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the 12th of April defeated it near the village of Montenotte. All the additional troops that could be spared being sent forwards to the support of the main body, it became, on the 14th, an advanced corps in the midst of enemies; who, if equally concentrated, would have been superior, but whose efforts were unavailing when confined to insulated attacks on the right and left. It was thus that the Piedmontese were foiled on that day at Millesimo, and that the Austrians were driven from the important post of Dego; and it was by a farther prosecution of this plan that Bonaparte, still advancing with collected strength, separated the Piedmontese on his left from the Austrians on his right, and forced or rather alarmed the court of Turin into a separate peace. He displayed equal talent in his advance into Lombardy; where, by keeping the south side of the Po, he avoided the Ticino and other rivers which flow into that great receptacle from the north, and would have afforded points of resistance to the retreating enemy.
M. DE JONINI next analyzes his operations when, in the midst of the siege of Mantua, he learned that the Austrians under Wurmser had begun their march against him, with a force formidable both in number and discipline, but divided into two parts by the lake of Guarda. This state of things called forth all the decision of Bonaparte's character: ordinary Generals would have withdrawn entirely, or, if they continued the siege, would have awaited the enemy at Mantua, and fought a battle with a very doubtful prospect under its walls: but he took a different course: he hesitated not to sacrifice all that he had done against the fortress, and to throw his heavy artillery into the Po, in order that he might march with rapidity, and with a collected force, against the smaller division of the Austrians. That corps, composed of warriors from the Rhine, made a firm resistance in several actions, but, being divided and unsupported, was destroyed, taken, or compelled to retreat before the arrival of the larger division under Wurmser. By that time Bonaparte had collected his troops, changed his front, and, attacking his veteran opponent near Castiglione, almost overpowered his army: but the fatigue of the French and some fortunate casualties enabled the Austrians to escape. Their fate was very different six weeks afterward, when Bonaparte, advancing into the Tyrol, found means, by marching suddenly through the long valley of the Brenta, to separate his opponents, and to oblige the Marshal with his staff and the flower of his army to fly to the westward, and to throw themselves, as their only refuge, into Mantua. Here they remained blockaded, until in the beginning of November a fresh effort was made by
the Austrians commanded by Alvinzi ; a General who began his career under flattering auspices, baffling the attacks of Bonaparte on the 6th of November, and decidedly defeating them on the 12th. Far from being discouraged by these repulses, Bonaparte conceived the bold and singular project of marching round the left flank of his enemy, gaining his rear, and becoming master of his stores and artillery. This attempt, which he subsequently repeated with complete success at Ulm in 1805, and with as signal failure in Champagne in March 1814, was, on this occasion, justified by the nature of the ground; the Adige covering the advance of the French, and enabling them, at the end of their nocturnal march, to arrive by a bridge at no great distance from the desired spot. On crossing that river, however, Bonaparte, instead of making a farther circuit, and submitting to a partial delay for the sake of keeping on dry ground, pushed forwards through a marshy track, and experienced at Arcola (as subsequently at Acre) what fatal execution could be done by a handful of brave men advantageously posted and firmly commanded. A single Hungarian battalion, stationed at the bridge which afforded the only access to the village, swept it with their guns, and repelled attack after attack, though made by the flower of the French troops.
This conflict was followed on the next day (16th of November) by another of a more general nature and more varied result, but still far from advantageous to the French. On the 17th the fighting was renewed for the third time, and continued throughout the day: but the Austrians, without having suffered more than their adversaries, now began their retreat, from a calculation of their General that the present was not the time for persevering in his efforts for the relief of Mantua. That time seemed to him, and to the court of Vienna, to have arrived in the middle of January; when a final attempt was made to penetrate towards the besieged city by two divisions; the larger marching from the mountains to Rivoli; the smaller from the eastward to Mantua along the level country. To this repetition of a former fault, Bonaparte opposed his usual plan of concentration; and with such complete success that the same troops who defeated the Austrian main body at Rivoli were able to accomplish a long march to the southward, and compel to a capitulation the smaller corps, after it had effected its progress from the eastward and had reached the vicinity of Mantua.
We have not room to enter on the details of the campaign of 1796 in Germany, though distinguished in military history by the unexpected march of the Archduke Charles against
Jourdan, and subsequently by the retreat of Moreau : but for these events we refer our readers to the elaborate work of the Archduke translated by M. DE J., and, in some measure, to our report of that book in our Number for August 1818. At present, we must confine ourselves to a brief notice of a few general conclusions on tactics, recapitulated by M. de J. towards the end of his work.
Movement of Troops. - One of the fundamental principles in tactics is to make, with a mass of force, a combined effort on a decisive point of the enemy's line; on the plain principle that an able General, at the head of 60,000 men, may defeat 80,000 if he succeeds in bringing a superior force against une supported divisions of his antagonist. This rule is general, applying equally to the day of battle and to a march against a line of positions: but, to carry it into effect, it is necessary to act on the offensive, for he who awaits the enemy is master of hardly any combination, while he who takes the lead acts on a formed plan, conceals his march, and probably seizes by surprize a weak point of the opposing line. This point may be either in the centre or towards the extremity: when the enemy is in scattered corps, it is generally the centre: in other cases, an attack on an extreinity is advisable, particularly if it should lead, as at Arcola, to the gaining of the line of the enemy's communication with his supplies: but an attack on the two extremities is seldom advisable, because a dexterous enemy, uniting his forces, may overthrow the divided assailants in succession, which was twice done by Bonaparte in the campaign of 1796. Simple as these rules appear, an uncommon share of talent and judgment is necessary to carry them into effect; and a commander should endeavour to deceive his opponents by alarming them on several points, and by multiplying parties of light cavalry in all directions: these also serve to procure the latest information. The Cossacks, introduced as they have been since 1806 in great numbers, have rendered the most essential service in this respect, and have proved the necessity of employing bodies of hussars or lancers on the same irregular but difficult service.
Another military rule, apparently very simple, but never practised so effectually as by Bonaparte, is to follow up å defeated enemy without remission, even with a considerable sacrifice from fatigue and occasional repulses. The defeat has necessarily broken the ensemble of the enemy's combinations; and the army at large, partly from fear, partly from disorder, is much more vulnerable than before. This fact was strikingly exemplified in the pursuit of the Austrians in the valley of
the Brenta in September, 1796, and still more in that of the Prussians after the fatal day of Jena. Adverting to what is commonly termed a plan of campaign, M. DE J. remarks that there cannot be a more inappropriate expression, because no previous plan can be adapted to a campaign generally, subject as it is to modification and change in every stage.
Conduct of a Battle. — For the success of a battle, it is necessary not only to bring up but to bring into action a superior force; since it is not the number on the ground, but the number engaged, that decides the result of the day. All the troops ought accordingly to be thrown into action, with the exception of the reserve; and the greatest judgment is necessary to decide the moment at which a final effort should be made by this chosen corps. At Ligny, where the fighting did not begin till the afternoon, Bonaparte kept back the reserve till between eight and nine o'clock, and his attack was then successful: at Waterloo, when the engagement began earlier, he awaited from hour to hour the moment of disorder in our line, and at last advanced his reserve at seven o'clock, without any distinct ground of confidence, but on the general rule that a column of fresh troops ought to bear down those which have been engaged and fatigued. With regard to the order of battle, a medium is to be taken between those who prolong and those who condense too much their bodies of men, since the latter may be carried to an extreme as well as the former. The position of the Ru sian army at Eylau, (8th February, 1807,) parily in line, partly in column, may be cited as an example of the general rule that solidity and mobilité should be united as much as possible. In an attack, the troops should advance in columns, and by no means in an extended line, the waving (flottement) of which would destroy the impulse necessary to success.
The degree of depth in the columns, and their number, (for they do not form a continuous mass,) are all to be regulated by the nature of the ground and other local circumstances. The Duke of Wellington received all the early attacks at Waterloo with his battalions in squares, but at last collected a portion of his force into a continued line of seven or eight men deep: a formation which both sent forth a greater range of fire against the columns of the Imperial Guard, and facilitated the forward movement which the arrival of the Prussian main body soon afterward rendered expedient.
The old plan of defending a long intrenched position is now in a great measure relinquished; the repeated defeats of the Austrians, beginning with Jemappes, having confirmed what Turenne so long since declared, that the chances were almost twenty to one against the defensive force. That plan is very different from fighting a defensive battle on ground chosen by the retreating General, and with an intention of assuming the offensive in case of a successful resistance. The latter was strikingly exemplified by Bonaparte at Austerlitz, and by Lord Wellington at Vimeira and Talavera : it was indeed the favourite rule of the latter, while that of Bonaparte was to push forwards, and to expect success from the advantage presented by the offensive absolue.
M. de J. is far from asserting that the art of war can be acquired by rule: an active mind, continued practice in the field, and long reflection in the tent and closet, are indispensable to the formation of an able General : but a knowlege of principles is a most important preliminary, and an admirable index to the movements of great commanders. Though there be no such thing as a system of tactics applicable to every situation, nothing is more erroneous than to assert that war has no general rules; since an examination of the successes of great captains shews that these rules are neither many nor complicated; and the history of periods very remote from each other exhibits a surprising coincidence, where no possibility of communication existed. The victories of Canna, Pharsalia, and Wagram, seem all to have owed their result to a similar combination; and the tactics of Epaminondas, Hannibal, and Cæsar, present many points of resemblance. Alexander, though young and impetuous, conducted his marches and battles by the rules of art; and it appears from the “ Institutes of Timour, or Tamerlane," published by a well known orientalist, Langlès, that even that Tartar chief had arrived, by dint of practice and reflection, at many of the conclusions which we should have deemed confined to an age of civilization.
All this evinces that rules may be deduced from the result of practice in war, with as much confidence as from experiments in physics : the error in both has lain in the construction of theories by fanciful speculators.
• Had military writers,' says the author, (Vol. VIII. p. 679.) • avoided system-building, and confined their precepts to inferences from the practice of great commanders, such as Turenne and Marlborough, we should not find officers alleging that there are no such things as rules in war : General Mack would not have written in 1793 that long lines were the strongest ; nor would his countryman, Bulow, have asserted, at a later date, that a defeated army can best accomplish its escape by diverging from its centre, and dividing itself into as many corps as there are roads to occupy. Neither should we have heard in the eighteenth century of a “ Sys