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A blind and babbling laughter, and to dance
up, and rising slowly from me, stood
The mother, me, the child.'-p. 123. We conclude with some lines of an Idyll, which the Princess is reading to herself, all in low tones,' beside her lover's couch, when he awakes, deep in the night,' after having slept, 'filled thro' and thro' with love, a happy sleep:'
• Come down, O maid, from yonder mountain height:
What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang)
azure pillars of the hearth
Art. V.–1. Estimates for the Effective and Non-Effective Army
Services, from 1st of April, 1818, to 31st of March, 1849, 2. Ordnance Estimates for the same Year. OUR UR readers will pardon us for declining a minute com
mentary on some late ministerial and parliamentary proceedings connected with the state of our National Defences. Enough to know that estimates prepared with the utmost solicitude, and offered as the lowest on which the executive could undertake to conduct the business of the country, are subjected VOI. LXXXII. NO, CLXIV.
to the investigation of a Select Committee that the attention of the Committee is especially called to the items of expenditure on our military establishments—and that to the House of Commons has been delegated a trust which the Crown, up to February, 1848, had never permitted to pass out of the hands of its confidential servants. What the immediate effect may be, it is bard to say; how the constitution of our monarchy must eventually suffer from such surgery, there needs no gift of prophecy to foretell. However, out of much evil comes some good. The Committee which examines into the cost of the army and navy can hardly turn away from an inquiry into their fitness for their purposes : and in the hope of contributing our share towards a right understanding of the subject, we now crave attention to the results of some reading and more thought in regard to the constitution of the former body, and its adaptation to the extent and legitimate wants of the empire.
The point at which England ought to aim in the arrangement of her military establishments we take to be this,--that she sball have at all times on foot, and in a state of perfect efficiency, such an amount of force as shall give confidence to her Government in its negotiations with foreign powers, and ensure both the mother country and our innumerable dependencies from the hazard of sustaining loss by a coup-de-main. To go further during a season of peace—to recruit our army till it should vie in numbers with those of the Continent—far more to put arms into the hands of our entire male population, because France maintains its National Guard, and Prussia its Landwehr, would, in our opinion, be consummate folly. When states are circumscribed by lines of frontier more imaginary than real, they must always stand towards their neighbours on every side in an attitude more or less of distrust;—the safety of each depends upon its readiness to enter at any moment upon a campaign; and a campaign once opened, no matter which side for what cause, must be accepted as the first of a series of movements in a war of conquest. But a war of conquest, or even of aggression, is a sort of game which England will never play again till her rulers shall have lost their senses.
There is no conceivable inducement of interest—there is no motive of ambition or vain glory, to lead us into such a blunder. It may be a point of honour with us, and, to a certain extent, of interest too, to keep what we have, no matter how intrinsically worthless many of our foreign possessions may be; but every addition to their number can only increase our difficulties. Our hands are already stretched over a wider extent of the globe's surface than they can conveniently cover. Our preparations in time of peace should be purely de
fensive; and one glance at the map clearly indicates that our first and chief reliance against sudden danger must always be the navy. Take away from her an absolute supremacy at sea, and England becomes vulnerable at every pore. For if she be involved in a quarrel, and her enemy prove too feeble or timid to risk a descent on Sussex or Hampshire-Malta, the Ionian Islands, Gibraltar, the Mauritius, all offer points of attack; and the loss of the least of these would give a terrible blow to her greatness. Yet, there never was a time, even ere ships could go in the face of adverse winds—or railroads were dreamt of-when, in the judgment of any statesman, it would have been prudent to trust to our navy alone. It supplies to these islands the place of that line of frontier fortresses with which France has covered herself towards Italy and the Low Countries—while it operates towards the colonies as moveable columns do in a country half subdued, by keeping the highway of nations clear, and hindering the communications between head-quarters and posts at a distance from being closed; but more than this it never can effect. No power on earth could carry a British fleet to Paris, to Vienna, to Berlin, or probably to St. Petersburgh. The nation which has the command of the sea can harass all the other nations of the world. She can stop or cripple their trade, and devastate any given extent of sea coast ; but, assuming her enemy to be both resolute and strong, she may be just as far from arriving at an honourable peace after she shall have had her fill of such operations as she was before they were begun. But more than this—a fleet-a British fleet-may be evaded, even in the Channel. Such things occurred more than once in the course of the late war, when both parties were dependent for the success of their manœuvres on wind and tide and the skill of the seamen. They are at least as likely to occur now: and we would be sorry to answer for the consequences, were England denuded of troops, or were thirty thousand French bayonets at the mouth of the Shannon. England, in short, is bound to keep at all times such an army as shall suffice to garrison effectively and relieve at moderate intervals the whole of her home and foreign possessions; and the description of force which shall best answer these ends, and offer at the same time facilities of expansion and enlargement with the least possible delay, is that which her authorities ought to provide.
A country comparatively safe from sudden attack, and averse from schemes of foreign conquest, may be satisfied with a standing army on a scale very different from what others find necessary. We, on the whole, can afford to sleep soundly in our beds. So long as France shall maintain her four hundred thousand regular troops, Prussia must keep together her two
2 h 2
hundred thousand, and Austria her three hundred and fifty thousand ; and of these enormous masses the distribution must always be such as shall enable them, either entire or in portions, to take the field and enter upon a campaign at an hour's notice. Now an army in the field consists of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, in just proportions ; with engineers, artificers, pontooneers
, corps of guides, and we know not how many supplemental bodies more; and it is still incomplete if there be not attached to it as many waggons, horses, and other means of transport as the hazards of service might require. Again, armies, to be effective, must · have magazines within reacb, to yield supplies of everything whereof the wear and tear in a canipaign are incessant, and the want of which renders useless both the skill of a commander and the courage of his troops. Accordingly, the armies of France, Austria, and Prussia are organized in time of peace into separate corps, under their separate leaders; each corps has its distinct portion of the empire to guard; each consists of so many battalions of infantry, so many squadrons of cavalry, so many batteries of cannon, and so many brigades of transport and pontage; these are fully equipped, disciplined, horsed, and supplied; and all have their respective alarm-posts or points of concentration named, to which a day or two would bring in the most remote of their detachments, and from which less than a week would find them ready to open a campaign either of defence or aggression.
This is a very different sort of organization from that which we adopt—whether in Great Britain or in Ireland; and the reason is obvious. The continental governments distribute their armies for purposes of war.
We scatter ours over the face of the United Kingdom for purposes of police. They place at the disposal of their commandants everything they could need on a sudden announcement of war. We fill the pouches of our infantry with sixty rounds of ball-cartridges per man-give our cavalry soldier thirty-attach twenty or thirty rounds to each gun—and leave all beyond--magazines, means of transport, &c. &c.—to that future on the coming of which we seldom take the trouble to count. Again, there is a perfect unity of will in the power that controls a foreign army. The sovereigns give order directly to their generals commanding corps, which are directly obeyed. We have, intermediate between the Crown and our generals of districts, a commander-in-chief who is supposed to represent the Crown in his dealings with the whole army; but, besides that he is checked and controlled in everything by the Crown's civil ministers, his authority in matters of detail is not recognized by a large and important branch of the military
service itself. The Duke of Wellington has no more right to give orders for the march of a battery of cannon across Woolwich Common, or the removal of an engineer officer from Portsmouth to London, than we have: and if there were in existence, which there really is not, a pontoon or waggon train worthy of the name, it would be quite beyond his Grace's province. Nor is the severance of its right hand and both its feet from the body of the British army sanctioned exclusively within the United Kingdom. In our foreign settlements the same rule holds—to the great inconvenience of the service even in quiet times—at seasons of trouble, and amid the pressure of war, to something more than its inconvenience. In like manner, if the selection of towns or districts for barracks at home and abroad rest with the Commander-in-chief-he has not the choosing of the exact site, nor has he a word to say to the plan on which the barracks shall be constructed or fitted up. More extraordinary still, he has no control over spare arms, accoutrements, and ammunition in store: he cannot, therefore, at his own pleasure, direct a battalion or squadron to be supplied, no matter how urgent the occasion. All these various points, the distribution of the regiments of artillery and engineers, the camp equipage, such as it is, of the whole army, the soldiers' quarters, the furniture of the same, their cooking-utensils, straw, forage, and means of common cleanliness, the ghosts of the old waggon and pontoon-trains of the last war, such stores of arms, ammunition, and saddlery as exist-everything, in short, which is required to render an army respectable in peace and effective in war, is at the absolute disposal of a separate Board. That the expenditure from the military chest should be checked and controlled by a minister who, as a civil servant of the Crown, is answerable to Parliament for his proceedings, seems to be in accordance with the general working of our constitution. But that there should be a Board of Ordnance distinct both from the Commander-inChief and the Secretary-at-War, exercising conjoint authority with them, and mixing itself up with the administration of the navy likewise, is surely a remnant of less energetic days, which deserves to have its utility tested.
We are not upon the whole prepared to object to the manner in which, during peace, the infantry and cavalry are scattered through the provinces of the United Kingdom. Taking into account the numerical strength of these forces, and the variety of the demands to which they are liable, we really do not see how a different arrangement could be made ;-fo
you cannot construct corps d'armée out of three or four skeleton companies; and, though occasional camps of instruction might do good, it