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How The Prussian Armies Are Filled

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The present war in Europe ia a struggle between the military systems. Tlie Frenen army form a distiuct body by themselvos. But the Prussian anay are tlio men compooing tho Prussiun nation. Ünirever the Frenehnian mny be first placed iu tho ranka, after bis enlistment ho ia a soldier ond notliing elne. But in Prussia there ia no drafï, no volunteering, no suba'itute. On comploting his 20th year, every young man must enter the arrny in pergou. He remains io active service for throe years. Thnn the PrusHian army on a peaco footini; consista of all malo citizens, physically competent, between the ages of 20 and Thore is a class in the Prussian army who cali themselves volunteers. The word, however, has no such fiignificance as with us. It denotes nieroly eerUiin ■oung men of family and weallh wlio volanteer to pay their own expenses [uring their service, inetead of drawin quipmenls and rationa. In considera ion of this, one year's service ia accepted a lieu of three. Sludents in the Universities avail tbmselves extensively of his provisión. They are quartered in hc university town, live in barracks, nd drill in the rauks ín the iuterval of heir lect.ures and studies. But we are to observe ja t h?re, that one of these young men, completing his preliruinary term of.-ervice, are dis barged from the army. Thev retain heir place in their old companies and egiments; they are required to report vcry change of residsnee, and nre sim!y absent on furlough. And when thcy re pumtnoned to tho rank again, they re deserters if they do not report wit li o a gpenitied time. Tliis explains the narvellous rapidity with which the rmy was recently mobilized. At the rat alarm of war all yonn; men between 0 and 25, who were thus on furlough, were summoncd to the ranks. This did ot add a regiment Io the army, but mply iilled up existing regiments in all rms of tho service. Of course this sus)ended all the universuies. There was ardly a student left. Tben tha declartion of war called out the reserves. All ïen between 26 and 32 wore.firgtarmed. 'hey had been alo furlougbed in theory, Ithough thny ennsidered themselves n.ctieally discharcd. This armv is al led the Landtvehr oj the first class. And already the Landicehr ojlhe tecond las has been callud, cousisting of all ïen between 33 and 39. Probably few f thein bava been feut to the 'front, )ut they are massed and readv, forming n immense and thoroughly trained reerve. But this does not exhaust the military trength of the nation. There is acother eserve, which would have been under rms by this time if the K'rench had rossed the Rhine. In caso of invasión II men between forty and Êfty ore summoned to tho ranks This lecy en masse s called the Landsturm. Thus every Mind man in Prussia is a welltrained oldier, and in theory beiongs to the rmy for thirty years of his life. This compact military system has ow been enforced in all the States of iermany. No reliance can be placed pon the c-itiiiiatDs in the newspapers f the actual numberof men to which he army ha been swelled in conseuence. But tho following numbeis will how that they are all ucder the truth, ather than extravagant. Official records, made previous to the ampaign against Austria iu 1866, of he whole number of citizens owing nilitary duty in Prussia alone were as bllows : . Mobilized army, 20 to 25 years ol ae 778,454 . First Landvvehr, 20 to 32 years of age 1,077,058 . Scconcl Land wehr, 33 to 39 years of age 872,174 Total Prussian army under 40. 2,728,580 Thus the actual army which Napoleon efied, without cause and almost withut pretest, not eoujiting the ndditions 'rom North Germany, nor the armies of iavaria and South Germany, which he loped to neutralizo or have on his sitie, mounted to the euonnous fo:ce of threc millions! But the ptrength of tha Germán army s not so tinich in the number as in the haracter of the soldiers. Every eitizen s a soldier, and every soldier a eitizen iy this tjittem an inmeuxe forco can be maintained without a total separation f any man in the rauka trom the educaion, the sympathie, and the interests f the natiiin Ono year, or at most hree years in the ranks, do not win a ,ian from the lovo of homo, norquench lis ambition to (icceed in civil life The army is a compact body of citizen oldierj, as well educated as tho nation at large, and huvinp no interests nor ambitions separate from the people. But, unliko our own army of the same character, they are all drilled to arms from their youth, need no Buil Kun as a training day, and can fight as effectively in tho tii'sl battle as at tho close of the campaign. The rapidity of the canipaign of 186C, and of the present invasión of Prance, is ueither a miracle nor tho result of extraordinary RtrategJ io tho commanders. Tho army was all ready. It could strike a tremendous blow at first, and follow it up. At the s;imo time thiscnormniiH force, so cffoctive againsl a foreign toé, cüiinot be made an instrument of military despotism. The only purtiou of it which can be cal'.cd in nny senRO a standing army, is composed of tho young men between 20 and 23, not absent on furlough but in conttant tr;iinin;. No', of the mobilized army of neai ly SOO.OÜO men givcn above, not half aro ever uoder I arms at ono time ia peaoe. The res are at home, and bebind tliem stand the Landwohr of both classes. No despot oould depend upon sucb an army a moment in a coup d' elat. As a matter of faot, Bistnorck has net depended upon the army at all in carrying out his purposes within Pruasia itsolf. Ile bas led public opinión, but without encountering revolution at home. He bas used the army against the foes of Prusaia ; but if he had been ten times the despofc be bas boen described, be could not bave employed snch an army ín rerolutioa agatnst the Piussian censtitntiou. It betrays sheer ignorance, therefore, to spenk of the Prussian systom as a despotio one. There ia n&t a inonarchy in Europe which bas an army orgauized on snch liberal, and oven democratie principies. Indeed, the ouly army whieh can be eompnred with t at all, ia that of tho Swiss republic. Instead of a certaio forco unc'er arms tbo jear round, tbe Swiss train a few months each )oar, for fourteen years. Tben they are cnrolled among the reserve for five years longer, and belong tp the Landwehr for four ycars more. So tbat tho effective strength of the Swiss army, according to tbe latest official statistics available tbis moment, were as follows : 1. Federal arroy (callecl Bundesauszug.all bctween the ages of 20 and „ u 77,439 2. l{oserve(3Ho39) 8. f2 3. LundTchr (40 to 44) 57,465 BfcctlTe army 17S,lts6 4. Landsturm, about 150,000 Tbns tbe system is elastic, equally apnlicable to a moiiarchy, nd to a repube, but vvholly impracticable as a toul of despotisin. Of course it b immoneely superior to the eystein of conscription for a long period in France, and to the system of volunteering in Great Britain, iud to the want of all system in tho United States. But it has one vioious featuro in Prussia, Thero is very littlo promotion from the rsnks. Oat" of 2,896 oommiïsioned offictrs, given in recent staisiies of the iofuntry, all but 984 wcro f noble birth, and tenily all the rest weretakau fio:n military echools. Amorg he cavalry regiments, fivo wero without a cingle burgher as cornmissioned officor, aod ouly 96 out of 920 cavalry offieers were burghcra. Th writer has convere d with multitudes ia the rai.k &nd ile of the Prussia army, and bas never ound one chcrifhing any hope of rising rom the rauks by clistiuguishiog himelf in action. 15ut this relio of feudalisni has its adyantnge. It keeps the Oerman working man from the daugerous arabitiou for a soldier's carecr. He is eager to finish he campaign and gct home. And this, !xplains, again, the rapidity of the ruMsian fighting. ïhey must haaien. r.verytbing stops in sucu a war as thia, ducation, uianufucturcs -and commerce re suspended, becanse the whole nation re in the armies This ereates general iatress. But it is not ao bad as organzing the industry of a people to support constant siae of waifare. It iej the urest way, combined with the perft:ion of destructivo machinery, to make wur impossible. If one of the results of liis war shouM be to arm and train very able-boditd man ia Europe, it will e the first suro step toward disbanding tanding armies, and bit ding the ualions over to keep the peace.


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Michigan Argus