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Without searchlights, fire-control apparatus, and above all without reserve ammunition, the expenditures already incurredamounting in round numbers to $70,000,000—will have been virtually wasted.' Let us hope that Congress by liberal appropriations will promptly complete the work so well begun.
RESERVE SUPPLY DEPOTS.
There is a decided dearth of large organized reserve supply depots. These depots should be located with reference to supply centers or at such points as to be best utilized during the mobilization and concentration of the Regular Army and Militia. Each depot should contain sufficient supplies of every sort, except perishable stores such as food, to equip fully all troops that may be recruited or mobilized within its sphere. This system is used by nearly every European army, and its merits are well known.
Inferior as is the condition of our military forces in respect to matériel, the personnel conditions are worse. The backbone of an army is the infantry. The brunt of the fighting falls on the infantry. At present we have only thirty regiments of regular infantry3 Eight are in the Philippines, one is in Honolulu and Alaska, and only twenty-one in the United States. A very considerable increase of this important arm will be necessary. The War Department has planned a joint force of regulars and militia for national defense. Orders have already been issued for the formation of the first field army; but, as a matter of fact, this is a field army in name only, so deficient is its organization and equipment to-day. As for the other proposed field armies, they
the fire-control equipment of existing defenses in home ports. Dividing $2,317,311 by five gives an average of $463,462 as the appropriation per annum for the past five years. $463,462 divides into $3,908,466 more than eight times.
General Murray's report, p. 17.
will be little more than mere skeletons, and as such would cut a sorry figure if opposed to a properly organized enemy.
Both in the Regular Army and Militia, the field artillery falls short of its correct proportion with respect to the infantry and cavalry. If the present Army and Militia were recruited up to their full war strength to-day, there would be a shortage of over 50 per cent in the number of guns they ought to possess. This force would amount approximately to over 300,000 men. In
"General Wood's report, p. 8.
2General Wood's report, pp. 6, 9, and 10; General Wood's testimony before the Committee on Military Affairs of the House of Representatives, pp. 334, 335, 336, 339, 346, 352, and 362. General Wood also emphasized in his testimony (pp. 335 and 352) the fact that “we have today, including everything in the hands of the militia, the regulars and reserve, only enough field-artillery 3-inch guns for about 108,000 rifles,” and “only sufficient artillery for 108,000 men on the conservative basis of four guns on the thousand.” Moreover, he pointed out (p. 334) that “Up to two years ago there was an item in the annual appropriation for the construction of field artillery for the Organized Militia. Two years ago this item was dropped. The Chief of Ordnance was proceeding with the manufacture of field artillery on the basis of 2 guns per 1,000 rifles and sabers for the Organized Militia, and on that basis he had accumulated nearly enough guns for the militia at peace strength. So when 2 guns per 1,000 for the militia on the basis of peace strength were constructed the appropriation was dropped.” The Regular Army numbers 72,559 and the Organized Militia 110,505 enlisted men, including all arms—a total of 183,064-according to the last returns (Report of the Secretary of War, dated December 5, 1910, pp. 6 and 46; Report of the Adjutant General, October 31, 1910, pp. 7 and 9). Allowing 4 guns per 1,000 bayonets, 183,064 men should have 732 field guns, which is just 300 guns more than the 432 3-inch pieces now on hand. The modern field gun is a very intricate and expensive bit of mechanism, costing about $21,000 each complete. General Wood laid considerable stress (Testimony, pp. 340 and 352) that our maximum production of these guns is from 550 to 600 guns a year.
3 General Wood's report as Chief of Staff, p. 10.
4 According to the Field Service Regulations, Article I, sections 24 and 25, an infantry regiment at war strength should have 1,500.enlisted men, and a cavalry regiment 1,188. The Regular Army consists of thirty infantry and fifteen cavalry regiments (Army Register for 1910, pp. 249 to 385, and 114 to 181); and the militia of “140 regiments, 9 separate battalions, 7 separate companies of infantry, 69 troops of cavalry, 51 batteries of field artillery, and 122 com of coast artillery” (Repo of the Secretary of War, p. 46; Report of the Chief of Staff, p. 8). This force would therefore be approximately as follows:
30 regiments of regular infantry at 1,500... 15 regiments of regular cavalry at 1,188.
Total Regular Army infantry and cavalry..
time of war twice this number would probably be required.' The lack of guns, to say nothing of ammunition, necessary to equip such a force is consequently all the more striking. The report of the Chief of the Division of Militia Affairs3 shows that the light batteries in the militia are deficient in organization, personnel and instruction, and that they are very deficient in the number needed to make their existing infantry effective as fighting units. For this reason increased efforts should be made to organize, equip and instruct this very necessary part of our citizen-soldiery.4
The coast artillery is likewise short of its requisite strength.” 42,065 Coast Artillery troops are needed to provide one manning detail for the seacoast fortifications already constructed within the United States. At the present time, there are available Total Regular Army infantry and cavalry.
62,820 140 regiments of Militia infantry at 1,500.
210,000 9 separate battalions at 440..
3,960 7 separate companies at 108.
972 69 troops of Militia cavalry at 64 enlisted men. Grand Total of enlisted infantry and cavalry for the Regular Army
and Organized Militia (exclusive of officers, regular and militia coast artillery and auxiliary arms)..
282,168 Allowing 4 guns per 1,000 men, this force would need 1,128 field guns, but as we have already seen, the Army has on hand only 432 3-inch guns. According to the numbers given in the Field Service Regulations (p. 42) the above force of 282,168 enlisted men would form nearly 16 divisions. For every 13,500 of enlisted infantrymen and 1,188 cavalrymen, 3,168 men must be added to form a complete division. For 16 divisions this would amount to 50,688 men, so that the actual force of the regular and militia infantry and cavalry raised to its full war strength and organized into divisions would be about 332,000 men. The enlisted cavalrymen in this force would number 22,236. Allowing 125 sabres per 1,000 bayonets—a conservative number used in most of the European armies—this army would be approximately 13,000 short of the cavalry it ought to possess.
'In the Spanish-American War, 281,923 regulars, volunteers and militia were used. In a war with a first-class power, many more would be needed.
2 General Wood's report, p. 10. 3For 1910, pp. 240 to 252.
4General Wood laid particular emphasis (Testimony, p. 356) on the fact that “Raw troops of any nationality need all the moral support which is given by good artillery;" and his assertion is abundantly borne out by General Kuropatkin, vol. II, p. 155.
5General Murray's report, pp. 5 to it.
6 According to General Murray's report (p. 7) the following coast artillery troops are needed: For defenses already constructed...
36,863 For mines, power plants and searchlights.
4,970 One complete detail in Puget Sound.
18,079 regular coast artillery troops' and 6,864 militia,” a total of 24,943. Therefore 17,122 troops are required to provide one complete manning detail for the home fortifications, not to mention the 13,045 that will be needed for the Panama Canal and the insular possessions.3 Fifty-five thousand field troops will also be necessary in time of war to secure these fortifications against attacks from the rear.4
The location of some posts in the Army might be greatly improved, and many posts and garrisons within the United States abandoned to advantage. The concentration of troops in larger bodies would unquestionably result in greater military efficiency, as well as in reduced expense. Many of the business methods employed in the War Department might be improved. The institution of a supply corps, such as the Intendance in the French and German armies, could accomplish much in the way of economy and better administration.
One of the greatest defects in our present military system is the loss to the United States of the services of the men it has trained. The Regular Army graduates by expiring enlistments about 30,000 men annually, who have had three years of excellent schooling. In the Organized Militia a similar condition exists.
*170 companies at 104 men each equals 17,680, to which must be added 399 non-commissioned staff officers, a total of 18,079.
2General Murray's report, pp. 10 and 11.
3General Murray states (Report, p. 7) that 55,110 are needed for one complete manning detail of all fortifications in the United States, the insular possessions and canal ports. Deducting 42,065 from 55,110 gives a remainder of 13,045.
4 General Murray's report, pp. 13 and 14.
5For example, Fort Wingate, New Mexico; Fort Thomas, Kentucky; and Fort Assiniboine, Montana. Certainly cavalry should not be sent as, in the past, to posts like Assiniboine and Fort Ethan Allen where they are snowed up a considerable part of the year; but, as General Wood observed (Testi mony, p. 360), “there is a great uproar always made when we withdraw troops.''
"General Wood's testimony, pp. 338, 346, 359 to 362. Also his report as Chief of Staff, p. II.
7Letter from John C. Scofield, Chief Clerk of the War Department, dated October 9, 1905, to the Secretary of War relative to the questions propounded by the “Keep Commission.”
8 As every military man is convinced. The advisability of organizing a General Service Corps is advocated by the Chief of Staff (p. 11) and by Brig.Gen. Henry G. Sharpe, the Commissary General, in his report for 1910, pp. 17 and 18.
'General Wood's report, p. 11; General Wood's testimony, pp. 342 and 343.
All control of these trained men is lost as soon as their term of service is ended; and no means exist to utilize them in time of war. No bill ever introduced in Congress to create them into a reserve has passed. A comprehensive law, intelligently carried out, could give the country in ten years an efficient reserve of about 300,000 men who have been trained in the Regulars or National Guard.' With this force, added to such an army and organized militia as are needed, the United States might rest secure.
CALLING OUT TROOPS IN TIME OF WAR.
Perhaps the worst feature of all is the absence of a law which would work automatically at the outbreak of war, and permit the Government to call out, organize, and equip what troops are deemed necessary, without recourse to further hasty legislation enacted at the last moment. Until some such law is passed, it will be impossible for the War Department to make the necessary preparations beforehand or the General Staff to formulate detailed plans for carrying them into effect.3
The Act of January 21, 1903, commonly known as "The Dick Bill," when originally introduced contained a number of admirable provisions; but, as in the past, it ended in a compromise measure containing some glaring defects which substantially perpetuate some of the very faults it sought to remedy. The principal defects of the Dick Bill are as follows:
1. The militia must first be called into the service of the United States before volunteers can be organized. So hazy is the definition given of militia that incompetent officers of high rank and troops who are not wanted can be forced upon the Federal government.
2. In the call to arms priority is given to the states, and governors can prevent the raising of volunteers within their jurisdiction by summoning all the militia into active service of their states.
3. The Act of May 8, 1792, prescribed compulsory service in time of peace on the part of every able-bodied citizen between the ages of 18 and 45 years. This was repealed by the Dick Bill.
4. The United States must call the militia into its service
"General Wood's report, p. 11; General Wood's testimony, pp. 342 and 343.
2 The folly of this short-sighted system is fully set forth in General Upton's “The Military Policy of the United States," and in the reprint of Mr. Huidekoper's article, “Is the United States prepared for War?"
3General Wood's report p. 7.
4 Vide Congressional Record for the bill as originally introduced, the debate on it, and the measure as finally passed.