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NOTE.

In many cases the dimensions given to the different profiles &c. will appear unnecessarily minute; but in converting the French into English measures, unless the exact figures had been given, the various calculations would not have worked out correctly.

Translator.

HASTY INTRENCHMENTS.

'Les principes de la fortification de campagne ont besoin d'etre amiliords.'

Napoleon.

CHAPTER I.
GENERAL REMARKS.

IN all ages intrenchments have been made use of to fortify the weak parts of camps or of fields of battle, and to shelter the troops from missiles. The Roman legions executed works of this kind, in presence of an enemy, with wonderful skill and rapidity. An historian says of them, ' It was by moving earth that they conquered the world.'

Fortifications on the field of battle have a favourable moral effect on the troops defending them, and an unfavourable one on the attacking forces. They increase the difficulties and the losses of the assailant; and he, being taken unawares, and sometimes not even knowing of their existence at the commencement of the action, cannot form a correct opinion of their importance or take steps in time to avoid or outflank them. On this account hasty intrenchments, formed unknown to the enemy, will often be of greater use than redoubts and forts executed at leisure and with great care.

The first general of modern times who gave much importance to field works was the Emperor Charles V. In 1547, when he found himself in face of the Allied Army, which was twice as strong as his own, but which made the mistake of not attacking

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him at once, he made use of the first night to intrench his position, which on the next day was in a state of defence. He continued to work at it for 12 days. On the 13th day the emperor, having received a reinforcement of Dutch troops, took the offensive. Three months afterwards the campaign was brought to a close by the complete dispersion of the enemy's forces.

Charles V. had prepared for this result by attaching to each regiment of Lansquenets ' a company, of 400 pioneers. This company was placed under the command of a special officer, and took with it a small store of tools.

It was a similar organisation which enabled the Prince of Parma in 1584 to carry out the enormous works required for the blockade of the Scheldt and the siege of Antwerp. His Army contained 3,000 pioneers, which were reinforced when necessary by working parties of Infantry.

Since that time troops specially charged with the execution of field works have lost their importance, although these works have still been frequently made use of, as is proved by the wars of the Princes of Nassau, Gustavus Adolphus, Louis XIII., and Louis XIV.; but during these wars the fortifying of villages and the construction of circumvallations and of frontier lines were the work, either forced or voluntary, of peasants. The troops only took part in it in exceptional cases and to a small extent.2 Historians affirm that the soldiers disliked making use of navvies' tools, although their commanders and sovereigns themselves3 made praiseworthy efforts to destroy this prejudice.4

1 German foot soldiers. (Transl.)

2 See I^s Mimoires militaircs relatifs a la guerre de la succession d'Espagne. By General De Vault.

* Louis XIV. went to live at Dunkirk for a month in order to encourage, by his presence, his praise, and his rewards, the 30,000 soldiers who were employed on the works of that place under the orders of Vauban. (See Allent's Histoire du corps du glnie.)

4 This prejudice has long existed in European armies, and still exists in some of them,

General Rogniat said in 1817, * There is among the French troops an incompre

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