Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1871.djvu/348

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312

ITALY.

Army and Navy.

The Sardinian law of conscription forms the basis of the military organisation of the kingdom of Italy. According to it, a certain portion of all the young men of the age of twenty-one, the number varying from 40,000 to 50,000, is levied annually for the standing army, while the rest are entered in the army of reserve, in which they have to practise annually for forty days, and are then sent on illimited furlough, but can be called permanently under arms at the outbreak of a war.

By a royal decree of January 24, 18G2, the standing army of Italy is divided into six corps d'armee, each corps consisting of three divisions, and each division of two brigades ; four or six battalions of ' bersaglieri,' or riflemen, two regiments of cavalry, and from six to nine companies of artillery. The actual strength of the rank and file of the army, at the commencement of 1869, Avas as follows, according to an official return of the Minister of War : —

1 Number of Men

Number of Men

Description of Troops ' under arms

on illimited

' (Peace-footing)

furlough

Infantry of the Line . . 118,850

184,272

303,122

Bersaglieri .

14,727

21,448

36,175

Cavalry

16,165

9,604

25,769

Artillery

17,202

18,162

35,364

Corp of Engineers

3,104

563

3,667

Military Train

2,454

7,151

10,605

Carabinieri .

19,628

19,628

Administrative troops

| 4,463

3,752

8,215

Military Instruction

2,964

2.964

Total

199,557

244,952

445,509

The army was commanded, in 1869, by 14,797 officers, not included in the above returns. Of these, 870 formed the staff, while 5,967 were attached to the infantry of the line, 890 to the Bersaglieri, 789 to the Cavalry, and 965 to the Artillery.

The organisation of the Italian army was prescribed by a law passed in the parliamentary session of 18G4, and which came into operation on January 1, 1865. Under this statute, which fixed the strength of the rank and file of the military forces at 189,541 on the peace -footing, and 335,870 on the war-footing — a total increased, in proportion to population, by the subsequent annexation of the Venetian provinces — the standing army of the kingdom is to be composed as follows : —