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1089Re: [civilwarwest] Hard hand of war.

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  • J Clink
    Jul 2, 2000
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      Thanks for the info! I haven't really done a lot of reading about military
      tactics and practices. I do know that Napolean drafted people, but more out of
      necessity -- which I guess is always the case. The book I read marked the
      decline of Napolean's success with the killing off of his veterans through
      near-continual war. (Wish I had the book at hand...) Because his army did use
      quite a few innovative tactics, once the well-trained were gone, there wasn't
      time to train their replacements as thoroughly.

      My main point, though, was more about the Civil War having been taken very
      personally by a good many of its soldiers. ('Course, apparently the conscripts
      wouldn't be the most committed!) So-called True Believers in any war seem to
      intensify the bloodshed. It seems in a democracy, if the citizen-soldiers
      actually VOTED for or against the war, they'd feel more personally involved.

      I know there's a lot I don't know, though!

      Jeanette

      nils.feller@... wrote:

      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: J Clink <ncanfield@...>
      > To: <civilwarwest@egroups.com>
      > Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2000 8:39 PM
      > Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Hard hand of war.
      >
      > > About the democracies -- I read a book on military tactics (just one
      > tho -- not an
      > > expert), and in Europe, which served as a model for McClellan and the U.S.
      > military
      > > in general, many of the wars were fought by hired professionals rather
      > than the
      > > general population. There were instances of conscription, but nothing like
      > what was
      > > instituted by both the U.S. and the Confederacy during the CW. In Europe,
      > most
      > > people didn't feel they had a personal stake in the war.
      >
      > Jeanette,
      > a very interesting post, but one correction seems to be necessary: What you
      > write about conscription in Europe is true for the 18th century, but not the
      > 19th.
      > The Napoleonic Wars served as proof to military reformers like Scharnhorst
      > and Gneisenau that future wars were to be fought by armies of conscripts,
      > the French Army of the Revolution having served as an example.
      > In Prussia, compulsory military service for all men between 20 and 40 had
      > been introduced in 1814. It soon became the rule in all German states,
      > indeed in all of Europe, and by the middle of the 19th century, volunteer
      > armies were the exception rather than the rule. Actually, by the end of the
      > century, only Britain and the US among the more important powers had no
      > system of conscription (which I personally would see rather positive). I
      > hope my post doesn't seem to be too narrow-minded!
      > Nils
      >
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