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they are called on in their after-lives to perform. This does not appear to bave been the aim of the system hitherto followed in our primary schools; for we learn from a report recently issued by the Board of Agriculture that 'in numerous places many of the small landowners hoped to place their children to work on the land, but they are doubtful whether the education given in the elementary schools is of the best form to fit them for work of this kind, and the impression prevails that an extended system of technical education is needed, and that more object-lessons are required; apart from reading, writing, and arithmetic, several of the men declare that the education they had received bad proved to be of no use to them whatever.' 21 The tax- and ratepayers, who for the past forty years have had to provide the funds to pay our expensive Educational Department and the cost of its primary schools, have a right to look for something better than failure of this kind.22

A large percentage of lads leaving our primary schools at the age of fourteen are then thrown on their own resources, having been taught neither how to work nor how to think, and being without habits of self-reliance, they find it well-nigh impossible to obtain any fixed employment. They are consequently obliged to take to job-work; they learn little, if any. thing, that is likely to advance their future prospects; their earnings are insufficient to enable them to feed or to clothe themselves properly. Accordingly, many of these young people before they have reached the adult period of life bave contracted lazy and often vicious habits, and drift into the unemployed class with all its attendant misery. This condition of affairs might be avoided if within a year of leaving school a lad who had not become an articled apprentice to some trade, or obtained some fixed employment, should be obliged to undergo a course of training for three years either as a seaman or as a military cadet, and at the same time be taught a' trade or occupation which would enable him subsequently to gain a living wage, if not higher remuneration as a skilled workman. By treatment of this kind a healthy, wellordered, and useful population would be reared up, who in times of emergency would be able and ready to defend their homes and to save their country from even the threat of invasion.

N. C. MACNAMARA.

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3: The National Review, August 1910, p. 937.

25 Seo Professor Welton's account, p. 203, in The Psychology of Education, of the system of education at Cheetham's Hospital.

VOL. LXXI-NO. 423

3 p

THE SWORD AND THE LANCE

VERSUS THE RIFLE

AN ATTEMPT TO EXPOSE THE FALLACIES OF THE EXTREMISTS

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The title of this article defines the two extreme schools of thought on cavalry tactics and training at the present day. The civilian who takes an interest in such matters cannot understand why such divergent views should exist among soldiers, and consequently complains that he has no unanimous military opinion on which to rely. That he is right in this assertion cannot be denied, and is to be regretted; but he sometimes fails to appreciate the fact that an individual opinion is often formed from a special study of, or from personal experience in, one

two campaigns only. Every war, however, may be said to be abnormal, and unless the special conditions under which they were fought, and the quality and training of the troops and the leadership of both sides are taken fully into consideration, no fair or just conclusions can be arrived at; for war is not an exact science, but an art that has to be dealt with under varying conditions, and in which morale and the human factor predominate.

This divergence of opinion is, however, no new thing, and is not, as many think, merely the outcome of our experiences in the South African War. As long ago as the sixteenth century, when the old firearms fully demonstrated their value, it was considered that cavalry should abandon the charge at high speed and attack slowly, firing from the saddle. Later Frederick the Great proved to Europe that the charge at the gallop with the arme blanche and cohesion in the shock was not dead. The rest of the Continent following his lead, his tactics lasted, with but little change, till the introduction of rifled firearms; since then every improvement in the rifle has invariably reopened the question as to the impossibility of the further employment of cold steel and shock, till to-day, ten years after the Boer War, the same old arguments are produced.

Though there is much truth in their contentions, the two schools of thought are generally so biassed and prejudiced in

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favour of their own theory that they are blinded to any advantage on the other side ; and no difficulty is found in bringing forward arguments in favour of either opinion, if the disadvantages are made light of or omitted altogether.

The four great wars of the last fifty years, in which the breechloader and later the magazine rifle were important factors, are the American Civil War (1861-1865), the Franco-German War (1870), the Boer War (1899-1902), and the Russo-Japanese War (1904). All these were so widely divergent in character that each school of thought finds in them ample material for upholding its own views and condemning those of the other. The question, therefore, may never be decided to the entire satisfaction of either side, even in the next war; since, whatever the results, every disputant, especially if a theoretical one, will find plenty of authority of some kind for supporting his own special theories.

The object of this article, therefore, is to endeavour, by a study of these four great campaigns and their local conditions and characteristics, without partiality and without a brief for either school, to take a broader view of the subject and, if possible, to come to a more satisfactory conclusion. For this purpose each campaign will first be dealt with separately and in sequence before coming to such final conclusions as, it is hoped, their combined study may produce.

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THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR (1861-1865).

Taking the American Civil War first, we find at the commencement the cavalry of both sides, with a minute exception, raw, undisciplined, and untrained, relying mainly on the firearm for offensive and defensive action; later we see one side obtaining the superiority by a somewhat rough and ready combination of fire and shock, after realising by experience that the sword was a necessary adjunct to the rifle.

The war is one on which the adherents of fire tactics base many of their strongest arguments, and at a first glance it would seem that these arguments are convincing. The action at 'Five Forks may be taken as a good example of fire tactics; in it Sheridan's troopers, acting dismounted, checked the advance of a strong force of Confederate cavalry and infantry, and finally held the Confederate infantry to their trenches till their own infantry came up. The battle of Winchester is another; here the Federal cavalry carried out a flank attack mainly by dismounted fire tactics.

These are only two out of innumerable similar examples. The question asked is : Would these American troopers if trained in the cavalry methods prevalent at the time in Europe have accomplished all they did ?

The ground at Five Forks was thickly wooded and offered little scope for mounted tactics, and the situation demanded delaying fire action; for, even had the ground allowed, mounted action, if it had succeeded at all, would have done so at enormous loss without any compensating advantage. The same may be said of Winchester, but in this, as in Five Forks, where the ground allowed, in the later stages of the fight, mounted action was freely used finally to crush the enemy, spread confusion, and break down his morale. Such results, when the opportunity and occasion arose, would not, however, have been obtained so rapidly or so completely if the army had been deficient of an arme blanche. The moral effect of cold steel, even in the hands of irregular cavalry untrained to cohesive shock action, is far greater than your rifle enthusiast will allow, and is often completely ignored by him. In the action of Cedar Creek, for example, the knowledge of there being a force of cavalry capable of using the arme blanche as well as the rifle completely paralysed General Ewell's action. It was shock action, combined with dismounted fire action, that also raised the morale of the beaten Federal infantry at this fight, and incited them to take the determined offensive that they did. Again, in the action of Tom's Brook the Confederate cavalry were utterly routed mainly owing to many of their regiments lacking an arme blanche and to the Federal cavalry being capable of using fire and shock. The Federal cavalry were here, it may be argued, numerically superior; but this is all the more a proof that the inferior cavalry, acting dismounted, cannot hope always to succeed against cavalry capable of both tactics and determined to come to close quarters.

Now for the other side of the question. The supporter of shock tactics invariably insists that troops trained to rely mainly on the firearm, and to look on the arme blanche merely as a weapon of opportunity, will not use this latter weapon when the opportunity occurs. To refute this argument one can quote many examples in this war where cold steel was used without hesitation by small and large bodies when the situation demanded and the opportunity arose, as at Brandy Station and Gettysburg, and innumerable other places besides those already mentioned above.

At Brandy Station repeated charges took place. The troops being undisciplined and untrained, these charges were disconnected and delivered unevenly, even by small bodies. A properly disciplined cavalry brigade, acting in cohesion, would have swept either side away, as is proved by the successful charge

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of the weak unit of Federal regular cavalry, which was, however,

, not taken advantage of. This battle also proves the great moral effect produced by cold steel and shock tactics. Before it the Federal cavalry did not consider themselves equal to that of the Confederates, but after it their morale was raised considerably, and was never lost during the rest of the war.

At Gettysburg we have shock action between cavalry masses and of cavalry against infantry. In the first the fight commenced by dismounted skirmishing and ended in a charge by two brigades of the Confederate cavalry, proving that mounted troops armed with and relying mainly on the rifle are quite capable of offensive action, mounted, when the occasion offers. Individually the men were of the highest morale, but as a body they were untrained in combined shock action and often ignorantly led. Had the charge of the Confederates been made in a more suitable formation and from a different direction it might have produced very different results. No irregular cavalry, or even regular cavalry trained only in irregular tactics and incapable of rapid manoeuvre in mass and lacking in cohesion, can ever obtain all the advantages from shock.

In Farnsworth's charge against the Confederate infantry in another part of the field at Gettysburg, we see a handful of mod sent on a desperate charge to relieve their own infantry, not dissimilar to Von Bredow's charge at Mars La Tour seven years later. The ground was of the worst description, yet this charge of 300 men disorganised for a considerable time Law's Confederate infantry brigade ; the confusion thus caused was not, however, again taken advantage of. The cavalry spirit was exceptionally well developed in the American trooper, but through lack of training and lack of co-operation he was unable to make full use of it.

A study of this war, therefore, forces one to consider how formidable cavalry could be made if, added to perfect dismounted tactics, they were also perfectly disciplined and trained in cohesive shock action and able to hold the balance evenly between the two.

FRANCO-GERMAN WAR (1870). The next in order is the Franco-German War of 1870, where we have the opposing cavalries trained to a high standard in shock action but untrained in fire tactics-useless and idle in country unsuitable to cavalry action, and often checked in reconnaissance by small bodies of infantry and even by francs-tireurs. The Prussians, however, were not asked to do impossibilities without adequate reason; while the French were, and failed in consequence.

In their charges against infantry the Prussians had generally to meet disorganised and shaken corps with units

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