The New Student's Reference Work/Army
|←Armstrong, Samuel Chapman||The New Student's Reference Work (1914)
|See also Army on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
Ar'my, a body of armed men, so organized and disciplined as to become a vast, movable military engine.
Sesostris of Egypt, about sixteen centuries before Christ, is the first conqueror who is said to have maintained a regular army. He divided his kingdom into thirty-six military provinces, and established a militia with which he overran Asia as far as India. Some centuries later the great Persian kings formed a vast standing army, apportioned as garrisons among the provinces, under control of military governors. In time of war this army was increased by a general levy from the barbarian peoples that had been conquered. The Greeks, who alone could resist these vast barbarian hosts, kept no standing army, but maintained militia in each small state which united in times of foreign war. They did much, however, for military science; the Spartans invented the phalanx; the Athenians added their light-armed troops and cavalry to cover the front and to harass the enemy in the rear. Miltiades is said to have first used the "double step," to increase the momentum to attack, while the Thebans first made use of the long and narrow column to pierce the lines of the enemy. The rise of the great Macedonian power marks the next standing army, which under Philip and Alexander conquered the world. Rome introduced changes in army matters that have influenced the whole civilized world. About 200 B. C. every Roman from the age of seventeen to forty-six was liable to be called upon to serve as a soldier. The levies passed through a severe course of discipline. Every year the magistrates sent up the names of the men liable to service, from which their legions were chosen, and the Roman legion in its best days excelled all other troops in discipline and valor.
Armies of the Middle Ages
When the feudal system arose, national armies gave place to the small armies gathered around each chief, whose little conflicts make up the greater part of the wars of the middle ages. The crusades first united these troops into an army against a common foe, and showed the need to organization and discipline; and from this time foot-soldiers began to take the place of the mounted chivalry which had carried on the warfare of the previous few centuries.
With the use of firearms began the gradual change in army methods which has resulted in the modern military system. During the Thirty Years' war (1618-48) Gustavus Adolphus experimented with methods of dealing with infantry; the long wars of the reign of Louis XIV brought in the grouping of armies into brigades and divisions; while Frederick the Great in the next century carried tactics and drill to such a point of perfection that nearly all his victories were won by manœuvering. Horse artillery was first used during this period. The French Revolution so exhausted the resources of France that she was compelled to pass a law in 1898, making military services compulsory. Every citizen was made liable to four years' service, and all between the ages of twenty and twenty-five were enrolled. This irresistible power have Napoleon such an advantage that the other European powers, except England, followed her example; and Prussia added the reserve system. Now, in most nations, will be found a standing army, with its several corps and body of cavalry, and an army of reserves, of two classes, those awaiting immediate call to arms and the militia or second line of reserves. Among European nations all, except Great Britain, have compulsory service. The time of actual service varies from three years with the Germans to five or six years in France and fifteen years in Russia. In addition to this is the period of reserve service; for instance in Germany, after the three years with the colors, there are four in the reserve and five in the Landwehr or second reserve; finally there is enrollment in the Landstrum or third reserve until the forty-second year. The cost of keeping these vast armies is enormous.
United States Army
The United States has been notable for its small standing-army in time of peace as compared with European nations. Before the Civil War the army numbered but 12,000 men. During the Civil War, in various levies, a total of 2,859,132 men were mustered in for various periods of service. This immense army was quickly disbanded at the close of the war, and in 1874 a law was passed which fixed the maximum strength of the army at 25,000 enlisted men. The exigency of the Spanish-American war, however, was provided for by an increase of the regular army, and the organization of a volunteer army, which reached a maximum of 58,688 regulars and 216,029 volunteers, an aggregate of 274,717. In 1901 a law was passed by Congress which increased the standing-army to provide for the needs of the government under new conditions. Under this army-reorganization act, the number of general officers provided for was 22. viz.: one lieutenant-general, six major-generals and 15 brigadier-generals; staff officers, 870; line officers, 2,922; total 3,814. The minimum of commissioned and enlisted strength was fixed at 57,870, and the maximum at 102,258, consisting of 15 regiments of cavalry, a corps of artillery, 30 regiments of infantry, a regiment of engineers and officers and the staff department. The number of officers and the strength of the artillery are fixed, but in other arms the strength varies as many be directed by the president.
The act authorizes the president to enlist natives of the Philippines, as scouts or regulars, to a number not exceeding 12,000 men, and to make provisional appointments of natives to the grades of second and first lieutenants; also to organize one provisional regiment of not exceeding three battalions of infantry to be composed of natives of Porto Rico.
By act of Congress, approved February 14, 1903, the position of commanding general of the army was abolished and a general staff corps was established, to be composed of officers detailed from the army. The general staff corps consists of one chief of staff and two general officers to be detailed by the president, four colonels, six lieutenant-colonels, twelve majors and twenty captains. The duties of the staff are to prepare plans for the national defense and for the mobilization of the military forces in time of war; to consider all questions relating to the efficiency of the army and its state of preparation for military service; to render professional aid to the secretary of war and superior commanders and to act as their agents in informing and co-ordinating the action of all the different officers to the supervision of the chief of staff; and to perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the president.
Annual salaries of officers are as follows:
|First lieutenant, mounted||2,000||1,500|
|First lieutenant, unmounted||1,900|
|Second lieutenant, mounted||1,700||1,275|
|Second lieutenant, unmounted||1,600|
After five years' service 10 per cent is added to the salaries at intervals of five years until the increase amounts to 40 per cent of the pay of the grade. Thus a colonel after twenty years' service gets $4,800 a year.
Non-commisioned officers are paid from $18 to $45 a month, and private soldiers $15. Officers and enlisted men serving in Alaska and the island possessions are paid 10 to 20 per cent additional, respectively.
The present strength of the U. S. army is as follows: The line (regular infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers), 61,191; staff department, including hospital corps, 8,363; native Philippine and Porto Rico troops 6,003; total 75,557.
The world's armies in 1910
|United States (authorized)||