total forces numbered actually 137,000. The part played by the Spanish standing army in the Peninsular War was certainly wholly insignificant relatively to these figures. It must be borne in mind, however, that only continued wars can give real value to long-service troops of the old style, and this advantage the Spanish regulars did not possess. Further, the general decadence of administration reacted in the usual way, the appointment of court favourites to high command was a flagrant evil, and all that can be urged is that the best elements of the army behaved as well as did the Prussians of 1806, that the higher leading and the administration of the army in the field were both sufficiently weak to have ruined most armies, and that the men were drawn from the same country and the same classes which furnished the guerrilleros whom it became fashionable to exalt at the expense of the soldiers. In the later campaigns of Wellington, Spanish divisions did good service, and the corps of La Romaña (a picked contingent of troops which had been sent before the war to Denmark at Napoleon’s instance), though often defeated, always retained some cohesion and discipline. But the result of this war, the second French invasion, and the continued civil wars of the 19th century was the destruction of the old army, and the present army of Spain still bears traces of the confusion out of which it arose.
The most important changes were in 1870, when conscription was introduced, and in 1872, when universal service was proposed in its place. The military virtues of the rank and file and the devotion of the officers were conspicuously displayed in the Spanish-American War of 1898, and it cannot be claimed even for the Germans of 1870 that they fired so coolly and accurately as did the defenders of S. Juan and El Caney.
98. The writers who have left the most complete and trustworthy contemporary accounts of the Turkish army in the 14th and 15th centuries, when it reached the height of its most characteristic development, are Bertrandon de la Brocquière, equerry to Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, and Francesco Filelfo of Tolentino. Bertrandon, a professional soldier, visited Palestine in 1432, and returned overland in 1433, traversing the Balkan Peninsula by the main trade-route from Constantinople to Belgrade. He wrote an account of his journey for Philip: see Early Travels in Palestine, translated and edited by T. Wright (London, 1848). Filelfo served as secretary to the Venetian baylo at Constantinople, and recorded his observations in a series of letters (see Filelfo). Both ascribe the military superiority of the Turks over the nations of western Europe to two facts—firstly to their possession of a well-organized standing army, an institution unknown elsewhere, and secondly to their far stricter discipline, itself a result of their military organization and of the moral training afforded by Islam.
The regular troops comprised the Janissaries
), a corps of infantry recruited from captured sons of Christians, and trained to form a privileged caste of scientific soldiers and religious fanatics; and the Spahis, a body of cavalry similarly recruited, and armed with scimitar, mace and bow. Celibacy was one of the rules of this standing army, which, in its semi-monastic ideals and constitution, resembled the knightly orders of the West in their prime. The Janissaries numbered about 12,000, the Spahis about 8000. A second army of some 40,000 men, mostly mounted and armed like the Spahis, was feudal in character, and consisted chiefly of the personal followers of the Moslem nobility; more than half its numbers were recruited in Europe. This force of 60,000 trained soldiers was accompanied by a horde of irregulars, levied chiefly among the barbarous mountaineers of the Balkans and Asia Minor, and very ill-armed and ill-disciplined. Their numbers may be estimated at 140,000, for Bertrandon gives 200,000 as the total of the Turkish forces. Many 15th and 16th century writers give a smaller total, but refer only to the standing and feudal armies. Others place the total higher. Laonicus Chalcocondylas in his Turcica Historia
states that at the siege of Constantinople in 1453 the sultan commanded 400,000 troops, but most other eye-witnesses of the siege give a total varying from 150,000 to 300,000. Many Christian soldiers of fortune enlisted with the Turks as artillerists or engineers, and supplied them at Constantinople with the most powerful cannon of the age. Other Christians were compelled to serve as engineers or in the ranks. As late as 1683 a corps of Wallachians was forced to join the Turkish army before Vienna, and entrusted with the task of bridging the Danube. But in the 18th and early 19th centuries the introduction of Christians tended to weaken the moral
of the army already sapped by defeat; it was found impossible to maintain the discipline of the Janissaries, whose privileges had become a source of danger; and the feudal nobility became more and more independent of the sultan’s authority. These three causes contributed to make reorganization inevitable.
The destruction of the Janissaries in 1826 marked the close of the history of the old Turkish army; already the re-creation of the service on the accepted models of western Europe had been commenced. This was still incomplete when the new force was called upon to meet the Russians in 1828, and though the army displayed its accustomed bravery, its defective organization and other causes led to its defeat. Since then the army has been almost as constantly on active service as the British; the Crimean War, the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 and the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 witnessed the employment of a large proportion of the sultan’s available forces, while innumerable local revolts in different parts of the empire called for great exertions, and often for fierce fighting on the part of the troops locally in garrison and those sent up from the nearest provinces.
99. The regular army of the United States has always been small. From the first it has been a voluntary force, and until 1898 its chief work in peace was to furnish numerous small posts on the frontier and amongst the Indians, and to act as a reserve to the civil power in the great cities. In war-time the regular army, if, as was usually the case, it was insufficient in numbers for the task of subduing the enemy, formed the nucleus of large armies raised “for the war.” In 1790 the rank and file of the army, as fixed by act of Congress, amounted to 1216 men; and in 1814 an English expedition of only 3500 men was able to seize and burn Washington, the capital of a country which even then numbered eight millions of inhabitants. In 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War, the whole regular force amounted to about 15,300 men. In April of that year the president called out 75,000 volunteers for three months; and in May a further call for 42,000 was made. In July a call for 500,000 men was authorized by Congress, and as even this vast force proved insufficient it was found necessary to use a system of drafts. In October 1863 a levy of 300,000 men was ordered, and in February 1864 a further call of 500,000 was made. Finally, in the beginning of 1865 two further levies, amounting in all to 500,000 men, were ordered, but were only partially carried out in consequence of the cessation of hostilities. The total number of men called under arms by the government of the United States, between April 1861 and April 1865, amounted to 2,759,049, of whom 2,656,053 were actually embodied in the armies. If to these be added the 1,100,000 men embodied by the South during the same time, the total armed forces reach the enormous amount of nearly four millions, drawn from a population of only 32 millions—figures before which the celebrated uprising of the French nation in 1793, or the efforts of France and Germany in the Franco-German War, sink into insignificance. These 2,700,000 Federals were organized into volunteer regiments bearing state designations. The officers, except general and staff officers, were appointed by the governors of the respective states. The maximum authorized strength of the regular army never, during the war, exceeded 40,000 men; and the number in the field, especially towards the close of the war, was very much less. The states, in order to obtain men to fill their quotas, offered liberal bounties to induce men to enlist, and it therefore became very difficult to obtain recruits for the regular army, for which no bounties were given. The regular regiments accordingly dwindled away to skeletons. The number of officers present was also much reduced, since many of them, while retaining their regular commissions, held higher rank in the volunteer army. After the close of the Civil War the volunteers were mustered out; and by the act of Congress of the 28th of July 1866 the line of the army was made to consist of 10 regiments of cavalry of 12 troops each, 5 regiments of artillery of 12 batteries each and 45 regiments of infantry of 10 companies. The actual strength in August 1867 was 53,962. The act of the 3rd of March 1869 reduced the number of infantry regiments to 25 and the enlisted strength of the army to 35,036. The numbers were further reduced, without change in organization, to 32,788 in 1870 and to 25,000 in 1874. The latter number remained the maximum for twenty-four years.
In March 1898, in view of hostilities with Spain, the artillery was increased by 2 regiments, and, in April, 2 companies were added to each infantry regiment, giving it