Page:The Lull before Dorking.djvu/14

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8
THE LULL BEFORE DORKING.

were in the country. Every third year at least the Command-districts should be combined into armies of 80,000 or 100,000 men, and manoeuvred and practised accordingly against each other.

2. In addition to this there must be a reserve of older trained men, say from twenty-five to thirty-five years old, capable of filling up casualties, or, in the event of some huge disaster, of presenting the same numerical front to an enemy. This reserve would very largely increase in a few years, if the men embodied every year passed into it, till it might amount to half a million or more.

3. In the face of eventualities it would be well to consider whether Indian troops could be employed in this country against a foreigner; whether 50,000 Sikhs, under British officers, could be practically used in line with British troops. For this purpose it might be well to try the experiment with two or three regiments at once; or until our reserves were organized, with a much larger number.

4. In view of the possible destruction of our fleet and disaster to our army, a complete plan of earthwork defence must be surveyed and prepared, behind which an army might stand for six weeks, or as long as it would be required to prepare a second fleet and another army. The possible defence of every large harbour by torpedo or otherwise must be organized, and some three or four great earthwork strongholds made, or prepared to be made, at such points as shall be decided on, such as round the capital and round our chief arsenals.