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HOW WARS WERE WON .

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Cambridge Master of the Modern Side in Harrow School M. Sometime Fellow of Jesus College.A.W'^^\G>W HOW WARS WERE WON A SHORT STUDY OF NAPOLEON'S TIMES BY GEORGE TOWNSEND WARNER. BLACKIE AND SON LIMITED OLD BAILEY LONDON GLASGOW AND BOMBAY 50 1915 .

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is " learning" instead of " working". 5 that makes armies strong and generals . hoped that this book. because it which is fresh to him. the reasons why they were so formidable. because it gives him an opportunity to think. the step in a soldier's training. But there is much to be said it is in favour of the cultivation of the habit of searching for what victorious. first The study of strategy is not. are preparing become' it soldiers. is the reason — but because is new There is. so much of the ordinary ground of history to be gone over that the time for exploration into outlying districts is scanty . and because it induces him to believe that he Every teacher knows this.PREFACE In putting into book. either at school or elsewhere. indeed. Yet same boy will attend keenly to intricate details. and the path is often so trampled and worn the as to become monotonous to the ordinary boy. Military history certainly deserves a higher place than has hitherto occupied. and even to long explanations of is how troops moved and marched. not because it recounts deeds of heroism and so forth — though it people are apt to think this to them. which is intended It is therefore to be to set out some main illustrations of the success of the French and the at the time when they were the great military nation terror of Europe. may be useful to those to who. I have chiefly kept in mind the requirements of those who are beginning to fit themselves as soldiers —whether they intend to make the Army a career or merely to carry out a Briton's duty of learning enough to be able to help his country. if the need should come. and a form of history — — the circumstances in which they failed. form a course of lectures given to the elder half of the Officers' Training Corps at Harrow. Almost invariably boys prefer military History to any other branch of that subject .

It may prevent a ConIt is a defence. Take commonly all held. Blackwood for permission to reprint much of Chapter III from Blackwood's Magazine^ and Captain F. must thank Messrs.6 PREFACE There is no nation more ideas liable to suffer knowledge but two instances of us : of broad facts of military history than our from a lack of some own. T. hope of it is success. but no more. has the advantage of speed. for an immense amount of kindly and useful criticism on military points where I was apt to go astray. The sea has dazzled is we have been often told that that is essential to us sea- and events of to-day show that sea-power alone cannot decide a great war in our favour. . E. We might succeed where others have but more common to fall than to succeed. power. But the narrative extends over more than one page. to of less importance to understand how Nor is make up be learnt for lost time. G. because he was ready. and opposite the narratives to in many cases in these cases the map concerned This is has been placed so that the reader will have to less turn on. and a help. that brave men are not not so it and that difficult what it is needed is much the will to fight as the will to ready. to know that armies cannot in a soldiers. And these lessons can all The maps in the text have been placed as far as possible which they belong. Most of us are now willing to admit that as a nation we have been blind to what we ought to have seen. spring to arms and it If history be consulted holds out scant fallen. whereas in fact history of the past tinental to enemy from invading Again. of the Leinster Regiment. per se^ enable us subdue him. W. In conclusion. Whitton. in the history of war. that mischievous belief that in the all emergency of sudden invasion we could fight to save ourselves. there us. and defeat an enemy who. is but it does not. generally I inconvenient than turning back. It can only be good for those in whose hands the future rests to realize some of these far things . moment make be bought with is money.

Marches to to Ulm. XII. XI.Chap. 1805 facing Situation on I3th-I4th October. VIII. ViDi. VII. 1805 56 V. III.. -. The Operations around Tourcoing. 1805 - 70 72 Situation on 8th-iith October. Marches Marches {in colour) to {in colour) Diagram of Situation.--. Austrian and Prussian Armies - - IX. VI.~g --------20 in a CONTENTS Hurry - Page Army-making - - - -31 - IV. -----------------67 --------------- -59 62 63 Ulm {in colour) - - facing 66 Situation on 4th-5th October. 1805 facing 74 78 May. Vici"—Jena. Introductory Outlines n. The Campaign of Ulm. 1794 "Veni. 1806 The Aftermath of Jena - 77 95 - - - 119 139 154. I. 1794 7 . French Armies and their Opponents X. Torres Vedras —Wellington on the Defensive Vitoria —Wellington oN^'rHE Offensive - - 174 Sea Power -------- - 200 227 LIST OF MAPS AND DIAGRAMS - Table of Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars Central Europe - - 27 Headwaters of the Danube Diagram of the Bavarian PlainDiagram of Marches to Marching to Ulm Ulm. Ulm.

January-April.» colour) ----. the Routes to Lisbon Between Tagus and Douro - - - - Routes from Almeida towards Lisbon Diagram of the Battlefield of Busaco (. --_-__ - - - - - - - - Valleys and the Tierra del Campos facing 226 . Brandenburg. October " from the Main - Diagram of retreats from Jena and Auerstadt — Diagram of —The Situation. October 20th - The Jena Pursuit after Jena Fortresses.« colour) (/'« - French Thrusts and English Parries Lines of Torres Vedras (/« colour) colour) - - The Partisan Affrays. 1813 Douro — —Tormes Esla Sickle" - "The The Roads Vitoria through the Pyrenees - The Douro and Tagus (. I —Diagram of May 1794 Tourcoing — Diagram of intended operations of Tourcoing— The Marches required of the Diagram of Tourcoing — What was intended. and be- ginning of October. (/« colour) October-November. 1806 - Saxony. What ith. and Mecklenburg Central Europe ------ Spain and Portugal. 1806 ----Elbe" - -iii - at Jena. - - 79 83 the Allies - Allies happen {in colour) its ----- 86 92 did facing facing - Tourcoing and Sketch Environs - - 94 100 102 Map of the Main Routes from Paris to Berlin - Variations of the Southern Route from Paris to Berlin Position of the French Forces at the end of August.LIST OF Tourcoing MAPS AND DIAGRAMS Page Situation.. 1806 - - - - - 109 Map Map Map Jena to illustrate the French advance from the Main towards - the Saale - - to illustrate the French concentration to the I2th-I4th.

that "it couldn't civilized: it vague and non- happen: we are too would be too terrible". idiots say: "There never was so great Yet history is it must be the last war"." It is a dream of the wise: war form of history which is is treated often in curious fashion. and the stories of heroic deeds to be the most interesting part of history. And even when it is upon us. said Segur. a war as this into the fool's paradise. campaigns. But to the likelihood that lessons must be drawn from these. and that if it occurs it would have terrible effects.HOW WARS WERE WON CHAPTER Introductory "Peace". that war may occur in their own time. the lives of great captains. a step farther "the engines of warfare are now getting so deadly as to make war impossible". Many. especially boys. think the descriptions of battles. — . With that a wilful blindness they refuse to face the certainty will war come again in the future as it has come in the past: they are apt to put trust in sensical comforts. "is the I the history of Man. or. men in England have at many ages been blind.

Perhaps we make us an army at a moment's may do something ourselves: one of thing the things —the first — is to realize what war means. just as selves. Mene^ Tekel. magnanimously refraining from saying "We told you so all along". doctor. nations to the swift rise by them and battle fall in them. that. And pare. were it not for our navy. whether by one plan or another her men shall always be . as terrible as the Mene. we are at last listening to and they. and how may ruin a nation.lo plain: wars INTRODUCTORY come. however. the race is and the to the strong. thy kingdom divided and given fleet to the in the Medes and Persians" North first —had it not been for the The fastly thing is so to understand war as to be steadshall determined that our country never run this risk again. where the urgent appeals to would have been. in sight of European nations turning themselves in hearing into armies. and send for the prepare". written upon the walls of Babylon : " : Thou art weighed is in the balances and art found wanting Sea. — our soldiers. have been either fighting for us in France. not looking very well to-day". how the power to the lack of will to necessary to dwell make make on it it may save a nation. and of our soldiers saying " Pre- not a tenth we have paid no heed as much heed as we do to a friend who says: "You're Then we hurry home. or doing their best to notice. they shall men are compelled to insure themthat be bound to insure their nation. Upharsin. It is not it that: can be read in the events of the day and on every enlist wall. rummage in the medicine-cupboard. often against almost hopeless odds. For the moment.

nor so foolish as to think that we can always fight for our homes when we wish to do so. again.'' we learn this time These are questions of high policy. apprehended rightly. is not all. they have proved Of course they are ready. mais il faut mourir utilement'\ War study it. we "chanced it" against Napoleon. closely may be it. problems he considers and wants us to not be so glib about the Perhaps then we mistakes made when "Unlucky captains listless armies led". may lead us to take a wiser view of it it. shall his difficulties. It ii is easy to think our mind is set on it now: the pinch fit will come when the war is hot. Never a truer word than Danton's: "II faut mourir pour la patrie. the more we shall sympathize with the We shall learn something of what he has to do. studied. can be studied to the extent we commonly do of our it namely. though the matter was clear beyond proof.— THE STUDY OF WAR so trained to war that invasion shall be hopeless. as a part of the political history nation and of other nations: or. What be done. when the cold is follows the to be paid. Fortune cannot always be on our side. that will when resolution be wanted. The more we understand soldier. and technically as the soldier does as part of . when the bill has will over. But there are other things to look to in war which. nor so incredibly short- sighted as to regard our soldiers merely as men who are ready to die for their country. But that. it again. the realize. as they know and we do not always remember.'' We "chanced shall it" at the time of the Armada. .

It there is lies a wide field where something may be possible to principles of warfare do something to grasp some of the main and the best-known illustrations of study of war has a peculiar interest it them. For the truth we are little used to war. some of the "brilliant strokes" partly due to good fortune. seems likely to The present war. to think. to criticize at all. commercial. And with the newspapers is it also true that a great deal that given us to read is also unintelligent. He will then this be striving to understand. The whole history because swift . He sees —where —or thinks he difficulties sees his one commander erred and another seized It is opportunities. success or failure appears to follow so speedily on a sound resolve or a mistaken step. . But the benefit is gained if he be led to judge. it no space to deal with the problems in any draws such and such pat conclusions and we accept is them unquestioning. that wars were likely to be very short. INTRODUCTORY But between the civilian and the soldier done. quite probable that cism will be hasty and imperfect: much of his critimany of the "errors" which condemned by him will have been due to he has not grasped. and political changes. ' For example. and what we read of it we read unintelligently. The ordinary history has detail. long to But it men arc short in the life of a nation. This offers the student an attractive field for thought. and their effects are must be remembered that wars which are more swift and striking than the slower results of industrial. Its decisions are often consequences so overwhelming.^ its in is so dramatic. we have had the German many expectations. for discussion. is. which has already falsified prove an exception to the inference drawn from recent European wars.12 his profession. and will be led to read if he once gets to he and to study. namely.

and the wars Interesting and exciting. we only learn use words in their proper sense. there were no railways.' CHANGES IN WARFARE 13 retirement from the neighbourhood of Paris described in posters and newspapers as the it was an orderly retreat. that is to say. * profoundly revolutionized Doubtless Napoleon was a great general. for the ? of it. no aeroplanes why. do something if. nothing. and to estimate evidence with some regard to its probability. the old-fashioned musket was of short range and fired point-blank . and yet put before us as if it were official. something more recent could be found. " Those wars were more than a hundred years ago. whereas extremely well carried out. purpose of using the past to explain the present * old semaphore signalling was efficient enough. the art little of war has changed since then. but there was very little . these alone have. to see events in someto thing of their true proportion. no air-ships. but cannot you find something a little more * up-to-date' ?" Doubtless the art of war. of — newspapers tell us every day. shall We With this general purpose I choose the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. and the first criticism which will be made of this choice is something of this kind. but would it be more "up-to-date" The — better fitted. in studying war. we we have had total have had various encounters labelled "Decisive Battles". no field-telegraphs^ nor telephones. and the whole Field-artillery was power and scanty in proportion to the other arms. there were no machine-guns . "German Rout". which have decided centages. reported "losses" of the enemy which to impossible per- and we constantly get "news" reported from neutral countries which cannot be well is newspapers in founded.

written it. Hannibal. make "the best practical use of the means at other words. To know how do it . Gustavus Adolphus. nothing to be surprised at in his killing new methods of disabling and men "revolutionize the art of war" is nonsense. take them for your model . and.14 INTRODUCTORY Take two well-known sayings. making the best practical use of the means at hand for the attainment of Says the other: "Read and re-read the object in view." authority no one Art of War". Turenne. say that kill. things and railways bring more more quickly than wagons. and so enable nations . No one who knew his name could have left him out of to list the of great captains. better means of transport enable men to bring up bigger guns. Caesar. Eugene. words. both by soldiers whose "The would dream of questioning. the Great. The first soldier is Von Moltke. Caesar. to obtain the secrets of the art of war". and has given us stronger explosives. to use your power paigns of great captains — —and to study the hand" in cam- — To these are the things. No must be later than Frederick one but Napoleon himself could have It He if then has no hesitation about the value of the past: he bids men study the campaigns of Alexander the Great. at greater distances. the second extract obviously betrays its writer. there is And. "consists in the campaigns of Alexander. Hannibal. that is the only^way of becoming a great captain. that is the point. and Frederick. says one. Gustavus Adolphus. To Men science or are killed. Turenne. Eugene. say: "and of Napoleon". and Frederick . may we not supply the name which his (unaccustomed) modesty forbade' him to add.? after all.

true objective of a commander. influence and use of fortresses. value of sea-power to a military nation. make know what it the purpose of each side is still But the old facts remain. in detail. having them he did not need the other. The The The The The The The The value of numbers. 5. men are better armed and better equipped you have he is or to destroy. field-telegraphs and it telephones carry news more easier to rapidly. 9. morally is the because your You may win because you have more men. they are told or they shrink from it. 6. More 1. see what some of these main features of war are: 2. aeroplanes is. "death distance at which the ultimate factor. value of fighting quality in men. they eat or starve. and you may numerically third.— ABIDING FACTS to put 15 much larger armies in the field. tell If we all back Alexander the Great he would last us about these two superiorities. is be superior in more than one way: is one. and the main point still is that only do you must defeat your enemy's army. and you can it by being superior to him at the decisive point. 4. do what they find out commanders about their enemy or to win fail. 3. 7. or because established in the enemy's mind the could call belief that going to be beaten. 8. importance of speed. physically another. Natural obstacles. importance of lines of communication. the meets a man matters nothing". there are still still As in the days decisive points. of Hannibal. . men die or fight again. value of a central position.

the war of France and Sardinia latest War of Secession in America. and the wars difficulties. or confined in the main to one locality. the Everyone of between Turkey and the Balkan States. the Prussian War of 1870. the Crimean War. Let us sum up a few of these things. If all war teaches much the same lessons of strategy and what is called grand tactics field —then the is — the tactics of a commander in the some There force in this. of course. and the recent struggle against Italy in 1859. 1st. and consisted of widespread operations. them has its interest. We have the whole of Napoleon's strategy: the strategy of the greatest genius for war that the world has ever seen. Even if this be so. so much that was novel then but has remained apt to-day.^ To get any parallel to the present war to find a world convulsion we must go back to Napoleon. must surely be the best. Napoleon and the men who fought with him are not "back-numbers". (C754) . and it may be added its peculiar them all. covered an enormous extent of country. it ^ Secession. There is Let us review what the choice is. But one thing is common to — — of that time give us so much. and it more consequence in the Russo-Japanese War. be plain: The time of it we can see it as is distant enough for it to a whole. it is still possible to urge that it would be better to take something more recent. the Franco1 861-5. The War of many was oi still On the other hand.t6 introductory Every one of these was clear in Napoleon's time as it is now. many doubts and obscurities have been cleared up. so much that is still true. the Russo-Turkish War of 1877. the Russo-Japanese War of 1904. They are all either duels. In it sea-power was of much importance. Seven Weeks' War of 1866.

fierce patriots. and made the French Peoples who had hitherto conquered. Only one European nation has not followed its lead England. In these wars a nation stood up and challenged Europe. 5th. The practice of "indemnity" and "relately. Its for twenty- its ground an alarming fact.LESSONS is FROM NAPOLEON'S TIME 17 not too distant. . declined In the oppressor. War. These wars were maintained by the French on a new principle. though our rate. Time 2 was on the (C754) side of the many — It is so now. leon's armies lived in a systematic way on the countries they occupied. Seventeenth -century armies had pillaged eighteenthcentury armies generally paid for what they took. Napo- — . at length. and three years held 3rd. as In a word. with the "modern army" opposed to the "eighteenth-century army". as an offshoot. ready to fight for As this force it of nationality^ of patriotism. the plan of making "war support war". We it have heard much of them The downfall of this military nation came. great military grew in the victims. 2nd. methods were those of to-day. became a great military power. 4th. partly because nationality came in conflict it with the force of among all the peoples it the sufferings which brought with armies hated over Europe. with the short-service compulsory army. quisition " appear. whose people grew tired of the sacrifice they had to make In order to keep their ascendancy. We are weapons have become more accunot going back to the epoch of bows and arrows or of armour. it. been lethargic grew to be their country. the fighting was of the same nature as to-day. — It made Europe familiar with conscription —with the Idea of a nation in arms^ and.

what the French learned in the in the campaign in Italy in 1859. yet. and even — the latest examples often lead to untrustworthy con- For example. land were at first inconsiderable. that is to say. of artillery. fired. then. In the main the story of battles how men moved. From no other wars or groups of wars could such apt tration be drawn. of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic is not out of place to-day. of placing your army in a position to beat the mainly strategy a — —what enemy. clusions. and in their fighting in Algeria. and the modern power and rapidity of fire. proved of little use in 1870. This will mean the study of campaigns rather than of battles. All others are out of date. 1 opponent of the military nation For ten years it was threatened Its efforts on with invasion. What we may study commander does out of sight of his enemy the problems. but the navy kept it safe. To study minor tactics you must study the most recent wars. of making war. Observe how closely these things touch us to-day.8 — INTRODUCTORY 6th. and by using the sea as a base to employ its soldiers to the steadfast The one (France) was England. though the example lies a hundred years back. and so of imposing the will of your nation upon his. illus- A wars is study. stood fast. Crimean War. best effect. retreated. or made counter-strokes and minor tactics change rapidly with every change of weapons. or is the story of minor tactics charged. by the right use of its sea power to carry soldiers where they were 'banted it was able to wear down the military nation. . in the end. or of resisting his efforts to impose his will upon yours.

Battles. Speed: France. Fighting Quality. 1810. are always profoundly interesting. Albuera. Portugal. 7. Italy. 18 13. 5. the Elbe and Oder. 1806. Austria. 18 13. 9. 6. Numbers: Bavaria. Portugal. Bavaria. 8 12. Natural Obstacles: Italy. Talavera. Barossa. FROM THE NAPOLEONIC WARS. What is vital is what up to them: a good many great battles were won before they were fought. 14th Oct. Austria. 1806 (not Jena). 1792. ILLUSTRATIONS. Objective: Italy. 1810. Lines of Communication: 1 180O. 1805. 1796. 1805. 2. 1805. 1809. Russia.. Spain. i8io. 8. 1814. . Prussia. it of course. 1808 (Dec). 3. Andalusia. 1796. 1806 and 1813. only should be remembered that in reading military history battles are sometimes the led least important part. 1805. OF THE POINTS ON PAGE 15 1. 1796. 1800. Central Position: Italy. Spain. East of France. Spain. 1796. Sea Power: Aug. Spain. 4. Fortresses: Italy. 181 1-2. Italy. 1 809-12. 19 and machine guns ideas based in the present war.BATTLES rifles. have falsified many on experience of the past. Portugal.

the setting up of guillotines. indeed. and Equality" which were the watchwords of the Revolution. But their peoples thought otherwise. after ten years of warfare. for those principles of "Liberty. The dividing -line between (i 802). Thus 20 there was no popular . perhaps. to them "Liberty. . lose they had often little to and much to gain. their view the success of these French doctrines meant the coming of a revolution to their own palaces and castles. To In kings and nobles. It is clear that this was an attractive political cry. their heads. them is usually set at the Treaty of Amiens when. Europe had one uneasy year of peace. but of In the Revolutionary half France was for her right to exist a republic. Fraternity. Fraternity. and Equality" were alluring. including.CHAPTER Outlines Before going into details it II is well to have some idea of the Revolutionary and the Napoleonic wars as a whole. the downfall of everything they valued. such ideas were hateful. and fighting nominally a sort as a republic but she had soon turned defence into offence. and had become of crusading nation (in her own eyes) struggling for the rights of "peoples" against "kings". still Roughly speaking there are two periods of about the same length. different character.

they were it fairly well disposed to the French. much of the early successes of the French. or wars of conquest. But the line cannot be drawn sharply. but it was no great matter. called liberty. So in the end he fell. was destroyed in 18 12. the abolition of the nobility. no it longer popular in the countries vailed because conquered. proclaimed a Republic. hausted. was ex- Broadly. the reverse "Republique Franjaise". was only their rulers who feared them. Most of as has this army. 21 were for the peoples Italy. . then. the old ideas were still put forward in the second half. "Kings with their armies did flee and were discomfited" true. and sovereignty of the people". The same is thing may be noticed on the coins "Napoleons". it It still professed some of tice it its republican principles of liberty. Napoleon's intentions if he had captured London were these —"I would have . and meantime they of the household might divide the spoil.^ but in pracIt had become a conqueror. . but preits leader was a matchless soldier. half-hearted in the fight.REPUBLIC AND EMPIRE resistance to the Revolution at first. Down to 1807 the obverse Napoleon Empereur. — — under a military despot —Napoleon. hostile great part of Germany were not and a to the ideas of the This explains were often Revolution. and Napoleon himself liberty as played a great part in the 1 first half. and been noticed a new was growing against Napoleon. the second half was made up of Napoleonic wars. they welcome by the/^op/^j. however. of course. . Belgium. its was. and army the best fighting instrument of the day. spirit — — of patriotism and nationality France. Holland. the wars of the first half were Revo- lutionary wars fought for existence (or for the cause of understood by the Revolution). In the second period France had become an empire. too. and the House of Peers equality.

Russia came in . period of left to two moments of acute danger it saw the Revolution triumphant. overrun Belgium and Holland. which was checked at Valmy (September. It saw his first campaign in Italy (1796) and the battles of Areola and Rivoli. The the Revolutionary wars divide into two parts. This is the real go on with the war " crusading France ". and Piedmont. 1794). and Napoleonic period into three — each fairly clearly marked. 1800). this was capped by Moreau's great victory of Hohenlinden (December. 1800) which cleared Italy of the Austrians a second time. Austria and England were alone. and his second campaign of 1800 (Marengo.22 Further. The first period of the Revolutionary wars stretched from 1792 to 1795. invade their territories. 1792). June. and was within a very little of success. defend herself. but was renewed in 1793 with the help of England. the Revolutionary armies were beaten out of Italy and fared ill on the Rhine. and drive her foes across the Rhine. Holland. But between the two lay a period of comparative failure. throw off her assailants. June. It witnessed the attempt of Austria and Prussia to crush the Revolution by the invasion of France. Austria again found allies. The first coalition broke up. OUTLINES we can make some subdivisions in each. We may call it From the Defensive to and after the Counter-offensive. win her first decisive battle on foreign soil (Fleurus. and dominates it more and more. Spain. This period of failure . It saw Revolutionary France spring to arms. In the second period of the Revolutionary wars (i 796-1 801) the young Napoleon steps on the scene.

for till it We than Napoleon's own. These whirlwind victories left Napoleon at the summit of his power. with the projected in^\^n which went under The Napoleonic wars began vasion of England (1803-5) finally at Trafalgar. England came in: our army in Portugal provided a backbone to the Spanish resistance. With the help of his Grande Armee he was the Military Despot of Europe. . Russia in 1807 (Friedland). and Austria compelled to give him an Austrian princess as wife. Russia was his ally. too. something happened. else "The Running Sore". Then came the Decline \ and the first stage of it began with the attempt to add other kingdoms to the sheaf already in his hand seizure of the that he first —with the attack on Portugal and the crown of Spain (1807-8). and Westphalia (Western Germany) had all passed into his hands. It was in Spain met that sort of furious patriotism which refused to be conquered. The second Napoleonic period (1805-9) ^^ made up One after another Napoleon overhis threw enemies with amazing swiftness : Austria and Russia in 1805 (Ulm and Austerlitz). Belgium. "^ of four brief wars. and this constant strife went on gnawing its cannot find a better way name into Napoleon's army. Here. Prussia in 1806 (Jena).— SUBDIVISIONS was the time while Napoleon was Thus we have a sort of sandwich leonic success. Holland. We may the whole Toung Napoleon^ lygd-iSoi. Yet. Austria again in 1809 (Wagram). 77/1? 23 in Egypt and slices Syria. — two of Napocall one slice of failure. Italy. Prussia his subject. and because Spain is so barren and so mountainous he could not subdue it.

Waterloo was the epilogue. (1803-15): "European Con- The Attack on England (1803-5): Trafalgar (1805).— 24 — OUTLINES the Spanish business was rather annoying than dangerous. and the defensive campaign of 18 8 14. Wagram. 1800). the uprising first of Prussia. 2. Valmy (1792). followed by an outbreak of national feeling 8 12 was over Europe. Marengo (June): and Hohenlinden (Dec. . Ulm and Austerlitz. The Napoleonic Wars quest " 1. 1 We call the years 12-5 The Downfall. The Young [a) {j)) Napoleon: First Italian Campaign: Areola (1796). Spirit of Nationality: The {a) (/>) Downfall.1802): "New against Old Kings" — ' 1. then of Austria. From the Defensive to the Counter-offensive: The First Coalition (1792-5): 2. The Revolutionary Wars (1792. The Russian Campaign (18 12). (1797). The 1 downfall really began with the Russian campaign of It all which had destroyed the Grande Armee. Second Italian Campaign. (f) Second Coalition (1798-9). the battle German States. Fleurus (1794). Set out in form of a table it stands thus: Ideas A. (f) Russia (1807): Friedland. Rivoli. the Spain and Portugal (1808-14). The abdication of Fontainebleau followed. The B. Napoleon the Military Despot of Europe: (fl) (/>) Austria and Russia (1805): Prussia (1806): Jena. and Sweden. (^) Austria (1809): 3. the of Leipzig (1813) final called the "battle of the Nations".

a mistake . Europe joined with therefore Europe was with us to pull down Napoleon . as against democracy. not supporters of political liberty^ they as kings wanted to restore the old despotic system of the eighteenth century. that there were twenty-three years that country on French troops entered the capital of every the Continent save Turkey. fought for the mass of nations against the one. Let us look more all mistake arises from our usual habit of surveying The European history through British spectacles. The Epilogue: Waterloo (18 15). Denmark. Turin. what we may in a sense call Freedom'^ (in so far as it was the opponent of militarydespotism) won the day. England '^^nX. Milan. however. The first impression we are apt to receive is that for nearly a quarter of a century Europe battled with the Revolution and Napoleon. The us all the time. at the end. It is an amazing list Rome. In this sense Waterloo was a victory for autocracy . Sweden. but was is in the end victorious. closely. The Hague. was overthrown again. and the Yet they were kings.MISTAKEN IMPRESSIONS {c) 25 {d) 4. to war 1793. Defensive Campaign (1814). Moscow. and the crowned heads of Europe the supporters of the old despotism. But under Napoleon the French "freedom" turned into a military despotism. and remained at war at the One must be careful about this. This. Warsaw. The French beginning were the champions of freedom. and again. Madrid. Remark once more of it. Brussels. his enemies. Dresden. Venice. We were at war with France for twenty-two years. Lisbon. Naples. but. and Berlin . 1 the facts and in dates (disregarding the Waterloo campaign). and again. it is not so. The The Uprising in Germany (18 13): Leipzig. Munich. Vienna. : Norway. Berne. argument is something of this kind. for Now I.

when she was less. and from 1813 to 1814: in all ^1. but it would only add to the mio^ht continue with We despair which this leaden mass of undigested dates pro- duces. then not crumpled up by the lightning stroke of Jena. began again in 1803 and went on till 18 14: twenty-one years with one short gap. . then she took the matter in earnest and went on from 1 8 12 to the end: four wars. Prussia : in all about did much till 1794. 5. Spain fought from 1793 till at peace or on Napoleon's side till till 1795. in 1809. She fought from 1792 again till 1806. let us set and profoundly dull in them out in another and at a glance. another in 1806-7. and we we are apt to have. more useful form.26 till OUTLINES i8o2. the first two nearly continuous then two very brief five-month . rather more than six years. They are bewildering their present shape. 4. 2. some of the German Powers and Sweden and Holland. Here we can see the whole thing can correct the mistaken notions I. This is not true. scarcely six years. again in 1808 and continued 18 14. Russia did about the same: a year's fighting in 1799. 3. then again 18 13-4. She fought from 1792 till 1797. Three wars.^ wars. all We war are apt to have an impression that all Europe was at the time. then was either She began 1808. another short time in 1805. from 1798 till 1801. in 1805. wars in a period of twelve years of peace thirteen years of warfare. The next most constant was Austria. she kept up a sort of feeble wriggle till 1807.

G "5) W c .

is We have the idea that sea-power decisive. That was never his war in . When the army against him was beaten He had no popular risings to deal with. not true either. he had too strong an army to be easily And when at the end he was beaten. it was not beaten. The war went on till for ten years after Trafalgar. popular feeling was often on his side. Now that for facts. to This is not true either. Remark first Napoleon never fought a long war till he began the Spain and the European series starting in 18 12. mind 4. Dazzled by Napoleon's genius we are apt to supif pose that he would have been as successful in Spain as elsewhere his he had had the leisure to go there and give it. Grande Armee which was beaten. No doubt they were short partly because he was so brilliant a general. His early campaigns were short because he reasons. and especially because no man ever knew better how to pursue and thereby reap But there were many other the fruits of a victory. His wars were mostly very short. was fighting against kings and their armies and not against peoples. It was not eight years after Trafalgar that we won a really decisive success in Spain. OUTLINES We is are apt to think that repeatedly all the European nations had This tried to crush Napoleon and failed.28 2. and he lost them both. When they did try they beat him at once. but he only went once — He had the is in the winter of 1808. leisure. Why. it not.'' To say that it was because he won so quickly is no answer. Indeed. 3. things that are true. all was over. Again. even when he and the French were revealed as oppressors and not liberators.

by collecting men at the decisive point more rapidly than the enemy can. vieux moustaches who had been so long invincible. with It will to tie it together. of the influence of tain chains and rivers changed. of strokes an enemy's communications. interior lines are valuable because they give that speed. at illustrations of enveloping movements. of outflanking attacks. his wars were short because he commonly- had every moral sort of superiority his side. of army formation and mounupon warfare. of the value of interior lines. in This would have made rather a collection of odds little and ends. of operations from divergent bases. 18 13 The not armies which failed him in les were raw levies. physical. mountains and . one could typical things. seeing how the army of the . and Out of this mass of soldiering. and so on. rivers are difficulties because they reduce speed and all army organization aims at securing speed.SPEED beaten : 29 it perished in the retreat from Russia. this virtue of speed was peculiarly a quality of Napoleon's. of concentration. We will therefore after keep speed mainly before and therefore. —on pick — numerical. idea. all the matters menupon the question of Outflanking or enveloping an enemy is largely be noticed that practically a matter of being quicker than he is. things which. Now us. In a word. a connecting-strin^ —some We want first main tioned in the last paragraph hang speed. Even lack of numbers may be made up for by speed. which for so long trampled Europe east and west and north and south. yet remain themselves of prime importance war. though the ways of dealing with them have organization.

with 40. This moment. army of the Revolution.000 men. and we may join what there is to be said of it with some examination of the way in which other countries have faced this same problem of First. That will lead to this some explanain tion of how the French secured short of is efficiency war to which made them so formidable. in Italy. the grand scale. for the has a singular interest at the army-making. instead of being the Emperor. . at his best in Perhaps he was 1796 but then he was only General Bonaparte. for those two campaigns as quick in in Germany show Napoleon on the matter of speed.30 OUTLINES we will Revolution was hammered together. because we picture it as the outstanding example of an army made in a hurry at the time of its country's need. how Then we will move as well known. and how the Austrians and Prussians Spain trace fell it. at the head of 200. —where. the French failed — and in the conditions of war there they lost the advantages which they had enjoyed in Germany. then.000. take our chief illustrations from the years 1805 and 1806.

it he. left ^ them without an army.CHAPTER Army-making The first III in a war Hurry to be ready at the essential of speed in is beginning. able to start will be hard to pick up lost ground — it may even be impossible. either in some emergency or after some woeful disaster which has nopoly. if it nothing is lost. Fortunately. If we are as ready to begin as our antagonist. we he can start is more quickly than first. One result is that we do not realize fully either the disasters of being without an army or the worst difficulties of having to make one in a hurry. or during War. 31 . much is gained. make it. — as proper for us at the beginning the enemy threatens to invade — of any great war when is not a British mo- Other nations have had to do it also. We have begun most of our wars by having to add largely to our army. she would have caught us almost denuded of regulars. But this business of army-making in a hurry which some politicians have assumed to be the state of things we ought to accept is — what we made'^. and use due to the sea and the navy. or remake That good fortune it. these soldiers were not on to fight. the army gathered to resist the called Armada was quite raw. but we have never had to entirely. If Their position is certainly the American France had invaded us during the early part of the Seven Years' War. Readiness for war cannot be said to be a British characteristic.

let us see what is the general impression about them.— 32 ARMY-MAKING fleet to shelter it worse. case of the United States in 1861. for they have no will them. we may look at made in some other These are commonly accepted as bearing on the point: The The case of Prussia in 1 8 13. France in 1792. The best-known example of an emergency Revolutionary wars. Taking these four cases. and. lest the success of this improvised army (if it was imbut because the army which she of all provised) should lead us to think that armies hurry are usually successful. Prussia in 1 8 13. The case of France in 1870 after the surrenders Sedan and Metz. the time will be shorter. the United States in 1861. the invader be on the frontier or over at once. Further. and . examine a little more closely to gather how far that general impression I. —At the begin- ning of the Revolutionary wars France was attacked by Austria and the German States commonly comprised in one title — the Empire — by Prussia. and France in 1870. hasty army-making in that of France at the outbreak of the This is worth particular study for our purpose. Yet. not only because France's need was desperate. made served as the model European armies of to-day. France at the Time of the Revolution. later. is justified by facts. it saved the Revolutionary Government and it became the weapon which Napoleon wielded with such amazing results. by Piedmont. on the outof break of the War of Secession. and the need is greater. when she declared against Napoleon. cases.

to create army army.^ to overall run Belgium. and those armies are victorious. but when Napoleon at the and Alexander of Russia came to terms get. These million soldiers who came to aid the regular army were raised in three ways: (a) by volunteers. threatened for its springs to arms.REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE a little 33 is later by Spain and by England. in In June. (J?) by the so-called levee en masse. mutinous and ill-disciplined. Two ( of them only ) existed on paper. along the Pyrenees. by conscription. of Jena in 1806.000 men. C 754 3 . Prussia had to accept what terms she could Besides losing territory. Of her assailants Austria had the largest European army of the time. in other words. was broken by fierce quarrels between royalist and republican. subdue Holland. a nation. were brilliantly Here then or appears to be. she had to submit to the condition that her ^ army was not to exceed 43. And is. an instance life. across the Western Alps. That to say. The next case is that of Prussia. In everywhere —except 1794 her forces were victorious at sea. drive off cross invaders. till after they reached the total of thirteen. to be the best. Yet she was able to check the invaders at Valmy in 1792. successful. on the other hand. From Belgium along the Meuse and up the Rhine. and Prussia's was thought The army of France. improvises armies. i company with Russia she 807. till Prussia had hardly a soldier went on with the war Tilsit. and the Rhine. every frontier was hostile except her Swiss border. Treaty of 1807. where 2. After the battle it. but two paper armies may have a use if the other eleven are efficient. and all her sea-coast was menaced. (c) by requisition their efforts — or. and the downfall that followed left.

It would seem. was not relieved. but no permanent rewarded Paris No victory of any importance was won. has the look civilians. raised.000 regular soldiers.000 more.000 men into field.400. She took a great part in the fighting helped to win the great battle of the Nations — and France 3. to revolt as if Once again earth. seems a nation arises armed from the In the campaign of the 1 8 13 Prussia was at once able to put 80. and great leaders were not lacking. and the Southern States gathered 1. In all. of an army largely improvised out of When 1 the American War of Secession began in April. during the war.600. again. some 1.— 34 ARMY-MAKING and consequently. 861. the only 14. then. After The business of 1870 bears a different look. Prussia was the against her French oppressor. Grant. the in North put some 2.000 in the spring men for the invasion of 18 14. the collapse of the Empire. France had to accept defeat. This.100. both sides fought with a tenacity rarely equalled in war. in 1812. provided over 100. after In no part of Europe was Napoleon more hated than in Prussia. In July two calls for half a million each were made. Government of the United States had In that same month of April 75. which vastly outnumbered the German them. — —Lee.000. the Republican Government In all made of gigantic efforts.000 men the field. and Sheridan 4. the Grand Army had first it perished in Russia. Jackson.000 men success sorts —were armies. that we have here three cases where attempts to improvise armies have succeeded and one that has failed.000 volunteers were obtained. It may be interesting to see in what . —Leipzig of of 18 13. and in May 42.

On With that. bright spot — only in where Dumouriez there was one along the main road could guns be moved such wet weather as that September provided. the Prussian columns formed up for attack never advanced.000 On the one hand the Prussians. and Napoleon could afford to be generous to dead commanders if not to living rivals. and an artillery comthe misty bat began. 10.000 National Guards at Chalons. to use a vulgarism. had passed the frontier and its fortresses. and he was able to double this number by calling to him Dillon and Duval.000 of them under General Chazot had retired in hasty disorder before three Prussian regiments of cavalry. Kellermann faced the Prussians at Valmy. but these could His position looked desperate. however.000 men.-^ Still.000. He had one good reason to praise Dumouriez: Dumouriez •u. To face them the French commander Dumouriez had 13. men —and Prussian soldiery had still the halo of Frederick's greatness about them. with 42. Kellermann and Bournonville came up and raised Dumouriez's force to something over 60. . hardly be called soldiers. never even ^Perhaps Napoleon was. and on the left by an Austrian army moving from Belgium.000. under Brunswick. it ended. and why the last effort was a Set side in the two pictures. His men were not to be trusted. first is — such by side as it was — was cases. Behind he had 30. They were to be supported on their right by an Austrian detachment of 20. Brunswick hesitated. "talking through his hat". The the Argonne month of September. He could not hold all the roads through the Argonne: one was already forced. 1792. morning of September 20th.'t2s dead.VALMY way success 35 attained in the earlier failure. Compare his similar laudation of Sir John Moore. Napoleon himself to fight said that he would not have ventured did.

230 forts or redoubts carried. discouraged. The fell Prussians. were pitched of the picture this is the " Twenty-seven victories. at the head of the Ministry for War. 80. 116 fortresses or important towns taken. ARMY-MAKING Neither side budged from its position. rightly called the " Organizer of Victory ". 2 On its birthdav: France had.^ Now which for the other side work of eighteen months. from September. but The first half of the year of 1793 saw a complete breakdown. the north of France was invaded. it was that the it French armies marched from victory was not so. He might have added that not an enemy of France remained west of a marvellous change the Rhine. and recent criticism has not disputed the decision.000 taken prisoners. that very day. Yet none the Valmy was long ago placed among the "decisive battles of the world". and 90 colours captured. 36 of them after siege or blockade. the road * They had eaten too many grapes in the Champagne district. It is temptthat the period covers more than two years. 1792. The French invasion of Belgium failed. annoyed by the Austrian failure to co-operate.^ back —the 8 Republic was saved.36 fired a shot. declared itself a republic." Such were the words of Carnot. 120 combats.000 enemies hors de combat \ 91. 1793. of : battles.000 muskets. to victory. to but we must not lose sight of the fact the end of 1794. and in August. less The losses were a mere handful. the fortresses on the Belgian frontier were falling. 1900 million pounds of powder. and suffering much from dysentery. 70. It is ing to assume that progress was as uniform as brilliant. her troops were driven from the Rhine. everywhere the Austrians were successful. 3800 guns. .

Yet once more the tide ebbed or. the men out of heart. did not enter French territory till it July 30th reached Longwy on for a August 20th. And the slowness of even the Prussian movements was wonderful. took in three days. the Austrians had reached St. though they cannot be said to have prepared and yet she did for it. to put it more accu- — rately. why it did it fail in the first half What enabled it to regain the mastery? " improvised army " . they were at odds over the division of Poland. but Prussia and Austria had beforehand determined on the same thing. and Peronne. France declared war on April 20th. 1792. her weight into it. Austria and Prussia were the only two that need be seriously reckoned. but . and were now . dawdled week. the flood was stayed. Quentin French armies were only a third of their paper strength. took that also in three days. commanders changThe crisis was ing day by day. for Even Prussia were not cordial allies.'' How true to call an Armies win through their own merits and through their enemy's defects.PRUSSIAN SLOWNESS on 37 to Paris being steadily forced. confusion everywhere. a fierce insurrection going in La Vendee. It was not till the middle of June that the Prussians gathered at Coblentz. more acute than when Brunswick turned back from Valmy. the others could only exercise make real slight diversions in places which could Austria and no force in the war. They . " digesting the joys of victory " invested Verdun on the 30th. If France's improvised army succeeded of 1793? far is it in 1792. Prussia did not really put far more than Austria. The defects of the Allies in 1792 were strongly marked.

and withdrew in contact . They allowed Dumouriez to hurry across their front to seize them. Thus the French the task of army-making — Time. and Valmy was fought on 20th September.000 men — even on paper — somereality their is thing. How When in did France use it. cuperating after this effort for five days more. it — each of them nominally numbers were 200. got Re- moved through the defiles.000 strong. Plainly at his Dumouriez could have had if far more than 60. they failed in it. In much versal less.38 within a ARMY-MAKING day's march of the Argonne till defiles. from French territory on October were given namely^ the first requisite in 7th. and one to watch the Rhone and Pyrenees about 50. who were to co-operate on the Meuse. Still.000 that he back there had been anything approaching a real rising of the population.'' — that is the next question. one in Alsace. with their enemy. It is sometimes assumed that the French army on the outbreak of the Revolution was in the main loyal and Army\ for . they again. but does not suggest that enthusiastic and uni- arming of the nation which we are apt to suppose. war was declared she set on foot four armies: one Flanders. Thus came it was five months to a day before the Prussians Yet their snail-like pace outstripped the Austrians. victory in the The fact is owed his main to the old regular soldiers of the French though this army had been damaged by the Revolution it had not been destroyed. and did not move September 12 th. one in Lorraine. They did not embark on the siege of Lille till September 29th. when they covered about half a day's march to the Argonne.

and worse In made by housed. it have been so perhaps the monarchy would never Yet when Mirabeau was endeavouring to moderate the storm he had helped to raise. loyal: they were recruited from the noblesse.^ To be even a private generations. Is 39 obviously un- Had fallen. ill-fed. reason or other cavalry have in general supported mon- But the bulk of the infantry and all the gunners and engineers were no supporters of the old regime. Other parts of the army in the main loyal to the Crown were the foreign regiments. in the Gardes du Corps you had to show sixteen quarterings —unblemished this noble descent for four In stronghold of privilege revolu- But the household little sympathy.^ and the cavalry. they were ill-paid. mutinous. ^They got T^d. and soldiers 3 Irish. but this true. while the officers were all generals. .THE OLD FRENCH ARMY not revolutionary in sentiment. At one time there were 1295. his chief hope He wished to use it in the last resource lay in the army. Often the had to sleep three in a bed. however. the non-commissioned officers as captains. of course. soldiers resented attempts that had been Germain which they denounced Introduce a stricter discipline. The truth is that even before the Revolution the army archy at all times. troops were. "Prussian". Even the privates were ranked as lieu- tenants in the regular army. 8 German. of which For some there were twenty-three. but he found that he could not. The St. It against the people. The household Distinctions. a glut of generals. can be drawn. — to every 157 throughout the army. was deeply infected with the ideas of the Revolution. to as ill-disciplined. tionary ideas found troops were few. but in The army of Louis St. Including 11 Swiss. a proportion of i and even after Germain's reform there were 976 a day.^ ^ name they were voluntary XVI had * recruits. was discontented.

the army of lawyers will soon be annihilated in Belgium. and over 400 that men were " killed and wounded.40 fact ARMY-MAKING they were often " crimped " by a system of racoleurSy " bringers-in " press-gang. — a process resembling the officers working of the he Their were out of touch with them. had captain. France's enemies thought that play. too. Bouille had practically to storm the town of Nancy with some its " foreign " troops to suppress mutinous garrison. Yet neither the menace from without nor the hazard from within escaped the eyes of French soldiers. in a nation which desires to be free. discipline gave way everyregiment story of the which mutinied is because their officers did not ask them to dinner^ typical only of a number: things far worse happened. unless belonged to the nobles.^ In a speech in the Constituent Assembly he used these memorable " I tell you words to press the need of conscription part of his prediction : that. since none. their grievances. wonder invasion would be Little child's Do not buy too many horses. every citizen ought ^ rounded by powerful neighbours. and we last be on our road home in the autumn. 1789. ^ Later Dubois-Crance. one far-seeing man had hit on a remedy. and every soldier It was the Royal Champagne Regiment." not last said Bischoffswerder to some Prussian officers setting off in 1792. As early as December. This was Dubois de Crance. army. when dc became dangerous. shall "the comedy will long." The came true. and harassed by facto be a soldier. rise and they. which is sur- tions. could above the rank of When The the Revolutionary doctrines of equality in the began to spread where. .

to obey them sometimes. -disciplined. His ideas found at the time little support. or joined the irregular. any more than Napoleon. and conscription was compulsion. artillery afterwards famous took nine months of additional leave (without asking for it).000 men deserted. All these deserters. or reappeared in the levies of volunteers of 1791 and 1792. and from him dates one beginning of the modern European army. and offered in the famous phrase "no career to talents". his memorable "Every citizen a soldier?" No! But "every soldier a citizen?" Enthusiastically. however. but the others rejoined. " Liberty was the cry of the day. ill National Guard. Much of the old French army was beset with privilege." "EVERY CITIZEN A SOLDIER" a citizen. 1791. and. heat their In the ^ of political contention men : left regiments Royalists where opinions were unpopular the left for ever. its claimed in the officers . — — and busied himself intriguing to the fierce in Corsica. ^ But there were Chiefly officers of high grade. and civilian in character to begin with. Yes! and with that the discipline of the army was perishing. . having elected them. only half of phrase was accepted. So once Another point is to be noticed. again the stiffening of old soldiers came in useful. 41 if France is not to be utterly annihilated ". This force. and a lieutenant of Between July and October. For the time. 30. were not in the end lost French army. None the less he was listened to later. republican spirit of the time to elect but it had the wisdom in the main to elect old soldiers. however. France could afford to do without some of the thousand generals.

Add Dumouriez. Again. Of these. it is true.^ and the French gunners stood to full strength in artillery \ is work. to the Austrians. Berthier. Massena. . and once more we see how much France owed later levies. The battle of Valmy was entirely their artillery battle. cavalry- Thus // while the Republic was always its retained in a weak in and to make than to train good gunners hurry far more difficult cavalry or infantry. (Kellerman. Napoleon seems to have thought that the Prussian cavalry would outmatch his. of veteran soldiers. and the armies of the — Revolution retained their services much an to their profit. Moncey) had served as officers before the Revolution. he half persuaded the line. Jourdan. These were the scientific branches. so late as the in 1796 were the French nervous of the Austrian campaign of Jena. And much Even Not only cavalry. Oudinot. Macdonald. and nine (Augereau. the At Jemappes. Victor. Serrurier. and Napoleon himself. 1 won by an There was a stiff leaven These. had traitor. These were in the main revolutionary in sentiment. Lefebvre. Bernadotte. it to the regular soldiers as opposed to the Summing victories this up. had been often great victory. when Dumouriez turned French guns. later. and tried to take army over it.— 42 ARMY-MAKING two branches where privilege did not exist where the officer who was not noble could rise to high rank. Marmont. Davout. the artillery and the engineers. Ney) had been in the ranks of the old army. Dumouriez's other to do much his with the result. loo to 50. becomes clear that the astonishing of revolutionary France were not entirely "improvised" army. Murat. Hoche. but the gunners would not hear of 2 and as they stood firm the line remained faithful too. eight Perignon. Pichegru. How series great a part old regulars played in the long is of French victories displayed in another way. Napoleon had twenty-four marshals.

179 1. 101. there was certainly nothing in France capable of compelling them. but enemies are always apt to underrate the speed with which factions perish and political They were. 69 were embodied by September 25th. They gave them in their names first. not wish to go to the front. plenty. especially in the threatened north-east. when at length Carnot. but the If they for the fight. dissensions cease in the face of an invader. a year later only 83 Even tained were available. they came to begin with. volunteering completely dried up the supply of recruits to the regular army. and. as the volunteers ^ were better paid By 1792 most of the "opposition" (the Royalist party) haJ gone over to the enemy. and offered an example to the new especially levies. so on August 17th.^ broke. and the Military Committee really set to work.000 volunteers were asked freely at it for. in Bismarck's phrase. trained. and plundered wherever they went. takes were Of course mis- made at first. What they wanted was time. The first suggestion of 1791 was to use the National Guards National Guard had no stomach did in the army. They But con- some good stuff. They got both in the "old- Yet if It is necessary to reckon much on soldier" element which drilled. . and they were totally out of hand. unsteady. to be " shooted a little". Dubois-Crance. but was another thing to get Out of the proposed 169 battaHons only to march. one must also recognize the vigour with which new levies were made into soldiers. however —much in better than the this second levy of volunteers invited 1792. but if they again.NEW mutinous at LEVIES 43 home.

subversive of discipline. The first products were — either vast bodies of peasants. 300. the favouring 64. no supplies. and on February 26th. bewildered and armed with pitchforks. and no officers. teers were at first comparatively Otherwise the volunuseless. of " good " (but timorous) Republicans. the cry was for more men. and his ex- ample was followed everywhere. Many deserters. pillaging and murdering on their way to mutinous patriotism. they were entitled to go home officers. at the end of each campaign each year paigns being held to end on the ist of December in — —cam- if they gave two months' notice to their . but more soldiers.000 men were looked for. As the numbers had fallen and French arms were everywhere defeated that summer. The Convention did not then realize that what was wanted at their stations.000 was the yield. red-hot with the front was not more men. and clubs. they were supposed to be kept a force apart. Dubois-Crance was at length able to carry his plan of conscription. "With some difficulty the saner heads of the time.44 and had all sorts ARMY-MAKING of privileges. a levee en masse was proclaimed in August. and the general dislike of any compulsion accounted for the short. disastrous starving.^ Again. or the scum of Paris. deficit. limited this levee to those between the ages of eighteen and twenty -five. Danton among them. 1793. ^ The conscription was system- For example. but La Fayette brigaded his with the regulars. However. scythes. but 1 careless officials. There were no arms for them. with the vigour of the terrible Committee of Public Safety behind them. Bringing order out of this chaos was the work of the O D Military Committee under the lead of Carnot and DuboisCrance.

And perhaps the latter was the more dangerous. and — Tilsit left 1807 her only a population of some 4.— ORDER FROM CHAOS atized 45 by the end of 1794 over a million men had in all been raised. Guard at the became regulars. In 1794 the system of the deml-brigades grouping one was battalion of regulars with four of the new levies established by Dubois-Crance. Prussia in 181J. Four enormous forges in the Ardennes made 200. A regular system of requisition for food was begun. except politics. To the ambitious and intelligent the one career of the day was the army one came to reckon hazards. to bear fruit. and a ^ Including volunteers and the le-vee en mane. and In arms. 2. producing 1000 muskets a day. ^ Sometimes to the guillotine. The Treaty of robbed Prussia of half her territory. a land ruined by Government crippled with the task of paying off an enormous war indemnity.000 souls.^ and 700. all — — in huge quantities nine great up in Paris. at their mercy. And driving behind was the Committee of Public Safety : Arms were turned out factories were set — the dread of its all —with if the resources of France. So France in won through. 'Largely out of church bells. Promotions were made by merit. so that and made All distinctions between volunteers. manhood. Crenelle's improved system of powder-making and Fourcroy's new steel kept the supply of ammunition and bayonets up to the Incessant demand. Further.000 guns^ in a year. and incapable or unlucky generals retlred. National front. .000 of them were actually assimilated as soldiers. its wealth.and regulars were abolished. Napoleon had forced war.500. lest she should rebuild an army of dangerous size.

Prussian troops had a big share the Allies' victory. and when the war ran in through to Leipzig. . With the on 30th December. 1808. but to add to her forces. course she recovered Yorck's contingent. puts it:^ Dr. surrendered to the Russians That left Prussia nominally with some 23. Julius von Pflugk-Harttung it "This time. ^ by desperate combat. however. the Prussians fought so tenaciously that Napoleon could not use his victories: his he admitted that the Prussians were most dangerous antagonists. Though defeated at Liltzen and Bautzen. to their highest possessions.000 men. their rights as men and way.Yet in 18 13 she was able to put 80. but of the soul of a people. if there was no other The enthusiasm for freedom and fatherland swept ^ Of September 8th. in 1 8 12 he demanded from Prussia contingent of 20. of Liberation" of 18 13 bears the look of a spontaneous rising to arms of a people in the Thus "War defence of their homes. Cambridge Modern History.000 men.. with no "When he went to war with Russia the help of a Prussian half her her^ to agree to limit her increase for ten years. The Prussian nation had endured too much under the pitiless hand of the conqueror of Jena.46 ARMY-MAKING army to 43. His surrender was a put-up job. 18 help of the Russians she bore the brunt of Napoleon's attack. men 12.000 this contingent. not of kings and officials.000 combatants in the field at once. 3 Chapter on the War of Liberation. — about army — and under Yorck. and not only to supply wastage. The people were resolved win back citizens. by the Franco-Prussian Convention. and in the grim school of suffering had acquired a moral force which now revealed itself in its elemental power. was a question.

mountain torrent. dd. till But Austria. and Bavaria. mere lads and greyentered the ranks. where the matter was decided.000 nor the free gift of ^/^y num- 5. was the triumph of the Allies. and Prussia merely lending a hand? Doubtless. when it came. flew to arms. and prepared for it. with the Prince of Wales's Relief Fund. had not Prussia been able to do so much the Russians would not have advanced to the line of the Elbe. even young girls. it is true that Prussia could not have done it alone: the triumph. impoverished as was. an explanation. with England finding money. later.^ and thus lightened may even as say made possible — the is heavy task of unconvincing. per head of the population. Prussia bore Sweden.000 would have held Napoleon's armies. something else — something There must have been all great. and Bavaria did not join the heat of the day.500. Was little it that Prussia's exertions after — counted for that Napoleon was overthrown by Russia. . contributed in free gifts — one the value of half a million of thalers. all 47 like a pent-up ages.C75>000: about \s." Plainly. and when "the Day" came they were ' to a great extent ready. Sweden. this Neither the enthusiasm of "the soul of a people" bering 4. Unquestionably Prussia played a great part. the Government. Those who could not their country offer their own on the altar of gave what they had. in fact. but so because it did her king and in spite statesmen all had foreseen the emergency. Prussia was very poor. Compare it . Austria. lives haired patriarchs. of obstacles had deliberately For six years men had been working.PRUSSIAN PREPARATIONS through the country All classes. it In a few weeks the country.

the force filled with Prussians (no longer.000. and the Prussian army was restricted to 43. Scharnhorst set to work again. but in spite of him working of Napoleon tried went on. man in Dubois-Crance with a new found Scharnhorst. army were lessened. prime importance was what was done to Just as France found a Idea. to check it. It was these men who stood so stiffly at Liltzen and * So between them Dubois-Cranc^ and Scharnhorst founded the modern Continental army. with an army nominally of 43. Education and patriotic ideas taught. . chiefly officers were promoted by merit.000 men. ^^ short service''' there — ofpassing men quickly Many reforms in and from the army were into a reserve. which could be reinforced from a national militia: it was the duty of every man to share is in national defence: and.000 men.48 ARMY-MAKING Much had been done in Prussia between 1807 and had been spread. But Napoleon quickly pounced on these schemes. None the less. had in reality 150. and by the Kriimpersystem (the Shrinkage System) managed to introduce his plan of short nobles service. so Prussia refit the army. but of 1 8 13. and privileges of the restricted. serfdom abolished. ^ the at once made: "foreigners" (non-Prussian subjects) a third of the old who had made up serfs). The Kriimpers (supernumerary recruits) passed into squadron or company and out it the system was kept as secret as possible. his great inven- he sketched a plan of through the ranks.000 men trained to arms. as they had been. All these were good. further (this tion). as has been stated. A month after the Treaty of Tilsit he was pressing the need of a small standing army of 65. Here was the again: the reason why Prussia in 18 12.

) PRUSSIAN PREPARATIONS Bautzen 49 — not volunteers.000 came forward in the mountain torrent". Prussia was patriotic. Yet Prussia. was not improvised: it had been carefully built up. and the King. then. wary states- men had quietly forced it to make ready. not organized the field till March.000 men of an age to bear arms. Least of all. to the call for volunteers And the immediate response was hardly like a " pent-up Only 10. can the case of Prussia be quoted as an illustration of improvising a successful army. 3. must have had well over 250. 4 . till The system of Landwehr was 13. Of course they became valuable. ( // only proves the value volunteers^ for the regulars c 754 of volunteers against engaged were a mere handful. The army The nation did not spring to arms at an impulse. those actually with the colours. and the volume of them grew with the encouragement of success. But the goodness of that "best" depended. Hardenberg. and men filled with fierce patriotism fought their best. they improved. allowing for first six months of 18 13. The War of Secession. not on their patriotism. but on their previous training to arms. That was the work of Scharnhorst. Still smaller was the response of volunteers from other German States: it only amounted to two weak battalions. Its volunteers were at first neither useful nor remarkably numerous. —The is story of the War of the Secession in the United States often quoted as a justifihastily got to- cation of the value of volunteer armies gether. Stein. 18 and no Landwehr were in the second part of the campaign — till after Austria had come in to join. Its triumphs were won by regular soldiers. but it is singularly ill-adapted to prove anything of the kind.

Paris.so ARMY-MAKING so. and when men! line bent like a cow's horn. with its its response to it call for volunteers. lack That of discipline. well found and ready. hemmed in at Sedan. the Even them. France in 1 —The circumstances of lost the war in 870 are remembered. both sides was incessantly hampered by straggling. of course. end. gave as his deliberate opinion that one Army Corps. it finished the this war If be so — and has not been seriously disputed — the "volunteer" army stands condemned every way.^*" Nations may be ignorant as well as commanders.mes la oii il n'en devrait pas couter deux. each ragged rebel aligning on himself and on his own hook" —thus a Confederate General on his own (veteran) . surrendered on September 2nd. 4. Yet Paris was not France: : much of the country was untouched its resources were enormous: ^"The yelling the spirit of patriotism was there. n'est elle pas responsable du sang iSyo. Years of bloodshed and thousands of lives might have been Napoleon said: " Quand I'ignorance fait tuer dix saved. a careful study of the war. Bazaine's army was surrounded in Metz by the end of August. North. des huit autres. would have for either side in the first campaign. thus devouring most left. MacMahon. and by September 19th the Germans were before of the few regulars This. So France almost all her field troops. but not always the dates. hom. and the fact that in presence of the enemy after there was little fire-control.-^ it Lord Wolseley. had been garrisoned. could not huge resources and the ready win with in the had to have recourse to forced service after two or three campaigns volunteers fought as well as regulars would have fought does not prove Every general on that they were valuable from the first.

did for a time push Von der Tann. Now was the time to improvise an army: it had reasonable chances of success.000 strong.000 to contain Paris 50 miles round. men. the regiments de marcke. it was now or never. In six weeks Gambetta had created an "army" of 180. But of the at was chair a canon in plenty.000 men at Lille. but they could get no farther. the Through 120.000 ^ men against 9000 Here was the tragedy of Bazaine's surrender on October 27th. tireurs late in who were untrained One need not reckon the Francsrest there under local leaders. Dispersed defence through France were 600. from Orleans. D'Aurelle de Paladines brought 50. The Loire army.000. behind them the Garde Nationale ready to fight of their in own districts. the Germans the enceinte was had only 147.— FRANCE IN 1870 51 Gambetta escaped from the capital on October 7th there was the man to stir it. — .000 of the Garde Mobile. more immediately valuable made up of depot companies of going. Similarly the time gained by sending our men to help to hold Antwerp in 1914 through it was only a few days was of considerable military value. with 20. Rouen. but they never met any success worth counting. with arms and supplies and enthusiasm —but without autumn and winter these armies tried to thrust back the Germans and to relieve Paris.000 men free for Paris. for what with detachments on the lines of communication. others at were gathering training.000. Besan- 9on. If France could — The men could be found. at Tours. and help could be given by a sortie :-^ raise the from the numerous garrison within. or men who had been or partially trained. It set 200. and the armies left to besiege Metz and Strassburg. and were found. at Alengon. 700. Another fortnight would have been invaluable to the French.

" With a raw army it is possible to carry a formidable French levies offensive: position. largely to the lack of transport and supply. with Faidherbe in the north. flung 80." '70 were given no time. nor of arms. For once again Napoleon may be quoted. but by the 19th of that month Germans were outside Paris. soldiers.000 against Mecklenburg's far inferior force at Toury. but not to carry out a plan. was the same with Chanzy. They kept their covering armies well pushed out.000 Both attacks French were It it was not for lack of valour. So. but principally to the lack of old soldiers. It was lack of leading. and if the were to do anything they had to take the and they could not do it. five days later. of experience. They had not the skill to manceuvre. When the . in spite of slush and snow and bitter frost. nor of supplies. simply that civilians made at such short notice into "Ask me"." This paralysis in manoeuvring was due partly to in- experience. everything was lost — except honour. The Germans were too quick. they knew that to wait would give these hasty levies the chance to grow into soldiers. What were could not be the reasons. The French in said Napoleon. Every- thing failed. nor of money.000 strong. 10. with the vast garrison of Paris under Trochu. at killed and wounded tale Beaune. "for anything but Time. The Republic after began to organize the national resistance directly the Sedan (September 2nd). 300. of training. with Bourbaki near Belfort.52 ARMY-MAKING at Germans Beaune failed: la Rolande.? Not want of men. and. but forced it into fighting a week later. they never gave that chance. Gambetta gathered his army of the Loire by November 20th.

THE NEW
regular units

LEVIES

53

garrison of Paris had been provided, there remained of

only these crumbs of an army:

twelve

battalions of infantry, nine regiments

of cavalry, and one
there was no

single complete battery
stiffening for the

of guns.

Thus

new

levies;

no

officers to lead,

no non-

coms, to
to teach

drill,

and no veterans to steady the raw men,
to

them how

make

the best of discomforts, to

fend for themselves, to bivouac, to hang on in the face

of

fire,

to rally in case of reverse.

There was no one

to

give confidence, and so the
dence.

new

levies never got confi-

They fought

bravely, but, sacrifice their lives as

they would, they seemed to get beaten, and henceforth they expected to get beaten.
officers, and no Yet there was something else which helped to make a difference between the days of It was not the the First Republic and of the Third. found them in each case. It number of men: France was a change in the nature of war itself War had become

Thus

the

new

levies

had no time, no

stiffening

of old soldiers.

much more complicated, so much more scientific, so much more difficult, the strain on the moral of troops so much more intense, the demand on the intelligence of officers so much greater, the operations on so much wider a field, the central control so much less easy and effective.
so

Compare,
1870:

for example, the artillery

of 1792 with that of

the field-piece of 1792
its

could be cast with the
in the simplest fashion,

greatest ease,

carriage

made

and repaired with any wood, by any wheelwright. Shrapnel was unknown;^ the business of range-finding rudimentary
guess-work;
the gunner (and he was the scientific
^

man

First used at

Vimiero.


54

ARMY-MAKING
a rule-of-thumb

of the service) mostly
so in 1870.

man.

It
its

was not

True,

artillery
it

had not reached
it

modern
since

accuracy and range, but

had progressed hugely

1792, and the

shell-fire to

which

could subject infantry
range where

was

infinitely

more

trying,

and
had

this, too, at a

the soldier could see no prospect of retort.

Take, again,

the soldier of 1792.

He

little

to learn in the

way of

shooting; he never fired on a range; in battle

" he loaded
at

his primitive firelock as

our musketeers had done theirs
it

Sedgmoor, and,

like

them,

fired

straight to his front at

any
in

enemy within 150
attack formations

yards distance.

No

long and careful training

shrapnel bullets

was necessary to teach him to face clouds of and the hail of close rifle-fire which the assailant
. .
.

has

now

to advance through.
little

The

regimental officer then

had himself

beyond what came naturally to the Fire country gentleman. The tactics were of the simplest sort. discipline was then as unknown as the art of photography, and the
to

learn

officer's

chief duty

was

to lead his

men

straight

upon the enemy." ^

Here, then,
enlisted

is

another reason for the failure of the imhastily

provised armies of 1870; the gap between the civilian

and

the trained

What
to

the past

man was so much wider. shows would seem to be:

(i) that the

instances where, in

common

belief, a

people had sprung

arms to save

their nation

and attained success are very

few; (2) that where success has been
necessary;
that the

won

it

was with
is

a

considerable stiffening of regulars; (3) that time
lutely
(4)

abso-

prospect of success was
is

greatest

where the business of war
shorter, sharper,
1

simplest.

On

the

other hand, warfare has in the last century tended to

become

and more immediately
of

decisive,

Wolseley : The Decline and Fall

Napoleon.

REVOLUTIONARY ARMIES
the conduct of
it

S5
last

more and more

technical,

and the
the

attempt of a people in arms was a tragic

failure.

On
tion

the other hand

we must

bear in

mind

immense

success of the hastily-raised armies of the French Revolu-

surprising, even

when we
at

allow for the stiiFenin^

of old regulars.

These armies,

once formidable, became
a

for years irresistible; starting

from

got rid of some old military trammels, and

new beginning, they made the most

of new ways and principles which had been overlooked.

They made
impressions

it

their principal business to fight, while their

opponents were often content to manoeuvre.
they
left

Among

the

upon

their victims,

perhaps the

chief was that of rapidity.

They

did not hesitate, they

seized the offensive, they paid

little

heed to winter or

weather, to elaborate plans of campaign or formal rules.

This quality of rough-and-ready warfare was developed by Napoleon to its fullest value.

CHAPTER
The Campaign
[A map

IV

of Ulm,

1805

of Central Europe will be found at the end of Chapter VII.]

An

enveloping attack,
operation
in

if successful,

is

plainly the

most

decisive

war.

A

successful

outflanking

movement may
enemy's
retreat;
force,

lead to the crushing of one part of the
will

and

probably force him to a disastrous

a frontal attack, piercing his centre, breaks
it

up

his

army, and exposes

to be beaten in detail; but an

enveloping attack surrounds him, and by the one operation puts his

whole force out of
it

action.

Yet, as

it

is

the

most deadly,

is

the

most

difficult ot attacks for these,

among
1.

other reasons:
It

must be speedy and well masked.
usually
;

Otherwise

the exposed force will take alarm and withdraw in time.
2.
It

demands
is

a considerable

superiority in

numbers
be
3.

if

there

not a superiority the difficulty will

increased.-^

In

the
his

process of

divide

forces,

making it the spreading them over

assailant

must
circle.

a wide

This exposes them to the risk of being attacked and
beaten in detail.
force which
it

If

one or two " stops " are beaten, the
slip

is

intended to surround will

through.
all.

The
^

failure of one
succeeded

may
at

involve the failure of
Mukden by

The Japanese

Liao-yang and
56

envelopment, though they

were greatly

inferior in

number

to their opponent.

THE SITUATION
4.
It

IN 1805

57

entails

punctual

co-operation
is

among many
difficult

bodies widely severed.
attain.

This

extremely

to

To
was

illustrate

enveloping attacks

we

a success

and another that
^^^ failure

failed.

the example shall be Napoleon's attack
in 1805.
-^°'"

one that For the success upon Mack at Ulm
will take
earlier

we must seek an

example,

and go back to 1794, when Coburg endeavoured to surround Souham at Tourcoing.
The Situation on
the

Outbreak of

War

in

iSo^.

— The

French dominions
eastern
Italian

in

1805 nowhere touched the Austrian

except (i) on the Rhine just below Basel and (2) at the

end of

Italy,

where the Austrian Venice joined the
just created
for

kingdom which Napoleon had
declared,

himself.

Army

When war was was mostly on the coasts of the Channel, ready
Thus
the initiative
first

Napoleon's Grand
for

the invasion of England.

of striking

—the power
sides,

lay with the Austrians.

Let us

first

see

what seemed possible to both

what

likely for the other to do,

and then come on to the
be
attacked,

steps each took.^

Austria would
attack, in

be

liable

to

or could

two places, (i) in Italy or (2) on the Danube. Assuming, as the Austrians did most people do at the beginning of a war that they were going to win, it was open to them either to attack France in or through Italy,

or up the

Danube and from
decisive theatre
Italy,

there to the Rhine.

Which
to

would be the

of operations ?
forces

To

get

into

Austrian

would have

traverse the eastern

mountains, through Tyrol or the
iMap,
p. 59.

The Austrians knew this: Eugene was in Austrian service.: 58 THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM.^ Thus it might be assumed that the Austrians would make Italy a secondary theatre of operations.000 men under territory the Archduke Charles in what had been the of Venice to reconquer Lombardy. because he had done in so before. . But other things influenced them. all 1805 If they beat Carnic Alps. (i) They expected that Napoleon would prefer to make Italy his chief theatre of operations west has thriven. when shall done. this Observe that interfere was its letting political considerations with military ones. is Beat the enemy's army. the second one high and difficult. Further. 1800 he had won his great cam.paign Surely he would choose the scene of his (2) former success.. then. we be able to get what terms we want ". The Austrians had possessed Italy) before the LomFor Italy bardy (the centre of north French drove it. no invasion of France from the souththe French out of Italy they Even Eugene had failed over it. Their communications with Austria would then run over two mountain chains. invaded Austria over the of Marengo. would then have to cross the western Alps or the Apennines before they could invade France. to The right thing is for a Government say to soldier -commanders this: "We that are at war. In 1796 he had cleared the Austrians out of Italy and eastern Alps. and they wished to retain they (as we shall see) intended to make the chief theatre: they put their biggest army of 100. What ^ the Austrian Government said was "We want you to beat the enemy But —and to reconquer Mack forgot Marlborough's march of 1704. that was in their hands. them out of this reason it in 1796.

.

The end will show how. and in striving to reconquer Lombardy they may expose them- Lombardy". Vienna was not covered. under Mack. it to be Italy Danube? realized better than Twice it had been Napoleon the moral value on and no one his . the Russians did not get up to join Mack. therefore Mack's army must be pushed forward to keep it till the French at a long distance from the Russians could come up. regain Now or the look with Napoleon's eyes. She did not Lombardy. because that Vienna. Here. is Austria could not the easy road to the Danube. But. lose everything. from invasion. They would wish protect their own land other allies. Once again a faulty military plan was adopted for political reasons. the Russians were time was needed for them to get up. plans. the Russians. — — of the soldiers: they selves to be beaten decisively elsewhere. their forces to beat the enemy's Austria got none of them. politics came in to hamper and spoil Austrian Vienna must be protected from a French attack. still To do it they relied on their army. 80. the Aulic Council at Vienna said to Mack: "Advance through Bavaria and keep the French off Vienna and Austrian territory till the Russians join you". by striving after these political aims and neglecting the all first military duty of gathering chief army. again. But that 1805 is or may be tying the hands may see that Lombardy is not the place where the enemy can be decisively beaten.6o THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM. Was Italy. as was natural. Having said to the Arch- duke Charles: " Reconquer Lombardy". and on their far off.000 strong. then they will Yet with neglect their eyes chiefly on to Italy.

Again. direct road to Vienna. Start in imagination at the town of There the Rhine turns from the western course has followed out of the Lake of Constance. where his men were.^ student of Continental wars should carry at his head. Of course Napoleon would feel in 1796 and in 1800. and flows first north-north-east. was to cover it that There lay Marlborough had marched so swiftly from the in the Low Countries in 1704. swiftly to assail it. he would drive it that he could beat them in Italy as back on Vienna and on the advancing Russians. Thus he Mack's army of the Danube would join it. and over two if he invaded Austria from there. battle which brought Austria to her knees. And once more. Austrians would expect The his it him in Italy. would compel his enemies to jnake the 'very concentration which they were neglecting to make. it was not Napoleon's victory of Marengo. and afterwards north-west till it . Further considerations would occur to him. which was to mind an excellent reason for not going there. but there were serious difficulties. returning to the campaign of 1800. the decisive stroke was given Hohenlinden at Hohenlinden. was much farther from the English Channel. His communications would be over one mountain range. June. brilliant as this was. it the diagram of Central Europe. and supposing he did beat the Archduke's army. in That was fought in is December by Moreau in Bavaria. Napoleon could march It is a even more Turn now to map which every roughly in Basel. It on the Austria's vital spot. campaign of Blenheim.NAPOLEON'S IDEAS soldiers 6t of revisiting fields of past glory.

Opposite Basel to the westward the mountain wall of the Vosges leaves off. Journeying down the Rhine from Basel you have hills on either side: on the left side the Vosges and its spurs. this gap just opposite where the . . the district Gap of Belfort. both serious but not impossible obstacles to On the other side of the Black Forest rises the I Eng"lish Miles TO 20 60 80 40 ICO This map shows the the Rhine and the tributary. on the right the Black Forest armies. and runs somewhat to the north of east till it reaches its most northerly point at Ratisbon in Bavaria. Thus this narrow plain. there is a narrow plain. 1805 Holland and the sea. where the headwaters of the Danube approach which leads from the Rhine to the Rhone Doubs Danube. this time the Jura. and to the south of it again the mountains begin. which cover north-western Switzerland.62 reaches THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM. Then it turns to south-east and pursues its way to Vienna.

and so on down the Danube valley. is end at a he nearer the Russians. but. Expecting an attack from France. where will Mack Diagram of the Bavarian Plain take up a position to stop it? Wiirtemberg and the is Bavarian plain. or French armies go through to Wurtemberg. It is one way through from France to Bavaria and Austria or France guards it with a fortress and calls it vice versa. Besides. which joins him to the Archduke Charles in Italy. Austrians wished either to secure their help or to destroy . on the other the hand.MACK'S PROBLEMS 63 Rhine turns. he uncovers Tyrol and the Brenner road up the Inn and down the Adige. Plainly he cannot occupy a position across the middle. to Bavaria. south of the Danube. He must hold the eastern end or the If he holds the eastern western end both are narrow. . easy trated. it is too long. oval in shape. it was not The certain whose side the Bavarians would take. is of prime military importance. Through it France can be penethe " Gap of Belfort ".

Napoleon's mind in the The August where it facts present to end of at the outset of the campaign were these. but that would not matter. Russian armies were moving through Galicia and Poland His mind was made up speedily: to hold the Archduke Charles with an army of 50. men was in Venetia. with the its running along front. to strike with 200. 1805 short line. had been massed for the invasion of England. the Archduke Charles could not get round to Vienna save by a long and roundabout march eastwards through mountainous country. as what happened in Italy was only secondary. with 100. and by the River Iller hills of the Swabian Jura. So Mack moved Iller.000 at Mack and to crush him before the Russians could reach him.000 The Archduke Charles Mack with 80. His Grande Armee was chiefly on the shores of the Channel. through Bavaria to hold the line of the It may be remarked that this decision rested on some faulty conclusions. and its left on the Bavarian Tyrol: this line the Austrians had previously held with success against Moreau. and the French attack did not come against the line of the Iller. army first. Once Mack — was crushed and the Brenner road held by the French.000 rrten under Massena very likely it would get beaten. There was another way. Finally. intending an advance into Bavaria.000 was towards Vienna. . and Massena could be trusted to hinder him from moving very fast. there was at b a flanked on the north by the fortress of Ulm. Napoleon was not Moreau. by resting the Danube. for the Bavarians took the French side and their army slipped safely away north- ward. the Bavarian help was not secured.64 their THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM.

that Soult did not lose a sickness. 400 miles in twenty marchthey averaged 15 miles a day for nearly four rest days. not direct at Ulm and the upper Danube. Mack might retreat. weeks on end. Therefore Napoleon determined to strike. Soult's make such a march. that was the problem. the order the march was given. and. and hurried off by three routes for the upper Rhine. The world had never seen so big an army six days' rest. but to break through from Mainz and the Rhine farther down the Danube between Mack and Vienna. before the Russians came up. Thus he would cut him off from the Russians. his 370 miles without a complete day's Marmont 300 miles in twenty con- secutive days. more wonderful still. that was not enough. or. since he had about 500 miles to go and the nearest Russians about 600. might hold the French advance. and so give time to the Russians. Marmont set off from Holland three days and Bernadotte from In Hanover. ing days. Davout did halt. to strike Mack once But. even including had little But they really rest. it meant a longer march —and more haste to So. later. parallel The bulk of Grande Armee broke up from Boulogne on August 29th. Allowing for men covered 20 miles a day. it is reported man on the way by desertion or and when Davout came in he had neither sick 5 (C754) . very secretly and suddenly. but still.THE MARCH TO THE DANUBE To move his 6s at men quickly. even if he stayed to fight. given that he could get at him before the Russians. which was likely enough. twenty-four to twenty-six days they were appearing on the Rhine. five great strings of men marching and marchall ing in fierce haste south-eastwards and southwards.

— 1 See map. There was halt Leaving the Black Forest to fiercely on. Marmont from Mainz. pushed The weather was horrible horses broke down. and the transport is They broke down somewhat. doing of energy. Perhaps this is 1805 nor stragglers. even bread sometimes lacking. 70. Soult from Spire. (4) on October 6th. How much was gained by it may be judged The . was the fruit of this fierce marching. 67. the force plunged on. through sleet and snow and swollen streams. from the diagram^ which shows the approximate Russian and French positions (i) (3) at the end of August. ^ p. horses. many Still. it the point they went through.66 THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM. certainly lost not quite accurate. p. On September 26th they were off again: Bernadotte from WUrzburg. the farthest west (the Guard) being about 20 miles from the river north of Ulm. and on October 5th were parallel to the Danube. Lannes and Ney from the neighbourhood of Strassburg. . then. their right they . supplies ran short. Bernadotte yvere all closer to Vienna than Mack was} Here. (2) on Septemiber 25th. like the fingers of a great left hand reaching eagerly out from the Rhine towards the Danube. and the farthest east being within Davout and Marmont and 5 miles of Donauwerth. cross-roads were deep in mud but somehow. The French army was either on Mack's flank or ready to strike in between him and the Russians coming from Vienna. and the is a wonderful example of Napoleon's driving little on the Rhine. Davout from Mannheim. When the French were within striking distance of the Danube the first Russian army was half-way between Vienna and Linz more than 250 miles as the on September 14th.

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Mack. learning that the French were on the Rhine.^ What would he do. Obviously he did noty and could not^ I^ozv 'whether by the time he reached the ^Danube there. knew of the (N-V^ ^ and what each would think the other would do — or could do. Mack was probably somewhere on the south side of these "H- But where ? How much had he guessed. m -= Consider other.^ . and misled by a show of French scouts in the Black Forest.'' On these points Napoleon got little inhills. formation soners. Mack his vjould still be Napoleon hid own march to the •5 Danube behind a big cavalry screen ^ under Murat. The second Russian army had left u scarcely the Vistula. -M After some trouble Murat caught . he pestered Murat for prito disclose But he did not wish his to own intentions^ and so he was not able ^f< find out much about Mack's position. Napoleon learned of Mack's position 'n-Vc V^ on the line of the Iller (between Ulm and Memmingen) before his own army had left the Rhine.WHAT EACH -Vqcrow flies SIDE KNEW 67 —and Kutusof was not now what each a crow. one. believed at attack first that the line the ^ Iller French would from the front. which moved along the northern side of the hills covering the north bank of the Danube.

and so risk bringing Prussia in against him. If he did so. to the Archduke. it would bring Mack closer to the Russians. This would mean the Austrians giving up Bavaria and the Brenner road. The possibilities will be seen on the map. Napoleon would not dawdle. as he had collected ample supplies at Ulm and on the Iller. However. uncover Vienna. the French cut his communications he would not starve. and he could still fight to cover to Vienna. If 3. See what was open to him to do. would (a) Italy if they followed him. if the French moved on Vienna. He might start at once for Augsburg on the way resting Mack was Napoleon could hardly cut across him. Vienna. p. territory of Ansbach. by October 3rd he was sure of the French advance on the Danube. 70. (F) separate him from the Russians. Bernadotte. .^ 1. was wrong. On the other hand. and the Russians But it gave Napoleon a central position. 1805 Another reason for doubting if they would come down on Donauwerth was that north of the Danube lay the Ansbach was Prussian. which led by Tyrol. however. came right through Ansbach. He might concentrate and fight or defend Ulm. by Napoleon's express Prussia protested on a broken reed. and Mack. for This might delay Napoleon. and he would have a line of retreat on Austrian This. Here he would be on Napoleon's flank. might get up. 2. clear that ^ Whatever he did it was it was needful to decide quickly. but did nothing.68 THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM. He might retreat southwards either through Mem- mingen or Augsburg on Innsbruck and Tyrol. did not believe that the Emperor would dare to violate its neutrality But Mack order.

be seen in the end that Napoleon did provide for every course except one —which was Mack would ticular in his mind it so foolish that he never thought adopt — that Mack did pitch on this par- one (after a good deal of hesitating). pivot on Ulm. the French began crossing werth. and move by the dotted to the line. however. was either to make at for Augsburg. in full force at he moved be slow. they could It this. Mack. once he could be that if Augsburg before the French could get many men there. and hustled off towards Augsburg.ACROSS One advantage THE DANUBE had. Munich. as indicated in the diagram His point of concentration was Gunzmap facing p.000 Austrians under Kienmayer. however. The position north of the Danube almost the east of him. and his retreat on Tyrol was quite safe. the whole operation We are going to have the advantage of seeing both sides were doing. as Napoleon had not provided against very nearly went wrong. See coloured 72. and Vienna. It is plain or to fall back by the Brenner pass on Tyrol. — till they stumbled across each other.^ ^ Danube. He had issued orders on the 3rd for his force to face about. had other ideas. was at right angles to presuming that he did what was the best thing for him to do. in which case he could be intercepted. He might. The French were on the Mack to What Napoleon expected Mack to do. driving before at Donau- them a force of 12. of them knew exactly only guess what must be remembered neither what the other was at. it. On October 7th. 69 Mack He could make up his mind and do what he thought best: Napoleon would have It will to provide for every contingency. . then. and that.

on what was now the Austrian right.70 burg. 1805 This change of front was a long job. the 9th. and the Austrians were driven smartly back with a loss of about 2000 men. Ney captured the bridge at Giinzburg under Mack's nose.__ loinich Situation on October 4th-5th. THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM. had to move by cross-roads and the weather was Consequently. and on the next day. wheeling to the Danube. Auffenberg. the when the French were approaching Danube Mack nor Napoleon knew exactly where any unit of the Austrian force was.. On October 8th they came in contact. and . 1805. Lannes marched to the firing. the troops vile. from October 4th to October 8th neither English Miles 5 'P French _ HH '^ ' SOULT Nordling-en davout ^BERNADOTTE \ Neuburg >»0-. ran into Murat.

the left it is uncommonly clear to us —though remember greater that Modern cavalry armed with rifles have much power of holding an enemy. Soult went through Augsburg. but cavalry could not enemy —could not compel it to stay and Hence Napoleon did not know what Mack was all doing. and Davout. and. Murat. and all of his army corps. he hurried to stop the bolt-holes. if need be. burg without The diagram of the night of October 8th shows that Soult. information. Marmont. There was no longer a danger of Mack's getting through to Augsfighting. was still possessed of the notion Mack would try to escape. Accordingly. cavalry could find the Austrians. and Davout were sent to Augsburg. Lannes. . mostly on The and ^ bank of the T)anube. Lannes. could be there sooner than he will — the His fight. Mack thereupon fell back to Ulm. So far all orone well for the French. and Soult was hurrying to block the Brenner road. But one lacked.OCTOBER closed the 8TH-IITH 71 way over had the Danube. namely. it is Napoleon.^ Guard and Marmont thing still Napoleon hold its not be far behind. with Murat at the Iller. in front of him. Mack had done the one thing Napoleon could not imagine him doing namely. meantime that practically nothing. rushing on to choke the Brenner road. diagram of October iith reveals the situation. that clear. crossed to the right (south) bank. He had blocked the direct Vienna road.' — He had gathered his men in and around Ulm. aiming Bernadotte went scouring away southto chase Kienmayer and to keep off if they were there. Ney was brought down the Russians to the Danube. except Duponis eastwards to Munich — division. the Guard.

and. along the and the other. at As soon he was seen he was attacked Haslach. and to there stop Duponfs dwision _§o. under Riesch. struck with terror. which Mack is had detached to move on Memmingen-Kempten. with about 8000 men. his lines of retreat being both intercepted. He fact. on the 12th and 13th the road open. ." to surround Accordingly Dupont. but does not look like catching much. 1805 Napoleon's net It cast wide. marched on as Ulm "as best he could" some 50. who was no state to stop size. . wrote a dispatch an- nouncing a brilliant success. . wrote to Dupont on the morning of October nth: "You will surround Ulm as best you can and summon it to surrender take scaling ladders the enemy. anything — certainly not a force three times his While the north-east lay open. under Werneck. soon revealed. The hole was . is retreating on the Tyrol. will not catch the body under Jellachich. . Ney. on the 12th to his men had a panic and he lay fell back to the Brenz River. got quite clear as in far as the The last Brenz. on the north bank Mack's to the The left transferring of the bulk of Ney south bank has the net perilously weak. one. acting under Napoleon's orders. . the north-east Thus. Kienmayer solitary is for Soult only will be too late. through.000 Austrians who were not thinking of retreating.72 neither is THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM.ooo men. though his men fought thrust back in great disorder. and on the latter day Mack moved out from two great columns. he was handled. but he was only really successIn ful in escaping destruction. towards Nordlingen. very roughly admirably. north of Dupont. and while Mack was . Mack nor Napoleon could see it it. Ulm river.

English Miles I 1 I Marches to Ulm: Position on 8th October Marches to Uhn : I^osition on i ith October .

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and Bernadotte had heard of so many Russians near Munich in that direction. chased by Murat. his troops running over the main timbers of the bridge which the Austrians had neglected to destroy. Murat riding out "reconnoitring the enemy's position" on that river (enemy not there). whom Mack hoped to be on the 14th. halted Werneck. that Davout was diverted in and Napoleon had gone person to see about these Russians for himself — the only way to make sure. was to cross at Elchingen. leaving only a garrison of 4000 in still busy "catching nothing" to the Lannes and Marmont were moving on the Iller. and get back to the left bank. or keeping off imaginary Russians. own communica- But on the afternoon of the 13th Napoleon at length realized that the decision lay near Ulm. pounced on Riesch. . I2TH-I4TH 73 intending an escape. clear away. Murat to follow. At this point the whole affair looks like being a ludicrous failure. and. Marmont came up from the south.^ He then closed on Ulm from the east. and the orders he then issued speedily deprived Mack of the chance which he had thrown away. and the Austrian army can walk out of Ulm without any to hinder. with Lannes in support.OCTOBER Ulm. So at dawn on the 14th Ney swarmed in on Elchingen. got to ^ Ney's title of the Duke of Elchingen came from this brilliant little action. and drove him back to Ulm. Some 200. waiting for his own tail come up.000 French are cutting off phantom Austrians from where they are not going. turned back southwards to attack the French on the 15th. Ney. caught a Tartar. and cut Napoleon's tions in doing so. nor even to pursue closely. Napoleon was south.

At one officer a great reputation as being. and the nobles in the a reformer. sur- rounded. Mack of his presence by escaping with a cavalry Further. and popularity. both the Brenner road and the way to Vienna open. though the Emperor had advice. were not of his mind. went free on parole. the triumphant ending and the tragedy of the luckless Mack ^ obscure things. 1805 was headed off here and there. to Vienna. Kienmayer got Jellachich with 6000.^ however. and on the 17th Mack. InMack had innumerable difficulties. Napoleon marched and in December destroyed the Russians at Austerlitz. off with 12. His chief officers. He officers actually did surrender the town on the 20th.000 naturally refused. The rest who escaped were mostly from Werneck's shattered command. but relieved regiment on 14th October. and notice in the surrender. and prisoners. Mack was of low birth. yielding to their faint-heartedness. him to take Mack's He did not. and compelled to lay down his arms (October 1 6th and 17th). Either with or without his consent they asked for terms on the i6th.74 into THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM. the young Archduke Ferditold nand was in nominal command.000. they failed to hold out left / They lost Ulm. agreed to surrender by the 25th if not relieved. difficulties. w Altogether the Austrians lost about 50. Ney advanced on Ulm and Mack had still some 23. the men remained prisoners of war. On the 15th summoned it to men there. took it. and he was time he had had is him.000 in killed. He even posted a town forbidding the word "capitulation" to be even mentioned. The campaign of Ulm is often seen in a false light. wounded. He was not the incapable he sometimes represented . We are apt to see Genius swiftly pouncing on Incompetence: Genius works to a plan. To begin with. so everyone disliked army were jealous of him. they till the Russians came. the .

< French Austrian a. Marches to Uhn: Position on 14th October . English Miles o 5 lo 20 ...rVj[^DAV0UT \ ^^ --I^TA)*^ \.^ GUARD I?-? '-^ \ n( BERNADO"rrE»-ij-f_ _ lunich 1 soy^ Memmingen to -'I? »Landsberg 1 Marches Ulm: Position on 13th October — English Miles 5 1 10 1 20 > ^ / / French Austrians.. o'^Nordlingen Ingolstadt b^ Donauwbrth V Neuburgr it ^«veSCH^ Haslach d^|b--^!&J&"°zburg Uln . ".'j*v'> -oZ ^^bLANnes Augsburg. •or.

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is This perhaps more foolish than the first idea. the point to grasp is. Secret service would reveal it. Further. marched nearly twice as fast as either Russians or Austrians. has a superiority in these things. in either direction. A mistake was made in leaving Dupont isolated . and news is transmitted fast and by such roundabout ways. revulsion. and the result. We have seen that. Closer study apt to produce a violent really- Napoleon's elaborate scheme. What he did do was to march swiftly and place his troops so that he could interpose between him and Vienna if Mack delayed. was a fore- gone conclusion. we think. truly. he did not expect Mack to stay in Ulm.— CONCLUSIONS competence muddles. His advantage was gained by his speed. has an enormous advantage. Railways and motor transport have changed the old conditions. both sides blundered so badly that neither deserved success. now as of old. I that Napoleon's success at Ulm was largely won by his comparative speed and secrecy. and kept up their pace for an amazing time. His men 1. Still. He said. are very few will large bodies of men ever have to march far and fast. failed. rounding of October 13th. or masked behind a cavalry screen. till I. to Mack ought have slipped through. is 75 we add. and that the commander who 3. that he "won Ulm by his soldiers' legs". a march of this kind could not be concealed nowadays. He did not know that he would be there. the following Avoiding extravagance things emerge: Napoleon did not plan from the outset the surMack in Ulm. We must remember that such a march is not likely to Only in countries where railways and roads be repeated.

tell Mack were foreseen and guarded against. he was too his to to in- fall deed ^ army never got Mack in a blow at do it Napoleon at late to — all. Even if had fallen in force on Ney's in command north of the Danube. do something. Napoleon guessed wrongly They that often — — must guess. mistake in so big an operation is not many. Turenne said that the man " who had never made a mistake in war had not One made war long". any that Na- poleon would never leave the north of the Danube only half guarded. In the "fog of war" commanders cannot always what the enemy is doing. and if the political aims take may wreck the whole campaign. Mack guessed —wrongly— first Mack would. . but that was all. at rate. 6. 1805 on the north bank. Mack's one resource (after October 8th) was the Tyrol. back to cover Vienna. so they sent Mack into Bavaria and the Archduke Charles Mack was destroyed and the Archduke had Italy. Were the guesses unreasonable? It is often difficult to reconcile political and miliplace this tary aims. Lannes could have got to him time to save him from being thrust out of the way. not more. and his men marched so slowly that Soult would probably have caught their if tail. All the other courses open to 5.^ 4.76 THE CAMPAIGN OF ULM. If Ney's whole command had stayed there. and the till two could have held Mack the rest marched to the firing — as Revolutionary armies mostly did (and Grouchy did not). The statesmen at Vienna wanted Lombardy regained and Vienna covered.

through excess of energy. Tourcoing on a much smaller scale. but most of attractively in is told so Mr. 1794 Napoleon's enveloping attack against Mack at Ulm is an example of a movement on a grand scale with big It was comnumbers. French 1 The British Battle Series. it shows what were at that time the difficulties of working together even over short distances. The French went too far and too fast. though it was for two days perilously Had it failed. because reasonably possible . is Belloc's little book called Tourcoing} The real trouble to condense into a chapter the whole of Mr. all If it is not presumption to recommend them. moving from great distances. and were really making headway again. one may add that they are of extraordinary interest. Mack is almost evaded them by remaining still. when the French had recovered from the panics of 1793. and the mistake of asking troops to do more than is however. because much fighting has gone on in the present all campaign almost over the same because the story of it ground. it would have done so near failing. pletely successful. further. In the spring of 1794. 77 . Briefly. Belloc's narrative. the prelude to the battle is this. It is instructive.CHAPTER V The Operations around Tourcoing.

a little farther north. The weight of it. in command of Pichegru's advance. But the Austrian line was not was only indented. the French general. the Austrian line had been gathered in the centre for the siege of Landrecies. position. May Shaded country held by AUies had taken Menin. So liroken. and went farther to besiege Courtrai. The diagram reveals the where it will be seen that each side has bent the other's line. Pichegru. had pushed an advance up the valley of the Lys from Diagram of Situation 1794.78 OPERATIONS AROUND TOURCOING in and Austrians were facing each other south of what is long lines just now the Belgian frontier. and that Souham. On April 3rd they took MeanLille. far. Thus he had driven a wedge into the Austrian line and made a deep inward bulge in it. it so good. It is clear that these French troops would be exposed to a converging attack . time. is some way from the rest of the French.

and to an in enveloping attack contact with them.^ His dangerous the position did not pass unnoticed. commanding Forces at British contingent the Allied Tournai. and thus.SOUHAM'S POSITION from three sides if they held their if 79 ground.000 men front of the French main line. on a May nth in Duke of York. * to try the Duke's plan.Tournai 11. 1794 inviting attack. Pichegru did not keep this contact close But Pichegru neglected. and. the Emperor approving.OTD York KInsky \. early in May.000 Otto io\2po lO.4.000 Situation in capital letters] BusscheU. Souham's lay dangerously isolated in 40. now. suggested an attempt to cut him off from Lille by a concerted enveloping attack. it was decided See. May nth. the circumstances as they appeared to each it Mr. . Belloc compares to the part of a football team that is " oft-side ". force of Clerfayt TOURCOING Diagram of [The French 20.000^ The Situation of the Allied Forces and of the French in the Neighbourhood ot Tournai.

from the north by 1 p. for detachments. but he was within easy reach of French support: less than 15 miles off. joining the rest. Otto. throw back Bonnaud and the Lille troops. (d) 11.000 French under Osten came up. armies had. So.000 men.000 to the north. the boot on the other leg. there lay If these in the south. OPERATIONS AROUND TOURCOING and look left at the diagram. 79- . and 20. a big column under the Archduke Charles.^ north of the Lys nearly The Austrlans had to the 20.000 Austrians under another 10. instead of the Allies cutting off Souham they would be outnumbered and nipped between Souham and the Lille force. under York. say 50. This.000. (c) (Z*) 10. Otto.000. and then. were three movements to take place: a short march from the south-east by Bussche. It might dispose of Souham's 40. was to come up from Landrecies march away.000 Austrians under Kinsky: in south. to make sure.000 strong. immediately to the south. round Tournai. 18. as the Austrians knew. a disquietingly prompt habit of marching to the sound of the firing. York. and a force that is cut off by superior numbers Briefly. iV9o marches^ neither long. and Kinsky. this force would now be about 65.000 men under Clerfayt on — Souham's and north-eastern front . around Lille. however. the balance would be upset.000 to Souham's 40. interpose in overmastering Even allowing force between Souham and his supports. chiefly British.000.000 to the whole force would all not get there. and Revolutionary and Bonnaud. The 35. there commonly loses heart. they could gather (a) 4000 Hanoverians under Bussche.8o side. was hardly enough. not a day's 20.

he would be much singly. that he was in front of But the French force at Further. if the French got wind of it. If all went well Souham's force would be destroyed and the French centre broken. or (2) the danger became obviously acute. Orders were accordingly issued 1 For these and the movements which follow see the map. Clerfayt was isolated from the rest. : been pressed from the south-east. and to draw back without orders might ruin some design of his commanders. Souham had only a march to be in safety. on the timing of the Allied attack being accurate.DIFFICULTIES Clerfayt all 8i alone. round Lan- 60 miles away. He knew main line and exposed. if He knew also that the bulk of the Austrians lay far to the south. The Republic was in the habit of guillotining unsuccessful or timid leaders. He expected to hear of it . he was not in supreme command. three long marches by the Archduke but the Charles. his Sainghin was only a day's march away.^ Souham then would not move unless (i) he was so ordered. he had not for his Now Souham. if they came up Finally.-^ all For day's this to succeed punctual secrecy were required. they might turn the tables. possibly cost p. 835 also the map at the end of the chapter. further. C 754 ) 6 . then. All depended. drecies. too big for the Allied columns. in time any concentration was attempted against him finally. second was also uncertain. he had eyes were chiefly fixed northward on Clerfayt just sharply repulsed an attack from him. and on Souham's remaining inert. and. and no orders could reach him without the waste co-operation and to retire of half a day. The third was the most difficult exploit. -And ( him his life.

As we see. He had to move to — Werwicq on a day's the Lys.82 to OPERATIONS AROUND TOURCOING bring the net round Souham. was faced with something much more serious. Otto. But a column is long. as will come out from the map. he too could be on the spot by mid-day: the "if" is rather a large one. do was to move out about two or three so as to be ready to start at dawn. The bulk of his forces were just to the north of Landrecies. astride the Souham's shall else. then 16 miles on the next to Pont a Marcq. if his march was not checked. however. lying to the south of York's column. vous with the In order to mislead the French. York were all close to Tournai. had rather farther to go. Bussche. and force a passage across the starting work. . serious task. But. he would have about seven miles to go. then from there 14 more miles to the be covered between dawn and noon. however. Let us see how far each had to move. Bussche was intended for something Kinsky. however. road between him and Lille. Clerfayt had a more Then. Then would bring them into a march of 8 miles or less rear. and All they had to miles overnight. This meant two days hard marching before he got within possible striking distance: one full day to St. It was arranged. The Archduke Charles. to gather the Allied columns. some of them were already well on the way before the actual march began. Amand (about half-way). including a fight on way. east Bussche was to make an attack on them on the ^ of The distance was 60 miles. with from 50 to 60 miles ^ to cover. Bussche was not to rendezrest. some 1 1 miles. from Werwicq at Lys dawn (like the rest).

be beaten 4000 men could do nothing against 40. besides.aiIleul ^^ ^-oTempleuve 4\ Sainghin^J bjournai Pont a Marcq **"*•»-. Obviously it was no use to send a big force. 2 4^ {. St.. but if they beat it they would be encouraged to hold their ground. it would be wasted. 2. it might frighten the French... . Otto 3.. York 4.Ezm French.Warcoing N^N"3N>E. if it were too successful. 83 off — This attack would. Thus we map. and they would stay to meet it. With this object Bussche was to demonstrate against Souham's flank at Mouscron.Amand^ Bussche T.^ set down ' the time-table and follow at the it on the See map end of the chapter.000 but it — would make them think it was the beginning of an attack in force. Landrecies This diagram indicates the movements contemplated without taking into account the natural obstacles and other strategic matters: these are omitted from the diagram intentionally.THE FLANK ATTACK their position. TOURCOING of intended opecations of the Allies Diagram Werwicq pTourcoingo k^. . Kinhstf English Miles Allies^. of course.

Concentrate at by Start before attack flank. York . neighbourhood. i6th May. 17th May. Still. on the Lys cross that river. Bussche .: 84 OPERATIONS AROUND TOURCOING Thursday. Concentrate at Start before Froidmont nightfall. Now ^ for more detail about the country over which the advance was to take place. dawn and Souham's Start Otto Concentrate fall. from Landrecies Amand. directly in All this looks simple enough on the diagram. miles. at before Bailleul^ by night- dawn. Friday. to Pont a Marcq. by dawn. March all day from St. will not like starting before dawn on Saturday. and imagination punctually. Kinsky .. Amand. This one shown on the map 83): the other is west of . 20-30 and meet about noon at Tourcoing. March from Start before Thielt to Werwicq. Saturday.. Archduke to March near St. Concentrate at Start before Templeuve nightfall. Start before dawn. by dawn. dawn. who have marched all Thursday and all Friday... 15th May. it is not impossible. 16 miles. is from a general is Oddly enough there are two Baillculs (p. where we can draw straight lines for each column's advance. Warcoing nightfall. start them in Certainly the Archduke Charles's men. Souham's rear. Clerfayt . The country in the Lille.

why cross it. room even Kinsky between York and the Archduke. South of the though parts were cut up with hedges. road. there are really consists no conspicuous valleys feet or valleys. How much road is he stretch over. a bridge real fords. and after all the Lys Clerfayt alone had to cross it. but it might be destroyed before Clerfayt got there. with few bridges. it will be said. there was one at Werwicq. however. He had pontoons.'' there him between Kinsky and the are often marshy. Amand to to Froidmont and follow Kinsky. The Marcq. was mostly open. 86 will suggest some reasons. however. but of a number of very broad and.NATURAL OBSTACLES point of view hills flat. But. did not aff'ect the rest. The rivers. and has no To cross it.real difficulty in moving troops. deep.000 men. though much smaller than the Lys (it is not big enough to carry a barge to the south of Lille). for Fields close to is a river Plainly there doubtfully river.? Even supposing that he neglects the fields. Lys the soil was firm. usually not It more than 30 troughs. The Archduke get there in time} will can get from St. The Lys is a fairly big stream. with is muddy banks and a soft bottom. there wasno. and for moves over the how much room river.0} He was to . certainly not for the Again. But if he has follow him^ will he He has 18. If the was required. the weather was good. gradual severed by gentle higher than the rolls of land —wide open fairly rises. what was the Archduke to 6. 85 that is it to say. with guns at any rate. were more serious.'' Archduke crosses it once he will have to cross it again. A study of the map on p.

. But this involves Kinsky in the task of crossing the English Miles 3 4 Court rai o\ -I u Menin Werwicq ei.^-/ r Tourcoing' ^sj \ Mouveaux ^^ bussche. throw back the French under Bonnaud prevent him coming to Souham's help. beaten he cannot get on to the rendezvous. caused by the lie of the country and the position of the French Marcq also. having thrown back Bonnaud.000 will happen if he does not.Roubaix \- Lille o • 'i i YORK Pont a Marcq TOURCOING The marches required of the Allies This map shows the divergence from the direct lines of the map on p. was difficult to find room if for both it columns on the right bank of the Marcq. and for them to hold the crossings of the was not enough and so prevent river .86 OPERATIONS AROUND TOURCOING at Sainghin. Marcq. cross it again. Thus. Think what The Archduke with 18. cross to join Kinsky must him and give him if it the needed superiority in force. unless he crosses the and He cannot do that He must cross the Marcq. and then. will come up against Bonnaud If he is with 20. 83.. -«. and very likely will be beaten..000.

(3) the result on Sunday.m. York. with the troops two great columns wearily plodding along sandy lanes. and the Austrians made slow progress. If the Archduke is late. business on the Friday was to march from Thielt his orders to Werwicq and He till received i by 10 a. but did not start between and 2. and observe that each depends on the other. and this means that both must cross twice. A heavy morning's work. cross the Lys. evening came. 2. then both must cross in order to beat Bonnaud. dark while the heads of Clerfayt's columns were miles from the Lys. The rear of Clerfayt's force would be two or three miles . Friday. let us see what did happen: it is convenient to divide it under three heads. (2) the operations of Saturday. Otto. The country north of the Lys is sandy and bad going. and this river may play an important part in things. and will beat off will cross. but it is an hour's march even over good roads. and The Archduke has to cross at Pont a Marcq move up till he gets level with Kinsky. I. Clerfayt's The enemy had made no move. Archduke will be stopped by Bonnaud. drive off the Kinsky combined.CLERFAYT 87 Bonnaud joining Souham. This will enemy from the bridge at Bouvines. and Kinsky reached their respective jumping-off places in good time on Friday evening. grew three Three miles does not sound much. they Bonnaud and march on to the meeting-place about Tourcoing to be there by noon. namely. (i) preliminary the operations up to \ midnight.. Having learned what was intended to happen. — Bussche. Preliminary. in The It still after- noon passed. If Kinsky does not cross. the Kinsky cannot cross.

to be late at Pont a Marcq. for weary men and then at the end there was the river to cross. however. The Archduke's business for the Friday was to march from St. see- still be at the rendezshall in time to be useful. and instead of leaving march to Pont a Marcq in was after the morning lo p. were broken. crossed the Lys by his pontoons. further back. it had only endangered If he set to work early in the morning. by nightfall Amand for his sixteen-mile it on the Thursday. It is The Republic would have is off his head. Amand to Pont a Marcq. scheme. But he was already late in reaching St. hours. We what he did do. and he let Kinsky know this. or. Clerfayt's tardiness. had not wrecked the it. a pontoon bridge to make. the if it bridge to force. . Belloc cut sums up the " So situation in words which must be quoted: much for Clerfayt. weary column started. not all his men were in St. Looked this way.m. at the dark.88 OPERATIONS AROUND TOURCOING Two hours marching." probable enough. Amand. and there so one he reason why the Austrians often failed where the if French succeeded: every French general knew that failed he risked his life. three miles short of the Lys at nightfall was a most serious shortcoming. or perhaps three in the dark. in fact. on the Friday night before this His orders were to be at Pont a Marcq in time to start before dawn. That was now clearly impossible. Mr. and pushed resolutely on he might vous by the afternoon. but bivouacked where he was. It did not seem so to He made no attempt to push on in Clerfayt however. The short night of May is not enough He was bound for tired men to march sixteen miles in.

what was worse. with . moving just to the south with Otto. and was now exactly between Souham where he should be on the and Lille. were neither of them up to time and. The advance {S. Otto. to cause Souham his was coming on him where he was. AND YORK late 89 to he was likely be — Here. York. Bussche's object. the Archduke would delay Kinsky too. drove the French out of Lannoy by fiercer a bayonet at resistance from the Guard. and Bussche accordingly his rear.BUSSCHE. He still had made Souham stand and fight. Bussche. OTTO. and by noon had seized Tour- coing. Otto's 10.000. divided 4000 Hanoverians. 2. to the south. and sent 1500 more round further to the north.^ the plan. Unluckily he did not say how perhaps he did not like to say. it will be remembered. was the plan beginning to crumble on the other wing.000. also with almost parallel direct road 10. all in But that was . Clerfayt.aturday'). Of course Souham beat him off. where the charge . was to to think the attack not to make a diversion. driving in the French outposts. In ignorance of the breakdown taking place to the north and south. with nearly 20. 8. could the rest net the beast Otto and York were both punctual and successful.000 marched by Leers and Wattrelos. two miles on. and drove him out of Mouscron almost back to where he started from. to the north. then. That commander could not cross the Marcg till the Archduke' s column came up. The prey was there. and York moved out punctually before dawn on the Satur- — day. marched up to Mouscron on Souham's flank with 2500. He had done his eight miles. 1 the Archduke. met a Roubaix.000.

— 90 OPERATIONS AROUND TOURCOING French were entrenched. nor Clerfayt and more disquieting thought what was likely — — to happen on the Sunday Kinsky. But five miles away across the Marcq was the French camp at Sainghin with 20. but again carried the position and rather reluctantly went on farther to Mouveaux. if they did not come ? work with the Archduke. Kinsky could not force a crossing the Archduke. but set off. What he expected to see was that valley filled by Kinsley and the Archduke's men. wished to retire. Why he was reluctant is plain enough. and to very sharp fight occupied a line with it late in the afternoon. and they had guns he set off over the Marcq commanding till the stream.'* were neither Kinsky. but he was overruled. There was no Clerfayt in the True. The French held the Kinsky drove them out of that. there were sounds of heavy fighting both by the Lys northwards and it was a long way and York at the Marcq valley westwards. Here he was on Otto and able equally look towards the Lys: the prospect was either. So the sun leaving Otto rendezvous. two miles further. had to from Froidmont and marched to the bridge at Bouvines. Taking a hopeful view. York in it. took the French . we know. farther side lay the main French force. discouraging. the Archduke. coming upon the left. and he was aware that the Archduke was behind time how much he could only guess.000 men A further advance would imperil his flank. and they eastern bank. Why there. But on the retreated across the bridge and broke it. What he did see was a valley empty of Austrian troops. but uncomfortably isolated. From Roubaix he could look into the valley of the Marcq. so he too pushed after a on to Mouveaux.

bivouacked too. They ought to have been by Mouveaux at noon. that he was suffering from an attack of cramp. and slowly began to cross. in truth or before. . among other things. They could go no farther. making the best of a bad job. By fourteen miles to cover to get to the rendezvous at Tourcoing. and fighting at the end of it. The mass of him still did not reach Pont a two o'clock he was over. but not even his advanced cavalry was there eight in the morning. close to Sainghin. marching for seventeen. they were nine miles away. messages were sent to enquire the reason and Kinsky reto urge them forward. When he sought one with that fatigued royalty he received from a servant the reply " that His Imperial Highness must not be disturbed as he was occupied in having a fit". flank. When it was known at head-quarters that they had stopped. turned the reply that he was no longer in command (the Archduke being his superior) and that he was ill. His weary. and Kinsky.FAILURE OF THE ARCHDUKE on the waited. with Kinsky late in the afternoon. should have started from Pont a Marcq at daybreak. but with no result. 91 So he did what he could: he waited the —and For He till Archduke was deplorably behind. the Archduke alleged. Even Kinsky could not get an interview with him. and exhausted miles. they drove back men did push on for five Bonnaud. at nightfall. sleepy. instead. They had been on foot for twentyfour hours. they made their junction But nine miles more was beyond them. but had till Marcq noon. and betore that he had to join Kinsky in driving ofF Bonnaud. they bivouacked. and they meant to stay the night there.

of the sort a man that Stonewall Jackson valued so highly in war who was always up at dawn. as was originally intended. as were near not ready. and they did not come up nightfall. failed. 20. The biter was going to be bit.92 OPERATIONS AROUND TOURCOING Now for Clerfayt. as we have seen. Even next morning was not. stead of 65. too. apparently.000 only were there. missing columns had even been in their places by Satur- day night instead of Saturday midday. He — he reckoned the bridge was stoutly held. but Clerfayt. He. they were in the rear somewhere.000 men interposing in Souham's rear. inlong enough for the other to join in. nor did he slip off If the through the gap between them and Clerfayt. — Moreau was there some — But — amazing mismanagement — they in force so. he bethought him of his pontoons. and failed worse The Archduke did push on all that at Friday night. than the Archduke. and they were now pushed forward between 60. fallen be- hind on the way. stopped nightfall three miles from the Lys. till So Saturday night came with the bulk of on the wrong side ot the Lys. Clerfayt's still men Both to the north — Souham made no serious attack on the exposed York and Otto on the Saturday afternoon. their plan would still have been successful. as it was. . and south the surprise had failed hopelessly in spite of the fact that the French had stayed asleep for longer than the Allies had any right to expect. Had either the southern wing or the northern wing come up they probably would have been able to hold Souham But.000 French. This was a tougher job than he made no haste. It was past midday on the Saturday before his men began the task of driving the French out of Werwicq.

TOURCOING What did happen .

.

The inferences are plain to see. and Souham. There the staff went ^ A rare example of a council of war deciding to fight.THE FRENCH COUNTER-STROKE For. To follow two long marches with a night march running on all over the third day. both columns were utterly shattered. and the certainty of a fight on the way. the rest were swiftly gathered round York and Lille Otto. But between these distinctions should be drawn. book. called a and resolved to attack the hapless at once. one "who would squash Mr. was asking too much. As it was. but now it was revealed. The Arch- duke was set to do more than was in his power. 93 woke to their The a very failure of the Austrians had made their plans obscure.^ One division was left to oppose Clerfayt.. The may be it read in Mr. The plan wrecked on two things: (i) the lateness of the Archduke's and Kinsky's columns. meeting of his generals who was man of energy.m. Pitt . and with retreat threatened by forces numbering three to one. losing heavily. Belloc's be. to march from last and on All set at off at 3 a. York it lost nineteen out of his twenty-eight guns. on the Saturday night. they were the French. and had not been Dragoons under Abercrombie and the Brigade of Guards the whole force would have been taken. the French danger. as Souham was a big man who had been recommended to the French Government like an over-ripe pear". but obvious what must Attacked front on both flanks. (2) the dilatoriness of Clerfayt. fall Bonnaud was ordered their other flank. Both made disastrous for the retreats. Otto and York had no chance. and when the sun rose York and Otto north and west saw men coming up from story of the rest of it is it —but they in were not their friends.

it is true. Clerfayt dawdled the French success became marked. know how behind his time- Had they known. a little later in the same year. and he stopped too. Otto. his superior's fault that and muddled. away from the rest. Souham might fail have escaped. The whole operation is. wrong far in not letting Kinsley and head-quarters table he was. to let his He achieved that. that possible for . York. as Kinsky ought have presumed he would superior stop. then. he might have saved any disaster be. was him. . and.— 94 OPERATIONS AROUND TOURCOING But the Archduke was also wrong. and. and Bussche Certainly. and fails. temptation to him not to be too punctual. Kinsky is not so easily excused as the Archduke: he could have pressed on on the Saturday afternoon. it if it opens the way to a ruinous counter- stroke. but unless the Archduke was up to time. had he done to so. would not have moved. Little excuse is But one must recognize the moral difficulties in his way. supposing that Clerfayt was punctual. the attempt to trap the French was certain to to react disastrously —and on the trappers. fail through lack of resolution and punctuality. asked to poke his nose into Doubtless there was a strong a French hornet's nest. He was isolated. friends from the south get there first. on a minor scale. for all he could see. nor did anything decisive spring from it it was not till the battle of Fleurus. instructive in Yet it is extremely showing how easily an enveloping move- ment which promises well and prospers up to a point may how. feeling that it But Kinsky saw his under the comfortable he was late.

.

S r"*% ' >' ^_Mouscron Tourcoing / Mouveaux "O 0Roubaijev r Lille ^/Lannoy^o. Bailleul° Q..Courtrai Menin. Templeuve •« Bouvines TOURCOING and its Environs 012-54 English Miles Chief roads shown thus:- . Werwicq/-.

ultimatum saw the Prussian army dispersed flight. Napoleon remarked The to his Chief of Staff. was due to expire.] The campaign of Jena that the is the swiftest of all Napoleon's lightning strokes. instead of being in French territory. and eight days later both of these had surrendered. Veni^ Vidi^ Vici\ Napoleon repeated Caesar Moreover. 1806 Europe will be found at the end of Chapter VII. and every shred of an army Exactly a week from the date fixed in the in except Blacher's. Vidi. on the 8th. fortress except So was the pursuit that by the end of October Prussia had lost every Magdeburg. headlong 8th) exactly a month (October 8th -November heel. Fifty years before it had . nor petty State: it was the great military nation of Europe. Berthier: "Prince. found the whole country under Napoleon's wrote." Six days later the French met and fierce shattered the Prussian armies in the double battles of Jena and Auerstadt (October 14th). it. beginning that retreat on October 8th. day before it we'll be in Saxony. Vici [A map of Central VI "—Jena.CHAPTER '^Veni. Prussia sent him an ultimatum de- manding to French troops should retire forthwith the Rhine. we will be punctual. this Prussia which crumbled under his hand was no weakling.

Prussia. this downfall that excelis lence in training. For it is necessary in advance to guard against inferring from drill.96 «VENI.000. efficiency.^ Russia.000. their against desperate odds. the events of that year ran thus. their efficiency were the model that all Europe had copied. discipline. Prussia. and. discipline. the old Prussian tradition of quality quantity afterwards. which Europe in a in arms for seven long years.000. VICI"— JENA. and the conclusions to be drawn from the Jena campaign. tumbled into ruin month. something of the Prussian and the French armies. VIDI. was the vacillating policy of Russia. it would be a most dispiriting conclusion for us in England. a year after Ulm. besides her What chiefly contributed to save own efforts. reputation vanished like a puff half a century of cannon-smoke. After destroying Mack's army. This not true.500. driving Kutusoff and the Russians before ^ Their population was about 90. had the alliance of England and Hanover. of course. In reputation there was none to match them. which was more valuable in distracting France than in actual support on the Continent. before had defied The monarchy. bigger than Prussia it. Austria. and that Prussia lost because to deal with if it men were stiffly is trained Napoleon's new methods. in one week. Prussia's about 4. Jena was fought on October 14th. 1806. because we have always followed first. Yet against Napoleon. were. manoeuvring its of no too avail. a 1806 come triumphant out of monarch) war in which France. Briefly. to learn The first thing will be to follow the story of this amazing downfall. later. and Saxony-Poland (then united under the same — had —each of the four allies far tried for seven years to crush battle Its soldiers had won almost every Their courage. . their organization and methods of fighting. Napoleon had marched down the Danube.

Napoleon had had sent violated he Bernadotte's corps through the Prussian town of Ansbach. 1805). — but Prussia had had done nothing. pushing northAusterHtz (December 2nd). was not forgotten by either So when Prussia . and agreeing to recognize the new kingdoms of Bavaria and Wttrtemberg. the why not fight in 1805. forming the Napoleon followed up this blow by- Confederation of the Rhine. when she could have had ? alliance of Austria and Russia She had good enough 1805. 7 have got back. giving up Venetia.THE LOST OPPORTUNITY him. a league of sixteen princes of southern and western states nounced is their place in the who reHoly Roman Empire that to say. as she could have done at — on Napoleon's at least. 806). and Austria soon afterwards made peace with the French at Presburg (December 26th. if aims came She waited to see acting. and then. troops were marching on Prussia's neutrality. 97 He had occupied Vienna. wards into Moravia. she could extract anything by her threat of and Napoleon Yet. had routed the combined Russians and Austrians at Russia thereon agreed to a truce. and Dalmatia. flank. the display side. Istria. (c7:4) This lost chance. men it — of Hanover. a conflict was going Napoleon. In October. was this interference in Germany If Prussia that provoked Prussia. he could never have struck is Vienna. grounds to go to war. remonstrated Political and mobilized in. between military and to fight Once more we remark political aims. had she bought her put 1 off with the gift 80.000 so. their allegiance to Austria —and 1 — bound themIt selves in alliance with France (July. when his Ulm. had he done difficult to imagine that he could ever of feebleness.

VIDI. Via "—JENA. the southern southern. He took no obvious step. so to speak . but Napoleon had it seen the card played the year before. to east these are the Rhine. the northern was over ^ flat loo. So through August and early September officers ticians talked. for those days. though his army corps poli- were all within reach. soldiers gathered. See map. Prussia mobilized. Napoleon watched. p. was Prussia's strong card in politics. There was no march from Boulogne and in this time. and had found a bluff. the lurch the year before. Prussia the war-fever spread : young Prussian sharpened their swords on the French Ambassador's doorstep. Prussia's accepting would be too set of the bribe of Hanover had if her at war with England.-^ Between Berlin and Paris lie three great rivers crossing the routes practically at right angles. but late. If Prussia fought she would and Prussia knew it. From west Elbe. The simplest elements of the geography concerned are these. Prussia has learned the lesson of Jena now. the 1806 paid protested in summer of felt left in 1806. Napoleon no heed to what she or threatened. a model of speed. Treitschke calls such feebleness "the political sin against the Holy Ghost 8 th —the one sin that cannot be forgiven". On August knew that this but Napoleon was only a threat. politicians. England did not count on Continent. She knew that the chance had been let slip owing to the feebleness of her because she fight alone. the Substantially there a northern route and a country.98 "VENI. had no army. . Prussian mobilization It was. and even England did patch the up the quarrel. the is Weser. it the Russians might promise to help. She would get no help from Austria.

for at Mainz it is already a big river with a strong current. Napoleon's point of view he would have to force the Weser and the Elbe where they were difficult obstacles. easier to concentrate it was also where the two States met. and it is not much harder to cross it lower down than at Mainz. On the other hand. Prussia hoped to secure help from Hesse. but there were other things to think of. This Prussia had as her (rather unwilling) ally Saxony. could strike first^ He and he could reach Saxony sooner than the If the Prussians Prussians could get as far as the Rhine. though farther west. Thus is the northern the easier. in Bavaria and Wilrtemberg. . and. on the Main. they would have to cross the Rhine. The Prussians would not be troubled by these rivers. Napoleon's army was considerably nearer to Prussia than the Prussians were to French territory.THE SOUTHERN LINE has to pass 99 is by a good many hills. there this disadvan- From it meets all the rivers where they are big. the in the same direction. bulk of Napoleon's army was to the south. tage. if they made the forward move. State lies to the south of Prussia. Hostile armies always tend to draw towards each other. and strike for France. but even supposing the Prussians decided to avoid the French army. used the northern route they would lay Saxony and even Prussia open to a counter-stroke before they could retaliate. Prussia had mobilized first. This appears to point to a Prussian northern advance. Thus to the main route was likely to be the southern one. and that also lay Finally. neither Napoleon nor the Prussians were inclined choose the northern. To begin with. therefore. which were in their own territory. In any case.

5th „ (Ney) on the Iller. 6th „ (Augereau) at Frankfurt. at Head-quarters (Berthier) Munich. . (Davout) at Nordlingen. Via "--JENA. 3rd „ 4th (Soult) on the Inn.— loo "VENI. Corps (Bernadotte) at Nuremberg. p. 8th „ ^ See map. „ (Lannes) on the Lower Main. the French troops were disposed as follows:^ Guard 1st at Paris. 7th „ (Mortier) at Mainz. When Prussia mobilized. VIDI. 109. 1806 PRUSSIA Sketch Map of the Main Routes from Paris to Berlin and her men were gathered where Prussia and Saxony met Saale in the that neighbourhood of is — about where the and the Elbe join.

and scantily furnished with was a serious military save with obstacle. the Fichtel On the other side of Gebirge and the Erz Gebirge.Hanau -Wurzburg. It of course. going on to another set of mountains. p. but they present. Elbe could make for either Dresden or the more direct ways of Torgau and that the Remark — Wittenberg. gian Forest. was easy to round it at its western end. these lay Bohemia Austrian and therefore neutral territory.Erfurt.Hanau. or to penetrate at its eastern end. 102. then. Notice. but with considerable No one would work through But at it it some it distinct military aim. Note. loi Corps. was far away in but the rest could concentrate fairly quickly for route has several variations which will briefly. The roads. lastly. also.Magdeburg Elbe) (cross (cross the or Mainz. under Marmont. is this. . The Thurinwas passable.Bamberg -Dresden Elbe). be seen on the map. that a band of mountainous and woodland country (the Thuringian Forest) stretches from near Eisenach across towards the head of the Saale. the There are other divergencies and left for branches between the two. gist of the matter. The western way ^ Magdeburg. may be the Hanau-Erfurt-Magdeburg road goes on the left of the Saale: the Hanau-Wurzburg-Dresden road to the right of it. See map. hilly. wooded. that from the neighbourhood of Jena an army attacking the line of the. The southern The choice. for there were good roads leads to either end.THE THURINGIAN FOREST The Second Illyria. difficulty. is an attack by the southern route. however.^ between Mainz.

VIDI.. VICI"—JENA.-'\ Nuremberg %^'%^^''i Variations of the Southern Route from Paris to Berlin either end of the first. forest. 1806 all the eastern to Dresden. the the Prussians could advance to English Miles Hanau and Rhine by . so to speak. if they chose take it. that he felt no need for haste. if they delayed^ 'Napoleon might seize the initiative^ and then their movements It illustrates would be dictated by his.l SS^^y-s y * -f' ^^/'\<^' ^ Bamberg >. the Prussians. Napoleon's skill in forecasting what his enemy was likely to do. { !.. ^J^-JZie ^Wittenber'g: KTorgau Leipzig EisenachP' ' '' . .I02 "VENI. but once arrived near Jena routes to the Elbe are again open.-ff Q'j'b ] Dresden'\__^^ . having first mobilized to had.„„.' . Conversely.-0 Berlin o 10 20 30 40 50 100 ^ Magdebur . BOHEMIA . move. Further.<'' Erfurt / % Fuldap<.

000 men. This pointed to a retirement and a defensive campaign. They far thought that the French successes had been won so against second-rate troops. it would seem (i) that the chances of Prussia's taking the offensive successfully were very small. therefore. the Prussians believed In themselves. besides.PRUSSIAN PROSPECTS He he 103 drew left his troops towards the Main in Septemoer.000 in the spot ready to take their part in fighting — Prussia and reserve: Saxony mustered about 1 10. further. the following must be borne in mind: (i) Prussia could count 250. with in reserve. because Napoleon would have to leave troops on his lines.000 more Rhenish and Dutch allies. was heavily to say troops against Prussia. (2) In field armies — that is who were on 14.00a. and the Saxons 50. The weight of numbers.000 (3) again the balance was against Prussia.000 men. with 80. Reckoning up chances and intentions.000. was coming from the Bearing these things in mind. Napoleon had 200. and. feeling they would not take it. On leave the other hand. they did not then think that a .000 withfairly confident that out counting nearly 100. but the enemy the opportunity to move first. and (2) that a retreat to the line of the Elbe would bring them nearer the something to redress the difference Russians and do In numbers. if Saxony were exposed he would attack that and compel it to grant him a passage over the Elbe at Dresden. this east. The Prussians had been promised help from Russia. relying on Frederick the little Great's tradition. the Prussians were unwilling to so much territory open — if they once lost it. Napoleon had 560. and. It would be hard to win it back from Napoleon.

Any of these things they could do. and he would be forced to attack them far. to in endeavour to guard attempt at the making a half-hearted same time push through the middle of the forest against the French lines of communication. worse ends. therefore.I04 "VENI. since that would lead to a wide severance of their the wings. they could hold the line the. VIDI. so were sound enough. had turned back . therefore. their plans. They could bar Napoleon by the Magdeburg road. there. still On the October 5th their plans were unsettled. but there were other dangerous and disastrous plans. ous) by either end of the forest. Via "—JENA. so because no one had taken vigorous offensive against him. and a council of war met will to consider. Or again. far. They might try an offensive movement by both (which with their inferiority of number would be dangerstill. to concentrate somewhere Here they would have the Thuringian Forest covering them to the south. — the The Commander-in-Chief was the Duke of Brunswick man who. up of a position on his flank. It was not likely that the French would attack through it. necessarily a contemptible one. did not suit their ideas. fourteen years before. Saale. 1806 army was that a They believed Napoleon had won. or. if he came by Bamberg they could attack him or they could take upper Saale. and expose either of them to be destroyed separately. A brief glance at men present help to reveal some of their troubles. A defensive campaign. They about the decided. they all might break up their forces the roads. Any of these might be fatal.

downright. Von Rilchel was energetic.did was wrong. confident that everything Prussian was perfect. He distrusted I his subordinates and had said: "The greatest service — in can render the King will be to preserve peace for him if I can. was staff. vulgar phrase. a Prussian nobleman never goes on foot!" . * Known later as the "evil genius of Prussia". in the Moreover. he asked Miiffling relates that. too high to be passed adapt himself to what was new. he. Next importance came Prince Hohenlohe. the Prussian army". their ideas I. be added. would talk the hind leg off a donkey. the Silesian army and the Saxons (five Hohenlohe had fought with some distinction really studied 1792-3 and had French methods. Briefly. were: best thing is Brunswick's: "The not to be at war at all". general with The third an independent command was Von Rachel. ^ The same at age as Melas at Marengo and Schwerin at Prague. 'Clausewitz's phrase." He commanded in the principal army of six divisions. and received the crushing rejoinder: "Sir. Lord Roberts was sixty-eight in South Africa. " the concentrated essence of it also a Frederickian veteran. at a year younger than Bliicher Wiirmser at Castiglione. horrified at the impedimenta of the Von Riichel if they could not be reduced. in of man who. that had been in bottle for fifty years. Radetsky was eighty-two when he won the battle of Novara. over. Prussian army. and two or three older than SuwarofF Zurich. his heart was not work. but living completely in the past haze of the Seven Years' War. was seventy-three Ligny. and who was firmly convinced that everything the old school .— PRUSSIAN GENERALS from Valmy. but too 105 He old was seventy to - two ^ : he was nephew and pupil of Frederick the Great. a much guided by Massenbach^.^ an essence. his chief however. who commanded divisions).

. The next day was entirely taken up with opposing plans. and five others. Von RUchel and Brunswick isn't are always 3. wrong". Field-Marshal staff. (another veteran of seventy). especially when it at also the King. but that whatever action was agreed upon should be carried out That was the one thing of value As that emerged from the council of war. Saale. 1806 Hohenlohe and NLassenbacK s\ "All Prussian methods therefore are old and bad.G. Massenbach was suggesting anything contrary to Brunswick. was the one to his man of clear military insight it moved famous aphorism: "In war was not so much what one did with unity and energy". chief of is unanimous. on the of the Hohenlohe. It will be seen that the council of war was not likely it to be met added that there von Mollendorf. ^ His rank was only that of major. officer.^ mainly defensive.M. however. what was finally accepted was a compromise had the merits of no one's plan and some of the fertile in 1 Various. "VENl. this would involve concentration eastwards on the right bank of the Saale. was for operations. for this purpose the army was left concentrate westwards at Erfurt. has become a proverb in the ' It German army. that that mattered. VIDI. at the eastern end of the forest. therefore.^ usual. General von Phull.io6 2. therefore Hohenlohe and Massenbach are never right". Brunswick's Q.^ then a junior present. he was. So wearisome was the dispute that Scharnhorst. VICr'—JENA. for an offensive Brunswick was to move through the forest towards the western end. October 4th saw a prolonged preliminary wrangle. Prussian is Von Ruchers: " Nothing that worth anything.

He was not likely to waste them.000. 26.000. 4th Corps (Souit). Wrede. Wiirzburg-Kronach. Napoleon's mind was made up.000. at Schweinfurt. at Mainz. While the Prussian council was talkino. up by converging roads. which would involve Hohenlohe's making a considerable march from the right bank of the Saale across the probable line of the French advance. 80. But the place for concentration was Meiningen. at Bamberg.000.000 Cavalry. 17. 7th Corps (Augereau). again closing up on the Hof and the rest closing eastern 1 See map. If towards MeinLannes and Bernadotte follow. 32. 21. the date fixed was October 12th. at Wurzburg. at Lichtenfels. 20.000. at Nuremberg. as a place of concentration. Murat would still lead and Bernadotte follow. whichever ingen. enemy. 8th Corps (Mortier). Murat. 109. 6th Corps (Ney). 5th Corps (Lannes). It will in Bavaria. which gave Napoleon four days. On October 4th the French were placed as follows: 1st — Corps (Bernadotte). and. . 20. p. and quarrelling over plans. 30. Guard.^ THE FRENCH POSITION defects of everybody's.000.000. Meiningen. was dangerously close to the finally. at Wiirzburg. 20. if towards the forest.000.000. Murat would end of the lead. to It 107 was to concentrate and prepare move through the forest on to the French flank. Further. at Amberg. way they went. 20.of concentrating. 3rd Corps (Davout). be remarked from the map that these were not yet concentrated. but that they could concentrate almost immediately.

through the eastern end of the {a) forest. lines (supposing the Prussians advanced through the forest). That put advancing by the western end of the Thuringian He would only drive them back. the French Whichever way the Prussians came could meet them with a concentrated force. If they retreated he could probably outmarch them. If they stood and fought he would beat them. if not he could force them to form front to a (J?) If they took flank. however. one that merely threw them back in retreat to the Elbe was not enough. He him wanted a for to make the Prussians stand battle which would wreck them so superior in before the Russians could come up.e. and threaten the Prussian communications by an advance on Berlin. Napoleon. 1806 Kronach roads. fight with their front parallel to their lines of communication to the Elbe. Forest out of court. VIDI. It must crush them. — up a flanking position on the Saale he could cut the Saxon communications to Dresden. It was essential and fight. VICI"—JENA. he had the Bohemian frontier dangerously . i. to if they then Wittenberg or Magdeburg he or anyhow might go faster by striking at Saxony force a passage of the Elbe at Dresden. retreated . were so slow to in making. Therefore the advance was go by Bamberg.— io8 "VENI. had now decided what to do. and force them to make the concentration which they numbers he could safely reckon to win. It is true that he would by such an advance expose his own burg. but he had another line by Nuremberg and StrassAgain. being But it must be a decisive victory.

But with his numbers he would this strateall difficulties. not be beaten. Grafenthal.THE ROADS close if he 109 were beaten. gical risk. Bamberg. s Position of the French Forces at the end of August and beginning of October. i8o6 Finally. for He was justified in running victory would straighten out Emery 'Tillccr Ltd. Coburg. Lichtenfels. From upper Bamberg Saale: three routes lead from the left Main to the (the hand) . Bamberg. the roads suited his purpose exactly. Saalfeld (the centre) . Lichtenfels.

en un hataillon carre de deux cent milk hommes} The key of the Napoleonic method. 'The famous strated phrase first occurs in a letter to Soult. Via "—JENA. the Prussians were irresolutely advancing to the western men ^ strung out over 85 miles. round the eastern end of the 200. by Ney. Rachel Gotha. So. Hohenlohe's main body approaching tachments under Tauenzien at Saalfeld. to use his each other. followed by Davout and he by the Guard. on October 8th. . end with 110. Brunswick's army at Hoch- dorf (just south of Weimar). most soldiers say. Baireuth.no "VENl. own phrase. only comparatively recently that strategists. while Napoleon was rushing forest. followed left . on the right. the Saale. (the right) Bamberg. the hills on parallel all. especially French strategists. followed by Augereau.000 Each was aiming at the dated October 5th.^ This was ideal. The advance is represented in the appen led diagram : Lannes. His big army would move through routes big enough to carrying them yet not so far apart that they could not at a pinch aid He was going to move forward. It is sometimes at called the Napoleonic lozenge. have demonthe value of this notion which Napoleon threw out so casually and never ace of troubled to explain. Saalburg . they started. and. averaging from 14 to 19 miles a day. Carre does not mean square: the shape is that of the diamonds. on the Soult. VIDI. It is See map. 1806 Kronach. with an advance column under the Duke of Weimar making at Schleiz for Meiningen. ill. Lobenstein. On this same day the Prussian positions were^: BlQcher at at Cassel. p.000 men on a front of 38 miles. in the centre. ^See map on folder end of chapter. with de- and Prince Louis with a force of In other words. Bernadotte. drove their way through from the head waters of the Main towards the Saale. 1806. Hof.

but dictated by Now.THE FIRST BLOW how differently ! III other's communications. so to speak. his movements for the future will be not of his his enemy. the Prussian crocodile lean is and plain that the animal gets first grip will compel his foe to turn round to defend himself. It stout. the own choice. was intent on attacking the it. while on the 9th Weimar was entering Murat and Bernadotte struck and broke . The French who crocodile was compact and terribly long. like a crocodile. forest. Map other's to Illustrate the French advance from the Main towards the Saale tail. and was. Each. stretching out a right hand to strike —but poleon with a clenched fist Naand the weight of the body behind Brunswick poking out a timid finger or two.

and. at and Saalfeld. then fugitives. For all these operations which follow. counter-order. Brunssequence of — wick had on the 9th given up the offensive. but no clear orders were given for the bivouac. Hohenlohe's men. VIDI. see at the folder end of chapter. fall the first of that crop of generals to in the brief cam- paign. 1806 Tauenzien's force and on the next day Lannes swept away Prince Louis at Saalfeld. . Prince Louis was killed also.affairs. at Jena. having described a remarkable triangle. first They also lost the feeling of confidence which the success gives. The campaign was but three days old and Napoleon was already on one of his enemy's In these lines of supply. and called the in Duke of Weimar from the forest and Blilcher from Cassel. first Hohenlohe bank. found themselves on the nth "as they were". lost about. though he did not know what the Prussians were intending * — a matter of map on little surprise. and were with turned out. settled and the Prussian cavalry difficulty down in the quarters reserved for Hohenlohe's head-quarters. of which each side must have seemed longer than the other two. decided to cross the Saale to the right the Saale to rally Tauenzien's moved men up then drew them back again the proverbial " order. iith. flung themselves down by the roadside and slept when and how they could. the Prussians prisoners. Meantime Napoleon. disorder ". 1300 and 20 guns. having been under arms for three days and two nights. at Schleiz. 700 killed and wounded. and the 'Staff began to lose their heads. VICI"— JENA.112 "VENI.-^ Over 500 Saxon wagons Schleiz were captured on the two . All this was ominous.

1 14. p. While on the 12th the French were wheeling round to a gathering-point at Jena the Prussians were doing nothing. (C754) 8 . Soult and Naumburg and act as a rightNey to wheel in from the right centre.THE FRENCH CONCENTRATION as they hardly 113 knew themselves — was himself energetically up to the spirit of Scharnhorst's aphorism " to do what was agreed upon with unity and energy ". * Incorrect. but he was left in peace. cross at Jena. shown on the map. who were most to the Napoleon's first had at Gera. and. but Davout and Bernadotte were furthest forward. No battle was to be Between i and 2 a. of course —he was nearer Weimar. Brunswick's army 10 miles away westwards at Kapellendorf. Briefly.' reveals some crossing. and it became clear that acting idea was wrong. regain touch with Au- gereau. It would take Soult too long to go to Naumburg.000 men 'y and Napoleon thereon issued the orders for the manoeuvre which would give him a battle.m. See map. it was this Bernadotte and Davout. near Gera. to become the Lannes (inside form the advance-guard. Hohenlohe lay just to the west of Jena. he pushed forward vigorously towards that place. and hold the enemy till the rest came up. No enemy was found. Thinking that Hohenlohe was still to the north of him. and time was essential. were to go on to wing left) stop. The movement. / : north. Rachel's westwards again beyond Weimar. on the night of the iith-i2th definite news came from a Prussian prisoner that " the King of Prussia was at Erfurt with 200. with the Guard. Augereau was isolated on the left bank of the Saale. however. and he had not much more than a quarter of this force - with him — but it told Napoleon what he needed.

1806 The figures indicate the successive stages in the movement to retreat in two bodies. . and either cover Brunswick's retreat or threaten the French in flank. a decision was at length taken. VlDl. fatal 1806 but a one: on the I2th. October 12-14. Brunswick was to to set off north- eastwards towards the Elbe. it was to retreat that was only foolish because so long postponed English Miles S — but — (here- was the mistake) Auerstadt Weimaj Map to illustrate the French concentration at Jena. at night. Naumburg and make for the line of Hohenlohe was to remain.114 Late "VENI. VICI"—JENA.

It was not. it was marching on Naumburg. But Napoleon's plan was just as sound as if it had been. events of the afternoon and night of the 13th and the day of the 14th must be briefly told. was recalled from the neighbourhood Thus during the afternoon and night the French were massing rapidly on Jena. On too the 1 3th Brunswick lumbered off through Apolda. Ney alone having orders to move. at the 115 very moment the French were concentrating. Lannes was crossing Jena and Augereau coming up from the south. of Zeitz. Jena. . for Davout and Bernadotte were it at Naumburg. Lannes. he thought the main Prussian force The reaching action. During the morning of the 13th Napoleon himself rode from Gera to Jena. who joined him and in the afternoon ^ climbed the Landgrafenberg. and when close to the latter town heard from Lannes that there was a large Prussian force close by. on a wisely did not bring on premature He sent back for Napoleon. He would certainly crush Hohenlohe. He at once set all his corps again in motion. Probably he was waiting information. the Prussians were dispersing more widely. and against Hohenlohe. Murat. the high Napoleon had meant at first to give his troops a rest for It would seem as if on the 13th. It will be seen that Napoleon was still wrong idea : in one was at Jena. in reality he was already late.BRUNSWICK'S RETREAT Thus. Brunswick got through would only be by at fighting. with the cavalry.-^ bringing up Ney by Roda and the Guard and Soult from Gera. but covered only some 12 miles. at and Davout had seized the crossing of the Saale If Kosen. and he had sent enough men to stop Brunswick till he could himself attack him in flank and rear.

to men to work make a road possible for guns up the lasting far into the night. of a commander-in-chief to meddle in the work of a gunner officer.: ii6 hill "VENI. He bank of the Saale. on the left 1806 noitred. But a fog in the chill hour before dawn covered them. over Jena. It was an arduous job.^ Hohenlohe made no the noise of the French was clearly heard. picturesque incidents pleased his imaginative mind and delighted the rank and file. the Prussians lay round their and no attempt to hinder the crossing. Napoleon himself. and it would be daring steep side of the Landgrafenberg. though That night gleaming bivouac . and now the blow was coming that Hohen^ He Massenbach had prepared to attack earlier in the day. while Lannes was unsupported. It is not the affair tainly he had no business to be there. massing on the Landgrafenberg and on the Jena road. VIDI. torch in Cerhand. — Hohenlohe's whole of the ground Instantly he set his — force. VICI"—JENA. and said it was against Brunwick's order to make any sort of attack. But it was Napoleon's way to win his men's love by dropping the dignity of an emperor at Such times and becoming once more an artilleryman. to say that Napoleon did not understand how to get the best out of French soldiers. fires not a light showed among the French but hour by hour men were coming silently up in support. but interfered again. because a ridge in front hides part where it But he saw enough. and reconas did not see from the " Napoleonstein " he is sometimes said to have done lay. stood by advising and encouraging the men. attack. Had the Prussian artillery found them out and opened on them while they were in close order they might have been thrown back. .

stood open in line. but a counter-attack made by the whole It Prussian infantry blundered. and exposed to a merciless return shot.m. in the No one ordered a charge. cavalry corps had that " the battle come up. Von Riichel got Hohenlohe's letter about 9 a. but no further advance was made. it perfectly correct line. Von he had called up to his help from But Napoleon was not going to wait. was ripe ". besides Lannes' corps already fully engaged. He had by this time 75. had marched with the halted in utmost steadiness upon the village of Vierzehnheiligen. fight At the Prussians room for made a of it. They crumpled up in a moment. and let his cavalry go at the Prussians drawn up in much shattered line. He saw. He did not arrive 2 p. he could not Good marching would have till him to the battle in less than two hours.JENA lohe 117 the earh'est could not parry. and for two hours. Von Rachel's command. securing supports to deploy. firing at an enemy under cover. others north-west. nor were supports it sent up. fire of musketry and casewaiting. was ridden down with the fleeing to the rest. with amazing courage. Meantime a similar Breaking camp on the ^ disaster had befallen Brunswick.-^ Away Murat streamed the broken men. at 200 yards.000 fresh men under his hand. and delivered volleys with the accuracy of the parade-ground. . this time for Once more Hohenlohe was Rachel. he had groped his way His command was scattered and got 14th. which the French had taken. with leading the pursuit contemptuously waving a riding-whip. and Murat's six miles whom away. start till 10. most of them making for Weimar. arriving at last.m. in his own phrase. With first streaks of the stiff daylight Lannes pushed forward.

to prevent the French crossing there or at Kosen. in flank. despairing 'of getting through. in rear. VIDI. who had seized it the night before. All the morning Davout's men fought most fiercely^: Brunswick was mortally wounded. so did fresh men for the French. October 12th. Davout's advance-guard covered 45 kilometres on His losses were 25 per cent of his force: Gudin's division lost 41 per cent. '^ had been told on the 13th that the French were at " But they believe they could be there so soon. Davout was probably was so shortsighted less affected by the fog than anyone else. coming as a crown to the victory at Jena. it Brunswick did not mean to cross the Saale at Naumburg. retreated. however. was now The two pressing on through the fog towards him. wanted. He Naumburg." was his observation. . At the best of times he as to be almost blind. but to leave on his right as he marched north-eastwards. nor As his columns could he see how few the French were. fleeing from Jena. VICI"—JENA. ^ enemy The whole He in front. unaware that Davout. 1806 the through fog towards Naumburg. and no one could or did take his that through the fog place. though he refused to cannot fly. But Auerstadt. Neither knew figures.^ armies struck each other on the march at Auerstadt. all they knew was came a storm of bullets from mistyAlthough outnumbering the French by nearly three to one.ii8 "VENl. Brunswick could not use his weight. came up. and came at right angles across the shattered wreck of Hohenlohe's army. Early in the afternoon the Prussians. With the Brunswick's army broke. how big the other was. force was in rout. would have been cheap at the loss of a whole army corps.

.

^^^ O'Schleiz/ BaireuthV^ "' y>^ \ 7 C '^^ ffil OS .^^^^-'^\ i.0 40 5° .Ja..'f^Neusfadt^s >[ Fulda' Meiningenp ^/^ '^ Saalfeld'^J/Ll^ '^ /^"."^^^ fGreiz Plauen % % .YNuremberg \Amberg.C^ ^' ' 'vHochflorfP '/ ^Roda A \\ . ^\' -^^ / .oOSVeS^ /^^O^^ tr. MAIN FROM THE TO THE ELBE English Miles 20 3.

CHAPTER
The Aftermath
[Two maps
will be found at the

VII

of Jena

end of this chapter, one of Saxony, Mecklenburg,

and Brandenburg, and the other of Central Europe.]

Pursuits
namely,

are,

from
and

a military point
strategical.

of view, of two kinds,
first is

tactical

The

what happens
the vic-

immediately on the enemy's defeat in battle:
torious force follows as speedily as
retreating or flying foe.
It
it

may, pressing the

gathers prisoners, wagons,

guns; every breakdown, every disabled
hands.

man

falls into its

Upon

the completeness of the defeat and the

vigour of the pursuit will depend the immediate fruitfulness of the victory.
gether,
it

But

if

the beaten force hangs toin

can,

by fighting rear-guard actions
back the
clear

strong
for the

places, often hold

enemy long enough

main body to get
positions

away.

To

force

these strong

the

enemy must deploy and unlimber guns,
rest

and meanwhile the
the

of the beaten force
to
retreat.

will

use

time

thus

gained

Examples of the

ejfficiencies of difl^erent tactical pursuits lie between Waterloo or Vitoria on the one hand and Dresden, Leipzig, and Bautzen on the other. After Waterloo the whole French army perished, practically nothing

hung together

at

all.

After Vitoria

the

French

lost

I20
almost

THE AFTERMATH OF JENA

every gun. At Bautzen, on the other hand, Napoleon got nothing very few prisoners and no guns; after Dresden the force which he sent to intercept the

and compelled to surrender; and though Napoleon was completely beaten at
Austrian retreat was
itself cut off,

Leipzig the pursuit was so feeble that he was able to

make
fight,

off with
as they

80,000 men,

still

in

good condition
off at

to

proved
cost

to the

Bavarian general, Wrede,

who adventurously
found to
his

tried to cut

them

Hanau, and
about

the truth of the old

saying

making

a bridge for a flying foe.

Tactical pursuit clearly then cannot be organized-^ the

opportunity for
essence of
it

it

comes with victory

in the field.

The
lost.'^

is

rapidity and decision.

If orders have to

be awaited from head-quarters the chance
It will

may be
officers
is

chiefly rest

on the vigour of the
artillery, for

on the
essen-

spot,
tial,

and on the means to their hands.
is

Cavalry

and so

mobile

nothing keeps beaten
so they

troops on the
rightly used.
is

move

like these.

Even

must be
it

Napoleon pointed out

that in a pursuit

a mistake for cavalry to attempt to deal with

unbroken
the

infantry; they

must

ride

on and

try to

come up with

broken men.

Further, tactical pursuit cannot last long.
in
it

Either the enemy breaks up altogether or reforms:
the one case the pursuit ends in success, in the other
fails.

But

in

both cases

it

ends.

Strategical pursuit

the continued following of a reretained
news by
field

treating
^

enemy who
commander

has
keep

some or complete
telegraph and telephone have

Modern methods
it

of communicating
to

made

possible for a

in closer

touch with his subordinates even
less for

though the

fields of battle are far bigger;

but he will see

himself than the comis

mander of Napoleonic times, and have

to rely

more on what he

told.

STRATEGICAL PURSUIT
cohesion
quiring

121

is,

however, a more complicated business, respeed

the

and vigour of the other,
a large scale, the

but,

in

addition, if

it

be on

organization of a
roads, so

number of

bodies of troops

moving by various
itself.

spread as to cover the country, yet not so severed that the

enemy

can turn and crush one by

Since the French

"lived on the country", a French army was obliged to be
dispersed to live, to gather to fight,
like the sticks

and

to radiate out again

of a fan to pursue.

In the driving energy

needed
fierce

to carry

through
has

a great pursuit

Napoleon was
examples:
1

unequalled.

He

left

two

first-rate

his

dash across Spain

in the

autumn of

808, crushing

and dispersing the Spanish armies and

pushing back

Moore into Galicia, and the other the pursuit after Jena. When, in the dusk of that fatal evening of October
14th,

Brunswick's force, retreating on Weimar, struck

the remnants of Hohenlohe's and

Von

Rtichel's beaten
lost.

armies fleeing from Jena,

all

semblance of order was

Confusion turned into panic; infantry, cavalry, guns dis-

banded; wagons were

left;

the fugitives scattered across

the fields with no ideas save to escape, to get

away from
pell-

the thunder of the French horse-hoofs.

Tactical pursuit

was easy and crushing; victors and fugitives poured
mell into Weimar.

The
Jena

only Prussian troops of those

who had fought

hung together' were some twenty squadrons under Hohenlohe outside Weimar.
at
still

who

No

rallying-place
five

had been assigned, and,

as four^

out

of the

chief generals had been killed or mortally
little

wounded, there was
to restore order.

chance of anything being done

^Brunswick, Mollendorf, Schmettau,

at

Auerstadt:

Von

Riichel at Jena.

122

THE AFTERMATH OF JENA

Things went from bad to worse in the night. Hohenaway under the horde of fugitives who collected round them, and on the morning of the 15th he had with him only some sixty horsemen. The next day he met the King at Sondershausen, hoping
lohe's twenty squadrons melted

two divisions, which had not been engaged at Auerstadt, would be intact. It too had been infected with panic; only about half were
still

to find that Kalkreuth's reserve of

with the colours.

lohe the chief
rallying-point,

Hohencommand, appointed Magdeburg as the
In despair the King gave
to the north-east.

and himself rode away
also

Napoleon
14th.

took

little

rest

on the night of the

He

was busy long before daylight with plans that

ERFURT

123

would complete the destruction of the enemy. To give the- fugitives no time to rally, to hunt down the detachments which had not been at Jena and Auerstadt, to
attack the fortresses before they had time to gather supplies, to force

the line of the Elbe, and to close the roads

beyond

it

to the

Oder where the Russians would serve
broken Prussians

as a rallying-point for the
his aims.

—these were

Davout, Lannes, and Augereau, who had done

the bulk of the fighting, were given two or three days' rest;

but he sent off Bernadotte, Soult, Ney, and Murat with

15,000 horsemen at once, and fruit of this was soon Murat and Ney appeared on the 15th outgathered.
his

side the walls of Erfurt.

The town was

fortified; there

wreckage from Jena, and 6000 it 8000 wounded, but it was scantily provisioned, and its governor

were

in

soldiers,

thought that the best thing to do was to make terms.

He
all

surrendered that very day, and the French got some

14,000 prisoners, together with 120 pieces of cannon and
the reserve ammunition of the army; and,

more

useful

to them, they
feebleness.

had got one

fortress to give the lead in

Others would follow suit. There remained now the following to be accounted for: (i) the main mass of fugitives under Hohenlohe retiring on Magdeburg; (2) Bliicher, with some 10,000

men,
tains

in charge

of the grand park of

artillery

his orders

were to go round the western side of the Harz

Moun-

and join up north of Magdeburg;
also with

Weimar,

10,000,

who

(3) the Duke of had been the Prussian

advance-guard cautiously poking his head through the

Thuringian Forest, and who, when the army changed
ends, was left in the rear.

He

also

was making

his

way

and. Napoleon was adroit enough to get rid of Saxony as an enemy. The Saale. struck him on the a 1 7th. declared he had no quarrel with Saxony and that he had every hope that peace would soon be made between them. The Prussians held islands strong position interrupt the Saale. charged across the bridges. and destroyed their last line in disorder of unused troops. command did not fight either at Jena or Auerstadt." Others assign the scene of the story to Jena. 127. had fallen back to Halle on the Bernadotte. *It said that Napoleon rode over the had such a lot of field a day or two later. killed and wounded. He set his Saxon prisoners free. (4) WOrtemThese were mostly at Halle. and Davout at Witten^ See map. fell them from the This north." The remainder Three days fell back on Magdeburg. is p. and drove the Prussians out of the town. Dupont leading the attack. carried the guns. remarked grimly: " What. Thus he detached Saxony from its Prussian alliance. . still number more out of the But Berna- 32nd! Why I've them killed in Italy and elsewhere. with the French and was destroyed. with some 14. seeing a of dead French soldiers out of the 32nd.000 men. Besides a detached regiment. there ought to have been none dotte's left. sent off on the 15th. with Dupont at their head. 1000 this. For some time last a fierce fight went on in the suburbs. among None the numerous which the less Dupont's grenadiers. At the Prussians had to retire in square across the plain: till they marched and fought for four miles night saved them. in and 4000 prisoners.^ Prussians. but they trying to join lost thirty guns. affair cost the Prussians 8000 men. first to meet with disaster was Wtirtemberg. later (October 20th) Lannes and Auge- reau crossed the Elbe at Dessau. who.124 THE AFTERMATH OF JENA berg with "the reserve" round the west of the Harz Mountains .

to The only choice Magdeburg. number of French had picked up at once. and Ney a day later. but the Saxon inhabitants ran on to it and picked the up the fuses to save it from destruction. faster than they were used in in Pursuers and pursued had covered 90 miles fighting a which the guns and prisoners. streamed into Magdeburg. hotly pressed by Murat and Soult. who were forced out on to the glacis and outside the fortifications. dotte was on the Elbe at Barby. and herd the fugitives into the city. or by setting off at once to the north to pick up Blucher and Weimar and make off across the Havel towards the Oder. On same day (October 20th) Hohenlohe's men. where the French cavalry picked them up under the guns of the fortress. Hohenlohe was to hold . all and Davout were nearer it than he was. actions on the way the usual gleanings of order." Magdeburg was not invested said he to Murat "a mouse-trap in which you can catch all the broken men trying to cross the Elbe. Food was short. It is plain chance of retiring through Berlin. and the governor refused supplies to the fugitives." and he gave him orders to beat the country round thoroughly. But Magdeburg was in a state of indescribable confusion. 125 Here the Prussians had meant to blow up the bridge. It was so crammed with baggage that there was no room for the troops. Coming up Bernaleft behind Murat was Soult. Hohenlohe spent two begged Hohenlohe to depart. from the map that Hohenlohe had little Lannes. By Napoleon's " It is. five days. allegHe ing that he would not have enough for his garrison. Augereau.HOHENLOHE'S RETREAT berg. The French had made them move much to do.

Massenbach pedantically on a detour to put a brook between the Prussians and their (non-existent) foe. . and Ney at once invested it. If he reached Zehdenick before the French his clear through Prentzlau to haste. along the north side of the Havel towards Zehdenick.000 men together out of the remains of his own force and Wilrtemberg's. This would be went as he hoped.126 THE AFTERMATH OF JENA In the despairing days trying to reorganize the wreck. Blucher. end he got some 25. and marched out to the north-east. in all numbers might rise to a force to reckon with — if all 70. Hohenlohe's point was now Oder. for Leaving Magdeburg on October 22nd he made carries the waters it the Havel. with no enemy insisted within striking distance. although the brook was almost dry. way was But there was the all utmost need of against and the country. that long line of lakes and streams which of the Spree to the Elbe.000 men. Twelve thousand men were left behind in the town. He crossed and got in touch with Weimar and struck the Elbe farther down. might reckon to pick up some more on his way. Stettin.000 men. who had He planned to move BlQcher. make a junction with the Duke of who had got safely round the Harz raise his force to He his 50. To march on the other side of it he ^ See map on folder at end of chapter. side of the They would and gather more on the other Oder. intersected with at this lakes and watercourses. was speed. and even critical time. in addition to its garrison.-^ Stettin on the lower He hoped to Weimar and Mountains. including a good many squadrons of cavalry. with bad sandy roads.

.

and had met Davout. men. killed and wounded 300. battle. there on the 26th. Murat. and the very day that Hohenlohe's men were being reviewed and exhorted at Gransee. Hohenlohe. and made 700 prisoners. where the road from Berlin joined. urging them to pluck up heart and do their But the meeting-place. much dejected. recalled from Magdeburg. They were to march to Gransee. These army corps had covered the distance from Jena. rendezvous French. and address speeches to the duty. Gransee. While they were talking and trudging the French were making better speed. Davout and Augereau were 25th). 130 miles. It was eleven days since the . in order to refresh the troops to encounter the little Hohenlohe pointed out that one day would be After the usual argument came the usual compromise. now had to make another weary turn off to the left through Furstenberg. had reached Potsdam on October 24th {6^ miles in three days). use. Murat was hustled with Lannes in support. was some miles away from Zehdenick. Lannes.128 THE AFTERMATH OF JENA declared " a military enormity " — so he wasted time to make war by rules. in Napoleon's hands but he wasted no time over rejoic- ing or ceremony. and Augereau. in about eight days. a strong fortress. By the 24th the bulk of Hohenlohe's force was Massenbach suggested Neustadt. hold a review. surprised Hohenlohe's right wing. His men . much exhausted : at a day's rest. in Berlin the next day (October and Lannes seized Spandau. which made no resistance. Murat's advance-guard rode into Zehdenick. Napoleon and the Guard came in the same evening. and Berlin was already off northwards.

whom he sent as his envoy. Murat told him that he had 100. and.'' Were wearing the Prussian cavalryman's plume. played him an ill turn. a chance: the French force might be body against it.big (C754) 9 . Once more still the Prussians had been anticipated. or were they Murat's dragoons. it was unlikely that any small. and Massenbach believed it.000 men with him. berg. Instead of attacking. When off they came there they found victuals. while he hesitated. but off to the night. and once more Massenbach. hoping to reach Prentzlau rest. He let slip the chance which a resolute man would have taken of making a fierce attack at once. considering the speed that the French had made. more and more of Murat's corps came in to Lasalle's help. the remains. although. only being fed by the kindness of the who put out bread and cauldrons of hot potatoes nightfall they along the roadside. There were men there hurrying they along . As a matter of fact it was quite small. but who .THE SURRENDER AT PRENTZLAU marched peasants. But Hohenlohe hesitated when every minute was of value. and the At drew near Boitzenfood owner of the castle sent to say that was ready for them. all 129 day. Hohenlohe prepared to treat. they tramped into Prentzlau they found out. Once more they turned all and pressed on before their ubiquitous enemy. Murat's light horse already engaged with the They drove them could take no left and devoured. In the grey dawn of October 28th they drew near the town. call As — "Aux armes " ! — French A bugle horsemen were already there. it was only 600 dragoons with Lasalle in command. soldiers strained their eyes across the lakes The weary and through the trees to their right. too Yet there was weak to stop the.

while Soult attacked Weimar's force at Wittstock. They were it. He — — headed ^ off. The Oder. Thus Hohenlohe. Murat had at —within that he that his though Lannes was not far off But repeated defeats and surrenders had now robbed the Prussians of their moral: they expected that things would go wrong. infantry could be up. only keeping more to the west. le Mar6chal Lannes Napoleon gave all the praise for Hohenlohe's capture to Muratj should march faster. BlQcher had been following the same course as Hohenlohe. was now closed to them. who by keeping more to the north had hitherto escaped. however.^ ready to accept the worst. as he had thought of for him to return to Magdeburg doing and the way to Stralsund and the sea was closed by Murat. for Stettin surrendered on October 29th. and Bltlcher held on But it was now hopeless till Weimar's force joined him. a matter of fact. believing was surrounded and could go no farther. their arms. within 25 miles of the Oder. and they were the time no infantry at a day's march. turned away north-westhours. but they could not reach There remained BlUcher and Weimar. agreed men should lay down So his whole corps. fait Est-ce que vous croyez que je ne sais pas tout ce que vous avez II pour seconder la cavalerie? y a de la gloire pour tous. and having covered 65 miles in reports to the Emperor generally conclude with a wish that M. having marched two days and two nights. Un autre jour ce sera votre tour de remplir de votre nom les bulletins de la grande arm^e. he wrote in a subsequent letter: "Vous et vos soldats vous etes des enfants." .000 men. who had chased Hohenlohe to Furstenberg.130 THE AFTERMATH OF JENA As all. Thus after Bltlcher. Bltlcher. were taken prisoners. The Prussians fought well at each place.000. who had swept on through Anklam. 16. but as Lannes was sore about it. When Bernadotte. only fifty halting for hasty meals. heard of the Prussian surrender he turned off came on him at Waren (October 30th). with 20. but Murat's daily Lannes' corps made good speed.

40. two fortresses There is no such other cavalry Napoleon wrote to him: "Since you in the field. It of the fortresses. and together they drove BlUcher towards Ltibeck.000 exploit in. with Soult and Bernadotte at his heels. Berlin. . the Prussians from house to house. describing a great serpentine through Nordhausen. wounded. free cities This was one of the old German and claimed to be neutral. besides a picturesque description of the encounter.000 men had marched 500 curve from Erfurt miles.000 men. and in the evening Blticher with 4000 infantry. Stettin. Magdeburg. the also.BLUCHER'S SURRENDER wards. Eight thousand Prussians were killed. The next day Murat. Soult. Ltibeck. 131 Murat joined them on November 4th. ^Alison has men holding another 20.000 men. who was not to be stopped by a " scrap of paper ".^ and being met by salvoes of grapeshot from the French guns. was exactly a month (October 8th- November 8th) since the Prussian ultimatum expired. and taken in in the town. and Prussia had not a soldier nor a fortress left west of the Oder. He had received the surrender of close on. marched into the town and made ready to defend it (November fell 6th). frontier hemmed between the Danish last to and the salt marshes. field-force. fighting fiercely They stormed the town. history. The first thing to remark is the amazing vigour of the French pursuit. Bllicher.000. So perished the surrendered last remnant of the Prussian last and the next day Magdeburg. and Bernadotte on him with 60. 3700 horse. Blilcher himself heading charges of horse down the streets. and forty guns. had at surrender. A clean sweep had been made of 160. In twenty-four days Murat with 15.

Leaving Soult there he picked up Lannes at Spandau. though the French were wonderfully successful. first So the country was picked clean harvesting at Jena.132 THE AFTERMATH OF JENA in this cavalrymen take fortresses dismiss train ". Even short cut. The and real failure lay in lack in lack of forethought. blundering. at last got a well-deserved rest. he picked Leav- up Bernadotte. of resolution. it Yet. was given no rest. was due to Napoleon's foresight and driving-power. were the tired they stopped. much of the French success was due to Murat's speed. his done. Ney went with him to Erfurt. who had who had also come by another cut the corner. I shall be able to my engineers and melt down the battering- Remark also how all well the infantry was arranged to support him. It is plain that no one corps could have Soult. and he made men do He knew what should be When the Prussians it. joined him and kept up with him to Magdeburg. all way. kept up with him it the time. . but was sent off from then Murat Lubeck via Posen to Warsaw. where they overwhelmed Hohenlohe. could not move swiftly enough to outmarch the French in they were certain to be overwhelmed by superior numbers. perhaps. and the three of them netted Bltlcher. and Soult. If they was not so much the armies in the field. when the French were tired after they went on. after 850 miles in six weeks. then. who had taken a shorter road. who followed at his heels to Prentzlau. but each one came up as was wanted. must be added It that the Prussians broke left down amazingly. he If. ing Lannes at Stettin. more. Here.

28 WittstockO FUrstenbergr^^g Spand Beriin- Magdeburg 20.Schweiia Sfff? Stettii /. cp LBarby .

.

Their supplies broke down. is strategical reserve main army wins.STRATEGICAL RESERVES Though the 133 had mobilized two months before war began. the strategical reserve sure to be too small to It is do anything against the the larger it victors. at the moment when Hohenlohe and Brunswick might have concentrated that — on the left bank of the Saale. they were not really ready. Very likely they may turn the issue. the not wanted. and invited the On October beating in detail which they duly received. they lost heart. "the battle was ripe". the enemy If it will easily destroy when comes on it. crushed Napoleon's advanceguard under Lannes. the odds were not hopeless. if the main army is If the is beaten. no precautions taken for defeat. and made him attack across the river. and. does not serve as a rallying-point. when. troops held back critical — be thrown in at the field^ '^hich is the decisive pointy in order to survive in case of defeat. no rallying-places were fixed. severed their forces. broke WQrtemberg's it Bernadotte's one force. But a strategical reserve in the shape of a body of troops kept away from the battlethat to say. A tactical rtstvYt is — on the battle-field to moment. being small. is of the highest value. if it army corps it easily retreats. as Napoleon said. the fortresses were half-provisioned. "strategical reserve " Another point worth remark is the uselessness of the under Wtlrtemberg. was a waste of men. bound to be small'. and. had been on the battle-field. 13th their one chance was to gather and fight. and victory would have straightened out their troubles. Prussians They planned an force offensive against an enormously superior was not likely to prosper. They threw away the chance. is is the more likely the main army to be it beaten. .

none of them had any chance of being In the end Napoleon must have taken them all. as the governors of these fortresses appear to have reasoned.134 THE AFTERMATH OF JENA it might have turned the scale. was useless to expend lives in a hopeless task. that would have kept him from going to Magdeburg. safely. but no comthis mander of a fortress has a right to view. again. that it relieved even had they held out stoutly. Consider what might have happened had each fortress held out for a fortnight ance. This is a moderate allow- Napoleon had not enough batteringthem all at once. but if Wittenberg had held part. Here. for plainly trains to deal with only. being on the Oder. left to itself for it must have detained as possessing of Davout. an important bridge over the Elbe. and Erfurt by holding out would have seriously hindered Napoleon's communications. Wittenberg. and that to avoid out of mercy to the civil population it was well take the horrors of siege and bombardment.^ If ^ Wittenberg. he sent his communications through by that shorter route. been out. could have a time. Kustrin. the need point. to concentrate maxims of every possible man at the decisive The most It is true that pitiful part was played by the fortresses. but Spandau. if not all. by keeping Wurtemberg's force as a strategical reserve far in the rear the Prussians sinned against one of the chief war. It may be argued. So Napoleon's left wing would have been brought to a standstill by October 20th. was of immediate value. and Soult would consequently have been detained to invest that fortress. Kustrin might have been neglected As it was. Erfurt would have detained Ney for a time. and caused Wittenberg and Spandau to be provisioned and fortified as advanced bases. . directly Erfurt fell. the more so as they were ill-found in food. Magdeburg.

Blacher indeed could not have escaped. Bliicher Thus the troops who joined to run down in cult. the garrisons of the beleaguered towns. together with prisoner. lohe's rest Even if the fortress had held out after it Hohen- surrender. and this would have given Hohenlohe a better chance had he been resolute to take it. 1806 there. and the pursuit have been much more diffiOnce the French had reached Stettin. it would not have been easy for Lannes to get away so promptly in support of Murat.THE FORTRESSES 135 Spandau had not yielded. would have been seriously reduced number. If he had reached Stettin in safety an army corps would have stayed to watch him The Fortresses — October-November. would have been made The result might have been the same . and his force. would probably have detained the of Lannes' corps.

^ for a time.136 THE AFTERMATH OF JENA but the end would have come more slowly. p. and to the accuracy with which aim can be directed. when the Russian Pacific Squadron took refuge in the harbour became imperative This for the Japanese to destroy these vessels before the Baltic Fleet latter factor led to the bloody but successful assault as should arrive. . On the other hand. in the end. "but I shall never lose a See map. Further. an operation which the peninsula. It is interesting to try to if estimate the changes that would have been forced on Napoleon Erfurt.-"^ Of time is it would only have been factor in war. and. Hasty conclusions have been drawn from some of the events 01 the present war It is true that some of them have made shorter that the day of fortresses is over. would have favoured. 135. hill. corrected. narrowly constricted at one place." said the twenty-six-year-old General Bonaparte to the Savoyard envoys dawdling over the signing of the Treaty of Cherasco ^ in 1796. Had not been for these two reasons supreme naval urgency — — one sentimental and political. if need be. on 203-metre which was required it an observation post for the ship-destroying guns of the Japanese. But first " I may often lose a battle. the other of it is possible that the Japanese would merely have masked Port Arthur. as was proved by Li^ge and Antwerp. though the time gained has been short has been highly valuable. the enforced evacuation of the them to a resolve to recapture it at any And it in the second place. In the in it Mantua war of 1870 army round was the collapse of Metz which enabled it the Paris. ^The tunities) best examples of the influence of fortresses gaining time in Napoleon's cam- paigns are afforded by 1796 (where the Austrians mismanaged their opporand Massena's defence of Genoa in the Marengo campaign (1800). of the One of the great early successes Germans wa» the speedy taking of Namur. Much a of the invading army would have been held up for course the time. and to speculate how the French army corps would have been situated on November ist. and Stettin had made reason- able resistance. — a scanty one —of retrieving the Port Arthur forms an admirable instance of the power of a fortress to detain a large fraction Nevertheless. and find the men needful to keep the Germans to reinforce their new French armies at a disfirst disasters. was the lengthy defence of Paris which gave France what chance she had of the enemy's forces. assuming that all the fortified towns had held out for at least a fortnight. Spandau. tance from the capital. Incidentally this episode assisted in the general attack against the fortress. Their failure was due to the ease with which modern resistance than was expected. Wittenberg. must be taken into consideration. traction-engines bring up heavy guns and howitzers. Yet lie it must be remembered that fortress in the long run the advantage of size of gun must with the — if size is to it prove the determining factor. Port Arthur had some abnormal features which cost. place by the Japanese in 1894 had To fired begin with.

.

.SAXONY. /Ir-"'^-^ BRANDENBURG VNDENBUl & MECKLENBURG.

-^ was summoned. "Wittenberg had no mind for Spandau. and Stettin was a first-rate fortress. only half-gunned it go it to Magde- was Saxon. to to one day Lannes under a threat of assault. the advance-guard of Lannes' corps. The Governor of Stettin refused to admit a Prussian brigade that had escaped from the wreck of Hohenlohe on the ground that he had only provisions enough to enable his own garrison to hold out.THE COLLAPSE OF THE FORTRESSES moment. however. Erfurt surrendered the veryfree to a siege: true. the French captors till could not take possession of their prize furnished boats to convey them over.000 muskets. shot'. too. and set Lannes free run down Hohenlohe. spirit shown at Kustrin. and a mass of stores. and the luckless brigade turned back from the Oder to be taken prisoners by Murat directly afterwards at Anklam." 137 moment day it — The Prussian fortresses. . manned with 150 guns and garrisoned by 6000 men. It But the surrendered (October 31st). and threatened a severe bombardment: this truculent — — for Kustrin on body consisted of a regiment of infantry with two guns. threat was enough. Equally craven was the it. and set Ney burg. Yet to this determined governor surrendered the next day without firing a 600 French horse. Before is but on the other side of the river an island in the Oder appeared the advance-guard of Davout. tion. the garrison which held out the longest. 100. in is but immensely fell strong in the midst of lakes and rivers. Kustrin had ninety guns and a garrison of 4000. Ney had no siege-guns. being on an island. hardly showed much resolu- Yet Napoleon found in Berlin 300 guns of all sorts. but he collected a few * Even Magdeburg. hardly lost a in surrendering.

Such was the impression given to Europe. Ney Ney let him know 1 every other fortress had fallen. Ney was .000 in garrison capitulated to 6. be- sought the governor. Kleist. to surrender. he used the familiar threat reduced to ashes fired a did not capitulate it. and Kleist with only with his 22.^ 1806. et la Such was the downfall of Prussia in the autumn of Heine wrote: " L'Empereur n'avait eu qu'a siffler Prusse n'existait plus ".000. ^The years garrison included nineteen generals sixty-eight. in terror. —the average was whose aggregate age amounted to 1292 thirty-seven. — the place would be —and he at last few bombs into that The populace.138 THE AFTERMATH OF JENA if it mortars.

.

.

their minds. the Napoleon won Ulm by possible because 5 to lo miles his whole manoeuvre of Jena was made men could be relied on to move more each day than the Prussians expected. when Mack found the hole in the net.'' It is said that the English. what other causes there were for their failures against Napoleon. but it is natural to ask why they were so slow. the following things are often repeated: (i) It is make up said that the in of massed attack to the existing (2) French had invented a new form columns. Their slowness of movement and slowness of decision paralysis in head and members gave Napoleon complete victory in each case. methods of that Is this true . in particular Welling- ton. There is the fact.'' For example. discovered " line " 139 would beat the French . which was essentially superior tactics. why did they take so long to and to do what they had decided.CHAPTER VIII Austrian and Prussian Armies In the campaigns of in the operations fact Ulm and Jena. and to a less degree salient which led up to Tourcoing. Even at Ulm. he could not manage to break away in time. further. and. or perhaps one should say a — — fact. one has been the slowness of the Austrians and Prussians and the speed of the French. his soldiers' legs.

the practical question was it. concentration. and attacks on communications. Probably the enemy would not oblige with a and the concentration would have been made to no purpose. Again. the the value of a concentrated force as obvious. and a rush to If Napoleon first " discovered " the the enemy's capital. we are losing Every general knew that speed is is —how important. knew to equally well the which is. a swift con- centration for battle at the decisive point. how was he for to make sure that the enemy would be him to beat.I40 AUSTRIAN AND PRUSSIAN ARMIES if " column " properly handled. were no novelties in war. how is strike at your enemy s communications without first exposing your own. even when a general had decided to concentrate. he must have been a great discoverer for these —of — the obvious. is also plain that the best-drilled fire men are likely to keep their heads best in battle and straightest and fastest at the right time. Again. value of speed. so will battles be . In assenting to statements of this kind sight of the practical side of war. more than that number will only act as bulletstoppers. but problem was how to concentrate without either doing it too soon (and finding your army begin to run short of food) or doing it too late (and being beaten). it Was this " discovered " by us ? Was a discovery ? (3) Napoleon's strategy has been summed up in general as a threat at his enemy's communications. but he practical difficulty. battle. a It is plain that all in a line it can fire. Once there more. but only few in a column. it is easy to reckon how many men can be usefully placed on a line of given length. to get and Every general knew the value of a stroke at communications.

it was their livelihood. for a it men were paid. ideal and the real. There are always gaps between the called war. using be obtained otherwise. Austrian army of 1805 was the ordinary eighits teenth-century army. business was soldiering. the " best possible use of the means at hand for the attainment of the object in view ". but why they fell short. and where their enemies took advantage of their weak points. perhaps. They AB C is of their trade. is All these things are clear enough. not only where they fell short. each bound to supply a given number of men. the question which they considered was what part should they strive after. and ridiculous to suppose that soldiers did are the not see them. and what they should do without. This^ however. their was not merely a business After the Seven conscription time. its it was in the main a "professional" army. And so we get back to Von Moltke's definition of the Art of War. but the fact that their systems only worked well enough to let them of these advantages. with some troubles peculiarly As other eighteenth-century armies. which divided the country into cantons. and. attain part Of course they saw them. the ballot if the men could not recruit Mack said in 1792: "No . and was replaced by the Prussian system. lasted but a short time. had tried ^ Years' War Austria —with sub- stitutes allowed. even in the business of methodical slaughter which is A little description of the practical workings of each will of these different armies reveal. The own. and also the means they used to make up their shortcomings.THEORY AND PRACTICE won by the simple plan of killing kill it 141 the more of enemy than he can of your men.

No one saw the harm in what he would describe as a little give and take. irregularities and Neither Austrian Army above Service all men nor Austrian contractors were sinners But the Army Service men. so he stayed with the colours. that there in the business who could be trusted Those who looked after conclass it tracts for feeding the army and supplying came from the same class as. and file and thus between them and the rank there was a wide gap. where war was common and boys grew up used to the handling of arms. the evil spread. rules were not kept. . and when everyone began to wink at peculations the whole effect was disastrous. Officers came» almost without exception from the aristocratic classes. the most and the best of the fighting-men came from the frontiers. from the classes 1 Almost all our Indian army is is recruited from the frontiers for the same reason. Practically. Theoretically he might return to civil life. and as the contractors with whom less they had to deal. the men. being of the same class. found it easy to offer them. This opened the door to enddishonesties. were ready to take small gifts given to persuade them to gloss over things that fell short or went wrong. One result of this was was no intermediate of supply.-^ Once in the army a man stayed there. The fighting spirit absent from the dwellers in Bengal and the peaceful centre and south. as usual. and the contractors.142 is AUSTRIAN AND PRUSSIAN ARMIES is taken whose service required for productive labours. even if it did not hit it. others. practically he found no job open to him. This shows what the Austrian system aimed at. coming where tips are not thought to be bribes. no able-bodied man escapes who can be spared from them".

like it the eighteenth-century armies. and the provision-wagons would be there. refusing to carry Austrian troops across to fight the Turks. They moved on to untouched country. commonly soon reduced In the Thirty Years* War armies had lived by pillage.SUPPLIES AND PAYMENT all 143 hit This corruption and mismanagement of supplies the Austrian army particularly hard. The Aus- had to pay rent for camping-grounds and hospitals and quarters. to double that.^ fact. War in Germany was It own private diversion. . and once the Netherlands. In this way the Thirty Years' War meandered through Germany. at Mainz. and pay for what not appear. did not live on the country. wanted. If the provision-wagons did if this soldiers went hungry. and they would be left Even In in emergencies the it it hardly dared to requisiin paying. carried on by his private army for hh was not a national affair and the ordinary countryman was he was paid for things he supplied war did not inconvenience him. and he regarded the passing army much as he regards a hunt and pack of hounds. It was only because of this that the inhabitants tolerated their rulers' habit of making war for objects of personal ambition. tion food. so long as often a ruler's game. miles a day. the sick and when the wounded were thrown out into the ^ streets. however. Frederick the Great. its but was expected to " live on it own ". and their field of operations to a desert. because. and the soldiers would not waste time on a siege. since if they dawdled they would soon be starving. For example. was less scrupulous than Austrian commanders. and the to write to Vienna for trians commander had money in to pay them. Even more preposterous. The inhabitants took refuge in the walled towns which were common. occurred often they would this begin to think of deserting. the ferrymen on the Save struck for higher pay. But in the eighteenth century a milder custom sprang up of paying for food. for this always meant troubles. push the troops behind. not interested. money was left unpaid. army was scrupulous and those who served exact with food or help most careful to payment beforehand. to avoid officers happening their Eight op ten shrank from attempting rapid movement or long marches.

There was in the Austrian army no organized unit higher than the regiment. Everything was found except the bacon and suet. then his would have the task of controlling orders. and 12. and thus they either advanced in one column of enormous length or in a number of columns on a very wide front. Another cause worked the same way. but the without scruple. of these so long as they -were detached as •with him. 1914) at the Germans sent for the Mayor. It is fair to add that the money because the town had treated the German wounded so well.000 kilogrammes of bread. which fell short. and electric light had been cut off. and head-quarters again had to give . in 1793. cause of Austrian slowness. the rendered. a staff commander.000 of salt bacon and suet. and the far more mobile French could harass them at their pleasure. or army corps.000 francs. divisions. At every turn a commander was hampered by having to pay for things which to-day he would take boats. The next day the Mayor was ordered to supply.144 AUSTRIAN. 120. But when they were again concentrated his authority all such ended. 10. In either case concentration would be slow.-^ Here was one to stick to the trains. within twenty-four hours.000 kilogrammes of tinned vegetables. This meant that all orders had to be sent from head-quarters to each unit in the command.000 kilogrammes of corn. and told him that if these were not once supplied he would be hanged. so the battalion suradvance. They had main roads because of their heavy supplyBut main roads were few. when AND PRUSSIAN ARMIES river. an Austrian battalion wanted to be rowed across the There were boatmen asked for payment in officers had no money. teenth-century was refunded ^ The Germans then fined the town 176. the French were swarming into the town. there were no permanent brigades. so lonor as it was under one commander. complained that the gas. 500 kilogrammes of roasted coffee. 21. number of units were sometimes detached under one all Of course. water. Contrast eighGerman methods with modern ones.^ The amount of writing which this required from head-quarters can be judged from the requests which Austrian generals sent to lAt Epernay (September.

From fVar and (C754) "Before Tilsit". and that was all. his hand Doktourof occasionally interruping to have the name of some village repeated to him this scene six hours before Napoleon made his paralysing attack in the one way that fVeyrother had not foreseen. when the French were across the Danube. it This be order took up eight pages. Prsczebichewsky holding to his ear like an ear-trumpet. Vol. in the whole of which difficult to would find a superfluous word'' dispute Mack's judgment on his One does not wish to own conciseness further comGOnzburg: "Arrange for the crossing of the river at such an hour ". hopeless over- which put everything on the CommanderPeace. Or take again Tolstoi's memorable description^ of the than this: it was his business to say to the general at manding the troops midnight scene before the battle of Austerlitz with the Austrian Chief of Staff. reading an endless and droning on for an hour. asleep in an arm-chair Buxhovden pretending not to listen. Weyrother. 1 805. It is not romance. writing. 10 . and the one chance left for the Austrians was to decide what to do and do it at once. Mack defended himself for the failure to hold the Gilnzburg bridge thus: "At this the moment I was busy at drawing up the orders for the passage across the river night with all the detail that operation involved. 145 Vienna: instead of asking for more troops they pestered more clerks. but fact. I. On 9th October. complicated set of instructions for the morrow. Langeron playing with his snuff-box and making the scornful comment "a geography lesson". the Commander-in-Chief. centralization 1 elaborate schemes for doing everything according to rule. his voice Kutusof.— OVER-CENTRALIZATION for . Endless writing. providing for various alternatives. writing.

. Frederick the Great always attacked. west- wards against the French. starving if its " It's impossible to ^ make head in the or tail of this . throwing each back in turn. But this gave the Austrians time to in: make ready this defensive positions. after Lodi. Being thus so slow. to dig themselves battles they did win. slow and with little precise. waiting if it got no orders. At the They had been trained to think of themselves.146 AUSTRIAN AND PRUSSIAN ARMIES left in-Chief and subordinates in the frame of mind of always waiting for orders. Years' disaster —the first belief in the value This they learnt in the Seven War. in by in means they won the few But this habit and any case they made Frederick pay a heavy price energy. we have The Russian army Russo-Japanese war was much the same. hoping for a kind of battle which the enemy would not give it. depending on everything going by wagons were late. it. he the whole had to do various summary of against the war is com- prised in his fierce rushes from one to another of his foes — southwards the Austrians. men for his victories. rule.^ An old Hungarian officer. top and far too Too much regulation at the little initiative in the subordinates — these clogged the feet of an Austrian army with lead. and altogether bewildered by anything new. eastwards against the Russians. of looking always to all the defensive robbed the Austrians of critical time their men would enemy not go forward. secure shooting battles. the Austrians became possessed by another demon of of the defensive. taken prisoner in 1796. voiced this bewilderment about Napoleon: initiative. in trenches down their —but this spirit does not win Such then was the Austrian army.

Round-shot. ^ Of the Ziscaberg. you front. the next how This way of making war insufferable. he breaks all the rules. when tried broke down even more suddenly than Austria had done." Austria in Napoleon's state. victory against odds. lost Zorndorf 37 per cent and won.000 men these standin time. about 3 per cent. the hill named after the blind general who never lost a battle. readiness. discipline. the next in can't tell is rear. Yet this army.FREDERICK THE GREAT'S ARMY to deal with a 147 young man who our to post yourself. is at one moment on our on both flanks. steadi- endurance. This at first suggests that none of the old military ideas would stand against the novelties of the Revolution. See. 1790 wished for a model he looked to the Prussian army. . efficiency less than was expected of state. and at Kunersdorf it gave way. sians to advance ing three deep —and — thirty-eight heavy guns.^ way that no Revolutionary army at At Torgau it lost 30 per cent and won. before Napoleon. Here he drew examples of ness under fire. or perhaps were better to say it. Frederick intended a flank attack. of doing Prussia. and left the Prusup a bare slope ^ nearly 1300 yards long. Yet such a notion would be entirely wrong. 1 The average losses in the battles of the Seven Years' War were 17 per cent. again. in Far other was This Europe's eyes. The Austrians deployed some 10. Frederick's army faced punishment without flinching in a did. at Jena. but the Austrians were warned formed a fresh front. and speed. stood for military If a military reformer of and success. in the battles of the French Revolution. 48 per cent before it at last what happened at Prague in 1757. For example. time had the reputation of its it being a great military tain tradition though army had a cer- of failure.

and the towns were accordingly it was often allowed to pay money with which the State hired fairly plentiful "foreigners". grape. as in all There were. partly conscripts. cost Frederick a fifth of his several battalions lost 50 per cent. It by the conscript" army. not the losses. fire till at last the steadi- ness of the Prussian prevailed. it is that in face of such a and in days when the enemy's the it was impossible the hill. getting the in the last resource ** men voluntarily if they could. to set men free for harvest towns and make them soldiers the rest of the year. but ballot. countries. and the Austrians gave way. whole army: Yet the thing to for artillery to remember fire.— 148 AUSTRIAN AND PRUSSIAN ARMIES yet the Prussians marched up steadily. it is heavy price worse to pay half the number for Prussian discipline then was — as discipline always is of first-rate value in war. but in the harder. and at close range case-shot and a storm of bullets swept the slope to be . mowed down That day is time and again. was then largely a In the country districts it was easy and busy farming seasons. each of which had to find and equip so many restless life battalions. and there were also a number of recruits from other German States in Prussian service. And it is remarkable what the Their men were partly volunteers. Prussians attained. Twelve thousand out of 60.000 may seem for victory. Prussian dis- cipline carried men up far and a they won. a number of men who preferred the more adventurous and of an army to the humdrum occupations of civil life. But though the men were . but the bulk of the army was provided by the " cantons " or regimental districts. but defeat. beat down fire with shrapnel.

and yet It line was broken into great gaps as the men at the end the survivors were volleying away that the Prussians with mechanical accuracy. exactly that. they attained an amazing exactitude of They could march steadily in line. when they halted. which was steadily moved strongly occupied by Lannes' skirmishers. working as they evener country than did Austrians or Frenchmen. In making an attack. carefully and line. they stood like a rock for nearly two hours in the open. down 75 . ments of loading his musket swiftly and evenly. was an if ideal. effective The ideal was that they should come up to and then with their to miss they this first range (200 yards). would cut the enemy Of course. in status they were serfs. of " line " as giving every man a chance to Yet even their discipline could not attain the ideal of three . they plough-tail. but they succeeded the effect of such a volley was paralysing. Yet. each keeping touch so man had just room to go through the complicated movedrill and dressing. IN LINE 149 they were not intelligent. so as to get off five shots a minute. They sometimes battle failed to get so close. safely sheltered behind walls and loopholed houses. never wavering though the fell. is plain enough knew the value fire. volley at a target hardly possible to pieces.THE ADVANCE came mostly from the usually did in a flatter. per cent of the fail enemy who Nor did the Prussians at Jena for lack of their old gallantry witness the infantry who. they were expected to advance two deep or three deep. scrupulously dressed in 200 yards of the village up to within of Vierzehnheiligen. with muskets shouldered to prevent premature firing. At the of Crefeld the first Prussian received volley struck it.

ISO AUSTRIAN AND PRUSSIAN ARMIES would drop on their deep.^ and the it reduced number of " Thus Pmssians economized men. knee to fire. fire. where the theory was either that the front rank. or to part with their own muskets. In war only the simple things were tried. It was not that the Prussians used battle-field.000 and sometimes more. men who can be shot.e.000 men to the mile or later whereas Napoleon in his days massed 50. the thing that But the second in line made these movements possible. Two the deep gave every man a chance to bullet-stoppers ". in a later notion. and then let all three lines get off a volley together. This steadiness of movement and use of rendered possible by two things. . but cannot shoot. They could out an attack with 15. bred by line was The first was discipline^ much drill. * Perhaps the greatest of I. and the Prussians them out so certainly and so inexorably that noth- ing seemed capable of stopping them. They attained the maximum of fire minimum of target. or. The men knew all they would be covered. essential. was the excellence of their cavalry. any intricate evolutions in on the They practised doing the that easy is them peace because very simple things men get weary then of only. Nothing could persuade the men to kneel again once they had stood up. that the third rank should reload the discharged muskets. By it degrees the third line was given up as useless. after standing to load. in an attack with the often carry less. and hand them to those in front. often was detached to act as skirmishers or light troops. The best guarantee can do far things will be done in the confusion of a battle-field the knowledge carried that the men more difficult ones.

if living civilian in barracks. by the address he delivered to his cavalry at Potsdam. or. "Special Campaign Series". although Hohenfriedberg their conduct had been most distinguished. .000 men were routed in three-quarters of an hour. lySJ) Frederick caught the French army on Seydlitz swept down on it over the crest of the march. just over it 500 men. The generals were old. and the regimental officers far too old. Outwardly the army was the in same: the discipline of the inhntry was there.^ the Seven Years' War was this cavalry superiority which gave the infantry confidence to mancEuvre in But this wonderful efficiency of the Seven Years' War had declined by 1806. in the Leipzig Campaign. and these manoeuvres had degenerated into big reviews. the horses were short of condition. Throughout line. so paralysed with debt all Prussia had been left from the Seven Years' War that sorts of economies were practised.THE PRUSSIAN CAVALRY cavalry exploits stands to Prussian credit. They lost 10. and the men got too little training. 13). Maude (p. all mounted men had too little horse work. and prisoners. About the half of the army was allowed either with the colours for six weeks' training only. The cavalry had been split up. . Colonel See also. all their The Prussian loss was bao-pfap-e and seventy-two gruns. 151 At Rossbach (November. but the drill had gone wooden. each year. three He sent the Baireuth Hussars at — a crack regiment — to months extra drill in 1754. wounded. men were had little to practise trades.000 in killed. Officers experience in working with their units in manoeuvres. the Polzenberg with only thirty-three squadrons backed by seven battalions and eighteen guns Soubise's 60. and more senses than one the army had grown old. and quick to complain of defects. ^ The skirmishing and Frederick was most particular to keep his cavalry up to the highest standard.

commander. and 1 they did not the generals of 806. never have permitted the endless talk at the councils of war. " an instruction to their troops that no one was to fun o» Brunswick's As happened on October nth.^ nor.. it. but he would never have divided his force in the face of the enemy. the higher In brief. again. artillery The and was divided up chiefly into battalion guns. would the sight of one wounded man riding into Jena have caused a panic. and they were at Jena. again. Prussian trust soldiers trusted " Fritz ". which Napoleon said was "idiotic". . which only made clear to every- one the dangers of every course. above all. Its officers were kept out of commands. the army suffered It the fact that there was not enough teaching. had he been there. right in each case. the whole service was somewhat despised in comparison with the cavalry and foot. would he have permitted the insubordination and disloyalty with which Massenbach and charge. it They fault when were horribly beaten ^ but was not the make of they They appear to have imagined they were loyally obeying Brunswick issued orders. machine was the head of and. was no one's direct business to teach those beneath him.nor would the men have Hohenlohe treated their lost heart because the staff had lost its head. the whole stiff. there was not a man at at Frederick might have been beaten Jena. left When from they disappeared they behind them no tradition of how to do things. and never have let his infantry stand for two hours firing without ordering a Nor.152 AUSTRIAN AND PRUSSIAN ARMIES work in the light-infantry Seven Years' War had been mainly done by irregulars enlisted for the war. never have let Lannes cross the Saale without a blow. the elasticity and vigour had gone. All through.

and after Germans who declared that the Jena there were many French system was alto- gether superior to the Prussian. Certainly Jena showed a superiority worth while to see in what that lay. officers. the "column" cried up. likely to be a popular conclusion with either leaders.THE BREAK-DOWN the men. and its nation has become unwilling to face the sacrifices needed for war is not. That an army has failed because its leaders have blundered. or nation. its officers grown irresolute. or of Prussian ideals of discipline. . it is of the French. especially in its handling of troops in the field. 153 It was a breakdown in what should have been the brain of the army that ruined the members. The " line " was discredited. however.

CHAPTER French Armies and IX their Opponents In 1792 and 1793 France had. as it were. or. Hence the French took to moving up their supporting troops in small battalion columns of about 400 or 500 . to begin at the very root of warfare. and it organization were in the scale against her. gives battle If a line way is — as these Revolutionary lines often did lost. the French found it impossible to move up a second line in support of the throu£-h the first. do it. not because French it. she created the nation in arms first example of the "modern" army her problem was to use —but — the Her half-trained levies could not be manoeuvred with Austrian ideal and Prussian accuracy. having deployed from column into would not go forward and would probably break back. —the not necessarily provided there are plenty more men to take the place of those who have broken. since skill. officers disbelieved in but because the men would line. But it would be lost if those breaking back are allowed Thus to throw into confusion the supports coming up. because if the first broke back it did so second and involved it in its own ruin. to crush her enemies by number and what we may call all brute force. training. To do it. therefore the advance in line of the steady not had to be given up.

courage and confidence speedily grew. So. it was the men. except this it true it is a supreme merit it — — 1 In column they had less to fear from hostile cavalry. They had plenty of men. and the French Revolutionary armies were always weak in cavalry.FRENCH COLUMNS men 155 — if the first line broke it could escape by the gaps. as the Revolutionary troops were badly drilled. to an end. But the point is that they did come on. so is they came on attack in in a swarm. and being superior in moral^ the fact that they were less well drilled did not affect the result. not in stately lines but in ragged crowd. probably the enemy was so hot on its heels that the supporting columns had to go in as columns^ with the bayonet. when they did deploy they did so in an irregular way. if the first line broke. it if was the best the French could do.rate fighting . people began to think that it was the system that won the battles. Here then the genesis of the column and the French advance en dehandade. however. and coming swarming on in this straggling and seemingly undisciplined fashion. accurate touch what looked to Prussian and Austrian eyes to be a This. and fighting so often and so successfully they became first . the second would deploy and join it.men. of the attack in How it came in the invention would be used would depend on how the battle went. as a practical means column. Besides. the French infantry came to expect victory. Further. and they attacked. But when they won their battles advancing in column. If the first line held on. The system had no is merit. . and their generals held lives cheap. That was a mistake. they would have kept they could. was not intentional. Having the advantage of numbers. they could not.

as has been seen.000. he vastly outnumbered Mack in 1805^ ^^^ ^^^ Prussians in tuguese. 120. and there was levies.^ stiffen So there would be plenty of old soldiers to and Napoleon new could use 25.000. as in heavy years. 1811. 1810.000. as will be seen from the note. 160. 80. 1809. the annual supply was not 76. and. for each year from 1801 1S04. When he marched into Russia in 1812 he had with him Prussians and Germans from almost every German Austrians. Thus year by year the French armies practically were filled. 240. ^ Normally it was five years. till 2 The annual levy for 1800 was 30.156 FRENCH ARMIES AND OPPONENTS at was the " best possible use of the means the end in view ". and even unwilling Por- But. 1806 and 1807. in those enough the levy went back and raked total of Austrians who had escaped in earlier years. all unmarried French citizens between the whole thing Then twenty and twenty-five were. When. law. so his recruiting -grounds widened also —conState. and so on. and Dutch. 1812. the class the subject of an annual If the class aged twenty to twenty-one did not yield twenty-one to twenty-two was called on. tingents of subject States and allies swelled his armies. was done in 1798. ^ He did not outnumber the and Russians combined.000.237.000.000. the actual number taken each year being enough. . but they never managed to combine. hand to attain came into the capable hands of Napoleon.000. 1808. 240. 1805. liable to serve. he drew more and more on France as years went on.100. Before he became First Consul the plan of This conscription had been put on a methodical footing. dominions widened. 60. but once with the colours men tended to stay on.000. no limit of time of that he service. Italians.000: 1813.000 men a month — who observed — drew men who As his would give him a superiority in number.000. 1.^ This gave Napoleon men.

led To by begin with.NAPOLEON'S METHODS 1806. and the way Napoleon used these things. and the battles were won. instead of realizing that these columns were first-rate targets. -Compare with the the Revolutionary general who "wished that the devil had flown away man who invented writing ". The enemy. a 157 to give used his numbers him The usual Napoleonic attack was swarm of tirailleurs so vigorous and pervading that his their cover with- columns were able out receiving already hard sight of such to come up under much notice or punishment. they rose and kept ^ were leaders \ fire as they Though over and over again he insisted on a superiority of the decisive factor. would waver and break.number. may reckon then that it was not the system of French which won battles. but their. But he further a " moral " advantage. greedy. But there were other advantages that they full practice. But this was a later development. pressed by the tirailleurs^ shrank at the huge masses so close on them. they were soldiers in officers who had risen by merit. by his fierce artillery attacks of concentrated fire at short range. . We the spirit. had. Napoleon understood well that there are more ways of beating the enemy than by killing him:^ he knew how And later he went further with this to shake his nerve. Its perfecting was shown in Senarmont's "case-shot" attack at Friedland in 1807. their their experience. the columns pushed on. ignorant.^ low-bred. and. But whether they had survived from the Royal their place only because they army or were newcomers of the Revolution. Some of these officers dis- were often rough. even honest.

but who were. Berthier. each of them in his turn to his staff. Regiments found themselves now under one leon. As body they far surpassed the generals in the service of the Allies. but it gave him speed. and each general of division to his brigadiers. owed more to Napoleon than they would have cared to admit.158 FRENCH ARMIES AND OPPONENTS men could get the most out of their men. and their trusted them and worked for them. and. Napoleon dictated his orders to his chief of staff. kept the same men This not only gave him together in each army corps. who sent them to generals of divisions. perhaps. quite prepared to " play the game " to the best of their powers. Instead of eight better fighters. they quarrelled violently in Spain. most of them. now under another. or fourteen pages of writing "with no superfluous word". but first with Napoleon to direct them they were a rate. They were often fiercely jealous of each other. knowing how much more was to be got out of men by leaders they were used to. knew how to use While Austrian armies had no permanent divisions. Napoleon's genius for war such men. But Napogeneral. Head-quarters did not waste time writing elaborate orders . Again. men would be put together form but the arrangement was for the moment only. When a it. extremely capable subordinates. and Prussia did not go beyond Napoleon's army was organized Austrians in army corps. Berthier passed them on to the corps commanders. gave army corps to his marshals. arrangement of anything above the regiment and brigade. so far as might be. for any reason or Prussians wanted to detached force. And from the best of them came that mass of marshals who.

1805). to the middle bridge.boy's They embody sound the head. causing serious disorder. They is teach the value of decentralization and individual responsibility long words which only say that to waste. but Berthier v\as not told of this. so for a few days .-' 159 So the paralysis and the Austrian congestion and delays which made army so slow were unknown to the French. — — and Davout's and Oudinot's corps crossed in the night. worked There are plenty of instances of the French army as in other armies' Oddly enough on one occasion when an elaborate order it was in thirty-one paragraphs was issued for crossing the Danube from the isle of Lobau to the battle-field The order sent Davout.] For example. march from the Channel to Ulm the orders given would have caused a crossing between Davout's and Soult's corps. but to see that those under him do it This system of army corps under commanders. [See also next note. in 1806 Murat was placed in interim command of the army mistake. these army corps. tells There are^ many clouts versions of the old story which in how the fault-finding high places get transmitted down till someone drummer. be remarked. his guid- but who were less left to arrange their own means of in carrying out his orders. bad ^ staff work in work together in war. the French staff blundered. military principles. instead of being packed with detail. Berthier told Murat to be "in force" at two different places on the same day (13th October. made for speed two ways. because head-quarters had fewer to issue. right. 1806). had not Davout pointed out the Again. and what were issued were brief and general. and Davout was ordered to concentrate at two different places (October. and Oudinot. at Wiirzburg over Berthier's head. further.— ARMY CORPS for a regiment to cross a bridge.mule. and. who was to form the of Wagram. who was to form the centre. or kicks battery. to the bridge on Although ten copies of the order were sent. who were responsible indeed to Napoleon and under ing. and everyone's business not only to do his best himself. the mistake was not noticed. that this was affair at ' It will a big operation involving several a army corps: the Giinzburg which took up Mack's time was in the small one. the right. in war there is no time too. however. consisting of units used to easily and confidently. There was waste of time waiting for orders from head-quarters.

.m. of Bautzen. a second advantage.i6o FRENCH ARMIES AND OPPONENTS staffs indeed the were a weak point in the armies of the French Empire —but the faulty orders did less harm. Yet the same commander. cally danger. on the other hand.. and victory at Jena disposed of both issued orders. they got rid trailed wagons which an Austrian army about with Of course they had to have transport wants ammunition and rations for army has. this is a rare example the Prussians took the alarm. being told to be on the Prussian right Jiank by 1 1 a. speed to the fact that they made war support war by living on the country. and halted. and by a stroke deadly. and Napoleon blamed him on the ground that he ought to have known better than remain doing nothing. They were living all on the country. at the battle Napoleon did not know he was there. when an — every army is concentrated to fight it cannot attend to the busi- But it reckoned on finding the main part of its supplies from the enemy's country. since could reckon retaliated far less on getting food on the way. and to men who were accustomed to act for who used their sense and experience in war carry out what they knew to be Napoleon's general ideas. the stroke was Two days before the battle of Jena the Prussian cavalry did cut the French communications on the southern side of the Thuringian Forest. practi- Bernadotte's instructions (which he obeyed with exactness) kept him away from both Jena and Auerstadt. be- cause they came to themselves. at its if the enemy communications. and That gave it its wagons were cut down to a minimum. fiercely. and came in at the nick of time. in 1813. In the first This acted two of the excess of it. but this did not affect the French movements at all. of where a marshal did not act in the spirit of Napoleon's plan. Again. it emergencies. Still. got there at lo a. it enabled it to strike easily at it its enemy's flank or communications. place. and the whole attack failed. the Revolutionary and Napoleonic armies owed their much of ways.m. ness of collecting food. disobeyed the letter of his instructions in order to get up promptly to the battle-field of Jena. Ney.

that through experience they had developed a way of making war at which went farther to secure mobility and superiority the decisive point than the old eighteenth-century sys- tems. the Prussians began to distrust their officers. and to ask themselves if so much confusion and marching and counter-marching did not mean disaster. things went wrong. if he remained scattered. the result was the panic on the afternoon of October iith. They they were able to make long marches could at if high speed.) — THE FRENCH ADVANTAGES i6i Thus the French armies had a nimbleness which neither the Austrians nor Prussians could rival. if the enemy concentrated to fight. starting with the sight of one Hussar with bandaged head. consequently even whole' order of the French ( when the movement was changed on loss October 12th. rode furiously into Jena from Weimar — who the one direction from which the French could not possibly be coming shouting: "Get back! The French are on us!" But Napoleon's men were used to confusion of war. there was no c 754 of confidence. move easily on flank or rear. they would out- march him. in the few days preceding Jena. they would beat him. up in detail. skill in war which their opponents When. 11 . 1806. Having the advantage of numbers. if he retreated. they were threat- ened with a counter-stroke they decamped. they had they did not expect every- seen things straighten out. the French could always concentrate fnore qukhly. leaving little behind for their enemy to fall upon. and through constant practice in campaigning they had a rough-and-ready lacked. thing to go as on parade. if if the enemy stood they would surround or outflank him. he fought. they would cut him The secret mainly lay in this.

and this quite apart from his genius for war. He called one together in 1796. He a did retreat — in appear- —but immediately turned off down the Adige. had fewer resources. and the Guard were on the march most of the night of the 13th. or There were few councils of war. These conditions were such that they deprived the French of the chief advantage of speed which they had hitherto enjoyed. Murat. There were no delays while kings. cut at the base of Lake Garda. but that did not hinder them from fighting confidently on the 14th. since there. at Caldiero. Thus it was far more difficult for the French make war support war. . when he had been beaten ance and was in grave danger of having his communications It declared for a retreat. he would not political aims interfere with military needs. cabinets. and was to less thickly populated than Austria. The only way for them to was to scatter widely. And not least of the advantages of the French must be reckoned Napoleon himself at the head.^ In fact. the French were faced with a set of conditions in which they failed. and 'whatever was intended was carried out with unity and consulted. Bavaria. Aulic Council. Being a soldier. operations were only possible for a concentrated force after long 1 and careful Napoleon hardly ever summoned them. Soult. Supreme Juntas were energy. Scharnhorst's maxim was fulfilled. The point is that a soldier could turn its was leti at the head of the French nation^ to and he resources his purposes. for one reason and another. Spain was much less fertile. making counter-threat at the Austrian communications. live In fact. What has been said about the French advantages becomes even more evident when we turn from the Central European campaigns to what happened in Spain. and fought and won the battle of Areola.i62 FRENCH ARMIES AND OPPONENTS Ney. and Saxony.

DIFFICULTIES OF SUPPLY
collection of supplies.
in the Peninsula consisted of brief spurts

163

Consequently a great part of the of
last

fighting
activity

on

the- part

of the French, which could only
It

just so long as supplies lasted.
that this

might be supposed

would

aiFect
is

both sides
true.

in the

a certain extent this
its

The

side that

same way, and to had gathered
its

supplies before the other could often catch

enemy
British

unawares, and this would cut both ways.

But the

had three advantages.

They were

fighting in a friendly

country, the French in a hostile one

—and

this hostility

was active and universal; they paid

for supplies,

which

was expensive but did cause the country-folk to bring

them

in,

while the French tried to obtain supplies by

requisition,

which was

difficult in a

country so barren as

Spain; finally, the

command of
as they

the sea enabled

them

to

change their base
British

might require.

This gave the
first,

and Allied forces the chance of concentrating
is

and that

how Wellington
a

contrived to take Ciudad

Rodrigo and Badajoz by

pounce before the scattered
off.^

French could concentrate to drive him
^

Illustrations of the value of the

command

of the sea will be found in later chapters.

An
(in

example of the French trouble with supplies is worth quoting. In 1814 Marmont command of the army of Portugal) wrote to Berthier: "I found not a grain of wheat
magazines, not a sou in the treasury
in our
. . .

we own cantonments by using armed always concentrated and can always be moved because
in the

could only get food for daily conforce.
it
.

sumption

.

.

The

English army

is

has an adequate supply of

and transport.

cavalry on the banks of the

Seven or eight thousand pack-mules bring up its daily food hay for the Coa and Agueda has actually been sent out from England.
this fact the

money

His Majesty may judge from

not four days' food in any of our magazines,

comparison between them and us. We have we have no transport, we cannot draw requi-

sitions from the most wretched village without sending a foraging party 200 strong." Jourdan also observed: "What would do for a short campaign in Lombardy or Bavaria was hopeless for central Spain". Marmont was wrong on some points: the hay was

sent to Lisbon, but not up-country to the Coa, and Wellington certainly had not an

"adequate supply of money". Both the British and Portuguese armies were constantly in arrears of pay, and there was little specie to pay for supplies. Wellington grumbled bitterly about this, but it was almost impossible to get coin in England to send to him.

1

64

FRENCH ARMIES AND OPPONENTS
Again, owing to their better system of army corps,

the French had hitherto saved time in transmitting orders.

But in Spain the whole people were actively hostile. Every road was watched, every village had its handful of guerrilleros^ every Frenchman who passed did so at
the risk of his
life.

The

result

was that not only conhold

voys were cut
here,
there,

off,

but the French troops were scattered
to,

and everywhere, trying
even
so,

down
as

the

country.

Every orderly needed

at least a

squadron

an

escort, and,

messages often

failed to arrive.

The

result

was that when French orders for a concentration

were issued, they travelled slowly and often went astray, while the British forces could communicate safely and
promptly.-^

Further,

when

orders did

come

to hand, the

French
slowly.

forces, beset

They had

to be

by enemies at every step, moved on their guard against ambush.
to use

They were
to brush

harassed at the passes and at night; they had

away constant swarms of an enemy who,

when Wellington's campaign of Salamanca was just beginning, and it Marmont at Valladolid to keep in touch with Joseph and his chief of staff Jourdan at Madrid, Jourdan wrote on June 30th to Marmont to say that his latest Marmont's later dispatch from him was sixteen days old, being dated June 14th.
^

In

1

812,'

was essential

for

June 22nd and June 24th had never arrived: they had in fact been captured In this letter of June 30th Jourdan indicated that he would not be able to send men to help Marmont. This letter did arrive, though it only reached Marmont on July 12th, ha'ving taken tiveli'e Jays to co'ver the 150 milez from Madrid to
letters of

and sent to Wellington.

Valladolid via Segovia.
longer, since he

On

receiving

it

Marmont

decided that

it

was

useless to wait

would not be reinforced, and accordingly, on July 15th, he began his Meantime advance from the Douro which drove Wellington back to Salamanca. Joseph and Jourdan had changed their minds; on July 9th they resolved to march to help Marmont; they gathered 14,000 men and set off from Madrid on July 21st.

Marmont, however,

nenjer got any despatch

telling

him that

they 'vere coming,

and hustled

forward, trying to outflank Wellington, which proceeding led to his utter defeat at

Salamanca on July 22nd, the day after Joseph and Jourdan had started from Madrid. Had he known they were coming he would have waited for them, and they would have

made

his

army much stronger than Wellington's.


A NATIONAL
Mr. Oman's

WAR

165

apt image, was like a bubble of quicksilver

breaking up under the hand, leaving nothing to grasp,

and rolling away

in

tiny

and uncatchable globules, to
the advantage of speed passed

unite again later on.

Thus

from them

to the other side.
first

Here, then, the French

felt

that obstacle of in-

tense national patriotism, which

made every Spaniard

not merely every Spanish soldier

—an

enemy.

Hitherto

countries which the French had overrun submitted
their capital

when

was taken and

their field-armies destroyed.

Not

so Spain.

Her towns were

so few that their capture
split

mattered little, and the land is so by great mountain ranges that one

up

into provinces

district felt
its

no pressure

because the French had occupied
Castile

neighbour.

That

was conquered and Madrid occupied mattered
Catalonia,

nothing to

or

Galicia,

or

Andalusia.

The
to

French, being faced with what was to them an unreasonable warfare

kept up fiercely by people
(in

who ought
local

have submitted when they were

French eyes) beaten,
fighters

endeavoured to put down these scattered

by using great

severit}'".

The

Spaniards were as merciless,

and so between Spaniard and Frenchman there grew up, not merely a feeling of hostility, but of bitter hatred,^ which deepened
of the French.
Again, they had lost their old virtue of carrying
baggage.
little

as the

war went on, and

it

inspired Spain
difficulties

to a stubborn fury

which added intensely to the

Their discipline, never

strict,

had relaxed, and

' This was in sharp contrast to the good fellowship which marked the fighting between French and English from Talavera onward. In the latter stages of the war

the soldiers on each side often managed to

let

the other

know whether
Mr. Oman's

serious business

was on hand, or whether

it

was only "bickering",

to use

phrase.

1

66

FRENCH ARMIES AND OPPONENTS
From
marshals
to the rank

they were in the habit of plundering.

down

and

file

all

tried to carry off

some-

thing, whether they filled pocket and knapsack or trains

of wagons.

This did not so much matter
it

as

long as

they were advancing; but in retreats

was paralysing.

Dupont's disastrous surrender
to the

at

Baylen was largely due

immense
-^

train

of plunder he was carrying; again,

the roads round Vitoria were choked with French spoil.

This habit

clogged the feet of the French armies more

and more.
Again,
advantages.
in

Germany They had
But
in

the French

had had two other

bigger armies and one

man

at the

head of them.
It

Spain they lost these advantages.

almost always

was not that they were short of men in Spain. They had far more men than the Allies. But their
so eaten

numbers were

up

in garrisons, in

guarding

lines

of communications,
the battle-fields.

in chasing

bands of guerrilleros, that

they never could bring into action any really big force on

Again, what chance they had of doing

so was often spoiled by quarrels and jealousy

Marshals themselves.
if

Each hung on

to his

among the own province;
Besides, if

he

left it

he

felt

sure an insurrection would break out
it.

in his absence,
1

and he would be blamed for

In which Napoleon himself was a leader.
pictures

fifty

— he

stipulated for the very best

In 1809 he made Joseph send him from the Madrid galleries, telling Joseph
Little

that he might recoup himself by plundering private collections.

wonder that
Salamanca,

others copied him.

Marmont had
it.

his service of silver plate

with him

at

and Wellington captured

In 18 12 Marmont, being short of horses, requisitioned

the numerous riding-horses which his officers kept

— contrary

to

regulations.

Mr.

Oman

Taupin by name, who declared to his brigade officers (from the pulpit of a church where he had assembled them) that he would make an end of all luxuries. "In 1793", he cried, "we were allowed a haversack as our only baggage, a stone as our only pillow." But in fact this
relates the story of an old general of Revolutionary days,

Spartan veteran himself had

at the

time

six

baggage mules to carry his private belongings.

NAPOLEON'S ABSENCE
he joined another Marshal

167
he would

who was

his senior,

have to put himself under

his orders.

He

preferred to

go

his

own way, and

leave his colleague to find an escape

from

his troubles for himself.

Here, above

all,

the pre-

sence of Napoleon was missed.

He
that

alone could have

made them work together.^ still more amazing that he
and never
1

As
left

was

so,

it

becomes
and

Spain in January, 1809,

returned^ in spite of the fact that in 18 10

8

1 1

he had no fighting elsewhere.

Did he

fail

to grasp

the difficulties in Spain, or did he reali'ze that they were

beyond even his powers}
tory;

Neither explanation

is

satisfac-

we cannot imagine Napoleon continuously stupid we believe that he lacked confidence in himself. Yet one or other it must
over a matter of warfare, nor can

have been.

Yet more, not only was Napoleon no help, but he
was a hindrance.

He

refused to put

all

the operations in

Spain under one commander, trying instead to direct them
all

himself from wherever he might be, Paris, or Central Germany, or even Poland. Even if communications had been fairly open in Spain this would have been so difficult

as to be well-nigh impossible to

do with success.

Napo-

leon's instructions

were bound

to be three

weeks behind

the time

— often

three

months.

But

it

was commonly

impossible for the French to keep communications open
at all.

When

Soult advanced into Galicia in 1809 nothing
rest

was heard of him by the
'

of the French for a month;

But not always. In flat contradiction to his orders Lefebvre attacked Blake at Zornoza on December 31st, 1808, and drove that commander out of the dangerous position in which he was, where Napoleon had hoped to surround him. Blake fell back on Bilbao and saved himself. Again, Lefebvre, in defiance of orders, marched off on a madcap career to Avila in 1809, and so exposed Madrid. Napoleon superseded him
this time.

an advance headed by a swarm of line or a double line of small 1. as a matter of fact he did not hear that the siege was begun till January 14th. superiority in number. 181 send a force to help Suchet in Catalonia. and Badajoz on April 6th. Again. . and took small pains to find out.^ Speed. Napoleon knew little of Spain. columns depended Napoleon ordered Marmont in Leon to got the order on December 13th. on November 20th. were to a great extent the cause of the French losing both Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. the and on what might have been done fair.1 68 FRENCH ARMIES AND OPPONENTS for three months without support. his influthe " that Peninsular War proved distracting and paralysing. and the force. wrote to Marmont: "The English will confine themselves to defend Portugal: you can ivait till June". or even news of any kind. Further. singleness in aim in — all distinguishing marks of —were failed the French during the great years of 1805-7 in lost to them Spain. Thus Napoleon's orders. His instructions in —based on maps. Germany And one thing more Their plan of covering a for tirailleurs them: their battle-tactics failed. and even disastrous. founded on out-of-date information and issued from a distance. since they often did not get the orders. suddenly began the siege of Ciudad Rodrigo. Napoleon. under Montbrun. power of concentration. But Ciudad Rodrigo was 'For example. On January &th Wellington. and population not actively applied insisted hostile —were often quite in preposterous when Germany he had ence in to Spain. mobility. valueless. marched on December 29th. countries where roads were supplies plentiful. hearing of this and other French movements eastward. Marmont taken on January i8th. on January 5th. Thus. while what was agreed on should be carried out with unity and energy ". though he was only a hundred miles away at Valladolid. or the orders went through they were belated. in happy ignorance. and Marmont's force was left too weak to interfere even if he had heard in time. Thus Napoleon's plan of sending orders to his commanders broke when Massena invaded Portugal he was down if utterly. and Napoleon's orders had forbidden Marmont to keep his troops so disposed that he could help Soult in time to protect Badajoz if Wellington attacked it.

and reserves up at the right moment. power against column. was out- numbered 10 or 5 to I. was superior 1900. with a front of 40 or 80. Wellington demonstrated an old principle which had been Line then re-asserted its old coming At Areola the ground prevented the use of anything but columns. but he won the battle by overthrowing the great Austrian column that was pressing the pursuit. French were invincible. ^ At Castiglione he had a concentrated force. was simply swept away by the British reply with 80 to 160 shots. this lesson. tactical — But the British soldier had never been taught it. and was not made public But from Vimiero to Vitoria the fact was demon- strated in every Peninsular battle. He made this the confession to till his private diary only. and their chief attack had no guns. The provided the line General Foy. At Marengo he was nearly beaten.— THE In Italy this BRITISH SOLDIER it 169 success on the moral impression made upon the enemy. for once. At Rivoli the Austrians attacked him on three sides without being able to co-operate. Drawn up in line of two deep a men could. who saw most of the fighting battle on in Spain. to its battalion. British battalion of 800 volley. a central position. .^ The campaigns of Ulm. and he refused to learn the sight of the He was not impressed by French columns — except as a target. though Napoleon's successes were really won more by than by his manoeuvres —and his enemies' mistakes methods in battle. he let the enemy concentrate first. but the French advancing in column of companies or double fire. the battle being chiefly fought along the roads leading through a morass. fire 800 shots. Austerlitz. moral impression had been made upon the Austrians.men. confessed that for a set a limited front with equal numbers British infantry to the French. because. stood firm. and Friedland deepened and confirmed this impression that the. could not be doubtful. companies. Jena. to which it could only it For firing purposes result.

once more. remember what happened at Fontenoy. the Dutch and Austrian attacks on the village of . an example of valour and discipline lives Or. and the British broke in disorder. lost sight of. touched the palisade with his sword. cool. but this died down as the British drew near Blenheim. The attack came on steadily to a distance of little. but he applied it The problem was to ensure that at the critical moment men. more than a cricket-pitch. As an attack it it perished: for ever. They still marched their leader. they fired and began to wrestle with the palisades to tear them down with their hands. grim. so the British did not on. The village was palisaded and held by 10. the loth. resolute. and then the long- expected French volley crashed out. Cutts's attack — the Guards leading. The British had orders to take the place with the bayonet. There. 21st. since the village was in the way. skilfully. till Even steadily fire. Take the story of Lord Cutts's attack upon the village of Blenheim. Row. the line should be steady — it must not have been his shaken beforehand. watching palisades. Another and another outburst of as fire came from the French. This steadiness he owed partly to for the^ British eighteenth-century infantry was as and unshakeable as were Frederick the Great's Prussians.— lyo FRENCH ARMIES AND OPPONENTS He did not discover it. Without firing a shot the troops marched up through the 150 yards of long grass that severed them from the row of silent. and one man in every three of the advancing line was killed or disabled. This was their agreed signal.000 French. and 24th regiments following crossed the shallow ditch of the Nebel under fire of grape from four French guns.. the French held their fire.

J." he "1 hope you are going the Scheldt. W. The French officers called Still and presented their muskets. to wait for us to-day. and the picked regiments of the British. On went the of the yards. slackened. to 50 and out stepped Lord Charles in Hay Guards. ^History of the Britiih Army. At lOO-yards range they came in them with scarlet". as cross-fire they" advanced. the Swiss red-coats. these and measured ments. the British did not rows of muzzles. Then they ist halted. as you turning to his Guards. ^ move. though the The men steady step never hurried or fell "strewing the sward behind Mr. Fortescue. but. he said: "There are the French hope you are going to beat them to-day ". the Maison du Roi in blue. . called for a cheer for the French which was given for a cheer in reply. finding themselves crowded. from the French which. and I and not swim Main at Dettingen" then. Hon." "like some mass of red blossoms that floats down a lazy stream and sheds its petals as it goes". still line in white. swam the — and he lustily. "Gentlemen.000 men set out on the 1000 yards of gentle. says sight of the French. Fortescue. became a flanking fire and eventually a fire into them from behind. fourteen and some Hanoverians) against the French lines^ with drums beating and shouldered arms. bare uphill towards the French entrench- They were under on either side — a cross-fire a.FONTENOY Fontenoy and the Redoubt d'Eu failing. the Hanoverians in perfect order dropped into a third line. 171 Cumberland sent of the line In three centre. O They started in two lines. but with shouldered arms stared steadily at the " For what we are about to receive. with slow step. flask hand. with shouldered arms. batteries 15. and ceremoniously cried to them. toasted the enemy. his centre (three battalions of Guards. own men.

said " it was two flaming went on. the officers tapping with their muskets that seemed too high. but the troops never moved. whole French front line to the first discharge. and Badajoz. the — were at last levelled. made the bravest brigade in the French service recoil. and crash on crash their volleys rolled along the battalions loading while the third fired.172 FRENCH ARMIES AND OPPONENTS down the French fired. them- With men of the sight little this stamp there was little chance that of dense columns would move them. : So it Mr. up thus " The brigade formed under a cross-fire of artillery. British kept up a ceaseless volleying inferno in men canes perfectly hand. like charging On came' two charges of French cavalry. retired to some distance and re-formed under a cross-fire. one it who was all there. repelled another desperate attack of cavalry. so long shouldered. They three attacks of cavalry. halted under a heavy cannonade. the Great Breach relied How at fear they in had of death was to be shown again at Albuera. repulsed infantry to receive their volley before they fired a shot. and marched up to within pistol-shot of the French shattered the French battalions to pieces. fortresses ". line. Fortescue sums fire. facing about to selves under a cross-fire almost to the end. But Napoleon enemy besides a moral impression. artillery advanced again with and musketry playing on front and flanks. and Then. remained halted under the same advanced slowly for half a mile in perfect order under the same fire. Lord. the- two the the Down of dropped fire." fire. make us truly thankful " shouted a soldier before the laugh died British muskets. and retired slowly and orderly. on other things to shake his His swarms of tirail- .

^ The troops would then be out of sight. the French attacks never suc- ceeded. other side of the methods and the French failures in Spain will be seen more fully in the next two chapters. Instantly they came in sight they were blown to pieces with a blast of fire. his artillery with storms of shell was to shake him. where they were in some His favourite position was just behind the brow of a hill. them on the. . driven back toWellington's within a few miles of Lisbon. Yet in both the same troubles beset and hamper the French. the French preliminary as resolute. The first will show him on the defensive. who prevented it attack getting so close that lines.WELLINGTON'S METHODS leurs 173 were to harass his enemy. and the same qualities win the battles for the Allies. drawn up in full view of the French oa the open slopes of Ligny. to the way in which Wellington masked his Owing men they for never could tell whether he was in force or not. Here came met the and in Wellington's foresight and skill. as nimble. Met thus. if that was not enough. and to a great degree out of fire. was. could seriously trouble his and he drew up his lines shelter from the enemy's guns. After a time the French hardly dared to assault any position which the British might be holding. bitter experience had taught them what might be waiting hill. "They will get damnably mauled". then the weight of the dense columns would complete the work. the second will follow him on the offensive from the Portuguese frontier to the Pyrenees. They did. till the French assaulting columns reached the top. He tirailleurs with skirmishers as thick. * The Duke's observation on the Prussians. there came a charge with the bayonet.

tricked and frightened them both into resigning. But it soon became clear that Napoleon would not be content with Portugal. . forces.000 ^ men facing Sir Baylen. He intended to seize Spain also. Charles IV. See map " General Arthur Wellesley: he became Viscount Wellington and it is simpler to call him Wellington throughout. to Bayonne. Thereon Spain exploded of insur- and the French army of occupation was scattered trying to put cut off them down.-^ (i) In a French 1807. Fer- dinand. What had be briefly already happened in the Peninsular War may summed up as three great French thrusts. by two Spanish at p. In August Wellington^ landed in 1809. and his son. when Spain and France were friends. 1808. in a series Joseph Bonaparte. 194. army under Junot moved through Spain. and gave the crown to his brother. Dupont was and surrendered with 20. He inveigled the King.] Massena's attempt to drive Wellington out of Portugal occupied the^ latter part of 1810. rections. and occupied Lisbon practically without striking a blow.CHAPTER X Torres Vedras — Wellington on the Defensive [A map of the Douro and Tagus valleys will be found at the end of Chapter XI. In July. and their corresponding parries or counter-strokes.

and was preparing to overrun the south of Spain. 1808). withdrew from Madrid. to Portugal. Wellington moved up Tagus com- . the Turning in south again. Soon after the French. With 200. Junot attacked him at Vimiero (August. Moore's army had to leave Spain. 1809)*. He meaning to advance on Lisbon. but his counterstroke had diverted all the weight of the French to the there daring desolate region of Galicia. and gave the Spaniards of the centre and south three (3) months to rally (January. who a sudden pounce unexpected attack on him. against hiS' communications. of insane schemes of fighting pitched worse. when came the second parry. The third French stroke was Soult's invasion of took Oporto and was Portugal from the north.drew back promptly. Soult chased him to Corunna and was beaten there. first thrust and parry saw the French of the Ebro (September.000 French veterans with levies some 80. and was glad to agree to evacuate Portugal. or. puffed up by Baylen. a swift delivered while Soult was asleep and his staff at break- and threw him back in rout to the north.000 raw — the- ambitious exploit of con- taining the greater within the less. 1 808). full Ebro and shattered the whose commanders.000' men were still at his back he burst over the Spanish armies. in the shape of Moore's march into Leon. threatened on all sides and the end of the back on the (2) line by Spanish armies. Moore got news in time and . had been sent back made But Wellington. He entered Madrid.CORUNNA AND THE DOURO 175 on the coast of Portugal. Napoleon at once gave up his southern plans and rushed at Moore. crossed the Douro by fast. battles. in Napoleon then took the job hand. was soundly beaten. of surrounding 200.

would not hear of another advance into Spain. first Napoleon's intention was to come himself. the British force got From August clear 20th. and his January and February. when its of the French on retreat from Talavera. 1810. convinced Napoleon that a fourth effort was needful.176 WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE pany with the Spaniards under Cuesta. ^ In the autumn of 1809 the Spaniards were routed at Ocana and elsewhere. till February 27th. was waiting for the spring. but he changed his mind^ and decided to send Massena. who had found out in his march against Moore what a Spanish winter was like. 1809). 809. who were everywhere beaten on the field. he decided to drive It from Portugal and capture Lisbon once more. He in intended to put more than 100. and beat off Victor's army at Talavera (July. but always gathering again and cutting off French communications and capturing detachments. " He was occupied with the divorce of Josephine and marriage with Marie Louise. In the same month his in which Talavera was at fought he had defeated the Austrians Wagram. not a shot was fired by Wellington's men. and Wellington. faint-hearted Spanish troops. and cantankerous Spanish generals Talavera. .000 fresh troops in Spain. that aim. while each side prepared for the next move. Napoleon. These two battles. 18 10. so the main fighting^ died down. who had had at enough of evasive Spanish promises. Perceiving the was the it backbone of the resistance. that he sent was with Massena 1 in 18 10. The French did not dare to follow him into Portugal for lack of men. combined with the activity of the Spaniards. and he force was again able to reinforce that armies in Spain from British Germany. Soult overran Andalusia.

both in abilities and record. man and for all as a soldier the most capable. and Soult with the army of the south were out of his control. too far to help but Joseph with the army of the .hard. in any case they were 400 miles away.000 men under his command^ — a big force. — and — about 140. he had from the ranks. suspicious. His enemies —who were many—declared in was a Jew. Napoleon knew that he was better fitted than any other * Many of these were in garrisons. risen Few liked him: he was. and his heroic defence of in 1 Genoa 800 were the two outstanding exploits in his career. and displayed the defects of low birth now that he had attained high that he place. Massena got no support when the pinch came. to work with him. he had distinguished himself in Italy in 1796. 6th. or and. But he did not make Massena Commander-in-Chief in Spain consequently not only Suchet and Augereau in Aragon and Catalonia were independent of him they did not so much matter. revengeful. and amazingly greedy money. Massena himself was of Napoleon's marshals fifty-two as a — — very nearly the oldest the most unbearable. He had made a name before Napoleon appeared. he could only ask them. (C751) 12 . as we refer to the Emperor. and that his name was but Manasseh conBut he stood in front of all the other marshals verted. Massena could not order them shall see. his fierce-attack on Zurich in 1799. — — centre. which had driven Suwaroff to that memorable retreat over the high passes to Chur. and to put him as well at the head of most of the This would make troops already in Castile and Leon.MASSENA to give 8 th 177 Massena three army corps the 2nd.

however. trouble which Massena's personal character might cause. with ready subterfuge. . and Berthier was too polite contradict. • which was good of him.^ the means Wellington's hand to defend is pierced by two great rivers. and Junot also detested might have to support him. secondly. Perhaps the best witness of as the most dangerous of all his opponents. ^A map showing the main features will be found i8i. on which lies Lisbon. Doubtless he was the best man Napoleon could send. not on good terms with Soult. the geoat graphy of the country. and perhaps Napoleon under -estimated some of the Wellington. as Napoleon had a managed to shoot him in the eye. Massena must march. for to the as who picked him out Emperor he naturally made himself as pleasant he could.178 of his the WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE men in to command Italy with a big force. As Massena's task was to clear the English out of at Portugal. the Tagus in the south. — or too wise— to on p. there was little chance of French counsels.^ He first was. declared that Berthier had fired the unlucky shot. He had given him army of which to detain the Archduke all is Charles 1805. and therefore it must be on Lisbon that the north. and the last serve under him. But since Massena was a man who could make his subordinates obey. at daggers him. however. it. this did not seriously matter. first. and said that against him he had always to be vigilant and could take none of the risks which he could safely accept against the others. It was easier to strike at Oporto. the next things to look are. the Douro in lies Oporto. and did not expect affection anyhow. in his endeavour to bring down pheasant. on which . Napoleon. As the to two were cordiality in drawn with Ney. Portugal and. but that would be only a diversion Wellington was based on Lisbon.

— which and Almaraz on the Tagus. to lost way every gun and every not seen an direct route horse.000. for the country is no road at all cliffs so beset with and ravines that passage hill is impossible. ragged infantry. valley. is There is no main road But what seems natural in Spain never down the Tagus valleys there along the river. follows to that river to Badajoz. —who went — having of way down with 20.THE TAGUS VALLEY This suggests a belief that. the natural one. Then. and reached Lisbon with 1500 limping. but there was no Douro The is best road towards Lisbon from Madrid the great road centre of Spain —was through Talavera frontier. now hazards a guess that the Douro valley to Oporto. and they had — enemy nor fired a shot. it crosses the Sierra de Guadelupe and comes down to Merida on the Guadiana.''' Plainly there must be some. as 179 is Madrid in the upper Tagus point. Massena and come down the Tagus by the main road. and moving and Abrantes Lisbon — on the the the Tagus to Lisbon^ from. will make Madrid his starting- seems natural.men from Salamanca. No road-engineer would face the difficulties. exhausted. where were the roads. By Napoleon's . which This runs from one capital to the other along the river. exists. With Massena less confidence one follow will from there on by the road for the same reason that there was no Tagus road. and coast road. as So much for the we were tempted toi think it. near the ^ Portuguese order. but they are so bad that Junot started by Alcantara. There are wretched part tracks which run through upland wildernesses.

He must come from Old Castile and the valley of the upper Douro to Salamanca. drops away to easier country — — south of Coimbra. past Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida. But it has one insuperable It objection. was bound to come by a road that would enter Portugal to the north of the Tagus. How was Massena to cross. and beyond that again for miles the Tagus was unbridged. The country then that lies between the Douro and the Tagus demands a closer study. The estuary at its narrowest is 2000 yards wide. On that and some other things hung the whole possibility of Portugal being held. and Elvas. no hurry.i8o WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE This road is thence through Elvas to Lisbon. then. and on reaching the Portuguese frontier widens out into a great mass of mountain with its highest and steepest part First comes the Sierra de Gata nearest to the. and thence< to Lisbon. only Tagus ferry opposite Lisbon. This is continued westward by the Sierra de Gredos. his crossing? Massena. Between the upper Douro and the upper Tagus runs the mountain wall of the Sierra de Guadarrama.Tagus. and hills rises again in a tangled mass of which forms that projecting snout of Portugal on . This goes on southwestwards towards the sea. as in we shall see. and then the Serra da Estrella. about. it round- is blocked by the fortresses of Badajoz and The was length did not matter. for Massena. Further up it expands into a lagoon twenty miles long and from four to eleven miles wide. This road does not lead into Lisbon. especially in face of a British fleet with Wellington's army ready leads to the to oppose. for no other would let him reach Lisbon.

^ See map. the country was not only hilly. plunging into one ravine and climbing painfully out. p. the roads crawl SPAIN & PORTUGAL The routes to Lisbon --— English Miles -^^-^^^--^'"^-^^^^ o TO 40 60 op 100 120 r^o along the scarped hill-sides. MoreIn the whole square there is hardly a town of any consequence. . over. the i\ii The point to remark is that. between lies Tagus and the Douro on the Portuguese frontier hilly country a great square of about loo miles in depth} All this upland is extremely rugged and broken. 183.THE PORTUGUESE FRONTIER which Lisbon stands. but desolate. only to dive into another.

very existence shows how guarded is its frontier in the vital spot. intensely difficult to get. lying at its very door. Navarre. . ambitious. the total would thus be brought to 40. army needed would have to be brought with Yet throup:h this the invader was bound to come in order to get at Lisbon. raised the figure to He 30. So much geography the same thing. it invaded France. fastened on the Low Countries and on Lorraine. and this meant bayonets. cavalry and so forth must be added.^ the French could not beat him out of it. how did little Portugal escape conquered by its huge. Guns. even so. Here comes one of the best proofs of Wellington's amazing insight and. Yet little Portugal. He reckoned that he could was. and powerful being neighbour } For two centuries Europe was convulsed by It the aggression of Spain and the house of Hapsburg. joined. but history says much ? Spain and Portugal.000. tells us. the Everything it. Moore had declared — that Portugal was not defensible it : Wellington was per- fectly certain that 809 he told Castlereagh that if he were given 20. Leon. and the rest when of them And. survived If there — save it for a short period of Spanish rule.000 on reconsideration.000 British troops.^ great easy highways had been two to down Douro and down Tagus Its bring hordes of Spanish troops into Portugal could well not have survived. it laid hands on much of Italy. in places not even water was to be had for stretches of six to eight miles.'' Aragon. foresight. In 1 ^ From about 1580 its till about 1660 Portugal was either in the hands of Spain or under ^ influence.] t82 WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE Supplies would be while villages are few and small. Why Portugal How did this kingdom avoid absorption into Spain Castile.

that a big army moving through either so lose the mountains into Portugal as to cease to be starve. directly they did so. and local levies would so harass the invader that they would get neither supplies nor information about each other. would by detachments it dangerous or cast if it hung together came exactly true. would All this fore- To beat Wellington back from .WELLINGTON'S FORESIGHT recreate the Portuguese that 183 army and make it trustworthy. that the French could only get the militia together an army big enough to threaten him seriously een Tag-us and Douro English Miles 30 e 40 50 /a dotted line mountainous & rough by leaving hold on parts of Spain. and that. rebellion would break out in Spain.

000 men 1809. How well that watch was kept may be judged by knowCraufurd faced an active ing that from March to July enemy his line six times his force. as will be seen. under in front. never had broken. never lost a detachment. strike at any of their isolated forces . to act against him. In March Ney reached it the neigh- bourhood of Ciudad Rodrigo. Reynier. and so stab him in the back while he was engaged with Massena But the French in that neighbourhood. namely. and never sent a . Coimbra and the also frontier for- of Almeida. So he did by 18 13 what he predicted in He made and his little British army the deciding factor in Spain. in doing so he did much to bring about Napoleon's downfall.1 84 WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE in Talavera 1809 Ney had to come down from Galicia. they could not drive him out of Portugal even when Massena was given 100. In the beginning of 18 10 the French gradually gathered where? Wellington expected them. where of the Light was the business Division under Craufurd to watch him. The French could not neglect him. and. But he kept a detached force lest under Hill south of the Tagus watching either the French should either make a desperate push down that river by the south bank or by the north. at Since January Wellington's head-quarters had been about' hair-way between tress Vizeu. and so that province was at lost to the French. to check him Burgos in 18 12 all the south had to be given up. was never surprised. on the road from Salamanca to Ciudad Rodrigo. lay quiet. since he lay on their flank and could either.

In its way this is one of the most brilliant things in the war.^ failed. One was shell leaking and laid a train back A French chanced to fall in the court- yard and lit this powder. and which was to continue. and went the whole centre of the town. An excuse for the slowness which had distinguished the French so far. the barrel exploded. . Only five houses escaped being unroofed. the spark ran back to another the magazine door. but the details are out of place here. they had a stroke of luck. and what had been the streets were stony ravines so choked with ruins that there ^ Wellington's comment on this delay was: "This is not the way the French have conquered Europtr''. and a mom. and began the siege of that town on August 15th. and taken on July 9th. may be found in Napoleon's instructions to him.MASSENA'S ADVANCE false piece 185 of news." Unlike' Napoleon this. Ciudad Rodrigo was invested on June 1 5th. On the evening of Here August 26th some powder-barrels were being taken out of the central magazine. to the rest. and probably he meant that the work was done^ thoroughly this time.ent after the like the bursting magazine blew up with it of a volcano. but two previous dashes had to be You need not hurry. which had been barrel standing at left open. On May 28th Massena reached Salamanca and took over the command. but can go methodically to work. They were in these: "You can spend the summer months taking Ciudad Rodrigo and then Almeida. what had been the castle was now a vast chasm in the rock. The French moved on to Almeida after a considerable delay owing to the shortage of ammunition.

But again there was delay while rations were collected.. Massena had about 63. and was therefore less good than Ney's (6th) or Reynier's (2nd Corps). was about Vitoria in September.000 men.^ city has And though Ney and Massena The never recovered. but Massena's had never risen in above 80.000 columns occupied in chasing him and his 3000 all that autumn but they Another guerrilla method was to ship these irregulars in British never caught him. there are great gaps bare of houses inside the wall in still. There were still many things for Massena. making attacks on towns held by scanty French garrisons. coming to reinforce Massena with 18.000 men Leon.000 were mostly ^ first-rate troops. called up Hill. and traces of the explosion are visible in almost every building that survived. but before doing so he called up his detached left wing. Navarre. Reynier.000. he set out on September 15th. and why he was different — men not heavily reinforced in front of Torres Vedras.000 men. in garrisons or Thus between Bayonne and But they were of Galicia and northern Portugal were over 70. including two the frontier all divisions of the Young Guard.000. These things explain why Massena's force was not bigger.1 86 WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE So was no chance to move. and losses had him by 17. Mina (the elder) kept 18.000 men. from the Tagus valley. detained in six busy hunting the guerrilleros. and the two armies were now concentrating face to* face. . and must be gathered. to discover about Portugal. and Santander was maintained by 31. the Govern- ment of Burgos. Wellington. ^ Kellermann had 12. It is time to see what their numbers and their days qualities were.^ With the border fortresses now in his hands Massena could move on. already diminished sick. Drouet's 9th Corps. save along the ramparts. but he did know that the country ahead of therefore supplies for him would fifteen yield little food.^ Detachments on his lines Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida and elsewhere.000 men — Napoleon had meant total him to have 100.000. Having gathered them. ships and coast along North Spain. Still his 63. ' Junot's (8th Corps) was largely made up of fourth battalions. perished Almeida. his mind now relieved from any idea of a stroke at his flank. and Bonnet 9000 in Asturias.

and largely officered with British officers. would give him strong defensive That.WELLINGTON'S RESOURCES knew nothing of far. was not decisive. First. One of his main cares since his return to Portugal had been to reorganize the Portuguese army. any news. it. They would harass the French on the march. snipe them from hill-sides. It had been armed with British muskets and trained in British drill. however. and Wellington never used them But they were invaluable for guerrilla warfare.^ is in their On what if else could Wellington on the difficulty of the country. 187 the EngHsh. it Though it was rapidly improving in quality was not yet steady. on the Portuguese irregulars. which. They could not stop Massena. Second. and cut all They knew the paths through the hills. destroy every small detachment and foraging-party. of militia and partly of a levy en masse called the Ordenanza. It had been put under the command of an Irishman. Neither were of serious value in so. sisted partly These conbattle. superior number and much favour. Reynier and Junot did. yet the sequel will show that they had learnt little so To set against this Wellington had 53. but they completely prevented him from getting communications. he fought. when beaten they made off.000. From the moment he left Almeida he never . and the ground was so rough that the French could not follow. almost equally divided between British and Portuguese. superior in quality to the Portuguese half of the Allied So far the balance rely. positions. Beresford. and Wellington did not fully trust in The French were Army.

yet in his armoury. resource proper place. Wellington remarked he had chosen the worst road in Portugal: that was an exaggeration. Calling out the Ordenanza mea. While he . fortified a strong position on it where crossed the Alva. on the Tagus. and of Busaco. the other to the north of the River Mondego. The choice really between the northerly to the south one going by the south but Wellington it bank. and leave the land it. pair. The one had was far the better. a route which Massena had already rejected by calling Reynier up from The next the Estrada Nova was at the Tagus valley. Thus he would more in its French with the weapon of famine. the wilderness that nature had made The Portuguese and fight the Government had agreed Wellington enforced it. that this should be done. or from any other Spain. but at the it was an uncommonly bad one. and Massena knew this.1 88 WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE in heard another word French force from France. Of it these dif- the farthest to the south would not do: it was very ran through quite barren country. take away or destroy all food. And of his last From Almeida ficult. So he decided for the most northerly route of all. But Wellington had two other weapons. four possible roads offered. from Celorico through Vizeu on Coimbra. and led to Villa Velha and Abrantes.nt proclaiming a national war. end lay the ridge Here Wellington decided to give battle. since Wellington had had great bits of lay it blasted away in precipitous places. — — the time impossible. for the next three months. It carried with it the command of the State that all in the path of the invader should leave their homes.

There Routes from Almeida towards Lisbon English Miles o 10 20 30 • . the guns soon got left to the rear.- Better roads is no road. Massena stumbled forward on the hortracks Colonel division. deserted by infantry and cavalry. I had to march with a party of gunners ahead of me with picks and crowbars to enlarge the track.— THE BUSACO ROAD rible 189 gathered there. The guns were almost always abandoned to take . As each only looked out for itself. Here is Noel's experience with the guns of Junot's across the hills " All the country-side is mountain and rock. all steep ups and downs. only a stony dangerous track. from Celorico. We only arrived at our halting-places late at night utterly done up.

The English push their barbarity to the point of shooting the plies. is The British Battle of Busaco an apt example of Wellinggranite ridge on which the ton's defensive tactics. there were wide gaps in the line. . the aged have decamped. and the is At the Mondego of the way it is very steep. the children. bare — a long slope of heather The main road that the French were following pierces the centre of the position almost at the steepest and highest places. wretched inhabitant who tries to remain in his village. for. We cannot a find a guide anywhere. few potatoes and other vegetables. all The women. The and Portuguese took their position stretches nine miles northwards from the Mondego. if these more enterprise in driving all home might have tumbled the reserve artillery and ammunition over the precipice and captured most of Massena's sup- As it was." Thus by the time the French reached Busaco on September 25th more than half the provisions they had taken were gone. was not all occupied.I90 WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE and in care of themselves. but this was not so dangerous as . and the road was blocked by Wellington's men. It Of course it was Wellington's army. Massena wrote to Berthier: "All our marches are across a desert." consequence of lost this the whole little park of the army was nearly through a flank attack had had a their attack. they of Trant's Portuguese militia. The soldiers discover They burn for the moment when they shall meet the enemy. ready to fight. not a soul is to be seen anywhere everything is abandoned. but the hill-side orranite rock. other tracks —climb —very bad ones far too big for it it elsewhere. rest end and it is precipitous.

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Though part of this attack had the luck to pick a place where there was a gap in Wellington's line. its extent a flattish top. the French invisibly from one place to another. and half of Briefly. Once on " All was confusion the run the French could not stop. fire. but not easy to see . could be clearly seen. and Portuguese together. though it Wellington had a smaller army. knocked down in every French — division direction. smoke. French officers and soldiers. at the back of the ridge lay a road. French.^ is and has for much of of sight from below. what was happening below. British. and uproar. and bullets.. but not nearly so high as this above the surrounding to see It was fairly easy what went on on the top. his right hand 6500. coming slowly up the hill. Again. gave the Allies ample time. for several reasons. the whole attack failed before the fire of the British and Portuguese in line and the fierce charges made with the bayonet. was this. 191 Is The ridge high and steep. which out tell Thus the French could not what was strongly held and what was not. The ridge 1200 feet above sea-level country. drums and drummers. and their attacks. As soon as it was light on a misty morning (September 27th) Reynier on the left his left-hand attacked in two great columns numbering 8000. he stood to fight. Thus. and though twice French troops actually reached the top. Merle's eleven battalions were driven off by four of the Allies Foy's seven battalions by half their number. which Wellington had improved so that troops could be moved quickly and Finally. BUSACO seems. at its highest. the action was in his eyes not fully to be trusted. while in the midst of ^ all was to mixed up be seen Wallace all Napier and other narrators speak of a chasm so profound that the naked eye could is hardly distinguish the movement of the troops in the bottom.

was the weaker line. some of them small. The long. everything buildings. which could not be climbed this was and done for 2000 yards of a hill-side about Alhandra. shorter. In all there were between fifty and sixty redoubts with some 230 guns. woods. with only three to six guns. let was 22 miles But us attend to the outer and weaker one. be too weak to resist a concentrated attack. and other obstacles. the lines with the same shock which one meets an unexpected and stronger line coal-scuttle in the dark. inner. others great fortified camps. Finally. This ran 29 miles from the mouth of the Zizandre. ground made even to secure a field Where . Briefly. All had ditches 16 feet wide and 12 feet deep. on the Atlantic. to where the Alhandra joins the Tagus. by dispersing his men over such a distance. hills every valley and ravine that led up into the might open stone dykes their gap to the French was stopped with loose fifteen feet — high —or with This. chevaux de frise. it felled trees with will boughs pointing outwards.? Let us reckon heads. .— 194 WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE Montbrun stumbled on as that with leaked out. The hill-sides were plastered with redoubts so placed to give cross-fire everywhere. trees —had been cleared away and the of fire. May not Wellington. Where the slopes were easy. The rivers at either end had been dammed and their valleys converted into huge marshes. the defences were these. Twenty-nine miles is be observed. and they were palisaded and guarded against a rush by abattis. Fortifications are not everything: what of the men. they were steep they had been cut and blasted to make actual sheer rock-walls.f* a long line.

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000 Ordenanza — all armed with British muskets and largely under British officers —and 8000 Spaniards of La Romana's army. " he thought his arrangements had made his position tolerably secure". as the great mass of the Serra de map shows. with ironical 90. scarcely even paths. Semaphores could signal lines to the other in any movement from one end of the seven minutes. He lifted his hat to and moved out of . The engineers had built inner roads along which the troops could move.000 more than he had at Busaco.and had now some 35. He had also under his command 24.000^ men Junto. The. Monte — — moderation. Montbrun found the lines on October iith. while.000 men. and held by something like Wellington might well say.000 British troops with the. . he could average rate of something like 1000 man men the lines at the per mile and keep any French all his field-army posted just behind^ ready to meet attack and reinforce weak spots. to scout. Behind these lines of Torres Vedras then far stronger than the ridge at Busaco. colours close on 10. Portuguese well 12. — Tet Wellington to 'was not going to use a single one of his regular battalions garrison the worl^. main body of the French advanced Sobral on the 14th. Thus a French force acting say against Torres Vedras would be cut off from its comrades on the east by an impassable mountain wall. and Massena rode forward to One battery fired a shot at him it to bid him come no farther. To do that he had over 8000. militia. the outer side of the lines was cut in two by the There are no roads across it.500 Portuguese regulars. Thus. Thus he outnumbered Massena. whose force had dwindled to well under 60.THE GARRISON 195 Wellington had been reinforced from England.

of course. Napoleon issued was to be done in February —more than three months later — orders which were bound to be out of date. and others. he gave the messenger— General Foy ivhole battalion of infantry and 120 mounted men as escort. down on Coimbra They had even swooped Massena left it. lines. wounded. test of endurance with. taking prisoner the little garrison and close on 4000 sick. •which orders ivhat left Portugal on October Jfst. The business of foraging soon took up a great directly part of Massena's force. slipped over the mountains to Castello November 8th. and to Massena on December 22nd.^ The campaign then developed into a a starving-match side. Massena country. for the in. and prevented either news. but he further sent out a brigade in another direction to demonstrate against the irregulars and let Foy get a clear start. Portuguese irregulars behind him all his hemmed him cut off foraging-parties. He reached Paris on Thus. and had all northern Portugal to live upon. . month the French army stayed The longer they looked the less they liked them. and Foy set off again with his With 1800 men he broke through to Massena. ^ An illustration of how great were Massena's difficulties in sending or receiving front of the lines for a fortnight he saw news is worth giving. and saw the Emperor the next day. Practically. secure in his lines. Foy started on October 31st. — Massena never dared to risk an attack. Massena had to draw his food from the one from a country which had already been devastated by Wellington. all the starving on While Wellington. and went on with a dragoon escort November 21st. No despatches were issued till December 4th. "The majority of the men". and stripped still barer by the French in their advance. Branco. however. reached Ciudad Rodrigo on to Valladolid. . He therefore decided to send a message —a to Napoleon. reached him at Santarem on February 5th. To make sure that it would arrive. In theory. or reinforcements reaching him. Not only this. When he had been in he must have reinforcements or he would fail. could be supplied by sea. supplies. all that he could reach was what lay just to his rear. be it said. consequent on Foy's news.196 range WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE —and knew For a in his heart that Wellington had beaten facing the him.

On November 14th Massena resolved to retreat Here he would have fresh to Santarem on the Tagus. On the suflferings of the French during the winter in and about Santarem. their brutality to the peasants and the merciless ferocity ration. the French could not find it. He hung on at Santarem far longer than was expected. a week before had decided to leave Santarem. and took Badajoz on March loth. began to advance. since he could no longer feed his army there. The only reinforcement that reached him was 6000 men under Drouet in December far too few to make any difference." It was impossible to stay longer outside the lines. Wellington allowed him a month. he might be able to bridge the river. 197 "are absent on raids to the rear to seek maize and cattle. who ventured stores. For week the troops have been on polenta [boiled maize flour]. and of this they get only half a During the last few days the ist Division has received only one ration of meat namely. — — with which the peasants retaliated. but Massena had heard nothing of his forward movement. at it is needless to speak length. and. back to their homes and offered them the choice If between being shot and revealing those hidden . corn in the district had been buried or hidden in ravines and caves.STARVATION said Clausel. These hopes all failed him. indeed. but they stalked the peasants at night. of their frantic searches for food. country behind him. and he might at any rate stay till he got reinforcements. The a last detachment has been nine days living away. Soult. Most of the. six ounces of goat's flesh. Massena stayed for three. or till Soult might make a diversion by striking at Lisbon from Badajoz.

The French had to send detachments to destroy them. straggling. Massena retreated. 181 Portugal 63. by large parties under officers. it was had come back. and the national war which both Spaniards and Portuguese tages in These things were not done. of course. but return with redoubled voracity. Germany. on. as they refused to ^ foragers. return to their regiments. the the stories. fought another Busaco cost battle.000 strong.^ all These are horrible with the French.000 men. starvation. he was murdered. In September. says Grattan. Massena's campaign illustrates how completely the French lost in Spain what had been their winning advanness. never encounters were few. like vultures who have been scared from their prey. . half dead. who were alive them by fled.000 It 1. Frenchmen they them to death. and when we had passed we could perceive the peasants descending from the hill. indeed. or could nothing. if be strung up in a halter and but Sometimes even torture was used: he would let down. "they both the Frenchmen were still and asked us to shoot them. When guese. yet sick- and the murder-war with the Ordenanza had robbed it of close on 20. small less than 5000. the faults did not lie all Portuguese peasants murdered could catch — often." Little wonder that neither French nor peasants showed mercy. We dared not. but by stray A number of men broke loose from French command altogether and lived by plunder. Massena's army had entered 15th. Owing to the poverty of the country. On March it again falling back towards the frontier — but only 40. to see he would confess or remember. 1810.198 WELLINGTON ON THE DEFENSIVE tell the peasant was obstinate. the British came on two torturing wounded French soldiers beset killing by half a dozen Portuinches. " On our approach".

Starvation was surer than any battle. Massena could not keep together a big enough army. brought them to a stand where he himself could not be turned. might make the French unite. and. He did not even take the chances which he had of destroying part of Massena's army by a sally from the lines. Besides. finally. strongest. and they were weakest because they were farthest from There : is nothing daring or striking about plans they were safe. he could not even feed his men. difficulties would be and the rest to into He stripped the country. nor have his communications cut place — at a where he was theirs. Nothing was left to chance. because he was closest to his base. . or by attacking him on his retreat to Santarem. organized the best of the Portuguese for his own army. by " making the best use of the means at hand to attain the end in view". and. Wellington had realized what the French used them all.— MASSENA'S DIFFICULTIES 199 fought. finally. nothing could move him from his design. methodical. He won his campaign practically without fighting. — Badajoz. What he had reckoned on happening did happen. used harass the French. the news of a battle won might bring down Soult on him through Wellington's inexorable. He refused to risk a man to save Ciudad Rodrigo or Almeida although he knew the Spaniards would think him lazy or timid because he was not going to fight for renown but for victory. he ran no risks. leading them deep Portugal. he could not get any substantial reinforcement. sure. he could not receive support from the other French armies.

181 1. his men were of doubtful quality. Once or twice. and. namely. maintain himself difficulties it Portugal. — Craufurd embarked on a combat on the Coa. his Massena a real there was no winning Busaco. the French were content. what more. and he was undertaking to do what Moore spite —and. easily. or winning lay behind so decisively as to imperil Wellington's retreat to the lines of Torres They him always open and always and could not stave off Wel- Massena could not catch Wellington unprepared. secure. which he rather fortunately turned into a success: Wellington's sour comment was that he "might have lost the Light Division". August. 1810. he did At no moment chance. of Torres Vedras reveals Wellington on He be it was outnumbered. Again.CHAPTER Vitoria [A map XI — Wellington Douro and Tagus on the Offensive of the valleys will be found at the end of the chapter. and by doing so drew the French north against him and got flank on the lower Tagus. to Wellington's great disgust. lines. Lisbon road. in — La Romana's Spaniards were all that was left to protect Wellington's Wellington knew that as long as La Romana remained quiet. and did not press on by the Napoleon had been there. they would have acted with more vigour. But La Romana was twice tempted into making strokes at Seville. In of these is he achieved the impossible. Wellington made slips: he let beaten both times. If Marmont catch him with his force scattered in September. half said.^ it in the campaign had danger of Vedras.] The campaign the defensive. 200 . after Hill had joined Wellington. but Marmont did not seize his opportunity. Napoleon — had in declared to be impossible. after Mass^na's retreat from the lines. could not storm the ^ Wellington ran no risks himstlf. Soult would never collect men to go and molest him he was too well occupied in Andalusia. — Fortunately.

we have seen. never falters and never hurries out of its majestic stride. Famine.roads. We must what these years The main fact to remember is that Wellington's chief that was secure he would embark on no expeditions into Spain. For the first time he has the bigger force. time again the French are hardly given a are They hunted right across the north of Spain by a plan that. Till he Till aim was to defend Portugal. They are both inexorable. Between see first it and Torres Vedras lay two years. the main gateways between Spain and Portugal making it impossible for the French to stab him in the back. the campaigns of Torres Vedras and of Vitoria can be described by the same adjective. contained. who stepped brilliant. they would be equally on his flank if he marched north-eastwards into the Douro valley.THE PRELIMINARIES lington's ally. quick movement more attractive than slow. . In brief. Vitoria was fought in 18 13. that to. decide the issue. The northern Burgos. These chief — — roads are. It is plain from a glance at the map that though he was on the French flank so long as they moved southwards into Andalusia. in the field more dazzling than methodYet the campaign has the same qualities. like the British column at Fontenoy. by the road which he was not using he could not go forward. commanded the. though Wellington is this time the aggressor. 201 in grim captain. a crowning victory ical starvation. two. chance. so to speak. but as before he runs this few risks. till they meet the inevitable defeat from one line to another close to their French frontier. Vitoria is far more Advance is more stirring than retreat.

Yet much had been done in 18 12. Ciudad Rodrigo was taken 8 1 1812. into the Douro valley and beat Marmont But the news of this defeat made the French concentrate. Talavera. and this See map. The border fortresses remained in Wellington's hands. Till these were retaken no advance could be made.^ The April. and the southern Madrid. when i8i. But another momentous place in 18 12. summer of 18 12 Wellington at Sala- moved manca. and to concentrate men to drive him back from Burgos. the French had had to give up all the South. Badajoz in 2. . Almaraz.202 WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE Salamanca. 18 13. in January. and unluckily for fallen Wellington both Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz had into French hands. both by quick pounces before the French In the could concentrate to drive off the besiegers. and in the autumn they drove him back from Burgos into Portugal almost as swiftly as they had hunted Moore to Corunna. He make another army demanded over made * campaign a million conscripts it for the 18 13 levies. Prussia had joined in known to be wavering. series of events had taken his Napoleon had led had perished Grande Armee into of the retreat Russia. but was plain that these could not be into soldiers in three months' Thus he was sure to denude Spain. against him. Andalusia was cleared. p. each of these was com- manded by a great Spanish fortress. and it in the horrors from Moscow. for a vast Thus he had in Germany. Badajoz road. and Austria was to In March. from France time. 1 operations of 1 8 1 1 then hinged on these fortresses. and the way at last lay open. Ciudad Rodrigo road.

oppose all proposals gestions — — directly Wellington showed any sign of adopting them.^ By were It April. They would no longer do as Cuesta had done in even his own sug1809. him had enormously improved So. Other commanders were less to be trusted. interfere. Their road to France lay round the eastern end These two facts made it improbable that Suchet would come to the help of the rest against Wellington in the Douro valley. but without much skill. Thus. he had been reinforced. he was relatively stronger. . that Suchet would these eastern provinces of Catalonia and Valencia shut off from the rest of Spain by mountains. 1 Castanos. even supposing that Wellington was not actually stronger. for lie was unlikely. and the French armies there mainly worked from a base distinct from the rest. supported him loyally. Not only were his troops veterans. too. having been made Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish armies. yet by moving through Aragon up the Ebro he might appear for a battle near the of the Pyrenees. and at last Wellington.000. though useful in harassing the French. could not be reckoned on in combined operations.000 chiefly in Catalonia and Valencia. however.NUMBERS at last the 203 in gateways into Spain were safe Wellington's hands. with the main Spanish army. had some prospect of being able to make them work with him. but the Portuguese fighting beside in quality. But he was actually much stronger. 18 13. and the partisan leaders. namely. for the French were weaker. both in position and number. had the Spanish regulars. the French force of effectives in Spain was not much above 165. the ablest French officer in Spain at the time. Their commander was Suchet. Of these some 55.

headwaters of that first This Wellington made it his business to prevent. a little over 70. some still and ill-disciplined. was Wellington's Anglo -Portuguese army. except by abandoning his provinces entirely. however. and he moved to the a British force of 8000 men by in sea from Alicante in neighbourhood of Tarragona. order to threaten that Catalan town. With Suchet thus kept busy it both Catalonia and Valencia was impossible for him to appear on the upper Ebro. and in the main the same lines of communication. and this Wellington was sure he would not do. and able to increase his force by picking up army as he moved north-eastwards. . The remaining 110. untrained Campos to the Some of them were good. ordered two Spanish armies to operate Accordingly he in Valencia. The total of the Allies was about 200. That is to say.000. Of these some 45. lay scattered through the mountains which edge the Tierra del north and west. He knew that Suchet could not detach men from Catalonia and Valencia if there was any danger of these provinces rebelling. The core of the whole.000.000 French.000 were to operate in the eastern provinces. They were endeavouring guard back against an attack from Portugal. and if they fell they must perforce retire by Burgos and by the western end of the Pyrenees. and " of Portugal were on the western line of invasion. the " centre". and Castanos's army.204 WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE river. about 40. lay While Wellington portions of Castanos's ready to concentrate for an advance. the relics of the " armies of the " south".000 strong. they were placed either on the Tagus or Douro to valleys with the same object.

Their left stretched from Toledo through Madrid to Their right ran from there to behind beyond Salamanca. it — the business of district still must be said. Talavera. One fare thing more must be reckoned: the partisan warsurprise. And their advantage in quality was gone too. fifth every chapter of Book XX in Napier's History of the Peninsular War it enumerates the four French armies whose business was to oppose Wellington and meanwhile struggle with these swarms of hornets whom he calls the partisans. in like assassination —always The had now flared up into a general conflagration occupied by the French.000 men. and he adds: "Now if the reader will follow the opera- tions of these armies in the order of their importance. they were not so good as the British. and Salamanca had taught Similarly the British were them to expect to be beaten. Beating the French had become a habit in him. The superiority in numbers which the French had years in first had in reality. the Esla. raid. what "That long-nosed beggar who beats the French" was his men said. The utmost they could concentrate to defend the line of the upper Douro was 35. They did not love Wel- quite unlovable —but they respected him.THE PARTISAN WARFARE the French were scattered over 1 205 80 miles of country. was gone now for good and all. fierce something uncommonly in Spain. and . confident that they lington — he was would win. Albuera. If they were still better than Spaniards or Portu- guese. and then for some name (though the conditions in the Peninsula had made their superiority unreal). It is at once evident how heavy were the odds in Wellington's favour. and. and they had found it out.

The dots in the Sea are places not to be located in any ordinary map. were suddenly. though apparently in their full strength. 18 13 wind. it.2o6 will WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE mark on the main action of the campaign. The reader. January-April. irremediably. ". swept from the Peninsula". be led gradually to understand how it was that in their bearing it he will 1 8 13 the French. and as were by a whirl- /--^ The M B. will appreciate Napier's assertion that he "will be l^d gradually'" is — for the chapter But some impression can be gathered from On the accompanying map the dots represent . Partisan Affrays. dutifully " following these operations bewildering.

For here in the valley of the middle Douro and from there to the Upper Ebro lay the French vital spot. Though high ground. nor trying to manoeuvre him out objective was the fight it. This does not include Catalonia. 18 13. at Wellington had struck it again in 18 12. these are mainly flat.— THE FRENCH VITAL SPOT places where affrays took place between the partisans 207 and only^ the French north of Tagus in the course of four months January-April. They are called Tierra del Campos (land of the plains). when he shattered Marmont's army at Salamanca. and he intended to he meant to fight in a place it. only to in the siege and to be driven back by a desperate at the French concentration. that thrust which Napoleon had suspended his other plans in Spain to parry. Burgos. remark also how these affrays cluster along the Valladolid. ^ See map on folder at end of chapter. where " forty thousand men were beaten in forty minutes". . lines Now he meant to strike again He His was not aiming merely enemy's of communication. Remark how difficult it was for the French to give full attention to Wellington. Bayonne road — the French mainjine of communication. and harder. main French army.^ The Douro and its tributaries drain the provinces of Leon and Old Castile. or to concentrate. and the dots placed in the sea represent other affrays at places not marked on Thiers's war-map of Spain. and had fail marched on to Burgos. they are the best corn-growing part of Spain. where defeat would be fatal to To appreciate his plan we must see the position which the French held. Moore had revealed it in his swift thrust at the Carrion all in 1808. only of Spain.

urging him to concentrate behind But. the activity of the guerrilleros and of the different Spanish armies had prevented this concentration. to the east the Sierra Urbion. If then the line Tormes-Douro-Lower Tormes joins the Esla were held. the Campos shut in by mountains. WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE too. Contrariwise. 209. for the French to check an invader coming from hold will the^ south of the Douro. * These unite about 20 miles north of the Douro. p. to the west the Galician range." ' See map. But frontier at the western edge of the plain there is another defensive line. of which the Carrion and the Pisuerga are the chief. and to the south of the Douro that hundred-mile in 1810. But if he broke across the Tormes the French could still hold the middle Douro against him. Wellington wished to force his way into the Tierra del Campos. Yet. and the French could not be forced to uncover Madrid by a stroke aimed at them.2o8 Here. .^ to hold. And if he were kept out of that the French communications would be sure. there is a reasonably good system of roads. though a long one. there will be other lines of tributary rivers coming in from the north. the On the Portuguese Douro from the south. as we have seen. To the north the Cantabrian Mountains. though itself Tierra del flat is and with easy communications. Wellington could not enter the Tierra del Campos at all. block of hills which Massena penetrated It follows that. to the south the Guadarrama. This was the line that Napoleon wished Joseph it. About thirty miles further up the Douro the Esla joins from the north. If he crosses this. and behind that lay the Carrion and Pisuerga. the main line to be that of the Douro itself.

^/ If the French got wind of it they might fall on either wing separately. (C754) 14 . force. the whole Anglo-Portuguese a army placed on new front pointstraight at ing Burgos.being outflanited by Gmha/n. Wellington could fall This is the only serious risk which Wellington ran in the campaign. 000000 Line which Joseph held feebly. with the country so hostile. if they did attack either retreat safe.THE FLANKING MOVEMENT But what in if part 209 of to his army could cross the Douro Then. It WELLINGTON exact timing' make a junction. while the rest kept the French occupied on the Tormes and middle Douro. though they might have prevented their joining. the line of the Douro would be turned. each ^ and. The left through wing would have to go the Tras Montes — almost involved to English Miles ' os roadless and horribly rugged country. except that of being beaten at Vitoria.^ • "» Line which Napoleon told Joseph to hold in force. There were objections to this plan. this left wing could debouch unexpectedly on the Esla. Douro — Esla —Tormes Yet. the French would hear of had its it it was unlikely any more than they had heard of Torres Vedras. But it was not likely that the French could concentrate enough men to beat either wing of the Allies decisively before they joined. Battles are always risks. the French Portugal unknown the French? outflanked.

— 2IO WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE left back on Ciudad Rodrlgo. I wrote propose to move as soon as I can after the be- ginning of the month. a Whig member of Parliament. and the wing. and I rather think between ourselves shall direct my way across the lower Douro within the kingdom of Portugal. 1813. He was born in 1748 and grew General Sir up as a great sportsman. in and Graham went with her to the south of France 1792. " Wellington. It is rare that a great plan shadowed out so casually. as Moore had done. The first hint that Wellington intended to turn the French right on the Esla is contained in a letter from Wellington to General Graham. thus: z^rd April." This is characteristic is of the Iron Duke. She fell into ill health. he would be safe whenever he came to it. dear yours faithfully. It is brief. " Ever. Sir. Her who . she died. coffin was torn open by the Revolutionary mob. where. Thomas Graham. Lisbon letters on the 20th there. to whom' Wellington meant to give charge of this turning movement. You will have received my I " There has been no material change since last. and. could retreat. arrival at have just heard of your instant. as we had command of the sea. to his intense grief. if threatened on the Esia. was a most remarkable man. and the husband of a beautiful wife. on Astorga and Galicia. "My Dear " I Sir.

early in His first great exploit was the heroic battle of Larpent met him Wellington's head-quarters May. in 1 8 10 he was put in command of at a British division at Cadiz. it is true. was sent on a mission to Wiirmser's army. this awe-inspiring sight. and described him as a fine old man.GRAHAM insisted that aj-istocrats. Barossa. Larpent was wrong. seeing Sacre Dieu! with the word*: "Place! Place! On ne fait pas la guerre en cabriolet. Egypt. and Portugal — everywhere where there was work to do. ^ A charming story is him at Toulon. But he was not content home — although he was forty-four^ and had neither Medicamp to Admiral Mulgrave. after sixteen years' service as honorary colonel. he could find no horse. how. but. When Wurmser wished to send a message to the relieving force under Alvinzi. and. duty of every Briton to take up arms against first His step was to raise the battalion of the Perthshire Scottish Rifles Volunteers — now the 2nd —of which he to bide became honorary at colonel. when and a sortie was being made against the French besiegers. jumped into a cab and hurried to the front in that. He afterwards served Minorca. knowing Italian and German. 211 Graham was carrying in it firearms for les Graham came back to England filled with it hatred of the Revolution and convinced that was the it. Graham {aetat forty-eight) volunteered for the job and escaped in disguise through the French lines. ^ Other great soldiers have begun told of late. 18 13. with customary impetuosity. fled in terror how an affrighted National Guard. in Sicily. Graham was. but added: "he does not look quite fit for this country work". Julius Caesar and Oliver Cromwell began at the same age as Graham." In defiance of all rules he was at last given substantive rank in the army (in 1808). and was shut up with that luckless military rank nor training — so he went out to the terranean as volunteer aide de veteran in Mantua." .

at head-quarters. Gazan thought Salamanca. rises to be Sir John French's second in command. . He returns full of against Germany. for he had already grievously surprised them at Arroyo dos Molinos in i8i i. Wellington stirred up the Spaniards of the south and kept his right wing under Hill on the move in the Tagus valley.. Reille first expected the whole army on the Esla. then changed his mind again and fixed on Tordesillas on the Douro. but then convinced himself it would come by the Tormes. but no two of them thought alike. The French were certain to watch Hill narrowly. So all was uncertainty and the French were scattered over a wide front of close on this plan left To wrap up of moving his two hundred miles at the very moment when Wellington's onslaught was imminent. Leval was sure that the attack would come from the Tagus. happening to be in the outbreak of the war with a delicate who dies there.000 men. own time we realize Germany at fiiry Wellington. and at Almaraz in 1812. and eventually dies in 1966. goes on. and commission fights free-lance volunteer — — as a sort of still for the next sixteen years in the Continental war that in.^ wing under Graham across the Douro and the Esla. saw signs of a " the packing of Lord Wellington's claret ". move in The plan was of a threefold advance. for the lower Esla. He lived to be ninety-six. with 40. Graham. He waited till the green forage was up. then guessed right. Then at last the army takes him fights for with a special as brigadier-general. before him yet. So well did Wellington succeed in bewildering the French that each of the French generals was confident that something was intended. and on May 13th Larpent. to better was to cross the Douro and make the centre. If we put that into our Suppose a man wife of forty-four. at the age of sixty: he seven years more.212 WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE but he had another thirty-one years of life sixty-five. ^ with move from Ciudad how wonderful it is.

but Esla pontoon is —which as in its lower reaches unfordable. The train would also be useful to ensure Wellington a crossing of the Douro. some marching near the river by Torre de Moncorvo. Hill to come down the Tormes Graham.GRAHAM'S MARCH on the same town clear the . and the whole army would be concen- trated north of that river. on the French flank} cult. Graham had also a extremely rugged and almost roadless. p. . to take not only his train to bridge the guns and supplies. They met there on the 26th. 213 Rodrigo on Salamanca. fordable in a it was not Douro. the province north of Douro. Graham's Douro. started ^ See map. Accordingly. and Wellington moved straight on Salamanca. some at Oporto and Lamego. Wellington's plan was to get him well forward before stirring British cavalry crossed the some at himself. and pontoon were placed on the right bank. and plunged into the hills. would Douro. though the good many places. about middle of May. larger river. guns. On May Coria in 20th Hill was moved northwards from the Tagus valley to Bejar. narrower Esla pontoons were essential difficulties —but the of taking them through the mountains were the appalling. is Of these operations Graham's was far the most diffiThe Tras os Montes. once across the Esla. 209. and all making for the lower Esla. a little later the infantry. making for Braganza. others going by Braganza and Vimioso. Hill came down the Tormes with the Spaniard Morillo on his right. and Wellington on the 22nd. For the the deeper. but absolutely necessary is there.

so as to have Douro and Graham there. Arevalo Daricau was at Toro. Digeon at Zamora. a gun overturned in the defile of Aldea Lengua and blocked the road so that seven guns were taken. heard that a big force of Spaniards and British were close by. and some as much as 250 miles. where he crossed the deep chasm. and. the 28 th the Allies drew On near the Tagus. but he had pur- posed to place the other below the confluence of the power of joining see Barca de Villal Campos. breaking the bridge at Castro Gonzalo. Wellington was now growing anxious about his junction with Graham. . at Espadacinta. so he retired again. and Gazan. the Esla at Benevente. Now he decided to Graham over the Esla the crossing was made were on the 31st. just Esla. the right Toro. On the 29th Reille. who had crossed for making Zamora. though his infantry drove off the charges of British horse. — — Wellington had been the pontoon bridge. of abominable country. farther in To some doubt about the placing of secure himself he had made one at down the Douro. first. Till now have presented 30th. in one of those primitive baskets slung a fine sight his on a rope grim nose sticking out over the top must and met Graham at Carvajales on the Graham was only a day late splendid work considering that his men had travelled 150 miles. the centre for Meanwhile the French had been hastening north.— 214 WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE where the Frenchman Villatte held on too long. and by June ist Graham's leading columns at Zamora. so he left the command of the centre and right to Hill and went off to Miranda on the Douro. Even though the French had broken . through which the river runs. Leval left Madrid on the 27th.

THE CONCENTRATION
was secure.
repaired;

215

the bridges there and at Toro, the junction with Hill

besides, the

Having both banks, the bridges could be Douro is fordable in places.

The
the
=^^:

next two days saw a halt in Graham's advance in

order to get Hill across the Douro, and to concentrate

army by bringing up Giron's Spaniards from
__

Galicia.

2i6

WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE
Tras os Montes; then the
to
till

force) inserted far west in the

thing urged eastwards

the point came out on the Esla.
the

Then

the whole

is

pushed up

Douro and on
still

through the Tierra del Campos, the point
reaping in the French as
it

leading,

went.

Napier
line

So the advance was resumed on June 4th, with what Still outflanked bycalls " conquering violence ".
their right, the

Graham's force on
later.

French gave up the

of the Carrion on the 6th, and the Pisuerga two days

From that river Wellington wrote for the ships at Corunna to move round to Santander, and, if the French
still

were
they

in possession, to wait at the port.

It

would
once

not be in French hands long, he was sure.
left
it

And

he would have a new base and a short line

to the sea.

The

long line of communication stretching

back to Portugal and Lisbon would no longer be needed.

So once more the command of the sea came
the campaign.^

in to

sway

June I2th Wellington's main force drew near Graham still moving through the hilly country to the north. Burgos had been the point where he failed in 18 12: the castle had defied him; and had it been strongly held it might have hampered him again, even if it did not bring him to a standstill. But it had not been thoroughly repaired, and the French judged that it could not be held. For the moment W^ellington suspended his outflanking movement on the left and pushed his right, under Hill, up towards Burgos. The French had a chance: Hill was somewhat isolated, and the French
Burgos, with
^

On

The

effect of the

command

of the sea on the

war

in the

Peninsula

is

dealt

with

more

fully in the

next chapter.

BURGOS
could have gathered enough

217
to fight

men

him with some

hope of winning; but they lost it. Reille tried to make a stand, but he was left without support and had to fall back. On the night of the 12th the French trooped through Burgos. They had mined the castle, which held
a mass of siege ammunition, but through

some mistake

the mines exploded while a column of French infantry

were passing beneath the walls and more than 300 were killed.

men
in

The French, now men from their lines,
were
still

raised to 55,000
retired

men by drawing

towards the Ebro

— but they

too few, for Wellington had added to his force

Spanish armies from Galicia and the north as he went,

on 90,000. The direct road on from Burgos was blocked by the narrow defile of Pancorbo, which the French held strongly; so once more the point
and had
in all close

of the sickle was driven

in

and the French right again

turned by a march up the Ebro.

Graham
the
left

crossed the

Ebro

at

Rocamunde, the

rest

at

Puente Arenas, and

Wellington's army
off once

now swept down

bank of the

Ebro, once more on the French flank, and drove them

more eastwards.
it

Carrion, on the Pisuerga, and

were turned again

Turned on the Douro, on the now on the Ebro, if they might mean losing their line of

retreat to France altogether.^

For
In
1

this is the

change that three years had wrought.
considering the roads that might lead
it

8

10

we were

the French to Lisbon: on 18 13

is

the roads that will

bear them out of Spain.

In 18 10 Wellington had de-

clared that he could, at any rate, defend Portugal
^See map,
p.

—though

219.

2i8

WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE
in

most people
later

England shook

their heads.

Three years
at their

he and

his allies

had driven the enemy to the very

gates of the Pyrenees

—the

mountains lay close

backs as they were hustled from the Ebro into the upland
valley of Vitoria.

Three routes lead from Bayonne into Spain at the western end of the Pyrenees, though it must be remembered that that great chain of mountains does not end at the sea but goes on straight across the north of Spain.^ These are, first, the road along the coast, the " Royal road ", passing St. Sebastian, piercing the mountains,

and coming down to Vitoria, thence to Burgos;
to

secondly, the middle (and worst) road which goes past

Maya
to

celebrated,

Pampeluna; and, thirdly, the eastern and most which goes through St. Jean Pied de Port also Pampeluna. It crosses the famous pass of Ronces-

But from Vitoria a cross-road an indifferent one goes to Pampeluna. Thus, if the French were again turned by their right (the north) at Vitoria, they would lose their best line of retreat if the turning movement went farther, and drove them off the eastern (Pampevalles.

;

luna) cross-road, they would he cut offfrom France altogether^

unless they could

make

their

way through Aragon

into

Catalonia and escape by the eastern end of the Pyrenees.

That

is

the crucial fact to

remember about the
is

battle

of

Vitoria, because' the battle

a miniature image of the
a turning

campaign; one of

its

main features was

of the
above

French right by Graham.

Though
sea-level,
it

Vitoria lies high, close on
is

2000

feet

yet in a valley, about ten miles long by
^

See map,

p.

219.

If the Allies could reach and hold the Puebla Pass they would be cut off. with the heights two Vitoria." 220 WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE Down the middle of it eight miles broad.^ The "Royal road" to Bayonne keeps fairly close to this river. 223. under D'Erlon and Gazan. much of the ground being covered with broom and wild lavender. ^ See map. though its general character is rough. especially on the east side. The Allies could only do this by crossing the Bayas at Subijana and getting to the Zadorra at Nanclares. on its eastern side. were hastening back from Miranda on the Ebro by the " Royal road ". Each of these roads has a bearing on the battle. . the Zadorra its way to the Ebro. At miles. The main body of the French. and wooded. I. One goes oflF eastwards to Pampeluna and another more to the south-east to Logrono. while the "Royal road" to Bayonne goes on its way north-eastwards over the Arlaban ridge and the defile of Salinas. p. broken. On the other side of the ridge country more open. another runs northwards to Bilbao and Orduna. Then the valley widens out. which is is nearly in the centre of the valley. that curves round from the Morillos heights and bounds lies the valley to the north-west parallel to the the Bayas River Zadorra —and —roughly a road runs from Subijana de Morillos on the Bayas across the ridge to Nanclares on the Zadorra. It enters the valley from the south- runs south-westwards on west through a narrow pass —the Pass of Puebla—about of Puebla on the east and the heights of Morillos on the west. and from there to the " Royal road about four miles short of Vitoria. the There a number of roads meet. long.

Similarly. he to get Foy with reinforcements orders by the Bilbao road. nor did Joseph the best of the position: he neglected to break the make nume- The it is river is indeed ford- able here and there. holding the line of the Zadorra. 3. 6. deed formed a continuation of rous bridges over the Zadorra. the bridge at Tres Puentes. 4. But he had Reille in front of him. Joseph and his adviser. This. 5. By the Logrono road Joseph hoped But Clausel was hoped still to draw in Clausel. has seven arches. 221 Wellington was actually moving by this Subijana officer road. stood to give battle in the Vitoria valley. but. was an indifferent road. as we have seen. Marshal Jourdan. and Wellington's men were so much exhausted by long marches and the difficulty of man- handling the guns over the rocky country by the upper Ebro.— THE ROADS ROUND VITORIA 2. some of Wellington's centre crossed . was already being driven back from the Bayas. but that too late. failing that. officer received his His main line of retreat was by the " Royal road" to Bayonne. line The weak point of this was that their main of retreat lay almost parallel to their front. and that held his ground so skilfully. as will be seen. for example. and. but in places wide and deep. and Wellington halted on the Bayas with Graham to his left. thirty miles away and did not come. He might retreat by the cross-road to Pampeluna. that Gazan and D'Erlon were given time to thread the Pass of Puebla on July 19th for Reille — not a whit too soon. and init. Reille then followed them into the valley of Vitoria by the Subijana road.

When these attacks were well developed. it is mind that it was a choice which Joseph fight in order could scarce avoid. another was to start early on June 2ist. Still.222 WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE Yet. The Allies had over 70. well to bear in by it. He the planned an attack with both wings. even so.000. on the other hand. so far as it. But what happened on that hot drizzling June 21st showed how changed was the temper of the weapon which Wellington had in hand and how completely he trusted them. Battle was then forced upon Joseph by his own dis- advantages and the skill with which Wellington had used numbers went.000 Spaniards had been detached to the north and did not get to the battle-field. and in places ran near the sea and was exposed to attack from it. and enter the valley from the south. . He had to stand and to give time for his baggage to get away. they had 150 guns to the Allies' 90. things were not very unequal.^ the French somewhat less. yet. all the open space round Vitoria was thronged with vehicles and carts loaded with plunder which the French would not abandon forced. in Wellington would come ^ from Subijana on the French Giron's 12. — till they were The "Royal road" was it equally choked. to Hill and Morillo's Spaniards were clear pass. though the choice of battle-field was faulty. force the Puebla heights. Since Wellington would have to make the attack. it might be thought that the French had at least as good a chance in the battle as he had. Twelve miles away on the north-west Graham was to work down the Bilbao road and strike at Reille and the French right. A huge convoy had already gone.

While their left .' ° ^ %/-< Armentiar*!Arinez Y "^ &l English Miles Vitoria exactly as Wellington planned. and the whole of the French force be flung back in retreat by the Pampeluna road. who had close on ten to travel. in came at into action punctually together. and it shows how good army had become. ^ 'Vitoria <4 ^ '' -iEresPuentes '^Jf\ "•»> = a^ g ^ • -\ ^ Lermandao".THE BATTLE OF VITORIA 223 The French centre and force the line of the Zadorra. took a big part each movement. one time so untrustworthy. and the Spaniards. Graham would seize the Bayonne road. Hill. would thus be pushed back on Vitoria. a fighting-machine his four miles to go. All this series of converging attacks went off almost L^"*"*-^ 5. who had Graham. Longa's Spaniards worked round on Graham's to command the Bayonne road. left Morillo's Spaniards climbed the heights of Puebla.

all Spain. while a dull and horrid sound of arose. and. It It was the wreck of at was any their rate the wreck of the French army two. bridge. once across. in men. and at six o'clock the French reached the last defensible height. and from there to the ridge of Armentia just in front of Vitoria. Wellington came with the centre. King Joseph only escaped capture by leaving his coach and jumping on to a horse belonging to one of his escort. aiming Zadorra between Nanclares and Tres Puentes. and beyond the city. They abandoned every gun but all their baggage. terror. were crowded together as the madness of and the English shot went booming overhead the vast crowd started and swerved with a convulsive distress for movement. magnificently. women.224 WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE in. was being driven at the and their right in and line of retreat threatened. no stay a nation. thousands of carriages and animals and non-combatants. A brigade of the Light Division surprised the Tres Puentes more or less on the flank of enemy. so that the pursuers tramped over the coin lying scattered Marshal Jourdan's baton was taken. as the army advanced. and all children. at last had to yield to Graham's and the whole force broke and made last off in wild confusion. burst open and five million dollars scattered. on the ground. were their Reille." army or multiin tude. . the French were pushed from the Zadorra to a position resting on Arinez and Lermanda. one mile in Behind them was the plain in which the city stood. but there was no hope. wagons : even their treasure chests were left. who fought attack. Napier describes the scene at Vitoria: "Many guns were taken front of Vitoria.

To leave the bridges was folly. nor was the best made of it. though the river could have been forded 1 in places. 15a . in Thirty-five thousand was they had within reach of Esla and Douro. Reille. The disparity of numbers continued.000 men. But Joseph made no real halt. because.THE side. unless they had discovered Wellington's left plan. He threw a garrison into Pampeluna and turned to the north. and this was not equal After number to either wing. might have made a stand behind Burgos: he was bound to be driven back in the end. Even had they tried this they could hardly assemble all enough men. however.^ In the early part of the campaign the French had little chance . and Wellington had some the Pjrrenee? in order to drive them back. they were in hopeless case. DIFFICULTIES OF THE FRENCH 225 just as his pursuers came up to the coach on the other For six miles the French were pursued. Vitoria was not a well-chosen battle-ground. But Joseph's movements were stiff fighting in The French (C754) tried to return. The line pass of Puebla should have been better held and the of Zadorra better protected. but two or three days' delay would have been invaluable to Joseph. and managed to attack the right or the wing before the crossing of the Douro. Graham and Wellington had joined. This would have brought another 20. the French fall were outflanked and had to back. even when caught by itself. Wellington got help from Giron's Gallicians and from the local levies of the north. Even so. though the French picked up garrisons and detachments. till darkness came down. who would then have been joined by Clausel and Foy. and in a few days Spain was clear of the French armies.

if it had succeeded. too. telling him to help to the centre be ready to send {away from the Bayonne road) lington if he saw it hard pressed. if Graham's force had got too would have been deprived of support and might have been crushed. he particularly bade Graham keep move- ments in touch with the rest of the army. . ^ As Vandamme was at Kulm. Thus Wel- made a certainty of victory. unless they won the battle. there must have been a huge haul of prisoners. This would " Royal road" in any case. Napoleon would probably have tried for an annihilation. and it is difhave choked the paralysed by his ficult to see how the French could have escaped disaster at Vitoria. It is interesting to compare Wellington and Napoleon's Napoleon been in Wellington's place it is Old Castile would have been more hotly pressed: the retreating force would probably have been destroyed in detail. far forward. This would have been dangerous. fiercer attack and aimed at making his would have urged a getting across the Pampeluna He road also.22 6 WELLINGTON ON THE OFFENSIVE Immense train of plunder. Wellington preferred to his run no risk. At Vitoria.^ On the other hand. likely that the pursuit across Had would left scarcely have contented himself with occupy the Bayonne road. Napoleon methods. it since.

.

.

It was sea power Vedras and that covered Wellington's flanks at Torres It was sea power that made it possible for Wellington to detach Graham. and so keep Suchet gave him tied in eastern Spain. and to risk being attacked in detail. It was sea power that enabled him in 18 13 to move Murray's army round from Alicante to Tarragona. . kept his army fed while Massena's starved. In the events which we have no more than mentioned sea power was equally conspicuous.CHAPTER Sea XII Power In the course of the two campaigns in the Peninsula. because from his (C754) it gave him freedom Lisbon base. and hampered the French movements on the " Royal road ". It past Badajoz. it made Moore's thrust at the Carrion safe. and opened the Astorga-Corunna 227 157. some detail. for whatever happened Graham could retreat to the sea through Galicia. Sea power again his new base at Santander in July. There) were only 2000 yards of water at the Lisbon ferry. but the French could no it more cross than they could cross the Channel. sea power has was the British command of the sea that secured Wellington from an attack by the road which have been followed in in come many times. 18 13. It made the landing of the British army possible in 1808.

Trafalgar was Corunna. Thus enemy would strike. true. and to assert — many carelessly do it — that " sea power is decisive in war". however. it This is clear enough. and this separation meant slowness in concentration at the decisive point. the could meet him. The Allies could take the initiative and the French had to follow out their choice. constantly hampered. no matter fleet what harbour. and but for the help of the sea power — England— is the efforts of Spain and Portugal must have failed. and held a French force busyover its hopeless siege. or they were kept scattered.228 line to SEA POWER at him: once he reached the coast. watching everything. while. in and Suchet destroy at sea helped occupation in the north and the left 1812. . and that is one reason why the battle was fought. men could be moved from one base to another. the Spanish levies furnished with British arms and their connection with reinforcements could reach them munitions . the French were know where the what base he might choose. It gave CafFarelli east.^ easily and without wastage. the Allies Marmont unsupported for Wellington to In many ways the command of the : England was secure. But as so quite another thing to plunge into hasty generalizations about the value of sea power. In a word we may- say that sea power was decisive to this extent. and so Salamanca. that withit the war could hardly have been undertaken. Wellington depended on the sea can be judged from the fact that even a few American privateers gave him a good deal of trouble in 1813 by intercepting It was late at 2 How much supplies.^ Sea power secured Cadiz throughout the war. less widely. or. since they did not on the other hand. " was sea Neither power that broke Napoleon's efforts one thing nor the other is nearly 1 in Spain ".

His power might end navy he cared nothe seashore. It was only 18 13 that Wellington (so the story runs). It was . The Allied armies under Wellington had never lost a battle. sea Eight years of undisputed command of the had done nothing of itself to challenge Napoleon's power in Spain it was only the British army that made : him relax his grip . that the ports were blockaded and such liable to a bombardment now and again was vexa- tious but no more. Spain. and of — — except the south till 18 13. Spain. he held Spain . for the British at thing. yet every winter saw in them back out of frontier. What could the navy do against him ? It scarcely robbed him of a man or a gun. if sea He was not to be shaken off by merely vexatious to trifles. And power was of itself Napoleon in Spain. Portugal". A kind. in the great campaigns in Germany and Austria it was absolutely impotent. that was enough. but it was If he held Spain to equally limited by the shoal water. When he marched his army away from the camp at Boulogne towards Ulm he left the guarding of the French coast to a small force of marines. and said: "Good-bye. crossing the Portuguese drew his sword. and realized full value in Spain was only when it was applied in the proper way. yet the French retained a hold of all Spain till 18 12. waved it. He scarcely gave it a thought. the sea. teach about sea more discerning reading of what history has to power in the war is something of this Sea power was enormously valuable in the war in but it must not be assumed that it will be equally its valuable everywhere.LIMITATIONS OF SEA POWER fought in 229 a hold as they ever had all as good 1805.

A further geographical fact repeats this condition in minia- ture. is only a small part of the advantages which Spain offered for the use of sea power through its geography. although the two countries have about 300 miles of common frontier. all The " land animal " could Thus the first step not. The mountains side that they it is are so high and so steep barrier. know where a it landing was coming. the French were the " Royal practically restricted to two routes into Spain French only way to pass — . sides another peninsula. strike pectedly and with weight on one spot.230 SEA Two is POWER make : only after a time that England learnt to sense decisive. The snout of Portugal. however. and have a long open to attack from a country strong at sea anywhere that it can find a port and make a landing. was easy. it in any questions emerge in what way was Spain particularly suited to the application of sea power coast ? and what the proper mode of applying it ? Spain and Portugal form a peninsula. That. on the and the form a complete by turning it at the western end or the eastern end. between is the Tagus estuary and the Atlantic. The accident that this miniature peninsula also includes its Lisbon increases strategic value. and that there were no roads crossing this range in the centre all. and would therefore try to protect vulnerable spots — if indeed it thought worth while unex- to attempt so hopeless a job as to try to hinder a landing. What is still more weighty is that the neck which joins France to Spain at is filled by the Pyrenees. The " sea animal " could choose all its its place. protected on three by water. country strong and admirably suited as a base. Thus. and therefore singularly defensible by a at sea.

It is but mountainous in a remarkable way.THE "NARROW-NECKED BOTTLE" In other words. but help to feed. Spain is a geographical bottle with a narrow neck. it the eastern route been easy practically speaking. and the roads through them — even for Spain. and more embarrassing to the invading' "land animal". but they were both liable to interruption French hampered by the British navy. Thus the French invasion of Spain practically hung on one road sea. "The VoL I. moun- Catalans do not regard themselves as being Spaniards ' I owe this apt comparison to Captain Whitton: Lessons". by Bayonne. England. a high table-land intersected by ranges of mountains but round ^ its edges lie an almost continuous series of at all. a peninsula con- nected with France only by two very narrow isthmuses. — the " Royal road ". and give no chance of co-operation. exposed to attack from the efforts involved a constant and Joseph Bonaparte's struggle to prevent the cork being inserted in the neck. garrison. it was of little does not lead into Spain: the eastern coast strip. which could not only shell convoys and troops on their sea. and. by Perpignan. Tht Journal of the Leimter Regiment^ No. Yet this is not all. The Peninsula is mountainous. only leads to Catalonia^ and to go from there into Spain are few and bad it is necessary to force a way over another range of mountains.^ It is impossible to picture any geographical conditions better suited to the " sea animal ". it Yet even had use. strategically Spain is 231 road". mainly . France. Vitoria Campaign and its . the eastern road. because. Particularly on the eastern side the communications were way along the coast. 4. Not only from the did these lie far apart. and supply in every seaside fortress Spanish hands.

and is unbroken. and south coasts the mountain wall — Only one this wall. the easier to cross. and the northern tributaries of the Esla. (3) the strip from Alicante to Cartagena. The essence of his operation was an outflanking movement by his left to the north. but flow Bay of centre of the country. great river — the Ebro through The tilt of the land drives the other big rivers westwards. is Particularly in the north the mountain wall high. the the would be Coimbra. his interest to keep within reach of it. the Carrion. a river the easier it will be to cross —but Yet his going farther up a river generally means going farther from the sea and it was to observe hands. finds an exit all Round is the north. (4) the strip rivers. how the geography of Spain played into The more he diverged to the left. The river lines of the Carrion. Pisuerga. the Ebro. and yet the closer he drew to The only fairly large pieces of comparatively low-lying land (under 500 feet) are (2) the coast south of (i) around Lisbon for from the mouth of the Guadiana to Cadiz. the farther up . frequently not ten miles wide. rivers ^ the sea was or could be Wellington's base. east. and for half the coast scarcely practically continuous. SEA Save in POWER strip very few places the is of coast land It is under looo feet in height amazingly narrow. were what the French might expect to hold against him. Plainly Biscay. flows aypay from it on its three-hundred-mile course to the Mediter- ranean. not often twenty miles wide. close to the sea. and the result that though the Ebro it rises within forty miles of one sea (Bay of Biscay).^ five miles wide.232 tains. A narrow strip also stretches up each of the great . 50 miles or so. and the Pisuerga — Douro —the all rise close to the away from that sea towards the This geographical fact was of immense military importance to Wellington in 1 8 1 3 on his march to Vitoria.

. Lisbon. owing to the geographical conditions of the country. miles to Burgos. and then was only 230 new base. How ^ ineffective sea power may crow be. sea base Bilbao. and how slow In reality they are all These distances are rough meaiurcs as the under the actual distance by road. another 60 miles of his advance brought him to Vitoria. It was not the British from Bilbao and that the navy held the command of the sea which hustled the French from Spain it was the presence there close to facts that Vitoria is forty miles the neck of the bottle — : — of an Allied army of over 80^000 men whom the French could not heat. and by this time he had opened a third sea base only 80 miles away at Santander . and within reach of a fourth miles away. bringing plain : and help an army. That was the decisive factor. When he started ^ from Ciudad Rodrigo he was about 290 miles sea base. this time only 40 had marched inland for 250 miles and yet he had shortened his line to his base from 200 miles to He 40 miles. Corunna he advanced again 70 . he advanced from his 120 miles inland to the miles from a neighbourhood of Valladolid. and that stood triumphant at Vitoria. that penetrated the Tierra del Campos. So again sea power and the geography of Spain served him.THE TRUE USE OF SEA POWER sea. Thus. flies. back the French in hot haste from all quarters of Spain. 233 He had the double advantage. the proper use support^ is And the answer to what is its proper use was to convey^ Without an army it could do nothing. sea power could be enormously valuable to Wellington in Spain but only so when it was properly — used to obtain a decision. It was W^ellington's army that held Torres Vedras.

as in the West Indies. it more or seized less our own way. decision had gone against us in the end If the we might have retained our gains oversea. or did anything to stave off disaster on the Continent. especially .^ but none the less Napoleon would have remained master of Europe. we failed. later We snapped. and thriving on an enemy's to us and Though we if the war had gone steadily against us Napoleon would have closed Europe should probably have had to give up some of our captures to secure peace. trade and laying things to into The rest can be divided what was done Oversea we had oversea and what was done in Europe. We on the Cape at even sent an expedition — now their and again. We swept the navies of our enemies off the sea. In turn we allied ourselves with different Continental States against Napoleon.234 England was SEA POWER way to use it to grasp the true is in order to obtain a decision. captured merchantmen.up French and Spanish colonies. Indeed this policy of concentrating on attacking the enemy's colonies had an ugly look of selfishness about it. they decided nothing. but though we found money we never provided an army worth mention. . Buenos Ayres. But all though these things either secured us from invasion in- and added to our empire. revealed by a brief summary of British efforts in the early years of the war against the Revolution and Napoleon. and destroyed their commerce. while they annoyed and convenienced the enemy. merely remarking that there a " Sepoy his general " was learning heart. our allies were beaten and trodden underfoot. ing in We may set aside the fight- India. we took Mauritius and Mostly we succeeded to Java. while to our empire ^ all the time we were adding trade.

^ which left Prussia —where — in the and removed Russia from our alliance into Our navy could carry troops safely. to count.000 men and failed. when scattered in this way. but they were sent to places where they had no real paralysed Napoleon's camp. and they were too few. 1805-January. army was from the beginning and efforts wasted in useless diversions. landing on November 17th. but in October. came Friedland and the Treaty' of Tilsit. the same day on which Whitelocke Buenos Ayres. while the British were hesitating on the Weser. Austria was laid prostrate and Prussia decided not to make war. after three months waste of time. Cathcart took over command on December ' 15th. and in June.USELESS DIVERSIONS In truth our its 235 small. was not attained. but again there was no fighting. 1805. on the war. won the fierce action of Maida forces South but the main object. Again in in July. and December. Yet in the October of 1805. when we were sending men to South America. 1807. while Russians. The Treaty in was beaten of Tilsit was signed on July 7th. the relief of In October we were gathering Gaeta. and the force re-embarked on February 15 th. Stuart Italy. came Jena. Craig was in at Malta waiting for the came Ulm. . Don^ landed About near the Weser work with Russians and Swedes. for an attack on Buenos Ayres summer of 1807 we had some 10. In 1805 Craig Italy was sent with 7000 men to the south of they hardly operate with a Russian force : to co- fired a shot and evacuated the same time to Italy again after two months force' 20th. 1806. came Austerlitz. 1806 —having done with a —November nothing. How little sea power had done towards crushing Napoleon by the end of 1807 may be effect ' Don went out first. and was agreeing to evacuate La Plata. 1806.

and until we had learnt not to fritter away in distant. but not friendly. and the Mediterranean to the Adriatic there was not one strip of coast friendly to us. howbut to ever speciously profitable. valuable as a defence. and all the North German coast. so was Prussia. Russia was hostile. and only with armies could he be beaten.236 SEA POWER judged by reckoning how much of the coast of Europe was hostile to us. sea power. soldiers to . The true use of sea power against him was it not merely to hinder his armies coming to invade us. Italy was in French hands (though we had an army in In fact. from the Baltic round by the Atlantic Sicily). And if with the aid of supreme sea power we could not prevail on the seacoast it is plain we counted for little inland. Junot had just seized on Portugal. Napoleon conquered Europe with armies. Then and not till then could the full value of sea power be secured. was to convey where they could attack him with the advantages on their side. Beginning in the north. scattered and indecisive operations. Until we possessed an army large enough to be it reckoned with. Holland and the Spain was in alliance with France. Denmark was cowed Netherlands coast was in French hands. employ it properly against the enemy. had little offensive force in Continental warfare.

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.

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