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the cavalry divisions in campaign. The engineers were
armed and equipped as infantry. For each army corps there
was in France 1 squadron of train troops, which consisted
of 230 men and 3,500 horses, and furnished the complete
transport of the army corps, exclusive of artillery and- tech-
nical troops. The men were armed with saber and carbine.

The Flying Corps was under the administration of the
engineers until 1912, when it was created a separate corps



310 The Great War

under a chief who was responsible directly to the minister
of war. The personnel consisted of 1 general, 6 staff offi-
cers, 170 other officers, 230 non-commissioned officers, and
1,500 men; and the equipment included 8 large, 5 small,
and 8 reconnaissance dirigibles.

Each Army Corps had an aeroplane squadron : there were
5 squadrons for the fortresses and 6 for seacoast service; to
each cavalry division was assigned a section, and 7 squadrons
were reserved for the army commander. The squadron,
or flotilla, consisted of 6 aeroplanes and the section of 2.

Although the aeroplane was produced in America its
most rapid development was in France. Flying became
very popular and the army quickly recognized its value in
war. It was a Frenchman who said: "Germany aspires to
control the land and England the sea, but France will con-
trol the air." Although France had lost the endurance
records in the air, she had many accomplished and daring
pilots in the summer of 1914 who were destined to play an
important role in war.

The Gendarmerie formed an important body of elite
troops, numbering 2,500 officers and men, nearly half
mounted. They performed, in peace, duties corresponding
to those of mounted police and rural guards.

The Forest and Customs services were also regularly
organized troops and numbered more than 20,000. They
were well-trained, having been in large part non-commis-
sioned officers, but the superior officials who formed the
corps of officers were less well-ejualified, many being with-
out military training.

Under the army law of August, 1913, the infantry com-
panies on the frontier were to be maintained in peace at
200 men, in the interior at 140; the field artillery battery
was to be 140 on the frontier and 110 in the interior; and
the cavalry regiment was to be maintained at 740 sabers



The French Army 311

and the horse battery at 175 men, both at war strenj^th.
The same law prescribed 742,000 men as the minimum
peace strength of the army. In case of war the first Hne
would mobiHze at once 1,200 battalions, 600 S(]uadrons, and
1,000 batteries, a force of 1,300,000 men, 90,000 sabers, and
4,000 guns, leaving sufficient reserve to maintain this force
at the front. The Territorial Army would form a second-
line army of nearly the same strength, with its own reserves.
France had not less than 5,000,000 trained men.

The president of the Republic is commander-in-chief
of the armed forces, and may take command in the field.
He exercises command, normally, through the minister
of war, who may or may not have military training. The
General Staff, whose chief is directly responsible to the
war minister, trains the army in peace and operates it in
war. The officers of the General Staff come from the line
of the army after passing through the Superior School of
War. After passing the required examinations they are
attached for two years to the General Staff, where they
are tried out. Those not finally selected are returned to
the troops and form a reserve for the General Staff in war.
Every General Staff officer served two years with troops in
each grade from captain to colonel inclusive. The General
Staff was the body of experts to whom the safety of the
country was entrusted in war; it defined the policies of
the army and directed its training. Its officers were drawn
from the several branches of the service by a system of
competitive selection extended over a period of years; a
system designed to bring to the General Staff officers of
the best intellect and highest character that the country
produced. Even after they were permanently assigned to
the General Staff, these officers served periodically with the
line to keep them in touch with its needs. They returned
to their staff positions with first-hand knowledge of every



312 The Great War

reform that was needed. The General Staff did not always
receive the support of the government to which its high
character entitled it. It would however, in war, if the
danger were great enough, take its rightful place, for it
had the confidence of the army, which it truly represented.
To say that the General Staff represented the army is to
designate it as representative of the military spirit of France,
and therein was to be found its weak point.

In her whole preparation for national defense France
followed the lead of her more vigorous neighbor; there
was no independent development of military strength such
as should accompany the normal development of a country.
France was growing rich but not strong. Military meas-
ures and training were adopted as an insurance against a
real or supposed menace to the national existence and not
as a means of creating a healthy, self-reliant, orderly, and
well-ordered population, simple of taste and strong of heart.
France had a great army of well-trained men, led by intelli-
gent, energetic, patriotic officers, and directed by a General
Staff whose technical training and high character made it
fit for the task, but an army prepared beforehand to assume
a defensive role in the initial campaign of war. There was
much talk of the offensive return, but there was nothing in
the national character to indicate that the battles of France
would be fought on any other than French soil.



CHAPTER X

The Russian Army

Racial elements in Russia. Rise of the Slavs. Rarly territorial extension.
Tatar invasion : An autocracy established. Tatar dominion ends. The
Strelilz. the first permanent military force. Conquest of Kazan. Ivan's
army. Organization under Godunoff. The Cossacks. Reforms of Peter
the Great. Revolt of the Strelitz Cossack revolt. Defeat by the Swedes
at Narwa and victory over them at Poltava. Army reforms Victories
over I'^inland, Sweden, and Persia. The Seven Years' War. Victories over
Turkey and Poland. Defeat by France. Reconstruction ; military colo-
nies. Campaign against Turkey, 1828-1829. Reorganization of 1833-1834.
The Crimean War Russo-Turkish War, 1877-1878. The Russo-Japanese
War Organization under law of 1912: ser\'ice; the Cossacks; annual
enrollment of recruits; strength, officers, and training; infantrj', cavalry
and artillery, and equipment. Supreme command. General Staff. Army
corpS; peace and war strength. Infantry division, war strength. Cavalry
division Retrospect of ameliorations. Qualily of the modern force.

The race which forms the base of the Russian peop'e
came into the great plains lying between the Arctic Ocean,
the Black Sea, and the Ural Mountains following the Celts
and Teutons, the Hungarians, the Bulgarians, and many
other peoples who have formed empires in Europe, in the
great waves of emigration flowing from east to west suc-
ceeding each other at irregular intervals from the earliest
times of which we have any record. The three great prin-
cipal elements in tne race are the Finns, the Tatars, and the
Slavs, but the latter have largely absorbed the other two.

The Slavs have been traced from the Carpathian Moun-
tains to the marsh district midway between the Baltic and
the Black Sea which is drained by the great rivers flowing
northwest and southeast. The name Slav, in its old form
appears as early as the fifth century, but as late as the ninth

313



314 The Great War

century the Slavs had no political organization beyond the
clans, villages, or cities, and they seemed to have had no
military system. With no central authority and no regular
armed forces to support such authority as existed, the
domains of the Slavs were subject to invasion from every
frontier, with no natviral boundaries or barriers between
clans or tribes internal strife paralyzed all progress. It was
not until the second half of the ninth century, however,
that the Slavs, realizing their helplessness, invited the Varan-
gians, the same people as the Normans who conquered
England, to come and rule over them. Thus it was the
miHtary chiefs of the Scandinavian Peninsula with their
fighting men who laid the foundation of the great Russian
empire. Even its name is taken from the Norseman whom
the Finns called Russ. They taught the Slavs the art of
war and organized the armies that extended their frontiers
and made them secure against invasion. These armies were
not only a bulwark against the foreign foe, they were the
means of introducing the enlightenment of the west bv
opening communication and establishing commercial rela-
tions with the rest of Europe.

In 865 Askold and Dir led an expedition against Byzan-
tium. Although more than 300 ships were destroyed by a
tempest in the Sea of Marmora and the expedition proved
a failure, it was an important event as it established "the
first certain date in Russian history."

In 882 Oleg assembled an army of Varangians and sub-
jects from the conquered tribes, moved victoriously down
the Dnieper extending his dominions, and made Kieff the
capital of the eastern Slavs. In 907 Oleg, at the head of
another and greater expedition of 2,000 ships and 80,000
men, reached Constantinople and opened trade relations
with the Greeks. Sviatoslaff, who was the first of the Var-
angians to bear a Slavonic name, led an army of 60,000 men



The Russian Army 315

into Bulgaria in 970. He crossed the Danube in the face
of the enemy, put him to flight, and took possession of all
towns and villages, including Pereislavl, the Bulgarian capi-
tal. His troops who had displayed such excellent fighting
(jualities lacked the great military essential of discipline.
Yielding to their barbarous love of plunder they scattered
throughout the country. This proved the ruin of the
expedition. Sviatoslaff was forced to sue for peace, and,
collecting some of his scattered forces, he started for Kieff,
but was surprised on his homeward march and killed by
the Petchenegs. It was his successor, Vladimir, who was
baptised, married a daughter of the Byzantine Emperor,
and made Greek Christianity the state religion. This was
an important epoch for the Russian arm)', for it was the
Greek priests who were responsible for the "introduction
of the idea of an empire governed by a tsar supported by a
permanent army."

When, in 1064, Yaroslaff died and his empire was divided
among his five sons, a period of constant strife for supremacy
and the possession of the throne of Kieff began between
some two hundred ruling princes. The effect of these
civil wars was the destruction of the united forces, leaving
the country in a condition not unlike that preceding the
advent of the Varangians, so that when another wave of
emigration from Asia appeared Russia was ripe for invasion.

The Tatars first appeared in 1224, but after some suc-
cesses retired for thirteen years. When they next appeared
in 1237, several hundred thousand strong, they defeated
the forces of the Russian princes one after another, burned
Moscow in 1238, and in 1240 rased Kieff to the ground.
The invasion of the Tatars cut Russia off from the rest of
Europe for three hundred years, during which time a new
era was inaugurated in the west. This period, which in
western Europe witnessed the nationalization of states,



316 The Great War

leading to the emancipation of the serfs and the organiza-
tion of permanent armies, saw Russian arms and methods
become Tatarized, saw the principalities created by the
Varangians transformed into autocratic Russia under the
Tsar of Moscow.

Ivan III was the first independent monarch of Moscow.
He encouraged the arts which created materials of war
and did much towards the organization of a permanent
army. He was not a brilliant soldier, but, encouraged by
dissensions among the Tatars, he refused to pay tribute to
the Golden Horde, the Mongol Kingdom founded by the
descendants of Jenghiz Khan, and raised an army of
150,000 men to resist the invasion of Khan Ahmed who
marched against Moscow in 1480. The two armies met
in a light engagement, after which Ivan proposed peace to
Ahmed who insisted on terms so degrading that the nego-
tiations failed. The two armies stood facing each other
for a fortnight, when in order to secure his line of retreat
Ivan decided to retire. Believing that the withdrawal was
the result of defeat, a panic broke out in the army and the
retreat became a precipitate flight. Strangely enough, the
Tatars believing this maneuver, which they did not under-
stand, a ruse of war, also retreated. Thus ended the period
of Tatar domination in Russia.

Vasili Ivanovitch, the son and successor of Ivan, raised
the army to a strength of 360,000, composed principally of
cavalry. Of this force 300,000 were furnished by the pos-
sessors of fiefs who served without pay and equipped and
maintained their soldiers. The military training of these
armies was not sufficient to permit them to maneuver in
the face of the enemy; their tactics were of the simplest
kind and their strength lay in their numbers rather than in
the quality of their soldiery. Their inferiority was clearly
demonstrated in Vasili's attack on Smolensk in 1514 against




rriKni (if Cossacks.




Russian int.'iiitr



The Russian Army 317

the Lithuanians, who had already come under the influence
of Western Europe.

Ten years elapsed after the death of Vasili before
Ivan IV, at tlie age of thirteen, put an end to the intrigue
of the boyards by taking the scepter into his own hand.
He created the tirst permanent military force in the pay of
the state by organizing the Sirelitz, recruited among his
subjects who were exempt from the corvee. They were
soldiers for life and from father to son. This force, called
the "Janissaries of Russia," played an important part in the
history of the Russian army until it was abolished by Peter
the Great. It was at this time, also, that the Cossacks
appeared in the Russian army, and they continue to be an
important element in the military forces of the Russian
Empire to the present day. Although Ivan III established
the independence of Moscow by refusing to pay tribute
to the Golden Horde, the Tatar menace was far from
removed; the Mongolian frontiers have been a constant
source of anxiety to Russia almost to the present time.
Ivan IV, "The Terrible," the grandson of Ivan III, under-
took the conquest of Kazan in 1552. Elaborate prepara-
tions were made for the campaign. An advance guard of
light infantry was sent ahead to occupy the crossings of the
Volga; the northern flank was protected by a force placed
at Nijni-Novgorod and by the Strelitz and the Cossacks
on the Kama; the artillery was sent down the Volga.
The great armies marched without commissariat, living on
fish and game, fruits, roots and herbs. When the armies
were concentrated across the Danube, Ivan found himself
at the head of 150,000 men. The siege of Kazan and the
storming of the fortress was one of the bloodiest in his-
tory, but the Russians were finally successful and Ivan
returned to Moscow a conqueror. The second part of
the reign of Ivan was marked by wars against the Swedes



318 The Great War

and the Poles, by the burning of Moscow by the Tatars
of the Crimea in 1571, and by an attempt to conquer
Siberia by the Cossack hetman Yermak with a small body
of adventurers (Russian, German, Lithuanian, and Tatar).
He captured the capital of the Khan, Koutchomii, but
Ermak was drowned while swimming a river and his com-
posite force had to withdraw from Siberia, which was finally
conquered during the reign of Ivan's successor.

Ivan continued to increase his army and to improve its
organization. He formed a bodyguard of 8,000 horse-
men, young nobles, sons of the great lords. The boyards,
the lesser nobility, formed a force of 100,000 horsemen.
Every holder of land who produced three thousand pounds
of grain was bound to serve, mounted, armed, and equipped
at his own expense. All soldiers were allowed pay for
campaign service and the fief-holders who furnished more
than the required quota of men were specially rewarded.
By these measures the army was raised from 150,000 to
300,000 men. The basis of the permanent arm}^ was the
Strelitz drawn from the freemen. Their strength is esti-
mated at 40,000. Ivan used them to garrison posts on the
Tatar frontier, took 2,000 of them into his guard, and kept
12,000 in Moscow. They were organized into companies
of 500, divided into hundreds, fifties, and tens. Irregular
troops were also raised in southern Russia among the Cos-
sacks of the Don, of the Terek, and among the Tatars
and the Bachkyrs. The tsar furnished them powder and
lead and sent them presents of gold when he needed their
services.

The field organization of the army was still that intro-
duced by Ivan III, who divided it into main body, advance
guard, rear guard, and right and left wings. The artillery
had made great progress, cannon were imported and an
arsenal had been established at Moscow. Ivan had as many



The Russian Army 319

as 2,000 pieces of artillery. Much had been done for the
army, but according to European standards it was still in-
ferior to the armies of the west. The progress of an
army is in ratio to that of the people. The yoke of
the Tatars had not only stemmed the tide of civilization
for three centuries, but had turned it back and away from
Russia. The army became more Oriental than European
in character.

Under Feodor Ivanovitch, the last of the Varangian dy-
nasty, the weak-minded son of Ivan the Terrible, Godunoff,
the regent, was the actual ruler of Russia. It was at this
time that a system of periodical inspection of all the armed
forces by able and experienced officers was instituted.
The permanent army was maintained and augmented. The
Guard of the tsar numbered 15,000 nobles all mounted.
The cavalry, some 75,000 strong, was assembled every year
on the banks of the Oka to keep the Tatars quiet. The
Strelitz and the Cossacks were maintained and the foreign
corps amounted to 4,300 Germans and Poles, 4,000 Lithu-
anian Cossacks, 150 Scotch and Dutch, and 100 Swedes,
Danes, and Greeks. The Russians depended always on the
weight of their masses to overcome their lack of skill in
maneuvering. The cavalry attacked in a compact mass to
the sound of the drums and the trumpet corps. The in-
fantry took shelter behind a sort of movable fort, formed
by a line of boards stuck into the ground and provided with
loopholes through which they fired. The Cossacks per-
formed the service of reconnaisance. They were disposed
in pairs from five to twenty miles apart. One man of the
pair took post in a tree suitable for an observation station,
and the other remained mounted underneath ready to ride
at all speed to the next station with reports. Every move-
ment of the enemy was thvis signalled to the central head-
quarters by these Cossack posts.



320 The Great War

The Cossacks are a unique force in the history of armies
and have been an important element in the Russian army
since the sixteenth century. The name first appeared in
the first half of the fifteenth century. It was applied to a
class of laborers who were without homes, men who worked
for others. They formed no distinct nationality, but drew
their numbers from the villagers who sought a free exist-
ence, from fugitives, either from justice or serfdom, — in
short, from all who by reason of prosecution or persecu-
tion or the heavy burdens of government, or because of the
attractions of a life without restraint, took up their exist-
ence in the great Steppes which lay without the grasp of
the governmental agencies of any state. It is true the
Cossacks had a form of government of their own, which
did not bear heavily on them. Their primitive manners,
their crude social and political organization, the equality of
all men under the laws of the Cossacks, attracted many
Russians, who easily accommodated themselves to the pas-
toral life of the well-watered Steppes, stocked with game
and fish. The Ataman, the supreme chief of the Cossacks,
was elected by vote of all men of the age to bear arms.
All Cossacks were soldiers. Their population was purely
military, even tilling of the soil was forbidden by some
tribes. They lived beyond the frontiers of Russia towards
the lands of the Tatars, against whose invasions they were
a measure of protection. There were two classes of Cos-
sacks; those who lived on the exposed frontiers of the
Cossack world were constantly at war and had neither
family nor fixed abode, while those who lived in com-
munities had fixed habitations of wood, grouped in vil-
lages and towns and protected by earth fortifications.
They occupied a large territory and were divided into a
number of groups, each of which was more or less inde-
pendent of its neighbors.



The Russian Army 321

The Cossacks of the Ukraine occupied the territory now
known as Little Russia. They had treaties with the princes
of Lithuania, and after Lithuania was united to Poland the
same relations were continued with the kings of Poland,
who supplied them with materials of war and money. In
return they guarded the southeastern frontier of the king-
dom against the Tatars. As early as 1410 they furnished
troops to Poland in the war with the Teutonic Knights
and, later, in that with Russia. Sigismond I gave them
their first regular military organization, forming ten regi-
ments of 2,000 men each.

The Zaporogues lived further south along the lower
Dnieper. They lived entirely by pillage and were a terror
to all their neighbors. They were recruited from the
Ukraines, and those who wished to have families returned
to the Ukraine. The Ukraines and the Zaporogues were
able to put 40,000 men under arms. The atamans of these
tribes lent their support first to Poland, then to Turkey,
then to Russia, proving very troublesome to them all at
different times. But towards the close of the seventeenth
century the sultan renounced his claims, and the king of
Poland acknowledged the supremacy of the tsar in the
Ukraine, receiving in return a guarantee of Russian pro-
tection against the Tatars.

The Cossacks of the Don celebrated, in 1870, the three-
hundredth anniversary of their incorporation into the Rus-
sian empire. They formally recognized the sovereignty
of the tsar of Moscow in 1570 and have never given alle-
giance to any other sovereign; but they continued to elect
their atamans and to send and receive ambassadors, so that
the relation was really in the nature of an alliance. They
supported the Monk Otrepiefl, who had lived among them,
when, on the death of GodunofI, he attempted with the
aid of the Poles to occupy the throne of Moscow, and



322 The Great War

several other pretenders received their support; but when
Poland attempted to establish a Polish prince on the throne
of the tsars they fought by the side of the Russians. When
Michael Romanoff, son of Feodor Romanoff, who was
banished by Godunoff, was proclaimed tsar, he was rec-
ognized by the ataman of the Don, who remained loyal
to him.

The Cossacks of the Volga and the Astrakhan descended
from some tribes which, in the fifteenth century, occupied
Riazan on the Oka. When, in 1523, Riazan was incorpo-
rated into the kingdom of Moscow they migrated down
the Volga. About the middle of the sixteenth century the
Russians became established on the Kama river, and before
the end of the century they crossed the Ural mountains
and established posts on the Tobol river. About the same
time the Cossacks of the Volga crossed into Siberia. This
was the beginning of the conquest of Siberia, which the
Cossacks completed within a hundred years.

Beginning with the frontiers of Poland we find that
along the Dnieper, the Don, the Volga, the Kama, and
across the Ural mountains, the Cossacks guarded every
exposed frontier of Russia against the Tatars. They were
everywhere and at all times tribes of warriors who lived by
pillage, and gave Russia only less trouble than the Tatars,
against whom they afforded a measure of protection. But
they remained Russian; they spoke the Russian language,
though corrupted by the language of the various Tatar
tribes with whom they came in contact, and they main-
tained the orthodox religion. As they came, tribe after tribe,
under Russian control they proved an effective frontier



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