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mouth, that probably the garrison in exposing himself to an engagewould be very much larger, because ment under such circumstances, even you would have all the troops and if numerically superior; and the volunteers of that part of the coun- real attack on Chatham from the try concentrated at Plymouth, their north would only be made after Loncentre of action; whereas Ports- don had fallen. When this unformouth is part of the defence of Lon- tunate event had occurred, the French don, and therefore you could not would be in possession of the north afford such a large garrison there.” bank of the Thames, and could en
filade and take in reverse the line Q. The army which is to defend Lon- of works proposed by the Commisdon could not affect the defence of Ply- sioners across the promontory. Would mouth?
“ A. No; for you could not leave the it not be better to adopt one of the whole of that western district un provided other plans which they themselves for without a distinct force, which would suggest, having both its flanks restprobably be chiefly at Plymouth.” ing on the Medway? A small fort at
Cliffe Creek could be added. This The position of Chatham is so near would compel the enemy to make London that its defence becomes still his attack from the west. If he more closely interworen with that of attacked from the north, bis works the metropolis. The plan of the Com- would be taken in reverse by the missioners for enclosing the ground fort at Cliffe Creek. If he attacked opposite Chatham on the north of the fort at Cliffe Creek, he would be the Medway is almost the only one of taken in reverse by the Chatham lines. their plans which we should venture These two forts would thus mutualto criticise. It seems to us that the ly support each other. The fort at fortification of Chatham on the north Cliffe Creek would form a barrier to should only be considered with refer- the navigation of the Thames, and ence to its defence after London had the north and east portion of the fallen. The promontory which is Chatham lines might be constructformed by the Medway below Maid- ed on an inexpensive scale, being stone and the Thames, is the last less liable to attack than the west place where an invading army would front, which would be proportionlike to venture. Although we do ately strengthened. not place much confidence in a river In some of the additions proposed for strategical purposes of defence, to the seaward defences of Plymouth, the Medway between Maidstone and the Commissioners have really goné Chatham would offer a serious bar too far on the side of security. It is rier : the line is short, and therefore wasting monoy to build expensive easily watched, and the ground on casemates on Drake's Island. The the left bank favourable for defence. entrance to Plymouth harbour is the It may be assumed, therefore, that easiest defended of any in the world. an invader would turn the Medway, There are plenty of officers in the either passing through Maidstone or Royal Engineers who would, at an leaving it on his right flank. Maid- expense of one hundred pounds, and stone is thus an important strategical in less than forty-eight hours, throw point. If our army had not already up and arm a sufficiency of earthen met the invader before he reached batteries on Mount Edgecombe to Maidstone, or if it had met him and blow any fleet that tried to force an been defeated, it must-it could only entrance clean out of the water ; and be in front of London. Should the this might be done without inflicting invader, after passing Maidstone, turn the slightest permanent injury on the to his right and enter the promon- noble demesne of Mount Edgecombe, tory between the Thames and Med- which would be little less than sacriway, he would enter a cul de sac. lege. But earthen batteries thrown Our army could advance behind him, up at the beginning of a war could, and make him fight a battle in á at its conclusion, be levelled in as position where all retreat would be short a time as they took to construct cut off in case of defeat. We do not and in that warm and moist clibelieve a general would be justified mate the succeeding spring would
see the daisies and ferns growing as and money. The Commissioners rewhite and green as ever; or if a hos- quire 65,000 men to garrison their tile fleet was sunk by these batteries, forts, 3721 guns to place in them, the grassy mounds might remain for and £7,000,000 to build them : surely future ages as a picturesque memento it would be as well to count how of the struggle. The Gothic ruin many chickens we can hatch, before Dear them would be much improved making such expensive hencoops for by having its buttress knocked away them. Three thousand seven hunby a French bullet, for it would then dred and twenty-one guns ! but become a real ruin, whereas it is now where are the gunners ? Really food avowedly a sham one.
for cannon is getting so scarce and The subject of seaward defences at dear, and there are so many mouths Portsmouth is difficult and compli- to feed, that the cannon must learn cated; what between the sands, and to help themselves, and then indulge the shoals, and “ Motherbank," and in an unobjectionable cannibalism. “No man's land," and the contradic-Can no one invent a gun that will tory opinions of naval officers, the load, aim, and fire itself ? or, as solCommissioners deserve great credit diers are mere machines, can no one for having come to any decision at invent a steam regiment and steam all, and we have no intention of try. colonel at once ? We ourselves ing to disturb it.
believe the number of men forthThe Commissioners state their de- coming, and able to garrison the mands on our pockets as follows: fortifications, would be practically un_"The amount of our special esti- limited, and shall recur to the subject mate is £10,390,000, of which sum afterwards ; but when such distin£1,885,000 is for the purchase of guished authorities as Sir J. Burland, £7,005,000 for the fortifications goyne think otherwise, it would be recommended for erection, £500,000 unwise to act without a fuller invesfor the armament of works, and tigation. The Commissioners talk £1,000,000 for floating defences. To in a general way of utilising the this must be added £1,460,000 for volunteers, &c.; but it was not withworks already sanctioned and in in their scope to estimate in detail course of execution - the whole the distribution we could make of amounting to £11,850,000.”
our forces. We wish distinctly to The portion of this required for state that our opposition to the imthe seaward defences of the dock- mediate construction of these works yards is £2,325,000; their armament, arises from the necessity of considersay, £250,000, or half of the whole ing the matter on a broader basis, £500,000 required for armaments : if and is free from any intention of we add the £1,000,000 for floating attributing imperfections to the Comdefences, it gives £3,575,000. This missioners' schemes taken per se. As should be sanctioned without loss of specimens of military engineering time, because these works really are projects they are no doubt excellent: independent of any general plan for we should like to see their plan of resisting invasion, and the garrisons fortifying Chatham reconsidered, alrequired would be very small com- though it is very probable nothing pared with those for the land de- better can be devised.
As they fences – probably not 5000 men. themselves suggest three different We consider these seaward defences plans for Chatham, we may be parfor the dockyards should take prece- doned for hinting at any improvedence of everything, even of the ments being possible. If the nation, defence of London, inasmuch as the therefore, will undertake to find gardanger is far more imminent. To risons of 65,000 men, and come down reach London an enemy must defeat handsomely with its £10,000,000, the both our fleet and army; to burn Commissioners may safely be inour dockyards, in the present state trusted with seeing the money laid of their defences, he need only defeat out to the best advantage ; but the or entice away our fleet.
nation had better make sure that the The land defences resolve them- garrisons will not be summoned at selves into simple questions of men the moment of peril to protect London, and an enemy walk into the the Emperor, it is whispered in empty forts; and they must not at London, will not go back to Paris, a future period make the payment but proceed at once to Boulogne, tó of this money any basis for remon- superintend in person the arrangestrance against furnishing another ments for embarking his army of intwenty million to fortify London and vasion. A few swift steamers have a few other points, which may be set out from Glasgow and Liverpool, more important than the landward to convey orders of recall for our defences of our dockyards.
ships from all parts of the world. Here we leave the “Report of the Two contractors, who built rotten Commissioners appointed to consider gunboats, have been hanged at the Defences of the United King- Blackwall. The London mob are dom," and, reserving a few remarks searching everywhere for Mr Bright, regarding our feet, and means of but he has fortunately eluded their opposing or delaying a landing, for grasp-he is concealed in Lord Derthe conclusion, take the case of an by's dressing-room. actual invasion, when the whole army If England is ever invaded, it can of England - regulars, militia, and only be after a catastrophe such as volunteers—would be called into the we have here imagined. The Emfield. It is not necessary nowadays peror would never be so mad as to to go very far for a pretext for war. quit the shores of France until he We need not discuss the present had secured a command of the Chanaspect of European politics, try to nel for six weeks at least. As to divine how much of the Rhenish pro- seizing a moment when our fleet was vinces the Emperor will require to out of the way, it is not possible in balance Sicily, or what prescription these days. Where could our fleet the doctors have drawn up for the bide itself, to be beyond the reach of sick man.
We may at once anti- summons at the time of need ? No cipate the year 1863, and suppose port of the Atlantic or Mediterranean France has gone to war with Eug- is more than a fortnight's steaming land for an idea.” Matters, more- from Land's End; and it would not over, are looking very serious on our suit the French to disembark in Engside of the Channel. The Emperor land, and then find their transports is not yet established in Buckingham in possession of an English squadron. Palace, or the Garde Imperiale The Emperor had better be content quartered in Knightsbridge Bar- with the Tuileries and Versailles, racks; but the Parisian press talk than reign for a month in Buckingof this as all but un fait accompli. ham Palace, and pass the rest of his Rentes are up, and consols are down life in the Tower. -England has_lost a great naval If Louis Napoleon forms the seaction, and the French admiral, like rious idea of invading England, he Van Tromp, may sail up the Channel would not even pretend to secresy. with a broom at his mast-head. To- Do what he might, it is simply immorrow, as the Moniteur announces, possible to carry on the vast prethe Emperor will run down to Cher- parations which would be necessary, bourg to witness a grand paval re- without all Europe fathoming his view, when the French fleet will tow design. The moment his concentratheir captured rivals into port. The tion of troops and transports began French admiral who engaged the to be matured, any attempt at seRoyal Albert on one side and the cresy would merely clog his own Duke of Wellington on the other, movements, without throwing any till both ships struck their flags, will dust in the eyes of the British Govlead the procession with his prizes. ernment. Our War Office should, The iron-plated Warrior and Black and we have no doubt does, know Prince were sunk with all hands, the movements of every regiment in so they cannot grace the triumph; the French army just as well as our but a number of other vessels of This may not be of much imall sizes will follow in the victor's portance in peace time, but the pracwake, with the tricolor floating over tice should not be allowed to drop, the British evsign. After the fête, as it keeps the machinery of our intelligence department in good work- except delay. By noon on the third ing order. The army of invasion day, 150,000 infantry, 5000 cavalry, might consist of 200,000 men, of and 200 guns, would be drawn up in whom 150,000 would cross in the battle array, and the marshals, amid first instance, and the remainder be deafening shouts of "Vive l'Emperbrought forward to supply casual- eur!" direct the heads of their respecties ; 150,000, more or less, may be tive columns on London. taken as the limit beyond which it So far it has been all plain sailing. would scarcely be possible to keep We have no right to reckon the ele up an army fully supplied with am- ments to help us. It might be that munition, provisions, and matériel. “He blew with His winds, and they Of these, 100,000 (including 5000 were scattered;" that half the army cavalry and 200 guns) might by an might find themselves cut off, by a extraordinary effort be passed over strong southerly gale and roaring at once; they would require about surf, from all communication with 150,000 tons of shipping. We give their ships, and be compelled to lay a small proportion of cavalry and down their arms; but we must not guns, as the country is not suited for neglect human means, in the hope them. With good arrangements, and that Providence will a second time under very favourable circumstances interpose in our favour. of weather, the whole could land in We have here put aside our Chanless than twenty-four hours. A few nel fleet, and seen the invader safe tumbrils or horses might remain on ashore. Having thus given him a board, but the great mass could be queen and bishop at the least, let us ashore within that time. We have see what we can do with our knights seen an artillery troop-ship com
and castles in the great game of pletely cleared of horses and guns in strategy. eight hours, on to a beach three- There are two courses open to the quarters of a mile distant. At Old English general. He might assume fort the Allies commenced disem- the offensive, and force an action barking at 8 A.M., and had pretty close to the coast, finishing the war nearly brought everything ashore by at once, and saving all the southern the evening of the second day, al- counties and towns from pillage and though there was a considerable surf. misery; for this he must have not The 100,000 men once ashore, their less than a hundred thousand disfirst operation would be to intrench ciplined men at his disposal. The themselves in some position selected second or defensive course of operalong before. The steamers, as they tions (which also applies to the case emptied, would go back for another of our army losing a great battle cargo. Supposing the infantry took near the coast) would be necessary, six hours to disembark, the steamers if numerical odds in regular troops four hours to cross, two more to em- (including militia and efficient volunbark their second batch, and four teers) were so much against us, that hours to recross, the whole could be the tremendous stake could not prufinished by the morning of the third dently be risked in a pitched battle day, allowing the sailors a few hours until the enemy were far from their for repose. The French would try to base, and the volunteers, acting in dispense with most of the baggage their rear, compelled them to detach and means of transport which an large bodies to protect their line of army usually requires, but there are operations, the main army being procertain necessary evils in the shape portionately weakened. of impedimenta which no force in the “The safety and honour of the field can entirely shake off. The sol country,” says Lord Overstone, “rediers would carry six days' provisions, quire that the integrity of the empire no tents would be brought ashore. be defended on the sea principally, In their state of mad excitement, no and in the first instance ; and in the complaints would be heard of the wet case of any serious mishaps there, we or cold as they lay down to sleep on must be prepared to fight the battle the firm old sod of Kent; any priva. upon the first inch of ground upon tions would be cheerfully endured which a foreign foe sets his hostile foot.” That the English general warning had been given, or, worse would adopt this course, if he could than all
, if we were defeated in a do so with any hope of success, there general action near the coast, the cannot be a doubt. The whole ques- point to look to would be the safety tion is one of men, and this we shall of the metropolis. Of course there discuss hereafter. The infantry would are different degrees of surprise, and be forwarded by rail, the cavalry and the English army, unprepared when artillery by road. As Crawford's light the enemy landed, might meet him brigade marched sixty-four miles half-way to London. Accordingly, in twenty-six hours to Talavera, it some have proposed scarping the would not be expecting too much chalk range of hills, or forming an from our mounted troops, or even intrenched camp near Guildford, or foot -artillery, to make thirty miles elsewhere along that line. Due at2-day.
Thus all troops within a tention should be paid to the arguradius of sixty miles froin the point ments in favour of this view from of invasion, and the infantry from a persons well acquainted with the far greater distance, could assemble country ; but we cannot adopt it on the third day. Independently of ourselves. A long line, such as the great sacrifice which a protracted would be afforded by scarping the war must entail, the plan of fighting bills, is generally a weak line. There at once presents great advantages in are so many strong positions along a purely military point of view. The this range of hills, that an intrenched moral effect upon our army of march- camp, which the enemy would know ing straight at the enemy wherever of, and lay his plans to avoid, is unhe landed must be admirable. We necessary; and if we are ready to would deploy a few miles from the attack him, no defensive works or field of battle, and a member of the position is required. It is also quite royal family, riding along the ranks, uncertain whether an invader would would raise the enthusiasm of the land in Kent or Essex : if he landed troops to an extraordinary pitch. in Kent, he would certainly make a The French would hardly be recover- demonstration on Essex; if he landed ed from their sea-sickness, and, with in Essex, he would make a demonthe best arrangements, would still be stration on Kent. But, for the sake in some confusion. They could not of more easily considering the queshave any heavier guns than field- tion, we take the southern counties pieces ashore, while we might hope as the field of operations. Leaving, to bring 18-pounders into action. then, any intermediate line between They would be appalled at the sud- the coast and London as a matter denness with which their trespass of secondary importance, which can was challeuged, and, above all, a hardly be provided for beforehand, battle lost in such a position would but must depend on the chapter of be utter and immediate destruction. accidents, we come to the defence If left to themselves, they might of London itself against an invader form a strong intrenched camp, on who had pushed up to its vicinity. which to retire after any disastrous Several projects have been put foraction in the interior, but at the first ward, all of which we desire to see nothing could be ready beyond a few investigated by a competent comfieldworks. Even a victory must mission. One is to surround Lonparalyse the invader for many days. don with a series of detached reWith 40,000 men weltering in their doubts, one mile apart, at a radius blood, and all their ammunition of five or six miles from St Paul's; spent, they could be in no position but it certainly appears that these to follow up boldly through an en- forts must be so masked by houses closed country.
as to be generally useless. Another If we were really invaded without scheme has been very ably advowarning, which some predict, al- cated in the Cornhill Magazine though we cannot admit the possi- viz., to surround London with forts bility of such an occurrence, or if we at Shooter's Hill, the Crystal Palace, were surprised through ourown negli- Harrow, and other places. Previous gence to take proper precautions after to an expected attack, intermediate