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Now there is less of the diagram and more that is practical in these directions; but though the principles which they contain were probably acted upon by Buonaparte to a certain degree, and were followed in most instances by brilliant success, it is very questionable whether they could with safety be adopted by others.
The General, like the rest of his school, is too enthusiastic an admirer of the ex-Emperor to see any faults in the conduct of his idol; and we were struck, in reading his coniparison of the campaigns of Frederic the Great and those of Buonaparte, at his want of candour in not noticing the singular difference which marks the case of the two men; inasmuch as Napoleon achieved the greater part of his victories with half of Europe under his command, whilst the King of Prussia had to contend with the most powerful states of the continent, leagued together for his destruction.
The Archduke, in his Preface, combats the received opinion, that a general (as it has been said of poets) must be born with military talents, and that, in such a case, study is by no means requisite.
This,' says he, 'is only the excuse of idleness or presumptionGenius is born with us, it is true, but a man can only become great by the cultivation of his talents. One so gifted may sometimes neglect the systematic course of instruction, and outstrip, as it were, common experience; he may advance to results without pausing 10 consider principles, but more frequently he becomes involved in inextricable difficulties, and should he reach to a high pitch of elevation, it is more commonly the effect of some peculiar good fortune than of his own individual merit. Genius, therefore, requires to be guided and directed -it must be refined, assisted, and, in some sort, kept in order; whether it be by an accidental or a fortunate train of circumstances, by the influence of what is passing without, by necessity, by the concatenation of events, by reflection, or by experience-in a word, it must be formed. And if it be true that without genius no man has ever become a great general, we shall find, on the other hand, proofs sufficient in the pages of history that those commanders of armies whose talent was rather acquired than natural, have, when they united perseverance and boldness with discernment in their projects, triumphed over those who had nothing beyond genius to trust to.
• The work which is here produced is the result of meditation, and of experience gathered both at home and abroad. It treats of the science of war, properly so called ; to which we shall give the name of Strategy, to distinguish it from the art of war commonly called Tactics. The first part contains the principles of this science, with the application of them to a supposed seat of war. In the second and third parts these principles are illustrated by a portion of the history of the late war.' VOL. XXII. NO. XLIV.
What is here observed of the dangers to which genius is too frequently exposed has been often urged to restrain the flights of talent and imagination; and there can be no question, that every officer who aspires to command should not only be skilled in the maneuvring of troops, but conversant in those higher branches of his profession on which the work before us exclusively treats : but we are inclined to think that more men are gifted with great talents for command than is commonly supposed; and that if proofs of this are not oftener exhibited, it arises more from the want of opportunity and means of distinction than from the rarity of its existence.
Marshal Saxe, in speaking of the qualifications necessary for the commander-in-chief of an army, gives the first place to courage, the second to genius, and the third to health. Under the first of these qualities must be classed that entire self-possession, that promptitude of decision, and that undaunted perseverance, which are absolutely essential to make a great general, for bravery is a virtue which he may be said to share in common with the whole of his army. By genius is here meant—a fertility of expedient, quickness of invention, and a readiness in the application and discovery of resources. Under health is included all bodily requisites -a quickness of sight, an unwearied activity, and a power of enduring continued fatigue. To find so many valuable requisites united in one person is certainly rare.
The great merit of the theoretical part of the Archduke's work consists in its simplicity and conciseness. The first chapter, which does not exceed forty-tive pages, contains all he has to say on the subject; and in the first section of it, the definitions are laid down in the most clear and intelligible manner.
In order to exemplify the principles of it, the author has given us, in the second chapter, a supposed scene of action; one most fertile in military events during the course of the last war, and with which the Archduke has proved that he is most thoroughly acquainted. It comprises that extensive tract of country which Jies between the Lake of Constance, the Rhine, the Main, the Eger, the Elbe, the Moldau, the Ems, and the mountains in the most northerly parts of the District of Saltzburg and the Tyrol. By the help of a very excellent map which accompanies this work, (to which also belong some well engraved plans of the principal engagements mentioned,) we are enabled to follow without difficulty, and with a degree of interest which seldom belongs to such minute description, the very masterly reconnoissance which is given of this tract of country. It may indeed serve as a model to military men; the course of every river, the direction in which the various ranges of mountains or hills extend, the different communications which connect the distant parts, every accident or circumstance of ground-all are detailed with the most careful minuteness.
Having marked out the theatre of war, and discussed such of its features as are most striking in a military point of view, a comparative estiinate is given, in the next section, of the two bases of operation which the contending armies are supposed to occupy. That of the west extending from Mentz to Breisach, a distance of 41) German miles, or fourteen days' march, is stated to have many advantages which do not belong to the other. The Rhine, in the first place, forms a strong line of defence, over which there are numerous crossings, and various roads beyond it which lead to the eastward, and which facilitate the communication between its several points ; it is defended too by a line of fortresses, and at some little distance a second row is formed, which adds to its security.
The eastern basis of operation, which is supposed to reach from Steyer to Theresienstadt, a distance of 31 German miles, or ten days' march, presents no such favourable circumstances as that on the frontiers of France; the right wing alone is covered by Theresienstadt and Prague, and part of the left by the line of the Ems, but the passages across this river, as well as over the Moldau, on the right, are few and unfavourable; there is only one great road of communication, and the Danube divides it into two.
Even to those least conversant in military matters, the importance of a river, wherever the movement of troops is concerned, must be apparent. We shall accordingly find, says the Archduke, upon a careful examination of the wars which have taken place in Germany at various periods, that the defile of the Danube is the key of this country, and that the possession of it has always decided the contest which has been fought upon the banks of that river.'
The historical part of the book opens with a summary detail of the first campaigns against France: they were altogether extremely discouraging, and gave little promise of that glorious termination which, after a long series of losses and disappointments, at last put an end to the agitations of Europe.
At the opening of the campaign of 1796, the superiority in numerical force rather leant to the side of the Austrians, as the annexed enumeration of the forces engaged will shew :Army of Rhine and Moselle. Army of Upper Rhine. General Moreau.
Field Marshal Wurmser. 71,581 . . . Infantry,
60,836 .. Infantry, 6,515 ... Cavalry.
21,940 . . Cavalry. Army of Sambre and Meuse.
Army of Lower Rhine
71,076 ... . Infantry, 1,100 . . . Cavalry.
20,702 ... Cavalry. BB 2
But the advantage of ground possessed by the French was more than amply sufficient to make up for their inferiority in numberstheir basis of operations is described as in every respect preferable, and their position as of such strength that they might at pleasure assume the offensive, whilst their opponents could not attempt any forward movement of the kind without considerable hazard. In fact we should almost be led to inragine, that the Austrians hardly considered the forcible passage of the Rhine as a possible event, and this is the only mode of accounting for their neglect of the necessary precautions to strengthen the line of that river, and to bar the approaches into the German territory.
From the enumeration which we have already given of the contending armies, it will be seen that Morean, one of the generals, was opposed to the Archduke Charles, on the Rhine ; and of all the military characters which France has of late years produced, there is no one whose reputation stands so high both as a general and as a man. His retreat, in this campaign, has always been considered as a masterly display of talent, and his advance into Germany, in the following year, proved that his skill was no less adapted to the direction of the forward movements of an army.
According to the Archduke's view of the matter, Moreau's ability was not equally displayed in the whole conduct of this retreat; and as the Prince has most unreservedly pointed out the faults of his own proceedings, as well as those of the generals under his command, he may fairly be allowed to comment on those of his adversary. The chief merit of Moreau, on this occasion, appears to have been a skilful concentration of his forces, whilst those of the Austrians were scattered and divided; and the only mistake, of any importance, laid to his charge, (which is so considered by Jomini, and not even denied by his own biographer,) is that, from apprehension for the fate of Jourdan, he made a false movement to the left, which compelled him, after some loss, to abandon the project he had originally formed, of retreating by both routes of the Danube. He is blamed by the Archduke for relinquishing this advantage, as well as for a want of decision and activity after bis retreat was determined upon; and it would also appear that, from an unwillingness to give up any portion of the ground he had gained, he did not fall back upon the Danube so rapidly as he ought, where he might have maintained a position the most advantageous for his future operations under every possible contingency.
Moreau's papers were seized by Buonaparte at the time of bis banishment from France, which is much to be regretted, as it would have been curious to compare the accounts of two great generals of affairs in which they were so intimately engaged. From the meagre Memoir published by Beauchamp we extract
what he gives as a letter from Moreau written at the time of which we are speaking, since it explains the motives which decided him upon
the retreat which he carried into effect with so much ability.
'The enemy,' says he, appeared only anxious to gain time, always escaping from us and giving way before us, as often as we shewed a disposition to make resistance. It was to be presumed that, after haying succeeded in driving back the Army of the Sambre and Meuse, the Archduke Charles would turn with all his force upon us, and endeavour to extend himself in my rear. These powerful considerations determined me upon making a retrograde movement, in order that the army might be placed in a more compact position, where it might safely remain till that of the Sambre and Meuse should be able to resume the offensive. To assist in extricating the latter, I resolved upon detaching a body of troops to the left bank of the Danube, which might have the effect of annoying the rear of the Archduke, whilst the rest of the army, concentrated at Neubourg, might keep in check the force under General Latour, and threaten to take him in flank if he moved upon Augsburg.'-Life of Moreau, p. 21.
As may be expected in a work where two volumes are dedicated to the military operations of a campaign, these points are all discussed by the Archduke with great ninuteness; but whatever differences of opinion may exist as to some of Moreau's movements during this campaign, the general conduct of it is clearly of a very masterly description; and the ability of General Jourdan, to whom the Army of the Lower Rhine was entrusted, scarcely appears to less advantage. He is, however, blamed by the Archduke for a certain degree of jealousy of Moreau, which is denied by the French commentator, and for a want of sufficient promptitude in his first advance, which he justly considers as a capital error
• Many faults,' says he, can be amended, and many losses can be repaired, all excepting that of time. The commander-in-chief should therefore be always in the neighbourhood of his advancedguard, all news must come to bim by that channel, and by this means alone can he acquire the requisite knowledge of places and circumstances to direct his projects in sufficient time for their execution with rapidity and effect.'
Hostilities began in the quarter where Jourdan commanded, and his first operations were attended with considerable success. The Austrian generals had been forced to retreat, and the enemy was almost at the gates of Ratisbon, when the Archduke determined upon flying to the relief of the beaten army. Leaving, therefore, a force to watch Moreau, who had advanced into Bavaria, he effected a junction with Wartensleben ; and, when so great a superiority of force was opposed to him, Jourdan had no chance of BB 3