the French was quite sufficient to ensure this. The dénouement of the Napoleonic wars came too swiftly for the full development of the armed strength of Prussia on these lines; and at the outbreak of the Wars of Liberation a newly formed Landwehr and numerous volunteer corps took the field with no more training than the French had had in 1793. Still, the principles of universal service (allgemeine Wehrpflicht) and of the army reserve were, for the first time in modern history, systematically put into action, and modern military development has concerned itself more with the consolidation of the Krümper system than with the creation of another. The début of the new Prussian army was most unsuccessful, for Napoleon had now attained the highest point of soldierly skill, and managed to inflict heavy defeats on the allies. But the Prussians were not discouraged; like the French in 1793 they took to broken ground, and managed to win combats against all leaders opposed to them except Napoleon himself. The Russian army formed a solid background for the Prussians, and in the end Austria joined the coalition. Reconstituted on modern lines, the Austrian army in 1813, except in the higher leading, was probably the best-organized on the continent. After three desperate campaigns the Napoleonic régime came to an end, and men felt that there would be no such struggle again in their lifetime. Military Europe settled down into grooves along which it ran until 1866. France, exhausted of its manhood, sought a field for military activities in colonial wars waged by long-service troops. The conscription was still in force, but the citizens served most unwillingly, and substitution produced a professional army, which as usual became a dynastic tool. Austria, always menaced with foreign war and internal disorder, maintained the best army in Europe. The British army, though employed far differently, retained substantially the Peninsular system.
37. European Armies 1815-1870.—The events of the period 1815-1859 showed afresh that such long-service armies were incomparably the best form of military machine for the purpose of giving expression to a hostile “view” (not “feeling”). Austrian armies triumphed in Italy, French armies in Spain, Belgium, Algeria, Italy and Russia, British in innumerable and exacting colonial wars. Only the Prussian forces retained the characteristics of the levies of 1813, and the enthusiasm which had carried these through Leipzig and the other great battles was hardly to be expected of their sons, ranged on the side of despotism in the troubled times of 1848-1850. But the principle was not permitted to die out. The Bronnzell-Olmütz incident of 1850 (see Seven Weeks’ War) showed that the organization of 1813 was defective, and this was altered in spite of the fiercest opposition of all classes. Soon afterwards, and before the new Prussian army proved itself on a great battlefield, the American Civil War, a fiercer struggle than any of those which followed it in Europe, illustrated the capabilities and the weaknesses of voluntary-service troops. Here the hostile “view” was replaced by a hostile “feeling,” and the battles of the disciplined enthusiasts on either side were of a very different kind from those of contemporary Europe. But, if the experiences of 1861-1865 proved that armies voluntarily enlisted “for the war” were capable of unexcelled feats of endurance, they proved further that such armies, whose discipline and training in peace were relatively little, or indeed wholly absent, were incapable of forcing a swift decision. The European “nation in arms,” whatever its other failings, certainly achieved its task, or failed decisively to do so, in the shortest possible time. Only the special characteristics of the American theatre of war gave the Union and Confederate volunteers the space and time necessary for the creation of armies, and so the great struggle in North America passed without affecting seriously the war ideas and preparations of Europe. The weakness of the staff work with which both sides were credited helped further to confirm the belief of the Prussians in their system, and in this instance they were justified by the immense superiority of their own general staff to that of any army in existence. It was in this particular that a corps of 1870 differed so essentially from a corps of Napoleon’s time. The formal organization had not been altered save as the varying relative importance of the separate arms had dictated. The almost intangible spirit which animates the members of a general staff, causes them not merely to “think”—that was always in the quartermaster-general’s department—but to “think alike,” so that a few simple orders called “directives” sufficed to set armies in motion with a definite purpose before them, whereas formerly elaborate and detailed plans of battle had to be devised and distributed in order to achieve the object in view. A comparison of the number of orders and letters written by a marshal and by his chief of staff in Napoleon’s time with similar documents in 1870 indicates clearly the changed position of the staff. In the Grande Armée and in the French army of 1870 the officers of the general staff were often absent entirely from the scene of action. In Prussia the new staff system produced a far different result—indeed, the staff, rather than the Prussian military system, was the actual victor of 1870. Still, the system would probably have conquered in the end in any case, and other nations, convinced by events that their departure from the ideal of 1813, however convenient formerly, was no longer justified, promptly copied Prussia as exactly, and, as a matter of fact, as slavishly, as they had done after the Seven Years’ War.
38. Modern Developments.—Since 1870, then, with the single exception of Great Britain, all the major European powers have adopted the principle of compulsory short service with reserves. Along with this has come the fullest development of the territorial system (see below). The natural consequence therefore of the heavy work falling upon the shoulders of the Prussian officer, who had to instruct his men, was, in the first place, a general staff of the highest class, and in the second, a system of distributing the troops over the whole country in such a way that the regiments were permanently stationed in the district in which they recruited and from which they drew their reserves. Prussia realized that if the reservists were to be obtained when required the unit must be strictly localized; France, on the contrary, lost much time and spent much trouble, in the mobilization of 1870, in forwarding the reservists to a regiment distant, perhaps, 300 m. The Prussian system did not work satisfactorily at first, for until all the district staff-officers were trained in the same way there was great inequality in the efficiency of the various army corps, and central control, before the modern development of railways, was relatively slight. Further, the mobilization must be completed, or nearly so, before concentration begins, and thus an active professional army, always at war strength, might annihilate the frontier corps before those in the interior were ready to move. But the advantages far outweighed the defects of the system, and, such professional armies having after 1870 disappeared, there was little to fear. Everywhere, therefore, save in Great Britain (for at that time the United States was hardly counted as a great military power, in spite of its two million war-trained veterans in civil life), the German model was followed, and is now followed, with but slight divergence. The period of reforms after the Prussian model (about 1873-1890) practically established the military systems which are treated below as those of the present day. The last quarter of the century witnessed a very great development of military forces, without important organic changes. The chief interest to the student of this period lies in the severe competition between the great military powers for predominance in numbers, expressed usually in the reduction of the period of service with the colours to a minimum. The final results of this cannot well be predicted: it is enough to say that it is the Leitmotiv in the present stage in the development of armies. Below will be found short historical sketches of various armies of the present day which are of interest in respect of their historical development. Details of existing forces are given in articles dealing with the several states to which they belong. Historical accounts of the armies of Japan and of Egypt will be found in the articles on those states. The Japanese wars of 1894-95 and 1904-5 contributed little to the history of military organization as a pure science. The