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cavalry regiments bearing territorial designations, 7 squad-
.^ rons of gendarmes, and the Cossacks. There are 51 Cos-
sack regiments, and 25 separate squadrons. This force,
with 18 regiments of mounted frontier guards, forms the
cavalry of the first line in war. The second line was to be
composed entirely of Cossacks, and more than 100 regi-
ments were provided for. The cavalry regiment had 6
squadrons, and the Cossack regiment 4 or 6. All the cav-
alry, including the Cossacks, carried a short carbine on
the back and a light curved saber. The regular cavalry


336 The Great War

carried a bayonet attached to the saddle. Officers, non-
commissioned officers and trumpeters carried the revolver.
In 1913 the front rank of the entire cavalry was armed
with the lance. The individual cavalryman carried 40
, rounds of ammunition, and the regimental train carried 25
rounds per man. The squadron carried 20 small spades and
20 small picks on the saddle. The regiment was equipped
with 2 telegraph stations, 4 hand telephones, and 2 helio-
graph stations.

The light fidd-artillery was organized into brigades and
divisions. Three guard, 4 grenadier, and 52 army or line
brigades had 2 divisions of 3 batteries each. Eleven Sibe-
rian rifle artillery brigades had 2 mountain batteries in
addition to 6 batteries of field guns each. One guard rifle
artillery division and 10 other rifle divisions had 3 batteries
each, but were not organized into brigades. Six Turkistan
artillery divisions (rifle troops) had only 2 batteries, and
there was 1 independent Siberian mountain battery. The
horse artillery was made up of 1 guard brigade, of 5 army
and 1 Cossack batteries, and 12 army divisions of 2 batteries
each. There were 4 horse divisions of mountain artillery,
each of 2 batteries, and 4 batteries belonging to the frontier
guards. The Cossack artillery included 8 divisions of 2
batteries each, 21 independent batteries, 36 divisions of
howitzers of 2 batteries each, and 1 independent battery.
This completed the light field artillery of the army. Field
and mountain batteries had generally 8 guns, and horse and
howitzer batteries 6 guns. The heavy field artillery con-
sisted of 8 divisions of 3 batteries each, for assignment
to the field armies. The peace establishment of artillery
formed the first line in war. Little is known of the reserve
and the territorial artillery which should form the second
and third lines. Eighty territorial batteries were carried in
the armv lists, but their mobilization was doubtful. The

The Russian Army 337

field and horse batteries were armed with the model 1900
and 1902 rapid-fire rifie, caliber 7.62 centimeters. A new,
lighter piece was projected for the horse artillery. The
howitzers were the lijjht Krupp model of 1909, caliber
12.19 centimeters. The armament of the heavy batteries
was in process of change to the 10.6 centimeter rifie and
the 15 centimeter howitzer of the Schneider system.

The tsar is supreme commander of all land forces, but
may designate a commander-in-chief with full powers.
The minister of war is the supreme military and adminis-
trative head of the army; all communication with the tsar
is through him. Even the chief of the General Staff is
entirely subordinate to him, a relation which it is important
to note.

The several divisions or sections of the General Staff, as
well as the administrative branches of the war office, corre-
spond to those of the other armies of Europe with no
important difference. The organization of the army into
corps, divisions, and brigades presents nothing new. The
corps, the largest peace unit, was composed of 2 infantry
divisions; 1 division of howitzers as corps artillery; a com-
pany each of sappers and telegraphers; a telephone section;
munition, artillery, and engineer parks; a field sanitary
transport column and a veterinary hospital ; a corps supply
column and two mobile field bakeries. The fighting
strength of the corps may be summed up as 32 battalions,
64 machine-guns, 6 squadrons, and 14 batteries, with a
ration strength of 44,000 men and 12,000 horses. The
peace establishment was 37 army corps.

The infantry division was a complete operative unit,
made up of 2 brigades of infantry of 2 regiments each, 1
to 3 squadrons of cavalry, 1 artillery brigade, a sapper com-
pany, a telephone section, artillery park, sanitary trans-
port column, and division supply column. The sanitary

338 The Great War

transport included 1 division hospital and 2 mobile field hos-
pitals. The supply column carried four days' rations. The
fighting strength was 16 battalions, 32 machine-guns, 3
squadrons, and 6 batteries, with a ration strength of 20,000
men and 5,000 horses. The peace strength was 59 infan-
try divisions, 11 rifle divisions, and 17 separate rifle brigades.
The rifle division was like the infantry division. The rifle
brigade was composed of from 3 to 4 two-battalion regi-
ments, 1 artillery division of 3 batteries, artillery park, sani-
tary transport, and supply column. The sanitary transport
was made up of a brigade hospital and a mobile field hos-
pital. The fighting strength was 6 to 8 battalions, 24 to 32
machine-guns, and 3 batteries.

The strength of the cavalry was 24 divisions and 8 inde-
pendent brigades. The division was composed of 2 brigades
of 2 six-squadron regiments, a machine-gun section, and a
horse artillery division. The fighting strength was 24
squadrons, 8 machine-guns, and 2 horse batteries, with a
ration strength of 4,500 men and 4,800 horses.

When Peter the Great abolished the Strelitz and drew
men to the colors by a general levy he laid the foundation
for a permanent regular army of Russian soldiers. Although
the system of recruiting introduced corresponded to the
primitive social conditions of his time, it was not without
elements of weakness that would have to disappear before
the army became worthy of the Russian people. Recruits
were drawn from the rural districts and from the lowest
elements of society in the cities. Both classes were inferior
to the corresponding elements in the states of western
Europe. But the most vicious feature of the system was
the apportionment of the annual contingent of recruits
among the political subdivisions of the empire, leaving the
local authorities to furnish the numbers required without
scrutinizing the character of the recruits received. If they

The Russian Army 339

were physically qualified for service they were acceptable;
the local jrovernments were thus able to purjre their com-
munities of the worst elements in society. Even criminals
were incorporated in the army with the sanction of law — a
practice which has been more than once resorted to in
Great Britain and which, to our shame, finds advocates at
the present time among the judiciary of our own country.

Under such conditions, the severity of the corporal pun-
ishment inflicted in the army may be understood, if not
justified. It was only through fear, drink, or hope of
booty, that soldiers of such a type could be induced to
sacrifice their lives on the field of battle. The conditions
were well known and the evils recognized; but a system
which imposed its burden on the serf, who had no political
rights, gave little hope of reform by the privileged classes
in whose selfish interests it operated.

The nobihty, who were originally obligated to serve,
were gradually exempted, so that long before the end of the
eighteenth century they enjoyed an almost complete im-
munity from service. The officers were largely profes-
sional soldiers of fortune from many lands. It was not
until after the death of Peter the Great that the term of
service for the man in ranks was reduced from life to
twenty-five years. Nearly a hundred years elapsed before
there was another reduction, from twenty-five to twenty-
two years, and then in the guard only. Finally, in 1859,
came the first important amelioration of the conditions of
military service, when the period of obligation to serve
was fixed at fifteen years, twelve with the colors and three
on furlough. The punishment of having the soldier run
the gauntlet and be flogged through the lines was not
abolished until 1863. Under such conditions it was, of
course, out of the question that self-respecting, free men
should serve in the ranks. It was a very primitive idea of

340 The Great War

an army, but not foreign to the spirit of the times, and a
distinct advance over earlier systems when the great nobles
and landowners appeared at the call of the monarch with
the stipulated numbers of their dependents, clothed,
equipped, and armed according to the fancy, or the gen-
erosity and zeal of their masters.

The law of 1874 was the first step in the creation of a
national army. It imposed the obligation of personal mili-
tary service on every Russian subject. Certain provinces
were exempted from the operation of the law and substi-
tution was permitted between brothers. The men to be
enrolled to fill the annual contingent were fixed by drawing
lots. There were numerous exemptions and service could
be postponed in certain cases where exemption from ser-
vice was not authorized. The physically unfit were, of
course, not drafted. Christian ministers and readers of the
Orthodox church enjoyed a complete exemption. Doctors,
pharmacists, veterinarians, those art students of the Im-
perial Academy of Fine Arts who were selected for study
abroad, and an only son, or the eldest son of a widow or of
a father incapacitated for work, were excused from service
except in case of a deficiency in the number required for
the annual contingent. Postponement of service was per-
m'tted to young men engaged in the administration of
their estates or for the completion of studies. Reductions
in the period of service for educational qualifications were
generous. To stimulate voluntary enlistments volunteers
were accepted beginning with the seventeenth year of age;
they were permitted to choose their arm of service, but,
in the cavalry and in the guard, volunteers equipped and
maintained themselves at their own expense.

Recruiting was, in theory, regional except for the guard,
the grenadiers, the chasseurs, the engineers, the cavalry,
and the horse artillery, which were recruited throughout


Siberian infantry.

Russian artillerv.

The Russian Army 341

the whole territory of the empire; but the character of the
population on both the eastern and western frontiers did
not permit a strict application of the principle. Each corps
had, in fact, two recruitinji; districts, one with an essentially
Russian population which furnished three-fourths of the
recruits, and a supplementary district lying on one of the
frontiers, which completed the quota. Regional recruiting,
or the practice of assembling the elements of the nation
into local garrisons for military training, developed with the
application of the principle of universal compulsory service
to the creation of national armies. In the national army,
however, as it has developed on the continent since the
beginning of the nineteenth century, every man who is
mentally and physically fit and morally worthy to be a
defender of his country submits to a period of training in
time of peace which will make him an efficient unit of the
army of national defense in time of war. It admits no
mercenaries. Only the corps of officers and non-commis-
sioned officers necessary as instructors are professional
soldiers. It excludes from its ranks the moral degenerate,
the criminal, and all men who are not in full possession of
their political rights. It is essentially the army of a free
people. It is in this last conception of the modern army
that the Russian army differed fundamentally from those
of the other Great Powers of the continent. Before the
period of the Tatar domination, Russia had established free
intercourse with southern and western Europe and Rus-
sian civilization was essentially European. But three cen-
turies of Mongolism destroyed the work of the Normans
and obliterated the influence of Byzantium. When the
tsar of Moscow threw off the yoke of the Great Khan,
Russia was essentially a Mongol state. European progress
took root slowly; even at the beginning of the eighteenth
century there was little culture in Russia. An army cannot

342 The Great War

be superior to the elements which form it; it was not until
March, 1861, that the ukase of the tsar emancipating
25,000,000 serfs created, in theory, a free Russia. The
emancipation of the serf produced no great organic changes
in the country; improvements in poUtical and social con-
ditions have developed slowly. The modern army is a
product of the national ideal, and may be judged by the
same standards of progress.

There was no other army in Europe at the outbreak of
the Great War that was Hkely to cause so many surprises
as that of Russia. Its unprecedented numbers, equal to the
combined forces of Germany and Austria-Hungary, gave
it in the popular mind the character of invincibility. It was
the only army in Europe which had met a first class modern
army on the field of battle. No other army had such a
large number of veterans. It had, however, suffered from
many abuses, and still labored under many disadvantages.
Dishonesty has been a great plague in the administration
of the Russian army; it was of the character known in
America as "graft." Katherine II said of one of her col-
onels that if he were poor, it was his own fault, for he had
been long in command of a regiment. That there was
misuse of the public funds in recent times is shown by the
sweeping investigations following the late wars; but pub-
licity of that sort is a healthy indication; there can be little
doubt that great reforms had been accomplished.

Russia with all her wonderful resources imported large
quantities of arms and munitions. Considering that war
might easily cut off her sources of supply, the situation
was a serious one, but one which may have received more
attention than was generally known.

The Russian General Staff and the officers of the army
have always been followers in the art of war; they have
contributed little to military science. The Russian soldier

The Russian Army 343

of the regular army has been patient, sturdy, devout,
devoted to the tsar and to Holy Russia. He has been
always stubborn, sometimes heroic in defense, but he is
handicapped by a lack of intelligence. Six hundred recruits
out of one thousand are analphabetics. As for the irregular
Cossack, he has been a plague, a scourge, a pest, a horror
to every element of society except well organized, armed
forces. He would, without doubt, fall on weak, defeated,
or disorganized forces and pursue them to destruction, but
if he possessed any offensive value against a modern foe, it
was because he had been converted by careful discipline
and training into a regular cavalryman and in spite of the
fact that he was a Cossack.

The history of the Russian army justified the conclusion
that the army of 1914 would prove inferior, man for man,
to those of the other Great Powers of Europe; but much
depended on the value of the experience in the war with
Japan. Unless the lessons of that war had been well learned,
unless there had been fundamental reforms, Russian arms
were bound to prove a disappointment.


The Armies of Serbia, Belgium, and Italy

Advent of the Serbs into Europe. Separation from the kindred Croats.
Early subjection of the Serbians. Serbian victories and greatness in the
fourteenth century. Annexed by Turkey in the fifteenth century. Cen-
turies of unrest. Momentary -'ndependence, 1804. Again under Turkish
rule. Independence reestablished. Four decades of turbulence. Assassi-
nation of King Alexander and Queen Draga, 1903. Peter Karageorgevitch
proclaimed king. Population and resources. Military inefficiency. Prog-
ress under Peter. Military service, peace and war strength, training and
organization. Territorial increase in 1913. Augmentation of military
strength. Campaign of 1912, against Turkey, and 1913, against Bulgaria.
Belgium: Union of Belgium and Holland. Revolution of 1830. The
nucleus of a national army. Military conditions under Spanish rule and
development of national ideal. Independence under guarantee of the
Great Powers. Neglect of the army. Defensive measures after Franco-
Prussian War. Military system and defenses before law of 1909. Compul-
sory service and strength under 1909 law. Increased force enacted in 1913 ;
organization and equipment. State of the army in 1914. Italy: State of
army in 1815. The army of liberation. Causes operating against military
efficiency. The army of 1914 ; service, strength, training of officers,
quality of troops, the Carabinieri and Bersaglieri; organization and equip-
ment ; peace and war strength.

The events of July, 1914, turned the attention of all the
states of Europe, if not of the world, to their armed forces,
on which, in the final settlement, national existence depends.
,The great armies of the Old World stand out towering
giants dominating the world-theater of operations, while
around them are grouped the bristling bayonets of their
weaker neighbors, each bearing its own peculiar relation to
the great issue. Although the Great Powers hold the
center of the stage, the lesser countries, Serbia, Belgium and
Italy play important roles.


The Armies of Serbia, Belgium, and Italy 345

The Serbs belong to a branch of the Slav peoples who
appeared in southeastern Europe in the first half of the
seventh century. The Croats, who belonged to the same
branch and who spoke the same language, appeared along
with them; but dispersion developed individual character-
istics in the various people and tribes. The Serbs came
under the influence of Byzantium and the Croats under
that of Rome; so, by the tenth century, these two groups
of the same people, isolated from and often hostile to each
other, were finally separated and appeared later as distinct

As early as the ninth century the Serbs were involved
in difficulties with the Bulgarians, and in the tenth century
they fell under the power of Bulgaria. Before the end of
the century the Bulgarians were driven out, but in 1015
Serbia passed under Greek dominion and so remained until
towards the end of the twelfth century. Serbia had already,
while under Greek dominion, acquired Bosnia, and now,
in spite of the devastation of the country by the Mongols,
was able to maintain herself in turn against Greeks and
Turks. The Hungarians took Bosnia in 1319 but were
two years later defeated by Stephen VII, who, in 1330,
defeated both Bulgarians and Greeks and annexed Bulgaria
and half of Macedonia.

Stephen Dushan, who in 1336 killed his father and
ascended the throne, greatly extended the influence of his
country and added Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Belgrade to
the territory over which he ruled as emperor. He died at
the beginning of a campaign which he inaugurated in 1356
for the purpose of driving the Turks out of Europe. His
death marked the beginning of the end of his empire,
which soon fell under Turkish influence and was formally
annexed to Turkey in 1457. Serbia had, through the war-
like qualities of her rulers and people, maintained her

346 The Great War

independence for a long period and developed into a formid-
able empire, but she now succumbed to the advancing tide
of the Turks in Europe, and lost her place in the family of
nations for more than four centuries. During this period
there was no end to internal strife. The Turkish rule never
brought tranquillity. The spirit of unrest was displayed in
many ways ; thousands of Serbians left their country at one
time to enter the German army; many more emigrated
into Hungary in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
There was constant unrest but no organization. Leaders
were murdered or forced to flee the country ; uprisings and
revolutions were frequent, but none had any lasting effect
until the rebeUion of "Kara George" in 1804. In 1809
Serbia gained her independence only to be reconquered by
the Turks four years later. George fled to Austria, but
returned in 1817, when he was assassinated by Milosh
Obrenovitch, who again established Serbian independence.
It was not, however, until 1862 that the Turkish garrisons
were, through the intervention of the powers, finally with-
drawn from Belgrade.

The next forty years form a very stormy period in Serbian
history, offering little promise for the future development
of military organization and strength. All was disorder and
defeat. The Serbians made war in turn against Turkey
and Bulgaria, suffering defeat on both occasions, and were
only saved in the first case by Russia and in the second by
Austria. The habit of assassination culminated in the mur-
der in June, 1903, of King Alexander and Queen Draga,
the premier, the minister of war, and two brothers of the
queen. The ruling house of the Karageorgevitch was
reinstated in the person of King Peter, and the develop-
ment of the Serbian army may be said to begin with him,
although based on a law of 1901, the date of the new con-
stitution by King Alexander.

The Armies of Serbia, Belgium, and Italy 347

Serbia was a most primitive state, with a population of
about 3,000,000, and very weak in financial resources. The
budget of 1912-1913 amounted to only about $25,000,000.
Nearly one-fourth of the total amount was allotted to mili-
tary purposes, but five or six millions is a paltry sum towards
maintaining a military establishment according to modern
standards. National spirit, patriotism, and valor are the
only qualities on which an army can be founded; but a
primitive, ignorant, poorly organized people are at a great
disadvantage in the attempt to create a national army which
must take its place in a struggle with the highly developed
armies of the great modern powers. In conflict with her
neighbors, Turkey and Bulgaria, Serbia in 1876 and in 1885
had shown herself incapable of developing a strength in
the field commensurate even with her population and
resources, meager as they were. There is nothing to indi-
cate that the population was wanting in the primitive
virtues on which military efficiency is founded; but her
rulers and the government, either through incapacity or a
vicious neglect of their pov/ers and responsibilities, leaning
first on one foreign support and then on another, viewed
with apparent equanimity the activities and intrigues of
dangerous agitators both in and out of the government
service. Considering her national aspirations, the turbu-
lence of the population, and the insecurity of her position
as an independent state, the failure to make any adequate
provision for national defense must be charged to ruler
and ruling classes as a crime against the nation. So,
the army, education, and every civic virtue were totally
neglected. The assassinations of June 11, 1903, brutal
as they were, delivered Servia from a king and queen
who had become insupportable to the people, but under
the rule of King Peter the country settled down to a
normal, peaceful development, fairly free from internal

348 The Great War

dissensions and undisturbed by foreign menace until the
crisis of 1909.

Serbian hostility to the annexation of Bosnia and Herze-
govina by Austria in 1909 was of such a nature that war
was narrowly averted. Military preparation was then begun
in a systematic way: arms and equipment were renewed,
and great progress was made before the outbreak of the
war against Turkey in 1912.

Under the army law of 1901, which is still in force, Ser-
bians were required to serve thirty-two years. Service was
divided into three categories: the first included the active
army and its reserve; the second and third were composed
entirely of reservists. The soldier served two years with
the colors and eight years in the reserve of the active army ;
he then passed into the second category where he remained
for seven years; thence into the third category to remain
another seven years ; then he completed his period of liabil-
ity in the general reserve. The first and second classes
formed the field armies; the third class was destined for
service on the line of communications and as frontier
guards; while the general reserve was to be used for gar-
rison service or as a home guard.

Students served six months with the colors, and were
then permitted to take the examination for appointment
as reserve officers. If successful they served fourteen
months longer. Recruits for the cavalry who provided

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