Obrazy na stronie

them one step of rank higher than ordinary line officer being absoluteofficers of the army generally, to- ly without intellectual resources, gether with a corresponding ad- and with no money for amusevantage as to pay and allowances. ments, passes a most wretched exStaff officers are, however, liable istence. To play at cards half at any time to be sent back to the night and to sleep half the regimental duty, and if not again day is the routine of the officer's employed on the staff during a life in the villages and small properiod of three years, their names vincial towns. Under such conare struck off the list. The annual ditions, it is not to be wondered at pay of an ensign on the line is 300 that the weakest point in the Rusroubles, or about £30. The field sian army is the incapacity of its pay given in time of war and in leaders. some of the remote Asiatic pro- As regards general organisation, vinces is about £45 per annum. the Russian forces are divided into The corresponding rates of pay for regular troops, irregular troops, a full colonel are £75 and £112. and the Opoltchenie, or levée en Every officer is entitled to free masse. quarters and fuel, or lodging al- The Opoltchenie consists of all lowance, and also to a messing men between the ages of twenty allowance or table-money, which, and forty capable of bearing arms, in the junior ranks, is equal to and not included in other levies. about two-thirds of the ordinary The numbers which could be inpay. Non - coinmissioned officers cluded under this head are very and men receive their pay quar- large, but as there do not appear terly in arrear, A private in to be any arrangements for arming a line regiment gets only about or otherwise supplying this force, ten shillings per annum, and the it may practically be considered as highest existing rate paid to a non-effective for the ordinary pursergeant-major is about £3, 12. poses of warfare. per annum.

Pensions are only The irregular troops are comgranted to non-commissioned offi- posed of the Cossacks and militia. cers and men who have suffered The militia consists only of a very from wounds or diseases whilst on few battalions and squadrons in service. Commissioned officers can the Caucasus and Transcaspia, and retire on full pay after thirty-five need not be considered. The Cosyears' service, and on half-pay after sacks are divided up among the twenty-five years' service. There different army-corps in Europe and is also a special pension fund, the forces in the Asiatic military formed by the deduction of 6 per districts. cent from every officer's pay during The regular troops consist of the his period of service. This fund is field or standing army, the reserve, calculated to double the pensions depot troops, fortress artillery, local granted by the State on retire- troops, and special corps. Of these ment, and to afford a certain pro- in time of war the depot troops are vision for the families of deceased required to maintain the field troops officers.

up to war-strength, and the garriTo sum up, the officer receives son troops would be confined to but little for his services, and but their respective fortresses. For little is expected from him. The active operations in the field the standard of education, except for standing army, the reserve, and the the staff, is miserably low, and the Cossacks would alone be available. In European Russia the active appear clear whether the reserve, army consists of 42 complete divi- when called out, would be incorsions (including the full proportion porated into the existing corps, or of all arms), 18 divisions or 72 whether any new army-corps would regiments of reserve infantry, with be formed. It is probable, how18 brigades of reserve artillery, 6 ever, that the existing organisation brigades of rifles, and sundry sur- would be adhered to. The official plus battallions, batteries, and Cos- strength of a normal army-corps is sack detachments. Under the pre- thus given in the Armed Strength sent organisation there are 17 army- of Russia':corps in Europe ; but it does not

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If, as is probable, a division of its immediate neighbourhood—two infantry of the reserve, with its infantry, one cavalry, and one arproportion of reserve artillery, tillery brigade being, however, dewere added to each army-corps tached to Warsaw. The ist Armywhich took the field in time of Corps, which is of normal strength, war, the fighting strength of each has also its headquarters at St such corps would be increased by Petersburg, and is quartered in the about 16,500 combatant officers St Petersburg district. The 13th and men and 32 guns, besides a Army-Corps has its headquarters suitable transport column.

at Moscow, and so has the GrenIn connection with the present adier Corps; but it must be noted political crisis, it is interesting to that the latter has no cavalry note the ordinary territorial dis- division attached. Of the remainposition of the seventeen army- ing thirteen army-corps, seven are corps in European Russia. The on the western frontier, with two Guard Corps, which is considerably more in almost immediate reserve stronger than any of the others, is at Minsk and Riga. Prince Bisconcentrated in St Petersburg and marck produced some years ago


quite a sensation in Berlin by dis- well-informed people, that Russia tributing to the Reichsrath depu- now maintains imposing forces in ties a map showing the disposition Central Asia; but a few rough of the Russian troops; but though details will soon show how false is they certainly appear to be always this idea. In the Caucasus proper, threateningly near the frontier, the south of the Caucasian range, from Russians can explain with truth which the Transcaspian region that their soldiers are naturally can be most readily reinforced, quartered in the most thickly pop- there is only one army-corps, with ulated districts, and where sup- its headquarters at Tiflis. This plies, and particularly forage, are corps has, however, three infantry most abundantly to be procured. and two cavalry divisions, instead If Russia should intend an attack of two infantry and one cavalryon either Germany or Austria, she the ordinary strength; and there need not—and in all probability are also four surplus rifle battalions would not—move a man until at quartered about Tiflis. the least a general mobilisation had Transcaspian region, as far as been ordered, the reserves called known, there are only twelve batout, and active operations within talions of infantry, a Cossack bricomparatively few days decided gade, four batteries of artillery, upon. For this reason all wild and minor detachments; whilst stories about concentration on the the army of Turkestan, with its Austrian frontier may be disre- headquarters at Tashkend, consists garded. If the situation is con- of twenty-five battalions of infansidered threatening, no doubt the try, six Cossack regiments, nine Russian War Minister will show batteries of artillery, and sundry special activity in the collection details. Considering the enorof material and supplies; but mous tracts of country which such minor preparations are very these troops guard, the forces difficult to follow, and on the above enumerated cannot be conother hand, orders for mobilisa- sidered as much in excess of ortion would necessarily be known dinary garrison requirements; and throughout Europe within a few before any serious aggressive operhours of their decree. The case is ation could be undertaken, there somewhat different if an invasion must be great movements of troops, of the Balkan Peninsula is in- which cannot be made in absolute tended, and any serious movement secrecy. of troops towards the south-west The defects and maladministrafrontier of Russia would give rea- tion of the intendance or supply sonable cause for alarm ; but even departments would be a very weak then there would probably be fair point in the Russian army, were warning, for it is not likely that it not that the remarkable qualiany army-corps would leave the ties of endurance of the soldier, headquarters, where all its stores already described, enable him, to a and material are collected, until by great extent, to make light of defispecial notice all men on furlough, ciencies which would most seriousor profiting by the various privi- ly affect the fighting capacity of leges for shortening service with less hardy soldiers. During the the colours, had been called in. last Russo-Turkish war, the cor

So far the distribution of troops ruption and mismanagement in the in European Russia only has been commissariat and other departaccounted for. There is a general ments of supply were nevertheless impression even among ordinarily responsible for quite as many lives as were terminated by the Turkish quarters of their respective disbullets; and the lawsuits between tricts, noting as deserters those the Government and the contrac- who fail to appear within the tors, which lasted for years after specified delay. It is probable, the war, and in which prominent from past experience, that all men officers were implicated in charges belonging to the active army could of corruption, were a painful pub- be brought together in the time lic scandal. In theory, there is a specified; but their readiness to perfect system for supplying every join the army at the front would want of a Russian army, and the be dependent, first, on the real minutest details are provided for completeness of the stores and by the fullest, and generally most material, in accordance with regusensible regulations ; but in prac- lations; and secondly, in all probtice the whole fabric has hitherto ability on the successful organisaalways given way. General Van- tion and working of the railways. novsky, the present Minister of The first condition as to stores and War, has done all that is in the material is hardly likely to be power of a sensible, energetic, and satisfactorily fulfilled; but it is honest soldier to effect improve- not probable that any deficiencies ments. But the Tsar himself can would be allowed to seriously denot change the national character, lay a movement. The second conand it is that which is responsible dition as to the efficient working in so many branches of Russian of the railway system is almost administration for putting good certain to be unfulfilled. In fortheory into bad practice.

warding large bodies of troops by The above reflections would no rail, new men would have to undoubt equally apply to the ques- dertake new duties, demanding tion of mobilisation. The arrange- great accuracy and forethought, ments, as laid down for a rapid and it is just under such circummobilisation, appear to leave noth- stances that the majority of Rusing to be desired. According to sians conspicuously fail. the Armed Strength of Russia,' In conclusion, it may be taken the Russian authorities hope that, for granted that where dogged notwithstanding the difficulty of courage and powers of endurance enormous distances and want of alone are required, the Russian communications, all infantry regi- army will not be beaten by that ments would be completely mobil- of any other nation. But when ised in from seven to ten days, the Russian soldier is dependent and that cavalry squadrons, which on the care and intelligence of his are always up to war-strength, superiors, either in matters of adwould march twenty-four hours ministration or of military conafter receiving their orders. Ren- duct, there he is foredoomed to dezvous are appointed in each pro- failure. In their own country, or vince, so that men on furlough against such unorganised foes as may be able to reach one of them the Turks, the Russians may do in two or three days at the most; well; but it is difficult to believe and a certain number of cloaks with Skoboleff that they would and boots, the most essential re- have any chance against the high quisites in the soldier's kit, are organisation, discipline, and intelkept ready in store. The police ligence of such an army as, alare charged with all the arrange- most without an effort, Germany ments for calling out the men could array to oppose a Russian and forwarding them to the head- invasion.


[Copyright by F. Marion Crawford, 1886.)


In those days the railroad did by the sleeve. But the man shook not extend beyond Terni in the his head, and began turning the direction of Aquila, and it was ponderous key in the lock. necessary to perform the journey little ragged boys were playing a of forty miles between those towns game upon the church steps, pilby diligence. It was late in the ing five chestnuts in a heap and afternoon of the next day before then knocking them down with a the cumbrous coach rolled up to small stone. One of them having the door of the Locanda del Sole upset the heap, desisted and came in Aquila, and Prince Sarracinesca near the Prince. found himself at his destination. " That one is deaf," he said, The red evening sun gilded the pointing to the sacristan. Then snow of the Gran Sasso d'Italia, running behind him he stood on the huge domed mountain that tiptoe and screamed in his eartowers above the city of Frederick. "Brutta bestia !” The city itself had long been in The sacristan did not hear, but the shade, and the spring air was caught sight of the urchin and sharp and biting. Sarracinesca made a lunge at him. He missed deposited his slender luggage with him, however and nearly fell the portly landlord, said he would over. return for supper in half an hour, "What education !-che educaand inquired the way to the zione !" cried the old man, angrily. church of San Bernardino di Meanwhile the little boy took Siena. There was no difficulty in refuge behind Sarracinesca, and finding it, at the end of the Corso pulling his coat asked for a soldo.

-the inevitable “ Corso” of every The sacristan calmly withdrew the Italian town. The old gentleman key from the lock, and went away walked briskly along the broad, without vouchsafing a look to the clean street, and reached the door Prince. of the church just as the sacristan “ He is deaf,” screamed the little was hoisting the heavy leathern boy, who was now joined by his curtain, preparatory to locking up companion, and both in great exfor the night.

citement danced round the fine “Where can I find the Padre gentleman. Curato?" inquired the Prince. “Give me a soldo,they yelled The man looked at him and made together. no answer, but proceeded to close “ Show me the house of the the doors with reat care. He Padre Curato," answered the was an old man in a shabby cas- Prince, “then I will give you sock, with four days' beard on his each a soldo. Lesti! Quick !” face, and appeared to have taken Whereupon both the boys began snuff recently.

turning cart-wheels on their feet " Where is the Curato ?” re- and hands with marvellous dexterpeated the Prince, plucking him ity. At last they subsided into a

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