« ПредишнаНапред »
Military Miscellany: 847
every parent, who has any feeling for religion, will carefully remove it from the eyes of all his family, or will be obliged in using it to comment on them, as we now have done, in order to counteract their dangerous tendency. In our Review of the ensuing month we ihall resume our consideration of this article.
[ To le continued. J ■ »
ART. II. Military Miscellany; or, Extracts from Colonel Temfelhsfe's History of the Seven Tears War; his Remarks on General Ll'.yd; on the Subsistence of Armies; and on the March of Convoys. Also a Treatise oh Winter Psls. To which is added, A Narrative of Events ut St. Lucie and Gibraltar, and ofjfohn Duke of Marlborough's March to the Danube, with the Causes ana''Consequences of that Measure. By the Hon. Colin Lindsay, Lieutenant-Colonel of the $bth Regiment. 2 vols. 8vo. i2s. Cadell.
T TOWEVER little the details of battles are in general calcu■*■ * lated to arrest the attention, the work now before us becomes exceedingly interesting at this time, when our minds ate eagerly engaged in the contemplation of similar scene?, and of wars carried on by troops trained in the school, and formed on the principles, which produced the victories here related.
General Lloyd's strictures on the late King of Prussia's campaigns have been read with avidity, not only by military men, but by all the investigators of modern politics; and it was not to be expected that censures, in which the whole of the Prussian military were involved, should be suffered to pass unanswered: a very able champion has accordingly arisen in Col. Tempelhoffe, and the English reader is much indebted to his translator for furnishing him with very well selected extracts, which are much more likely to be generally read than a voluminous translation of the original. .
The march of the great Duke of Marlborough to the Danube, and the short iketch of his campaigns, form a well appropriated prelude to the operations which are afterwards described; and the introduction proves the author to possess professional abilities, equal, if not much superior, to the rank he at present fills in the army. We coincide with him entirely in wishing to see a History of the Duke of Marlborough's Wars; and we have often wondered that there existed no work-of this kind, unless indeed those can be called histories which consist of dry details extracted from orderly books, or reports and returns made to the secretary at war, or the minister of the day; which, however accurate, and however interesting, they may have been at the immediate period when they were written, arc too minute to be read at this distance of time, and distract the attention by their prolixity, and the number of their references.
At the commencement of the present war with the French, we heard it often objected, that great armies were too unwieldy to penetrate far into an enemy's country; the events which took place at the close of the last autumn, on the banks of the Maefe and the Moselle, seemed to justify the assertion; but the brilliant successes of Lord Cornwallis, in the East Indies, with the most unwieldy of all armies, had induced us to doubt it as a general principle ; and on reading these extracts, we were not a little struck at being reminded that the D. of Marlborough had crossed the whole of Germany, from Maestricht to Ulm, in the space of forty-two days, at the head of an army of eighty thousand men, and through a country, which the badness of its roads rendered less practicable than any part of France: he was incumbered during this march, indeed, with only forty-four pieces of heavy ordnance, but he concluded it with the battle of Blenheim, where he took ninety-seven cannons and thirty mortars from the French and Bavarians. It would be well worth the attention of a military writer to enquire the cause which renders the movement of modern armies so flow and embarrassed; since many reasons might be assigned for expecting their movements to be more rapid, and attended with less inconvenience than formerly.
The finical attention to the soldiers' dress, as it is often called, is, we think, well accounted for, and justified in the following part of the introduction: *
"Lloyd seems to have been possessed of strong attachment to his native country. Many of his general military observations appear to have been formed with a particular view to the well-being of our troops; yet he might have spared a certain ridicule which he attempts to cast on part of the necessary occupation of military men. When he speaks with contempt of the adjusting the button of a hat, &c. &c. hfi ought to have recollected, what he certainly must have known, that the duty of an officer consists in assiduous and minute attention, as well as frequent strenuous exertion. As he has written on what he calls the philosophy of war, under the denomination of the second part of his first volume, he might, perhaps, under that head, have explained why it is that the moment a soldier becomes careless of his dress or arms, he is no longer to be depended upon; he loses all taste for his profession, and he deserts. The whole is composed of many parts; the work of twenty years may be undone by six months inattention. If young men, when they come into the service, do not determine upon a scrupulous and conscientious observance of orders, To as that their duty shall become" a habit, or a fort of second nature; if the soldiers under their command, if their pay, their lodging, food and exercise, their discipline, their conduct and behaviour to each other, and their fellow-citizens are not constantly attended to, there can be no army; or what is worse, there will be a very bad One." P. 13.
Those who have paid attention to the troops of the different European powers have always observed, that a rigid attention to the soldiers' dress has prevailed most in those troops ■which have been most distinguished in war, and which have been the soonest prepared for actual service. The soldier is formed by an unremitting attention to all articles of discipline, and he is taught to consider the most minute circumstances as essential to the general good of the service, and to the reputation of the corps to which he belongs. That he is harassed by this constant attention to his duty, is by no means true; he is detached by it from worse pursuits ; and the employment which it furnishes to his mind, renders him happier than he would be if he had greater leisure, and was left more to the gratification of his own inclinations. As a proof of this, it must have been observed, that mutinies have generally commenced among the worst disciplined corps, and that no stronger attachment exists between the different ranks of life, than that which both the soldier and sailor bear to a good and active officer.
It was often objected formerly, and not wholly without reason, to the British army, that.while attention to the soldiers' external appearance was carried to the utmost height, that of the officers was too much disregarded; and that they were frequently the worst dressed men on the parade. The vigorous efforts and successes of the French must be attributed to the skill and military knowledge of those officers who had been trained to the service under the old government, and who have arrived at command by the emigration of their superiors. But no European army paid so rigid an attention to the appearance of its officers as the French; and the most minute uniformity of dress was at all times exacted, even from those who were only spectators of the duty of the day.
We have some doubts of the justness of the author's opinion on forming three deep; as he admits that the rear rank cannot fire in actual service, the only purpose which it can possibly serve, is its ressistance to the impression of cavalry; but, even in this instance, we doubt the efficacy of it, for the bayonets of the rear rank cannot project beyend the front rank, when the men are drawn up with their knapsacks and blankets on their backs, which they seldom choose to abandon in actual service. The difficulty of commanding an extended line is an objection to all large armies, and is not affected by the number of men in
1 , each each file; and we are rather surprised to find the objection started, because the principal advantage of superior numbers is supposed to consist in their power of outflanking the enemy. If, therefore, the addition of one-third of fire can be also obtained by forming only two deep, which must be the case, admitting that the rear rank is only to act as a corps de reserve, we should imagine the advantage to preponderate in favour of this mode, except where the enemy is much superior' in the number of cavalry.
During the whole of the American war, we understand, it was judged expedient to form only two deep.
We do not precisely comprehend what the author means in the introduction, p. xxvi, by "the collision of hard inestima"ble substances." Some inaccuracies occur in the orthography of proper names, AnderleR, near Brussels, for instance, is confounded with Andernacl on the Rhine. The village of Ramifies is said to be situated on the Maine, near Tirlcmont. It should be the Mehaigne, a very insignificant stream, when compared with that which gives a distinguishing name to the city of Francfort; and it can scarcely be said to be near Tirlemont, as it stands in the midway between Tirlemont and Namur, being about twelve miles from each. We should also be inclined to object to the frequent use of the word will, in vol. ii. instead of shall or should, which we presume is a Scotticism; but we are unwilling to lay too much stress on inferior blemishes in a work so generally deserving our praise.
It is not very easy to select extracts from a narrative where the events depend on many minute circumstances, each of which must be described, in order to render the whole intelligible. The following account, however, from the considerations on subsistence, will appear interesting to most of our readers, and will point out to those who criticise the operations of a campaign by their own fire-sides, that courage is not the only qualification required in a general, and that there are many obstacles to armies acting offensively, which cannot be easily exhibited on the plains of Blackheath or Bunhill fields:
"An. arrtiy of one hundred thousand men will consume daily two hundred thousand pounds of bread. The common ration is two pounds a man. We know from experience that seventy-five pounds of flour will yield one hundred pounds of bread. Reckon daily for every hundred men one hundred and fifty pounds of flour, one hundred and fifty thousand pounds will be required for the daily con^ sumption. An army turnistied with the proper implements of war has always a moveable magazine in the bread ixiaggons of each troop and company. They commonly can carry six days bread: the soldiers carry three. The army is thui furnished for nine days; a time
sufficient for most enterprises, especially when, after the expenditure, you can receive supplies anew." P. 65.
"The field bakery is commonly constructed so as to supply bread every second or third day. In an iron oven of the usual sort, one hundred and fifty loaves,of six pounds each, can be baked at once; and when it is necessary, the ovens can bake five times in one day. Such an oven then can daily furnilh seven hundred and fifty mea with three days bread. To furnish one hundred thousand men with bread for three days, there must be one hundred and thirty-sour such ovens. When the bakery happens to be set up in a town, the ovens therein can all be employed, and the bread necessary for the army be prepared in a shorter time.
"Let us now consider this army as leaving their magazines, and penetrating into an enemy's country, to proceed upon a certain chosen line os operations. We suppose the spring to be the season; they cannot then expect to find subsistence in the country, especially is the enemy have been stationed there throughout the winter. They must be furnished from their own magazines, which, as we have observed,, can be effected for eighteen days. But as there can be bread ready only for nine days, more must be begun to be baked some days before the quantity is expended.
"Not more than six days march then can be made without a halt; for as four days are requisite to prepare a store of six days bread for the army, if this were not done, there would be no bread the tenth day. The bakery must therefore be set to work on the fifth, or at most on the sixth day, frcm the beginning of the march: so that an army must advance gradually from their main magazines, if they would not be obliged to return. Their busmefs being to establish magazines upon their line of operations, the provision train has not only to supply the consumption, but a certain superabundance, to prepare for the worst, until it is possible to fill new magazines by deliveries from the enemy's country.
"I shall suppose the bakery set to work the fifth day from the commencement of the march, sixty miles from the main magazine: the deficiency of flour is to be supplied as follows:
"The half of the provision train unloads the fifth day, and goes back. Reckon fifteen miles for each day's march, and one day between loading and unloading, which is the smallest computation; upon this calculation they return in nine days. On the fourteenth day the army has, or has had, bread for twenty-two days and a half; on the seventeenth for twenty-seven; on the twenty-third for thirty-one and a half; and on the twenty-sixth for thirty-six days, including what has been served out, and what is still in the bread waggons. Thus it appears that thirteen days flour will always be in store, so that want is not immediately to be apprehended.
"Now if you place your bakery farther from your main magazine, so that your provision train shall require twelve of more days to replace the consumption, in a short time this would be found to be impossible. Suppose the distance eighty miles, the train will require twelve days to go and to return. The bakery, in this case, will be set