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Title: Organisation: How Armies are Formed For War
Author: Foster, Hubert
Language: English
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  119 PALL MALL, S.W.




The Author was led to compile this account of Army Organization owing
to his inability to discover any book dealing systematically with that
subject. Military writers do, of course, make frequent allusions to
Organization, but a previous acquaintance with the subject is generally
assumed. One looks in vain for an explicit account, either of the
principles underlying organization, or of the development of its forms
and methods.

It is true that the word Organization figures in the title of more than
one Military treatise, but the subject is handled unsystematically
and empirically, so that the ordinary reader is unable to realize the
significance of the facts. In some cases the term Organization is
interpreted in so wide a sense as to include not only Tactics, Staff
Duties, and Administration, but any matters of moment to an army. Thus,
in the volume of essays recently published, an author of weight states
that “Organization for War means thorough and sound preparation for war
in all its branches,” and goes on to say, “the raising of men, their
physical and moral improvement ... their education and training ... are
the fruits of a sound organization.”

In the present work, Organization is taken in a more literal and
limited sense. The book would otherwise have tended to become a
discussion of every question affecting the efficiency of armies. The
intention of the Author is to give in broad outline a general account
of Organization for War, and of the psychological principles underlying
the exercise of Command, which it is the main purpose of Organization
to facilitate.

At the same time the organization discussed is not restricted to that
of the British Army, but is that of modern armies in general, as well
as of individual armies in particular, that of the British Army being
described in greater detail, in Part II.

In Part IV. will be found a sketch of the History of Organization,
which should interest any one who, like the Author, is not content with
knowing things as they happen to be at present, unless he can trace the
steps by which they came to be so.

The subject is intentionally not treated with minuteness of detail.
To have made the book a cyclopædia of detailed information about
organization would have obscured its purpose. It is hoped that the work
may prove useful to the increasing numbers of those who have taken up
Military work throughout the Empire, and not uninteresting to general
readers, and students of history.

            HUBERT FOSTER.

  SYDNEY, _June 1910_.



  PREFACE                                                              v

  ABBREVIATIONS                                                       xv

  INTRODUCTION                                                      xvii

                                 PART I

                               CHAPTER I
                       THE OBJECT OF ORGANIZATION

  Command                                                              3
  Definition of Organization                                           4
  The Chain of Command                                                 5
  Units or Formations of Troops                                        6

                               CHAPTER II
                          THE FIGHTING TROOPS

  The Arms of the Service                                              8
  Characteristics of the Arms                                          8
      1. Cavalry                                                       9
      2. Artillery                                                    12
      3. Engineers                                                    13
      4. Infantry                                                     15

                              CHAPTER III

      1. Infantry                                                     17
      2. Cavalry                                                      21
      3. Artillery                                                    23
      4. Engineers                                                    30

                               CHAPTER IV

      1. Mounted Infantry                                             32
      2. Mountain Infantry                                            33
      3. Mountain Artillery                                           34
      4. Machine Guns                                                 34
      5. Cavalry Pioneers                                             35
      6. Cyclists and Motor Cars                                      36
      7. Scouts                                                       37
      8. Field Orderlies                                              39
      9. Military Police                                              39

                               CHAPTER V
                         FORMATIONS OF ALL ARMS

      1. The Division                                                 42
      2. The Army Corps                                               44
      3. Cavalry Corps                                                47
      4. The Army as a Unit                                           48
         The Administrative Services for the above                    51

                               CHAPTER VI
                               THE STAFF

  Composition of Head-Quarters                                        54
  The General Staff                                                   57
  The Adjutant-General’s Branch                                       59
  The Quarter-Master-General’s Branch                                 59
  Staff of Subordinate Commands                                       60
  Importance of the Staff                                             60
  Number of Officers allotted to the Staff                            61

                              CHAPTER VII
                           WAR ESTABLISHMENTS

  Their Object and Utility                                            62
  States and Returns                                                  65
  Reinforcements                                                      66
  Evils of Improvised Organizations                                   68
  Importance of Preserving Original Organization                      69
  The _Ordre de Bataille_                                             71
  Importance of keeping it Secret                                     72
  Consequent drawbacks of Symmetry in Organization                    72

                                PART II
                       _BRITISH WAR ORGANIZATION_

                              CHAPTER VIII
                        THE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

  Its Composition                                                     78
  Composition of Subordinate Commands                                 80
  Strength of the Sub-Commands, and of Whole Force                    83
  Strength of Units of each Arm                                       85
  Composition of their Head-Quarters                                  86

                               CHAPTER IX
                 THE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE (_continued_)

                        ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

  Their Directors                                                     88
  Organization of the Lines of Communication                          90
  The Main Services, having Units with the Fighting Troops            92
      1. Service of Inter-communication                               92
      2. Transport                                                    97
      3. Supply                                                      101
      4. The Medical Services                                        106

                               CHAPTER X
                 THE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE (_continued_)


      5. The Veterinary Service                                      111
      6. The Ordnance Service                                        112
      7. The Railway Services                                        115
      8. The Works Service                                           116
      9. The Postal Service                                          117
     10. The Accounts Department                                     118
     11. The Records Branch                                          119
     12. Depôts for Personnel                                        120

                               CHAPTER XI

  The Territorial Force                                              121
  The Army of India                                                  122

                              CHAPTER XII

  Their Object and Advantages                                        125

                                PART III

                              CHAPTER XIII

  Normal War Organization                                            140
  Organization of each Army                                          141
      1. GERMANY                                                     141
      2. FRANCE                                                      145
      3. RUSSIA                                                      147
      4. AUSTRIA-HUNGARY                                             148
      5. ITALY                                                       150
      6. JAPAN                                                       151
      7. SWITZERLAND                                                 152
      8. UNITED STATES                                               154

                              CHAPTER XIV

  Armies of First Line                                               155
  Armies of Second Line                                              156
  Reserves                                                           158
  War Strengths of the Various Powers                                160

                                PART IV
                       _HISTORY OF ORGANIZATION_

  INTRODUCTION                                                       165

                               CHAPTER XV

  Origin of Organization                                             167
  Earliest Regimental Organization                                   171
  The early Standing Armies of Europe                                175

                              CHAPTER XVI
                       THE EVOLUTION OF INFANTRY

  Early Origins--Pikes--Firearms                                     177
  Infantry under Maurice of Nassau                                   180
  Regiments--Brigades--Battalions                                    180
  Infantry under Gustavus Adolphus                                   182
  French Infantry in Reign of Louis XIV                              184
  Fusiliers--Grenadiers--Light Infantry                              186

                              CHAPTER XVII
                        THE EVOLUTION OF CAVALRY

  Early Origins                                                      192
  Origin of true Cavalry in the “Reiters”                            193
  Cuirassiers--Carbineers--Dragoons                                  194
  Cavalry under Maurice--under Gustavus--under Cromwell--under
      Frederick                                                      195
  Light Horse--Hussars--Lancers                                      197
  Cavalry Brigades--Divisions                                        198

                             CHAPTER XVIII

  THE ARTILLERY                                                      199
  Early Origins--the Artillery Train                                 200
  Battalion Guns--Heavy Guns                                         201
  Improvement in Artillery Organization under Frederick              202
  Horse Artillery--Batteries formed--Military Drivers                202
  Divisional and Corps Artillery                                     203
  THE ENGINEERS                                                      204

                              CHAPTER XIX

  The “New Model” Army                                               206
  The Armies of the Eighteenth Century                               210

                               CHAPTER XX

  Changes in the Wars following the French Revolution                215
  Divisions--Army Corps                                              215
  Details of Napoleon’s Organization                                 218
  Composition and Strength of his Army Corps                         219
  Prussian Organization in the Nineteenth Century                    221
  Proportion of Cavalry and Guns to Infantry                         223

                              CHAPTER XXI

  1. The Staff                                                       225
      The General Staff                                              228
      Napoleon’s Staff                                               230
      Prussian Staff in 1870                                         231
  2. The Supply and Transport Services                               232
  3. The Medical Organization for War                                234

                                 PART V
                           _MILITARY COMMAND_

                              CHAPTER XXII
                         PRINCIPLES OF COMMAND

  Mode of Exercising Command                                         239
  Instructions--Orders                                               242
  Limits of Initiative in Staff Officers                             246

                             CHAPTER XXIII

  The Dynamic Crowd                                                  248
  Its Qualities                                                      250
  Its Leaders                                                        251
  Armies Dynamic Crowds                                              252
  Their Leaders                                                      252
  Will Power--Prestige                                               253

                               APPENDIX A

  ORIGIN OF MILITARY TERMS                                           257

                               APPENDIX B

  REMARKS ON MILITARY NOMENCLATURE                                   265

  DIAGRAM OF FIELD ARMY                                              136


  Page 34, line 2, _for_ “Mounted” _read_ “Mountain.”
   ”  104, line 6, _for_ “lb.” _read_ “oz.” in two places.”
   ”  141, line 6, _for_ “270” _read_ “240.”
   ”  183, line 10, _for_ “100” _read_ “1000.”


A few abbreviations of familiar military terms have been used. These

  A.G.       Adjutant-General.
  Q.M.G.     Quarter-Master-General.
  C.-in-C.   Commander-in-Chief.
  A.D.C.     Aide de Camp.
  N.C.O.     Non-Commissioned Officer.
  Q.M.S.     Quarter-Master-Sergeant.
  A.S.C.     Army Service Corps.
  R.A.M.C.   Royal Army Medical Corps.
  T. and S.  Transport and Supply.
  L. of C.   Lines of Communication.


The Organization which it is the purport of this work to describe is
that of Armies in War. The vast subject of Organization in Peace opens
out too wide a field. It is necessarily different in every country,
being based on national idiosyncrasies, complicated by political,
economic, and topographical conditions. These factors, however
dominating in peace, have less influence on organization for war.
The general features of War Organization are identical in all modern
armies, as they represent the consensus of expert opinion, based on the
practice of great leaders, and on the lessons learnt from success and
failure in recent wars.

There are, of course, many differences in detail, due to the varying
historical development of each army. These really indicate the degree
to which the conservative sentiments retarding improvement have been
bent to the changes necessitated by progress. The strength of tradition
and inertia in armies is enormous. No human institutions--not the Law,
not even the Church--so cherish ceremonial and reverence tradition and
custom, or remain so long blind to changed conditions. In military
arrangements the very object of their existence often seems obscured
by a haze of unessential conventions. Military methods, once suitable,
soon pass into mere forms, which it is considered sacrilegious to
modify, however useless or even harmful they have become.

Among scores of examples of the extraordinary conservatism of military
organization we may remember that England had no transport organized in
the army she landed in the Crimea. We find in Germany Army Corps of two
Divisions, Divisions of two Brigades, and Brigades of two Regiments,
although two is the worst possible number of parts in a unit, according
to Clausewitz and common sense. The twentieth century saw Cuirassiers
in France, Rifles in most armies, and the “parade step” in Germany. The
protean follies of uniform are only now partially disappearing.

The historical portion of this work shows the curious way in which a
new form of organization, designed for a definite end, often loses
sight of its purpose and reverts to a mere variety of the old type,
which then has to put out a new development for the original end. This
is the history of the numerous attempts to provide for Light Infantry
duties at the front.

The above considerations account for a number of odd survivals in
modern armies, and explain many differences in their organization.
These, however, are always tending to diminish under the pressure
of the hard facts of war, which have little respect for national
prejudices and traditions.

A study of the present British war organization, described in some
detail in Part II., will show that it embodies a large number of the
changes suggested by recent wars, and demanded by the trend of modern
military thought. The British Army is the latest to be reorganized,
and the opportunity has been taken, with no less courage than wisdom,
to adopt in every Branch all changes tending to fit it better for the
fighting of the immediate future, as far as this can be forecast. When
the reorganization is completed it is not too sanguine to believe that
the British will be the best organized army of the day.






In the British Field Service Regulations of 1909, Part ii., chap.
ii., par. 1, it is stated that the main object of War Organization
is to provide the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in the Field
with the means of exerting the required influence over the work and
action of every individual. This, it is pointed out, will ensure the
“combination and unity of effort directed towards a definite object,”
on which mainly depends the successful issue of military operations. In
other words, the primary object of War Organization is to facilitate
_Command_--that is, to ensure that every man in the force acts promptly
in response to the will of the Commander.

A secondary object of War Organization is to facilitate
_Administration_, or the supply of each individual in the Force with
all that he requires to make it possible for him not only to live, but
to move and fight. If a Force be ill-organized the process of supply
will be slow, uncertain, and incomplete, the spirit and health of
the men cannot fail to suffer, and the efficiency of the Force as a
fighting body to be reduced.

Both these objects of Organization--_Command_ and
_Administration_--are, however, really inseparable. The channels
through which they act are identical, and the Authority which commands
is necessarily responsible for the Administration which enables his
Orders to be carried out. Solicitude for the well-being of the soldier
is one of the most certain means for obtaining influence over him,
and may be called the main lever for exercising Command. Some further
consideration of the psychological factors of Command, which are
essentially germane to the study of Organization, will be found in Part
V. of this work.


The word “Organization”--literally, providing a body with organs--has
been more elaborately defined, by Herbert Spencer, as “the bringing of
independent bodies into independent relations with each other, so as to
form a single organic whole in which they all work together.” He goes
on to explain this as follows: “In considering the evolution of living
forms we find simple, homogeneous, and non-coherent elements developing
into a complex, heterogeneous, and coherent whole, an organism
controlled by unity of purpose, and comprising a number of functional
parts, which work together in mutual dependence for the common good.”
This definition applies closely to the organization of military
bodies. The elements are represented by the individual soldiers, the
functional parts by the units, while in the Army we see the living

Just as in nature no mere assemblage of cells, or even of functional
parts, can form a living organism, so no collection of individuals,
however efficient--or of small units, however perfect--can in any
true sense be called an Army. It might have the appearance of a real
military force, but it would only be suited to peace. The means by
which it can be made fit for war is _Organization_, without which it
would be little better than an armed mob--inert, or at best irregular
and spasmodic in its movements. An ill-organized army is not capable of
co-ordinated or of sustained action, owing to the difficulty of either
directing its movements or supplying its wants.


It is obvious that a Commander of a Military Force cannot deal
personally and directly with all those under his command, but only
with a limited number of subordinate commanders. Each of the latter in
his turn conveys his will to his own subordinates, and this gradually
broadening system, called the _Chain of Command_, is carried on, till
every individual of the Force receives his Orders. These Orders are
founded on the original directions of the Commander-in-Chief, with
modifications and details added by each lower authority in the chain,
so as to suit the special circumstances of his own Command.

This principle combines unity of control with decentralization of
command and devolution of responsibility. In no other way can ready
and effective co-operation of all fractions of the force to a common
end be ensured.


The method, generally speaking, of War Organization is to provide the
links in the chain of Command by a systematic arrangement, in suitable
groups, of the various troops composing the Army. The smallest groups,
or _Units_, are combined in larger ones, and these again are built up
into more complex bodies, and so on, until the whole Army is formed in
a small number of large bodies, whose Commanders receive direct orders
from the Supreme Commander.

For want of a general name for these bodies it is usual to speak of
them all as _Formations_. The term _Units_, which is often used,
properly applies only to the elementary groups. The largest Formations
are conveniently styled the _Subordinate Commands_ of the Army.

Each category of Formations forms a step in the pyramid of
organization, in which the lowest layer is formed by the Units, the
top layer by the Subordinate Commands, and the apex by the Supreme
Commander. The Commanders of each Formation, from the largest to the
smallest, form the successive links in the chain of Command.

All Formations should have such a strength and composition as to be
in the best relation and proportion to each other, and to the larger
groups which they help to build up. Every Formation should be formed
of at least three subordinate Units. This gives the Commander of the
whole due importance over his Subordinate Commanders, and ensures his
retaining an adequate Command whenever he wishes to detach one of his
Units. This would not be the case were there only two Units in the
whole, for, if one were detached, the Commander of the whole would be
left exercising Command only over the other Unit, already adequately
commanded. The Superior Commander would then be superfluous, and
harmfully interfering with his subordinate. A Formation with three or
more Units can be readily broken up when desired, without affecting the
principles of Command, and is therefore more flexible and efficient
than one with only two Units. Emphasis is laid on this point by
Clausewitz in his classic work “On War.”

It is the purpose of the next few chapters to describe the Units and
Formations constituted in modern armies. But, in order to explain
the reasons which have dictated their strength and composition, it
is necessary first to describe the various kinds of Troops which go
to make up an Army, and their respective methods of fighting, and
functions in war. Organization exists to facilitate fighting, and
cannot be explained without some discussion of Tactics.



Military Forces are of two distinct categories: _Fighting Troops_,
which carry out the actual operations; _Administrative Services_, whose
function is to provide the Fighting Troops with all that they require
to keep up their strength and efficiency.


The Fighting Troops consist mainly, as they have for centuries, of
what are known as “The Three Arms of the Service”--Cavalry, Artillery,
and Infantry. Besides these, however, the introduction of warlike
inventions and the increased complexity of modern war have brought into
being a fourth Arm--Engineers--as well as varieties of fighting troops
for special purposes, which are virtually new Arms, such as Mountain
Artillery, Machine Guns, Cyclists, and Mounted Infantry.


The continued existence of the Arms of the Service for centuries is
due to a gradual differentiation of their mode of fighting, owing to
changes in weapons, and progress in the Art of War. Each Arm has its
peculiar fighting characteristics and its own sphere of action in war,
which will be discussed in this chapter. In the next will be described
the organization which each Arm has evolved in order to enable it to
carry out its functions in war.



Cavalry has been termed “The Arm of Surprise,” owing to the rapidity
with which it can move. This gives it the power to act with little
warning, and from an unexpected direction, against the enemy, and thus
to take advantage of the fleeting opportunities which occur in war for
sudden attack and surprise. It is _par excellence_ the mobile Arm, and
the one best adapted for taking the offensive.

Its power of making long and rapid marches enables it also to be thrown
far to the front, so as to give to the Army protection from surprise,
and to gain the information as to the movements and dispositions of the
enemy, without which the Commander will be at a loss in forming his

Cavalry is required too for the effective pursuit of a beaten foe
who would elude the slow-moving Infantry. It is also the best Arm to
cover a retreat, as it can check the pursuit and then effect a rapid
withdrawal before being completely over-powered.


The disadvantage of Cavalry is that it is very dependent on the nature
of the country for its action. It is useless in steep, rocky, or marshy
ground, or among enclosures, and in woods. Cavalry is also costly to
raise, and requires long training for efficiency. It suffers too from
great wastage of horses in war, due to unavoidable fatigue, short
rations, and bad weather, from which causes horses suffer even more
than men.


In the combat, Cavalry acts both by shock and by fire, the latter
action being now more developed than of old. Indeed the main difference
between the horse-soldiers of the different armies of to-day is whether
their training is directed rather to mounted shock-action, or to
fire-action dismounted; in the latter case, their rapidity of movement
is mainly helpful in getting them to the right place at the right time
to use their fire. The ideal Cavalry would be equally capable of shock
and fire action, and could be employed either mounted or dismounted, as
circumstances and the judgment of the leader might dictate. The British
is perhaps the only Cavalry (as General Négrier, Chief of the French
General Staff, once said) which is trained to this ideal. The Cavalry
of Russia, Japan, and the United States tends rather to action by fire
on foot; that of most Continental armies to shock action mounted.


The use of Cavalry in modern war lies less in its action on the
battlefield than in the all-important work of reconnoitring the enemy,
and protecting its own army--that is, of providing _Information_ and
_Security_. The tendency of the employment of Cavalry in modern war is
towards an entire separation of these two duties.

For the first duty, _Reconnaissance_, Cavalry must try to find out the
strength and situation of the enemy’s forces, and the direction in
which they are moving. For the second duty, _Protection_, Cavalry must
form a screen along the front of the Army, so as to shelter it from
being observed by the enemy’s Cavalry, and to give early notice of the
direction of any attack.

These two duties of Cavalry cannot be performed by the same body. To
get _information_ Cavalry must be able to break through the enemy’s
screen, which can only be effected by beating his Cavalry, and requires
concentration of force. Reconnoitring Cavalry will often also have
to work round the flanks of the enemy. Both these modes of action
must necessarily leave a large portion of the front of its own army

On the other hand, _protection_ demands a dispersion of the Cavalry
along the whole front of the Army, which is exactly opposed to the
concentration generally required for effective reconnaissance.

Again, reconnoitring Cavalry is only concerned with keeping in touch
with the enemy, while protective Cavalry must remain in touch with its
own army.

The distinction between these functions of Reconnaissance and
Protection has become recognized of late years, owing to the increased
importance of the Strategical direction of the large masses of
troops now in the field, which are not easily diverted when once
set in motion, and are more than ever dependent on their Lines of
Communication. Their Commander needs constant and recent information
about the enemy, by which to direct his movements and secure his flanks
from attack. Hence has arisen the practice of providing two distinct
bodies of Cavalry--the _Independent Cavalry_, for reconnaissance
by independent action at a distance in front of the Army; and the
_Protective Cavalry_, spread over a wide area along the front of the
Army so as to form a screen.

In both cases the Cavalry effect the object by sending out squadrons,
which furnish patrolling parties. The duty of these is not only to
discover the enemy’s movements, but to make such arrangements for
transmitting the information gained that it shall reach Head-Quarters
with rapidity and certainty.


Artillery is the most powerful and far-reaching of the Arms in its
_fire_ effect, but cannot act by _shock_. It is the only Arm that can
strike the others at such a distance that they cannot retaliate, and
can injure material objects. Its _morale_ is less liable than that of
the other Arms to fail in battle, as Artillery is more dependent on
the mechanical than the human element for its action. The guns, too--to
which the personnel is attached by sentiment and duty--give a definite
point to hold to when other troops are falling back. It is on all these
grounds a valuable auxiliary to the other Arms.


Artillery, however, is incapable of independent action--it must always
be associated with the other Arms, as it is easily avoided or turned,
and, when moving, is helpless against attack. It takes up a great
deal of space in the column of march, as well as on the battlefield,
where it requires advantageous positions to fire from, and cover for
its horses and ammunition, both often difficult to find. Artillery is
also very dependent on the weather and the nature of the country for
its action, as it requires clear air and good light, and an absence of
hills and woods, to allow the object and the effect of its fire to be
observed. It also needs good roads, and is more obstructed by mud, ice,
or snow on the march than are the other Arms.


Engineers, as a body of officers with men, were only introduced towards
the end of the eighteenth century, but officers of that name had been
employed for centuries on the Staff of Armies, especially at Sieges.

The Engineers are now sometimes styled “The Fourth Arm of the
Service,” not so much because they are Combatant Troops, armed and
trained like Infantry, as because their work on the battlefield is of
interesting tactical importance.

The work with which Engineers with an Army in the Field are charged
presents great scope and variety. It may be catalogued under the
following headings:


Pioneer Work on the march--_i.e._ making roads and removing obstacles;
water supply; bridging of every sort; collecting, making, and using
boats and rafts for ferrying.

Field Work on the battlefield--_i.e._ clearing the communications
and field of fire; marking ranges; demolitions; obstacles; special
earth-work (ordinary trench-work and gun-pits being made by the troops
who use them).

Searchlights in the field.

Inter-communication Work--_i.e._ use of telegraphs, telephones,
wireless, visual signalling, kites, captive balloons.

Aviation by balloon or airship.

Printing and lithography for Orders and Maps.


Engineers are also charged with the following important work on the
Lines of Communication:

Construction, repair, maintenance, and working of railways and
telegraphs; provisional fortification of posts; camping grounds;
formation of workshops and depôts of Engineer Stores; hutting and
housing troops; providing hospitals, offices, and storehouses; water
supply; roads. At sea bases, piers, wharves, and tramways will have
to be provided, and perhaps dredging undertaken, and buoys, beacons,
and lighthouses kept up. Engineers will also have to run any _plant_
needed, such as that for providing ice for hospitals, cold storage,
electric light and power, gas for balloons and lighting.

Engineers are employed in surveying, or mapping the country passed
through by the Army, when this is required in the wilder theatres of
operations, like the Indian Frontier.

Besides their duties with the Field Army, Engineers are as necessary as
ever for the conduct of Sieges, and the defence of Fortresses, in which
services they have constantly been employed for centuries.


Infantry, now the principal Arm, has in modern times recovered the
place which it held in the armies of the Ancient World, but lost in the
Middle Ages when Horsemen were the Men-at-Arms, or the only fighting
men worth considering.

Infantry has for three centuries formed the bulk of every army, being
the easiest to raise and train, and the cheapest to equip and keep
up, as well as the most useful, of all the Arms. On Infantry falls
the brunt of the fighting, and the greatest toil in marching, while
it endures the hardships of a campaign better than the mounted Arms.
It can be used for attack or defence, in close or extended order, on
any ground, and in any weather. Infantry can fight with its _fire_, at
a distance from the enemy, like Artillery, as well as by _shock_, at
close quarters, like Cavalry.

But Infantry is slow in movement, and without Cavalry cannot ascertain
the operations of the enemy, and will therefore be ill-directed in its
own; it is helpless in pursuit, and unable either to complete a victory
or cover a retreat. The action, too, of Infantry fire is limited to
the range of the rifle and the effect of the bullet, so that it finds
in Artillery a useful auxiliary, owing to the greater effect of fire
from guns, and the distance at which they can act. Hence Infantry is
greatly assisted in its fighting by associating it with Cavalry and
Artillery, just as Cavalry is aided by association with Artillery.
It is essential, therefore, that not only every Army, but every Body
of Troops which may have to fight independently, should have a due
proportion of all Arms. This is the reason for organizing Armies in the
_higher Formations_, provided with more than one Arm, as contrasted
with the Units composed of _one_ Arm only. The latter, however, are
the basis of the higher Formations, and their composition and strength
must be considered before describing how they are grouped into larger
bodies. Therefore the Organization of the Units of each Arm will form
the subject of the next chapter.



The formations in which each Arm is independently organized constitute
the _tactical units_ of an Army. Their strength and organization are
intimately connected with the way in which they are used in fighting,
and have varied little since armies first became regularly organized.

The general composition of these Units of each Arm in modern armies
will now be described, beginning with Infantry, the principal Arm.


Infantry, as will be seen in the historical portion of this work,
used to be of various natures, such as Guards, Grenadiers, Fusiliers,
Rifles, and Light Infantry, which still survive, but as names only.
Napoleon said he wanted but one sort of Infantry, and that _good
Infantry_. This aspiration may now be realized. All Infantry, however
designated, is of one kind only, and works in the same manner in war.

The formations of Infantry are the _Company_, the _Battalion_, the
_Regiment_, and the _Brigade_.


The Company, with its three officers--Captain, Lieutenant, and
Ensign--and its Sergeants and Corporals, has been for centuries the
foundation stone of the organization of Infantry. Its Chief, the
_Captain_, is the officer with whom the men are most intimately
associated, as he is responsible not only for their drill, discipline,
and training, but also for their food, clothing, pay, and lodging. The
men’s confidence in their Captain is grounded on this responsibility.
It is to him that they learn to look for their well-being, comfort,
and redress of grievances, as well as for praise or blame. The Captain
is thus in daily contact with the men, and learns to know them, and
be known by them. His influence with his men, owing to these personal
relations, is the keystone of command and discipline, and makes him
their natural leader in action.

To avoid repetition, it may be here mentioned that the same remarks
apply to the _Squadron_ and _Battery Commanders_, who, in the Cavalry
and Artillery, hold the same position with regard to their men as the
Captain does in the Infantry.

The Company is usually divided into _Half-Companies_, commanded by a
Lieutenant, and into four _Sections_, each under a Sergeant; but the
German Company has three Sections under a Lieutenant. The tactical
movements of a Company in action are usually carried out by Sections.


The Battalion of 1,000 men is universally recognized as the Tactical
Unit of Infantry. Operations are ordered, carried out, and recorded by
Battalions. The Battalion is in modern armies provided with transport
to carry its ammunition and entrenching tools, as well as its baggage
and immediate supply of food, so as to render it independent.

The Battalion is commanded in foreign armies by a Major or
his equivalent, but in the British and Russian Services by a
Lieutenant-Colonel. The Battalion Commander is assisted by a Staff
Officer, styled his _Adjutant_, and by a small Administrative Staff.

The number of Companies in a Battalion is, in the British Service,
eight, with 3 officers and 120 men each, but in other armies four, with
4 or 5 officers and 240 men.

The system of dividing the Battalion into a few large companies was
adopted in Prussia during the eighteenth century so as to economize
in officers, partly to save expense, partly because of the dearth of
men fit for commissions, in the increasing army of that small country.
In the huge armies of to-day this system commends itself for the
same reasons; while England and the United States have kept to small
companies, with their original strength of about 100 men. Owing to the
increasing difficulty of exercising control in battle, small companies
give advantages as to Command. They also provide any necessary
detachments, such as outposts and advanced guards, better than large
companies, which may have to be broken up for these purposes. The fact,
too, cannot be overlooked, that in an army of small companies there are
four Captains more per thousand men, which gives a useful reserve of


Two, three, or four Battalions form a _Regiment_, designated by a
number or by a permanent name, territorial or personal. In the Regiment
are embodied the honourable traditions which have accrued in history,
and the _esprit de corps_ engendered by them. The officers are on
one Regimental List for promotion, and so serve continuously in the
Regiment. They thereby acquire a camaraderie, professional feeling, and
personal intimacy with each other and with their men, of the greatest
value in war. In foreign armies, with short service of two years, it is
hardly too much to say that the Regimental Officers really constitute
the permanent army, through which there flows continuously a stream of
recruits, receiving a professional impress from their officers.

The Regiment is in foreign armies commanded by a Colonel (with
sometimes a Lieutenant-Colonel), assisted by an Adjutant and a
small Administrative Staff. The British Regiment is merely a peace
organization never found as a whole in war, and the Battalion, with its
Colonel and his Staff, its Colours and band, its traditions, history,
and _esprit de corps_, represents what in foreign armies we find in
the Regiment. The battalions of the foreign Regiment are merely its
tactical units, just as the companies are to the Battalion.


The Brigade is the largest body formed of Infantry only. In the British
Service, where there is no _Regimental_ organization in war, the
Brigade comprises four battalions. In foreign armies it is composed
of two Regiments (comprising six to eight battalions), a faulty
organization for Command purposes, as shown in Chapter I.

Brigades are commanded by a Brigadier-General, with a Staff Officer,
who is styled in England the _Brigade Major_.


Cavalry, like Infantry, was once of many different natures--“Light,”
“Heavy,” Hussars, Dragoons, Lancers, etc. These names still survive
in the armies of Europe, but the regiments so designated now form
practically only one sort of Cavalry, and are all trained for identical
action in war, although they still bear their historic names and
uniforms, and keep up the old rivalry of their corps traditions.

The formations of Cavalry are the _Troop_, the _Squadron_, the
_Regiment_, and the _Brigade_.


The Tactical Unit of Cavalry has since the seventeenth century been
the _Squadron_ of about 150 men. Its strength in different armies now
varies between 130 and 180 men.

The Squadron is divided into four _Troops_, each of which is commanded
by a Lieutenant. The Squadron leader is a Major or a Captain. The
British Squadron has both these officers, and four Lieutenants.


The Regiment is the permanent and administrative Cavalry Unit, and like
the regiment of Infantry, has its special title or number, its own
history and esprit de corps, and its band.

The number of Squadrons in a Regiment varies in different armies, there
being generally four, but five in the Italian and Japanese, and six
in the Austrian and Russian Services. There are three in the British
Cavalry at home, but four in the Yeomanry and also in India. The
Regiment thus forms a body of from 500 to 900 men, and is commanded by
a Colonel, or a Lieutenant-Colonel, with an Adjutant as Staff Officer,
besides a small Administrative Staff.


The Brigade is formed in most armies of two Regiments, but in the
British, American, and Swiss armies of three--a superior form of
organization for Command, as shown in Chapter I., and one probably
better suited for the tactics of Cavalry.

The Brigade is commanded by a Brigadier-General, with a Staff Officer
(or Brigade Major).


Artillery is of many descriptions, differing in the guns they use,
and their functions in war. Only that brought into the field with an
army, as distinguished from Siege, Fortress, and Coast Artillery, will
be here described. It may be divided into _Field Artillery_, _Heavy
Artillery_, and _Mountain Artillery_.


Field Artillery in the most general sense means the Mounted Branch of
the Arm, which possesses mobility, so as to accompany the other Arms.
Its personnel does not march on foot, so that the guns can move at a
pace beyond the walk, when desired. It comprises _Field Artillery_
proper, or that armed with the Field Gun (or Field Howitzer) and _Horse

_Field Guns_ form the larger portion of all Artillery in the field.
They fire mainly shrapnel, or shell containing small round bullets
which are very effective against the enemy’s men and horses, but
useless against material objects. In foreign armies they have therefore
a small amount of shell filled with high explosive, in addition to the

_Field Howitzers_ use high-angle fire, giving a large angle of descent,
so that they can search out the enemy’s trenches. They are provided
with high-explosive shell in addition to shrapnel, so as to destroy
masonry and field works, which the shrapnel of field guns cannot injure.

Both these varieties of Field Artillery have their Officers and
Sergeants mounted, and carry their men seated on the gun limbers, or on
the wagons, so that they can move at a trot.

_Horse Artillery_ is provided for supporting Cavalry in action. It
is armed with a lighter nature of field gun, and has its personnel
mounted, so as to be very mobile. It can keep up with Cavalry both on
the march and in action, and can move at the gallop when required.


This comprises the heaviest guns and howitzers having sufficient
mobility to accompany an army in the field. It uses shell filled with a
high explosive, as well as a large shrapnel, and is therefore effective
against field works and masonry as well as against men and horses. It
differs from Field Artillery in having less mobility, but longer range
and much greater effect. It generally comes into action at long ranges,
and changes its position as little as possible in action. It will be
very effective against the enemy’s artillery and field works, and its
great range will allow it to bring oblique fire on the vital portions
of his line.

Heavy Artillery is manned by the non-mounted Branch, called _Garrison
Artillery_ in England, and _Foot Artillery_ abroad. It requires
eight-horse teams, and moves only at a walk, the men marching on foot.


Artillery carried on pack animals is used in hilly, enclosed, or rough
country, where wheels cannot pass. It is the weakest form of Artillery
in shell-power, as it is armed with a light gun, which can be carried
on a pack mule. A heavier gun can be carried, if formed of two parts,
each about 200 lb. weight, or a load for one mule, which can be jointed
together for action. The gun carriages, ammunition, and stores are also
carried on mules, and the personnel marches on foot, and is provided
from the “Foot” (or “Garrison”) Artillery. The slowness of Mountain
compared to Field Artillery is compensated in broken country by its
ability to take cover, and to come into action in places inaccessible
to Field Guns, so that it can support Infantry more closely.


The Tactical Unit of Artillery is the _Battery_, of 4, 6, or 8 guns,
with 1 to 3 Ammunition Wagons to each gun. Field guns and wagons have
six-horse teams; Heavy Artillery has eight-horse teams.

In France, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States all Batteries are
of 4 guns.

In other armies all Field and Horse Artillery Batteries are of 6 guns,
except in Austria, where Horse Artillery has 4-gun Batteries, and in
Russia, where Field Batteries have 8 guns.

Heavy Batteries have generally 4 guns, owing to the number of wagons
required to carry a sufficient amount of their heavy ammunition.

Mountain Batteries have 4 guns, except in Russia, where they have 8.

The Battery in all armies has a strength of from 130 to 200 men and
horses. It is divided into _Sections_ of 2 guns with their wagons,
commanded by a Lieutenant, and these into _Sub-Sections_ under a
Sergeant. The _Battery Commander_ is a Captain, except in the Russian
Service, where he is a Lieutenant-Colonel, and in the British Service,
where he is a Major, with a Captain as Second-in-Command to take charge
of the Ammunition Supply in action. To assist the Battery Commander in
action, he has a Staff comprising trumpeters, rangetakers, observers,
signallers, mounted orderlies, scouts, and horse-holders. There is
also a small Administrative Staff, including artificers for repair of
harness and carriages.


Batteries are grouped into larger Units, called in the British
Service _Brigades_. They are commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel, with
an Adjutant, and a Staff for purposes of observation and command,
including telephone and signalling detachments, rangetakers, and
orderlies. This Unit is called an _Abteilung_ in Germany, a _Groupe_
in France, a _Division_ in Russia and Austria, and a _Battalion_ in
Japan and the United States. It comprises as a rule three batteries of
Field Guns, or of Howitzers (or two batteries of Horse Artillery), with
an Ammunition Column. Heavy Batteries in the British Service are not
brigaded, but one, with its own Ammunition Column, forms part of the
Artillery of each Division. In foreign armies they are grouped by twos
or fours into _Battalions_.


In foreign armies the above Units of three batteries are grouped by
pairs into _Artillery Regiments_, commanded by a Colonel with a Staff.
The Divisional Artillery and the Corps Artillery are respectively
formed of one or more Regiments.

Two Artillery Regiments are in some armies grouped into an _Artillery
Brigade_, which forms the Divisional or Corps Artillery, and is
commanded by a General with a Staff.


_Ammunition Columns_ form an integral part of the Artillery, but
they carry ammunition for Infantry as well as for the guns. They are
Fighting Units, because the replenishment of ammunition is a function
of the Fighting Troops, and the movements of Ammunition Columns are
tactical operations. The Ammunition Columns belonging to Units of
Artillery provide the first reserve of ammunition. The second reserve
of ammunition is provided by _Divisional Ammunition Columns_, which in
foreign armies form the _Divisional Ammunition Park_. There is in large
armies also an _Army Corps Ammunition Park_ comprising several Columns,
and an _Army Ammunition Park_, behind which are the _Ammunition Depôts_
on the L. of C.

The Ammunition Columns constitute also a reserve to draw on for
officers, men, teams, and matériel, to replace the losses of the
Batteries. In Manchuria, the men of the Ammunition Columns were, within
twelve months, all absorbed by the Batteries.

An Ammunition Column comprises about 150 to 200 men and as many horses,
with from 20 to 30 ammunition wagons.


In the British Service the organization of the Ammunition Supply is as

The Field Battery and Horse Artillery ammunition wagons carry 176
rounds per gun, those of a Howitzer Battery 88, and of a Heavy Battery
76 rounds per gun.

The Ammunition Column of each Field Artillery Brigade carries 200
rounds per gun for its Brigade. It carries also rifle ammunition
(100 rounds per rifle) for one Infantry Brigade. The Horse Artillery
Ammunition Column carries a supply of rifle ammunition (100 rounds per
rifle) for the Mounted Troops, in addition to gun ammunition at the
rate of 220 rounds per gun.

The Ammunition Column of a Howitzer Brigade, and that of a Heavy
Battery, which have to carry heavier gun-ammunition, at the rate of 70
and 98 rounds per gun respectively, carry no rifle ammunition.

The Divisional Ammunition Column is divided into 4 Sections, giving
three for the three Field Artillery Brigades (carrying 120 rounds per
gun), and one Section with ammunition for the Howitzer Brigade (92
rounds per gun) and for the Heavy Battery (80 rounds per gun), and
also for a proportion of the guns with the Mounted Troops. Each of the
first three Sections carries a reserve of 100 rounds per rifle for one
Infantry Brigade. The fourth Section, having heavier gun-ammunition to
carry, is not burdened with any rifle ammunition.

       *       *       *       *       *

The number of rounds of ammunition with the Force in the field is as


  Per Field Gun with its two wagons     176
  Brigade Ammunition Column             200
  Divisional Ammunition Column          120

Total with troops, about 500 rounds per Field Gun, and rather more per
Horse Artillery Gun. Per Howitzer, or Heavy Gun, about half that per
Field Gun. About an equal amount is in Ordnance Store charge on the L.
of C. ready to replace what is expended.



  On the man                            150
  Regimental Reserve                    100
  Brigade Ammunition Column             100
  Divisional Column                     100


Ammunition for Machine Guns with Infantry is allotted as follows:
With each gun, 3,500 rounds; in Regimental Reserve, 8,000; in Brigade
Ammunition Column, 10,000; in Divisional Ammunition Column, 10,000.
Guns with Cavalry have the same, except twice as much in Regimental


Engineers are allotted to the larger formations of all Arms in the
field, to carry out the varied work required with the troops at the
front, as described in Chapter II.

In foreign armies they are organized in Companies belonging to the
Engineer Battalion of the Army Corps, and one Company is allotted to
each Division, and one to the Corps Troops. Its strength is that of
the Infantry Company (250 men), under a Captain, with three or four
officers. In order that its tools and stores shall accompany it and be
at hand for work, each Company has transport allotted to it from the
“Train Battalion” of the Army Corps. The Cavalry Division has generally
some Engineers, who are mounted or carried on wagons, so as to keep up
with the Division.

A reserve of tools and equipment for the Companies is carried by a
column of wagons called the _Army Corps Engineer Park_.

In the British Service there are with each Division two _Field
Companies_ of Engineers, each having 156 working sappers, and with the
Cavalry Division four _Field Troops_, each with 40 working sappers,
half of whom are mounted, half carried on the tool carts. Thus, if
a Cavalry Brigade is detached, it can take with it a Field Troop of
Engineers. The drivers and transport are integral portions of the
Engineer Troops and Companies.

_Telegraph Companies_ of Engineers are in all armies allotted to each
Command for inter-communication purposes. Those of the British Service
are described later among the Administrative Services, in Chapter IX.

Another Unit of Engineers is the _Bridging Train_, which supplements
the small bridge equipment carried by the Engineer Field Companies.
In foreign armies these Trains are manned by Engineers, but horsed by
the “Train,” and one is allotted to each Division and Army Corps. In
the British Service the Bridging Trains are “Army Troops,” and are not
allotted to Divisions.



It was mentioned in Chapter II. that of late years there have been
added to modern armies a number of new varieties of troops, which it is
not possible to group under the old heads of the Three Arms.

These varieties may be described under the following heads:

  1. Mounted Infantry.
  2. Mountain Infantry.
  3. Mountain Artillery.
  4. Machine Guns.
  5. Cavalry Pioneers.
  6. Cyclists and Motor Cars.
  7. Scouts.
  8. Field Orderlies.
  9. Military Police.

A short description of the functions and organization of these troops
will now be given.


Mounted Infantry is to-day what Dragoons were when first
introduced--that is, Infantry mounted only so as to be quickly moved
to a point where it is to fight on foot. Mounted Infantry is armed only
with the rifle, and is neither trained nor armed for shock action on

The introduction of Mounted Infantry was advocated long ago by Jomini
in his “Art of War” (Vol. ii., chap. viii., sect. 45), but up to now
this Arm only exists in the British Service, and there it is only
organized in war, when Mounted Infantry Battalions are formed of men
from Infantry Battalions trained for the purpose in peace.

British Mounted Infantry is organized in Battalions of 3 Companies with
a Machine-Gun Section, Units of identical strength with the _Cavalry_
Regiment, Squadron, and Machine-Gun Section.

Mounted Infantry is employed in two capacities in the British Service:

(_a_) In the _Mounted Brigades_, in which it acts with Cavalry, whose
shock action it supports by its fire.

(_b_) As _Divisional Mounted Troops_, which are used as Advanced Guards
and Outposts for protection; as Patrols for reconnaissance; as Escorts
for Head-Quarters, Batteries, and Trains; for keeping connection, both
with the Cavalry in front and with adjoining Divisions; for internal
communication in their own Division.


Infantry Battalions specially trained and equipped for mountain
fighting, like the “Alpine Troops” of France and Italy, are kept up in
foreign countries, where warfare may, as often in the past, be carried
on in difficult mountain regions. Switzerland and Austria have Mounted
Infantry Battalions formed into Brigades, to which Mountain Batteries
are attached. Austria has organized _Mountain Transport Squadrons_ for
these Brigades.


The Arm is described under the head of Artillery, in Chapter III. It
is provided for mountain fighting in India, France, Austria, Russia,
Switzerland, and the United States, and in the “Highlands” Division of
the British Territorial Army. In Austria there are Mountain _howitzers_
as well as _guns_.


Every nation has now introduced Machine Guns as a valuable auxiliary
to Cavalry and Infantry. The intention, not as yet fully carried out,
is to form a Unit of two Machine Guns in every Cavalry Regiment and in
every Battalion (or at least in every Regiment) of Infantry. In the
German and some other armies these guns will be taken away from their
Units and grouped by sixes into “sections,” which will be virtually
independent batteries of machine guns.

In the British Service a Section of two Machine Guns is provided by
every Cavalry Regiment and Infantry Battalion. These guns, which
fire from tripods, are carried in wagons with four horses in Cavalry
Sections, for rapidity of movement, and with two horses in Infantry
Sections. The Section is commanded by one of the Lieutenants, with a
Sergeant, a Corporal, and the necessary drivers. To each gun there are
six men, who are of course mounted in the Cavalry Section.

The Germans have adopted the Battery formation. The _Mounted Section_,
for use with the Cavalry Division, consists of 6 guns on four-horsed
carriages, with 3 ammunition wagons. The strength is 1 Lieutenant, 130
men, 90 horses. The officer and sergeant are mounted, and the men are
carried on the gun carriage. The _Foot Section_ forms an extra Company,
the 13th, of each Infantry Regiment. It has 6 guns on two-horsed
carriages, with 3 ammunition wagons. The strength is 1 Lieutenant, 83
men, 28 draught horses. The officer and 3 N.C.O.’s are mounted; the men
march on foot, and are armed with pistols.

In Japan, there is to be a 6-gun Section to each Infantry Regiment,
with a strength of 1 Officer, 1 W.O., 6 N.C.O.’s, 36 men. Guns and
ammunition are carried on 30 pack horses. There will be an 8-gun
Section to each Cavalry Brigade, with a strength of 3 Officers, 87 men.

In Switzerland a Machine-Gun Battery takes the place of Horse Artillery
with Cavalry. It consists of 8 guns, and is carried on pack mules, with
its personnel mounted.


In the Austrian Service a few men from each Cavalry Squadron have long
been trained to perform Engineers’ duties, such as demolitions and
repair of bridges, railways, and telegraphs, and hasty field works.
This plan has been adopted to a limited extent in the British Cavalry,
where a corporal and four men of each Squadron are trained in Pioneer
duties. The German Cavalry Regiment has a Bridging equipment of 4
Pontoons, to form small bridges, or rafts, and a Demolition equipment
carried in the Pontoon wagons, with men of the Regiment trained to use


Cyclist Infantry have been introduced into some armies, to carry Orders
and messages. They will relieve Cavalry of part of their orderly,
scouting, and patrolling work, as they can move as rapidly as mounted
men, as long as the roads are good. Besides these duties it is claimed
that Cyclists can also be used for fighting. Being armed as Infantry,
but more rapid in movement, they could be used like mounted Infantry,
to surprise the enemy with rifle fire from distant and unexpected
places, or to seize and hold important tactical points, such as
bridges, defiles, and hills, before the Infantry can reach them. As
yet, however, it cannot be said that any decision has been arrived at
as to the organization, equipment, and sphere of utility of Cyclists,
or their employment as fighting troops.

In the British Service it is expected that each Unit will furnish a
few Cyclists, and there are bicycles allotted to each Head-Quarters,
to every Unit of fighting troops, and to telegraph companies, for
inter-communication purposes. The Territorial Army has, besides 12
Cyclists per battalion, ten Cyclist Battalions.

The French, who were the first to form Military Cyclists, have a few
companies, each of 4 Officers and 175 men.

The Germans provide 19 Cyclists from each Infantry Regiment, 9 from
each Artillery Regiment, and 6 from each Cavalry Regiment. The latter
will probably be massed as one body in the Cavalry Division, for
transmitting intelligence.

Austria has a Volunteer Cyclist Corps for each Army Corps, and two
Companies of Cyclists are to be attached to each Cavalry Division for
use as fighting troops.

Italy has 24 Cyclists per Infantry Regiment, and two Battalions of
Bersaglieri (or Rifles) are organized as Cyclists.


Motor Cars will be much used in war for conveyance of Generals and
Staff Officers on the march and in action, as the power of covering the
ground rapidly is of great advantage to Command of Troops, enabling
what is passing at a distance to be seen, and decisions to be made and
communicated without delay.

There will be great scope for Motors in carrying supplies to the troops
from railhead, thus rendering the daily supply far more certain, and
obviating blocking the roads with long trains of wagons. This system is
being organized on the Continent.


Scouts are men whose function is to reconnoitre the ground, or the
enemy, without fighting. They are soldiers selected for intelligence,
activity, self-reliance, and powers of observation. (“Infantry
Training,” 1905, p. 73.)

Scouts are taken from Infantry Battalions, Cavalry Regiments, or
Batteries, and work in the neighbourhood of their own Corps and for its
immediate benefit. They move out generally in pairs, so that one man
may take back information, if signalling is not possible.

In the British Service the numbers of Scouts are:

  Infantry: 1 N.C.O. and 6 men per Company, of whom 1 Sergeant and 16
      men per Battalion are First-Class Scouts.

  Cavalry: 1 Officer, as Scout Leader, 1 Sergeant, 24 men, per

  Artillery: One or two “Ground Scouts” in front of the Battery when
      it is manœuvring. Two “Look-out Men” close to the Battery in

German Cavalry has 1 N.C.O. and 2 men per Squadron as Ground Scouts,
and 1 Officer per Regiment in charge of them.

In France 12 mounted Ground Scouts, “Eclaireurs de terrain montés
d’infanterie,” are to be attached to each Infantry Regiment.

The Russians in Manchuria used volunteers from Infantry Regiments as
mounted Scouts, with good results.

Corps of Scouts and Guides have been formed from time to time, as in
the American Civil War, and lately in Canada. They cannot, however,
be said to have any actual existence in organized armies, but will
probably be extemporized in war.


Wellington organized in the Peninsula a Corps of Guides and a Mounted
Staff Corps, who acted as despatch riders and police. Napoleon had
similar corps, and their usefulness is obvious. But it may be doubted
if the multiplication of small special corps is not objectionable and
wasteful of men and horses. Modern practice tends to allot the carrying
of messages and Orders to orderlies furnished at Head-Quarters of
Commands, either by Cyclists, by the men of the Cavalry escort, or by
the Mounted Police.

The Germans have always had at Head-Quarters a small corps of
_Feldjägers_, or mounted orderlies, for carrying despatches, and have
now formed a body of motor-cycle volunteers for this purpose.

In the British Cavalry Division, four men from every squadron are
trained as despatch riders, and Officers of the “Motor Reserve,” with
their cars, are attached to every Head-Quarters, for carrying Orders
and messages.

There is a _Courier Corps_ in the Russian Service, which provides one
section of 4 Officers and 6 N.C.O.’s for each Army Corps Head-Quarters.
Two sections are allotted to Army Commands.


A body of _Police_ is now a necessity for an Army. They comprise
_Mounted_, as well as _Foot Police_. Their duties are to enforce
sanitary regulations, to preserve order, especially in rear of the
Army, and to carry out sentences of Courts-Martial. They ensure
regularity in allotting billets and enforcing requisitions. They
control sutlers and civilians with the Army, protect civil property,
prevent marauding, and arrest stragglers, deserters, and spies. During
action they will be useful in clearing roads, and maintaining order in
rear of the fighting, and later will keep off the ghouls who infest the
battlefield to plunder the dead and kill the wounded.

Small detachments of Military Police are in the British
Service attached to all Head-Quarters, under the orders of the
Assistant-Provost-Marshal. Foot Police will be attached to General
Head-Quarters and those of the L. of C.; Mounted Police to all other
Head-Quarters; while at Base Head-Quarters there will be both.



The Larger Formations are formed by combining in one body a number of
the Smaller Formations composed of Units of each Arm, together with the
Administrative Units required for their service. The body thus formed
is then provided with _Head-Quarters_, comprising the Commander and
his Staff, and other necessary personnel. The numbers of Units and of
Lesser Formations grouped together, and their proportion to each other,
are dictated by past experience and a forecast of future fighting

The bodies thus formed constitute what are called the _Subordinate
Commands_ of the Army. They are self-contained, and capable of
independent existence and action--_existence_, because they have the
necessary Administrative Services to supply their wants; _action_,
because, having considerable strength, and a proper proportion of all
Arms, they can fight for a certain time without support from other
bodies of troops.

In this chapter will be discussed these _Subordinate Commands_ and
the _Administrative Services_ allotted to them. The succeeding
chapter will describe their _Staff_ and the composition of their


The _Division_ is the basis of the higher organization of Armies in
the Field. It may be mainly composed of Infantry or of Cavalry. In the
former case it is generally termed simply a _Division_, in the latter
a _Cavalry Division_. Its Commander is generally a Major-General,
and is provided with a Staff, to which the Heads of the Divisional
Administrative Services are attached.

Divisions are organized on the following general lines in various


The _Infantry Division_ is formed of two or three Infantry
Brigades--that is, of 12, 16, or 18 Battalions. The “two-Brigade”
organization, the most common abroad, is inferior to that of the
British Army in three Brigades, for the reasons already discussed in
the first chapter. The Division is furnished with other Arms to assist
the action of the Infantry, and has generally the following:

  _Cavalry_: 1 Regiment, or sometimes only 2 Squadrons.

  _Artillery_: 4 to 12 Batteries, organized in Brigades, and with the
      Brigades sometimes grouped in Regiments. One or other of these
      formations has an ammunition column. The larger number of guns
      is allotted when, as in Germany and England, no Army Corps
      Artillery exists.

  _Engineers_: A Field Company.

  _Administrative Services_: Ammunition Columns; Supply Columns;
      Field Ambulances; a Field Post Office.

In some armies the Division has also a light Bridging Train; a Field
Hospital; a mobile Remount Depôt; a Finance Office; Chaplains.

The Divisional _Head-Quarters_ comprise, besides the Commander and
his Staff, a number of Heads of Administrative Services, a Telegraph
Company, or “Communication Unit,” Military Police, and the necessary


The _Cavalry Division_ is formed of two or three Cavalry Brigades--that
is, of 16 to 24 Squadrons, in foreign armies. It has also one Brigade
of Horse Artillery of 12 guns, with its ammunition column, and
generally some Mounted Engineers and a Telegraph Detachment.

The British Cavalry Division has 4 Brigades or 36 Squadrons; 2
_Brigades_ of Horse Artillery--that is, 4 Batteries, or 24 guns; 4
_Field Troops_ of Engineers; and a _Wireless Telegraph Company_ in
four sections. It is obvious that by this organization a Brigade can
be furnished with all Units it requires for independent action when

Cavalry Divisions are furnished with the following Administrative
Units: _A Supply Column_; _Field Ambulances_; _Field Post Office_.



This word is a somewhat misleading translation of the original French
term _Corps d’Armée_, which means one of the bodies of troops forming
an army, whereas the English term (which came through the German _Armee
Korps_) might be supposed to mean a Corps which is an army in itself.
It is now generally shortened to _Corps_.


If the Army is very large, there must be an intermediate link in the
chain of Command between its Commander and the Divisions, or there
would be too many Subordinate Commanders for the Army Commander to
direct effectively. This link is provided in the larger armies of
the Continent by the _Army Corps_, formed of two or more Infantry
Divisions. A similar grouping of some of the Cavalry Divisions into
_Cavalry Corps_ may be occasionally found in war.

Jomini pointed out (“Art de la Guerre,” Vol. ii., chap, vii.), and
Clausewitz (“On War,” Book V., chap, v.) endorsed his view, that, for
armies up to 100,000 strong, a _Divisional_ organization was best.
This strength represents five or six Divisions, and one or two Cavalry
Divisions, which may therefore be considered as the maximum number
which an army should comprise, if organized in Divisions only.

The advantages of the _Army Corps_ organization of armies are that the
Supreme Command is facilitated by there being fewer Units to direct,
and that a _few_ important Commanders can be better selected than a
number. This organization also provides a large independent force,
under a Senior Commander, available for any special mission. There
were periods in the South African War when the temporary employment of
several Divisions for a special purpose would have been more effective
had they formed a permanent organization like an Army Corps, with its
own Commander and Staff. At the same time it is undoubtedly true that,
except when unavoidable, the addition of another step in the gradation
of Command is undesirable for many reasons. It is wasteful in Staff; it
tends to delay the transmission of Orders; and the large strength of
the Army Corps gives their Commanders so much importance as to lead to
considerable independence in their action, which may weaken the Supreme

In large armies, however, organization by Army Corps is unavoidable.
We therefore naturally find the forces of the great military powers
of Europe--Germany, France, Russia, Austria, Italy--organized by
_Army Corps_, while the forces of Turkey, Japan, Great Britain, and
the smaller nations of Europe are organized by _Divisions_ only.
Switzerland is about to comply with this principle by transforming her
present Army Corps into Divisions.


An Army Corps is generally composed, after the German model, of two
Divisions, in spite of the ruling of Clausewitz that a division of any
Unit into two parts is the worst possible. This is admitted by von
der Golz in his “Nation in Arms,” and also by von Schellendorf in his
“Duties of the General Staff.” Both agree that an Army Corps should
have _three_ Divisions, but think that it would be difficult to alter
a system so deeply rooted in Germany. This criticism applies also to
the bipartite organization of both Cavalry and Infantry Divisions and
Brigades, which exists in most Continental armies. The Austrians have
therefore adopted a Corps of three Divisions, and the Germans and
French think of adding a Reserve Division to the two forming their Army
Corps. To have three Divisions would undoubtedly strengthen the Command
of the _Corps_, and, by reducing the number of Corps, facilitate that
of the _Army_.

Besides the Infantry Divisions, there are other troops in an Army
Corps--namely, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers, and Administrative

_Corps Cavalry._--The French have a _Brigade_ of Corps Cavalry, the
Russians a _Division_. This is probably a better arrangement for
providing “protective Cavalry” than to rely only on the few squadrons
of _Divisional_ Cavalry, as in Germany and Austria.

_Corps Artillery._--German and Russian Army Corps have no Corps
Artillery; other armies have two or more Brigades, organized in

Heavy Artillery is likely to be allotted to Army Corps or perhaps to
Armies, in foreign armies, as it is in England to the Division.

_Corps Engineers._--A Company or two, with an Engineer Park of tools
and stores, a Bridging Train, and Telegraph Units, form the Corps

The _Corps Administrative Services_ comprise in most armies an
Ammunition Park, a Supply Park, a Field Bakery, Field Hospitals, and a
Remount and Veterinary Depôt.


It has been suggested that the duty of strategic reconnaissance, for
which the Cavalry Divisions are organized, might be better performed if
these were grouped under one Command; but such a permanent combination
of Cavalry Divisions into Corps has only been carried out in Russia,
where there is one Cavalry Corps of 2 Divisions (48 squadrons), or
7,000 sabres and 24 guns. The British Cavalry Division, however,
of 4 Brigades (36 squadrons and 24 guns) is virtually a Cavalry
Corps, except that its internal organization is by _Brigades_ and
not by _Divisions_, and so avoids the evil of bipartite division. An
improvised Corps of 2 Divisions has been tried in German manœuvres,
and it is expected that in war one or more of them will be formed.
They will perhaps be kept in the hands of the Supreme Command for
independent action, each Army Commander retaining a Division or two as
“Army Cavalry.”

To group 2 or 3 Divisions into a Cavalry Corps under one Command makes
it easier and quicker to concentrate them and break through the
enemy’s screen, as long as all the Divisions are moving in the same
direction, and engaged in the same task. But if they are covering a
broad front, and acting on separate objectives, it would be a mistake
to group them under one Commander, who must necessarily be acting
at some distance. In this case, the independence of the Divisional
Commanders will conduce to the quick tactical decisions on which
success depends.

It would seem sound not to distribute the whole of a large Cavalry
force equally among the Divisions, nor the latter equally among the
Armies, but to allot according to the capacity of the Commanders, and
the importance of the strategical work they have to accomplish. If this
be so, there may be something to be said for the French Divisions of
unequal strength, some of 2, some of 3 Brigades. But in the opinion
of von Bernhardi, the leading exponent of modern Cavalry views, even
the usual Continental Division of 3 Brigades is “much too weak,”
seeing that the Brigades are of two Regiments. He strongly advocates a
three-Regiment Brigade, which is that of the British Service.


The Military Forces of the Great Powers have now grown so large that
a further development of organization has become necessary. They are
therefore divided in war into separate _Armies_. _Army_, in this new
sense, does not mean, as it used to, the whole Force, for which,
indeed, some other word than “Army” is urgently needed. An _Army_ is
simply the highest Unit in the organization of a great host in the

This division into separate Armies, each forming a definite Unit, with
its own Commander and Staff, and numbered from right to left, was first
seen in the two great wars carried on by Prussia in 1866 and 1870.
Each Army had its own Lines of Communication, and moved and fought
independently under its Commander, in obedience to general instructions
issued at intervals by Moltke, as Chief of the General Staff, on the
authority of the Commander-in-Chief, the King of Prussia.

This system was followed in Manchuria by the Japanese, who had four,
and later five, Armies in the field under one Supreme Command. It is
now obligatory on all nations putting several hundred thousand men
in the field to organize them in separate Armies. In any future war
between France and Germany each Power will probably form five such
Armies under one Supreme Commander, or “Generalissimo,” as the French
(following Jomini) style him. Each Army will have its own sphere of
action and Lines of Communication.

The modern organization by Armies differs from that adopted by Napoleon
for the invasion of Russia, and in the German campaign which followed
in 1813. It is true that, by forming large detachments to the flanks,
he divided his enormous forces into what were practically separate
Armies; but the main body in the centre was not only by far the most
important, but was under Napoleon’s own command. In fact he commanded
one of the Armies himself, while at the same time directing the
whole Force. It is now recognized that this arrangement was far from
successful, even under Napoleon, and would be impossible for a lesser
man. The Supreme Commander must not himself command one of his Armies.
If he were to attempt this, the other Armies would become merely large
detachments; plans would tend to be based on the movements of the
main body; and the operations of the Armies would lose in scope and

The size of Armies must obviously be limited to the number which one
man can command. This, according to Clausewitz, should not exceed
120,000 to 150,000. The total strength depends mainly on the number of
Subordinate Commands. Napoleon was of opinion that five were enough for
one man to command. Clausewitz laid down eight as the maximum.

In the great hosts of modern nations _Armies_ are not organized in
peace, and their composition in war is kept secret, but it is certain
that they will not consist of less than three, or of more than six
_Army Corps_ (or _Divisions_, where Army Corps are not used), and most
probably of four or five, with two or three _Cavalry Divisions_.

We have thus traced the development of the _Higher Commands_, or those
of all Arms, from the _Division_ to the _Army_, and will now consider
the Administrative Services and Staff allotted to them.


As indicated at the beginning of the second chapter, a number of
Administrative Services are required, to provide the Fighting Troops
with all they need to keep up their strength and efficiency. An army
cannot act without a service of communication for transmission of
Orders; it cannot exist without a supply of food and clothing, fight
without ammunition, or move without transport to carry these stores.
To maintain its discipline there must be Police, and a department of
Military Justice. For reasons of _morale_, the sick and wounded must be
collected and tended, and it is also desirable that its letters should
pass with regularity to and from home, and that spiritual ministration
should be provided.

These points, with the exception of the Medical Services, were as a
rule little considered until the close of the eighteenth century,
when Carnot devoted much attention to them while organizing the
revolutionary armies in France. Napoleon and Wellington improved them
considerably, but they were still very inadequate in England till after
the Crimean War.

In modern armies a good system of administration is universally felt to
be of the greatest importance. Services are therefore organized to meet
the administrative requirements of an army in the field, which may be
classed under the following heads:

Inter-communication throughout the Force.

Supply of food, ammunition, and other stores.

Transport by rail and road.

Medical and Veterinary aid.

Replacing loss in men or horses.

The above bear directly on the fighting; but there are also certain
semi-civil services, which cannot well be dispensed with in war. These
deal with the following matters:

  Guidance as to Law--military, martial, and international.

  Finance, Accounts, the provision and issue of Cash.

  Clerical work, in connection with Statistics, Records, invaliding
      sick and wounded, etc.

  Postal Service.

  Spiritual ministration.


It is not possible to investigate here the various methods adopted in
each foreign army to meet these requirements. The system is generally
that the _Medical Services_ are managed by their own Heads, the
_Communication_, or _Telegraph_, _Units_ are provided by the Engineers,
and the other Administrative Services are regulated by officials called
“Intendants,” who are attached to Divisional and Army Corps Commands,
and have entire responsibility for _Supply_, _Remounts_, _Stores_, and
_Finance_. As to _Transport_, each Army Corps has a “Train Battalion,”
a combatant Unit which provides the Infantry, Cavalry, Engineer, and
Medical Units (but not those of Artillery) with the wagons, teams, and
drivers they require, and furnishes the Transport Columns for carrying

The personnel of the Medical Services is similarly furnished by the
“Army Corps Medical organization,” and the Principal Medical Officers
on the Staff of Divisions and Corps administer the Medical Services.

A Director of Medical Services, an Intendant-General, and a
Judge-Advocate-General are attached to “General,” as well as to “Army,”

As regards the other Services, the _Veterinary_ and _Postal Services_,
and the _Chaplains_, do not generally form part of any higher Staffs
than those of Divisions.

It will be seen that the system is so designed that in the main the
business of Administration in detail falls on the Divisional and Army
Corps Commands, while the Army Command is left free to concentrate its
attention on the enemy.

The principles on which the Administration of an Army in the Field
is organized for war as carried on at the present day, can be best
understood by a study of the British Administrative Services. The
general lines of their organization will be found described in Chapters
IX. and X.




Each of the various formations of Troops just described is completed
by appointing its Commander and providing him with a _Staff_--that
is, a body of Staff Officers to assist him in the duties of Command.
The Commander and his Staff form what is known as the _Head-Quarters_
of every Command. Those of the Commander-in-Chief are termed _General
Head-Quarters_, those of an Army Commander _Army Head-Quarters_, and so
on, down to _Brigade Head-Quarters_.


Head-Quarters consist essentially of the _Commander_ with his _Personal
Staff_, and of the Staff Officers constituting the _Staff_ proper,
which it is the object of this chapter to describe in detail.

The Personal Staff needs little remark. It comprises the officers
acting as _Aides de Camp_ to the Commander, and in important
Head-Quarters there is also a _Military Secretary_. These officers
act as confidential secretaries to their Chief, carry his Orders,
manage his household, and arrange for its movements. Their relations
with their Chief are more personal than official, and they are not
considered to be Staff Officers.

Besides the Staff, there are generally attached to Head-Quarters a
number of other Officers, such as those of Administrative Services, and
in some armies Officers of Artillery or Engineers. But these cannot
be properly called Staff Officers, as they have only a limited sphere
of action in the Command, while they perform definite executive and
administrative functions in their own sphere. The action of _Staff
Officers_, on the contrary, ranges over the whole Command, but they
have no personal responsibility or executive functions. In fact they
are useful appendages to each link of the chain of Command, but not
actually links in it themselves.

In addition to _Officers_, there are always connected with
Head-Quarters a number of subordinates, such as interpreters, clerks,
police, printers, lithographers, telegraphists, signallers, cyclists,
motor-car drivers, orderlies, and postal employees, as well as grooms,
servants, cooks, and drivers for the wagons which transport the offices
and baggage of the Head-Quarters.

Head-Quarters are therefore so large as to form virtually a Unit in
themselves. This Unit requires a _Commandant_, or Officer responsible
for its movement, quartering, and discipline, with perhaps a
Quarter-Master-Sergeant to assist him. There would generally be with
each Head-Quarters a small body of Military Police to maintain
discipline, and Medical and Veterinary Officers to take charge of the
health of the officers, men, and horses at Head-Quarters. The safety
of Head-Quarters is so important that they must be provided also with
Infantry to guard them, and Cavalry to form their escort when in rapid


The number and description of Staff Officers allotted to a Command
depend on its importance, and on the duties they have to perform.

The duty of the Staff Officer is defined as follows in British Field
Service Regulations: “To assist the Commander in the supervision and
control of the operations and requirements of the Troops, to transmit
his Orders, and to assist the Troops in carrying them out.” In the
British Service these duties are divided among three Branches of the
Staff--the _General Staff_, the _Adjutant-General’s Branch_, and that
of the _Quarter-Master-General_.

The Staff has in foreign armies become differentiated into two
Branches--the _Routine Staff_, which the Germans style _Adjutantur_;
and the _General Staff_, which assists the Commander in all matters
directly affecting the fighting. The Prussian General Staff is nearly a
century old, and forms in general features a model of the General Staff
more recently instituted in other armies. Its development from the
Quarter-Master-General’s Staff is sketched in the historical part of
this work.

A short analysis of the main duties devolving on these different
branches of the Staff will now be given.


The purpose of the Commander is to defeat his enemy, and in
endeavouring to effect this object he has two main pre-occupations:

1. To watch the movements and forecast the plans of the enemy.

2. To make his own plans, and to decide on the movements and
distribution of his forces required to carry them out.

In order that the Commander may devote his whole attention to these
vital matters, he should be as far as possible relieved from details,
and these fall within the province of his General Staff.

We thus see that the main duties of the General Staff should correspond
to those laid down for the General, and may be summed up under the
following heads:

  1. _Intelligence_, to enable the Commander to watch the enemy’s
      movements, and make his plans.

  2. _Operations_, by which his plans are carried out.

Each of these headings comprises an immense amount of detailed work,
which cannot be here dwelt on further than to indicate its general

  1. _Intelligence_ means collecting information about the enemy and
      the theatre of war, from every possible source, and arranging
      for its transmission to Head-Quarters, to be examined and
      collated, and then laid before the Commander. This subject
      also includes everything connected with maps and topographical
      information, as well as Press Censorship, and provision of
      interpreters and guides.

  2. _Operations_ include:

      (_a_) Working out details of dispositions and movements of
      troops, as to their _units_ and _numbers_, with especial
      attention to _place_ and _time_, and attention to the security
      of the troops in movement and at rest.

      (_b_) Embodying the Commander’s plans in clear and concise
      “Operation Orders.”

      (_c_) Transmitting these Orders with certainty and despatch.

      (_d_) Watching, and ensuring, their due execution.

The services of _Inter-communication_ must be carried on under the
control of the General Staff, so as to ensure the rapid transmission of
Information to, and Orders from, Head-Quarters.

But in addition to the above responsibilities which fall on the General
Staff, there are also Staff duties involved in assisting the Commander
to keep his Command in a state of efficiency, which depends on the
following requirements:

First, that its organization, discipline, health, and numbers be kept

Secondly, that its material wants be met.

These duties do not bear directly on the fighting, and so do not fall
to the General Staff, but to the other branches.


Duties under the first heading are undertaken by the Staff of the
_Adjutant-General_, which deals with the following matters affecting
the personnel of the Command: discipline, law, and police; pay,
interior economy, and routine Orders; casualties and returns;
appointments, promotions, and rewards; reinforcements, and organization
of improvised units and local levies; the disposal of prisoners;
collecting the wounded and burying the dead. All possible office work
in connection with these matters should be done at the Base, so as not
to burden the Troops in the Field with clerical work carried on under

Since the Adjutant-General’s Branch is responsible for the _health_ of
the Force, the Medical Services are placed under its control in the
British Service. In foreign armies they are administered by their own
Heads at Head-Quarters of Divisions and Army Corps, under the control
of the General Staff.


The second heading (supplying the material wants of the Army)
comprises, besides the duties of the Medical Services mentioned above,
those of the Supply, Store, Transport, and other Administrative
Services. The work of the latter is carried out in detail by
the Heads of those Services, who are under the control of the
_Quarter-Master-General’s_ Staff in the British Service. In foreign
armies, where there is no Q.M.G.’s Staff, they are under a Civilian
Official called the _Intendant_, who works under the control of the
General Staff in each Command.

The British Staff Organization, which concentrates these Administrative
Services under the Q.M.G., is no doubt a better arrangement. It
relieves the General Staff of pre-occupation regarding their working,
and minimizes any failure of adjustment between the Field Units and the
Services on the Lines of Communication, by charging a special Branch of
the Staff with their co-ordination.


The above description of Staff work refers in its entirety only to
General, or Army, Head-Quarters, but a similar organization of Staff is
applicable on a smaller scale to Head-Quarters of Subordinate Commands.
In small Head-Quarters the same Staff Officer may have to undertake
more than one set of duties.


The importance to the Army of a competent Staff can be judged from
the above account of their duties. The Staff forms the nervous system
of the Command. The better trained the Staff, the more free will
the General be to concentrate his attention on the situation, and
his Subordinate Commanders to carry out his plans with co-operating
intelligence. Good Staff Officers, it has been well said, are eyes,
ears, and hands to their Chief.


In organizing the Staff of any Command it is desirable to keep the
number of Officers at a minimum, as not only does every appointment
to the Staff weaken some fighting unit, but a better selection is
possible if there are only a few appointments to fill. There will be
also less difficulty in finding accommodation in the field for a small
Head-Quarters, and less delay or confusion in moving it. It should not
be forgotten, too, that there will not always be enough work for a
large Staff to do, and that, when men are not fully occupied, mischief
and friction are apt to arise.




The previous chapters, describing the Units of the various Arms,
and their grouping into the larger Formations, give only the broad
lines of the organization of the Army. The detailed composition or
_Establishment_ of each Unit is shown in a table giving the numbers
of Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers by their ranks, of men
according to their various functions, and of horses--riding, draught,
and pack. These numbers make up what is termed the _Strength_ of the
Unit. Similarly, there are laid down Establishments for the larger
Formations, which are given in tables showing the Head-Quarters, the
numbers of Units of fighting troops and the Administrative Services,
and the total numbers of personnel and animals, according to their
various categories.

It is convenient to add to these Establishments a statement of the
_Transport_ of each Unit or Formation, showing the guns, wagons, and
carts, of all descriptions, with the drivers and animals required.

The Strength given in Establishments represents the total numbers of
men and animals drawing rations daily in the field, and may be termed
the _Ration Strength_. It is often summed up as so many “officers” and
“other ranks” (or so many of “all ranks”) and horses. The _Fighting
Strength_ means the number of men actually available for fighting,
and the number of guns horsed and manned. The Fighting Strength is
generally reckoned as so many _rifles_, or men fighting on foot, so
many _sabres_, or mounted fighting men, and so many _guns_. The number
of men with the guns is not included in the fighting strength, nor
are officers, Staff Sergeants, or Drivers. But all Cavalry officers,
even the Commanders and Staff, might strictly be counted as “sabres,”
as they actually fight with the same arm as the men, which Infantry
officers do not.

It will be observed that in the larger Formations there is a great
discrepancy between the _Total Strength_ and the _Fighting Strength_.
This is due to the numbers of men employed for non-combatant functions,
or in the auxiliary services, and of horses required for transport.
Thus, in a German Army Corps the total strength is 41,000 men, 14,000
horses, and 2,400 vehicles; while the fighting strength is 25,000
rifles, 1,200 sabres, and 126 guns. In the British Cavalry Division the
total strength is nearly 10,000 men and horses, and 550 vehicles; while
the fighting strength is under 6,000 sabres, with 24 machine guns and
24 guns.

Tables of War Establishments furnish a complete statement of the
Organization for war. On them are founded the necessary calculations
for mobilizing the peace army, for its transport by sea or rail to the
theatre of war, and for its supply with food, ammunition, clothing, and

The _mobilization_ of a Unit for war may be defined as providing it
with the men and animals required to complete its War Establishment,
and with its _War Outfit_, or the matériel of all kinds with which it
has to be furnished for War. This War Outfit is in the British Service
considered under the following heads:

  (_a_) The _Personal Kit_ of each soldier--that is, his _clothing_
          and small _necessaries_.

  (_b_) _War Equipment_, which is _personal_ or _regimental_.

        _Personal Equipment_ comprises the Arms and Ammunition carried,
        and the Accoutrements worn, by each soldier.

        _Regimental Equipment_ comprises guns, reserve of ammunition,
        vehicles, harness, saddlery, stationery, butchery and cooking

  (_c_) _Regimental Supplies_ of food and forage.

  (_d_) The _Medical and Veterinary Equipment_ allotted to the Unit.

These Establishments are laid down for the most important, or the
most likely, wars which the nation may have to wage. They represent
the normal requirements, which are those of a campaign in a civilized
country, and in a temperate climate. The tables would be altered in the
case of war under other conditions, such as in hot or cold climates or
seasons, in mountain warfare, in fighting savages, in quelling civil
insurrection, or when a force is designed for special and limited
operations, such as a raid, or the capture of an oversea fortress.

Instances of such improvised organization may be found in most
British campaigns of the past two centuries, and of late years in the
Expeditionary Forces sent by France to Madagascar, by the United States
to Cuba, and by Germany to South-West Africa.


War Establishments by no means represent the real strength during a
war. It may happen that the Army engages in the war without its war
establishment being completed. But even if each unit were at its
correct war establishment when entering on the campaign, this will
not long represent its actual strength. Sick and stragglers waste the
ranks daily. After fighting, the missing, wounded, and dead have to
be deducted. From time to time reinforcements are added in irregular

Besides the wastage of units, the whole force at the front is apt to
become reduced by detachments being taken to guard communications, to
escort prisoners or convoys, to garrison fortresses, or to undertake
sieges. Napoleon considered that out of every 8 men in an army, only 5
could be counted on as available for the decisive battle of the war.

It is, however, essential for every Commander to be kept informed
of the state of his Command for fighting purposes, which the
Establishments do not show. This information is supplied by every
Commanding Officer of a Unit in a document called a _State_, rendered,
as a rule, daily. The _State_ shows the fighting condition of the
unit, its strength in officers, men, horses, and guns, the amount of
ammunition in hand, as well as any other points affecting its fighting
efficiency. A State may be rendered by telegraph, or even verbally, to
ensure its prompt arrival.

_Returns_ of strength are also made by every Commanding Officer. These
differ from _States_ in being rendered at longer intervals, so that
they can be more deliberately and accurately made out. They are used
for purposes of record and accounting.


The importance of keeping up the effective strength of the Army cannot
be exaggerated. Drafts of reinforcements should be prepared at the
outset, and the supply continuously maintained. There is no principle
of organization more clear than the necessity of keeping the existing
units up to strength, and not reinforcing with new units, even if the
numbers added to the Army be the same in both cases. New units are not
so efficient as the weak old ones reinforced by fresh men. They will
soon become mere skeletons like the old units, after which the Army
will consist of a great number of very weak units--a state of things
very detrimental to Command and force of action.

The wastage of war falls mainly on the Infantry, whose losses in battle
and sufferings on the march exceed those of other Arms. Far more
losses are incurred on the march than in the fighting. Marching is the
rule of the soldier’s life in war, fighting the exception. Infantry
wastes away like snow in the sun, as it marches; footsore men fall
out, and fatigue and privations cause illness. The statistics of the
diminution of the two finest of the Prussian Corps in 1870 are most
striking. The Third Corps, which fought so well at Spicheren on the 6th
August, and magnificently at Vionville on the 16th, losing in these
battles 350 men per battalion, dropped 200 per battalion on the road.
The Guards, who entered France with 30,000 Infantry, had only 13,000
rifles after Sedan, a month later, and 8,000 when they reached Paris,
their loss in battle being only 8,350. The battalions therefore had
lost 300 men on the road, apart from fighting, during the first six
weeks of the war.

In a hard campaign it seems likely, therefore, that a loss of at least
100 men per battalion per month must be expected during hard marches,
besides losses in fighting which may amount to more. Some Prussian
Regiments lost from 300 to 500 men per battalion during one day’s
fighting in 1870.

The strength of Head-Quarters of Commands, and of Administrative
Services, remains fairly constant during a campaign, as does the number
of guns. Mounted men waste less than Infantry, as they do not become
footsore, and do not carry the weight of their equipment, which rests
on the horse.

To remedy the wastage of war, the British organization provides for
each Unit proceeding to the theatre of operations a Reserve, extra to
its Establishment, amounting to 10 per cent. of its number of rank and
file. These men are at first retained at the Base, so as to be readily
available, and are called the “First Reinforcements.” It is calculated
that subsequent reinforcements, amounting to some 60 per cent. of the
total strength of the Force, but mainly required for the Infantry,
are likely to be sufficient to replace the wastage of the first year
of a war. For the British Expeditionary Force of 153,000 in the Field
the strength of First Reinforcements is 14,000 and that of subsequent
Reinforcements will probably be about 2,700 officers and 75,000 men.


It might be considered that the larger formations of all Arms need
not be permanently organized, but might be improvised for War. This
was formerly the system in all armies, and persisted in the British
Service until a few years ago; while in the United States there is even
now no higher unit than the Regiment. But improvised bodies of troops
are not so efficient as permanent formations. This could be shown by
many examples from history. The force defeated at Majuba was formed of
Companies of several Regiments, and in 1870 the working of the German
Cavalry Divisions, which were formed only on mobilization, left much to
be desired.

There are several advantages in assembling troops, in permanent
Commands. In the first place, the training together of all Arms, and
of their various units, creates confidence throughout the force. It
can be easily seen how they will learn to know each other’s methods of
action, and to rely on their mutual co-operation. For instance, it has
been found how much better Artillery supports the other troops of its
own Division, whom it has been accustomed to work with.

In the second place, where Staff Officers work constantly together, and
understand each other, their work will be better and more rapidly done.
Also, when troops are accustomed to work with the same Staff, Orders
can be short and concise, and therefore more quickly drafted, and
better understood. All this saves time, and much increases the mobility
on which depends success in manœuvring.

In the third place, it is most desirable that the Chief should know his
Staff and still more his Subordinate Commanders. He will thus be able
to apportion to each officer a task suited to his qualifications. This
tends to efficiency in Command.

The Administration, too, of improvised units always leaves much to be
desired. The Administrative Services of each portion may be permanent
and adequate, but additional ones will be required for the new Unit,
as well as improvised Head-Quarters. MacMahon’s failure at Wörth was
partly due to his having to command a detached Army with only the Staff
of his own Army Corps.


The organization of a force regulates the conditions of its command and
administration, and should be altered during the war only if it be
absolutely necessary to do so. Any alteration interrupts the accustomed
channel for Orders, necessitates changes in Commanders and Staff, and
disorganizes the system of Supply. An improvised unit, it has already
been shown, is never so efficient as a permanent one, and to form one
will rob some existing units to provide the new Commander and Staff.
Change in organization, therefore, makes control less effective, and
tends to confusion in administration, and to general diminution of
efficiency in the Force.

At the same time, the original organization must not be regarded as
immutable, if the Commander-in-Chief considers it necessary to alter
it. This is definitely laid down in Field Service Regulations, Part
ii., sect. 8, pars. 6 to 10. A redistribution may become imperative for
reasons of Strategy or Command, but fewer occasions for this necessity
will arise if the original organization has been well thought out, so
as to meet all requirements which can be foreseen. In the South African
War the organization by Army Corps was given up at the beginning, and
has never been revived. But in this connection it may be submitted that
the frequent formation of improvised sub-commands for special purposes
was responsible for loss of force in their leading, which sometimes
entailed failure, as in the case of De Wet’s escape.

It is a rule that units should, if possible, be kept intact when
forming detachments like Advanced Guards, or those for special
operations, which should not be formed out of fragments of several
units, like the force defeated at Majuba Hill in 1881.


In planning the movements of a force it is desirable to keep the
Sub-Commands in the same relative position throughout. Thus, a corps
originally on the right of another should not get to the left of it,
nor one in rear pass another in front of it. This will avoid useless
marching and delays, and confusion in the trains in rear.

This may be summed up as the principle of maintaining the original
_Ordre de Bataille_. This expression, which originally meant the
“battle array,” or order in which the Army was drawn up for battle,
is sometimes used to denote the strategical array, or the composition
and distribution of the various formations which make up the Army.
The _Ordre de Bataille_ has no longer any reference to their
relative positions on the battle ground, which necessarily change
with the circumstances of each engagement. But this document is
still indispensable for an army. No Orders can be drafted except by
referring to it, and without it the direction and control of an army
would be impossible. A knowledge of the _Ordre de Bataille_ of the
enemy--that is, of the composition and distribution of the Subordinate
Commands of his army--is obviously of the first importance in planning
movements and combinations against him. It can generally be arrived
at from a study of his peace organization and his railway facilities
for concentration, corrected by any information procurable as to the
position of his troops. This information may come from various sources,
such as newspaper reports of the progress of his concentration,
captured documents and letters, deserters, and spies. After an action,
the insignia on the uniforms of dead, wounded, and prisoners, the
lettering of captured guns, wagons, and baggage, give valuable hints as
to the units engaged. It is open to question whether such information
might not be withheld from the enemy.

In the Manchurian War the Japanese carefully avoided helping the enemy
by indicating units on uniforms, and instructed their men, when wounded
or captured, to refrain from stating their Corps. They increased the
strength of their Divisions, altered the number of Divisions composing
each Army, and even formed an additional Army out of time-expired
reserves, without the facts leaking out. This greatly hindered the
Russians from estimating the Japanese strength in the different
sections of the great battles.

Napoleon made a practice of allotting larger numbers to the Army Corps
and Divisions commanded by his best Generals, and this irregularity was
increased by his constantly raising additional battalions and squadrons
to meet special exigencies, and by incorporating foreign contingents
in his armies. The result was, the French _Ordre de Bataille_ was so
irregular as to make any _a priori_ calculation of strength on the part
of his enemies of doubtful value.

The difficulty consequently found by the historian in calculating the
strengths, and following the movements, of the French Armies in the
Napoleonic Wars is a measure of that which his enemy’s Staff must have
met in arriving at a definite idea of the strength and disposition of
the French Forces at any given moment.

It is plain that the modern aim of making organization so logical and
methodical that the Staff can more easily plan operations, and write
correct Orders, had little weight with Napoleon. He was himself his own
Chief of the General Staff, and had a memory which no complexity could
confuse. It may be a question whether modern symmetry of organization
may not be really injurious to success, because highly informing to
the enemy. Simplicity and symmetry are obviously useful in saving
difficulties to the Staff; but this advantage may be bought too dearly,
and a complicated and illogical organization might be the best for war,
so as to prevent the enemy acquiring information.






The British Troops organized for service in the field consist of the
_Expeditionary Force_, formed by the Regular Army and its Reserves,
and the _Territorial Force_, composed of troops which are virtually
Militia, undergoing only a slight annual training, and engaged in their
civil avocations during the rest of the year. To these may be added
the regular troops in the Mediterranean (Gibraltar, Malta, and Egypt),
and in South Africa, from which a Division may be formed to add to the
Expeditionary Force. The forces of the self-governing Dominions need
not be considered. They are hardly as yet organized as Field Armies,
and are kept up for Local Defence. There is also the _Indian Army_,
composed of regular troops, British and Indian.

The _Expeditionary Force_ corresponds to what in foreign countries is
termed the Army of _First_ Line, and the _Territorial Force_ to the
Army of _Second_ Line; the former being intended for action against our
enemies abroad, and the latter for Home Defence.


The _Expeditionary Force_ comprises essentially the following bodies of

  One _Cavalry Division_, as Independent Cavalry.

  Two _Mounted Brigades_, as Army Protective Cavalry.

  Six _Infantry Divisions_, to which may eventually be added a
      seventh from the Mediterranean and South Africa.

The Force will be provided with a _General Head-Quarters_, and with an
_Army Head-Quarters_ if it is proposed to divide it into two Armies.

There will also be allotted to the Force certain Units under the
immediate command of the Commander-in-Chief, termed “Army Troops.” Some
of these Units will also be allotted to any separate Armies which may
be formed.

Units of Troops will also be provided for duties on the Lines of
Communication. These will consist of the “L. of C. Defence Troops,”
and of the Head-Quarters and Administrative Services on the Lines of

The composition of the various Head-Quarters, and the number and nature
of the Units of Army Troops, and of the Units on the L. of C., will
depend on the conditions of the campaign, which will vary according to
the enemy to be encountered, the climate and nature of the theatre of
war, and the character of the Lines of Operations and Communications.

It was explained in the previous chapter that in order to allow of
normal Establishments to be drawn up, the assumption is made that the
war will take place in a civilized country and in a temperate climate.
A _normal_ Line of Communications is also assumed, consisting of a
Seaport or a Base, a railway from it 100 miles long, and two lines of
road 30 miles long from Railhead to the Advanced Bases.

The following pages show the composition of the whole Force and of
the various Subordinate Commands forming it, as well as that of the
various Head-Quarters, the “Army Troops,” and the Troops on the Lines
of Communication. The Establishments of the various Fighting Units are
also given, followed by a table of their strength in round numbers of
officers, men, and horses actually belonging to the Unit.

Some notes on the general principles on which the Establishments have
been drawn up will first be given.

A _Medical Officer_ is attached to each unit, and a _Veterinary
Officer_ to each mounted unit.

Two to five men of the _Medical Corps_ are attached to each unit,
according to its strength.

A _Bâtman_--that is, an officer’s servant or groom--is provided for
each Officer, and a second one if he has more than one horse. Bâtmen
are armed and trained soldiers, taken from the unit, and available for
duty in its ranks.

_Draught Horses_ are allotted as follows: six to each gun or
ammunition-wagon, four to each wagon, and two to each cart. Spare
horses are provided at the rate of 10 per cent. of the total.

One _Driver_ is provided for each pair, and 10 per cent. of _spare
drivers_ are added, but this number is 5 per cent. in the case of
Divisional Ammunition Columns, and T. and S. Parks.

Two _Trumpeters_, _Drummers_, or _Buglers_, are allotted to each
Squadron or Company of Fighting Troops.

The _Regimental Sergeant-Major_ is a Warrant Officer. There is one in
each Cavalry Regiment, Infantry Battalion, and Artillery Brigade.




  3 Cavalry Regiments.


  4 Cavalry Brigades.
  _Cavalry Divisional Troops_:
    _Cavalry Divisional Artillery_:
      2 Horse Artillery Brigades.
    _Cavalry Divisional Engineers_:
      4 Field Troops.
      1 Wireless Telegraph Company.
  1 Transport and Supply Column.
  4 Cavalry Field Ambulances.


  4 Infantry Battalions.


  3 Infantry Brigades.
    _Divisional Troops_:
      _Divisional Mounted Troops_:
      2 Mounted-Infantry Companies.
    _Divisional Artillery_:
      3 Field Artillery Brigades.
      1 Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade.
      1 Heavy Battery and Ammunition Column.
      1 Divisional Ammunition Column.
    _Divisional Engineers_:
      2 Field Companies.
      1 Divisional Telegraph Company.
    _Administrative Services_:
      1 Divisional Transport and Supply Column.
      1 Divisional Transport and Supply Park.
      3 Field Ambulances.


  2 or 1 Cavalry Regiments.
  1 or 2 Mounted-Infantry Battalions.
  1 Horse Artillery Battery and Ammunition Column.
  1 Transport and Supply Column.
  1 Cavalry Field Ambulance.


  2 Mounted Brigades, to act as Army Protective Cavalry.
  2 Squadrons,           } as Escort for Head-Quarters.
  1 Infantry Battalion,  }
  2 Cable Telegraph Companies,    }
  2 Air-line Telegraph Companies, } Communication Units.
  3 Balloon Companies,            }
  2 Bridging Trains.
  1 Transport and Supply Column.
  2 Field Ambulances for the Army Troops.



The following are, _in round numbers_, the strengths of the
Expeditionary Force and of its component portions:

                      |All Ranks.|Horses.|Machine|Guns.|Vehicles.
                      |          |       | Guns. |     |
  Cavalry Brigade     |   1,700  |  1,800|    6  |  —  |     55
  Cavalry Division    |   9,800  | 10,000|   24  |  24 |    600
  Mounted Brigade     |   2,300  |  2,350|    6  |   6 |    135
  Infantry Brigade    |   4,150  |    300|    8  |  —  |     65
  Infantry Division   |  19,700  |  7,300|   24  |  76 |  1,200
  Six Divisions       | 118,000  | 43,700|  144  | 456 |  7,200
  Army Troops         |   8,400  |  7,000|   14  |  12 |    600
                      |          |       |       |     |
  FIELD UNITS         | 136,500  | 62,000|  182  | 492 |  8,000
  On the L. of C.     |  17,000  |  7,000|    4  |  —  |  1,200
    TOTAL FIELD FORCE | 153,500  | 69,000|  186  | 492 |  9,200
  First Reinforcements|          |       |       |     |
      at Base         |  13,500  |  1,000|   —   |  —  |    —
          GRAND TOTAL | 167,000  | 70,000|  186  | 492 |  9,200



  Infantry                         84,000  all ranks.
  Cavalry                           9,000     ”
  Mounted Infantry                  4,000     ”
  Artillery                        32,000     ”
  Engineers                         7,500     ”
  Army Medical Corps                9,500     ”
  Army Service Corps               16,000     ”
  Other Services and H.Q.           5,000     ”
                        Total     167,000

This total includes some 6,000 Officers.



 KEY: A: Officers.
      B: Warrant Officers, Staff Sergeants, Sergeants.
      C: Artificers.
      D: Trumpeters, Buglers, or Drummers.
      E: Rank and File.
      F: Total all ranks.
      G: Horses or Pack Mules.

                                            | A| B| C| D| E |  F  |  G
 CAVALRY: Squadron                          | 6|10| 8| 2|138|  164|  175
   Machine-Gun Section                      | 1| 1| —| —| 23|   25|   33
   Regiment                                 |25|38|28| 6|456|  553|  590
                                            |  |  |  |  |   |     |
 ARTILLERY: Horse Artillery Battery         | 5| 9| 9| 2|183|  208|  234
   Field Battery                            | 5| 9| 9| 2|178|  203|  180
   Howitzer Battery                         | 5| 9| 9| 2|166|  191|  158
   Heavy Battery                            | 5| 8| 8| 2|148|  171|  118
   Heavy Battery with Ammunition Column     | 6| 9|12| 2|201|  230|  177
   Field Artillery Brigade                  |25|38|42| 9|850|  964|  959
   Field Artillery Brigade Ammunition Column| 5|10|14| 2|285|  316|  389
   Divisional Ammunition Column             |20|15|44| 2|748|  829|1,048
   Divisional Ammunition Column, one Section| 4| 3|11| —|181|  199|  253
                                            |  |  |  |  |   |     |
 ENGINEERS: Field Troop                     | 3| 4| 2| 1| 74|   84|   81
   Field Company                            | 6| 8| 1| 2|198|  215|   73
   Bridging Train                           | 7| 9| 5| 2|211|  234|  331
   Communication Units —see                 |  |  |  |  |   |     |
     Administrative Services,               |  |  |  |  |   |     |
     in next Chapter.                       |  |  |  |  |   |     |
                                            |  |  |  |  |   |     |
 INFANTRY: Company                          | 3| 5| —| 2|110|  120|    2
   Machine-Gun Section                      | —| 1| —| —| 15|   16|    5
   Battalion                                |29|51| —|16|928|1,024|   71
                                            |  |  |  |  |   |     |
 MOUNTED INFANTRY: Company and Battalion    |  |  |  |  |   |     |
     identical with Cavalry Squadron        |  |  |  |  |   |     |
     and Regiment.                          |  |  |  |  |   |     |
                                            |  |  |  |  |   |     |
 ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES: See details       |  |  |  |  |   |     |
     under head of each in following        |  |  |  |  |   |     |
     Chapters, IX and X.                    |  |  |  |  |   |     |


The following figures are in round numbers, and show officers,
men, and horses belonging to the unit. They do _not_ include those
attached--namely: Medical and Veterinary Officers, Armourer Sergeants,
men of the Medical Corps, and the 2nd Line Transport provided by the
Army Service Corps.

                                          |Officers.| Men.| Horses.|
  CAVALRY:   Squadron                     |     6   | 155 | 170    |
             Regiment                     |    23   | 510 | 560    |
  ARTILLERY: H.A. Battery                 |     5   | 195 | 220    |
             Field Battery                |     5   | 195 | 170    |
             Howitzer Battery             |     5   | 180 | 150    |
             Heavy Battery                |     5   | 160 | 110    |
             H.A. Brigade                 |    17   | 650 | 770[A] |
             Field Brigade                |    23   | 910 | 900[A] |
             Field Brigade Ammunition     |         |     |        |
                  Column                  |     5   | 300 | 270    |
             Divisional Ammunition Column |    18   | 780 | 990    |
  ENGINEERS: Field Troop                  |     3   |  80 |  80    |
             Field Company                |     6   | 150 |  70    |
             Bridging Train               |     5   | 230 | 330    |
  INFANTRY:  Company                      |     3   | 120 |   2    |
             Battalion                    |    28   | 980 |  50    |
  MOUNTED INFANTRY: Company               |     6   | 155 | 170    |
                    Battalion             |    23   | 510 | 560    |

          [A] With Ammunition Column.


The following tables give the number of officers in the several
Head-Quarters comprised in the Force.


  Commander-in-Chief and Personal Staff       6
  General Staff                              11
  A.G. and Q.M.G.’s Staffs                    8
  Heads of Administrative Services           15
  Other officers                             15
  Other ranks                        nearly 200


Similarly composed, but with fewer officers.


  General and A.D.C.                          2
  General Staff                               2
  Other Staff                                 7
  Other officers (Administrative Services)   26
  Other ranks                         about 100


  Commandant and Staff                        5
  Other officers (Administrative Services)   18
  Other ranks                          about 40


  Major-General and A.D.C.’s                  3
  General Staff                               3
  A.G. and Q.M.G.’s Staffs                    2
  Other officers                              7
  Other ranks                          about 70


  Brigadier-General and A.D.C.                2
  Brigade Major                               1
  Staff Captain (none in Infantry Brigades)   1
  Brigade Signalling Officer                  1
    (none in Divisional Artillery)
  Other ranks                          30 to 40
    ”     ”   in Divisional Artillery        20

The above does _not_ include officers of the “Army Motor Reserve,” who
are attached to all these Head-Quarters, except those of Cavalry and
Infantry Brigades and Divisional Artillery.




A description will now be given of the organization of the British
Administrative Services designed for the Expeditionary Force of six
Divisions with a Cavalry Division and two Mounted Brigades.

At the head of each Administrative Service is a _Director_, who is the
adviser of the C.-in-C. on technical matters connected with the Service
he administers. He is responsible for providing for the requirements
which his Service is designed to meet, subject to the instructions
of that branch of the Staff to which the C.-in-C. has delegated his
authority in this respect.

A representative of each Director is allotted to the Staff of the L. of
C. and of the Subordinate Commands, to whom he holds the same position
as his Director does to the Staff of the C.-in-C. The Services are thus
kept in close touch with the Staff, so as to conform readily to the
movements and requirements of the Troops.

The following is a list of the Directors, and shows the nature of the
duty of the Administrative Service which each directs.

Director of Army Signals: Service of inter-communication.

Director of Army Medical Services: Care of the sick and wounded;

Director of Army Transport: Provision of transport.

Director of Army Supplies: Provision of food, forage, fuel, and light.

Director of Army Ordnance Services: Provision of ammunition, equipment,
clothing, and stores.

Director of Army Veterinary Service: Care of animals.

Director of Army Remounts: Providing fresh horses.

Director of Army Railways: Working of railways.

Director of Army Works: Engineer works on the L. of C.

Director of Army Postal Services.

The Service of Army Signals is controlled by the General Staff, and
the Medical Services by the Adjutant-General’s Branch, for the reasons
previously explained, in describing the organization of the Staff,
in Chapter VI. All the other Directors, and their representatives
with Subordinate Commands, work under the supervision of the
Quarter-Master-General’s Branch of the Staff.

Besides the above Directors, and the Administrative Services they
control, the following Officials and Departments form part of the
General Head-Quarters of the Army in the Field.

A _Deputy Judge-Advocate-General_, for legal advice, and a _Principal
Chaplain_ are attached to Head-Quarters of the C.-in-C., and are placed
under the Adjutant-General.

An _Accounts Department_, under the Financial Adviser attached to
Head-Quarters, and a _Record Office_, to deal with correspondence, will
be established at the Base.

Of the officers enumerated above, the first four Directors, those of
Army Signals, Medical Services, Transport, and Supplies, accompany
General Head-Quarters in the field. The remainder are usually attached
to the Head-Quarters of the Lines of Communication, where the Services
they administer are mainly employed.


It is desirable, therefore, that a sketch of the organization of the
Administrative Services should be prefaced by one of that of the Lines
of Communication (L. of C.), on which they mainly act. The normal L. of
C. for which these Services are calculated is a Railway 100 miles long
reaching from a Sea Base to Railhead, and thence by two roads 30 miles
long to two Advanced Bases.

The _defence_ of the L. of C. is now entirely separated from its
_administration_, and is entrusted to an Officer styled the _Commander
of L. of C. Defences_, who is also responsible for its military
government when in hostile territory. To this officer are allotted
certain “L. of C. Defence Troops” (two battalions for the normal L. of
C. laid down). The L. of C. is divided into sections for defence, each
under a subordinate “L. of C. Defence Commander.”

The _administration_ of the L. of C. is vested in an Officer styled
the _Inspector-General of Communications_, who has command over all
the Administrative Services on the L. of C., controls their working,
and regulates the traffic on the L. of C. He has a Staff, to which
are attached the Heads of the Administrative Services, or their
representatives. The L. of C. consists essentially of one or more
_Advanced Bases_ close in rear of the Army, a _Railhead_ (beyond which
railway service is not organized), various intermediate _Sections_,
or _Posts_, as required, and, most important of all, the _Base_, at
the end farthest from the front, and nearest home. The sections may be
conterminous with the sections of defence. For each of these portions
of the L. of C. there is an Administrative Commandant in charge of its
interior economy, and responsible for forwarding the traffic on the L.
of C. through his section.

Each of the Administrative Services will now be discussed in detail;
those which are in part with the Fighting Troops at the front being
described in this chapter, those which are entirely on the L. of C. in
the next.


It is only in the armies of England and the United States that a
complete system of inter-communication between all parts of the Army
has been organized. Such a system has not been fully developed in
foreign armies, but its necessity is more than ever pressing, owing
to the wide dispersion of forces in war, and the need for rapid
transmission of _Information_ as to the enemy’s movements from the
Front to Head-Quarters, and of _Orders_ from the several Head-Quarters
to the Troops.

The means of communication in war are:

  _Electric_: _i.e._ Telegraph, telephone, wireless.

  _Visual_: _i.e._ Flag, lamp, or heliograph.

  _Manual_: _i.e._ Orderlies (mounted, bicycle, or foot); a system of
      relay posts served by despatch riders; motor cars or motor

  _Balloons, aeroplanes, and kites_.

Balloons were first used by the French at the Battle of Fleurus in
1794, and are being experimented on by many nations at present. There
will be six balloons, of which three can be worked at one time, with
the British Army of six Divisions, and probably two balloons to each
German Army Corps.

The whole system of inter-communication in the British Expeditionary
Force is under the _Director of Army Signals_, who is at General
Head-Quarters, in close connection with the General Staff.

Communication Units are provided for General Head-Quarters and
Divisions, and also on the L. of C., as follows:

  Cavalry Division: 1 Wireless Telegraph Company.

  Infantry Division: 1 Telegraph Company.

  General Head-Quarters: 2 Cable Telegraph Companies; 2 Air-line
      Companies; 3 Balloon Companies.

  Lines of Communication: 2 Telegraph Companies.

The following are the details of the communication provided by these
units, and of their composition:


The _Wireless Telegraph Company_ provides communication between General
Head-Quarters and the Cavalry Division, up to 80 miles, and also
inter-communication in the Cavalry Division, between Head-Quarters and
the Brigades, up to 20 miles.

The Company is composed as follows: A Head-Quarters Section, for
communication with General Head-Quarters, and with detached Brigades;
three Sections for three detached Brigades (the fourth Brigade being
with Divisional Head-Quarters). Each of these Sections carries its
wireless equipment in a wagon, but is also provided with 3 pack horses
to carry it. The Head-Quarters Section has equipment for 5 large
stations--one for communication with the three Sections, two detached
to General Head-Quarters, and two for communicating with the latter.
These duplicate stations allow of one pair being ready for work while
the other pair are moving into new positions as the Head-Quarters

The strength of the Company is 136, with 114 horses--namely: 5
Officers, 6 Sergeants, 4 Artificers, 1 Trumpeter, 120 rank and file, of
whom 60 are available for the telegraph work.

There are 16 wagons, 46 riding horses, and 4 bicycles.


The Divisional Telegraph Company provides for internal communication
in the Division. It comprises 3 Detachments, each providing a line of
cable 10 miles long, with 3 telegraph offices for communication with
the 3 Brigades.

The strength of the Company is 61, with 41 horses--namely: 2 Officers,
3 Sergeants, 1 Artificer, 55 rank and file, of whom 35 are available
for the telegraph work.

There are 6 wagons, 21 riding horses, and 1 bicycle.


There are 2 “Cable Companies” and 2 “Air-line Companies” at General
Head-Quarters. The former provide temporary communication between
General Head-Quarters and Divisions or Army Detachments; the
latter, communication of a more permanent character between General
Head-Quarters and the Advanced Base.

The “Cable Company” comprises a Head-Quarters, and four Sections, or
9 detachments, each providing 10 miles of cable line, and 3 telegraph

The strength of the Company is 176, with 125 horses--namely: 6
Officers, 7 Sergeants, 4 Artificers, 2 Trumpeters, 157 rank and file,
of whom 100 are available for the telegraph work.

There are 19 wagons, 61 riding horses, and 1 bicycle.

The “Air-line Company” comprises a Head-Quarters and three Sections,
each of 2 detachments, providing 20 miles of air-line, 8 miles of
cable, and 6 offices.

The strength of the Company is 225, with 158 horses--namely: 6
Officers, 12 Sergeants, 5 Artificers, 2 Trumpeters, 200 rank and file,
of whom 120 are available for the telegraph work.

There are 22 wagons, 52 riding horses, and 1 bicycle.


Three Balloon Companies are allotted as Army Troops, each to work one
balloon and one set of kites, with telephones to connect the observer
up in the captive balloon or kite with the ground.

The strength of a Company is 67, with 52 horses--namely: 3 Officers,
3 Sergeants, 1 Artificer, 1 Bugler, 59 rank and file, of whom 30 are
available for the ballooning work.

There are 3 wagons for equipment, 6 reservoir wagons for gas, 8 riding
horses, and 1 bicycle.

_Note._--In the strength of all the above Engineer Units are included 2
men of the Medical Corps attached.

The above network of telegraphic inter-communication, extending between
all Head-Quarters, is supplemented within the Units of the Field Force
by a system of _Signalling_.

Each Division has a Divisional Signalling Officer, with a small
detachment of Signallers--4 men in the Cavalry Division, and a Sergeant
and 6 men in the Infantry Division.

Each Brigade has a Brigade Signalling Officer and 4 Signallers.

Each Cavalry Regiment and Mounted Infantry Battalion has a Signalling
Sergeant, with 27 Signallers (9 per squadron).

Each Infantry Regiment has a Signalling Officer and Sergeant, with 32
Signallers (4 per company).

Each Divisional Artillery Head-Quarters has 4 Signallers.

Every Artillery Brigade has 2 Signallers.

Every Battery has 5 Signallers.

A system of _Telephones_ is, in addition, provided for each Infantry
Brigade. There is a Telephone Detachment to work under the Brigade
Signalling Officer. It consists of a N.C.O. and 5 privates, with a
cart and a pack mule to carry the equipment, for which 2 drivers are


_Road Transport_ alone will be here considered. This is the most
important of the Administrative Services, as on it depend the mobility
of the Force, and the working of the Supply, Medical, and Stores
Services. Transport is required with the Units at the front, to carry
the baggage and stores of the troops, and their ammunition and food
for daily consumption, and to enable field ambulances to accompany the
army. Transport is also required on the Lines of Communication, to
bring up ammunition and food from the base to the front, and to remove
the wounded to the base.

It is agreed that Transport must be organized on a military basis when
accompanying troops at the front, where civil transport is hardly
dependable; but to provide the vast amount required in rear of the army
on the L. of C. would demand more military Transport than could be kept
up in peace, and _Auxiliary Transport_ has to be collected from civil
services for this purpose.

It is obvious that without a carefully worked out system of
organization for its Transport, an army in the field will be helpless
from want of ammunition and food, and slow and uncertain in its
movements; the sick and wounded will lack attention; and the troops
cannot fail to undergo hardships and privations, which will have a bad
effect on their _morale_ and fighting power.

Owing to the enormous amount of food required for an army, the
main function of the Transport is to carry _supplies_, so that the
connection between Transport and Supply is a very intimate one. It
has been found desirable, therefore, to amalgamate the administrative
units which effect these two services. Those who are responsible
for providing food should also be responsible for moving it. The
administrative units of the combined services of Transport and Supply
are provided by the Army Service Corps, as shown in detail in the next
section of this chapter. The Officers of this Corps are trained both
for Transport and Supply duties. Their identical training and their
organization together in one unit tends to produce co-operation in both
services of Transport and Supply, and should minimize any chance of
failure in war. The fact that all officers are interchangeable between
these services also gives an elasticity to the system which is wanting
when they are separate.


The Transport with the Units in the field is called _Regimental
Transport_, in distinction from the Transport on the Lines of
Communication, and consists of two categories:

  (_a_) Transport of Fighting Units, including all Head-Quarters.
          This Transport is divided into _First Line_,
          and _Second Line_, Transport.

  (_b_) Transport of Administrative Units--_i.e._ Ambulances, Supply
          Columns, and Supply Parks.

(_a_) _First Line Transport_ forms an integral part of each fighting
unit; the unit provides its own drivers and superintendence for
its transport, which accompanies it at all times. The First Line
Transport carries on wheels (or by pack) all that the unit requires
for fighting--namely: guns, ammunition, entrenching tools--besides
signalling, medical, veterinary, and other technical equipment.

_Second Line Transport_ for all units is provided by the A.S.C.,
to carry the baggage, supplies, stores, and water which the unit
requires to have with it when at rest. This transport is not required
for fighting, and, when near the enemy, does not accompany its unit,
but is all massed in rear of the fighting troops, but able to rejoin
its various units in a few hours. The water carts alone may at times
accompany the troops.

The stores carried include cooking utensils and butchers’ implements,
artificers’ tools and material, office books and stationery; also, when
specially required, blankets, tents, and fuel.

The supplies carried are indicated later in the description of the
_Supply Service_ which follows.

Transport for each Head-Quarters is all furnished by the Army Service
Corps (A.S.C.).

(_b_) Transport of Administrative Units.--This is provided also by the
A.S.C., and is described in the two following sections of this chapter,
under the heading of the Supply Services and Medical Services.


The Transport on the Lines of Communication is controlled by the
representative of the Director of Transport at Head-Quarters of the
L. of C. It is carried on by _Auxiliary Transport Companies_, composed
generally of non-military wagons, teams, and drivers, under the control
of a small personnel of Army Service Corps. Mechanical Road Transport
is likely in the future to be very largely employed on the L. of C. to
work from railhead to the Units of field troops at the front.

In the British Army organization the details of the L. of C. Transport
are as follows:

Twelve Auxiliary Transport Companies of 50 wagons, and six of 100
wagons, are formed. Each has an A.S.C. personnel of 3 Officers and 54
other ranks, with 10 riding horses. Every 50 wagons require 115 drivers
and 210 horses, including 5 per cent. spare.

In case the local transport is formed of carts, the Auxiliary Company
has an A.S.C. personnel of 1 Officer and 28 other ranks. Every 50 carts
require 58 drivers, and 105 horses, including spare.

There are four units called _Transport Depôts_, each with a personnel
of 3 Officers and 93 other ranks, organized in four Sections; each
Section can form a small depôt on the L. of C., providing a reserve
of horsed transport to replace wastage, and a repairing section for
mechanical transport.

Transport for local work at the Base, and at posts on the L. of C.,
is improvised from civil sources, as it requires no great degree of
mobility, and, working locally, and at a distance from the enemy, can
be easily kept under supervision.


Experience teaches that supplies of food can only be furnished to
troops during war in three ways:

  (_a_) The men may be fed by the occupants of the houses where they
          are billeted. This is only possible in towns, or in the
          country when the troops are much scattered, and when the
          Army is moving continuously, and the troops do not remain
          more than a day or two in one place.

  (_b_) Food may be obtained from the country by purchase, or by
          requisition, which must always be carried out in a regular
          manner by responsible officers, or waste, confusion, and
          individual looting and terrorism will ensue.

  (_c_) Food may be drawn from the L. of C. and issued by the Supply

A combination of all three methods is generally practicable. The food
available in the country should be used as far as possible, so as to
avoid straining the resources of the Supply Service, and the capacity
of the Lines of Communication.

Under the average conditions of country and climate for which the
British normal regulations are designed, it may be expected that fuel,
water, hay and straw, and cattle, will be obtainable in the country.
Thus only bread and groceries, and corn for horses, have normally to be
conveyed to the troops by the Supply Service.

Both purchase and requisition demand good organization, and trained
supply officers accompanying the troops. The Supply Service is
organized in the way about to be described, partly so as to provide
officers, men, and wagons to collect supplies in the country and bring
them to the troops, partly to transport from the Base what is required
to supplement the amount collected.

The Supplies for an Army in the Field may be considered under two heads:

  (I.)  _Mobile Supplies with the Troops._
  (II.) _Supply Depôts on the Lines of Communication._


The former are divided into three lines of supply:

  (_a_) Regimental Supplies, controlled by the Unit itself.
  (_b_) Column Supplies.
  (_c_) Park Supplies.

The last two are controlled by the Supply Service.

(_a_) _Regimental Supplies_ are those carried in Regimental wagons, in
addition to what is in the personal charge of each man--namely, the
remains of the current day’s ration issued overnight, and an emergency
ration of preserved food. In the wagon with each unit are one day’s
ration of food and of oats for the unit, for issue that evening,
besides a second grocery ration and some compressed forage.

(_b_) _Column Supplies_ are carried in Supply Columns, of which one is
allotted to each Division and Mounted Brigade, and to the Army Troops.
Each Column carries one day’s ration and forage for its Division, and
one emergency ration. One day’s meat on the hoof will usually be driven
with the Column.

The Supply Column replenishes the regimental supplies daily, and is
kept filled up by collecting local supplies, or by drawing on the L. of
C. depôts, or, as a last resource, on the Park Supplies.

(_c_) _Park Supplies_ are carried in the Transport and Supply Park
allotted to each Division, which usually marches a day’s march in
rear of the troops. It carries three days’ rations for its Division,
and is divided into three sections, _i.e._ 1 per Brigade. There is in
the Field Park also a Bakery Detachment, capable of baking for 22,500
men; this is, as a rule, stationed at the Advanced Base. One to three
days’ meat supply on the hoof will generally be driven with the Park.
The Parks are kept filled up by a more extended exploitation of local
resources than the Supply Columns can effect, and obtain the balance
required from the L. of C. depôts.

This organization thus supplies the following rations per man, and corn
per horse, with the troops in the field, apart from any Supplies which
may be moving up along the L. of C.


Meat: 1¼ lb. fresh, or 1 lb. preserved.

Bread: 1¼ lb., or 1 lb. biscuit.

Groceries: Tea, sugar, salt, pepper.


Lime-juice and rum, when authorized.

Vegetables: 8 oz. fresh, or 2 oz. dried, or 4 oz. preserved fruit.

The weight of a ration may be taken at 3 lb. net or 4 lb. gross, and
that of the emergency ration is 6½ lb. net or 9½ lb. gross.

The preserved meat and biscuit are carried in 80-lb. wood cases,
containing 60 rations of meat and 50 of biscuit. The cases furnish
kindling for fires.

12 lb. corn per horse, or 15 lb. for heavy draught horses.


On the man or horse: 1 day’s ration and 1 day’s oats, less amount
consumed overnight; 1 emergency ration.

In Regimental Transport: 1 day’s ration, less vegetables, and 1 day’s
groceries extra; 1 day’s corn.

In T. and S. Columns: 1 day’s rations and corn.

In T. and S. Park: 3 days’ rations and corn.

Compressed forage: 1 bale (82 lb.) in each wagon in the Force.

Total carried with the Force per man and horse:

6 days’ meat and biscuit and corn, less that consumed overnight;

6 days’ groceries;

5 days’ jam, lime-juice, and rum;

4 days’ vegetables;

2 emergency rations;

or sufficient for from 7 to 8 days, without receiving supplies from the
L. of C.


_Advanced Supply Depôts_, established at the Advanced Base, to
replenish the Mobile Supplies with the Troops.

_Intermediate Supply Depôts_, formed at Railhead, and sometimes at
other points on the Lines of Communication, as a reserve.

The _Base Depôt_.--This is the main source of supply for the Army. In
it are accumulated ample reserves of all supplies, procured partly from
home, partly by contract from abroad, but as far as possible by direct
purchase in the theatre of war.


The Supply Columns and Supply Parks are formed by Companies of the
“Army Service Corps,” which comprise both Transport and Supply
personnel, with the necessary horses, wagons, and stores.

The Company of Army Service Corps varies in strength according to its
functions, but comprises on an average the following:

For Transport duties: 3 Officers, 63 other ranks, 108 horses, 25 wagons.

For Supply duties: 1 Officer, 13 other ranks.

The various _Supply Columns_ are formed of a number of A.S.C.
Companies on the following scale: one Company per Brigade, and one per
Head-Quarters; so that the Supply Column of a _Division_ comprises 4
A.S.C. Companies, that of the _Cavalry Division_ 5 A.S.C. Companies,
and that of a _Mounted Brigade_ 1 A.S.C. Company. The _Army Troops_
Supply Column is formed by 1 A.S.C. Company.

The _Divisional Supply Park_ is formed in 3 sections, or one per
Brigade, each being formed by 1 A.S.C. Company.

The _Field Bakery Detachment_ is formed by 1 A.S.C. Company, and is
divided into 8 sections, each of which can erect and work 10 ovens.

The _Supply Depôts_ on the Lines of Communication have a personnel
provided from 40 _Depôt Units of Supply_ and 8 _Bakery Sections_; one
unit and one section are calculated to suffice for a depôt to feed
4,000 men and 1,000 animals. Their personnel comprises clerks, issuers,
butchers, and bakers. Civil labour and transport will be obtained to
supplement the military personnel, as required.


The Medical Service is of immense importance to the operations. No
General can afford to neglect his sick and wounded. He can hardly
fight, if he knows he cannot attend to them on the battlefield, and
remove them afterwards to hospitals in rear. There must be at the front
sufficient surgeons, as well as medical appliances and stores, to cope
with this work. The transport of the sick to the rear must be carried
out without delay or confusion, and on the Lines of Communication, and
at the Base, there must be properly equipped hospitals to receive the
sick and wounded.

The method of dealing with casualties in action is as follows:

In the front, with the fighting men, are the regimental surgeons and
the stretcher bearers of the Infantry, for work on the battlefield.
Behind the fighting line are stretcher bearers and ambulance wagons
of the Field Ambulance, collecting the wounded, and taking them to
the dressing stations. In rear are the Clearing Hospitals, into which
the sick and wounded are collected, and whence they are despatched
in Ambulance Trains along the railway to Stationary Hospitals on the
Lines of Communication, or to the Base Hospitals. The invalids are then
removed, either to convalescent depôts on the L. of C., or by hospital
ship to the home country, where civil organization can be depended on
to help the Military Hospitals to deal with them.

The Medical Services are manned and administered by the “Royal Army
Medical Corps.” Their transport is provided by the Army Service Corps.
The organization comprises the following:


1. Medical Establishments with Units.

2. Field Ambulances with Subordinate Commands.


Six Clearing Hospitals, at Advanced Base.

Six Ambulance Railway Trains, each available for 100 patients lying

Twelve Stationary Hospitals of 200 beds each, on the Lines of

Twelve General Hospitals of 520 beds each, at the Base.

Convalescent Depôts, as required.

Six Hospital Ships, each to carry 220 patients.

Three Base Depôts, and three Advanced Base Depôts, containing a reserve
of Medical Stores.

It will be observed that for a Division and a Brigade of Mounted Troops
there are provided 1 Clearing Hospital, 1 Ambulance Train, 2 Stationary
and 2 General Hospitals, and 1 Hospital Ship.


1. Each Unit has attached to it a Medical Officer, and itself supplies
two trained Orderlies, and a cart (or pack horse for mounted troops),
to carry medical equipment. There are also two trained stretcher
bearers from the ranks of each Infantry Company (or four men from each
Squadron), trained in “first-aid” duties.

2. _Field Ambulances_ are allotted to each Division, and _Cavalry Field
Ambulances_ to the Cavalry Division, and to the Mounted Brigades. They
are provided on the scale of one for each Brigade. There are also two
_Field Ambulances_ for the “Army Troops.”

Each description of Ambulance comprises a _Bearer Division_ of
stretcher bearers, and a _Tent Division_, which forms a “Dressing
Station”--that is, a small mobile field hospital in which only
absolutely necessary dressing is applied.

The _Field Ambulance_ is divided into three equal Sections, and the
_Cavalry Field Ambulance_ into two Sections. Each Section has 3
ambulance wagons, a water cart, and 2 wagons and a cart for carrying
its stores, baggage, and supplies. Each Section is thus self-contained,
and can be sent off without reorganization, whenever required to
accompany a detached portion of the Brigade.

The strength of a _Field Ambulance_ is:

10 Officers, 120 stretcher bearers, 60 hospital staff, all belonging
to the Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C.), and 60 men and 90 horses
provided by the A.S.C. for its transport, which consists of 10
four-horsed ambulance wagons, 3 water carts, and 9 other wagons for
medical supplies, baggage, and stores. Its _Bearer Division_ provides
18 squads of stretcher bearers, each squad being of 6 men; and its
_Tent Division_ can accommodate 150 patients.

A _Cavalry Field Ambulance_ comprises:

6 Officers, 38 stretcher bearers, 30 hospital staff, of the R.A.M.C.,
and 44 men and 70 horses of the A.S.C. It has 4 two-horsed, and 6
four-horsed, ambulance wagons, 2 water carts, 4 other wagons. Its _Tent
Division_ can accommodate 50 patients.

The establishment of a _Clearing_, or a _Stationary_, _Hospital_ to
accommodate 200 patients is 8 Officers and 80 other ranks; that of a
_General Hospital_, 21 Officers and 140 other ranks. Nursing sisters
are allotted to the non-mobile Hospitals on the L. of C. at the rate of
17 to 200 patients, but not to the mobile Clearing Hospitals.

Each Ambulance Train is provided with 2 Officers, 18 other ranks, and
2 sisters, and can carry 100 patients.


The Sanitary Service is one of the Medical Services. Its object is to
preserve the health of the troops, by looking after purity of water
supply, and sanitation of camps.

The personnel of the Sanitary Service is provided by the R.A.M.C.
It comprises a _Sanitary Squad_ with each Unit, and on the Lines of
Communication a _Sanitary Section_ at the Base and Railhead, a Squad at
each Post or Rest Camp, and 2 Squads at each Advanced Base.

The _Section_ comprises an Officer and 25 men of the R.A.M.C., the
_Squad_ a Sergeant and 5 men.

In addition, a N.C.O. of each Cavalry Regiment, or Artillery Brigade,
or Battalion, and 1 or 2 men of each Squadron, Battery, or Company, are
trained for carrying out Sanitary duties with their Unit.





The efficiency of the Veterinary Service is of great importance to
prevent waste of horseflesh.

This Service is under its Director, who has a Veterinary Officer to
assist him. A Veterinary Officer is allotted to each Division and to
the L. of C. Each of the above officers has one clerk. A Veterinary
Officer is attached to each mounted unit to treat its horses. He is
assisted by the Farriers in his work, and is provided with a pack horse
to carry his veterinary equipment.

Hospitals for sick horses unavoidably left behind are formed at the
Advanced Bases, and at the Base, where there is also a depôt of
Veterinary Stores. The necessary personnel for these hospitals is
provided by six _Veterinary Sections_, each of 2 Officers and 32 other
ranks, with 83 horsekeepers. A Section can take charge of 250 sick
horses. Horses when cured are transferred to the Remount Depôt.

Veterinary Officers are also allotted for duty at places where horses
are landed, and with the Remount Depôts. They are also charged with the
duty of inspecting cattle before slaughtering.


The total number of horses in the Field Force is nearly 70,000, and it
is estimated that twice as many more will be required to keep up this
strength for twelve months of war.

The _Remount Service_ is formed to supply the “remounts,” or fresh
horses continuously required to replace those expended in war. The Head
of this Service is the Deputy Director of Remounts.

_Remount Depôts_ are formed at the Base and the Advanced Bases, where
all animals procured for the use of the Army are taken charge of,
trained, and distributed to the Units. The _Base Remount Depôt_ can
receive 1,000 animals. It is managed by a personnel of 11 Officers
and 337 other ranks. The strength of an _Advanced Remount Depôt_ is
4 Officers and 112 other ranks, and each is adapted to receive 300


Stores of all sorts, except medical and veterinary, are supplied to the
Army by the Ordnance Services. The supply of ammunition is the most
pressing service, but troops require a variety of other stores--tools
and explosives, boots, clothing, equipment, and arms. Workshops are
required for repairs of all sorts, especially to vehicles and harness.

The Ordnance Services are controlled by the Director of Ordnance Stores
and his Deputy, under the Inspector-General of Communications, each
with two Ordnance Officers as assistants. The organization consists of
_Ordnance Depôt_ units--10 at the Base, 7 at Railhead, and 2 at each
Advanced Base--which form Ordnance Depôts at those places. Each unit
consists of 2 Officers and 69 clerks, storemen, and artificers, with as
much civil labour as may be required.


The main duty of the Ordnance Services is forwarding ammunition to the
front, where it is taken over by the Fighting Units, at places called
the _Refilling Points_, which are generally about a day’s march in rear
of the fighting line. One Auxiliary Transport Company of 100 wagons
is allotted per Division for carrying ammunition to these points. To
ensure an adequate supply at the front demands careful organization and
good administration of the Ordnance Services, as ammunition is expended
at uncertain dates, and in amounts which cannot be forecast.

The amount provided for the Field Force is as follows:


1,000 rounds per Field or Horse Artillery gun; 500 per Howitzer and
Heavy gun. About half of this is carried by the Fighting Troops; the
rest is in Ordnance charge on the L. of C.


For each Rifle:

  Carried by the soldier:
    Infantry                            150 rounds.
    Cavalry and Mounted Infantry        100    ”
    Artillery and Engineers              50    ”
    In Regimental Reserve               100 rounds.
    In the Field Artillery Brigade
      Ammunition Column                 100    ”
    In Divisional Ammunition Col.       100    ”
    Total, per rifle:
      Infantry                          450    ”
      Cavalry and Mounted Infantry      400    ”

  For Machine Guns:
    With each gun                     3,500 rounds.
    In Regimental Reserve, per gun:
      Cavalry and Mounted Infantry   16,000    ”
      Infantry                        8,000    ”
    With the Brigade Ammunition
      Column, per gun                10,000    ”
    With Divisional Ammunition
      Column, per gun                10,000    ”

  For each Pistol:
    On the man                           12 rounds.
    In Regimental Reserve                12    ”
    In Brigade Ammunition Column         12    ”

With regard to the amount of ammunition required in the field, it
should be noted that the quantity of Gun Ammunition that may be
expended with quick-firing guns is very great. In Manchuria, both
Russian and Japanese Batteries have been known to fire 500 rounds per
gun in one day. The amount of Gun Ammunition carried in the French
Army is 2,000 rounds per gun--_i.e._ 500 rounds with Batteries and
Ammunition Columns, and 500 in the Army Ammunition Park, the Army Park,
and in depôts on the L. of C., respectively.

As to Rifle Ammunition, the Japanese found that the 270 rounds carried
by each man ran out, and they consider that each man should have 350
rounds available with his Regiment, and 150 more in Ammunition Columns.
This makes a total of 500 with the Fighting Troops, which the British
allowance of 450 nearly approximates.


The efficiency of the service of the railways which generally form the
Lines of Communication is of the utmost importance to the Army, as on
it depends the issue of supplies and ammunition to the troops at the
front, and consequently their ability to move and fight.

The control of the Railway Services is laid on the Director
of Railways, who is responsible to the Inspector-General
of Communications, and works under the supervision of the
Quarter-Master-General’s Branch of the Staff.

The work of the Railway Services comprises the _maintenance_ and
_working_, as well as the _repair_ (and sometimes the _construction_),
of railways in the theatre of operations. The personnel of the Railway
Services consists of two entirely separate bodies. One is termed the
_Technical Railway Personnel_, and the other the _Railway Control

The _Technical Personnel_ is provided in a friendly country by the
civil railway companies, but in a hostile country by the Royal
Engineers, when it is organized in a _Central Railway Establishment_,
two _Railway Districts_, and three _Railway Companies_ of Engineers.
There is allotted also, from the two Lines of Communication Telegraph
Companies, a _Railway Telegraph Section_ for the exclusive use of the
Railway Service.

The “Central Railway Establishment” and the two “Railway Districts” are
organized in branches for the following purposes: Management, Traffic,
Engineering, Locomotive, Accounts, Stores. The total strength of these
Units is 51 Officers and 854 other ranks.

The total strength of three “Railway Companies” is 12 Officers and 732
other ranks.

The _Railway Control Establishments_ are the medium of communication
between the troops and the Technical Personnel. Officers of this body
are posted at the chief stations to facilitate the traffic, arranging
all details with the troops, providing meals at certain stations, and
supervising the movement of men, animals, and stores.

The personnel of the “Railway Control Establishment” is 7 Officers and
10 clerks and checkers, distributed to each important station.

The Director of Railways and his personnel have no responsibility for
the technical security of the railway; for this the “Commander of the
Line of Communication Defences” is responsible.


The Director of Works carries out all Engineer services (apart from
Railways and Telegraphs) required on the Lines of Communication.
One Company of Engineers, without transport, is allotted for these
services, and is supplemented by civil artisans and unskilled
labourers, who are either brought from home, or hired locally.

The _works_ on the Lines of Communication are described in Chapter
II. Many are required at the Base in connection with the heavy work
involved in landing troops, supplies, and stores, and sending them up
to the front. For these purposes existing works may have to be adapted,
or new ones constructed. All have to be maintained, and any plant
required kept running. Works at the Base have to be of a semi-permanent
character, in view of possible lengthy operations.

In addition, the Engineer Company provides workshops, and depôts of
stores and material, which are established at the Base, the Advanced
Bases, and at Railhead, for the use of the Engineers at the front.


A military organization is needed with an Army in the field, so as to
ensure regular postal communication to and from home. This is a modern
innovation in war, but one of importance to the comfort and spirits of
the troops, and is a service demanded by their friends at home and by
the nation in general.

This service is controlled by the Director of Postal Services, who is
attached to Head-Quarters of the Inspector-General of Communications.

A chief Post Office is established at the Base, where all incoming or
outgoing mail is dealt with. It has a personnel of 85 of all ranks,
furnished by the “Army Post Office Corps.”

Smaller Post Offices are established at the Advanced Bases, and others,
each of four men, are allotted to posts on the Lines of Communication,
and to Head-Quarters of Brigades and Divisions in the field.


The Accounts Department is responsible for Finance, Accounts, Audit,
and the disbursement of cash for the Army in the field. It is under the
Financial Adviser at Head-Quarters with three Assistant Advisers.

The personnel of the Department consists of Accountants, Cashiers, and
Field Paymasters.

The Accountants are in the Accounts Offices at the Base, which
are manned by three _Accounts Units_, each with a personnel of 43
Accountants and Cashiers, with their servants, and 138 Writers.

Each “Base Accounts Unit” is organized to deal with the accounts of
two Divisions, a Cavalry Division, and a Mounted Brigade. It is under
a Chief Accountant, whose duties include dealing with Contracts, Store
and Supply Accounts, the Accounts of the Troops, and Audit.

The Cashier Staff is usually at the Base, where the bills incurred by
the various Services are paid, and any necessary issues of cash on
imprest made.

The Field Paymasters are stationed at convenient places nearer the
troops; they provide Commanding Officers with cash for paying the men,
and pay bills incurred locally, if urgent.

At the Base is the Military Chest, holding the cash reserve of the
Army. That it should be ample during the Campaign is of vital moment.
Credit notes are a poor substitute for cash in an enemy’s, or even
an ally’s, country. As von der Golz says, “a full exchequer may
be worth an Army Corps, and a clever financier at the side of the
Commander-in-Chief equal to a first-rate General.” Cash is required
not mainly for the pay of the troops, but to purchase in the country
what the Army needs, and to pay for the large amount of civilian labour
which will be required on the L. of C. Cash is also needed to buy
information, or reward inhabitants for services. The immense importance
of having, without fail, ready money for these purposes--so essential
for the operations of the Army--cannot be over-estimated.


The Records Branch supplies, on mobilization, one Section of clerks for
each Division, and for each Cavalry or Mounted Brigade, to carry on the
clerical work at Head-Quarters of Commands in the field. Artillery and
Engineers supply their own clerks for their Head-Quarters.

A Record Office is established at the Base, to carry on all office
work in connection with the personnel from which it is desirable the
units in the field should be entirely freed, such as the soldiers’
attestations and medical history sheets, and their accounts. From this
office, too, are sent to England reports, returns, war diaries, and
lists of casualties. It also conducts the clerical work in connection
with invaliding.

The Base Record Office consists of six Sections, or one for a Division
and a Cavalry or Mounted Brigade. A Section comprises 3 Officers, 4
Staff Sergeants, and the Orderly Room Clerk of each Unit belonging
to the Division or Brigade allotted to the Section. There are two
divisions in each Section--one for Infantry Battalions, one for all
other Units.


Base Depôts are formed to receive the personnel left by each Unit
at the Base, which comprises its Band Sergeant, Master Tailor, and
Storemen. The latter take charge of such part of the men’s equipment as
is kept back at the Base, as not being required in the field, and must
yet be available when needed.

The men of each Unit who form its “First Reinforcements” are also
placed in the Base Depôt. These are calculated at the rate of 10 per
cent. of the rank and file of each Unit in the Field, with an Officer
for every party exceeding 40 men.

       *       *       *       *       *

The above completes the picture of the Organization of the British
Field Army for service abroad.

A brief account of the Territorial Force will now be given, followed by
one of the Indian Army, as organized for service in the field.




A British “Second Line Army” is provided by the Territorial Force.
It consists of 14 Divisions, 14 Mounted Brigades, and certain “Army
Troops.” These are organized on the same lines as the regular Units,
but differ in the following points:

1. The Cavalry and Mounted Infantry Units are both provided by the
“Yeomanry,” and consist of Regiments of 4 Squadrons instead of 3 as in
the regular Cavalry. The Divisional Cavalry is formed of a Regiment of
Yeomanry, instead of 2 Companies of Mounted Infantry as in the regular

2. The Artillery is in Batteries of four guns, instead of six as in the
regular Artillery.

3. The Divisional Supply Column is formed of 4 A.S.C. Companies,
that is 1 per Brigade and 1 for the Divisional Troops. There are no
Divisional Supply Parks.

4. There are no Divisional Ammunition Columns.

5. Cyclist Battalions will form part of the Army Troops.


The Field Force which can be mobilized in India for war consists of 9
Divisions and 8 Cavalry Brigades. It is composed of British and Indian
Troops in combination. This fact necessitates an organization somewhat
different in detail from that in England, especially as to number of
Officers and men and constitution of Administrative Services. But, on
the whole, the organization of the Army of India is on the same lines
as that of the Home Army.

The main differences are as follows:

The _Infantry Brigade_, which has 4 Battalions as in the Home Army,
is organized for independent action, having its own Administrative
Services--namely: two Ambulances, a Supply Column, and a Field Post

The _Cavalry Brigade_, like that of the Home Army, is of 3 Regiments,
but the Regiment has 4 Squadrons. The Brigade is also organized for
independent action, having a Horse Artillery Battery and Ammunition
Column, and the necessary Administrative Services, like the Infantry

The _Division_ is of three Brigades, with two Field Companies of
Engineers, like the British Division, but it has an extra Battalion
of Pioneers and a whole Cavalry Regiment. It is weaker in Artillery,
having only one Brigade of Field Artillery, but it has 2 Mountain
Batteries. The Indian Division has the same Administrative Services as
a British Division in England, with a Survey Party in addition.

The Staff and the Field and Horse Artillery are _British_. The Infantry
Battalions, Cavalry Regiments, and Mountain Batteries are either
_British_ or _Indian_. The Engineer Companies and Administrative
Services are _Indian_. In all _Indian_ Units the higher ranks are
filled by British Officers.

The following gives the Establishment of Brigades and Divisions:



  Battery Horse Artillery.
  Cavalry Regiments, 1 British and 2 Indian.
  Ammunition Column.
  Field Hospital, 1 Section British, 2 Sections Indian.
  Field Post Office.
  Brigade Supply Column.
  Total Strength: British: 70 Officers, 650 men.
    ”        ”    Indian:  40 Officers, 1,100 men,
                             1,950 horses.


  Infantry Battalions, 4.
  Field Hospitals, 2.
  Field Post Office.
  Brigade Supply Column.
  Total Strength: British Brigade: 132 Officers, 3,300 men,
                    122 horses, with 700 Indian followers.
    ”        ”    Indian Brigade: 88 Officers, 3,000 men,
                    600 followers, 122 horses, with 70
                    British Officers.
  Infantry Brigades are sometimes organized with 1 or 2
      British and 3 or 2 Indian Battalions.


  Infantry Brigades, 1 British and 2 Indian.
  Cavalry Regiment, 1 Indian.
  Pioneer Battalion, 1 Indian.
  Field Artillery Brigade, 1 British.
  Mountain Batteries, 2 British or Indian.
  Engineer Field Companies, 2 Indian.
  Field Hospitals, 1 Indian and 2 Sections British.
  Divisional Ammunition Column.
  Field Post Office.
  Supply Column for Divisional Troops.
  Divisional Supply Column.
  Survey Party.
  Total Strength: British: 370 Officers, 4,100 men.
    ”       ”     Indian:  230 Officers, 8,200 men,
                           2,600 followers, 1,950 horses.



The most recent developments of Organization are well illustrated
in that of the British Army, which has been lately reorganized in
accordance with the trend of modern views as to the conduct of War.

Ruskin once wrote that no modern man could ever realize the amount of
_thought_ built into a Gothic cathedral, where the size and detail
of each part have been designed with reference to the proportion it
bears to the whole, as well as to the number and dimensions of its
fellow members. It would be equally impossible to sum up in a short
chapter the _thought_ built into the organization of the British Army.
To appreciate its details demands a thorough knowledge of the working
of each Arm and of each Administrative Service. Each is planned to be
of such strength and composition as to enable it to perform all that
is required of it, and to ensure that all shall work in harmonious
co-operation under the strain and friction of War.

Among the points which are especially worth noticing are the following,
which bear out the principles of Organization dwelt on in previous


It was shown in Chapter V. that small armies should be formed of
Divisions and not of Army Corps. This principle has been adopted.

The strength of the British Expeditionary Force is practically that of
three Cavalry Divisions and three Army Corps of the German Army. The
former comprises 75 Battalions, the equivalent of nearly 23 Regiments
of Mounted Troops, and 492 guns; the latter, 75 Battalions, 24 Cavalry
Regiments, and 468 guns. But the British Force is organized so as to be
more flexible, and to facilitate and strengthen the Supreme Command.
It is _more flexible_ from the greater number of Subordinate Commands.
It _facilitates Command_ by having two links fewer in the chain of
Command--the Army Corps and the Regiment. It _strengthens Command_ by
not having any Subordinate Commander of the importance of the German
Army Corps Commander to reckon with--a point emphasized by Clausewitz.


The British organization is so planned that the Force can be readily
divided, when required, into two Armies, each of which can be provided
with its proportion of Strategic and Protective Cavalry, and of Army
Troops, without disorganizing and rearranging those Formations.

This principle has been carried throughout the Force. Thus, the
_Cavalry Division_ can supply any detached _Brigade_ with the
_Divisional Troops_ required--namely, a Battery of Horse Artillery, a
Field Troop of Engineers, a Section of the Wireless Telegraph Company,
a Field Ambulance, and a Company of A.S.C. to form the Brigade T. and
S. Column, there being one of each of these _Divisional Units_ for each
Brigade to be detached.

Similarly, the _Cavalry Brigade_ can detach one of its _Regiments_
provided with Sections from the Field Troop of Engineers, the Field
Ambulance, and the A.S.C. Company, so as to be self-contained.

In exactly the same manner, the _Division_ of Infantry can at any time
detach a _Brigade_ provided with its due proportion of all Arms and
Administrative Services, without confusion and delay.

The _Infantry Brigade_, also, can detach _Battalions_ equally
self-contained; and the _Artillery Brigade_ can allot a Section of its
Ammunition Column to any _Battery_ which it may be desirable to detach.


The following principles have been adopted:

Separation of the General Staff from the Branches of the Staff charged
with Routine and Administrative work, and making the latter Branches
subordinate to the General Staff for their general direction, while
independent in their working. This matter has been discussed in Chapter

Reduction of the numbers attached to General Head-Quarters, by
relegating most of the Directors of the Administrative Services to
the L. of C. This is very desirable in the case of the Services which
work on the L. of C., in order that the Directors may be in intimate
touch with their work. As a rule, only the Directors of Army Signals,
Supplies, Transport, and Medical Services will accompany General
Head-Quarters at the front.


The view has been accepted that the same body of Cavalry cannot perform
the two often incompatible duties of obtaining Information, and
providing Security for the Army. This subject has been fully discussed
in Chapter II.

The Force is therefore provided with a large _Cavalry Division_ to form
the Independent Cavalry responsible for Strategic Reconnaissance, and a
smaller body, the _Mounted Brigades_, for the duty of Protection.

The Independent Cavalry is no longer hampered by having to cover the
front of the Army with a protective screen. Its strength of 4 Brigades,
or 12 Regiments, with 4 Batteries of Horse Artillery, makes it
equivalent to two Continental Cavalry Divisions, but, being permanently
organized under one Command, it will have greater flexibility, and be
more prompt and efficient in action, than the two separate Divisions.
As to this, von Bernhardi says “one strong Division under a single
Command is of far more use than two weak ones.” This endorses the
British organization.

The allotment of Mounted Infantry to replace Divisional Cavalry,
and to form the bulk of the protective Mounted Brigades, sets free
nearly all our Cavalry Regiments for their true offensive function,
for which they can be expressly trained. Our Cavalry Regiments run no
risk of being broken up to provide Divisional Cavalry or Escorts to
Head-Quarters on mobilization, as is unavoidable for many Continental
Cavalry Regiments, in which case, not only is their real Cavalry
training wasted, but their Head-Quarters are superfluous. Von Bernhardi
recommends a Cyclist Battalion being attached to each Army Corps to eke
out the Cavalry, a suggestion we have anticipated by the use of Mounted

The organization of Cavalry Regiments and Brigades in _three_ units
tends to facilitate command and tactical action. Our Yeomanry and
Cavalry in India have the 4-Squadron organization, and opinions differ
as to the value of the 3-Squadron Regiment, but the 3-Regiment Brigade
is undoubtedly a more flexible and efficient instrument for rapid and
decided action than the weak foreign Brigade of 2 Regiments which von
Bernhardi condemns.

The provision of _Mounted Brigades_, under the Army Commander, is
an innovation. Their functions are in foreign armies carried out by
the _Divisional Cavalry_; but the screen formed by such Squadrons,
acting independently under their Divisional Commander, can hardly be
as continuous and effective as that provided by the British Mounted
Brigades acting directly under the orders of the Army Commander.

The fire action of the Mounted Troops has been developed, as mentioned
in Chapter II. In this point the British Cavalry, armed with the
Infantry rifle, is undoubtedly in advance of any other. The use also
of Mounted Infantry, peculiar to the British Service, provides more
efficient fire action for both Army and Divisional Protective Cavalry
than in any other army. This will increase the power of the _protective
screen_ to drive in that of the enemy, and assist the Advanced Guards
to push on, or at least to hold their ground till the main body can
deploy and come into action.


Two Machine Guns form an integral part of Battalions and Cavalry
Regiments. This provides a greater number of these guns than in
Continental armies at present (see page 34).


The proportion of guns to Infantry has in all armies been steadily
rising during late years. It is now higher in the British than even in
the German organization, and far higher than in other armies.

The modern tendency to provide different natures for different purposes
has been followed, in allotting a _Howitzer Brigade_ and a _Heavy
Battery_ to each Division.

In action a number of assistants are allotted to each Artillery
Commander, to enable him to use indirect fire with facility, and to
combine the fire of all his guns to the greatest effect.


The organization of the supply of ammunition in action has been
systematized in detail. Ammunition Columns are organized so as to be
divided readily to accompany detached Batteries, and to facilitate the
supply of ammunition to Infantry, Cavalry, and Mounted Brigades.


Modern war demands more and more the co-operation of Engineers with
other Arms. This has been recognized in Japan, where a Battalion is
attached to a Division. The British Division has now 2 Field Companies,
or double the number in Continental armies. Each is provided with some
Bridging Equipment for forming small bridges without waiting for the
“Bridging Trains” to come up. There are two of these Bridging Trains,
which form part of the Army Troops, and are ready to be sent to the
front whenever it is foreseen that large bridges will be required on
the forward march of any part of the Army. When there is no need of
them, the Bridging Trains will march in rear, so as not to block the


One of the most important improvements in the British organization is
that a Division is formed of _three_ Infantry Brigades, instead of the
_two_ nearly universal in foreign armies. This change has often been
recommended by foreign military experts, notably by von der Golz in his
“Nation in Arms.” It is economical in Divisional Staff, and increases
the importance and efficiency of the Divisional Command. It provides
12 Battalions for a Division, as in Germany, but without the insertion
of an extra link--the _Regiment_--in the chain of Command. The almost
universal organization of Infantry in foreign armies in Army Corps of 2
Divisions, Divisions of 2 Brigades, and Brigades of 2 Regiments, must
be considered, for reasons already stated, a faulty one. The British
Divisional organization, both in Infantry and Cavalry, is undoubtedly


The personnel and equipment necessary for inter-communication are now
provided by a number of “Communication Units.” These ensure ready and
effective communication between the Commander-in-Chief and his Cavalry
and his Infantry Divisions, between the Divisions themselves, as well
as internally in each. This is now more important than ever, owing
to the wider dispersion of the troops, and the absolute necessity of
obtaining early intelligence about the enemy, and transmitting orders
without delay. All means of Communication, whether by telegraph,
_wireless_, telephone, day and night signalling, or despatch riders,
should be under _one_ organization. Each Command--Army, Division,
Brigade--is now provided with means of communication forming integral
portions of the Command, and trained Regimental Signallers carry on the
system from Brigade Head-Quarters to the troops actually at the front.
In no other army is the Telegraph system so completely organized, while
Signalling is but little developed outside England.


In the British Service alone has the important principle been
adopted of separating the duties on the Lines of Communication into
two independent branches, that of their _Protection_, and that of
their _Administration_, thus leaving the Officer charged with their
administration to concentrate his attention on this vital matter.
This Officer, the Inspector-General of L. of C., has now to assist
him an adequate Staff, whose composition is organized beforehand, and
no longer left to be improvised in war. The organization of the L.
of C. has been remodelled, and the necessary Staffs allotted to the
Base, Railhead, Advanced Depôts, and smaller posts. This will prevent
confusion at the outset, and facilitate working on the L. of C.

The organization of the Administrative Services on the L. of C. has
been elaborated in great detail, to ensure their efficient action.
This applies especially to the _Medical Services_, whose organization
is now as complete and well thought out as in any army in the world,
and to the _Transport_ and _Supply_ Services, which, as explained in
Chapter VII., are closely united, and likely, therefore, to work better
together than in foreign armies, where Transport is a Combatant Unit,
and Supply a Civil Department.

The great importance of _Railways_ on the L. of C. has been fully
realized. British war experience has of late been considerable, and
the personnel required for working railways in war has been carefully
thought out, and organized in great detail. The number of Railway
Units has been increased, and, in their completion to war strength on
mobilization, full advantage has been taken of the unrivalled resources
of England in highly trained railway personnel.


The financial difficulties met by an Army in the Field have been
faced, and the C.-in-C. relieved from responsibility for them. An
establishment of personnel to deal with _Accounts_ and _Audit_
accompanies the Army in the Field, and is stationed at the Base, so as
to systematize the Finance and Accounts, and facilitate the custody and
issue of cash for necessary administrative purposes.

A clerical establishment has been established in the _Base Records
Office_, which should greatly relieve the fighting units from all
possible clerical and office work which can be done at the Base.


A complete _Postal Service_ for the Army in the Field has now been for
the first time provided in the War Organization.


The question of Reinforcements has been met by mobilizing with each
Unit what are termed its _First Reinforcements_, at the rate of 10 per
cent. of the rank and file. These accompany their Units to the theatre
of operations, but are at first left at the Base in depôts which are
organized on mobilization to receive them. From these depôts they can,
when needed, be sent to reinforce their own Units at the front, without
delay or confusion.

Reinforcements of “Second Line” Troops are provided from the “Imperial
Service Section” of the Territorial Force, who can be sent abroad as
Units for defence of Lines of Communication, escorting prisoners,
guarding conquered territory, and all duties for which Second Line
Troops are used in foreign armies.

Arrangements for Reinforcements in _horses_ have been made, by
registering private horses at home, and organizing the collection of
horses purchased abroad, as well as by the organization of Remount
Depôts on the L. of C.






The organization of foreign armies differs considerably from that of
the British Army. They are, however, all formed on the German model,
with the exception of the Army of the United States. Their organization
is therefore to some extent identical, and may be understood from the
following table, showing the normal Continental organization, which has
been copied also by Japan. The organization of the United States has
followed original lines.

Notes are given of the main points in which some foreign armies differ
from the normal organization.

Then follow tables showing the war organization of each of the chief
armies of the world (1909). That of the German Army, the typical
Continental Army, is given in greater detail than the others.



  Company: 250 men.

  Battalion: 4 Companies, or 1,000 men.

  Regiment: 3 Battalions (all Russian, and some German, Austrian, and
      French Regiments have 4).

  Brigade: 2 Regiments.

  Division: 2 Brigades.

  Army Corps: 2 Divisions (3 in France and Austria).


  Squadron: 4 Troops, or 150 men.

  Regiment: 4 Squadrons (Russia and Austria 6; Italy and Japan 5;
      Switzerland and the United States 3, like England).

  Brigade: 2 Regiments.

  Division: 2 or 3 Brigades.


  Battery: 6 guns (4 in France, Switzerland, and the United States, 8
      in Russia).

  “Group” (our Brigade): 3 Batteries.

  Regiment: 2 “Groups.”

  Brigade: 2 Regiments.


  Companies, Squadrons, Batteries              CAPTAIN.

  (The Infantry Captain is a mounted Officer,
  except in Japan.)

  Infantry Battalions, and Artillery “Groups”  MAJOR.
  Regiments, of all Arms                       COLONEL.
  Brigades, of all Arms                        MAJOR-GENERAL.
  Divisions and Army Corps                     LIEUT.-GENERAL.

In Russia the Lieutenant-Colonel replaces the Major, as that rank does
not exist.

The following tables give the war organization of the formations of
fighting troops in the principal armies of the world.



  Battalion    4 Companies of 270, or 1,080 men.
  Regiment     3 Battalions and 1 Company of 6 machine guns.

Fighting strength: 3,000 bayonets, 6 machine guns.

Total strength: 3,300 men, 190 horses, 60 vehicles.

  Brigade      2 Regiments.
  Division     2 Brigades (a few Divisions have 3).
               1 Cavalry Regiment.
               1 Artillery Brigade of 2 Regiments.
               1 Company of Pioneers (_i.e._ Engineers).
               1 Light Bridge Train.
               4 Heavy Ammunition Columns.
               2 Infantry Ammunition Columns.
               1 Bearer Company and 4 Field Hospitals.
               3 Supply Columns and 3 Supply Parks.
               1 Horse Depôt.

Fighting strength: 12,000 rifles, 600 sabres, 72 guns, 24 machine guns.

Total strength: 17,000 men, 4,000 horses, 600 vehicles.

  Army Corps   2 Divisions (a few Corps have 3).
               1 Rifle Battalion.
               1 Company of Pioneers and 1 Telegraph Company.
              12 Ammunition Columns (4 being for Infantry).
               6 Supply Columns and 6 Supply Parks.
               2 Field Bakery Columns.
              12 Field Hospitals.
               2 Horse Depôts.

Fighting strength: 25,000 rifles, 1,200 sabres, 126 guns, 48 machine

Total strength: 41,000 men, 14,000 horses, 2,400 vehicles.


  Squadron   180 men, or 150 sabres.
  Regiment     4 Squadrons, or 750 all ranks, 750 horses.
  Brigade      2 Regiments (some 3).
  Division     3 Brigades.
               1 Horse Artillery Abteilung (2 Batteries) and 1 Light
                   Ammunition Column.
               1 Machine-Gun Section of 6 guns.
               1 Mounted Detachment, of 1 Officer, 33 men.

Fighting strength: 3,600 sabres, 12 guns, 6 machine guns.

Total strength: 5,000 men, 5,300 horses, 200 vehicles.



  Battery      6 guns and 6 ammunition wagons.
  Abteilung (British Brigade):
               3 Batteries (only 2 in Horse Artillery).
  Regiment     2 Abteilungen of Artillery and 2 Light Ammunition Columns.
  Brigade      2 Regiments, or 2,300 men, 2,000 horses, 70 guns and
                   ammunition wagons, 90 vehicles.

(In one Division of each Army Corps 1 Abteilung is detached for duty
with the Reserve Army.)


  Battery      4 Heavy Field Howitzers, or Field Mortars.
  Battalion    4 Howitzer (or 2 Mortar) Batteries and 1 Light Ammunition

One Battalion of Heavy Field Howitzers will probably be allotted to
each Army Corps. Their function is to support the Field Artillery.

The Heavy Field Howitzer Battery has 4 guns and 8 wagons.

The Field Mortar Battery has 4 mortars, each with 3 carriages--one for
travelling, one for firing, and one carrying firing platform. It has no
ammunition wagons.

The function of Field Mortars is to attack Barrier Forts, or strongly
defended positions. These Batteries will probably be allotted to
Armies, not Army Corps.


Field Battery wagons: 130 rounds shrapnel per gun.

Light Ammunition Columns, Field Artillery: 58 shrapnel, 44 high
explosive, per gun.

Heavy Ammunition Columns, Field Artillery, 8 per Army Corps, or 1 per
Artillery Regiment: 115 shrapnel, 26 high explosive, per gun.

Total with Troops, per Field Gun: 373 rounds, of which 80 per cent. are
shrapnel, 20 high explosive.



  Battalion    4 Companies.
  Regiment     3 Battalions.
  Brigade      2 Regiments (some 3).
  Division     2 Brigades (some 3).
               1 Squadron of Cavalry.
               3 Brigades of Field Artillery, 36 guns.
               1 Company of Engineers.

Fighting strength: 12,000 to 18,000 rifles, 150 sabres, 36 guns.

  Army Corps   2 Divisions, and probably a third
                    from the Reserve Army. Battalions
                    of Rifles in some Corps.
               1 Cavalry Brigade.
               4 Brigades of Field Artillery, 48
               1 Battalion of Heavy Artillery.
               1 Company of Engineers.

Fighting strength: 36,000 to 42,000 rifles, 1,500 sabres, 126 guns.


  Regiment     4 Squadrons.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.
  Division     3 Brigades (some 2).
               2 Batteries of Horse Artillery.



  Battery      4 guns, 8 wagons.
  “Groupe” (British Brigade):
                   3 Batteries.
  Regiment     2 Brigades.


  Battery      2 guns.
  Battalion    3 Batteries (6 guns--6 in.).



  Regiment     4 Battalions and 8 machine guns.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.
  Division     2 Brigades of Infantry.
               1 Brigade of Artillery.
  Army Corps   2 Infantry Divisions.
               1 Cavalry Division.
               1 Engineer Battalion and Park.

Fighting strength: 28,000 rifles, 3,600 sabres, 124 guns.

Total strength: 40,000 men, 16,000 horses.


  Regiment     6 Squadrons.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.
  Division     2 Brigades, and 1 Horse Artillery Brigade.

Fighting strength: 3,600 sabres, 12 guns.

  Corps        2 Cavalry Divisions.


  Battery      Field, 8 guns.
               Horse and Howitzer, 6 guns.

  Division     2 or 3 Batteries and an Ammunition Column.



  Regiment     3 (or 4) Battalions.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.
  Division     2 Brigades of Infantry.
               1 Rifle Battalion.
               3 Squadrons.
               1 Artillery Regiment of 2 Divisions, each of 2 Batteries.
               1 Company of Engineers.

Strength: 16,000 rifles, 730 sabres, 24 guns.

  Army Corps   3 Divisions of Infantry.
               1 Troop of Cavalry.
               2 Regiments of Field Artillery.
               1 Regiment of Howitzers.
               1 Division of Heavy Artillery.
               1 Company of Engineers.

Strength: 32,000 rifles, 1,500 sabres, 144 guns.

Total strength: 46,000 men, 13,000 horses, 4,000 vehicles.


  Squadron     2 Troops.
  Regiment     6 Squadrons, 4 machine guns.
  Brigade      2 Regiments (12 Squadrons).
  Division     2 Brigades.
               1 Machine-Gun Unit (4 guns).
               1 “Division” of Horse Artillery (3 Batteries, 12 guns).

Fighting strength: 3,600 sabres, 12 guns.


  Battery      Horse, 4 guns.
               Field, 6 guns, 6 wagons.
               Howitzer, 6 guns, 12 wagons.

  Division (British Brigade):
               Horse, 3 Batteries.
               Field or Howitzer, 2 Batteries.

  Regiment     2 Divisions (24 guns) and 4 Ammunition Parks.


  Battery      4 guns, or howitzers, 16 wagons.
  Division     4 Batteries.


  Battery      4 guns, or howitzers (mountain).
  Regiment     4 Batteries and an Ammunition Park.



  Battalion    4 Companies (3 in Rifle and “Alpine” Battalions).
  Regiment     3 Battalions.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.
  Division     2 Brigades.
               1 Squadron of Cavalry.
               1 Brigade of Artillery.
               1 Company of Engineers.

Fighting strength: 12,000 rifles, 150 sabres, 24 guns.

  Army Corps   2 Divisions.
               1 Battalion of Rifles.
               1 Squadron of Cavalry.
               1 Brigade of Artillery.

Fighting strength: 25,000 rifles, 450 sabres, 72 guns.


  Regiment     5 Squadrons.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.
  Division     2 Brigades.
               1 Brigade of Horse Artillery.


  Battery      Field or Horse, 6 guns.
               Heavy, 4 guns.
               Mountain, 4 guns.
  Brigade      Field, 4 Batteries and an Ammunition Column.
               Horse, 2 Batteries and an Ammunition Column.



  Regiment     3 Battalions, 6 machine guns.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.
  Division     2 Brigades.
               1 Cavalry Regiment of 3 Squadrons.
               1 Artillery Regiment.
               1 Engineer Battalion of 3 Companies.
               1 Bridge Train.


  Regiment     5 Squadrons.
  Brigade      2 Regiments of 5 Squadrons each.
               1 Machine-Gun Unit of 8 guns.
               1 Horse Artillery Battery.


  Battery      6 guns, 6 ammunition wagons.
  Battalion    3 Batteries.
  Regiment     2 Battalions.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.


Future war organization by Divisions, which will, in 1912, replace the
present organization in 4 Army Corps.


  Regiment     3 Battalions.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.
               1 Battalion of Rifles.
               1 Squadron of Mounted “Guides.”
  Mountain Brigade:
               5 Battalions.
               1 Machine-Gun Unit.
               2 Mountain Batteries.
               1 Engineer Company.
               1 Signalling Unit.
  Division     3 Infantry Brigades.
               1 Mountain Brigade.
               2 Squadrons of Mounted “Guides.”
               1 Brigade of Field Artillery.
               1 Battalion of Engineers.
               1 Light Bridge Train.
               1 Telegraph Company.

Of the 18 Infantry Brigades, 4 will be “Mountain Brigades.”


  Regiment     (Cavalry and “Guides”) 3 Squadrons.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.
               1 Machine-Gun Unit of 8 guns.


  Battery      4 guns.
  Regiment     6 Batteries.
               1 Ammunition Column.
  Brigade      2 Regiments.


The organization of the army of the United States is on different lines
from that of other armies.

No higher formation than the Regiment exists in peace, but it is
understood that the following is the organization contemplated in war.


  Company      3 Officers, 128 men (in 2 Platoons).
  Battalion    4 Companies, under a Major.
  Regiment     3 Battalions, or 1,600 men, under a Colonel.
  Brigade      3 Regiments, or 4,800 men.
  Division     3 Brigades.
  Army Corps   3 Divisions.


  Troop        3 Officers, 100 men (in 4 Platoons).
  Squadron     4 Troops, 400 men, under a Major.
  Regiment     3 Squadrons, or 1,200 men, under a Colonel.


  Battery      4 guns, 4 Officers, 160 men.
  Battalion    3 Batteries, under a Major.
  Regiment     2 Battalions, under a Colonel.



It may be of interest to glance at the strength of the Forces which the
chief military nations will put into the field at the outbreak of war.
The strength depends essentially on the number of organized Formations
of Troops. It would be quite erroneous to estimate it by the total
number of individual soldiers which the nation is estimated to possess.

Large numbers of untrained men, without organization to embody them in,
add little to actual military strength.


The Army which will take the field at the outbreak of war is the
Regular Army, which is organized, kept up, and trained, year by year,
in peace. The War Army will be this Peace Army _mobilized_, or brought
up to war strength and completed in every essential, by calling up
reserve officers and men to fill its ranks.

The Force thus produced is the “Army of First Line,” and its strength
is measured by the number of the main Sub-Commands (Army Corps or
Divisions) which the peace organization indicates that it is intended
to form on mobilization. The men in its ranks are from 20 to 30 years
of age. The Army will, on mobilization, form large _depôts_ for all its
units, on which to draw for reinforcements.


Most nations will also mobilize an “Army of Second Line,” mainly
composed of Reserve Divisions of Infantry. Some of these Divisions may
be inserted in the Army Corps of the First-Line Force, as in France and
Austria; others may be added independently to some of the Armies, as
in the German Army in 1866 and 1870; in some cases they may be formed
into a separate Reserve Army, either for support of the Armies in the
Field, or for special operations in a separate theatre. The main work,
however, of the “Second-Line” Force will be to defend the Lines of
Communication, and provide troops for Sieges, for Garrisons, and for
Coast Defence. It will also have to guard the railways at home, keep
order in the cities, guard frontiers, and take charge of prisoners.
Germany provides an Army of Third Line, called the Landwehr or Home
Defence Army, for the latter purposes.

Until late years no country but Prussia had an Army of Reserve, or a
“Territorial Army.” Its formation to replace loose levies, or “National
Guards,” has been a great step in organization for war. The latter,
being practically improvised bodies, were deficient in discipline and
cohesion, even if inspired by patriotism and courage. Territorial
Forces, on the contrary, are to some extent organized, at least with
“cadres”--that is, in skeleton--the officers for them being allotted
beforehand; their personnel, too, will consist to some extent of men
who have had more or less training; their arms and equipment can be
provided in peace. The process, therefore, of mobilizing a Territorial
Force will be far less hasty and confused than in the case of new
levies. At the same time, “Second-Line Armies” are never so well
organized as those of First Line. They comprise an undue proportion
of Infantry to the other Arms, and will be weak in Cavalry, guns, and
Engineers; their Administrative Services will be mainly improvised;
they will be officered by old regular officers, or non-professional
younger ones; the men will have been some years away from the ranks,
and their training will be rusty. The formation, too, of Reserve Units
will generally have to be postponed until the heavy work of mobilizing
and concentrating the First-Line Army is completed. In German opinion
the Reserve Army is not fit to be placed in first line at the beginning
of a war.

The British Territorial Force differs from all others in being
completely organized with a correct proportion of all Arms and
Services, and provided in peace with Subordinate Commanders and their
Staff, besides being trained annually.


In addition to the above Reserve Forces, all foreign nations possess
a last resource in the shape of a great number of men, many of whom,
however, have received no training at all. Being totally unorganized,
they could only be used as reserve men to fill the depôts of the
organized Forces, and should not rightly be counted in to swell the
numbers of available troops.

It may be of interest to glance at the actual forces which Germany
could produce for war, as her army may be taken as the best developed
example of the modern national armies of Europe.

  _A._ Army of First Line: 23 Army Corps and 14 Cavalry Divisions,
         with their Depôts.

  _B._ Reserve Army, of Second Line: 48 Infantry Divisions, formed by
         Cadres taken from the Standing Army in peace, and filled by men
         who have passed through the Army into the Reserve.

  _C._ Landwehr Army, of Third Line: 30 to 40 Brigades of
         Infantry--that is, 1 per Division, or perhaps only 1 per Army
         Corps, of the Standing Army.

Cadres for _B_ and _C_ are formed as follows:

Each _Infantry Regiment_ of the Army in peace forms on mobilization:

  (_a_) A Depôt for itself, to supply drafts.

  (_b_) A Reserve Regiment for B.

  (_c_) 1 or 2 Companies of a “Landwehr” Regiment for C.

Each _Cavalry Regiment_ forms its own depôt with its 5th Squadron, and
provides 2 reserve Squadrons for _B_ and _C_.

_Artillery_ and _Pioneers_ form a few units for _B_ and _C_.

The _Train_ does the same, but can only supply rudimentary units.



The following table shows the strength of the Armies of First and
Second Line which could be put into the field by the various military
nations at the beginning of a war. The strength is shown in Army Corps
and Divisions, and the Armies are placed in two Categories:

_A._ The larger ones, organized by Army Corps.

_B._ Those organized by Divisions.

The strength shown does not include Troops raised in the Colonies,
nor those garrisoning outlying possessions, such as the Russian Army
Corps in the Caucasus and Siberia, or the British garrisons of Coaling

The British 7th Division, made up of the Mediterranean and Cape
garrisons, and the French Army Corps in Algeria, are, however, included.

The numbers of Cavalry and Reserve Divisions are conjectural, as in
most cases they are only formed for war.


                   |      Army of First Line.      |Army of Second Line.
       Nation.     +-----------+-------------------+--------------------
                   |Army Corps.| Cavalry Divisions.| Reserve Divisions.
  Russia           |    31     |         30        |         52
  Germany          |    23     |         14        |         48
  France           |    21     |          8        |         38
  Austria-Hungary  |    16     |          8        |         16
  Italy            |    12     |          4        |         12


                   |       Army of First Line.     |Army of Second Line.
       Nation.     +-----------+-------------------+--------------------
                   | Divisions.| Cavalry Divisions.| Reserve Divisions.
  Turkey           |    21     |        6          |         24
  Japan            |    19     |    4 Brigades     |          ?
  Great Britain    |     7     |        1          |         14
  India            |     9     |        3          |          —
  Spain            |    14     |        —          |          —
  Bulgaria         |     9     |        —          |          —
  Switzerland      |     6     |    4 Brigades     |          —
  Other Nations of |           |                   |
      Europe       |  3 to 6   |        —          |          —




This interesting subject can only be treated very cursorily, but it
is hoped to present a general view of the developments which have
taken place in the organization of armies in the field, since the
introduction of firearms.

The method adopted for describing this process of evolution is as

The beginnings of organization, and the earliest organized
forces--those of the Reiters and Landsknechts in the fifteenth
century--are briefly described.

An account follows of the subsequent development of organization in
each Arm of the Service separately, noting especially the armies which
stand out as the best organized of their time--namely, the Dutch Army
of Maurice of Nassau, and the Swedish of Gustavus Adolphus.

A description is given of the “New Model” Army raised by the Parliament
in their struggle with Charles I., which is a typical example of
seventeenth-century organization. The New Model is of especial interest
to Englishmen, not only from the unmatched quality and unbroken
success which make it one of the most remarkable armies in history,
but because its organization still survives to a great extent in the
British Army of to-day.

After describing the organization of armies during the eighteenth
century, the great changes introduced in the wars of the French
Revolution are discussed, and it is shown how modern forms of
organization have resulted from them.

A chapter is devoted to the development of the Staff, and more
especially that of the General Staff, and some remarks are then given
on the evolution of the Services of Transport and Supply, and of
Medical Organization for War.

Throughout these chapters notice is taken of the period at which our
military terms were introduced, and the way in which they obtained
their special signification--a subject of some interest in connection
with organization. These facts are embodied for reference in a list of
military terms, showing their origin and derivation, given in Appendix

In this connection it did not seem out of place to make some remarks
on the inconsistencies and ambiguities of our present Military
Terminology, with the view of pointing out the desirability of
reforming it. These remarks are given in Appendix B.




The organization of armies in the ancient world, or in Asia in more
recent times, must be regarded as beyond the scope of this work. The
history of Organization will be taken up at the time when the use of
firearms had begun to revolutionize fighting, and transform the feudal
levies of the Middle Ages into regular armies.

Modern organization dates from the close of the Feudal Epoch in the
fifteenth century, after which wars were waged less for national
purposes than for the furtherance of dynastic or State interests, and
were no longer carried on by the levy of the nation, but by mercenaries
hired by the Monarch or the State.

This process originated in Italy, where the rivalry of the trading
republics caused them to engage Swiss, English, and other mercenaries
to fight their neighbours. Hence we find that military organization
in its modern form originated in Italy, and that in consequence
most military terms are derived from Italian, as may be seen in such
words as _infantry_, _cavalry_, _colonel_, _squadron_, _battalion_,
_regiment_. This nomenclature was definitely adopted by the French
after their invasion of Italy in 1496, and, through French, has
passed into universal use. Thus, by 1524, we find _Colonel_ used in
France, whence it reached England in the time of Elizabeth, along with
_Regiment_, _Cavalry_, and _Infantry_.

Permanent regular forces are first found in France near the end of the
fifteenth century, when the King raised _Companies_ of men-at-arms
(gens d’armes) or armoured horsemen, and of foot archers and
halberdiers, of whom his Scottish Guards were the finest type. Up to
that time the “Lance”--that is, the fully armoured knight with his
retinue of a squire, a page, and three or four mounted men--formed the
principal element of every military force. A number of such independent
Lances, jealous of each other, and untrained to act together, could
not be _organized_ in the modern sense. Besides these mounted men,
there was usually a mass of men on foot unarmoured and ill-armed,
undisciplined and untrained. In feudal times it was only the English
archers, the Genoese crossbowmen, and the Swiss halberdiers who had the
discipline and training to make them of any account as Infantry.

The word _company_ in its military sense denoted originally the
gathering of feudal retainers who followed their lord to the wars; it
then came to mean the band who obeyed a _Captain_ (_caput_, _head_),
some noted leader among the mercenaries from whom regular armies
sprang. The word _company_ is derived from the Old French _compainie_,
the Latin _companion-em_ (_companion_), from _cum-pane_ (_with bread_),
implying an intimate association of men in one mess.

The Company of Horse was soon differentiated from that of Foot, by
being called a _Troop_--a word of uncertain origin, by some connected
with _turba_ (a _crowd_), by others with the root of the Teutonic
_treiben_ (_drive_), and akin to a _drove_.

The strength of a Company was at first indefinite, and amounted to
some hundreds of men, but it was gradually made smaller, so as to be
more flexible and mobile. The practice of the most successful leaders
finally reduced it to a definite body of about a hundred men, which it
was found was the largest number which could with certainty be reached
by the voice, and commanded by one man, in battle.

This strength of one hundred men was that of a Company of the Scottish
Guards in France, and is found in England in the troops and companies
of the army of Henry VIII.; it is still that of our Companies to-day.

The assemblage of a number of Companies and Troops made up the _Army_
(from the French _Armée_, Italian _Armata_, or _armed host_). Its
_Commander_ (Old French _Commandaire_, Late Latin _Commandator_, a
word which occurs in English in the fourteenth century) was styled
the King’s _Constable_ (_Comes Stabuli_, or _Master of the Horse_),
a dignity as old as the early Frankish Kings. His Second-in-Command
was the _Marshal_ (Old French _Mareschal_, Late Latin _Mariscalcus_,
from Teutonic _mara_, _horse_, and _skalk_, _servant_). Down to our
day the title of the highest military rank in France has always been
_Maréchal de France_. But there was also a _Maréchal de Camp_ of
lower rank, only immediately senior to a Colonel, so that the Germans
made a mistake when, in the eighteenth century, they translated the
latter, and not the former, title, and called their highest rank of
Officer _Feld-Marschal_, which we have adopted as _Field-Marshal_.
The difference between the two titles may be exemplified by Marshal
Belleisle’s remark on Montcalm’s exploit at Ticonderoga: “If it were
_possible_ for the King to make a Maréchal de Camp a Maréchal de
France, he would do it for Montcalm.”

The term _Constable_ for the Supreme Commander soon dropped out, and
was replaced by _Marshal_, and later by _Captain-General_, which lasted
down to Marlborough’s time. The word _Commander-in-Chief_, which does
not occur in English till the middle of the seventeenth century, came
into use as the official title early in the eighteenth.


It had become usual by the sixteenth century to raise soldiers by
larger bodies than the Company or Troop, and these were called
_Regiments_, from being under the _regiment_, or _rule_, of one man.
This officer was called the _Oberst_, or _uppermost man_, in Germany,
but in other countries the _Colonel_. This word comes from the Italian
_Colonello_ (_little column_), which perhaps meant the leading Company,
or that of the Colonel. In Spanish it is _Coronel_, which seems to have
given rise to our pronunciation of the word.

The Colonel practically owned the Regiment he raised, and especially
the first Company of it, from which he derived his emoluments. It thus
became a practice for men of position to raise Regiments, first of
Horse--then the nobler Arm--and later of Foot also. Such noblemen were
often too busy, or too grand, to attend personally to their Regiment,
and soon became mere absentees. Their Command was then gradually
transferred to their _locum tenens_, the _lieu-tenant_ of the Colonel,
so called because the Command of the Company, or Troop, of which the
Colonel was nominally the Captain, always devolved on his Lieutenant.
Thus the officer styled the _Lieutenant-Colonel_ began to act as
Commander of the Regiment, as he is to this day in England.


The origin of the modern organization of Regiments of Horse and
Foot can be traced in most of its details to that of the German
_Landsknecht_ Infantry and _Reiter_ Cavalry in Germany towards
the end of the fifteenth century. The organization of both was
nearly identical, being no doubt adapted from the Swiss, and the
Italian _Condottieri_, or the English _Free Companies_, typical
fourteenth-century mercenaries.

The Regiment was raised as follows: A leader of distinction, the
_Colonel_, selected his _Captains_; the latter raised the Troops
or Companies to form the Regiment, by enlisting recruits in their
districts with beat of drum and proclamation, exactly as in England for
centuries later. The Captain of Horse was called _Rittmeister_ (_Reiter
meister_, or _master of Reiters_), and the Captain of Foot, _Hauptmann_
(_Head-man_), as they are in Germany to this day.

The Colonel chose his _locum tenens_, or _Lieutenant_, as did also each
Captain. A _Fähnrich_ (_Flagbearer_) was appointed to each Troop or
Company, that his flag might present a conspicuous rallying point. To
the Flagbearer was attached a _Trumpeter_ in each Troop of Horse, or a
_Fifer_ and _Drummer_ in each Company of Foot, so that the men could
rally to the flag by sound, as well as by sight, in the confusion of
battle. The flag of the Horse was triangular or hornshaped, whence it
was called in French a _Cornette_, while that of the Foot was square,
and termed the _Enseigne_ (Latin _Insignium_). Hence the officers
who carried the flags were later designated _Cornets_ and _Ensigns_,
in Cavalry and Infantry Regiments respectively. These titles for the
junior Lieutenants who carried the flags survived in England till
late in the nineteenth century, and it seems a pity to have replaced
so picturesque and concise a designation of rank by the cumbrous and
un-English term _Second Lieutenant_.

There were thus, in each Troop or Company, three Officers, the
_Captain_, the _Lieutenant_, and the _Ensign_, the same found in the
subsequent organization of all armies.

Besides these three officers, each Troop of Reiters had a
_Wachmeister_, and each Company of Landsknechts a _Feldwebel_, terms
still retained in Germany with the meaning of _Sergeant_. This officer
was of great importance in the unit, as he was charged with its drills
in peace, and with its manœuvres in battle, when the other officers
were in front fighting, and could not watch the men. As the Sergeant
had to give orders in action, he became also responsible for Orders at
all times, so that he was virtually a kind of Adjutant to the unit.
In battle the Infantry Sergeant had to run up and down the Company to
supervise its movements; he, therefore, could not well be encumbered
with the long pike, but retained the earlier halberd, which survived as
the special arm of the Sergeant of Infantry in England down to 1829.

There was similarly in the _Regiment_ a corresponding officer, the
_Sergeant-Major_, later styled simply the _Major_, as he still is. He
was practically a Staff Officer, or Adjutant, to the Colonel, exactly
as the _Sergeant_ was to the Captain. He issued the Colonel’s orders to
the Sergeants, and was responsible for the drill of the Regiment, and
its manœuvres in battle. He was therefore mounted, even in the Infantry
Regiment, like our Adjutant to-day, in order that he might move rapidly
up and down the Regiment, to superintend its movements and give orders
to the Sergeants of the various Companies.

There was also in the Reiters a _Quarter-Master_, the _Fourier_
(as the French still style him), with a subordinate (now the
Quarter-Master-Sergeant). His duties were to provide _quarters_,
and, as the men had to be fed in these quarters, he became charged
in addition with _subsistence_, exactly as is our Quarter-Master
to-day. In old times the Quarter-Master was also responsible for
_reconnaissance_, which was no doubt due to the fact that, having
to precede the troops on the march, so as to provide quarters for
them that evening, it fell to him to decide on the correct route,
and he had, therefore, to reconnoitre to the front. What are now the
Staff duties of reconnaissance and directing marches became thus
associated with the Quarter-Master of each unit, and afterwards with
the corresponding officer, the Quarter-Master-General of the whole
army. Therefore, down to a few years ago, the Q.M.G. was charged
with all Staff work connected with marches, routes, reconnaissance,
and information--a curious survival through four centuries of the
organization of the Reiters.

As regards subordinates, or, as we should now say, non-commissioned
officers, there was a _File-Master_ (_Rottmeister_) at the head of each
file, for the Troop or Company was drawn up in very deep formation.
This specially selected soldier was called _Capo di Squadra_ (_Head
of the Squad_) in Italian, a reminiscence of the early formation of
the smallest fighting body (our _Squad_) in a square (_Squadra_). From
_Capo di Squadra_ came the French _Caporal_ (which we have rendered
_Corporal_, by false derivation from _corporalis_, _corpus_, _body_),
who is still the Squad leader. The fact that they originally stood
in the ranks at the head of the files accounts for the inclusion of
Corporals, but not Sergeants, in the expression _Rank and File_, for
the Sergeants were out of the ranks, superintending the men, as they
are to-day.

The organization of a Regiment of Reiters or of Landsknechts, as
described above, became by the end of the sixteenth century general
in all armies, and has, in essentials, survived in modern Regimental
organization. The Regiment bore the name of the man who raised it
or succeeded to its command, down into the nineteenth century,
although _Numbers_ began to replace personal _Names_ as titles of
Regiments, during the eighteenth. The Regiment, whether of Cavalry or
Infantry, was rather the administrative than the tactical unit on the
battlefield, and formed, as to-day, the permanent organization through
which the men received their pay, clothing, and subsistence. Hence
arose the strong and lasting regimental traditions and esprit-de-corps,
which survive in the older armies to-day.

The first country to possess a formidable Standing Army was Spain, in
the sixteenth century, and her example was soon followed by France,
the Empire, and the Netherlands, and in the next century by Sweden,
England, and Prussia.

The most important developments in war organization were due to great
military reformers, whose armies became the model of their day to all
other countries. These were Maurice of Nassau, who led the Dutch in
their terrible struggle with Spain towards the close of the sixteenth
century, and Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, who a few years later
formed the famous army which carried all before it during the Thirty
Years’ War. The improvements introduced by these great soldiers will be
described in the following chapters, which deal with the evolution of
the organization of each Arm separately.



During the sixteenth century, foot soldiers began to be called
_Infantry_ (French _Infanterie_), after the practice of the Italian
_Condottieri_, who used to call their soldiers their “lads,” as
English officers have always had a habit of doing. They used the word
_Fanti_, from Latin _Infans_, a child who could not talk (_in_, _not_,
and _fari_, _speak_). Similarly, Blücher addressed his men on their
toilsome march to Waterloo as “meine Kinder” (“my children”), and
Americans talk of their soldiers as “the boys.”

The rise of Infantry from its position of abject inferiority to
the mounted men-at-arms may be dated from the fourteenth century,
when English archers overthrew the chivalry of France at Cressy and
Poictiers, and Swiss halberdiers that of Austria at Morgarten and
Sempach. In the next century the Swiss phalanxes (who had now replaced
their halberds by pikes) defeated the Burgundian Horse at Morat and
Nancy, thus assuring the independence of their country. About the
same time the Hussite peasants of Bohemia, effectively organized
by their great leader, John Zisca, were holding their own against
the horsemen of Austria. Towards the end of the fifteenth century
a new type of Infantry arose in the Suabian Landsknechts (country
fellows), an appellation corrupted into “Lance Knights” in England, and
“Lansquenets” in France. They imitated and improved on the organization
and tactics of their neighbours, the Swiss, and soon began to rival
them as Infantry.


Like the Swiss, the Landsknechts were armed with the long pike. The
halberd, discarded during the fifteenth century, was a formidable
weapon, with its triple combination of pike head for thrusting, axe
blade for striking, and crook to drag the horseman down. But its
eight-foot shaft was not so effective against a charge of Horse as a
hedge of eighteen-foot spikes, with butts on the ground, in the hands
of half-a-dozen ranks, one behind the other. The pike now became the
general arm of Infantry, and only finally disappeared in 1700.


Modern Infantry, however, knows not the pike, and may be said to have
really originated when firearms were first carried by foot soldiers.
Of these weapons the first was the _arquebus_ (_arc-bouche_, or _bow
with a mouth_), a short tube carried in a small log or stick, the
_stock_ (German for _stick_). The charge was fired from the breast by
applying, to a hole called the vent, the lighted end of a _match_, or
rope steeped in saltpetre so as to smoulder. In the fifteenth century
we find the arquebus made longer, and of smaller bore, and the stock
shaped so as to fire from the shoulder. It was then provided with a
cock to hold the match, and bring it down at the side of the barrel on
a pan filled with a priming of powder, which fired the charge through a
side vent.

About 1520 the Spaniards began to make several improvements in the
firearm. It was made of larger bore, and all were of uniform calibre,
whence it was called a _caliver_. Being heavier, a forked rest was
provided to fire from. About 1530 a lock, copied (like the shaped
stock) from the crossbow, was added, so as to bring the cock and
match sharply down on the pan. The perfected matchlock was called a
_musquet_, and its use spread from Spain into Flanders, and thence
through Europe in the sixteenth century. In the next century it was
made lighter, which allowed the rest to be abolished.

The _musket_, as it was spelt later, then became the general firearm
of the Infantryman or Musketeer, until replaced by the rifle in the
nineteenth century.


At first, only a few picked men were armed with muskets, and were
styled “the Shot.” They were employed to skirmish on the flanks of
“the Pikes,” among whom they took refuge when attacked. But as their
efficiency and fire power increased, Musketeers grew in importance and
numbers, till the end of the sixteenth century, Maurice of Nassau
had an equal number of soldiers termed “Shots” and “Pikes” in his
Companies. Infantry had now asserted its superiority to Horsemen, who
could neither break the central mass of Pikes, nor endure the fire of
the Musketeers on the flanks.


Maurice’s army represented the best organization of the period, and
was the model followed fifty years later in the Parliamentary wars by
his British allies in the Netherlands. His Companies and Regiments
were not yet of fixed strength; they were organized on the same lines
as the Landsknechts, but were formed of equal numbers of Pikemen and
Musketeers. He introduced the division of the Company into three
Sections, each under an Officer, with a Corporal, two Sergeants, and
three Drummers. Maurice, owing to improved drill and discipline, was
able to reduce the deep formations of his day to ten ranks, which
was the least which would give continuous fire by the method then
necessary, which consisted of each man retiring to the rear when he had
fired, so as to get time for the slow operation of reloading.


Maurice drew up his army for battle according to the old Swiss
fashion in three lines, styled “van,” “battle,” and “rear,” and each
line constituted a _Brigade_, a new, but as yet an indefinite, unit,
composed of several Regiments. This is the first introduction of that
term, which is derived from the Italian _briga_, French _brigue_ (a
_quarrel_), and means “a band of opposing combatants.”


The _Battalion_ has, from the fifteenth century onwards, always been
the fighting unit of Infantry. _Battalion_--French _Bataillon_--is in
Italian _Battaglione_ (_battaglia_, or _battle array_).

In the early sixteenth century, when the _Company_ was only an
administrative unit, the _Battaglie_ were its tactical subdivisions,
and formed small units fighting separately. Hence _Battaglione_, “the
great battaglia,” was the name given to a large fighting unit and
consisting of a mass comprising several Regiments and some thousands of
men. This “Battalion” was gradually diminished in size, to meet changes
in tactics which demanded a more flexible formation for mobility, and
a smaller target, less vulnerable to the rude artillery of the day.
The experience of the more successful leaders pointed eventually to
forming a Battalion of a few hundred men, so that two or three could
be furnished by a Regiment, instead of forming a huge Battalion of
several Regiments. The fact that sometimes the Regiment formed only one
Battalion accounts for the constant confusion between the two terms,
and their indiscriminate use even to-day.


The remarkable efficiency of the Spanish Infantry which was fighting
against Maurice for the domination of the Netherlands should not be
overlooked. They had, besides musketeers, bodies of swordsmen with
bucklers, active enough to overcome the pikemen. The Spaniards were
the first to establish depôts for their army in war, where recruits
could be trained by a few old soldiers. Their Regiments were of some
1,700 men, and the Companies varied from 150 to 300. The good order of
the Spanish Army, and its strict discipline, were its most remarkable
features. In the latter half of the sixteenth century the Spanish
Infantry was undoubtedly the best in Europe.


The next development of Infantry is seen in the Swedish Army as
organized in the Thirty Years’ War by the great Gustavus Adolphus,
King of Sweden. Its efficiency and success made it the model of the
organization of all the armies in Europe, and they still retain its
main features.

Gustavus modelled his army on that of Maurice, but made many
improvements in it. His purpose was to increase mobility, and to adopt
a definite organization of units. With the first object, he lightened
the musket, so as to do away with the cumbrous rest, and increased
rapidity of fire by adopting a cartridge to hold the powder. He added
to the Musketeers till they equalled the Pikemen, and improved the
mobility of the latter by shortening the pike.

As regards organization, he adopted Brigades much smaller than those of
Maurice, and made them a definite unit of two Regiments of Infantry,
as they still are in every foreign army.

The Regiment had always been the administration unit, and the Battalion
the tactical unit. Gustavus definitely fixed the size of the Battalion,
two of which formed a Regiment. Here we find the origin of the
two-Battalion Regiment, which was universal in Europe for the next
hundred years.

The Regiment was 100 strong, and was divided into eight Companies, so
that the Battalion had four Companies. Hence we find that Battalions
in foreign armies have always had four Companies, putting on one side
the Grenadier and Light Infantry Companies, which were added later, as
described on page 190. The British Regiment, which was not divided into
Battalions, kept the eight-Company organization of Gustavus, and, when
eventually a second Battalion was added, it kept the same number of

The Regimental Officers were those of the Landsknechts--the _Colonel_,
the _Lieutenant-Colonel_, and the _Sergeant-Major_ or Staff Officer,
called later the _Major_. Four Surgeons were added to the Regimental
Staff, which was a new departure, as up to this time medical
arrangements had been the concern of the Captains only.

The Company comprised 72 muskets and 54 pikes, and was divided into
six Sections, each under a Corporal, four being of musketeers and
two of pikemen. The two Sections of musketeers on each flank formed
a new fighting unit, the _Platoon_ (French _peloton_, a _little
bundle_), which could act independently of the rest of the Company
under the Lieutenant or Ensign, while the Captain commanded the two
centre Sections of pikes. When pikes were eventually given up, the
centre Sections disappeared, and the two Platoons on the flanks then
constituted the whole Company. A Platoon thus became a Half-Company, as
the _Peloton_ still is in France. _Platoon fire_ (Half-Company volleys)
was in use in the British Army till the nineteenth century.

There were thus eight Platoons in the Battalion. We shall find that
they still formed the fighting units in the Infantry of Frederick the
Great, the Companies being then only the administrative units, although
they subsequently superseded the Platoons as the fighting units of the

The Company Officers were, as in the Landsknechts, the _Captain_, the
_Lieutenant_, the _Ensign_, and the _Sergeant_. The latter had an
assistant, the _Second Sergeant_, and there were 4 _Under-Sergeants_,
besides the 6 _Corporals_ of Sections. Three Fifes were added to the
three Drums in each Company, in which we see the origin of the Drum and
Fife Band.


During the wars of Louis XIV., in the latter part of the seventeenth
century, the development of Infantry was advanced by the reduction
of the number of pikes to one-third of the Battalion, and then to a
quarter and a fifth, till at last they were only found in a central
group in each Company, so small as to be called a _Picquet_, or
“_little body of pikes_,” whence the word _Picket_, meaning the Support
of the Outposts, probably because the musketeers furnished the sentries
and the pikes the Support.

The pike was replaced in France about 1670 by the _bayonet_, named
after the city of Bayonne, and probably suggested by the habit of the
Basques of fixing the wooden handles of their long knives into the
muzzles of their guns when smuggling in the Pyrenees. As the musket
could not be fired with the bayonet fixed, its use was inconvenient,
till the idea occurred about 1700 of attaching it by a ring clasping
the muzzle. The British Army adopted the bayonet by 1688. The musketeer
had become virtually a pikeman too. The pike, now unnecessary, was
abolished in all armies about 1700, but in England it survived for a
century in the _spontoon_, a short pike carried by junior Officers,
just as the halberd had survived for Sergeants.

In the French Army, under Louis XIV., we find the _Brigade_ an
important unit in the organization of Infantry. Colonels were selected
for this Command, which gave an opportunity for promoting the best men,
without infringing the vested right of the Colonel to his own Regiment.

One of the early Brigadiers so selected was the famous Martinet, whose
discipline has become proverbial. He was Colonel of the Model Regiment
formed in 1668, and afterwards Inspector-General of Infantry.


After the middle of the seventeenth century an important change in
the firearm was invented, by which the charge was ignited by flint
and steel instead of match, giving more certainty to the fire. The
new flintlock was called a _fusil_ (from _fucile_, _flint_); it was
at first given to picked shots, called _Fusiliers_, for skirmishing
work, but about 1700 all Infantry were armed with flintlocks. It was
introduced in Great Britain in the shape of “Brown Bess,” the musket
used until rendered obsolete by the introduction of the percussion cap
in 1840.

The individual Fusiliers carried out what were later termed the duties
of Light Infantry (see p. 188). By their superior shooting and activity
they were better fitted to move rapidly in front of the heavier
Infantry, so as to annoy the enemy by their fire, and clear the way for
the main body. These Fusiliers were before long grouped into separate
Battalions of Fusiliers, which were created in France in 1671, and
later in England and Prussia, where they survive to this day.


During the Thirty Years’ War _grenades_ (_grenada_, the _pomegranate_)
or hand-thrown bombs were introduced. This brought in another variety
of Infantry. _Grenadiers_ were powerful, tall men, picked from the
Battalion to throw the grenades. They were soon collected into one
“Grenadier Company,” which was added to those of each Battalion, and
took its place on their right.

This was done in France in 1667, and in England in 1678. Grenadiers
then gave up their special duty, and were armed with the _fusil_ for
Light Infantry duties, for which, however, they were eventually found
too heavy and slow.

The Grenadier Company continued during the eighteenth century to form
the right Company of the Battalion in most European armies. Some of
the Grenadiers were assembled in special Grenadier Regiments, like the
“Grenadier Guards” in England. In Germany and Russia the title exists
to this day, although the special functions of Grenadiers have been
obsolete for two centuries.

Thus, during the later portion of the seventeenth century, there
were four different kinds of Infantry--_Pikemen_, _Musketeers_,
_Grenadiers_, and _Fusiliers_.

The changes in armament had the effect of reducing the number of ranks
in battle. The first phalanxes of pikes had 25 ranks, which Maurice
reduced to 10, and Gustavus to 6; by 1700 the number of ranks had
become 4, which Frederick reduced to 3, and Wellington, on entering
Spain in 1808, to 2. Two ranks became the rule in Great Britain in
1824, and in the French service in 1859. The Prussians were the last
to give up three ranks, in 1888, but the third rank had long been used
only for skirmishing.


The changes in the evolution of Infantry may be seen to be due to an
ever-acting desire to have some picked troops, more mobile, and better
armed than the rest--that is, _Light Infantry_, as they were styled
later. The object of these troops was that they should act in advance,
or on the flank, of the main portion of the army. They would thus
guard it against surprise when at rest, or on the march, or in battle
break the force of the attack by what became known as _skirmishing_
(from Italian _scherma_, _fencing_). Such Light Infantry were first
seen at the battle of Pavia, in 1525, when 1,500 arquebusiers were
extended in front of the Battalions. At first these picked troops were
formed out of each Battalion, but there arose a general tendency to
gather them under one Command, and form them into special Companies.
The same tendency soon began to group these Companies into special
Battalions, which gradually lost all idea of their special functions,
and tended to become ordinary Infantry, while retaining their original
special designation. We see this process acting when the Grenadiers
were found too heavy for “light Infantry” work; and these duties were
then allotted to the “Fusiliers,” or picked shots armed with the light
fusil, who eventually became Fusilier Battalions. These, like the
Grenadier Battalions, had by the end of the seventeenth century given
up their distinctive mode of action, and become identical with the
rest of the Infantry, while retaining the title of Fusiliers; so that
when Pikemen were abolished, soon after 1700, there existed only one
sort of Infantry, although certain Regiments and Companies were termed
Grenadiers and Fusiliers.


But after all these changes the need of Light Infantry in war remained
none the less urgent, and again special troops began to be formed for
Light Infantry duties. Thus, Infantry, which had just been reduced to
one type, once more differentiated during the eighteenth century into
two kinds--ordinary and light Infantry.

The process began during the Seven Years’ War about the middle of the
eighteenth century. The Austrian Light Infantry, called _Freischarren_,
or “free hordes,” irregular troops formed from the less civilized
races in the army, caused the Prussians constant annoyance. This led
Frederick the Great to copy the idea, by collecting Austrian deserters,
and smugglers and wilder spirits from among his own people, to form
Light Infantry. He also raised from foresters and gamekeepers special
troops called _Jägers_, literally “huntsmen,” who were armed with the
more accurate rifled musket used for sport, and were well fitted for
sharp-shooting. The French followed suit, and in 1759 formed Corps of
_Chasseurs_ (the equivalent word to _Jägers_), and in 1805 raised light
troops of small men, called _Voltigeurs_--that is, “men who can turn
quickly,” from their agility. The British, too, began to form Light
Infantry out of their newly raised Highland Corps about the middle of
the eighteenth century. Later, in consequence of British experiences
in America with the backwoodsmen--good shots using rifles--special
Battalions of Rifles, like those of France and Prussia, were raised
before the end of the century.

These various descriptions of light troops in all armies were
sharp-shooters, armed with rifles, and accustomed to independent action
at the front. Their development followed two separate lines. The Light
Troops were attached to each Battalion in the form of a _Light Infantry
Company_, or sometimes grouped in special Battalions styled _Light
Infantry_, a title they still keep. The riflemen formed the Battalions
of _Rifles_, which still exist in all armies under various names,
but clothed generally in the green uniform which German gamekeepers
still wear. Green was the customary dress of a forester, as we are
reminded by the common sign for a country inn--“The Green Man.” The
addition of one or two Light Infantry Companies, and sometimes of a
Grenadier Company, raised the number of Companies in a Battalion to
ten in England, five in Prussia, and six in France, during the late
eighteenth century. Napoleon’s Battalions had six Companies, as had all
armies on the Continent (except the Prussian) up to 1866, after which
the Prussian organization, with four, was introduced, and still rules.
French Chasseur Battalions (Rifles) have retained six companies, as a
more supple and mobile organization for their special duties.

The Light Infantry Companies were much used during the Napoleonic
wars, but were soon afterwards abolished. The Rifle Battalions
gradually lost their special character as Light Troops, while retaining
their uniforms and designations, and are at present armed, trained, and
used exactly like ordinary Infantry, which has, however, adopted their
rifle and their extended formation in battle.

The tactical work of Light Infantry may perhaps be said to be now done
by Mounted Infantry, and it may be asked whether the Rifle Regiments
of the British Army might not have taken up the duties of Mounted
Infantry, for which they seem suited by their origin as picked troops,
and their Peninsular reputation and regimental traditions of mobility
and independent action. In Germany a similar suggestion has been
recently made to provide Rifle Battalions with cycles, and send them
out to the front with the Cavalry--in fact, to turn them virtually into
“Mounted Infantry” on cycles.



Modern Cavalry has perhaps but slight claim to be descended from feudal
Chivalry. The Man-at-Arms, the fully armoured Knight, with his mounted
retinue of a squire, a page, and a few retainers, acted indeed by
“shock,” but _individually_, with jealous independence of his fellow
knights; whereas the efficiency of Cavalry action has from the first
rested on a combined disciplined attack. But the traditions of Chivalry
may be traced in the “Cavalry Spirit,” which preaches, like Danton,
“de l’audace, encore de l’audace, et toujours de l’audace,” and in
the prestige which still clings to the Mounted Arm. Cavalry has never
forgotten its aristocratic and romantic ancestry, and is inclined to
look down somewhat on the Infantry without whom battles cannot be
fought, and still less won. Cavalry is to this day the premier Arm in
the British and in many other Armies. In Germany the logical insight of
the Hohenzollerns has long since made Infantry the senior Arm of the

The word _Cavalry_--French _Cavallerie_, Italian _Cavaleria_--is,
like _Chivalry_, derived from the Late Latin word _caballus_, in
common use for horse when _equus_ had become highflown. But _caballus_
became _cheval_ in Early French, whence _Chivalry_; while the Italian
_Cavaleria_ was directly derived from _caballus_. The Knight’s arms,
the sword and lance, are still those of Cavalry, and his armour
survives in the metal helmet and cuirass.

The introduction of pikes and firearms for Infantry was the cause of
the extinction of the man-at-arms, although he met them by himself
adopting a firearm for use on horseback. This was at first the
_petronel_, or _poitrinal_, fired from the breast (_poitrine_) on a
rest rising from the saddle bow; then the _harquebus_, or match lock
fired from the shoulder; later the _pistol_, a shorter and lighter
weapon, used with one hand, which was introduced in Spain in 1520, and
in Germany in 1540. But by 1500 fire action had attained superiority
over shock action, and the mounted men in armour became definitely
inferior to the Infantry, whose bullets pierced their armour, and whose
pikes they could seldom break through. Armour was reduced to helmet and
cuirass, and the lance given up, not to be revived till two centuries


We first find true Cavalry of the modern type in the German “Reiters”
of the early sixteenth century, who were disciplined troopers, acting
in rank and file in organized bodies, as distinguished from the
individual man-at-arms of feudal days. The organization of the Reiters
is practically the same as that of the infantry Landsknechts already
described. They were similarly raised by their Captains, in bodies
termed _Troops_, a name which was soon replaced by a tactical unit
composed of several Troops, which arose from the tactical requirements
of the battlefield. This was the _Squadron_, a word derived from
_squadra_, Italian for _square_, because the earliest bodies of
horsemen had equal front and depth. The numbers in a Troop depended on
the popularity of the Captain; but Squadrons were of a strength based
on the fact that one man could command by voice a body of Cavalry with
a front of 50 men. Thus the “Reiter” Squadrons with six ranks were 300
strong, but those of Gustavus, with three ranks, had 150 men. This is
still the strength of a Squadron to-day.

The Officers of the Troops of Reiters were the _Captain_, still
called _Rittmeister_ (or “_Reiter_”-_master_) in Germany to-day; the
_Lieutenant_; the _Fähnrich_ (or _Colour-bearer_); the _Wachmeister_
(or _Watch-master_), as the Sergeant-Major is still called; the
_Fourier_ (or _Quarter-Master_), charged with allotting quarters and
subsistence, and also with reconnaissance, as explained on page 174. He
had an assistant, answering to our Q.M.S. Each Troop had a _Trumpeter_.
He accompanied the Colour-bearer, whose hornshaped pennon (_Cornette_
in French) gave its name to the officer carrying it, known as “Cornet”
down to our day.

The Reiters carried sword and pistol, and wore helmet and cuirass. They
were the ancestors of all Heavy Cavalry, generally called _Cuirassiers_
abroad, but simply “Regiments of Horse” in England during the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. There were always less regular
Cavalry, or _Light Horse_, for scouting, pursuit, and independent
action to front and flanks. This division of duties and names has long

To obtain better fire effect, Henry IV. of France armed his Horse with
a short arquebus called a _carabine_, whence the _Carbineers_. In
Italy a larger firearm, called a _dragon_, was given to horsemen, so
as to enable them to use fire with more effect when dismounted. Hence
originated _Dragoons_, originally merely Mounted Infantry. We have
thus got the three Arms of the Service, as commemorated in the old
expression _Horse_, _Foot_, and _Dragoons_, to denote the whole Army;
for Artillery did not become an Arm before 1700.

Towards the end of the sixteenth century, under Maurice of Nassau, the
organization of the Dutch Cavalry was further developed during the War
of Independence against Spain. His Squadrons were fixed at 120 strong,
with the three Officers and the Trumpeter of the Reiters, but were now
divided into three Sections, each under an Officer, with a Corporal.
These represent the existing _Troops_. A Farrier was added to the troop
for shoeing and veterinary work. Improved drill and discipline enabled
Maurice to reduce the ten ranks of his day to six.

Gustavus organized the Swedish Army on the same lines as Maurice, but
improved on his model in Cavalry, as in other Arms. His Troops were
smaller, only 70 strong, and were grouped in Regiments of 8 troops. He
was the first to inculcate _shock_ tactics, which he facilitated by
reducing the ranks to four, and discouraging firing from horseback.

After Gustavus’ brilliant success in the Thirty Years’ War, the use of
shock tactics was carried on in England, but was not imitated in other
countries. Cromwell, seizing on the idea with his unfailing military
insight, taught his Ironsides to charge home, and especially to rally
after the charge. He established an undying reputation as the first
great Cavalry leader in the modern sense, and his horsemen were never
equalled till Seidlitz appeared and led Frederick’s Cavalry in the
Seven Years’ War a century later. Neither of these two great soldiers
has ever been surpassed, or indeed approached, as a leader of Cavalry.

During those hundred years Cavalry continued to fire from their horses,
and charge at the trot. Even long afterwards, Napoleon’s Heavy Cavalry
did not gallop. But Cavalry began to find their true mode of action
when Marlborough and Charles XII. of Sweden expected their Horse to
charge without firing.

Frederick the Great, however, was the first to initiate true Cavalry
Tactics. He forbade any firing from horseback, formed his Cavalry in
two ranks, and trained them to charge boot to boot in long lines of
scores of Squadrons. He insisted on high speed over long distances, and
adopted the plan of charging in three lines--the first of Cuirassiers,
the second of Dragoons as a support, and the third in columns to
protect the flank. The training and tactics of Frederick’s Cavalry have
never been improved on, and are still the model for shock action.
Frederick’s Cavalry was organized, like that of Gustavus, in Troops of
70 men, of which two, or, later, four smaller ones as in Europe to-day,
formed a Squadron. The Regiment had 5 Squadrons, as it still has in
Germany, although the fifth now becomes the depôt of the Regiment on


During the Seven Years’ War, Austria made good use of a screen of
_light troops_, both Horse and Foot, in front of her armies. Her
Light Horsemen had been very serviceable in the Thirty Years’ War in
the previous century, and had been constantly used since in fighting
the Turks. These horsemen were irregular troops from Hungary, where
they had been raised since the sixteenth century under the name of
_Hussars_. They wore the national dress of Hungary, which Hussars have
retained ever since they were imitated by Frederick during the Seven
Years’ War, and in other armies later. _Lancers_ were similarly copied
everywhere from the Polish Light Cavalry, clothed in their national
costume, who joined Napoleon’s service in 1807. The lance, which had
not been used since the early sixteenth century, was then reintroduced,
and has since held its own, and even won ground in Germany. The British
adopted Lancers after their experience against Napoleon’s Polish
Lancers at Waterloo. The Prussians called them _Ulans_, from the
Polish, while other nations adopted the French word _Lancier_, from
the Late Latin _lancearius_ (_lancea_, a _lance_).

British Light Cavalry began in the eighteenth century, in the Light
Troops of the Dragoon Regiments, soon detached to be grouped into Light
Dragoon Regiments, which, early in the nineteenth century, were changed
to Hussars.

After firing on horseback had been stopped by Frederick, Cavalry
discarded the firearm until the close of the century, when the French
Light Horse of the Revolutionary armies received a short musket, called
by its old name of _carbine_, which became the universal Cavalry
firearm for use on foot. But Heavy Cavalry had no firearms for years;
even in the Prussian Army of 1870 only Light Cavalry were armed with
the carbine.

Cavalry Regiments were first brigaded during the eighteenth century,
but had no higher organization. The Brigade formed one of the lines of
Cavalry on each wing of the Army. Cavalry Divisions were first formed
by Hoche in 1793, and were adopted by Napoleon, who extended the idea
later to creating Cavalry Corps of two or more Divisions.



The early history of the Engineers and the Artillery in England may be
traced in the continued existence, from the Conqueror to Henry VIII.,
of a high official called in Latin documents the King’s _Ingeniator_,
because he had charge of _Engines_ of War (Latin _ingenium_). About
1300 the _Ingeniator_ (or _Engyneor_, as he was called in English,
from the Old French _Engineur_) became styled _Attilator_ (probably a
slovenly rendering of _Artillator_), from the fact that, having charge
of the engines of war, he naturally took over the latest form of them,
the new invention of _artillery_. This word is derived from the French
_artillerie_, which meant the art of the _artilleur_, or _articulier_,
from _articularius_, or the man who handled _articula_, the _articles_
or the “_things_,” as the newly invented guns began by being styled,
that word being a diminutive of _art-em_, _art_.


The word _artillery_ meant in the sixteenth century the guns used by
the _artilleur_, but did not denote the Arm of the Service till the
end of the next century, before which time Artillery had hardly an
independent existence, but formed merely a portion of the train, or
mass of vehicles which followed an army.


Cannon were at first used in fortresses during the fifteenth century,
soon after the invention of gunpowder. They were soon mounted on
wheels, and then provided with trunnions and a trail. They seem to have
been first brought into the field by the Hussites in Bohemia, and then
in the French invasion of Italy in 1496. The French added the limber
to carry the trail on the march, and thus finally gave guns the form
they still have. In the mid-sixteenth century the armies of three great
monarchs, the Emperor Charles V., Francis I. of France, and Henry VIII.
of England, possessed a train of cannon for the field.

At this epoch there were many descriptions of mobile guns of various
calibres: the heavy, 42- and 24-pounders, for siege purposes chiefly,
were drawn by several yoke of oxen; the lighter ones, for use in the
field, fired 2, 4, or 6 pound shot, and were drawn by horses in single
file. The drivers, till the end of the eighteenth century, walked on
foot beside their horses, carrying carters’ whips, and were civilians,
hired with their teams from the country. To keep them from running
away, the train of guns and wagons carrying ammunition were under an
escort of Infantry, who were only much later used for protection of
the guns.

The working of the gun, and its technical mysteries, were in the hands
of the _Master Gunner_, with his _Gunner_ and two assistants for each
gun. In England these gentry were apart from the army, and solely
controlled by the _Master-General of the Ordnance_, as the Artillery
and the nearly related Engineers remained down to our own time.

Maurice, about 1600, did away with the great variety of guns which
existed, and retained four different calibres only, so as to facilitate
the supply of shot. Gustavus, a little later, introduced lighter guns,
and cartridges for the powder, which till then had been carried loose
in barrels. But his main innovation was the allotment of two light
guns to each Infantry Battalion, for action in the intervals between
Regiments, an organization retained in most armies till the end of
the eighteenth century. These “Battalion guns” were drawn by one or
two horses, or by men when under fire, and were often served by the
Infantry they were attached to. He used the heavier guns in masses on
the wings and in the centre; but no Battery organization came in till
late in the eighteenth century. In France, under Louis XIV., the step
was taken of creating a Regiment of Artillery, formed of Gunners and
Artificers, the Drivers being still hired. This idea was partially
copied in England, where the Artillery was organized into a Military
Corps in 1716. Other armies formed Companies of Artillery, but had no
Regimental organization till much later.

Shells were first used in the field about 1700, they fired from what
were called _Hautbitzers_, now _Howitzers_, a Czech word taken from
Zisca’s organization of the Hussite hosts in Bohemia long before.
Grapeshot was also invented; but solid shot was the projectile of
Artillery down to the introduction of General Shrapnel’s shell in the
British Artillery about 1810, followed much later by the universal
adoption of shell fire for field guns. Another invention, Congreve’s
rocket, was partially adopted in the English service before the battle
of Waterloo.

In the middle of the eighteenth century Frederick the Great made
considerable progress in Artillery organization, although the material
was unchanged. He increased the number of guns till he had 5 or 6 to
every 1,000 Infantry, which is to-day the proportion thought desirable.
In 1759 he formed a light Battery with gunners mounted, so as to keep
up with Cavalry. This Horse Artillery was eventually adopted by the
Austrians in 1783, and by the French and British in the Revolutionary
Wars. Frederick abolished Battalion Guns, and grouped them in permanent
Batteries, the germ of modern _Field Batteries_, although drivers were
not mounted, or made into soldiers, till near the end of the century.
The heavier guns were still dragged by horses in single file, led by
civilian drivers on foot, and were called “Guns of position.” They were
generally formed in four masses--centre, wings, and reserve. After the
Seven Years’ War these guns were everywhere formed into _Batteries_
of uniform calibre, which in France were called _Divisions_, and
manned by one Company of the Artillery Regiment. The teams began to be
harnessed in pairs, with the drivers mounted on the near horse. The
modern battery system was thus introduced, and may be said to have been
adopted in every army towards the end of the eighteenth century, when
battalion guns were abolished. Batteries began to be brigaded by threes
or fours during the early part of the nineteenth century.

In England and France, about 1800, a corps of drivers for Artillery was
formed, in which for the first time drivers had uniform and discipline;
but these corps were abolished after 1820, and the drivers became an
integral part of the Artillery.

In Austria and Prussia, Batteries were allotted to _Infantry Brigades_,
a system which was kept up in Prussia till after Waterloo, and in
Austria till after the war of 1866. In France, during the Revolutionary
Wars, the Batteries were allotted to _Divisions_, in the way which
still holds. There was always, in addition, a mass of guns styled the
_Reserve Artillery_, which we find during the Napoleonic Wars, and down
to the campaign of 1870. By that time it had been converted in the
Prussian Army into _Corps Artillery_, an arrangement which all other
armies have since copied. About 1900, however, the Corps Artillery was
abolished in Germany, and its batteries distributed to the Divisions.


The name and calling of the Engineer is traceable through English
history in the existence of the King’s _Engynour_, as mentioned at
the commencement of this chapter. He had charge of what we now call
Engineer Works, as well as of the Artillery. Both these Services were,
up to the Stuart times, mainly connected with fortresses and sieges;
but the first and the third King Edwards had with their field armies
a corps of _Military Artificers_, and Henry VIII. formed a body of
_Pioneers_ for work in the field. These were artisans, either specially
recruited, or taken from the ranks of the Infantry, as Pioneers
still are. The body was commanded by a Captain of Pioneers, who was
practically an Engineer Officer. He and his men formed part of the
field force, and were Field Engineers.

From this time onwards, the Pioneers are identified with the field
operations of an army, while individual Engineer Officers were attached
to the Staff. The latter were formed into the Corps of Royal Engineers
in 1772. This system, which differentiated between Pioneer men
commanded by Engineer Officers, and individual Engineer Officers on the
Staff, is exactly that which still exists in the German Army.

A Corps of Military Artificers was formed in 1770, and became the
_Corps of Sappers and Miners_ in 1780. It was constantly used in the
field, especially in the sieges in the Peninsula and in the Crimea,
after which it became merged with the Engineer Officers into the Corps
of Royal Engineers.

The developments of science applied to war, such as railways,
telegraphs, and balloons, the importance of mobility for modern armies,
which entails much road-making and bridging work, and the increased
demand for field works in the attack, as well as on the defensive, have
greatly increased the demand for Engineers with Forces in the field.

It may be pointed out that the Military Engineer existed for centuries
before the _civil engineer_, who is a nineteenth-century offshoot of
his military colleague, named after him, and not vice versa, as is
sometimes imagined. The _civil engineer_ was so called because, like
the Engineer, he dealt with tools, machinery, and works, but only for
civil purposes.




The Swedish Army under Gustavus proved so effective and successful in
the Thirty Years’ War that it became the model for the organization
common to all armies during the seventeenth century, which may be
well studied by British soldiers in the “New Model” Army, raised in
the Civil War on Cromwell’s suggestion. This army, perhaps the best
disciplined and most effective the world has ever seen since Roman
times, was never beaten during its many campaigns. The “New Model”
is the true ancestor of the British Army, which has proved itself
not unworthy of its descent. We still wear the red coat common in
Cromwell’s army, and have its organization and military terms in use
to-day. Marlborough’s army was practically the same as the New Model
Army, only with bayonets for pikes, and flint locks for match locks.

The New Model Army was organized much like the armies of Maurice and
Gustavus. It was composed as follows:

The Horse were formed in 11 Regiments of 600 men each, with 6 Troops.
The Foot were in 12 Regiments of 1,200 men, each with 10 Companies. The
Dragoons, which were practically Mounted Infantry, formed one Regiment
of 1,000, in 10 Companies. Regiments had been formed in England after
1618. The Colonel had a Company of his own, and, as he could not
command it himself as well as the Regiment, it was commanded by the
Lieutenant, who was therefore styled _Lieutenant of the Colonel_, or
Lieutenant-Colonel. That officer’s connection with the Commanding
Officer caused him to be of such importance that his position was
that of Second-in-Command of the Regiment, and he eventually became
the Commanding Officer, as he is to-day. In the Horse, the Colonel
had, similarly, a Troop, which was commanded by the Lieutenant, who
ranked as Junior Captain, and was called _Captain-Lieutenant_. Horse
Regiments had thus no Lieutenant-Colonel, and Cavalry Regiments have no
Second-in-Command in any army to-day.

All Regiments had a _Major_ (originally the _Sergeant-Major_), whose
duties were those of our Adjutant. The latter officer was introduced
after the Restoration in 1660, to perform the duties of the Major, who
had become Second-in-Command, owing to the Lieutenant-Colonel having
become Commanding Officer. Like the Colonel, the Lieutenant-Colonel and
Major had each a Company of their own to provide their emoluments, and
these were stronger than those of ordinary Captains, so as to bring in
more pay to the senior officers.

Each Regiment had a _Provost-Marshal_ to enforce discipline, a
_Surgeon_, and a _Chaplain_, and Infantry had a _Quarter-Master_ and a

The Troops of Cavalry had four Officers--_Captain_, _Lieutenant_,
_Cornet_, _Quarter-Master_--and three _Corporals_ and three
_Trumpeters_. There were no Sergeants of Horse, so that even to-day
in the Household Cavalry the word Corporal-Major is used instead of

The Infantry Companies had three Officers--_Captain_,
_Lieutenant_, _Ensign_--and two _Sergeants_, three _Corporals_, a
_Quarter-Master-Sergeant_, and two _Drummers_.

The Artillery was at this time of little account. The lighter guns--
3-to 6-pounders--were attached in pairs to each Regiment, like our
Machine Guns to-day. This practice survived during the eighteenth
century. The heavier guns--9- to 12-pounders--with a few larger
ones up to 20-pounders, were drawn by teams of horses or oxen,
driven by civilians on foot. They formed, with the wagons carrying
ammunition both for guns and match locks, the _Train_, controlled
by the _Waggon-Master-General_. Each gun was served by a _Master
Gunner_ and two _Under-Cannoneers_, while the train was managed by
_Waggon-Masters_, assisted by _Furriers_ (French _Fouriers_) and
clerks, and a number of artificers of all sorts.

The Head-Quarters of the Army consisted of a _General_ as C.-in-C.,
with a Second-in-Command, naturally called the _Lieutenant-General_,
who commanded the principal Arm--the Cavalry. There was a
_Sergeant-Major-General_ who commanded the Infantry, and was, as his
name implies, the Chief Staff Officer of the Commander-in-Chief, as the
Sergeant-Major was the Staff Officer of the Colonel of a Regiment. In
these titles the Sergeant has long been dropped, and the (_Sergeant_)
_Major-General_ is still, as in the “New Model,” the junior rank of
General Officer. A _Master-General of the Ordnance_ controlled the
Artillery, Engineers, and Train.

The two Generals of Horse and Foot had each a Staff, consisting of an
_Adjutant-General_ and a _Quarter-Master-General_. Under the _Master
of the Ordnance_ there were a _Comptroller of the Ordnance_, and an
_Engineer-General_ with several assistant Engineers, but no men.

The list of Administrative Officers on the Head-Quarters Staff is
interesting, as showing the antiquity of many of our military titles:

  The Judge-Advocate-General.

  Two Provost-Marshals-General--one for the Horse, one for the Foot.

  The Commissary-General of Victuals.

  The Commissary-General of Horse Provisions.

  The Waggon-Master-General, in charge of Train and baggage.

  Medical Officers.

  The Chaplain to the Army.

  Two Treasurers-at-War (or Paymasters).

  The Muster-Master-General.

  The Scout-Master-General, who was what we should call the Chief
      Intelligence Officer; he had two Assistants and twenty Scouts.


Throughout the greater part of the eighteenth century the Armies of
Europe much resembled those of the seventeenth, of which the “New
Model,” just described, is an example. They were formed of a number of
Regiments of Cavalry, and separate Battalions, or at most Brigades,
of Infantry, accompanied by a long train of guns and motley wagons
carrying food and baggage. These were drawn by teams of oxen and horses
hired in the country, driven by wagoners on foot.

There was no grouping of the units of the army into larger
organizations, except on the battlefield, when fractions of the battle
array were sometimes temporarily placed under a named Commander. The
whole army marched, camped, and fought as one body, covering but
little ground compared with the armies of to-day, owing to its smaller
numbers. It was thus always under the eye of the Commander, whether on
the march, in camp, or in battle.

The march columns were shortened, when possible, by moving the Infantry
in column of sections down the broader roads, or even in battalion
column across the open fields alongside. At night, to prevent desertion
and marauding, billets were never used, and bivouacs seldom, but the
army lay concentrated in a formal camp in order of battle, so that it
could, without delay, form up in front of the camp ready for the combat.

In battle, the disposition of the army was in two lines of Infantry,
among which some of the lighter guns were dispersed in pairs, while the
heavier ones were massed on the wings and at the centre. The Cavalry
were on each flank. The wagon train was parked in rear under a strong
escort for its protection against marauding cavalry. The marshalling
of the army in due precedence of each unit, and placing the army in
correct position without overlapping or crooked lines, was a delicate
process, which would often take hours to perform.

Whether in camp, or in battle, each of the Regiments was separate and
unconnected, and each received its Orders direct from the Commander,
who himself personally watched their execution. He thus _commanded_
in the strictest sense, and needed little assistance from his Staff
Officers, who were chiefly used to gallop to the troops with his Orders.

The above gives a picture of the earliest regular armies in Europe,
such as those commanded by Gustavus Adolphus, Turenne, Marlborough, and
Frederick the Great. The latter, however, introduced, during his long
wars, several improvements in his army, which became, during the Seven
Years’ War, the model of Europe owing to its extraordinary success,
opposed though it was to the larger but inferior armies of Austria,
Russia, and France. Some of the details of Frederick’s organization
have been mentioned in previous pages dealing with each Arm.

Frederick himself generally acted against the two first-mentioned
enemies, and detached a very able General, Ferdinand of Brunswick, to
oppose the French. Ferdinand had under his command an allied force,
formed of small separate armies of all Arms, provided by Prussia,
Britain, Holland, Brunswick, and Hesse. These remained under their own
Commanders, and were virtually what were later known as _Divisions_.

In Frederick’s army the only trace of higher organization is found in
his dividing the whole for battle into two Wings and a body of Cavalry,
and allotting separate Commanders to each portion. In this, we perhaps
find the germ of the Army Corps system adopted in the next century.


Uniform, or clothing of a uniform pattern, was not customary till the
middle of the seventeenth century. It had been seen in the red coats
of selected troops which Henry VIII. brought in; but the historic red
coat was first given to the whole army by Cromwell, and continued
after the Restoration. Uniform was brought in by Louis XIV. later, and
its use spread everywhere. Gustavus had distinguished his Brigades by
coloured scarves. The English, fighting for Protestantism in aid of the
Netherlands against Spain, wore Orange and Blue scarves, whence perhaps
the adoption of one or other of these colours to represent the Whig
in English politics in the eighteenth century. Cromwell’s army wore an
Orange scarf, whence no doubt came the hue of Protestant Ireland, which
was to a great extent settled by his parliamentary soldiers.


Music had long been used by soldiers, and was encouraged by Henry
VIII.; but marching in step to fife and drum was invented by the Swiss
in the fourteenth century, copied in the fifteenth by the Landsknechts,
and from them adopted in all armies. It is interesting to note that the
roll on the drum always heard before the band begins a march is the old
Landsknechts’ drum march.


Flags were probably derived from the Knights’ Banner. They were used
as Standards by the Swiss, from whom the Reiters and Landsknechts
copied the custom, which was then universally adopted. Their varied
hues caused them to be styled _Colours_ in England during the reign
of Elizabeth. The flag was used not only to distinguish the combatant
sides, but also the different regiments, and the men were taught to
close and rally to it, and to associate with it ideals of duty and
self-sacrifice which still cling to the Colours to-day.

The flag was carried on a time-honoured system which became an art.
The various ways of waving and folding it were originally signals
for movements which the musicians looked to for guidance, so that the
flag-bearer in a sense led the music. The traditions and coquetries
of this art were gradually lost, and only survive in the pride of the
drum-major in the play of his staff, as he leads the drums at the head
of the regiment.




At the close of the eighteenth century, during the wars brought on
by the French Revolution, a great change in organization took place.
France, with her old army shattered by the Revolution, was suddenly
obliged to raise enormous numbers of troops to defend herself against
the onslaught of Europe. When, with unparalleled courage and energy,
she had stemmed the flood of invasion, a number of French armies at
once took the offensive, and carried the war beyond her frontiers in
every direction for the next twenty years.


The size of the armies, and the area covered by them, made it
impossible for the Commander to exercise personal control over his
whole force, especially as the absence of a system of supply entailed
wide dispersion for subsistence on the country invaded. It became
necessary to appoint independent Generals to command the scattered
fractions of the Army, often operating at a distance from each other.
This arrangement was instituted by Carnot in the early wars of the

It thus came about that the Army was _divided_ into separate portions,
which were naturally termed its _Divisions_, a designation which was
retained when they became permanent organizations, and exists in all
armies to this day.

These _Divisions_ consisted mainly of Infantry, but some Light Cavalry
and Artillery were attached to them, so as to make them capable of the
independent action demanded by the increased extent of the theatre of
war and of the battlefields.

The Division comprised generally 12 Battalions of Infantry, 4 to
8 Squadrons, and 8 to 12 guns, with the necessary administrative
services, making a total of some 10,000 to 12,000 in all, under command
of a General Officer.

The Infantry was formed in what were termed _Demi-Brigades_ of 3
Battalions, which reverted to the name of _Regiments_ in 1803. These
comprised one Battalion of regulars from the old Royal Army, and two
of Volunteers. Each Battalion had 9 Companies, each about 120 strong;
one being of Grenadiers, and two of Light Infantry. The Battalions were
numbered, their old army name being dropped. The Cavalry Regiments
were of 4 Squadrons, each 150 to 200 strong. The practice of living
on the country allowed the transport train to be greatly reduced,
especially as tents were discarded, and the troops always bivouacked,
when not billeted. Company officers were allowed no bât animals for
their baggage. By these measures the mobility of the army was greatly

This divisional organization was adopted by Austria in 1805, by Prussia
in 1806, and by Russia in 1807; we find it in the British Army in the
Peninsula in 1808, when the Divisions were formed of 2 Brigades of 3 or
4 Battalions each, with 1 or 2 Batteries, and often a Rifle Battalion.


The power of independent action thus conferred on these Divisions,
which were in fact miniature armies, led to a want of concert in their
movements, and of co-ordination in their action, while at the same
time, as Armies increased in size, the number of Divisions became too
great for the Commander-in-Chief to control properly.

An attempt to remedy these drawbacks was made in 1800 by Moreau, when
planning his invasion of South Germany. He grouped his Divisions into
two Wings and a Centre, which he placed under three senior Generals,
while retaining a Reserve of four Divisions in his own hand. Each
Division was either 5,000 or 10,000 strong, and 3 or 4 of them, with 6
guns per 5,000 men, and a Cavalry Division of 2,000 or 3,000, formed
virtually a Corps d’Armée, 20,000 to 30,000 strong.

Bonaparte, when First Consul, grasping the desirability of this
arrangement for large armies, introduced a permanent organization by
Corps d’Armée.

In this manner was organized the army assembled at Boulogne, in 1804,
for the invasion of England. This formed the famous “Grande Armée,”
which overcame Austria, Prussia, and Russia in three great wars during
the succeeding three years, and formed the model of organization for
the later armies of France, and eventually for those of all the great
Powers of Europe.

The Napoleonic Army Corps was commanded by a Lieutenant-General or a
Marshal. Its size depended on the capacity of its Commander, and varied
from 2 to 4 Divisions, each of 2 or 3 Brigades of 2 Regiments of 3
Battalions. A Battalion had 6 Companies, or sometimes 9, and was 700 to
1,000 strong. A Cavalry Regiment had 4 or 5 Squadrons, of 150 to 200


In 1805, light companies, or _Voltigeurs_, were added to Battalions
for skirmishing duties, thus relieving the Grenadier Companies from
this work. Napoleon then detached the latter from their Battalions to
form a _Grenadier Corps_ as an Army Reserve, to which all the Voltigeur
companies were afterwards added.

In 1808, in the first French army sent to Spain, the Brigades were of 2
or sometimes 3 Regiments, or 6,000 to 10,000 strong. The Companies had
become increased up to 140 men, but their number was only six when the
Grenadier and the two Voltigeur Companies had been detached.

The Cavalry not allotted to Divisions of Infantry was formed into
Divisions of 2 or 3 Brigades, those of Light Cavalry being attached
to Army Corps, while the Heavy Cavalry Divisions formed the _Cavalry
Reserve_. This was practically a Cavalry Corps of 4 Divisions, with 2
Batteries of Horse Artillery, or 20,000 in all. Its function was to
enable Napoleon to influence the battle by the decisive effect of an
overwhelming mass of Cavalry, as well as to furnish a body of Cavalry
under one command for action well to the front of the Army during its
advance--in fact, to perform the duty of Independent Cavalry of to-day.

The Artillery not allotted to Army Corps was similarly formed into one
body called the _Reserve Artillery_, under Napoleon’s own Orders. This
was used in one mass against the centre of the enemy’s line, where
Napoleon intended to launch his main attack.

He invariably kept the Reserve Army Corps, as well as the Cavalry and
Artillery Reserve, in his own hands, for decisive action at the crucial
moment of the battle.

These Army Corps were soon imitated by Prussia after 1806, by
Austria before 1809, and by Russia by 1812, and became the permanent
organization of the first two nations down to this day; but it was not
definitely adopted by Russia until the close of the nineteenth century.
In the Civil War in the United States both sides adopted Army Corps,
which the size of their armies rendered desirable.


The strength of Napoleon’s Army Corps was very variable. In the Grande
Armée it was at first 2 or 3 Divisions of 2 or 3 Brigades, with 1
Cavalry Division, or from 19,000 to 30,000 in all. The Cavalry Corps
was of 20,000 with 2 Horse Artillery Batteries.

In later campaigns the Army Corps grew larger, and their strength
varied with the quality of their Commander.

In 1809 they were of 30,000 to 40,000 men, and one was of 4 Divisions
with 60,000. In 1812 the French Corps varied from 30,000 to 70,000,
the largest having 5 Divisions; but the Corps of the foreign allies
were less than 25,000 strong. There were four Cavalry Corps, each of
28 Squadrons of Light Cavalry, 16 of Cuirassiers, and 16 of Dragoons.
In 1813 the French Corps varied from 20,000 to 50,000, and the Cavalry
Corps from 10,000 to 16,000. In 1815 the Corps were from 16,000 to
24,000 strong, and the Cavalry Corps was in 4 Divisions. Throughout
these campaigns most of the Army Corps had a Cavalry Division attached
to them.

Since Napoleon’s time the organization of the French Army has been on
similar lines.

In the war with Austria in 1859 the Army Corps had 2 Divisions, each of
2 Brigades, or 18 to 20 Battalions, with 40 to 56 guns.

In 1870 the Army Corps were of 3 Divisions with a Light Cavalry
Division of 2 Brigades. Those commanded by a Marshal had 4 Divisions
and a Cavalry Division of 4 Brigades. The Artillery with each Division
consisted of 3 Field Batteries and 1 of Mitrailleuses; the Corps
Artillery of 5 Batteries. As in Napoleon’s armies, there were Reserve
Divisions of Heavy Cavalry, comprising 2 Brigades of 2 Regiments,
with 2 Batteries of Horse Artillery. One evil of this organization
was that the Light Cavalry Divisions kept close to their Army Corps,
and the distant reconnoitring for the whole army fell to the Reserve
Heavy Divisions, which were unsuited to this duty, and were often kept
actually in reserve.


The Divisional organization was introduced just before the campaign of
Jena in 1806, when the Division had 10 to 12 Battalions, 15 Squadrons,
and 24 to 30 guns. By 1813, in the War of Liberation, Army Corps of 4
Brigades had replaced the Division. The Brigade was a mixed one of all
Arms, and comprised 2 Regiments, or 6 Battalions, and 1 Battalion of
Grenadiers formed by massing the Grenadier Companies of the Battalions.
There were allotted to the Brigades 3 Regiments of Cavalry and 2
Batteries of 8 guns each.

In 1815, in the Waterloo campaign, we find a similar organization, but
the Brigades were of 3 Regiments, and dearth of Cavalry and Artillery
only allowed 2 Squadrons, and 1 Battery of 8 guns, for each Brigade.

The mistake of the Prussian organization in the Napoleonic Wars was
that the whole of the Cavalry and Artillery were split up among the
Brigades, and there was no body of either to oppose the massed Horse
and guns of Napoleon’s Reserve, which he threw into action at the
crucial moment with overpowering effect. This error was corrected, and
after Waterloo the Army Corps comprised 3 Divisions which represented
the old Brigades, and a Cavalry Division of 2 Brigades of 2 Regiments
each, with 2 Horse Artillery Batteries. In 1853 the Army Corps was
organized in its modern shape in 2 Divisions, of 2 Brigades, of 2
Regiments, with 1 Cavalry Regiment; but it had only 4 Batteries, or 32
guns, with each Division, and no Corps Artillery.

In 1860 the Field Batteries, which had until then 8 guns, were reduced
to their present strength of 6 guns.

The experience gained in 1866 caused considerable modification in
organization to be made before the war of 1870 broke out. The Reserve
Artillery was abolished, and divided among the Army Corps, thus forming
“Corps Artillery” of 7 Batteries. The 5th Squadron of Cavalry was made
into a depôt, and Regiments took the field in 1870 with 4 Squadrons
only, as at present. The Reserve Cavalry was abolished, and Cavalry
Divisions formed. These were attached, not to Army Corps as in France,
but to Armies, being intended for reconnaissance far to the front.

Of recent years the Corps Artillery has been abolished, and the
Batteries comprising it are distributed among the two Divisions, so as
to increase the co-operation of the Artillery with the Infantry.



In the sixteenth century the Horse outnumbered the Foot, but in the
Thirty Years’ War they were roughly equal. In the English Civil War,
and later in the seventeenth century, the Infantry began to outnumber
the Cavalry, and in the eighteenth century the proportion of Foot to
Horse rose, till it was in the proportion of 3, or even 4 to 1, and in
the Napoleonic Wars, of 6 or 8 to 1.

In the nineteenth century, when armies became much larger, the
proportion of Infantry to Cavalry increased still more, owing to the
expense of the latter Arm, and the longer training it needed, till in
1870 it was 10 to 1 in the French Army, and 13 to 1 in the German. It
is still 13 to 1 in the German Army, but only 16 to 1 in the French.


The number of guns was small till the close of the seventeenth century;
in the armies of Maurice it was 1 gun to 1,000 Infantry, a proportion
which Gustavus raised considerably. In Marlborough’s army it was over
3 per 1,000. The number of guns to 1,000 Infantry rose during the
eighteenth century, till it became 4 or even 5 in the later armies of
Frederick the Great; but it was only 3 or 4 in the larger armies of
the Napoleonic Wars. In 1866 there were 6 guns per 1,000 Infantry in
the Austrian Army, and 5 in the Prussian; in 1870, 3 to 4 guns in the
German Army, and 3 in the French. There are at present 6 guns per 1,000
Infantry in the German Army, and slightly more in the British, but
rather less in the other armies.




The origin of the Staff must be looked for in the earliest European
organization, that of the Reiters and Landsknechts in Germany about
A.D. 1500, and in the armies of Maurice and Gustavus modelled on them.
This organization was copied in England, France, Prussia, and other
military nations, and survives in essentials to this day.

We find in the sixteenth century that the fighting officers of the
troop or company left the drill to the Sergeant, an officer of
experience in handling troops, and a most important personage in the
unit. In action, while the other officers were in front, fighting, the
Sergeant was in rear correcting the men’s movements, and giving orders.
In the Infantry he had to run up and down the ranks for this purpose,
and was therefore not armed with the long pike, which would hamper him.
The Sergeant therefore either retained the halberd when Infantry gave
it up for the pike, or was armed with a half-pike. These arms long
survived in the British Army, where sergeants carried a halberd down
to 1829, and the subalterns a half-pike or “spontoon,” down to 1786.

Similar duties to those of the Sergeant in the Company were performed
in the Regiment by the Sergeant-Major, who supervised the drilling of
the Companies by the Sergeants, regulated the march of the Regiment
and its manœuvres in battle, and was therefore charged with the issue
of orders. He was thus virtually a Staff Officer to the Colonel.
Similarly, in an army, the Commander required an officer of experience
to draw up the army in line of battle, a difficult task, and a delicate
one, as the precedence of each corps had to be respected. This officer
was called the Sergeant-Major-General, as he filled for the Army the
same functions as the Sergeant-Major for the Regiment. He was the Staff
Officer of the Army, responsible for planning the battle manœuvres,
regulating marches, arranging for the quartering of the troops, and
necessarily, therefore, for issuing the orders dealing with these
matters. The word _Sergeant_ was soon dropped from both these titles.
The _Sergeant-Major_ became the _Major_ of the Regiment, with the
duties of the modern _Adjutant_, and the _Sergeant-Major-General_
became the _Major-General_ of the Army.

We thus find in the sixteenth century that the Staff work of the Army
was performed by the officer known in France as _le Major-Général des
Logis_, or _Major-General of Quarters_, as the allotment of quarters
was one of his chief duties. It may be mentioned that the old word
for Staff duties was _Logistics_, formed from the word _Logis_, and
meant the duties of the Major-Général des Logis. This title was then
shortened to _le Major-Général_, by which name the chief Staff officer
of the Army has been always called in France down to this day.

The full word was translated _Quartier-Meister-General_ in German,
or _Quarter-Master-General_ in English, and this Staff Officer was
charged with the Staff duties of the Sergeant-Major-General--namely:
Orders, Drill, Manœuvres, Quarters. But the necessity of preceding
the army to allot quarters for it entails deciding which road the
army is to march by, so the duty of reconnoitring the roads, and
thus that of reconnaissance generally, was added to the list of the
duties of the Q.M.G. We thus find, in the eighteenth century, that
what are now the duties of the General Staff were allotted to the
_Quarter-Master-General_ in the British and Prussian Services, and to
the _Major-Général_ in the French.

These duties continued to be performed by the Q.M.G. Staff in England,
down to a few years ago. In Prussia the Q.M.G. was the second officer
to Moltke on the General Staff in the war of 1870, and the appointment
was only abolished in 1888.

At the close of the seventeenth century another Staff Officer was
established at Head-Quarters by the name of Adjutant-General, who
was charged with all questions relating to personnel, and with
routine duties, as distinguished from those connected with movement,
quartering, and fighting, which were the duties of the Q.M.G. The
A.G.’s Staff is in all armies charged to-day with the same duties as
in the eighteenth century.

There were generally attached to the Staff some Engineer Officers,
who were charged with map-making for military purposes. The maps of
European countries are therefore known as Staff Maps, while that of
Great Britain is called the _Ordnance Survey_, because made by the
Royal Engineers, a Corps under the “Master-General of the Ordnance.”

The General Staff was created in Prussia in 1815, in consequence of the
experience gained in the Napoleonic Wars. The then Q.M.G. Staff was
transformed into the General Staff, and placed under the direct orders
of the King. Some of the General Staff Officers were attached to Army
Corps and Brigades (there were not yet any Divisions), and the rest
formed the Great General Staff at Berlin. There has been but little
change in this organization of the Prussian General Staff, which, it
may be noted, acts for the whole military forces of the German Empire,
for there is no _German_ General Staff in the sense in which there is a
_German_ navy.

All armies have now copied the Prussian General Staff system, with
modifications, but it is an error to suppose that the General Staff
duties were not performed before the Prussians so styled them. We have
seen that they were carried out by the Q.M.G. Staff. In the small
armies commanded by Frederick and Wellington, and by Napoleon at the
outset of his career, these great Generals were virtually their own
Chief of the General Staff. They wrote or dictated detailed orders,
worked out movements on the map, and perused states and returns.
Frederick himself gave orders for marching, pitching camp, and
fighting, sent them out by his orderly officers, and watched their
execution personally.

As Napoleon’s armies increased in size, the General Staff duties
became very heavy, and were carried out most ably by Berthier, his
“Major-Général,” or Chief of the Staff. Their nature is stated in quite
modern shape by the great Swiss Military writer Jomini, who had himself
been Chief of the Staff to Ney in 1805, as well as to the Russian
Army in 1813, after his desertion from the French. (See “L’Art de la
Guerre,” Vol. ii., chap, vi., par. 41.)

The Head-Quarters Staff in Napoleon’s great wars was organized in the
following manner:[B]

    [B] These particulars are taken from an article in the _Times_
        by the Military Correspondent of that newspaper.

The Staff was divided into five branches:

  1. Personal Staff of Napoleon.

  2. Personal Staff of the Chief of Staff.

  3. The Staff proper.

  4. Officers “at disposal,” generally away on special missions.

  5. Topographical Bureau, comprising a dozen officers employed in

1. Napoleon’s Personal Staff consisted of:

  (_a_) The Civil Secretariat.

  (_b_) The Military Secretariat, which had charge of the Map, and
          took down Napoleon’s dictated Orders.

  (_c_) Several Generals, Aides de Camp to the Emperor, available for
          special missions.

  (_d_) Orderly Officers to carry Orders.

  (_e_) Equerries.

2. Berthier’s Staff comprised:

  (_a_) The Civil Secretariat.

  (_b_) The Military Secretariat.

  (_c_) A dozen Aides de Camp.

Berthier’s duty was to embody Napoleon’s instructions in Orders, and
transmit them.

3. The Staff proper, which comprised a score of officers, and was
divided into three branches:

  (_a_) Correspondence, orders, movements, states, intelligence.

  (_b_) Camps, billets, police, subsistence, hospitals.

  (_c_) Laws, decrees, conscription, prisoners.


An example of organization of a Head-Quarters Staff in a great war may
be found in the Civil War, in the United States. When General Grant was
Commander-in-Chief, his Staff consisted of nineteen Officers:

  Chief of Staff          1
  A. G. Department        3
  Q.M.G. Department       4
  Provost-Marshals        2
  Military Secretaries    2
  A.D.C.’s                7


It may be interesting to see how the Prussian Head-Quarters Staff was
organized for the strategical conduct of the War of 1870.

At the head was Moltke, the “Chief of the General Staff” in peace and
war, who really directed the operations, although nominally only the
adviser of the King of Prussia, the Supreme Commander.

Moltke was assisted, and replaced when absent, by the Q.M.G., who acted
as Chief of the Office.

The General Staff under Moltke consisted of twelve officers, and was
organized in three Sections as follows:

  1. Operations.
  2. Railways and Communications.
  3. Intelligence.

Each Section was under a Colonel, the “Chief of the Section,” with one
Field Officer and two Captains as his assistants.

The Commissary-General of Supplies, and the Director of Military
Telegraphs were also attached to the Staff.

Each _Army_ had the following Staff, comprising six to nine General
Staff Officers:

  One Chief of General Staff.
  One Chief Q.M.G.
  One to two Field Officers.
  Three to five other Officers.


The early forces in Europe subsisted merely by individual plunder,
each man obtaining his food and forage as he could. Later, the central
power provided certain places where supplies were collected by force.
The next step in supplying armies was taken when it was found that the
local resources could be drawn on to furnish supplies on payment. This
provided a more certain and effective supply, and demanded fewer troops
to be employed in collecting. This change had a far-reaching result.
The fact that cash had to be paid for these purchases caused Supply to
come under the Civil Finance Department. Hence we find in Cromwell’s
army this Service controlled by the Treasury, as it continued to be
down to the Crimean War, with ill results for the army.

Transport was required to carry the supplies from the districts whence
they were collected to the area occupied by the troops, where they
were stored in magazines. The next step, therefore, was to increase the
mobility of the army by providing additional Transport to move supplies
from these magazines up to the fighting troops.

The train which carried supplies was, during the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, a mass of hired or pressed country carts and
wagons, driven by wagoners on foot, and difficult to manage or move
near the enemy. It was found that, unless organized under military
control, the transport was not very efficient, and by the epoch of
Napoleon both the Transport and the Supply Services had become more
and more military in organization. But they were both still _Civil
Services_, owing to the hold the Treasury had over them, from the fact
that both entailed constant expenditure during war.

During the nineteenth century the _Train_ which provided transport
became in all armies a Military Organization, with enlisted drivers
under regular officers; while Supply continued to be organized as a
Department under Civil officials, as it still is abroad. This system
tends to produce difficulties, as the Combatant Military Train Officers
have to move Supplies under the instructions of the Civil Supply
Officials, and in foreign armies it is found difficult in war to make
both work in co-operation. The tendency is, in fact, to bring about the
close union between these two Services, long since found desirable in
England. In all armies there are _Transport and Supply Columns_ formed
from the Train with the addition of Supply personnel. In England alone
are both provided from one Corps, the _Army Service Corps_, and the
description of the British Transport and Supply Services given in Part
II. illustrates what is perhaps the best organization of these Services
for war.


In the Middle Ages there was no medical organization with armies, nor
were there even any surgeons. The sick and wounded were left to shift
for themselves, and were tended, if at all, by private persons out of
charity, or in monasteries, for the monks alone possessed any knowledge
of surgery and medicine in those days.

Rudimentary provision for surgery in armies is found in the
organization of the German mercenaries of the sixteenth century, where
a surgeon was appointed by each Captain for his Troop of Reiters
or Company of Landsknechts. Later, a Surgeon was attached to the
Regiment, and medical care, from being purely a matter for the Captain
to organize, became a Regimental responsibility. By this time the
practice of surgery had long passed from the hands of monks into those
of the barbers. Thus in the seventeenth century the Prussians had
_Feldschere_, _Field Barbers_, attached to Companies and Regiments for
surgical duties. There also began to be during the sixteenth century
a certain number of what we should call _Staff Surgeons_, attached to
the Higher Commands, who were supposed to supervise the _Regimental
Surgeons_. The latter gradually became better educated, while the
_Company Surgeons_ under their supervision remained merely rude

During the seventeenth century the sick and wounded were treated
in tents pitched in the rear of the camp as long as the army was
stationary, and tended by some of the women who accompanied it. When
it moved, they were handed over to local authorities, or left in the
villages near the fighting. An effort was then made in most countries
to establish hospitals in the chief towns in the theatre of war,
into which the wounded could be collected for better tending. By the
eighteenth century Army Surgeons were allotted to these hospitals,
which seem first to have been organized in France, where, however,
they were managed by contractors. The abuses of this system led to the
hospitals being placed under the Intendants of the Army, a change which
effected little improvement, as the Intendants, through ignorance and
apathy, hampered the action of the medical department, and delayed any
improvement in it. France was the first country to organize any sort
of mobile hospital, the germ of our _field ambulance_. One ambulance
wagon was provided per 1,000 men, and in battle, dressing stations
were formed in rear, to which wounded found their way, or were carried
on stretchers. Stationary hospitals were also established in rear,
and the modern system of evacuation of wounded to the rear was rudely
organized. The same idea was started in Austria, and, in a less
developed form, in Germany.

During the eighteenth century we find an organization of Regimental
Surgeons, with attendants and stretcher bearers, and a provision of
field equipment carried in wagons. Thus units corresponding to Field
Ambulances were gradually organized in the armies of France, Austria,
and Prussia. There were larger organizations of the same nature at
Head-Quarters of the Armies, and of the Higher Commands when these were
introduced in France during the Napoleonic Wars. These Field Ambulances
had ambulance wagons, and other wagons carrying the dispensary and
kitchen, and the necessary equipment, stores, and supplies, and were
manned by a Corps of Hospital Orderlies and Stretcher Bearers. In rear
of these units were stationary hospitals under military control. The
Austrian organization was nearly as good as in France, but that of
Prussia and other States lagged considerably behind them. In fact the
Prussian troops had no medical organization, beyond the provision of
regimental surgeons, at Jena, nor at Eylau, nor even at Waterloo.

It was not till during the nineteenth century that modern Medical
Organization gradually evolved into its present highly developed
condition in all civilized armies. This can be studied in the
description of the British Medical Service (Chapter X.), which is
nearly identical with that of Germany, and may be considered to
represent a high type of Medical Organization for War.





This work will now conclude with some remarks on the nature of Military
Command, the methods by which it is exercised, and the psychological
characteristics of soldiers and their leaders. The final chapter is
devoted to the last subject, a matter worth deeper consideration in
connection with Command than it has yet received. When it is remembered
that, as stated in the first chapter, it is the main object of
Organization to facilitate Command, the reason for touching on these
subjects in this work will be obvious.


Supreme Command in war is either exercised by the Sovereign or by
a Commander-in-Chief who acts as his deputy, or, in a Republic or
Constitutional State, as agent of the Government. In either case, on
him the authority of the State is devolved as regards the operations of
the war.

Governments have not always been wise in their control of the Military
Commander or in their direction of operations. Glaring instances may
be found in history, notably in the conduct of war by the younger Pitt,
by the Aulic Council in Vienna, and by Abraham Lincoln.

On the other hand, the correct principles on which a Government should
control its Commanders in war are exemplified in the highest degree in
those of the elder Pitt, afterwards Lord Chatham. To his wisdom and
judgment in conducting operations by sea and land over all the world
must be credited much of the brilliant success of the Seven Years’ War.

He himself defined the object of the operations, but left the method of
attaining it to his Commanders, to whom he allowed a large measure of
latitude and discretion. He never failed to make use of every incentive
which could spur them to action and ensure success. He insisted on the
initiative being taken, and risks run, but he was always as generous
in case of failure as he was appreciative of good work. He succeeded
in inspiring the Admiralty and the War Office with his own spirit
and energy, and seconded their efforts with all the resources of the
country. The lesson which his practice may teach every Government
engaged in war is, that while the Statesmen alone can direct all the
Departments of State, and combine Navy, Army, Diplomacy, and Finance
to the common end, those responsible for the actual operations must be
unfettered in their decisions, and in their method of carrying them out.

_Command_ has in the large armies of the present day become rather a
_Direction of Operations_, differing essentially in character and
execution from the actual _Command of the Troops_. Frederick, Napoleon,
and Wellington _commanded_; Moltke and Oyama _directed_ their armies;
while it was mainly the Prussian and Japanese Division Commanders who
_commanded_ in the true sense in the wars of 1866, 1870, and 1904. Thus
we seldom see Moltke and Oyama on the battlefield, where Napoleon,
Wellington, and Lee were always to be found.

The Subordinate Commander, like the Commander-in-Chief of old times,
differs from the Supreme Commander of to-day by the fact that his
action on his Command is personal and direct. He is in close touch with
his subordinate leaders, knows the condition and spirit of his men, is
always among them in person to inspire and control their movements.
Troops take their tone from their immediate Commander, and reflect his
vigour or hesitation, his confidence or caution. An intuition of his
mental attitude seems to pass through all ranks of the Command. On the
other hand the Army Commanders, and still more the Commander-in-Chief,
are but nebulous figures to the soldiers in a very large Army.

Military Command is exercised in three ways, which differ in character
and scope. The Supreme and Army Commanders prescribe _Instructions_ to
their Subordinate Commanders; the latter issue _Orders_; Commanding
Officers of Units give _Words of Command_. The latter method needs no
comment. The former modes will now be discussed.


The system of Command customary before the French Revolution survived
well into the nineteenth century. By it there were issued to each
tactical unit of the Army, Orders containing minute, and even pedantic,
details for carrying out the plan decided on by the Supreme Command.
These details were not only wearisome to peruse, and unnecessary for
experienced subordinates, but the time spent in merely copying and
distributing them was so great, that it had a most prejudicial effect
on the rapidity of the movements of the army. This system may be
said to have greatly contributed to the ill success of the Austrians
in their many wars against Napoleon, owing to the slow and dilatory
movements it entailed.

The dissemination of the French Armies of the Revolution led to the
plan systematized later by Napoleon, of giving short and general
Instructions, prescribing to each Subordinate only his own part in
the dispositions, with, perhaps, some information about the position
of adjoining bodies of troops. This system had a great effect on the
success of the French forces, but it only won its way very gradually
in other armies. It is that now universally adopted; but the modern
practice differs in one respect from that of Napoleon, who seldom
indicated the general object of the movements, no doubt in order to
avoid the danger of its becoming known by the enemy. The tendency is
now to look on the latter danger as less than the evil of imperfect
co-operation. If subordinates do not know the general situation, the
object of the operations, and the position of the enemy, they will
not always be able to act in accordance with the Commander’s purpose.
The size and dispersion of modern armies make the independence of
subordinates far greater than in the days of Napoleon, and have led to
the practice of giving them general information about the situation, so
as to ensure their co-operation to the common end.

_Instructions_ (German _Directiven_) have been defined by the German
General Staff as “Communications to a subordinate Commander intended
less to convey definite Orders for his immediate action than to
indicate leading features for his general guidance, which should
facilitate his judgment as to the subsequent decisions to be taken
independently.” _Instructions_ therefore generally describe the
situation, the operations decided on, and their object, but leave
considerable latitude in the method of carrying out the general plan.
The Subordinate Commanders are expected to act on their own judgment
in furthering the Commander’s purpose, observing the spirit rather
than the letter of their Instructions. For, it should be noticed,
military obedience in the higher ranks does not lie in literal
conformity to Orders, but rather in a true conception of their
spirit. Such obedience is quite compatible with the independence and
self-confidence indispensable in the Subordinate Commander, who has to
act on his own judgment in carrying out Orders. He must take on himself
the responsibility of giving effect to his Instructions by acting
in conformity with the situation of the moment, which may be very
different from the situation as it was when they were issued.

As regards the drafting of Instructions, it must be noted that the
man who can make the best plans is not always the one to express them
best. Napoleon’s brilliant combinations were embodied in Instructions
which were often involved in their sequence, and ill-balanced from the
intrusion of details among the broad outlines of the general plan. They
were also generally so terse that they were not always clear to any
intelligence inferior to his own. Jomini speaks of their “laconisme
outré,” partly due to Napoleon’s temperament, and partly a revolt
against the minute verbiage of the Military Orders of his generation.
Hence the importance of a good Chief of the Staff, who can act for his
General as Berthier did for Napoleon. He need not be a genius nor even
a great strategist, but he must be able to translate into lucid Orders
plans which he could never have originated, or perhaps even, like
Berthier, never fully understand or appreciate.


Subordinate Commanders, although they act with some independence on the
Instructions they themselves receive, do not leave the same latitude to
their own subordinates. They exercise Command by the issue of precise
_Orders_ for executing the idea in the manner they themselves have
decided on. These Orders will contain the substance of the Instructions
they have received, as far as it may be desirable to pass on this
information to their own subordinates. The method proposed to carry out
the general plan will probably need explaining and developing in detail
in the Orders. These will therefore prescribe the definite steps to be
taken, such as the time and direction of marches and attacks, or the
measures to be taken for security. Orders should _not_, as Instructions
often _may_, provide for contingent possibilities. The issuer of an
Order is generally on the spot, and can leave such contingencies to
form the subject of further Orders. But unless a Commander can be
present, and direct the operations himself, he must leave much latitude
to those who have actually to lead the Troops. Without this, the
operations will not always be the most suitable to the conditions of
the moment, and the vigour which is the mainspring of successful action
will suffer.


During the war with France in 1870 the leading on the part of the
Supreme and Army Commanders left much to be desired, but the way
in which the German Subordinate Commanders worked together was
very striking, and might well be imitated in other armies. Their
co-operation was loyal, unhesitating, complete, and characterized by
initiative and resolution. Holding similar views on fighting, and
animated by the same energy, the German Commanders acted together to
one common end--namely, to beat the enemy.

Subordinate Commanders require to possess moral courage and readiness
to take responsibility, rather than merely physical bravery, while
decision and resolution are essential. There will be a solid foundation
of confidence and moral force in an army whose Divisional Commanders
are so endowed. All Commanders should be brought up in the same school,
and hold similar views on the conduct of war. This is the basis of good
Command, and ensures harmonious co-operation.


There is an essential distinction between the action of _Commanders_
and that of _Staff Officers_ however capable. It is true that Staff
Officers are not mere clerks or messengers. There is often imposed
on them the duty of explaining to the immediate executive agents
the intention of their Chief, so as to solve ambiguities or remedy
misunderstandings, and to create identical views on the situation,
especially if it be rapidly changing. But it is outside the scope of
the Staff to interfere with the exercise of Command--that is, on their
own authority, to urge, or approve, or condemn any particular action on
the part of Subordinate Commanders. To do so is to usurp the function
of their Chief, and to form a lateral interference with the direct
chain of responsibility. Such action commonly leads to a struggle of
conflicting temperaments, contrary to all discipline, and tends to
produce anarchy in the Command.

Only one man can command. It is true that the nominal Commander has
not always been this one man, owing to some physical, intellectual,
or moral deficiency in his character. In that case his action is
necessarily guided by a substitute, who will really inspire the
operations, but whose influence should always be concealed. Even
in this case, however, it is essential that the Chief must rely on
_one_ man only. Should he turn for advice and guidance to more than
one, his action will soon follow divided courses, owing to alternate
predominance of contradictory counsels. Counter-orders will unfailingly
ensue, with the inevitable result, neatly summed up by the French as
“ordre, contre-ordre, désordre.” In War, it is not true that “in a
multitude of counsellors there is wisdom.” We know that “Councils of
War never fight,” and that the greatest Commanders have always regarded
them as a detestable and cowardly subterfuge. Success can never be
expected when, instead of the decision of one, the counsels of many



An Army in action is a special instance of what may be termed a
_dynamic crowd_--that is, an assemblage of men united for common action
and inspired by the same ideas and desires. Throughout history, certain
characteristics have been exhibited by assemblages so united, however
differently they were composed, and no matter under what conditions,
or towards what ends, they were acting. Popular assemblies in epochs
of change, spiritual ebullitions such as have marked the origin, or
revival, of religions, political parties, and even juries, boards, and
committees, all show similar phenomena. But the most striking instances
of dynamic crowds are mobs collected for action. Such mobs have
usually worked harm, when they must be called criminal mobs, but have
often been violent with good intentions, as when the Paris mob took
the Bastille. Other instances of non-criminal mobs actuated by high
enthusiasm are those roused for the First Crusade by Peter the Hermit,
or that incited by Mark Antony, at the funeral of Cæsar, to avenge his

Of nature akin to crowds are unions of persons holding similar
opinions, even when not actually in touch with each other, or
physically assembled. Such unions have produced, and will yet produce,
some of the greatest changes in history, like the rise of Christianity,
the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the French Revolution. In
all ages, systems of religious thought have created such dynamic
aggregates, often world-wide and endowed with persistent vitality. The
most striking examples are the unions of nations and races which form
the Mohammedan world, or the Roman Catholic Church.

But a combination of armed men for the purpose of fighting has always
been the commonest and strongest form of organized assemblage. Such a
combination is the highest example of a dynamic crowd, and has effected
the most rapid and striking changes which the world has undergone.

The essential underlying character of a “dynamic crowd” of any sort is
that it possesses _religion_ in the sense defined by a great French
psychologist, as “placing all the resources of the spirit, all the
submission of the will, all the ardour of fanaticism, at the service
of a Cause, which then becomes the guide and end of all the ideas and
actions of the assemblage.”

A crowd may be looked upon as a sort of new composite personality born
of the union of a number of men whose individual qualities will not by
any means represent the character of the crowd they form. The crowd
may be said to have a collective soul which will cause it to act in a
way in which the individuals composing it would not, and indeed could
not, act. This soul is generally inferior to the average character of
the persons forming the crowd, but at times rises to heights impossible
to them. Thus crowds have often committed atrocities from which their
component individuals would have shrunk, but other crowds have shown
incredible enthusiasm and devotion, and performed acts of heroism
and self-sacrifice, to which no individual in them could ever have
risen singly. Examples of the crimes of crowds are patent in history,
but their heroisms also may be found, most of all in the innumerable
instances when troops have faced death without flinching, and thereby
gained victory for their Cause.

The characteristics of crowds may be glanced at. They will be seen to
be analogous to those which animate troops. Crowds act on instinct and
are incapable of reasoning, so that they are essentially irresponsible,
while very easily influenced by suggestion. Their impressions are
extraordinarily infectious, for Man is an imitative animal, and
still more so is Man in bulk. Hence, suggestions spread like fire,
and impressions and tendencies to action are communicated with the
greatest rapidity, for, in a crowd, reason has little influence on the
action, and self-concern, so potent in the individual, is effaced in
the confidence born from a sense of the power of numbers. So we may
note among soldiers at one time the spread of panic, and at another
the not less infectious courage due to combination. Both are capable
of producing striking action for harm or for good, and action quite
impossible for the individual when alone.

All crowds, even those of animals, have an overwhelming craving to
be led. A leader is needed to strike the spark to kindle the mass,
give shape to its idea, and instigate its action. A crowd loves to
adopt a leader to be its despot, and will be obedient and even servile
to him who shows he can command. The leader influences the crowd by
three means--_assertion_, _repetition_, and _example_. All these means
are necessary to implant ideas in an unreasoning mass, and initiate
unanimous action towards their realization. The _assertion_ must be
concise and simple, and should epitomize the ideas which form the
“religion” of the crowd. _Repetition_ is necessary to drive these ideas
home. Reasoning is out of place, and has the worst effect, for crowds
cannot reflect, and are as impatient of appeals to their reason as of
opposition to their desires. The _example_ of the leader exercises a
potent influence. A crowd is easily impressed by his coolness, courage,
self-confidence, determination, and vigour in utterance and action, and
even by his personal appearance.

Leaders are generally men who are themselves carried away by the
ideas they are striving to put in effect, although some have been
calculating, cool, and astute. They are generally men of action, and
action impresses when reason is unavailing. One quality leaders must
have, and that is Will Power. A mere crowd has none, for the will of
the individual becomes effaced when once he is united with his fellows,
and the will of the leader must replace it, flashing out from his
voice and his bearing, and felt in his words and his deeds. But the
crowd will also react strongly on the leader, and may inspire him to
a pitch far above his natural scope, but only on condition that the
leader has among his qualities and his aims some that are germane to
the “religion” of his followers, for the “Soul of the Crowd” to work on.

What has been said of crowds and mobs applies in the main to the
organized and trained mob which has become an army. A mass of soldiers
differs from a mob mainly in the habits acquired by discipline, the
facilities for action afforded by organization, and the ideal of
character which their profession, and their very uniform, suggest to
them to live up to. The discipline of the soldier, if it is to be
worth anything in a crisis, must be so habitual as to be not reasoned,
but instinctive. Under the strain of war, whether due to danger or to
privation, habits can be relied on when reason fails. Discipline is not
only the instinct of obedience, but that of reliance on leaders and
comrades, both factors of enormous value in battle. It is this which
gives troops the advantage over a mob. Psychologically they are both
“dynamic crowds,” but the mob is devoid of the higher qualities which
discipline has implanted in the soldier, and which the influences of
his profession have rendered largely instinctive.

It should be noticed that in crowds, where the individual varieties
of character are lost in the “crowd soul,” the oldest racial
characteristics come out. This is the more so in the moments when
danger inhibits reason, and instinct alone reigns. History teaches us
very clearly how persistent these characteristics are in the people as
a whole, and they are naturally brought out in a high degree by War.
Cæsar tells us that the Gauls “are very courageous and impetuous in
the attack,” and two thousand years later the “_Furia Francese_” is
still their characteristic. A French writer on the wars in Spain talks
of the “_Bulldog Ténacité_” of the British, a quality which has been
attributed to them for centuries.

The reason for this is clear if we suppose that the crowd possesses
the sum of the qualities of its members, for the different individual
qualities of each will bulk but little compared to the huge total of
the qualities common to all, of which the older and deep-rooted race
characteristics will necessarily form a large part.

Thus history shows unmistakably that the military qualities of a nation
change but little with time. The conduct of its soldiers in past wars
is likely, therefore, to be repeated in future fighting, although
organization, training, and leading may differ, and, to some extent,
modify the result.

In the case of an Army, the necessity of Will Power in the leader
cannot be too much emphasized. It is of far more importance than mere
intellect. Will power alone can go far, as we see in the cases of
Charles XII. and Blücher, whereas resolution is apt to be “sicklied
o’er with the pale cast of thought,” where the intellect is more
developed than the will.

Some Military Leaders have been energetic and resolute, but wanting in
continuity of effort, and little capable of thought and reflection.
Of this type were Ney and Murat, amazing in the conflict, heroic in
danger, but, in less inspiring moments, failures. These men need a
greater man to lead them. Such a man, in whom Will Power and Intellect
are both dominant and are equally balanced, constitutes the higher and
rarer type of leader. In him the Will Power is more lasting, if less
fiery; he can reflect, assume responsibility in cold blood, and carry
out long plans in spite of opposition. The rule of such leaders over
their followers is not liable to sudden collapse, but often outlives
failure or ruin. Of such are those who have changed the face of the
world and won undying fame--Alexander, Hannibal, Cæsar, Cromwell,
Napoleon--men whose prestige is not buried in their grave, but still
exercises over living men an influence hardly less real than during
their life.

This prestige, unexplainable as it may be, constitutes the dominating
influence of the leader over his following. Built on success and
renown, it is made up of admiration, love, and sometimes fear, but is
always unreasoned and idolatrous. It is by the domination of prestige
that a leader is able to impress his feelings, his aims, and his will
on those he leads. The exertions to which Hannibal and Napoleon could
compel their men were incredible. A leader is at times obeyed by his
followers as the lion-tamer by his lions, although often with as little
means of coercing them, or even of saving himself from their jaws. Nor
is the effect of prestige limited to the leader’s own following; it
is as much felt by his opponents. Napoleon’s arrival on a battlefield
was, Wellington said, worth a reinforcement of forty thousand men, and
many of his successes in war were due to the fact that his enemies were
frightened by his name, before they began to fight. Probably only two
of his opponents escaped this influence--Blücher, in whom hatred left
no place for fear; and Wellington, who said before the Peninsular War
that he thought he could beat the French because he was not afraid of

The prestige of Hannibal, like that of Nelson, always weakened the
resolution of his foes. Dundonald with one ship chased a Portuguese
squadron from Brazil to Europe. Drake’s very name was an abiding terror
to Spain. “Stonewall” Jackson’s reputation was a constant alarm to
Lincoln and the Federals. Lee’s personality was one of the main factors
in staving off defeat from the South.

When the crisis of her fate arrives, a country can only pray that a
_Leader_ may be granted her. History can teach us that England has
seldom prayed in vain. Cromwell, Marlborough, Clive, Wellington, the
men of the Mutiny, and, above all, the long line of Admirals which
culminates in Nelson, were living answers to her prayers.



This chapter is intended to give an explanation of the way in which
military terms--especially those connected with Organization--came to
have their present technical meaning. Their derivation and, in some
cases, the date of their introduction are given. Many of these terms
have been noticed in the body of the text, and their origin mentioned.
They are here collected for facility of reference.

It will be noted that most of our commonest military terms are of
considerable antiquity, and that they are essentially cosmopolitan
words, widespread in use through Western Europe. Most of them were
introduced in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

The terms are arranged alphabetically in four lists:

1. Ranks and Offices.

2. Names of the different varieties of Troops, and of their Units and

3. Arms and Accoutrements.

4. Miscellaneous.


  Adjutant: French _adjudant_; Latin _adjutant-em_--_adjutare_, to
      assist. An assistant. An office introduced in the English Army
      in 1660.

  Bombardier: from _bombard_, old name of a cannon (_bombo et
      ardore_, with noise and heat); Latin _bombus_, a humming
      noise--_ardor_, heat.

  Captain: French _capitaine_; Late Latin _capitan-us_--_caput_,
      head. A chief.

  Captain-General: name of Commander-in-Chief till Marlborough’s
      time. Probably taken from the Spanish _Capitan-General_.

  Colonel: French _colonnel_; Italian _colonello_, a little column;
      Latin _columna_. Column-leader.

  Cornet: French _cornette_, a hornshaped flag for Cavalry; Latin
      _cornu_, a horn.

  Corporal: Old French _corporal_ (16th cent.); Latin _corporalis_,
      belonging to the body, _corpus_; or, by confusion with
      _corporalis_, from French _caporal_; Italian _capo di squadra_
      or squad-leader, from Latin _caput_, head.

  General: _i.e._ general officer, or officer with general command
      over all troops, and not over those of his own Arm only.

  Généralissime: the Supreme Commander of Armies. A term adopted by
      Richelieu, and used in France to-day.

  Lance-Sergeant (or Lance-Corporal): from _lanz pesado_ or
      dismounted lance, superior to the ordinary infantry with whom
      he had perforce to march on foot after losing his horse.

  Lieutenant: French _lieu-tenant_; Latin _locum tenens_. A deputy,
      of the Captain, the Colonel, or the General.

  Major: originally Sergeant-Major (17th cent.).

  Major-General: originally Sergeant-Major-General (17th cent.).

  Marshal: a farrier. Old French _mareschal_; Low Latin
      _mariscalcus_; Teutonic _maraschalk_, from _mara_, a
      battle-horse, and _skalk_, a servant.

  Officer: French _officier_; Late Latin _officiar-ius_--_officium_.
      An office-holder.

  Private: _i.e._ a _private_ man, not an officer (used from 16th

  Quarter-Master: a _quarter_, _i.e._ one-fourth of a locality,
      came to mean generally a _district_, and then a _lodging_ for
      soldiers assigned to that district.

  Rank: French _rang_; Old German _hrang_, a ring, and later a row,
      of men.

  Sapper: French _sapeur_--_saper_, to dig; Italian _zappa_, a

  Sergeant: Old French _serjent_, _servjent_, or _servient_; Latin
      _servient-em_--_servire_, to serve.

  Sergeants-at-Arms (_Servientes ad Arma_) were instituted by Richard
      I. during his Syrian campaign as his personal guard.

  Soldier: Old French _soldier_; Latin
      _soldarius_--_solidarius_--_sold-us_, pay--_solidus_, a solid

  Staff: what the General leans on--a stick; from Aryan root _sta_ =

  Trumpeter: French _trompeteur_. [See Trumpet.]

  Yeomen of the Guard: Personal Guard of Henry VII. The first regular
      military organization in England (1485).


  Ambulance: French _ambulance_, movable hospital; Latin _ambulare_,
      to go--_ambi_, around, and root _ba_, go, as in Greek _bainein_.

  Army: French _armée_; Latin _armata_, past participle of _armare_,
      to arm, an armed force.

  Army Corps: German _Armee-Korps_, from French _Corps
      d’Armée_--_Corps_ from _corpus_, body.

  Artillery: French _artillerie_; Italian _artilleria_, the art of
      the _artillarius_, or _articularius_, from _articula_, dim. of
      _art-em_. Used for _guns_ 16th cent.; for the _Arm_ 18th cent.
      [See Chap. XVII., par. 1.]

  Battalion: French; Italian _battaglione_--_battaglia_ (16th cent.).
      [See Battle.]

  Battery: French _batterie_--_battre_; Late Latin _battere_, beat;
      Latin _batu-ere_.

  Brigade: French (16th cent.); Spanish _brigade_--_brigar_, to
      brawl; Italian _briga_, a quarrel. Hence a body of contesting

  Carbineers: Cavalry armed with the _carabine_. Old French
      _calabrin_--_calabre_, war engine, from Low Latin _chatabula_;
      Greek _kataball-ein_, throw down.

  Cavalry: French _cavallerie_ (16th cent.); Italian _cavalleria_;
      Late Latin _caballarius_--_caballus_, a nag.

  Column: Latin _columna_, a column, from _columen_--_culmen_,
      height--cf. _collis_, hill.

  Command: Old French _commander_, to order; Latin _commendare_,
      to entrust to one’s charge--later, to order; from _cum_ and
      _mandare_, to order.

  Commissariat: from commissary, a person entrusted; Latin
      _com-mittere_, to commit to.

  Company: Old French _compainie_; Late Latin _companio_--_cum pane_,
      with bread, _i.e._ a messmate.

  Cuirassiers: French _cuirasse_ (15th cent.), from _cuir_; Latin
      _corium_, leather.

  Dragoons: from carrying a short musket called a dragon. Italian
      _dragone_; Latin _draco-n-em_, a dragon.

  Echelon: French _échelon_--_échelle_, ladder; Latin _scala_,
      step--_scando_, climb.

  Engineer (16th cent.): _engynour_ (16th cent.), earlier
      _engigneor_; Old French _engineur_; Late Latin _ingeniator_
      (used in 12th cent.), from _ingeniare_, from _ingenium_, whence
      Engine. [See Chap. XVII., par. 1.]

  File: number of men in depth (1598); a row, from French _file_;
      Latin _fila_, a thread.

  Fusiliers: men armed with the fusil, a firelock (17th cent.). Latin
      _focile_, a flint, from _focus_, a hearth-fire.

  Gentlemen-at-Arms: originally a band of Horse, created 1509;
      subsequently Court Officers.

  Grenadiers (late 17th. cent.): men armed with the grenade, invented
      1594. Spanish _grenada_, pome-granate, the fruit full of seeds,
      from Latin _granum_, grain.

  Guards: soldiers who guard the Sovereign. Guard, French _garde_,
      is the Teutonic _ward_, from _war_, to defend, connected with
      _ware_ and _wary_.

  Hussars: Hungarian _Huszar_, from _Husz_, twenty. Every twentieth
      man served in the Light Cavalry on the Turkish frontier.

  Infantry: French _infanterie_; Italian _infanteria_; Latin
      _infant-em_, child (16th cent.), _i.e._ one who cannot
      speak--_in_, not, _fari_, speak.

  Lancers: men armed with the lance. French _lance_; Latin _lancea_;
      Greek _lonche_.

  Line: French _ligne_; Latin _linea_, a line or string--_linum_,

  Musketeers: men armed with the Musket, which see.

  Ordnance Corps: the R.A. and R.E., which were controlled by the
      Master-General of the Ordnance, an officer created as early as

  Patrol (late 17th cent.) French _patrouille_:
      (1539)--_patrouiller_, to paddle in mud--Old French _patoueil_,

  Platoon: French _peloton_, a little ball--_pelote_, a small bundle;
      Latin _pila_, a ball.

  Rear: Old French _riere_, behind; Latin _retro_, back.

  Regiment: French _régiment_, rule; Latin _regiment-um_--_regere_,

  Rifles: a body of soldiers armed with rifles. Rifle is short for
      rifled gun; to rifle means to groove--_rive_, to tear.

  Squad: French _escouade_; Italian _squadra_, a square; Latin
      _ex-quadra-re_, to square, from _quatuor_, four.

  Squadron: from Italian _squadrone_, a large square. [See Squad.]

  Train: French _train_; Old French _trahiner_, to trail; Low Latin
      _trahin-are_, from _trah-ere_, to draw.

  Troop: French _troupe_, connected with root of _drive_, German
      _treiben_, a drove; Italian _truppa_, by some connected with
      Latin _turba_, a crowd, by a not uncommon process of bringing
      the “r” before the vowel [cf. _brent_, burnt].

  Vanguard: shortened to van; Old French _avant garde_--_avant_ is
      Latin _ab-ante_, from in front. [See Guard.]


  Accoutrements: French _accoutrement_; _accoutre_--_ad_, to, and
      _coutre_, from Latin _custos_, keeper.

  Ammunition: store for defence. Latin _ad-munition-em_--_munire_,
      fortify, defend.

  Arms: French _armes_; Latin _arma_.

  Arsenal: _arx navalis_, naval citadel, or from an Arabic word.

  Ball: French _balle_; Old German _bal_, from a Teutonic root found
      in _bulge_, bole.

  Bayonet: French _baïonnette_, from Bayonne, where first made.

  Belt: Anglo-Saxon _belt_; Irish _balt_--from which Latin _balteus_,
      a belt, probably derived.

  Bullet: French _boulet_, a little ball--_boule_, a ball; Latin
      _bulla_, a knob.

  Cannon: _i.e._ the gun-barrel; Latin _canna_, a hollow cane.

  Carbine: see Carbineers.

  Carriage: Old French _charrier_, or _carier_, to carry. [See Cart.]

  Cart: dim. of _car_; French _charette_; Old French _carete_; Low
      Latin _careta_--_carrus_, a car.

  Cartridge: corruption of _cartrage_; French _cartouche_, a charge
      wrapped up in a cornet of paper; Latin _carta_, paper.

  Cuirass: see Cuirassiers.

  Equip: Old French _esquiper_, to equip; Norse _skipa_, to arrange,

  Gun: Old English _gonne_; Welsh _gwn_; Gaelic _gunna_. Derivation
      unknown, perhaps from Old French _mangonel_; dim. of Latin
      _mangonum_, Greek _mangonon_, a war machine.

  Halberd or Halbard: a long-handled weapon; _helve_ or handle;
      _barde_, axe.

  Haversack (used in 18th cent.): from German _haver-sack_, sack for

  Helmet: Anglo-Saxon _helm_; Teutonic root _hal_ or _kal_, to cover.

  Howitzer: German _hautbitze_ (so written by Gen. Wolfe about 1750),
      older _hauffnitz_, from _haufnice_, a sling. A Czech word of
      time of the Hussites (15th cent.).

  Magazine: storehouse. Spanish _magacen_; Arabic _makhzan_,

  Matross: old word for a gunner. German _matrose_; Latin _matarius_,
      a man who uses a mat or hammock.

  Mortar: called from resemblance to apothecary’s mortar. Old French
      _mortier_; Latin _mortarium_, from _martulus_, a hammer.

  Musket: French _musquet_, from the Spanish, meaning a sparrow-hawk,
      probably from Latin _musca_, fly, as being the smallest of
      hawks. First used for the firearm, 16th cent.

  Ordnance = Artillery, from the _ordinance_ to regulate calibre and
      size of guns (15th cent.).

  Pistol: from the city of Pistoia in Italy, where made (early 16th

  Pontoon: French _ponton_; Italian _pontone_, a great bridge; Latin
      _pont-em_, bridge.

  Pouch: Old French _pouche_--_poche_, pocket; Celtic _poca_, a bag.

  Shell: Anglo-Saxon _scell_, a thin covering; Teutonic root _skal_,
      to separate, peel off; a hollow ball.

  Shrapnel: a shell with balls inside, invented by General Shrapnel,
      British Army (early 19th cent.).


  Base: area on which army relies for supplies and reinforcements.
      Formed from analogy with the base of a triangle, by the German
      military writer, Willisen, 1820. Greek _basis_--_bai-no_, go.

  Battle: French _bataille_; Italian _bataglia_; Late Latin
      _battalia_, _batt-ere_, from Latin _batu-ere_, to beat.

  Billet: French _billet_, a ticket for quarters; hence the quarters

  Bivouac: German _bewachen_, to watch.

  Bugle; short for bugle-horn, the horn of the bugle or wild ox. Old
      French _bugle_; Latin _buculus_, dim. of _bos_, ox, a bullock.

  Camp: French _camp_; Latin _campus_, field.

  Colours: first use temp. Elizabeth for military flags, because of
      their gay colours. French _couleur_; Latin _color_.

  Communications (used by military writers in 19th cent.): Latin
      _communicare_, _communis_, common.

  Condottieri: Italian mercenaries. Latin _conductitii_, led men.

  Crew: or detachment working a gun, from French _crue_, from
      _croître_, to grow.

  Drum: from Teutonic _trom_.

  Fife: Old German _pfifa_, a pipe.

  Logistics: French _logistique_; what are now called Staff duties,
      from _logis_, quarters, _i.e._ the Q.M.G.’s duties.

  Order: French _ordre_; Latin _ordin-em_.

  Parade: Spanish _parada_, ready, or adorned, from _parar_, to get
      ready, to adorn, also to parry; Latin _parare_, to prepare.
      Brought from the Netherlands to England in 1625.

  Reconnoitre: French, to make oneself acquainted with--_connaître_;
      Latin _cognoscere_, know.

  Strategy: Greek _strategos_, a general--_stratos_, army--_ago_,
      lead. The art of the General.

  Tactics: Greek _taktike_ (_techne_), _tasso_, arrange. The tactical
      art, or art of drawing up soldiers for battle.

  Trumpet: French _trompette_, dim. of _trompe_; Spanish _trompa_,
      perhaps from Latin _tuba_.

  War: Teutonic _werre_, strife, connected with _worse_, and German
      _wirren_, confuse.



In any Science the first step towards systematizing it is to form a
definite terminology on systematic lines. Nor is this mere pedantry.
Words are the expressions of thought; without defined terms there can
be no clear thinking.

None can have read much, or written at all, on military matters
without noticing the unsatisfactory nature of many of the terms used.
Few are short, crisp, and definite, like _Troop_, _Squad_, _Staff_.
Compare these with _Regiment_, _Division_, _Artillery_. Confusion
also constantly arises from the indeterminate meanings of words like
_Commander_, _Section_, _Brigade_, _Unit_.

Other words are cumbrous, like _Medical Services_ (or _Officer_),
_Mounted Infantry_, _Ammunition Column_, _Lines of Communication_,
_Mounted Brigade_, _Veterinary Services_ (or _Officer_). Some single
words are urgently needed instead of these.

In British Establishments, simplification would result if there were
one word for _Drummers_, _Buglers_, and _Trumpeters_, and one for all
personnel except Officers. _Dismounted men_ is a poor name for men who
were never mounted.

The organization of Artillery cries out for some systematized terms.
_Field Artillery_ includes in foreign armies the batteries of Field
Guns, Howitzers, and Horse Artillery, but is generally used for those
of Field Guns only. A general word to include guns and howitzers is
needed. _Wagon_ is used for transport wagons and ammunition wagons,
and a single word for the latter is much needed; the American word
_caisson_, or the old English _tumbril_, might be used. A better
word is wanted for _Machine-Gun_, which is not a gun, but a rifle.
_Divisional Artillery_, a unit of several Brigades under a General,
might have a special name. _Divisional Ammunition Column_ seems a very
long term when writing Orders.

_Cavalry_ and _Infantry_ might well be usually replaced by _Horse_ and
_Foot_. The words _Troop_ and _Squadron_ might be used without the
addition of “Cavalry,” as indeed _Company_ and _Battalion_ without
adding “Infantry.” It would be convenient if, in the British Service at
any rate, the word _Regiment_ always connoted Horse, to avoid adding
“Cavalry,” just as Battalion connotes Foot.

Turning to ranks of Officers, the word _General_ might be used instead
of _G.O.C._ The term _Commander_ is used indiscriminately, and might
be confined to Subordinate Commanders of Corps and Divisions, leaving
_Commander-in-Chief_ for the Army Command, with _Supreme Commander_
where there are several Armies. A single word for the _Divisional
Commander_ would be convenient, like _Brigadier_ for the Brigade
Commander. _Commanding Officer_ should always imply the C.O. of a
Cavalry Regiment, Infantry Battalion, or Artillery Brigade, and might
be rendered, as in French, by the word _Chief_. The word _Captain_ does
not imply the important and similar functions of the Squadron, Company,
and Battery _Leader_, who is often a Major; and the word _Leader_
might be adopted. The good old words “Cornet” and “Ensign” might be

_D.A.A.G._ and _D.A.Q.M.G._ are deplorable titles, as are also
_Inspector-General of Communications_ and _Commander of Lines of
Communication Defences_.

We have _Gunner_, _Driver_, and _Sapper_; why should not _Trooper_ be
officially used for private of Cavalry?

It would be convenient if the word _Train_ were officially used for all
the non-fighting Trains.

Now that the whole force of a great nation includes several Armies,
it is desirable to have a separate word for the whole _Army_. Perhaps

A short word (like _Base_) is much needed for the _L. of C._ and the
_Advanced Base_. Perhaps _Rear-Routes_ and _Fore-Base_ might be used?

A better word for _Advanced Guard_ would be _Foreguard_, on the analogy
of Rear-Guard and Vanguard. The cumbrous expression “Commander of the
Advanced Guard” might then be replaced by _Foreguard Chief_.

The awkward French word _depôt_ (with its accent) might be replaced by
the Old English word _stow_, which we find surviving in place-names,
where it meant a military depôt during the English conquest of Britain.

The importance of shortening and defining military terms does not rest
only on the convenience of writers and readers. The advantage in saving
time, and conducing to lucidity, cannot be overestimated when Orders
are to be written and read, often under difficulties and in a hurry.

A scientific system of Military Terminology would thus prove of
real value in war. The above observations are made in order to call
attention to this matter, in the hope that official action may one day
lead to a more logical system of military terms.

_Printed and bound by Hazell, Watson & Viney, Ld., London and

Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.

Page 84: In this eBook, the table uses a Key in order to minimize
the width of the columns. In the original book, the column headings
appeared within the columns.

Page 183: “The Regiment was 100 strong“ probably should be “1000“.

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