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THE RENEWAL OF THE JAPANESE ALLIANCE.
THE POLITICAL SITUATION. By Herbert Paul
THE SCANDAL OF UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IN IRELAND. By Sir George T.
Hon. and Rev. Canon Lyttelton
The subject with which this article deals is one that I think should commend itself to the readers of this Review, for to my mind progress in the Army should claim the attention not only of soldiers but of all who love our country, and have her interests at heart, for those interests cannot be separated from our military
propose to compare briefly the state of the Army as it was when I entered it, more than fifty years ago, with what it is at the present time; to note the great changes which have taken place in the conditions under which war is carried on since those days; and to point out the alterations in the training of officers and men which these new conditions render imperatively necessary.
Half a century ago Great Britain had enjoyed nearly forty years peace. There certainly had been campaigns of more or less importance beyond the seas, chiefy in India, but native troops were mainly employed and little or no strain had been put on the Home
Vou, LVII–No. 335
Army, which had consequently been allowed to deteriorate both in numbers and efficiency to a dangerous extent.
In 1854, shortly before the Crimean War broke out, the strength of the British Army was as follows :
In the United Kingdom
71,000 39,780 29,200
men, with 120 field
guns. There was no Reserve, the Volunteer Force did not exist, and there were only 82,852 Militia and 14,680 Yeomanry.
Up to that time the object of all training seems to have been to deprive the soldier of any individuality he might have possessed before joining the Army, and to turn him into a mere section of a big machine ; and that the machine might work smoothly, the soldier was incessantly drilled, and subjected to the most rigid barracksquare discipline. Neither officers nor men were expected to think for themselves, or ever to act on their own responsibility. The only essential considered necessary for an officer was that he should possess even in a greater degree than his men those qualities supposed to ensure victory-namely, courage, determination, and stamina.
The military efficiency of a unit was judged by the precision of its movements, by the smartness of its turn-out, and by the physique of the private soldier. No thought seems to have been given to the necessity for scientific preparation to meet the stern test of war. The standard of education was very low; the majority of the officers in the Cavalry and Infantry obtained their commissions by purchase without having to undergo any examination, while the examination for the few who entered through Sandhurst was so slight that any
1. In 1847 the number of regular troops in the United Kingdom was 74,244, with 70 guns, and in January of that year the Duke of Wellington stated that he had in vain endeavoured to awaken the attention of different Administrations to the alteration made in maritime warfare and operations by the application of steam power to ships ; that with our naval arsenals and dockyards not half garrisoned, 5,000 men of all arms could not be put under arms if required for any service whatever. . . . He had earnestly entreated different Administrations to raise, embody, and discipline the Militia, which would give an organised force of about 150,000 men. This, with an augmentation of the Regular Army at a cost of under 400,0001. a year, would suffice. ...
“The publication of the Duke of Wellington's views of the defenceless state of the country excited much interest, but, so far from having the result that might have been anticipated, the leaders of public opinion asserted that the addition of 25,000 or 30,000 men to the Army was absolutely impossible, as the country could not bear the cost. Mr. Cobden, speaking at Manchester, intimated that the Duke of Wellington was in his dotage, saying that his Grace had passed the extremest probable duration of human existence, and was tottering on the verge of the grave.'-Lord Cardwell at the War Office.
boy nowadays educated at an ordinary Board school could pass it without difficulty.
Once an officer joined the Army his promotion was ensured-by purchase if he could afford the money, however incompetent he might be, or by seniority if he lived long enough, however senile he might have become. There was no age limit for retirement, and there were instances of officers having had to serve for forty years before succeeding to the command of a battalion.
More than a hundred years ago the fallacy of such a system of training was recognised by Sir John Moore, the great soldier who was mainly responsible for the training of that famous Light Division which did such admirable work under Wellington throughout the Peninsular War.
As Sir Frederick Maurice has told us in his interesting book, The Diary of Sir John Moore, “that officer's object was not so much to devise a new drill but a new discipline, a new spirit that should make the whole a living organism to replace a mechanical instrument.' The inferior
with which soldiers were armed at the time I am writing of, necessitated to a great extent the system of training then in vogue. So unreliable were the old smooth-bore musket and carbine that the Infantry soldier was taught to depend chiefly upon the bayonet, and the Cavalry soldier on the sword or lance. It was impossible for either officers or men to take any interest in shooting efficiency; and that it was not looked upon by the authorities as an important part of the soldier's training is evident from the fact tha nothing was laid down as to the manner in which the annual course was to be carried out. Indeed, the necessity for musketry practice was so little understood that commanding officers were informed 3 that, if the requisition for ball ammunition was not submitted previously to the 1st of November, the allowance for the season would not be issued.
In 1854 the numbers of rounds allowed for the annual course
In 1857, 90 rounds were allowed for all infantry soldiers.
? The principles insisted upon by Sir John Moore were : 'First, that it was necessary to have the officers efficient before the men, and to require of the officers real knowledge, good temper, and kind treatment of the men. Secondly, that power should be delegated to officers commanding companies, the men to be taught to look up to them in matters alike of drill, food, clothing, rewards, and most punishments. The whole system was one of developing, not repressing, intelligence, of making the development of the men contribute to the effective unity of the whole, of enlisting the zeal of the private as much as of the officer in perfecting the whole.' · Circular Memorandum by the Adjutant-General, dated the 20th of November, 1857. Between 1857 and 1880 this number was increased to 100 rounds per man.
In 1882, 50 more rounds were added.
In 1885–1902, 200 rounds were allowed, increased in 1903 to 300 rounds per man.
As regards precision, the musket was sighted to hit point-blank at 150 yards, but so inaccurate was it that Colonel Charles Hay, who was appointed Commandant of Hythe when the School of Musketry was first established there in 1853, made the following remark in his report of the 17th of May, 1856, at the time that the musket was being replaced by a rifle :
Should there exist any one who retains any lingering affection for the musket pattern 1842, the · Brown Bess,' I would point to a trial where the best shot of this establishment, firing with that musket from a rest, could not at 300 yards hit an 18-feet square target once in twenty shots, taking aim at a mark in its centre, and that at 200 yards the shooting was hardly more effective.*
The change from the musket to the rifle came on very gradually. At an early date in the last century, the Rifle Brigade, and three years later the 1st Battalion 60th, were armed with the Brunswick rifle. It was practically a 12-bore, sighted by means of a folding sight to 300 yards, and was used by the rifle regiments employed in the Kaffir War of 1851-3.
In 1854, all rifle regiments were armed with the Minié rifle, and during the Crimean War the Enfield rifle was issued to certain other regiments.
In 1857, the long Enfield was issued to the Army generally, and ten years later it was converted into the Snider pattern breechloader.
In 1873 the issue of the Martini-Henry commenced.
In 1889 the Lee-Metford was introduced, and at the present time a new pattern of that rifle is being issued, which experience has proved to be advisable. Except that it is 5 inches shorter and 1 lb. 4 oz. lighter (which makes it handier for the cavalry soldier), and has the clip loading attachment, it is the same as the original LeeMetford rifle.
Up to the time that breech-loading weapons were introduced battles were fought as they had been fought from time immemorial,
• In a lecture delivered at the United Service Institution on the 10th of July, 1857, Colonel Wilford, then Commandant at Hythe, said : 'Before proceeding, I must pay & tribute to “Brown Bess," and willingly admit that it was a very formidable weapon at very short ranges. Its deadly fire in close combat in the Peninsula, at Waterloo, in India, and elsewhere, is patent to the world ; nevertheless, partiality must not be suffered to blind us to the defects of our old friend, for, with the bayonet fixed, it was the shortest gun carried by a European Army-the heaviest, fired the largest ball and charge of powder, had the greatest recoil, the shortest range, and, worst of all, the least accuracy.'