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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/626

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

naturally expands; instead of information culled by a few daring riders from a narrow circuit, it should be made to embrace the widest area of country and the utmost latitude of information—the condition of the enemy as to armament, resources, position of forces, possible disaffection among the people—everything. In war no item comes amiss. The wealthier country will here have a manifest advantage; it can afford to hire spies, and can even (as England did during the Revolution) purchase the treason of some disaffected chief. Caution for the lesser country will—if good generalship prevails—take the shape of occupying and strengthening the natural strategic positions. These are nothing but flanks of a bastion on a large scale. Upon the map round black dots represent strategic positions along the frontier. They are points

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susceptible of thorough fortification which control the several passes in the mountain range between the two nations; also heads of valleys, where several meet, and from which attacks could be made at will in a number of directions. This entire frontier, which may be hundreds of miles broad, is mountainous, capable of being fortified at countless points, and having natural 'defensive relations' needing only the art of warcraft to render them almost impregnable. Modern murderous arms lend their services more readily to defense than to offense. It is even possible that the country 'B', warned in due season of the purposes of her powerful rival, may have plotted out each rod of ground among those mountain passes, and that artillery service, once a matter of gunnery, has now become a matter of mathematics.

We now come to the fourth maxim of war; it is that of efficient