Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 88.djvu/717

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


Helpless United States

By Frederic Louis Huidekoper

��■ .- GUHS ■ S5 000

���The range of United States coast artillery as compared with that of guns mounted on British dreadnoughts of the "Queen Elizabeth" type

Although Mr. Huidekoper is not a professional soldier, he is an earliest and close student of military history, whose writings, notably his Military Studies,* have been consulted with profit even by staff officers. The following article is abstracted from his book, The Military Unpreparedness of the United States," by permission of Messrs. Macmillan and Co., the publishers. — Editor.

��ACCORDING to the latest statistics /A available, dated April 20, 1915, the authorized strength of the Regular Army — was 4,833 officers and 87,877 enlisted men, while that of the Philip- pine Scouts was 182 officers and 5,733 men, thus making a total of 5,015 officers and 93,610 men.

Notwithstanding the small size of the Regular forces in continental United States, the policy of the War Depart- ment to maintain the overseas garrisons at full war strength — a very sound policy since it will be almost impossible to re- enforce them for some time after the outbreak of war and then only under the most favorable circumstances — must re- quire a further reduction in them. As the Secretary of War very pertinently pointed out in his report for 19 14:

"It will be necessary in the very near future to take from the United States and put into the Philippines thirteen companies of Coast Artillery, 1,950 men; in the Hawaiian Islands, three regi- ments of Infantry, one battalion of Field Artil- lery, and two companies of Coast Artillery, 6,380 men; and in the Panama Canal Zone, one regi- ment of Infantry, one s(|ua(!ron of Cavalry, one battalion of F"ield Artillery, one company of Engineers, and twelve companies of Coast Artil- lery', 4,774 men. . . . This will leave in the

��United States proper 12,610 Coast Artillery troops and 24,602 of the of the mobile army, the latter being then not much more than twice the size of the police force of the city of New York."

As the Coast Artillery must of neces- sity remain stationary in fortifications, the only force that can be transferred to repel attacks by an enemy seeking to land or penetrate within our borders is the Mobile Army, which will shortly be reduced to 24,602, as Mr. Carrison has stated.* It is an astounding proof of our unpreparedness at the present moment that such a force would be smaller than the actual strength of the Regular Army at any time since the close of 1861 — save in April, 1865, when it numbered only 22.310, but when we had more than a million \olunteers who were Regulars in everything but name — notwithstanding that in those 53 years our population has increased from about 31,000,000 to 100,000,000.

We Have No Modern Howitzers and Not Enough Field Guns On December 8, 1914, according to the

  • Since tliis passasc was written the Mexican situation has

mitigated its force. The Mobile Army will be increased, probably permanently. — Editor.

��689

�� �