Number of battalions same as above.
IN THE FIELD.
Total number of men.
The gun of the German infantry during the Franco-German war was the needle gun of Dreyse. It admits of firing five times in a minute, and carries well 800 yards. It is being superseded by the Mauser rifle, sighted up to 1,600 yards, which is capable of being fired 18 times a minute, and the adapted French Chassepot, 400,000 of which were captured in the war. The prevailing color of the Prussian uniform is blue, and the coat is much like that of our own troops. For infantry the coat is a dark blue frock, with a single row of eight buttons, the collar and cuffs faced with red; pantaloons dark gray, with red cord down the seam; the boots have tops about 6 in. high; the cap for undress is of blue cloth, flat topped, with patent leather visor, and red band lace half an inch wide. The helmet is of glazed leather with a front and rear visor, a brass-scaled chin strap, a brass Prussian eagle displayed in front, and terminates at the top in a brass-pointed spike about 2 in. high. The overcoat is long and of the same color as the pantaloons. In addition the men have for fatigue and drill common cotton pantaloons and short cloth jacket.
The dress of officers is very similar to that of the privates; the texture of the cloth is better, and their rank is determined by a system of braids and shoulder straps; a sword like the cavalry sabre of the American service is worn. The Prussian soldier ready for marching looks very much like the American under the same circumstances. His overcoat is made into a long slender roll and hung on the left shoulder, the two ends coming together, and being fastened on the right hip. His haversack of coarse white linen, and glass canteen covered with leather, are slung from the right shoulder. Around the flask are buckled two broad straps, used in peace to cover the sights of the gun. He wears no shoulder belt, but a pipe-clayed waist belt, on which are slipped two cartridge boxes of black leather, carried on either side, each box holding 20 cartridges. The knapsack is of calfskin, tanned with the hair on, and is slung by two pipeclayed leather belts. The knapsack is made to keep its shape by a light wooden frame. On each end outside is a deep box in which is carried a case of 20 cartridges. On top of his knapsack is strapped a galvanized iron pot, holding about three quarts, with a tight-fitting cover, which is used separately for cooking.
He wears on his waist belt a strong sword 15 in. long, which can be used for defence or for cutting wood or material for fascines and gabions. His gun is unburnished, so that it may not attract attention by flashing in the sun, and is pretty well coated with grease. He carries no blanket. A leather pouch for money is hung around the neck, and also a zinc plate attached to a card on which are engraved the soldier's regiment, company, and number. The whole weight of arms and equipments is 50 lbs. - The tactics used by the German infantry through the war of 1870 was an adaptation of the French tactics of the Napoleonic period. The ordonnance was issued in 1847 by the predecessor and brother of the present emperor; but certain modifications have been made, from the experience of the late war, which are embodied in the royal Prussian order dated March 19,1873. (See article by Capt. Branckenburg in "United Service Magazine " for 18.73, No. 74.) The Prussian system is now, or probably will be, the model for the rest of the world. The general theory is that every means must be adopted to increase the effect of fire on the enemy's troops and to diminish that effect on our own. The tactical formation up to a recent period had been based upon the fire of the Napoleonic era.
This for the infantry was slow and very inaccurate, effective up to 200 or at most 250 yards; artillery fire was effective up to about 1,500 yards, but shell power comparatively feeble, the greatest effect being really within the case zone of 500 to 200 yards, before effective infantry fire was reached. Under these conditions we see French troops attacking in such formations as that of Macdonald's column at Wagram, consisting of three divisions, one of which had its battalions deployed in one great column, the others being in contiguous columns of battalions on the flanks; or as D'Erlon's columns at Waterloo, four divisions, each advancing in column on a front of a deployed battalion; or as Ney's right column at Friedland, with a front of some 66 files and a depth of 80 ranks. The British troops used the line formation, at times two deep and at times four deep, in which latter formation both the guards and the 52d regiment moved at Waterloo to repulse the last attack of the French imperial guard. Passing through the skirmishers, who ran in, they advanced over the comparatively short distance which separated the contending bodies of troops, and fired upon the enemy. The attack of Longstreet's corps on the left flank of the Union army at Gettysburg is also a case in point.
Such a system of tactics would be utter suicide with the weapons of to-day; and the column of attack, which has played so famous a part in modern military history, may be said to belong to the past as completely as the Macedonian phalanx or the wooden line-of-battle ships. The Prussians now employ a system of opening engagements with heavy fire of artillery, then attacking with a cloud of skirmishers, who take advantage of every hollow in the ground, tree, fence, etc, followed by columns to supply gaps. This shooting line no longer merely covers the fighting line as before, but it is the fighting line. Fed by small bodies successively brought up in extended order, their places as supports being taken by fresh bodies drawn from the rear, the fighting line may be brought to great strength. Little by little it is fed by troops not in close formation; little by little it works its way up close to the enemy; and by this feeding system of the shooting line a superiority of infantry fire is established, and the enemy's troops are demoralized. When the final attack is made, this shooting line has become much stronger, for whole battalions may have been absorbed.
It is a line, but not a rigid one, depending on conditions of ground, and one which has worked its way to this point in small bodies in fighting order, without that fearful loss and consequent demoralization which must inevitably attend the advance of a rigid line of anything like its strength. Then comes the final attack, the rush of this reen-forced line, this fighting division closely followed by the nearest supports. The Prussian instructions thus describe it: "If the enemy's line appears to be shaken in its holding of any part of its position, the shooting line, with the nearest but hitherto concealed supports, rush forward in quick, concentrated assault on this point; while these draw together in close division, it must be the officers' endeavor to get them quickly in hand, in order to be able to resist the enemy's counter-attack. In the mean while, the divisions in rear follow up quickly." This system of fighting requires great intelligence, individual judgment, and at the same time thorough discipline and subordination on the part of the private soldier.
It is secured in Prussia by the compulsory system of education, and by the elaborate character of the military training which every soldier is obliged to undergo. - Russia. The Russian army is at present (1874) undergoing a complete reorganization, and trustworthy statistics concerning its present condition cannot be obtained. The following table is derived from official statistics for 1871:
* Including the troops of Hesse, Mecklenburg, &c
12 regts. of the guard......
12 " of grenadiers......
140 " of line infantry..
24 battalions of chasseurs...
Staff of infantry.......
28 batt. of inf'y for fortresses.
1 batt. of body guard.......
2 " of line infantry.....
59 " of garrison........
70 batt. of infantry.....
10 " of chasseurs.....
TROOPS OF APPLICATION.
Inf'y, 1 batt. and 1 comp'y...
Besides the army of Russia in Europe, there are the army of the Caucasus, that of Turkis-tan, and that of Siberia. When the Russian army is completely reorganized it will consist in time of peace of about 750,000 men; in time of war the armies of Russia and the Caucasus will reach the number of 2,085,000 men. The proportion of artillery to infantry in the field will be about 3 1/2 guns to 1,000 men; there will also be one mitrailleuse to every 4 1/2 guns. The regiment is commanded by a major general in the guards and by a full colonel in the army. Each battalion has a lieutenant colonel at its head. The regimental staff consists of a regimental adjutant, a regimental quartermaster, a musketry instructor, and an officer in command of the non-combatant company. The non-commissioned staff consists of a drum major, a trumpet major, a sergeant major, three assistant sergeants, one or two chaplains, and non-combatant clerks, mechanics, etc. The battalion staff consists of a battalion adjutant, a battalion drum major, a battalion trumpet major, and an apothecary.
A company has a captain, three lieutenants, and 211 non-commissioned officers and men on a war footing, as follows: 1 junker (candidate for admission), 4 senior sergeants, 12 junior sergeants, 20 lance corporals, 148 privates, 1 pay sergeant, 3 drummers, 3 buglers, 1 armorer sergeant, 12 privates in reserve, 1 apothecary, 1 assistant apothecary, 4 officers' servants. The Russian infantry has been armed with the Krinck converted rifle, but the Berdan breech-loader will shortly be issued to the whole army. The weapons are adjusted up to 600 yards, except those of rifle companies and eight picked shots in each company, whose sights are adjusted to 1,200 yards. Ninety rounds of ammunition are carried in the cartridge boxes; 40 more rounds are carried for each man in the company transports. Bayonets are always fixed. The weight of arms and equipments is 68 lbs., including three days' provisions. The infantryman has also a short sword. The uniform is gray; small shako hat; belts and straps white in the guard, except rifle companies; in the infantry of the line the belts are all black. The tactics are similar to those of the other great powers. The unit of administration in everything is the regiment.
To make the infantry wholly independent of other arms, 10 men of each regiment are annually attached to the artillery, so there are always 80 men with eight years' service to help that arm in case of need. Eight men of each company carry intrenching tools, and are instructed in throwing up temporary works. There are schools in which the non-commissioned officers of the regiment are carefully trained, and they in turn teach the men. The standard is very high, and after their term of enlistment has expired they frequently decline commissions which they might obtain by passing a sufficiently high examination, and become schoolmasters and sometimes professors. The men receive but one new uniform a year. The companies make their own clothing entirely, even to the spinning of the braid. Army transportation is regimental; every company has a provision wagon with six days' rations, and a wagon with 40 rounds of ammunition to each man, with three horses driven abreast. Each regiment has an orderly wagon with lithographing press, etc, four ambulances, one hospital car, and one medicine cart; each brigade one band wagon, none in time of war.
In some regiments the senior surgeon gives occasional lectures to the officers and men on the first steps to be taken when wounded in case skilled assistance is not at hand. Thus the regiment is an administrative unit, independent of extraneous aid. The private soldier is intelligent, though generally uneducated; but under the new system there will be a continual improvement. - Austro-Hunga-rian Monarchy. Military service is obligatory upon all citizens of Austro-Hungary, as in most other European nations. There are 36 divisions of infantry, each consisting of two brigades. Each regiment comprises in time of peace five battalions of four companies, with the skeleton of a supplementary battalion; in time of war, three battalions of four companies, two reserve battalions of four companies, and one supplementary battalion of five companies. The regiment of Tyrolese chasseurs has seven battalions of four companies, seven supplementary companies of reserve, and one supplementary battalion of seven companies in time of war. Each battalion of chasseurs has four companies, one company in reserve, and one supplementary company.
The numbers in 1873 were as follows:
In the field.
The battalion is commanded by a major or lieutenant colonel; its strength on a peace footing is 14 officers and 372 men. A company has 3 officers and 95 non-commissioned officers and men. On a war footing a battalion has 18 officers and 734 men - a company has 4 officers and 236 non-commissioned officers and men, 4 pioneers, and 3 bearers of wounded. The Austrian infantry is to be armed with the Werndl patent rifle, of which 400,000 had been issued in 1873. The proportion of artillery to the infantry is 3 1/2 guns to 1,000 men. The uniform was formerly white; it is now bluish gray, with belts of untanned leather; close-fitting blue pantaloons, terminating in a boot. The tactics are undergoing a partial change, and will be made to conform with some modifications to the German method. - The infantry of the other powers of Europe is all modelled more or less upon the systems already described. The French army is undergoing a complete reorganization. The defeat of the French in the war of 1870 was due rather to bad generalship, faulty administration, and lack of preparation, than to any specific defect in the infantry. In France military service is obligatory upon every man except under certain definite conditions.
The system of education is not so complete as in Germany. The English army is kept up by a system of volunteer recruiting; but there is a militia liable to service in time of war, in which all subjects from 18 to 60 years of age are enrolled. The regular infantry in Great Britain numbers about 60,-000 men; in India about 45,958 men; in the other colonies 18,000 men. The term of service is 12 years. They are armed with the Henry-Martin breech-loading rifle. The infantry of the smaller states, in organization, tactics, weapons, etc, resembles that of the great powers. Of course it partakes of the characteristics of the different nations, and is efficient in proportion to the intelligence and discipline of the individual soldier. (See Army.) - Mounted infantry was largely employed during the civil war by the United States, and rendered important service. Under the command of Wilson in the west, it reached a degree of efficiency never before known; it possessed all the mobility of cavalry with the steadiness and dash of the best light infantry. It marched and manoeuvred with cavalry, but fought habitually on foot, in a single line of skirmishers, with greater or less space between the files as the circumstances of the ground and position of the enemy required.
The successful use of mounted infantry gave rise to a necessity for the assimilation of the cavalry and infantry tactics, so that the commands, instruction, and manoeuvres might be as much alike as possible. The new tactics prepared under the direction of Gen. Upton have just been issued to the army (1874), and seem to fully embody all that is required for handling large masses of cavalry or mounted infantry. In future wars the armies should have a much larger number of such troops, in order to secure the mobility or marching power of the horses, combined with the fighting power of the best infantry. That.nation which first appreciates and applies this lesson on a large scale may confidently count upon results in actual warfare quite in proportion to the expense of the undertaking. (See Cavalry.)