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152

BARRACKS

The floor- and air-space allotted to each man in the German barracks under the new system is about 550 cubic feet air-space and 49 square feet floor-space. Barracks on this plan have been built in France to accommodate as many as 5000 men under one roof. But perhaps the most perfect arrangement of the kind is to be found in Dresden. The so-called “ Albertstadt,” situated about two miles from the centre of that city, consists of seven or more of such barracks, erected on a spacious and even sumptuous scale, with a total frontage of close upon two miles. Indeed, it is only in Germany and in the United States of America where as yet provision has been made for separate living and sleeping accommodation for the soldiers. But in spite of all that the best architects and builders could devise, it has been found, even in the model “ Albertstadt ” of Dresden, that the sanitary conditions of any system of complete centralization leave much to be desired, as compared with the decentralization exemplified in the pavilion system, which was first established in England after the Crimean war. A somewhat similar system to this, known as the Toilet, was introduced in France in 1875, going further in the direction of decentralization even than the English. Its main characteristics are the following:—1. Every pavilion to be of one storey, to have a pitched roof, and to contain at most seventy men. 2. The blocks to be built on stone foundations, and the structure of iron skeleton framework filled in with non-porous bricks. The materials used to be non-inflammable, and capable of being thoroughly cleansed. 3. The blocks to be built outside towns, and 55 square yards space to be allowed per head within the area opened—the one lying to the front and the other to the assigned to the whole of the barrack erections, whilst in back (the courtyard side), separated from each other by the barrack rooms 33 square feet floor-space and 760 cubic a stout partition wall. These wards were the barrack feet air-space are allowed for each foot soldier, and 41 rooms of the men for all purposes—living, sleeping, eating, square feet floor-space and 860 cubic feet air-space for and the furbishing of accoutrements. In process of time each trooper. 4. Each block to have separate wash-houses the partition wall was removed, and both rooms being thus and latrines; whilst the furniture of all rooms must be thrown into one, better ventilation was gained. After an such as permits of thorough and rapid cleansing and disunbroken existence of nearly two centuries the “Vauban” infecting. 5. Every block has in the centre an antesystem was modified by that known as the “Belmas,” room fitted with all appliances for washing, whilst to the which introduced a corridor in place of the discarded right and left lie the barrack rooms, each 63 feet long and partition wall. The evils attendant upon this change in 21 feet broad, lighted by eight large windows, and with internal construction were, from the hygienic point of ventilators in the roof. At the end of each ward are two view, soon apparent. Not only was the corridor dark and rooms occupied by the under-officers responsible for the incapable of ventilation, but there was a constant inter- discipline and general supervision of the rooms. The change of effluvia from one ward to the other through the hygienic results of this change of barrack system in doors opening into the passage, and the result was soon France have been considered very satisfactory. British Army.—The earliest barracks of which there is seen in increased sickness and mortality. Germany and Austria followed in the main the Spanish system, the record, as regards England, were those for the royal bodycharacteristics of which were an open gallery running guard, He., those for the foot-guards, erected in 1660. round the courtyard quadrangle on every floor, upon Among the earliest of those still existing were the Boyal Barracks at Dublin, dating from the beginning of the which the barrack rooms opened. The year 1874 inaugurated a new era in barrack con- 18th century, about which time barracks were built in struction for the two leading military nations of several parts of Ireland, but the great barrack-building Europe. With the lessons of the field hospitals in the era in England was the end of the 18th and the beginning Franco-German war fresh upon them, and in view of the of the 19th century, i.e., during the great wars with beneficial results attained in them, each country set itself France. That period saw the erection of a very large to work to devise a better sanitary system of housing number of barracks in towns in Great Britain and Ireland troops than had hitherto obtained. A new departure was and in the colonies. Communication being slow and made from the quadrangular systems above described. difficult, while there was much distress owing to the The “Front” system was now introduced, and became war, and consequently frequent riots, the barracks were almost universally adopted in the case of new erections. generally placed in large or market towns, where the Barracks were now built upon the following plan :—The troops could be most easily supplied, where they would main building was an oblong front block of at most three be at hand for putting down disturbances, and where storeys, with wings running back at each end, but not recruits could be most readily obtained. Few barracks exceeding in depth one-third of the frontage. The ad- were built on a large scale during the next forty years, vantages0 of this system were increased light and air, and but the same policy held the field, in spite of the introthe greater facility afforded for keeping outhouses, such duction of railroads and steamships, the invention of the as latrines, wash-houses, kitchens, and harness rooms, away electric telegraph, and the establishment of organized and from the living and sleeping accommodation for the men. efficient police forces. On the other hand, those forty years

were required except those for the royal body-guard; and even after the standing army exceeded those, limits, the necessity for additional barracks was often avoided by having recourse to the device of billeting, i.e., quartering the soldiers on the populations of the towns where they were posted. This, however, was a device burdensome to the people, subversive of discipline, and prejudicial to military efficiency in many ways, while it exposed the scattered soldiers to many temptations to disloyalty. Hence, instead of billeting soldiers, there were gradually provided for them barracks, which, in the case of the British empire, were first erected at stations where such an arrangement was most necessary owing to the paucity of the population, or where concentration of troops was most important owing to the disaffection of some of the inhabitants. These barracks sometimes formed part of fortifications and their character was subordinate to considerations of defence. Generally, however, they were separate, and it is such only that are dealt with in this article. It was in France, where, in the reign of Louis XIV., provision had to be made for the housing of a huge standing army, that barracks were first built upon an organized plan. In 1680 Vauban devised and introduced a system of barrack construction which became universally adopted in France, and maintained its position there for nearly two centuries. Its leading features may be briefly described as follows :—The barrack was a square building of masonry of two or more storeys, with a courtContlyar(l in the centre. Staircases connected from Tsterns with eachtwo floor. On barrack either side of sys ems. tlie sground taircase-landings parallel rooms