and reserves. Each district is 
under the command of a general, called " captain-general." 

The Spanish land force is divided into the peninsular army and 
the colonial troops. The completion and administration of the 
latter is specially provided for. 


The peninsular army was formed in the spring of 1891 of 61 line 
regiments and 2 battalions, 22 jager battalions, 28 cavalry regiments 
with a total of 112 escadrons, 74 horse, 12 foot and mountain bat- 
teries, 9 garrison artillery battalions with 42 companies, 1 siege 
artillery regiment, and 11 battalions technical troops (engineer, 
pontonier, railway, and telegraph formations). 

The colonial army consisted of the troops for the islands of 
Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippine Islands, altogether number- 
ing 35,000 men. 

The annually changing quota of recruits averages 48,000 men, 
and the peace strength of the peninsular army, which has been 
steadily decreasing of late years, may be put at 70,000 men ; the 
number of officers, the majority of whom are either on half-pay or 
a la suite without pay, by far exceeds the demand. 

The unfavorable condition of the country's finances has been an 
obstacle to the repeatedly proposed systematic reorganization of 
the army — general and personal liability to service without excep- 
tion, organization of higher tactical formations, which are now 
missing altogether, and an increase of the peace strength of the 
troops. Nevertheless it must be acknowledged that under the 
reign of Queen Christina, apart from the progressing develop- 
ment in some heretofore badly neglected branches of training, 
the military spirit and the loyalty to the flag have improved. 

The question of the new armament of the infantry has not yet 
passed the experimental stage ; the infantry so far still carries the 

11 mm. Remington single-loader. 


The general and personal liability to service was introduced in 
Portugal by the Act of September 12, 1887, with the modification, 
however, that substitution is permitted not only between brothers, 
but also between members of the same community and of the same 
annual levy. Exempt from service in time of peace are also those 
officially certified as supporters of families, members of clergical 
orders, and students of higher educational institutions. Those 
belonging to the latter category are entered at once into the " sec- 
ond reserve." The one-year volunteers' institution, although hav- 
ing been adopted by law, is applied merely to such as enlisted 
voluntarily before reaching the age of service liability. All those 
having been drawn, but not enrolled, have to pay a military tax of 

12 marks for every year during the term of their liability. 


The latter, beginning with the 20th year, continues for 12 
years : 3 years in the ranks (which term is frequently abridged 
for economical reasons), 5 years in the " first " and 4 years in 
the " second " reserve. The number of men of the latter class 
who receive no military training amounts to from 10,000 to 11,000 

The territory comprising the kingdom proper, the Azores and 
Madeira Islands, is divided into 36 recruiting districts correspond- 
ing with the infantry and jager regiments, and among which also 
the remaining arms are distributed. The extra-European posses- 
sions are garrisoned by the colonial army, formed beside a colonial 
regiment of numerous native troops, which, however, do not come 
into consideration in case of a war in Europe. 

The army has a peace strength of 1950 officers and 24,700 men, 
and consists of 24 line and 12 jager regiments, 3 regiments of field, 
2 of garrison artillery, and 1 engineer regiment. The annual en- 
listment is 13,000 men, the war strength in round numbers 125,000 
men and 264 guns. 

The new armament of the infantry with the 8 mm. Cropatschek 
repeating rifle, which was ordered in 1886, has apparently not yet 
been effected. The artillery is armed with guns of Krupp's con- 
struction. The training of the troops is based on rational princi- 
ples, and is stated to be satisfactory. 

The great and strongly armed fortifications near Lisbon are be- 
ing continually improved, the establishment of new fortification 
lines is also contemplated, so that as far as fortification is con- 
cerned, the country's defensive institutions are in good condition. 

C. — Switzerland 

The army organization of Switzerland differs essentially from 
the system prevailing in other countries. This is owing to the se- 
curity of her territorial possessions guaranteed by treaties of the 
Great Powers, yet this neutrality can only be maintained if Swit- 
zerland is able to prevent by force of arms any invasion of foreign 
troops that may be attempted for the purpose of passing through 
her territory. This country is therefore in a position to adopt a 
system of defence which, while offering the advantage of great 
cheapness and requiring but a very small peace army for the train- 
ing by cadres of all citizens liable to service in the militant art, 
at the same time permits the formation of a strong army in case 
of war. The highest military authority is exercised by the military 


department of the Swiss Federation, to which are subject the mili- 
tary authorities of the several cantons. 

All able-bodied men liable to service receive military training. 
This is rendered in the first place in the recruit-schools for a period 
varying according to the different arms from 45 to 80 days, by 
instructors who have also to supervise the repetition courses. 
For the latter the men are called out every third or fourth year 
for 11 to 15 days, the officers more frequently and for a longer 

Of the total of 30 years' liability, 13 years' service is to be ren- 
dered in the division (Auszug), 12 in the Landwehr, 5 in the Land- 
sturm. To the latter belong all able-bodied Swiss citizens from 
the age of 17 to 50 years who have not been enrolled in or dis- 
charged from one of the other categories. The officers are liable 
to service in the Landsturm up to the age of 55 years. 

Those exempt from service have to pay a military tax, the 
amount of which is especially determined in every individual case. 

Officers receive their first training in the officers' preparatory 
schools, after which they pass through special educational courses ; 
for the training of non-commissioned officers appropriate schools 
have recently been established in every division circuit. The mili- 
tary efficiency of the people is practically promoted by the military 
training of the male youth in cadet schools and other educational 
institutions, by volunteer sharpshooters' associations, and by offi- 
cers' meetings devoted to scientific discussions. The number of 
professional soldiers is very small. Apart from the corps of in- 
struction, which has again been enlarged in 1892, there are kept 
permanently in service officers of the several staffs, chief s-of-arms 
for the several arms, and officials for clerical and administrative 

The country is divided into 8 division circuits. Each circuit 
shall form one army division {Aaszurj) composed of 12 battalions 
infantry, 1 schutzen battalion, 1 regiment dragoons of 3 escadrons, 
1 artillery brigade with 6 batteries, 1 engineer battalion, and the 
requisite number of trains and columns. The Landwehr troops 
are to be formed in similar manner in 8 divisions, so that 16 divis- 
ions can be put up altogether, the war strength of which may be 
estimated at not less than 200,000 men. 

A new small -calibre repeating rifle was introduced in 1889, about 
the construction of which no particular data are given. The equip- 
ment of the infantry with the new rifle will require some time; 
12,500,000 francs were for this purpose inserted in the budget for 


1892. The unity gun of the field artillery is an 8.4 centimetres 
cast-steel ring gun of the Krupp system; the garrison artillery, 
which is composed of 25 companies, and not included in the divis- 
ion formation, has also been fitted out with new guns. The new 
fortification works, intended in the first place to secure the St. 
Gothard position, have, in the course of the last years, made rapid 
strides towards completion. 

It is difficult to render a correct judgment of the martial efficien- 
cy of the Swiss army, but the military qualifications of her people, 
the devotion of each individual to his country, the fine armament 
and practical formation of the troops, justify the opinion that the 
army of Switzerland, its short time of training and exercising not- 
withstanding, is able to successfully repel from her borders an en- 
emy who does not respect her neutrality. In such cases the army 
would derive great benefit from the peculiarities of the territory, 
the geographical formation of the country, and the new fortifica- 

D. — The Empires of the North 

Time has matured in Sweden a military constitution radically 
differing from that of other European States, but adapted to the 
peculiar conditions of a thinly settled country. 

The army is divided into the hired troops of the " distributed 
army ;" the Indelta army ; the Bevarung, a sort of reserve intended 
for completing the two first-named categories; and the Landsturm. 
The troops hired in consideration of a bounty form the stock of 
the army, and are distributed in peace among 2 infantry, 2 cavalry, 
and 3 artillery regiments, with a total number of 9000 men. The 
term of active service is from 2 to 6 years, but may be lengthened. 
The Indelta army is formed of drafted recruits who are called in 
for training for a period of 120 days in the first year of their serv- 
ice, and of 50 days in the second, while the men of the Bevarung 
receive but little military schooling. 

For the purpose of completing the army, the country is divided 
into recruiting districts, the size of which depends upon the num- 
ber of inhabitants and the apportionment of civil and military au- 
thorities. Each district is divided again into battalion and com- 
pany districts, and corresponds with an infantry regiment or an 
independent battalion. 



The troops are distributed among 6 military districts, in each of 
which there are 4 infantry regiments and 1 independent battalion, 
also 5 (in the 1st and 2d district only 2) escadrons ; besides, 
there are 2 regiments of 10 escadrons each in Schoonen, which may 
be employed as independent cavalry. The artillery is formed in 
3 regiments, the engineer troops in 2 battalions. The peace etat 
of all the above-named organizations is very small, except during 
the period of recruit drilling and of larger field exercises. 

The long ventilated question of a new armament for the in- 
fantry has been brought nearer its solution by the order issued 
in 1889 for the reconstruction of the old rifles by furnishing 
them with new 8 mm. calibre barrels, and changing the old-lock 
mechanism into repeating rifles. 

Material, clothing, and equipment of the artillery is considered 
to be good, but the time for training too short ; a want is felt, 
also, of professional officers and suitable non-commissioned offi- 
cers. The Swedish army is, therefore, hardly fit for greater deeds 
than the protection of the country against a hostile invasion. 


Although united since 1814 with her larger neighbor, Sweden, 
by the so-called personal union, Norway's military affairs have 
recently taken a very peculiar turn which, even in the minds of 
Norwegians, does not permit of favorable conclusions as to the effi- 
ciency of the army. By the new military law of June 16, 1885, 
the number of annual classes of the line has been reduced from 
7 to 5, and the period allowed for training, too short before, has 
been at the same time still more abridged. The term of service 
in the Landwehr and Lands! urm is 4 years. The enlisted men 
are discharged after a short service in the ranks, after which they 
are repeatedly called out for services of short duration. 

Since the new organization, the army is formed of three levies — 
the line, the Landwehr, and the Landsturm. The three levies are 
in all arms uniformly equipped, clothed, and armed, probably, 
however, on paper only. 

The infantry consists of 5 brigades of equal strength, each 
comprising 4 corps, and each of the latter being composed of 1 
line, 1 Landwehr, and 1 Landsturm battalion. In the Christiania 
brigade, a section of guards is included, numbering 168 men, and 
assigned to garrison duty at the capital. Each corps is commanded 
by the chief of its line battalion. The cavalry is divided into 3 


corps of three levies of 2 to 3 escadrons each, but considering the 
scarcity of riding-horses in Norway, it is questionable whether all 
escadrons can be formed. The artillery is composed of 3 corps 
having 1 line, 1 Landwehr, and 1 Landsturm battery each, and 1 
fort and mountain artillery corps with 2 batteries of each levy. 
A similiar formation is given the engineer corps, which is unpro- 
portionally strong. 

Officers are educated in two-year courses at the military 
school, with one division each for the officers permanently en- 
gaged, and for those liable to service for a term only. 

The cadres are numerically very weak ; the short time allowed 
for exercises insufficient for the training of useful non-commis- 
sioned officers ; the formation of the several corps of line, Land- 
wehr, and Landsturm troops cannot be considered practical, so 
that even domestic critics agree that the Norwegian army has of 
late been weakened rather than strengthened in numbers as well 
as in efficiency. 

The fortifications for the defence of the inner part of the 
Christiania Sound and of the capital will be strengthened and 
armed. The erection of new works to make secure against at- 
tacks from the interior is also proposed. 

Noticeable and significant for the military affairs of Norway is 
the fact that in Christiania a society has been started with many 
branches in other parts of the country for the purpose of awak- 
ing the interest for the country's defence, and of creating a proper 
understanding of its necessity. By private collections and gifts 
a fund has been raised and put" at the disposal of the department 
for the country's defence. 


The foremost thought in organizing the country's defence and 
military affairs has been and still is to secure and maintain the 
neutrality of the State in case of warlike complications. For this 
reason Copenhagen has recently been surrounded at her land and 
sea side with fortifications which are continually being strengthened. 

The general liability to service was introduced in 1880. Every 
Dane capable of bearing arms is obliged to comply with this duty, 
and belongs for 4 years to the line, 4 to the reserve, and 8 to the 
depots (Verstarkung). The term of service in the ranks differs, 
and is for some parts of the contingent of recruits enlisted on 
every 1st of November, 11 months, for other parts only 5 months; 


in the cavalry, however, 20 months. With the exception of a 
small number of men, especially such as are to be trained for offi- 
cers and non-commissioned officers, all men enlisted in the course 
of a year are sent home on the 1st of October. Consequent to 
the difference of the term of service in the ranks there is an in- 
equality of the individual training, .a disadvantage which cannot 
be removed even by repeated calling out for exercises during the 
later years of service. 

The array consists of 1 guard battalion, 5 infantry brigades of 
2 regiments, each of the latter having 3 line and 1 depot ( Ver- 
starkung) battalion, which is formed only in case of war by the 
men of the Verstarkung, 5 cavalry regiments of 3 escadrons each, 
2 field artillery regiments with 12 line and Verstarkung batteries, 
2 fort artillery battalions, and 1 engineer regiment. The total war 
strength may be stated as 1500 officers and 49,000 men. The 
peace strength, however, is small and subject to continual changes. 

The number of horses kept permanently in the cavalry service 
is but small. The greater part is " on furlough " during peace 
time, and is fed and employed at the farms. 

The infantry is at present being armed with 8 mm. repeating 

There are numerous sharpshooter societies organized on a 
concurrent principle, the membership of which is estimated at 
30,000. Although not belonging to the military corps, they are 
unquestionably of a certain value for the country's defence, as 
they tend, " apart from instructing in the manipulation of fire- 
arms and in athletic exercises, to develop the vigor of the people, 
to rouse its energies for the defence of the country, and to pre- 
pare the youth for entering the army." 

E. — Belgium and the Netherlands 

The Netherlands and Belgium, both States bordering on the 
German empire, and the last-named also on France, have been, 
like Switzerland, declared neutral by international treaties. They 
maintain, therefore, their armies for defensive purposes only. 

The geographical formation of Belgium renders it impossible 
for this State to remain inactive in case of warlike complications 
between France and Germany, and she will be compelled to em- 
ploy her military forces for the maintenance of neutrality. In 
order to meet these requirements, the Belgium army has during 


the last decade undergone decided changes; but the work of re- 
organization has not yet been perfected. 

The army is recruited from volunteers and by levy. Substitu- 
tion is permitted by paying a sum of 1600 francs, the State pro- 
viding the substitutes. The volunteers on entering the army 
must pledge themselves for. eight years' service ; but may be 
granted leave of absence after 4 years whenever their total num- 
ber exceeds the fixed lists or etats. The levied men, of whom 
only a part is enrolled, remain but a short time in the ranks ; they 
belong to the active army as miliciens during 8 years, but if in 
war times the territory is threatened, they may be called out for 
5 years more, the respective annual classes being known as " first 
and second reserve." 

The enlistments during the last years amounted in average to 750 
volunteers and 13,000 recruits. According to the lists the peace 
army, including officers, numbers 50,000 men, and consists of 4 in- 
fantry divisions with 9 brigades and 18 regiments (the regiments 
having 3 active and from 2 to 3 reserve battalions, the latter being 
formed only en cadre) ; 2 cavalry divisions with 8 regiments of 5 
escadrons and a depot each ; 4 field artillery regiments with 34 
active and 14 reserve and depot batteries; 4 fort artillery regi- 
ments with 48 active batteries ; and 1 engineer regiment of 5 bat- 

There is at present being introduced in the infantry a 7.65 mm. 
repeating rifle ; the artillery is equipped with guns of Krupp con- 

Complement and training of officers are considered satisfactory, 
but their number, especially in regard to reserve officers, is said 
to be insufficient. 

The main strength of the defence of the country does not rest 
so much in the army as in the fortification works which, of excel- 
lent construction, surround the important commercial centre of 
Antwerp and extend in great numbers also along the line of the 
Meuse. In case of war the garrisoning of these places will claim 
the largest part of the army. A siege and capture of Antwerp 
would presumably offer unsurmountable difficulties, and without 
the possession of Antwerp nobody can claim the mastership over 
the country. 

The army of the Netherlands is at present likewise undergoing 
a thorough reorganization, as the military force in its present con- 
dition does not meet the requirement of " an energetic defence of 
the territory in case of a war." It is proposed to give the army, 


by introducing the general and personal liability to service, a 
strength of 160,000 men, including 50,000 men of the Landwehr 
(Schutlerei), to raise the term of service liability to 22 years, and 
to regulate the military education of the youth. 

Whether the Government shall succeed in practically perfecting 
those plans must remain an open question as long as the institu- 
tion of general liability to service does not command the sympathy 
either of the Legislature or of the country at large. At present 
the land force is composed of volunteers and militia, the latter re- 
maining; but a very limited time in active service. This does not 
include the colonial army, in which foreigners serve in great num- 
bers, allured by the high bounties offered. 

The army is formed of 3 divisions with 3 infantry regiments 
each ; 1 cavalry (hussar) regiment ; 1 field artillery regiment, and 
1 engineer company. Distributed among 4 artillery and 4 engi- 
neer commands are 4 fort artillery regiments and a number of en- 
gineer companies. Military commands exercise authority in time 
of peace over the 3 military districts, the Holland water-line and 
the position of Amsterdam. 

The war strength of the army is at present stated to be 70,000 
men. The infantry has been equipped recently with a repeating 
rifle after the Italian Vitali system, the efficiency of which is gen- 
erally recognized; the artillery is in possession of a quite large 
number of Krupp guns. 

Apart from numerous coast batteries and fortifications within 
the inundation district, which have been for the greater part com- 
pleted, it is proposed to make Amsterdam an armed place of the 
first order. At present the capital is surrounded only by provis- 
ional works which it is intended to change gradually into perma- 
nent positions. 

A general review of the military affairs of the States of the sec- 
ond rank shows that with a few exceptions their armies are in a 
state of progressive development ; that the expenses for defensive 
purposes are steadily increasing ; that the principle of general and 
personal liability to service has already been or is being enforced, 
and that the armament of the infantry and the material of the ar- 
tillery meets modern requirements. Noticeable efforts are also 
being made in Roumania, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, 
Switzerland, and Portugal to increase the security and resisting 
powers of the States' territory by strengthening the fortifications. 


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