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COMPARATIVE STRENGTH OF VARIOUS

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Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 613 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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COMPARATIVE STRENGTH OF VARIOUS ARMIES (a) Compulsory Service (1906). France. Germany. Russia. Austria- Italy. Hungary. Annual Contingent for the Colours . 230,000 222,000 254,000 128,000 83,000 Medically unfit and exempt 90,000 127,000 120,000 57,000 110,000 Excused from Service in Peace, able-bodied 291,000 606,000 285,000 122,000 Total of Men becoming liable for Service in 1907 . 320,000 540,000 980,000 470,000 315,000 Total Permanent Armed Force in Peace . 61o,000 61o,000 1,226,000 356,000 269,000 (not includ- ing colonial troops) First-Line Troops, war-strength (estimated) 1,350,000 1,675,000 2,187,000 950,000 800,000 Second-Line Troops, war-strength (estimated) 3,000,000 2,275,000 1,429,000 1,450,000 1,150,000 Numbers available in excess of these (estimated) 450,000 3 950,000 9,384,000 5,000,000 1,200,000 Total War Resources of all kinds 4,80,000 7,900,000 13,000,000 7,400,000 3,150,000 Annual Military Expenditure-total £27,720,000 £32,228,000 £36,080,000 £15,840,000 £11,280,000 Annual Military Expenditure-per head of population 13s. 9d. los. 9d. 5s. 3d. 6s. 8d. 6s. 5d. (approximate) (b) Authorized Establishments and Approximate Military Resources of the British Empire (1906-1907). British Reserves Native Colonial Troops Regular for Auxiliary (Regular, Forces Total. Army. Regular Forces. Reserve, (various). Army. &c.). 1 Great Britain 117,000 120,000 500,000 .. .. 737,000 ' Channel Islands, Malta, Bermuda, Colonies and Dependencies 65,000 .. 6,00 .. 30,000 101,000 India 75,000 .. 30,000 202,000 . . 307,000 Canadian Forces 46,000 .. 59,000 105,000 Australian Forces (including New Zealand) . .. .. i 70,000 I .. (reserves) 70,000 .. South African Forces a r. .. .. 20,000 (PP ) 20,000 (appr.) Totals 257,000 120,000 672,000 202,000 89,000 11,340,000 Note.-Ex-soldiers of regular and auxiliary forces, still fit for service, and estimated levees en masse, are not counted. Enlistment chiefly voluntary. (c) The Regular Army of the United States has a maximum authorized establishment (1906) of 6o,00o enlisted men; the Organized Militia was at the same date I to,00 strong. Voluntary enlistment throughout. (See UNITED STATES.) In 1906-1907 the total numbers available for a levee en masse were estimated at 13,000,000. The work of a General Staff may be taken as consisting in preparation for war, and this again, both in Great Britain and abroad, consists of military policy in all its branches, staff duties in war, the collection of intelligence, mobilization, plans of operations and concentration, training, military history and geography, and the preparation of war regulations. These subjects are usually subdivided into four or five groups, each of which is dealt with by a separate section of the general staff, the actual division of the work, of course, varying in different countries. Thus, the second section of the French staff deals with " the organization and tactics of foreign armies, study of foreign theatres of war, and military missions abroad." A Was Office is concerned with peace administration and with the provision of men and material in war. Under the former cate- organization. BRITISH ARMY Roon, accompanied the headquarters in the field, but this arrangement did not work well, and will not be employed again. The chief duties other than those of the general staff fall into two classes, the " routine staff," administration or adjutant-general's branch, which deals with all matters affecting personnel, of order. To give some organization and training to the levy, the several sheriffs had authority to call out the contingents of their shires for exercise. The " fyrd," as the levy was named, was available for home service only, and could not be moved even from its county except in the case of emergency; and it was principally to repel oversea invasions that its services were. required. Yet even in those days the necessity of some more permanent force was felt, and bodies of paid troops were maintained by the kings at their own cost. Thus Canute and his successors, and even some of the great earls kept up a household force (huscarles). The English army at Hastings consisted of the fyrd and the corps of huscarles. The English had fought on foot; but the mailed horseman had now become the chief factor in war, and the Conqueror introduced into England the system of tenure by knight-service familiar in Normandy. This was based on the unit of the feudal host, the constabula; is of ten knights, the Conqueror granting lands in return for finding one or more of these units (in the case of great barons) or some fraction of them (in the case of lesser tenants). The obligation was to provide knights to serve, with horse and arms, for forty days in each year at their own charges. This obligation could be handed on by sub-enfeoffment through a whole series of under-tenants. The system. being based, not on the duty of personal service, but on the obligation to supply one or more knights (or it might be only the fraction of a knight), it was early found convenient to commute this for a money payment known as " scutage " (see KNIGHT SERVICE and SCUTAGE). This money enabled the king to hire mercenaries, or pay such of the feudal troops as were willing to serve beyond the usual time. From time to time proclamations and statutes were issued reminding the holders of knights' fees of their duties; but the immediate object was generally to raise money rather than to enforce personal service, which became more and more rare. The feudal system had not, however, abrogated the old Saxon levies, and from these arose two national institutions—the posse comitatus, liable to be called out by the sheriff to maintain the king's peace, and later the militia (q.v.). The posse comitatus, or power of the county, included all males able to bear arms, peers and spiritual men excepted; and though. primarily a police force it was also bound to assist in the defence of the country. This levy was organized by the Assize of Arms under Henry II. (1181), and subsequently under Edward I. (1285) by the so-called " Statute of Winchester," which determined the numbers and description of weapons to be kept by each man according to his property, and also provided for their periodical inspection. The early Plantagenets made free use of mercenaries. But the weakness of the feudal system in England was preparing, through the 12th and 13th centuries, a nation in arms absolutely unique in the middle ages. The Scottish and Welsh wars were, of course, fought by the feudal levy, but this levy was far from. being the mob of unwilling peasants usual abroad, and from the fyrd came the English archers, whose fame was established by Edward I.'s wars, and carried to the continent by Edward III. Edward I_II. realized that there was better material to be had in his own country than abroad, and the army with which he invaded France was an army of national mercenaries, or, more simply, of English soldiers. The army at Crecy was composed exclusively of English, Welsh and Irish. From the pay list of the army at the siege of Calais (1346) it appears that all ranks, from the prince of Wales downward, were paid, no attempt being made to force even the feudal nobles to serve abroad at their own expense. These armies were raised mainly by contracts entered into " with some knight or gentleman expert in war, and of great revenue and livelihood in the country, to serve the king in war with a number of men." Copies of the indentures executed when Henry V. raised his army for the invasion of France in 1415 are in existence. Under these the contracting party agreed to serve the king abroad for one year, with a given number of men equipped according to agreement, and at a stipulated rate of pay. A certain sum was usually paid in advance, and in many cases the crown jewels and plate were given in pledge for the rest. The profession of arms seems to have been profitable. The pay of the soldier was high as compared with that of the ordinary labourer, and he had the prospect of a share of plunder in addition, so that it was not difficult to raise men where the commander had a good military reputation. Edward III. is said to have declined the services of numbers of foreignmercenaries who wished to enrol under him in his wars against France. The funds for the payment of these armies were provided partly from the royal revenues, partly from the fines paid in lieu of military service, and other fines arbitrarily imposed, and partly by grants from parliament. As the soldier's contract usually ended with the war, and the king had seldom funds to renew it even if he so wished, the armies disbanded of themselves at the close of each war. To secure the services of the soldier during his contract, acts were passed (18 Henry VI. c. 19; and 7 Henry VII. c.• I) inflicting penalties for desertion; and in Edward VI.'s reign an act " touching the true service of captains and soldiers " was passed, somewhat of the nature of a Mutiny Act. 61. . It is difficult to summarize the history of the army between the Hundred Years' War and 1642. The final failure of the English arms in France was soon followed by the Wars of the Roses, and in the long period of civil strife the only national force remaining to England was the Calais garrison. Henry VIII. was a soldier-king, but. he shared the public feeling for the old bow and bill, and English armies which served abroad did not, it seems, win the respect of the advanced professional soldiers of the continent. In 1519 the Venetian ambassador described the English forces as consisting of 150,000 men whose peculiar, though not exclusive, weapon was the long bow (Fortescue i. 117). The national levy made in 1588 to resist the Armada and the threat of invasion produced about 750 lancers (heavy-armed cavalry), 2000 light horse and 56,000 foot, beside 20,000 men employed in watching the coasts. The small proportion of mounted men is very remarkable in a country in which Cromwell was before long to illustrate the full power of cavalry on the battlefield. It is indeed not unfair to regard this army as a miscellaneous levy of inferior quality. It was in cavalry that England was weakest, and by three different acts it was sought to improve the breed of horses, though the light horse of the northern counties had a good reputation, and even won the admiration of the emperor Charles V. Perhaps the best organized force in England at this time was the London volunteer association which ultimately became the Honourable Artillery Company. At Flodden the spirit of the old English yeomanry triumphed over the outward form of continental battalions which the Scots had adopted, and doubtless the great victory did much to retard military progress in England. The chief service of Henry VIII. to the British army was the formation of an artillery train, in which he took a special interest. Before he died the forces came to consist of a few permanent troops (the bodyguard and the fortress artillery service), the militia or general levy, which was for home, and indeed for county, service only, and the paid armies which were collected for a foreign war and disbanded at the conclusion of peace, and were recruited on the same principle of indents which had served in the Hundred Years' War. In the reign of Mary, the old Statute of Winchester was revised (1553), and the new act provided for a readjustment of the county contingents and in some degree for the rearmament of the militia. But, from the fall of Calais and the expedition to Havre up to the battle of the Dunes a century later, the intervention of British forces in foreign wars was always futile and generally disastrous. During this time, however, the numerous British regiments in the service of Holland learned, in the long war of Dutch independence, the art of war as it had developed on the continent since 1450, and assimilated the regimental system and the drill and armament of the best models. Thus it was that in 1642 there were many hundreds of trained and war-experienced officers and sergeants available for the armies of the king and the parliament. By this time bows and bills had long disappeared even from the militia, and the Thirty Years' War, which, even more than the Low Countries, offered a career for the adventurous man, contributed yet more trained officers and soldiers to the English and Scottish forces. So closely indeed was war now studied by Englishmen that the respective adherents of the Dutch and the Swedish systems quarrelled on the eve of the battle of Edgehill. Francis and Horace Vere, Sir John Norris, and other Englishmen had become generals of European reputation. Skippon, Astley, Goring, Rupert, and many others soon to be famous were distinguished as company and regimental officers in the battles and sieges of Germany and the Low Countries. The home forces of England had, as has been said, little or nothing to revive their ancient renown. Instead, they had come to be regarded as a menace to the constitution. In Queen Elizabeth's time the demands of the Irish wars had led to frequent forced levies, and the occasional billeting of the troops in England also gave rise to murmurs, but the brilliancy and energy of her reign covered a great deal, and the peaceful policy of her successor removed all immediate cause of complaint. But after the accession of Charles I. we find the army a constant and principal source of dispute between the king and parliament, until under William III. it is finally established on a constitutional footing. Charles, wishing to support the Elector Palatine in the Thirty Years' War, raised an army of 1o,000 men. He was already encumbered with debts, and the parliament refused all grants, on which he had recourse to forced loans. The army was sent to Spain, but returned without effecting anything, and was not disbanded, as usual, but billeted on the inhabitants. The billeting was the more deeply resented as it appeared that the troops were purposely billeted on those who had resisted the loan. Forced loans, billeting and martial law—all directly connected with the maintenance of the army— formed the main substance of the grievances set forth in the Petition of Right. In accepting this petition, Charles gave up the right to maintain an army without consent of parliament; and when in 1639 he wished to raise one to act against the rebellious Scots, parliament was called together, and its sanction obtained, on the plea that the army was necessary for the defence of England. This army again became the source of dispute between the king and parliament, and finally both sides appealed to arms. 62. The first years of the Great Rebellion (q.v.) showed primarily the abundance of good officers produced by the wars on the continent, and in the second place the absolute inadequacy of the military system of the country; the commissions of array, militia ordinances, &c., had at last to give way to regular methods of enlistment and a central army administration. It was clear, at the same time, that when the struggle was one of principles and not of dynastic politics, excellent recruits, far different from the wretched levies who had been gathered together for the Spanish war, were to be had in any reasonable number. These causes combined to produce the " New Model " which, originating in Cromwell's own cavalry and the London trained bands of foot, formed of picked men and officers, severely disciplined, and organized and administered in the right way, quickly proved its superiority over all other armies in the field, and in a few years raised its general to supreme civil power. The 15th of February 1645 was the birthday of the British standing army, and from its first concentration at Windsor Park dates the scarlet uniform. The men were for the most part voluntarily enlisted from existing corps, though deficiencies had immediately to be made good by impressment. Four months later the New Model decided the quarrel of king and parliament at Naseby. When Cromwell, the first lieutenant-general and the second captain-general of the army, sent his veterans to take part in the wars of the continent they proved themselves a match for the best soldiers in Europe. On the restoration of the monarchy in 166o the army, now some 8o,000 strong, was disbanded. It had enforced the execution of Charles I., it had dissolved parliament, and England had been for years governed under a military regime. Thus the most popular measure of the Restoration was the dissolution of the army. Only Monk's regiment of foot(now the Coldstream Guards) survived to represent the New Model in the army of to-day. At the same time the troops (now regiments) of household cavalry, and the regiment of foot which afterwards became the Grenadier Guards, were formed, chiefly from Royalists, though the disbanded New Model contributed many experienced re-fruits. The permanent forces of the crown came to consist oncemore of the " garrisons and guards," maintained by the king from the revenue allotted to him for carrying on the government of the country. The " garrisons " were commissioned to special fortresses—the Tower of London, Portsmouth, &c. The " guards " comprised the sovereign's bodyguards (" the yeomen of the guard " and " gentlemen-at-arms," who had existed since the times of HenryVll. and VIII.), and the regiments mentioned above. Even this small force, at first not exceeding 3000 men, was looked on with jealousy by parliament, and every attempt to increase it was opposed. The acquisition of Tangier and Bombay, as part of the dower of the infanta of Portugal, led to the formation of a troop of horse (now the 1st Royal Dragoons) and a regiment of infantry (the 2nd, now Queen's R.W. Surrey, regiment) for the protection of the former; and a regiment of infantry (afterwards transferred to the East India Company) to hold the latter (1661). These troops, not being stationed in the kingdom, created no distrust; but whenever, as on several occasions during Charles's reign, considerable armies were raised, they were mostly disbanded when the occasion ceased. Several regiments, however, were added to the permanent force, including Dumbarton's regiment (the 1st er Royal Scots, nicknamed Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard)—which had a long record of service in the armies of the continent, and represented the Scots brigade of Gustavus Adolphus's army—and the 3rd Buffs, representing the English regiments of the Dutch army and through them the volunteers of 1572, and on Charles's death in 1685 the ,total force of " guards and garrisons had risen to 16,500, of whom about one-half formed what we should now call the standing army. 63. James II., an experienced soldier and sailor, was more obstinate than his predecessor in his efforts to increase the army, and Monmouth's rebellion afforded him the opportunity. A force of about 20,000 men was maintained in England, and a large camp formed at Hounslow. Eight cavalry and twelve infantry regiments (the senior of which was the 7th " Royal " Fusiliers, formed on a new French model) were raised, and given the numbers which, with few exceptions, they still hear. James even proposed to disband the militia, which had not distinguished itself in the late rebellion, and further augment the standing army; and although the proposal was instantly rejected, he continued to add to the army till the Revolution deprived him of his throne. The army which he had raised was to a great extent disbanded, the Irish soldiers especially, whom he had introduced in large numbers on account of their religion, being all sent home. The condition of the army immediately engaged the attention of parliament. The Bill of Rights had definitely established that " the raising or keeping of a standing army within the kingdom, unless it be by the consent of parliament, is against the law," and past experience made them very jealous of such a force. But civil war was imminent, foreign war certain; and William had only a few Dutch troops, and the remains of James's army, with which to meet the storm. Parliament therefore sanctioned a standing army, trusting to the checks established by the Bill of Rights and Act of Settlement, and by placing the pay of the army under the control of the Commons. An event soon showed the altered position of the army. A regiment mutinied and declared for James. It was surrounded and compelled to lay down its arms; but William found himself without legal power to deal with the mutineers. He therefore applied to parliament, and in 1689 was passed the first Mutiny Act, which, after repeating the provisions regarding the army inserted in the Bill of Rights, and declaring the illegality of martial law, gave power to the crown to deal with the offences of mutiny and desertion by courts-martial. From this event is often dated the history of the standing army as a constitutional force (but see Fortescue, British Army, i. 335). 64. Under William the army was considerably augmented. The old regiments of James's army were reorganized, retaining, however, their original numbers, and three of cavalry and eleven of infantry (numbered to the 28th) were added. In 1690 parliament sanctioned a force of 62,000 men, further increased to or some of the officers, and recouped himself by selling the commissions. This system—termed " raising men for rank "—was retained for many years, and originally helped to create the purchase system " of promotion. For the maintenance of the regiment the colonel received an annual sum sufficient to cover the pay of the men, and the expenses of clothing and of recruiting. The colonel was given a " beating order," without which no enlistment was legal, and was responsible for maintaining his regiment at full strength. " Muster masters " were appointed to muster the regiments, and to see that the men for whom pay was drawn were really effective. Sometimes, when casualties were numerous, the allowance was insufficient to meet the cost of recruiting, and special grants were made. In war time the ranks were also filled by released debtors, pardoned criminals, and impressed paupers and vagrants.* Where the men were raised by voluntary enlistment, the period of service was a matter of contract between the colonel and the soldier, and the engagement was usually for life; but exceptional levies were enlisted for the duration of war, or for periods of three or five years. As for the officers, the low rate of pay and the purchase system combined to exclude all but men of independent incomes. Appointments (except when in the gift of the colonel) were made by the king at home, and by the commander-in-chief abroad; even in Ireland the power of appointment rested with the local commander of the forces until the Union. The soldier was clothed by his colonel, the charge being defrayed from the " stock fund." The army lived in barracks, camps or billets. The barrack accommodation in Great Britain at the beginning of the 18th century only sufficed for five thousand men; and though it had gradually risen to twenty thousand in 1792, a large part of the army was constantly in camps and billets—the latter causing endless complaints and difficulties. 66. The first efforts of the army in the long war with France did not tend to raise its reputation amongst the armies of Europe. The campaigns of allied armies under the duke of York in the Netherlands, in which British contingents figured largely, were uniformly unsuccessful (1793–94 and 1799), though in this respect they resembled those of almost all soldiers 'who commanded against the " New French " army. The policy of the younger Pitt sent thousands of the best soldiers to unprofitable employment, and indeed to death, in the West Indies. At home the administration was corrupt and ineffective, and the people generally shared the contemptuous feeling towards the regular army which was then prevalent in Europe. But a better era began with the appointment of Frederick Augustus, duke of York, as commander-in-chief of the army. He did much to improve its organization, discipline and training, and was ably seconded by commanders of distinguished ability. Under Abercromby in Egypt, under Stuart at Maida, and under Lake, Wellesley and others in India, the British armies again attached victory to their standards, and made themselves feared and respected. Later, Napoleon's threat of invading England excited her martial spirit to the highest pitch to which it had ever attained. Finally, her military glory was raised by the series of successful campaigns in the Peninsula, until it culminated in the great victory of Waterloo; and the army emerged from the war with the most solidly founded reputation of any in Europe. The events of this period belong to the history of Europe, states of America and theacknorvledgmentof their independence, f and fall outside the province of an article deaJJl, only With the 65. Before passing to the great French Revolutionary wars, /army. The great augmentations required during the war were from which a fresh period in the history of the army may be effected partly by raising additional regiments, hut principally dated, it will be well to review the general condition of the by increasing the number of battalions, some regiments being army in the preceding century, injured as it was by the distrust given as many as four. On the conclusion of peace these of parliament and departmental weakness and corruption which battalions were reduced, but the regiments were retained, and went far to neutralize the good work of the duke of Cumberland the army was permanently increased from about twenty thousand, as commander-in-chief and of Pitt as war administrator. the usual peace establishment before the war, to an average Regiments were raised almost as in the days of the Edwards. of eighty thousand. The duke of York, on first appointment The crown contracted with a distinguished soldier, or gentleman to the command, had introduced a uniform drill throughout of high position, who undertook to raise the men, receiving a the army, which was further modified according to Sir David certain sum as bounty-money for each recruit. In some cases, Dundas's system in 1800; and, under the direction of Sir John in lieu of money, the contractor received the nomination of all Moore and others, a high perfection of drill was attained. At 65.,000 in 1691; but on peace being made in 1697 the Commons immediately passed resolutions to the effect that the land forces be reduced to 7000 men in England and 12,000 in Ireland. The War of the Spanish Succession quickly obliged Great Britain again to raise a large army, at one time exceeding 200,000 men; but of these the greater number were foreign troops engaged for the continental war. Fortescue (op. cit. i. 555) estimates the British forces at home and abroad as 70,000 men at the highest figure. After the peace of Utrecht the force was again reduced to 8000 men in Great Britain and Ii,000 in the plantations (i.e. colonies) and abroad. From that time to the present the strength of the army has been determined by the annual votes of parliament, and though frequently the subject of warm debates in both houses, it has ceased to be a matter of dispute between the crown and parliament. The following table shows the fluctuations from that time onward—the peace years showing the average peace strength, the war years the maximum to which the forces were raised:
End of Article: COMPARATIVE STRENGTH OF VARIOUS
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