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tème de Cordon,” which, while it scatters an army for the sake of guarding every road, exposes it to the risk of an overthrow similar to that which Turenne brought on a host of antagonists in Alsace, in 1674.
The campaign of 1796 was that which first afforded on a great scale an example of those military combinations, the elements of which had been apparent in the tactics of Gustavus Adolphus, Marlborough, and Frederick II. The science has since made great progress ; each of the national armies of Europe having afforded exemplifications of it, particularly the Russians in their movements on Smolensko and Krasnoe, in 1812 ; and the allied armies in their advance to Dresden and Leipsic, in 1813. The succes. sive invasion of different countries was the result of this improvement in the movements of great bodies of men ; and the barriers raised by the care of engineers, between one nation and another, disappeared before these formidable hosts.
One general conclusion is to be drawn from the investigation of the principles of war in books of such depth and accuracy as the present ; we mean, that brilliant success is seldom the result of that personal bravery in which every nation boasts a superiority over its neighbours. The troops of most European nations (if we except the Italians) are nearly on a level in point of courage, and, after a certain length of service, in point of discipline : so that the success of an attack is almost always the result of superior numbers; a superiority which, without existing in the total, may be procured at certain moments and on particular points by the rapid movements of the commander. Such was the cause of the brilliant resistance of Frederick II. against the coalition of 1756, and of the severe losses inflicted by Bonaparte on the widely spread corps of the allies in Champagne, during February, 1814. National character has comparatively little influence on the firmness of the soldier : the effect of it, or rather of the degree of knowlege existing in a country, is shewn in the education of the officers, the management of artillery, and the progress of engineering.
• It has,' says M. de J., ' been always alleged that a French army could not make so good a retreat as a German one, and the cause of several disorderiy retreats has been sought in the national character of the former. Nothing, however, is more unfounded : the true cause of this confusion being to be found in the neglect of the staff-officers to appoint rallying stations in a central and protecting position. It is even rare in the French service to take the precaution of indicating any such points at all : I have witnessed a number of wrong movements, which with such a precaution would not have occurred; and it is to the care of the Austrians in this apparently slight point, that their superiority in retreating is to be attributed.
A second valuable characteristic of M. de Jo's work is its accuracy in the statement of numbers in the field; a point of which the importance can be appreciated only by those who are aware of the frequency and absurd length of exaggeration in this respect, both in verbal and printed relations. In September, 1795, four armies were on the Rhine, two French and two Austrian; and the number of each, though varied by occasional detachments, was generally from 60 to 70,000 men: the aggregate on either side being about 160,000. The armistice concluded in December continued till the succceding May, by which time the arrival of reinforcements had carried the total of the Austrian and German troops (Vol. VII. p. 100.) to 176,000 men. The French, at first not quite so numerous, soon acquired a superiority by the necessity of detaching 25,000 Austrians from the Rhine to Italy to oppose Bonaparte; and, as the French army advanced into the heart of the empire, their opponents became farther weakened by the separate treaties and consequent withdrawing of the troops of Suabia and Saxony. The French proceeded with two armies: the southern, or that of Moreau, amounted, on the 11th of August, (the day of the indecisive battle of Neresheim,) to 65,000 men, while the opposing force of the Archduke was only 55,000.
The northern army, under Jourdan, weakened by leaving corps of observation before Mentz and Ehrenbreitstein, did not (Vol. VII. p. 227.) exceed 50,000 men; and the Austrian force, retreating before it, though then amounting to only 30,000 men, was carried by the reinforcement of the Archduke towards the end of August to 55,000 : which, together with the bad generalship of Jourdan, produced the retreat and defeat of the French.
In Bonaparte's army, the numbers at the commencement of the campaign in April, 1796, were (Vol. VII. p. 1 2.) about 42,000; which were soon diminished by his sanguinary conflicts, but kept up by the arrival of successive reinforcements from France. In November, on the first advance of Alvinzi, sickness having lessened the numbers of the French, their effective combatants were reduced to 38,000; and the dreadful losses before and during the battle of Arcola thinned their ranks so much that, though before Alvinzi's second attack in January the great majority of the invalids had resumed service, the disposable force of Bonaparte was still below 40,000 men. At last, in February, arrived two divisions (together, 18,000 men) of veterans from the Rhine; which, with some farther reinforcements, enabled him to march into the heart of Austria, and to conclude the treaty of Leoben. The army with
which he began this irruption was 60,000: but six weeks of mountain-marches and frequent attacks reduced it to 45,000.
Viewing the picture of havoc and bloodshed exhibited by a military narrative, it is a great consolation to think that ihe number of killed, wounded, and prisoners, will almost always be found much less than current rumour the official report of an enemy has stated them. pears from M. DE J. that the actual loss of the Austrians was seldom above one-third of that which Bonaparte asserted ; the conflicts of Millesimo and Dego (14th April, 1796,) did not cost them above 3000 men; the more general engagement of Castiglione, in August,) about the same number; and even the action at Bassano, (in September,) disastrous as it became from the dispersion of their troops, was attended at the time with no great numerical loss. The battle of Fleurus, (26th June, 1794,) though fought by very numerous armies, did not cost either side above 5000 men ; and it was not till a more advanced period of the war, and in such battles as Eylau, Aspern, Borodino, and Waterloo, that the carnage became very great.
In passing now from the subject matter of the production before us to bestow our consideration on the writer, we have first to notice a point of the greatest importance, viz. impartiality. If the first half of M. DE J.'s work was published under the sway of Bonaparte, it ought to be no small satisfaction to his readers that the last two volumes, (VII.and VIII.) which alone treat of the campaigns of that commander, were not composed till after his downfall; and any partiality evinced in these latter volumes towards the former Emperor is to be traced not to selfish calculation, but to a desire of preserving some consistency with the encomiums bestowed on him in the early portion of the work: a motive which does not seem to have carried the writer to any undue length of panegyric. Even the early published part is replete with proofs of his independence. Of Pichegru, whose memory was extremely obnoxious to Bonaparte, he speaks indeed with limited encomium: but he never sullies his page with the absurd charge of treachery: to which the credulous and uninquiring mass of Frenchmen, whether of the military or the civil profession, are but too apt to ascribe their reverses in the campaign of 1795. Kleber, whose reputation in like manner could not be agreeable to Napoleon, is declared (Vol. VI. p. 54. and VII. p. 236.) to have been distinguished for his éminentes qualités militaires. Of Moreau, the author speaks (Vol. VIII. p. 436.) as a commander new, in 1796, to the conception of great movements, but destined to shew in a subsequent campaign (1800) how greatly close reflection and an interval of time may improve a mind prepared for these studies by previous practice in the art of war. Of Hoche, who, after several brilliant exploits, was cut off in the prime of life, he writes with a mixture of praise and censure. As to this country, or rather the ministers of this country, he entertains the impressions prevalent among French officers in general, and insists that we were not only the cause of the long continuance of the war, but (Vol. V. p. 5.) the principal artists of the original coalition in 1792.
movements, faults, balance
While we acquit this acute and intelligent Swiss of intentional misrepresentation, we cannot refrain from taxing him with a degree of severity in his judgments; and with forgetting that his writings were composed après coup, and that he was necessarily a stranger to many circumstances which, with the Generals whom he censures, were unavoidably productive of perplexity and hesitation. He blames without reserve all those who incurred delay, and is by no means ready to state the exculpatory circumstances of bad roads, cumbrous trains, or raw levies. For a censure of the operations of the allies in 1793, and even in 1794, the reader is naturally prepared: but this unsparing critic directs his animadversions with equal keenness against the combinations of the French; alleging that the Committee of Public Safety (or, in other words, Carnot, the director of military movements in those days,) was repeatedly guilty of a gross misapplication of the superior numbers at its disposal. Much, however, is to be allowed for their imperfect state of discipline, and for the radical difference between the French troops of 1794 and those
In point of style, M. de Jomini avoids all attempts at orna- mented or high sounding expressions, and proceeds straight forwards with his narrative, like a writer whose mind is wholly engrossed by his subject, and indifferent to minor attractions: but we have traced in several passages, particularly in the relation of the exploits of Donaparte, too close an adherence to the language of the official dispatches; and the majority of readers would frequently be gratified by the omission of proper names and of minute details which are interesting only to military men. Moreover, in the conclusion of the work, we mean in the chapter which treats of the general principles of war, the composition is much less claborate; and the minor deductions are less connected with the more comprehensive than we could have desired on a topic possessing such high interest, and intitled to such finished execution. These
faults, few and unimportant when compared to the general merits of the history, will probably disappear from the writings of M. DE J. when he has become more familiar with composition, and has enjoyed the advantage of farther research and reflection. He is at present engaged in a connected history of military events for the last twenty years, and has pledged himself for a regular and successive publication of the volumes.
Art. II. M. SIMONDE DE Sismondi's New Principles of Political
Economy. [Article concluded from the last Appendir, p. 519.] WHEN
HEN the annual productions of a country,” says
Mr. Ricardo, (Polit. Econ. ch. vii.) “ exceed its annual consumption, its capital is augmented; and when the annual consumption is not at least replaced by its annual productions, the national capital is diminished,” Augmentation of capital, then, may be owing either to an increase of production, or to a diminution of consumption : but this position M. DE SISMONDI combats; contending that, as revenue, both in nations and individuals, ought to be the measure of expenditure, so should consumption be the measure of production.
Suppose the hat-makers of Lyons to have made a hundred thousand hats in 1817, and a hundred and ten thousand in 1818; or to have made a hundred thousand in the latter year, and to have sold only ninety thousand : in both cases they have an excess of ten thousand. If, in 1818, they had made a hundred and ten thousand hats instead of a hundred thousand, they would doubtless gain, provided that they sold them all at their price; and they would lose if the extra ten thousand remained on their hands : but if, in 1818, they had made only a hundred thousand hats, as in 1817, and if ten thousand still remained which they could not sell, they most assuredly must lose. As with Lyons, so with any nation: the whole annual production should be absorbed by the annual consumption; and whenever this equilibrium is deranged the nation suffers. In the case of the Lyonese hat-makers, if they can dispose of their surplus ten thousand hats to the neighbouring villages, which with reference to Lyons itself may be termed a foreign commerce, there will be a profit for them; and so with a nation, if it can dispose of all its surplus produce to foreign countries : - in the one case a municipal, and, in the other, a national profit ensues : but, with regard to the commerce of the world, consumption must APP. Rev. VOL. XCI. Hh