Page:The Lull before Dorking.djvu/13

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7
THE LULL BEFORE DORKING.

which, at a comparatively small cost, as in Prussia, should practically make this country secure, and render us no longer a laughing stock and a prey to foreigners. If you wanted to build a house, you would not go to a sausage-maker for plans; if you required to construct a railway, you would not apply to a merchant-tailor; and if you want a system of national defence, you shouldn't ask Bobus.

It is possible that such a conference might suggest some such plan as this (details and Finance afterwards) which in the presence of a practical revolution in the art of war produced by improved locomotion, breechloaders, and other inventions, must be specially characterized by rapidity, efficiency, energy, and completeness, qualifications already old in war, but apparently new to us now. Thus, then:—

1. We require, at the least, 300,000 trained soldiers (exclusive of all volunteers and yeomanry, of whom hereafter) capable of being embodied and completely organized in a week, and moved to any point or points In three days—this to include the necessary cavalry and artillery.

The mode of raising and organising these troops must be local, by counties, each county representing a brigade or division; and by Commands, some fifteen or twenty such Command-districts contributing their proportion (say 20,000 men each), all complete in every arm and in every other equipment, commissariat stores, ambulance, tents, &c., &c.

For this purpose every Command-district must be embodied at least once a year for a week or a fortnight, and everything so practised as though the enemy