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PEACE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 615 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PEACE. WAR. Year. Number. Year. Number. 1750 . 18,857 1745 • 74,187 1793 • 17,013 1761 . 67,776 1822 . 71,790 1777• 90,734 1845 . Ioo,oII 1812 . 245,996 1857 . 156,995 1856 . 275,079 1866 203,404 1858 . . 222,874 Note.—Prior to 1856 the British forces serving in India are not included. During William's reign the small English army bore an honourable part in the wars against Louis XIV., and especially distinguished itself under the king at Steinkirk, Neerwinden and Namur. Twenty English regiments took part in the campaign of 1694. In the great wars of Queen Anne's reign the British army under Marlborough acquired a European reputation. The cavalry, which had called forth the admiration of Prince Eugene when passed in review before him after its long march across Germany (1704), especially distinguished itself in the battle of Blenheim, and Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet were added to the list of English victories. But the army as usual was reduced at once, and even the cadres of old regiments were disbanded, though the alarm of Jacobite insurrections soon brought about the re-creation of many of these. During the reign of the first and second Georges an artillery corps was organized, and the army further increased by five regiments of cavalry and thirty-five of infantry. Fresh laurels were won at Dettingen (1743), in which battle twenty English regiments took part; and though Fontenoy (q.v.) was a day of disaster for the English arms, it did not lower their reputation, but rather added to it. Six regiments of infantry won the chief glory of Prince Ferdinand's victory of Minden (q.v.) in 1759, and throughout the latter part of the Seven Years' War the British contingent of Ferdinand's army served with almost unvarying distinction in numerous actions. About this time the first English regiments were sent to India, and the 39th shared in Clive's victory at Plassey. During the first half of George III.'s reign the army was principally occupied in America; and though the conquest of Canada may be counted with pride among its exploits, this page in its history is certainly the darkest. English armies capitulated at Saratoga and at York-town, and the war ended by the evacuation of the revolted the beginning of the war, the infantry, like that of the continental powers, was formed in three ranks; but a two-rank formation had been introduced in America and in India and gradually became general, and in 1809 was finally approved. In the Peninsula the army was permanently organized in divisions, usually consisting of two brigades of three or four battalions each, and one or two batteries of artillery. The duke of Wellington had also brought the commissariat and the army transport to a high pitch of perfection, but in the long peace which followed these establishments were reduced or broken up. 67. The period which elapsed between Waterloo and .the Crimean War is marked by a number of Indian and: caloni.al wars, but by no organic changes in the army, with perhaps the single exception of the Limited Service Act of 1847, by which enlistment for ten or twelve years, with power to re-engage to complete twenty-one, was substituted for the life enlistments hitherto in force. The army went to sleep on the 'laurels and recollections of the Peninsula. The duke of Wellington, for many years commander-in-chief, was too anxious to hide it away in the colonies in order to save it from further reductions or. utter extinction, to attempt any great administrative reforms. The force which was sent to the Crimea in 1854 was an agglomeration of battalions, individually of the finest quality,. but unused to work together, without trained staff, administrative departments or army organization of any kind. The lesson of the winter before Sevastopol was dearly bought, but was not thrown away. From that time successive war ministers and commanders-inchief have laboured perseveringly at the difficult task of army organization and administration. Foremost in the work was Sidney Herbert (Lord Herbert of Lea), the soldier's friend, who fell a sacrifice to his labours (1861), but not before he had done much for the army. The whole system of administration was revised. In 1854 it was inconceivably complicated and cumbersome. The " secretary of state for war and colonies," sitting at the Colonial Office, had a general but vague. control, practically limited to times of war. The " secretary at war " was the parliamentary representative of the army, and exercised a certain financial control, not extending, however, to the ordnance corps. The commander-in-chief was responsible to the sovereign alone in all matters connected with the discipline, command or patronage of the army, but to the secretary at war in financial matters. The master-general and board of ordnance were responsible for the supply of material on requisition, but were otherwise independent, and had the artillery and engineers under them. The commissariat department had its headquarters at the treasury, and until 1852 the militia were under the home secretary. A number of minor subdepartments, more or less independent, also existed, causing endless confusion, correspondence and frequent collision. In 1854 the business of the colonies was separated from that of war, and the then secretary of state, the duke of Newcastle, assumed control over all the other administrative officers. In the following year the secretary of state was appointed secretary at war also, and the duties of the two offices amalgamated. The same year the commissariat office was transferred to the war department, and the Board of Ordnance abolished, its functions being divided between the commander-in-chief and the secretary of state. The minor departments were gradually absorbed, and the whole administration divided under two great chiefs, sitting at the war office and Horse Guards respectively. In 187o these, two were welded . into one, and the war office now existing was constituted, Corresponding improvements were effected in every branch. The system of clothing the soldiers was altered, the contracts being taken from the colonels of regiments, who received a money allowance instead, and the clothing supplied from government manufactories. The pay, food and general condition of the soldier were improved; reading and recreation rooms, libraries, gymnasia and facilities for games of all kinds being provided. Barracks (q.v.) were built on improved principles, and a large permanent camp was formed at Aldershot, where considerable forces were collected and manoeuvred together. Various educational establishments were opened, a staff college was establishedfor the instruction of officers wishing to qualify for the staff, and regimental schools were improved. 68. The Indian Mutiny of 1857, followed by the transference of the government of India, led to important changes. The East India Company's white troops were amalgamated with the Queen's army, and the whole reorganized (see Indian Army below). The fact that such difficulties as those of 1854 and 1857, not to speak of the disorders of 1848, had been surmounted by the weak ,army which remained over from the reductions of forty years, coupled with the instantaneous and effective re-joinder to the threats of the French colonels in 18J9—the creation of the Volunteer Force--certainly lulled the nation and its representatives into a false sense of security. Thus the two obvious lessons of the German successes of 1866 and 187o—the power of a national army for offensive invasion, and the rapidity with which such an army when thoroughly organized could be moved —created the greatest sensation in England. The year 1870 is, therefore, of prime importance in the history of the regular forces of the crown. The strength of the home forces at different times between 1815 and 187o is given as follows (Biddulph, Lord Cardwell at the War Ofce):- Regulars. Auxiliaries. Field Guns. _ _~ 182o 64,426 60,740 22 1830 50,876 34,614 30 1840 53,379 20,791 30 1850 68,538 29,868 70 186o I00.701 229,501 180 1870 89,051 281,692 18o (later lo9,000) 69. The period of reform commences therefore with 1870, and is connected, indissolubly with the name of Edward, Lord Cardwell, secretary of state for war 1869-1874. In the matter of organization the result of his labours was seen in the perfectly arranged expedition to Ashanti (1874); as for recruiting, the introduction of short service and reserve enlistment together with many rearrangements of pay, &c., proved so far popular that the number of men annually enlisted was more than trebled (11,742 ill 1869; 39,971 in 1885; 40,729 in 1898), and so far efficient that " Lord Cardwell's . . . system, with but small modification, gave us. during the Boer War 8o,000 reservists, of whom 96 or 97 % were found efficient, and has enabled. us to keep an army of 150,000 regulars in the field for 1.5 months" (Rt. Hon. St John Brodrick, House of Commons, 8th of March 1901). The localization of the army, subsequently completed by the territorial system of 1882, was commenced under Card-well's regime, and a measure which encountered much. powerful opposition at the time, the abolition of the purchase of commissions, was also effected by him (1871). The machinery of administration was improved, and autumn manoeuvres were practised on. a scale hitherto unknown in England. In 1871 certain powers over the militia, formerly held by lords-lieutenant, were transferred to the crown, and the auxiliary forces were placed directly under the generals commanding districts. In 1881 came an important change in the infantry of the line, which was entirely remodelled in two-battalion regiments bearing territorial titles. This measure (the " linked battalion " system) aroused great opposition; it was dictated chiefly by the necessity of maintaining the Indian and colonial garrisons at full strength, and was begun during Lord Cardwell's tenure of office, the principle being that each regiment should have one battalion at home and one abroad, the latter being fed by the former, which in its turn drew upon the reserve to complete it for war. The working of the system is to be considered as belonging to present practice rather than to history, and the reader is there-fore referred to the article UNITED KINGDOM. On these general lines the army progressed up to 1899, when the Boer War called into the field on a distant theatre of war all the resources of the regular army, and in addition drew largely upon the existing auxiliary forces, and even upon wholly untrained civilians, for the numbers required to make war in an area which comprised nearly all Africa south of the Zambezi. As the result of this war (see TRANSVAAL) successive schemes of reform were undertaken by the various war ministers, leading up to Mr Haldane's " territorial " scheme (1908), which put the organization of the forces in the United Kingdom (q.v.) on a new basis. Innovations had not been unknown in the period immediately preceding the war; as a single example we may take the development of the mounted infantry (q.v.) It was natural that the war itself, and especially a war of so peculiar a character, should intensify the spirit of innovation. The corresponding period in the German army lasted from 1871 to 1888, and such a period of unsettlement is indeed the common, practically the universal, result of a war on a large scale. Much that was of value in the Prussian methods, faithfully and even slavishly copied by Great Britain as by others after 187o, was temporarily forgotten, but the pendulum swung back again, and the Russo-Japanese War led to the disappearance, so far as Europe was concerned, of many products of the period of doubt and controversy which followed the struggle in South Africa. Side by side with continuous discussions of the greater questions of military policy, amongst these being many well-reasoned proposals for universal service, the technical and administrative efficiency of the service has undergone great improvement, and this appears to be of more real and permanent value than the greater part of the solutions given for the larger problems. The changes in the organization of the artillery afford the best evidence of this spirit of practical and technical reform. In the first place the old " royal regiment " was divided into two branches. The officers for the field and horse artillery stand now on one seniority list for promotion, the garrison, heavy and mountain batteries on another. In each branch important changes of organization have been also made. In the field branch, both for Royal Field and Royal Horse Artillery, the battery is no longer the one unit for all purposes. A lieutenant-colonel's command, the " brigade," has been created. It consists of a group, in the horse artillery of two, in the field artillery of three batteries. For the practical training of the horse and field artillery a large area of ground on the wild open country of Dartmoor, near Okehampton, has for some years been utilized. A similar school has been started at Glen Imaal in Ireland, and a new training ground has been opened on Salisbury Plain. Similarly, with the Royal Garrison Artillery a more perfect system has been devised for the regulation and practice of the fire of each fortress, in accordance with the varying circumstances of its position, &c. A practice school for the garrison artillery has been established at Lydd, but the various coast fortresses themselves carry out regular practice with service ammunition.
End of Article: PEACE
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