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what England wanted was a bout of bloodshed, were "hucksters:"
"Last week came one to the county town,
the grape, and even the orange, while good | the war, but those who did not perceive that wines are yielded by some of the vineyards. Horses, sheep, oxen, honey, and silk are among the products of the southern portion of this interesting land, which was once Crim Tartary. The population is about a fifth of a million, and is very mixed, the greater portion being Tartars. This was the country in which the little river Alma was soon to give a name to one of the most important battles in history.
Something has already been said concerning the existence of what may be called the poetic English party, whose voices were for war at this time. The feeling with these politicians had something romantic and even ethereal about it. They seemed to think that England was reading the whole world a lesson by standing forward in defence of the weak, i.e. Turkey. Was "the sick man" (as Turkey was by that time currently called) to be quietly smothered by the "Colossus of the North?" No; we had neglected our duty with regard to Italy, Hungary, and Poland-it was now time to make what amends we could to our consciences. Such was the argument of this party. They also laid great stress upon the question of the education of the nation in manliness, upon what Florence Nightingale called the "re-tempering of peoples." The half-mad lover in Mr. Tennyson's "Maud" very nearly advocated war as a cure for social ills. Here, said he, we have been having for many years "the blessings of peace," but "we have made them a curse." Women poison their babies for the sake of the insurance money. Men, having lost the sense of brotherhood, for want of social strain (such as war creates) have made life rotten from end to end with fraud and selfishness. "Peace in her vineyard? Yes! But a company forges the wine." The inner heart of the nation is being eaten out by commercial fraud. Is not this war? It is war, "the viler, as underhand, not openly bearing the sword." Far better open conflict with a strong foe. Let us get rid of "the long, long canker of peace," and welcome "the blood-red blossom of war, with a heart of fire." Mr. Bright, Mr. Cobden, and a good many more were opposed to
To preach our poor little army down,
There was of course no lack of popular outcry for war-the mob are always for fighting. Those who dreaded and hated the idea of a French alliance were not numerous enough or well-informed enough to outrote the rest; the newspapers cried "War, war!" Lord Palmerston was devoted not only to the old idea of the balance of power, but to the old policy of keeping Russia not only away from Constantinople, but right away, as far as possible, from access to the Mediterranean; and everybody hated the Emperor Nicholas -everybody out of courtly or high-commercial circles. The newspapers made ludicrous capital out of the "movements" of our fleet in the Mediterranean under Admiral Dundas. Day after day the "bills" displayed such lines as, "The fleet preparing to advance!" and "The fleet in the Dardanelles!" until at last, after long waiting, came the announcement, "The fleet has passed the Bosphorus !” The street songs that celebrated this event were endless, and were in this style (we quote from an original):—
"Old Nick will soon be made to quake,
"The fortress of Sebastopol
Will soon come down, alas! Surrounder'd both by sea on land By Raglan and Dundas."
Nicholas, Emperor of Russia, was vulgarly called "Old Nick" of course.
Manifestations of an intention to prepare for a probable war had not been wanting on our part, although the opportunities for negotiation had avowedly been kept open as long as possible. The camp at Chobham
THE NAVAL REVIEW.
Common could scarcely be deemed a hostile |
rode with the prince and her guests down the lines, and afterwards witnessed the manœuvres from a neighbouring height. The spectacle was realistic-for the country was open, but broken by hollows, woods or thickets, streams and marshes-and a hundred thousand spectators had assembled to witness it. The real value of the camp was to be found in the daily exercises, and though the weather for a great part of the two months during which the troops were under canvas was exceptionally rainy and tempestuous, the men showed themselves to be remarkably efficient and enduring.
More suggestive than the manoeuvres at Chobham, however, was the naval review held at Spithead on the 8th of August. By that time the common impression was that war must soon become imminent, and the display of a naval force was regarded not only as a determined manifestation, but as an exhibition of the enormous development, or rather the vast reconstruction, of our maritime armaments. There were altogether forty vessels of war, of which twenty-five were of chief importance. Thirteen of these were screw and nine were paddle-wheel steamers, while three were sailing ships of the line. The steamvessels possessed a nominal total of nearly 10,000 horse-power, and an actual total of about 18,000 and of 44,146 tons, the number of hands being about 10,000. There were 1087 guns, of which 68-pounders were the chief feature, the smallest of the guns being 32-pounders and the largest throwing 84-pound
At forty-five minutes past ten the royal yacht, the Victoria and Albert, entered between the leeward ships of the fleet, passing the Vesuvius and the Terrible, and then proceeding straight down the line towards the Duke of Wellington, gave an opportunity to the vast number of persons congregated on the decks of the steamers, which brought passengers to the spectacle, to welcome her majesty with bursts of enthusiastic cheering. After the queen and the royal party had inspected the Duke of Wellington, the signal was given to weigh, and her majesty led the fleet out to sea, the royal yacht occupying a central position between "the Duke" on the starboard and
the Agamemnon on the port side, but slightly | parture of troops by railway or by transport
in advance of both. A few miles below the mole the signal was given to form line abreast, and at cable length from each other the line from end to end extended for more than three miles. At 2:40 the signal was given to "chase," and later in the afternoon the review ended with a mock engagement between the principal vessels. The weather was fine, and the spectacle from the point of view of those who regarded it as a great warlike demonstration was magnificent. Most of the members of the House of Commons with the speaker went to see the great show by special steamers provided for their accommodation. It was said that a hundred steam-boats carried spectators, and the royal circle included the three grandduchesses, the Crown-prince of Wurtemburg, the Duke of Mecklenburg, and the Prince of Prussia, so there were plenty of witnesses to report the proceedings not only to the two neutral powers, but to the Emperor of Russia himself. Prince Albert afterwards wrote to Stockmar: "The great naval review has come off, and surpassed all that could have been anticipated. The gigantic ships of war, among them the Duke of Wellington with 131 guns (a greater number than was ever before assembled in one vessel), went, without sails, and propelled only by the screw, eleven miles an hour, and this against wind and tide! This is the greatest revolution effected in the conduct of naval warfare which has yet been known. Steam as well as sailing vessels will of necessity be cast aside as useless, and menof-war with the auxiliary screw will take their place. This will cost a great deal of money till the change is effected, and render many fleets, like the present Russian one, useless. We have already sixteen at sea and ten in an advanced state. France has no more than two, and the other powers none. On Thursday 300 ships and 100,000 men must have been assembled on one spot. The fleet carried 1100 guns and 10,000 men. The weather, moreover, was magnificent, and the impression which the spectacle presented sublime."
Those people in London who had not been to the naval review were soon to witness what to them came nearer in significance-the de
ships, the marching of well-known regiments through the streets, the clang and fanfare of military bands, the tramp of men, and the "shrill squeaking of the wry-necked fife" or the drone of the bagpipe. They were to have part too in leave-takings, that were sad enough, and were remembered afterwards when, during the terrible winter, there came home tidings from the British camp which made men and women wail, and utter complaints that were little short of imprecations against a government which had prepared so ill for war that while men were upon the field to fight the foe, they had to fight cold and hunger and disease also, because food and drink, shelter and clothing, and medicine, and even mules and horses, had either not arrived or were beating about on shipboard at some port where they were useless, or were landed where there were no means of conveying them to the soldiers who starved and froze and sickened, but would not yield till death itself vanquished them.
Before war had been formally declared both France and Russia had sent considerable forces to the East for the protection of Turkey, and to act as might be required for that object. The British army consisted of four divisions commanded by Lieutenant General Sir George Brown, and Major-Generals the Duke of Cambridge, Sir de Lacy Evans, and Sir Richard England, and a division of cavalry under the Earl of Lucan. Altogether 10,000 of our troops left England at the end of February, 1854, and landed at Malta, where they remained till the 31st of March, when they proceeded to Gallipoli, in European Turkey, where the French were already arriving in detachments, Marshal St. Arnaud, former minister of war, being in command, and under him General Canrobert and General Bosquet; a brigade of cavalry under General d'Allonville, and reserves under Prince Napoleon, General Forey, and General Cassargnalles. The number of the French troops was at that time 20,000, or twice as many as our own. The choice of Gallipoli as a basis of operations was that of the Emperor of the French, who had
PUBLIC EXCITEMENT-PALMERSTON, COBDEN, AND BRIGHT.
determined that to fortify that place would be to prevent the Russians from crossing the Balkan; but as a basis of operations it was too far from the Turkish armies and from Constantinople. The emperor had, however, instructed General St. Arnaud that though Gallipoli should be the strategical point and the place of depôt for arms, ambulances, and provisions, that need not prevent the troops from marching forward or lodging one or two divisions at the barracks at the west of Constantinople or at Scutari; while, if, after having advanced towards the Balkans, a movement in retreat should become necessary they would regain the coast of Gallipoli instead of that of Constantinople, because the Russians would never venture from Adrianople to Constantinople with an army of 60,000 good troops on their right flank. These instructions and the attitude afterwards assumed by the French general looked a little too much like taking the initiative of command of the entire allied army for the taste of some people here, but matters soon assumed a regular course. Lord Raglan did not arrive at Gallipoli till May, when more active measures than merely protective dispositions had to be adopted. The war may, in fact, be said to have begun much as it continued. The results were attributable more to the soldiers than to the generals. The French and English worked together harmoniously in a cheerful hearty spirit of emulation in making the seven miles of line of entrenchments on the crest of the ridge from the Gulf of Saros to the Sea of Marmora, just as they afterwards fought like brave comrades whenever there was fighting to be done, and they were allowed to support or relieve each other amidst the tempest of shot and fire. When the works were finished the forces moved to the Bosphorus, the French occupying the European side near Constantinople, and our men landing on the eastern side of the narrow Strait of Scutari.
The positions taken by the allied fleets and the allied armies can only be estimated by reference to the map of Europe, and an acquaintance with the conformation of the territory where hostilities were likely to be commenced. The northern shores of the Black
Sea and also a part of the eastern shore belonged to Russia; the southern, the Asia Minor, and the greater part of the western shore was the territory of Turkey. The Black Sea itself was therefore little other than a lake, but it was the only outlet for Russia on the south, its own sole escape being the deep and narrow channel of the Bosphorus, seventeen miles long and repeatedly contracted to not more than half a mile in breadth, but deep enough to carry large ships of war close to the shore throughout its entire course. This channel passes between Constantinople and Scutari, and, flowing into the Sea of Marmora, may be said to reappear as a westward waterway under the name of the Dardanelles, which flow for forty miles till they reach the Mediterranean. It is little to be wondered at that the sultans of Turkey had always claimed the right to exclude foreign ships of war from both these channels,-a right which was confirmed by the five great powers of Europe in the treaty of 1841, which was the latest of several treaties having the same object. By its provisions the sultan had power to close the straits against all foreign vessels of war, and at the same time was bound to exclude any such force in time of peace. In time of war, however, he might admit a foreign fleet; and this proviso enabled him, in such a contingency, to shut up the western outlet of Russia, and actually to confine the Russian fleet to the Black Sea. No other equitable arrangement would have been possible except that of leaving the straits entirely open to the navies of the world, and that would have illsuited Russia, since it would have abolished the exclusive policy which left her influence foremost in Eastern Europe, and enabled her eagerly to watch for an opportunity of absorbing not only the straits, but Constantinople itself, or at all events of holding both in subjection by her influence on the Ottoman government.
We have already tried to show that it is no part of the purpose of these pages to give prominence to deeds of war, or to show to each reader the soldier standing in front and becoming the figure
"That hides the march of men from us."
dence, her provinces seized as a material guarantee for the fulfilment of a treaty which she had not broken, had claimed a support to which, by the justice of her cause, affirmed by the combined voice of Austria, Prussia, England, and France, she was entitled. The western powers had maintained a passive attitude up to the day when the Turkish fleet, riding quietly at anchor in a Turkish port, had been destroyed in spite of the assurance that there was no wish to commence an aggressive war. After that event it was no longer the policy of the allied powers which received a check, it was their military honour. The sound of the cannonshot at Sinope reverberated painfully in the hearts of all those who in England and in France respected national dignity. All shared in the sentiment that wherever our cannon could reach our allies ought to be respected. Out of this feeling arose the order given to our squadrons to enter the Black Sea, and to prevent by force, if necessary, the recurrence of a similar event." Probably the most distasteful part of the letter was its concluding representation that the allies also could secure "material guarantees" by prohibiting the navigation of the Black Sea by the Russian fleet, since it was "important during the war to preserve a guarantee equivalent in force to the occupation of the Turkish territory, and thus facilitate the conclusion of peace by having the power of making a desirable exchange." "I return with refusal," were the words telegraphed to Paris by the French representative at St. Petersburg. From the moment that the combined fleets of France and England entered the Black Sea with the avowed purpose of shutting up the Russian fleet in Sebastopol the hope of a peaceful adjustment was at an end. Count Nesselrode wrote to Baron Brunnow that it was "an act of flagrant hostility." It can scarcely be doubted that Lord Aberdeen and the ministry, with the exception of Lord Palmerston, were desirous to use every effort to convince the czar that they desired peace. One reason for this was, perhaps, that they knew we were not ready for war, but unfortunately that may have been regarded by the czar as their chief reason,
when he had reluctantly discovered that a desire covertly to support his claims had no influence in their decisions. He applied to Prussia and to Austria to obtain a promise of strict neutrality, but there also he was disappointed. Encouraged, perhaps, by the fact that they could safely assert their independence while France and England were immediately interested in maintaining it, they both objected to be dictated to. In answer to Count Orloff, who was at Vienna on this mission, the young Emperor of Austria asked whether the count could promise that the czar would not cross the Danube, would seek no acquisition of territory, and would evacuate the principalities when the war was over. The haughty reply was that the czar could come under no such engagement, and Count Orloff was then informed that Austria must be equally free to act as her interests and dignity might direct. Baron de Budberg had little more success in Prussia. The king was anxious enough to conciliate his brother-in-law the czar, and there was a strong Russian party at the court, but there was also a firm minister -Manteuffel-who for the moment influenced the king to refuse to commit himself to any course inconsistent with the principles he had maintained at the Vienna conference. Neither Austria nor Prussia would give any pledge of active interference, but Austria supported the ultimatum which was soon afterwards addressed to the czar by France and England. "It is impossible to make these people (Prussia) understand the duties and responsibilities of a great power," wrote our ambassador at Berlin; "their chief thought in this question appears to be the chance of playing a great card hereafter in Germany when the war shall have lasted a few years.”
The Emperor of Russia had issued a ukase for a military levy of nine men in every thousand of the adult male population throughout his dominions, and this order was followed by a proclamation in which the blame for any future hostilities was thrown upon "those who were opposing the moderation and justice of demands in which Turkey, if left to herself, would have acquiesced." The manifesto having commenced with this declaration, which