By Theodore Roosevelt
[Everybody's Magazine, January 1915]
Military preparedness meets two needs. In the first place, it is a partial insurance against war. In the next place, it is a partial guarantee that if war comes the country will certainly escape dishonor and will probably escape material loss.
The question of preparedness can not be considered at all until we get certain things clearly in our minds. Right thinking, wholesome thinking, is essential as a preliminary to sound national action. Until our people understand the folly of certain of the arguments advanced against the action this nation needs, it is of course impossible to expect them to take such action.
The first thing to understand is the fact that preparedness for war does not always insure peace, but that it very greatly increases the chances of securing peace. Foolish people point out nations which in spite of preparation for war have seen war come upon them, and then exclaim that preparedness against war is of no use. Such an argument is precisely, like saying that the existence of destructive fires in great cities shows that there is no use in having a fire department. A fire department, which means preparedness against fire, does not prevent occasional destructive fires, but it does greatly diminish and may completely minimize the chances for wholesale destruction by fire. Nations that are prepared for war occasionally suffer from it; but if they are unprepared for it they suffer far more often and far more radically.
Fifty years ago China, Korea, and Japan were in substantially the same stage of culture and civilization, Japan, whose statesmen had vision, and whose people had the fighting edge, began a course of military preparedness, and the other two nations (one of them in natural resources immeasurably superior to Japan) remained unprepared. In consequence, Japan has immensely increased her power and standing and is wholly free from all danger of military invasion. Korea, on the contrary, having first been dominated by Russia, has now been conquered by Japan. China has been partially dismembered; one-half of her territories are now subject to the dominion of foreign nations, which have time and again waged war between themselves on these territories, and her remaining territory is kept by her purely because these foreign nations are jealous of one another.
WAR-READINESS IN EUROPE
In 1870 France was overthrown and suffered by far the most damaging and disastrous defeat she had suffered since the days of Joan of Arc—because she was not prepared. In the present war she has suffered terribly, but she is beyond all comparison better off than she was in 1870, because she has been prepared. Poor Belgium, in spite of being prepared, was almost destroyed, because great neutral nations—the United States being the chief offender—have not yet reached the standard of international morality and of willingness to fight for righteousness which must be attained before they can guarantee small, well-behaved, civilized nations against cruel disaster. England, because she was prepared as far as her navy is concerned, has been able to avoid Belgium's fate; and, on the other, hand, if she had been as prepared with her army as France, she would probably have been able to avert the war, and if this could not have been done, would at any rate have been able to save both France and Belgium from invasion.
Switzerland, at the time of the Napoleonic wars, was wholly unprepared for war. In spite of her mountains, her neighbors overran her at will. Great battles were fought on her soil, including one great battle between the French and the Russians; but the Swiss took no part in these battles, their territory was practically annexed to the French Republic, and they were domineered over first by the Emperor Napoleon and then by his enemies. It was a bitter lesson, but the Swiss learned it. Since then they have gradually prepared for war as no other small state of Europe has done, and it is in consequence of this preparedness that none of the combatants has violated Swiss territory in the present struggle.
The briefest examination of the facts, therefore, shows that unpreparedness for war tends to lead to immeasurable disaster, and that preparedness, while it does not certainly avert war, any more than the fire department of a city certainly averts fire, yet tends very strongly to guarantee the nation against war and to secure success in war if it should unhappily arise.
Another argument advanced against preparedness for war is that such preparedness incites war. This again is not in accordance with the facts. Unquestionably certain nations have at times prepared for war with a view to foreign conquest. But the rule has been that unpreparedness for war does not have any real effect in securing peace, although it is always apt to make war disastrous, and that preparedness for war generally goes hand in hand with an increased caution in going to war.
PEACE THROUGH ARMAMENT
Striking examples of these facts are furnished by the history of the Spanish-American states. For nearly three-quarters of a century after these states won their independence their history was little else than a succession of bloody revolutions and of wars among themselves as with outsiders, while during the same period there was little or nothing done in the way of effective military preparedness by one of them. During the last twenty or thirty years, however, certain of them, notably Argentina and Chile, have prospered and become stable. Their stability has been partly caused by, and partly accompanied by, a great increase in military preparedness. During this period Argentina and Chile have known peace as they never knew it before, and as the other Spanish-American countries have not known it either before or since; and at the same time their military efficiency has enormously increased.
Proportionately, Argentina and Chile are in military strength beyond all comparison more efficient than the United States; and if our navy is permitted to deteriorate as it has been deteriorating for nearly two years, the same statement can soon be made, although with more qualification, of their naval strength. Preparedness for war has made them far less liable to have war. It has made them less, and not more, aggressive.
The bloodiest and most destructive war in Spanish-American history, that waged by Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay against Paraguay, was waged when all the nations were entirely unprepared for war, especially the three victorious nations. During the last two or three decades Mexico, the Central American States, Colombia, and Venezuela have been entirely unprepared for war, as compared with Chile and Argentina. Yet, whereas Chile and Argentina have been at peace, the other states mentioned have been engaged in war after war of the most bloody and destructive character. Entire lack of preparedness for war has gone hand in hand with war of the worst type and with all the worst sufferings that war can bring.
IF UNPREPARED, FIGHT
The lessons taught by Spanish-America are paralleled elsewhere. In 1898 there was hardly an important nation less prepared for war than we were, with the exception of Spain, But this unpreparedness had not the least effect in preventing war between Spain and ourselves. When Greece was entirely unprepared for war, she nevertheless went to war with Turkey, exactly as she did when she was prepared; the only difference was that in the one case she suffered disaster and in the other she did not. The war between Italy and Turkey was due wholly to the fact that Turkey was not prepared, that she had no navy. The fact that in 1848 Prussia was entirely unprepared, and moreover had just been engaged in a revolution heartily approved by all the ultra-pacifists and professional humanitarians, did not prevent her from entering on a war with Denmark. It merely prevented the war from being successful.
Utter and complete lack of preparation on our part did not prevent our entering into war with Great Britain in 1812 and with Mexico in 1848. It merely exposed us to humiliation and disaster in the former war; in the latter, Mexico was even worse off than we were. As for civil war, of course military unpreparedness has not only never prevented it, but on the contrary seems usually to have been one of the inciting causes.
THE SWISS MILITANTS
Preparedness for war occasionally has a slight effect in creating or increasing an aggressive and militaristic spirit. Far more often it distinctly diminishes it. In Switzerland, for instance, which we can well afford to take as a model for ourselves, effectiveness in preparation, and the retention and development of all the personal qualities which give the individual man the fighting edge, have in no shape or way increased the militarist or aggressive spirit. On the contrary, they have doubtless been among the factors that have made the Swiss so much more law-abiding and less homicidal than we are.
The ultra-pacificists have been fond of prophesying the immediate approach of a universally peaceful condition throughout the world which will render it unnecessary to prepare against war because there will be no more war. This represents in some cases well-meaning and pathetic folly. In other cases it represents mischievous and inexcusable folly. But it always represents folly. At least, it represents the queer inability of some well-meaning men of weak mind, and of some men of strong but twisted mind, either to face or to understand facts.
These prophets of the inane are not peculiar to our own day. A little over a century and a quarter ago a noted Italian pacificist and philosopher, Aurelio Bertela, summed up the future of civilized mankind as follows: "The political system of Europe has arrived at perfection. An equilibrium has been attained which henceforth will preserve peoples from subjugation. Few reforms are now needed and these will be accomplished peaceably. Europe has no need to fear revolution."
These sapient statements (which have been paralleled by hundreds of utterances in the many Peace Congresses of the last couple of decades) were delivered in 1787, the year in which the French Assembly of Notables ushered in the greatest era of revolution, domestic turmoil, and international war in all history—an era which still continues and which shows not the smallest sign of coming to an end, Never before have there been wars on so great a scale as during this century and a quarter; and the greatest of all these wars is now being waged. Never before, except for the ephemeral conquests of certain Asiatic barbarians, have there been subjugations of civilized peoples on so great a scale.
The effective workers for the peace of righteousness were men like Stein, Cavour, and Lincoln; that is, men who dreamed great dreams but who were also and preeminently men of action, who stood for the right, and who knew that the right would fail unless might was put behind it. The prophets of pacificism have had nothing whatever in common with these great men; and whenever they have preached mere pacificism, whenever they have failed to put righteousness first and to advocate peace as the handmaiden of righteousness, they have done evil and not good.
After the exhaustion of the Napoleonic struggles there came thirty-five years during which there was no great war, while what was called "the long peace" was broken only by minor international wars or short-lived revolutionary contests. Good, but not farsighted, men in various countries, but especially in England, Germany, and our own country, forthwith began to dream dreams—not of a universal peace that should be founded on justice and righteousness backed by strength, but of a universal peace to be obtained by the prattle of weaklings and the outpourings of amiable enthusiasts who lacked the fighting edge.
There followed twenty years during which a number of great and bloody wars took place—wars far surpassing in extent, in duration, in loss of life and property, and in importance anything that had been seen since the close of the Napoleonic contest. Then there came another period of nearly thirty years during which there were relatively only a few wars, and these not of the highest importance. Again upright and intelligent but uninformed men began to be misled by foolish men into the belief that world peace was about to be secured, on a basis of amiable fatuity all around and under the lead of the preachers of the diluted mush of make-believe morality. A number of Peace Congresses, none of which accomplished anything, were held, and also certain Hague Conferences, which did accomplish a certain small amount of real good but of a strictly limited kind. It was well worth going into these Hague Conferences, but only on condition of clearly understanding how strictly limited was the good that they accomplished. The hysterical people who treated them as furnishing a patent peace panacea did nothing but harm, and partially offset the real but limited good the Conferences actually accomplished. These persons really believed that it was possible to achieve the millennium by means that would not have been very effective in preserving peace among the active boys of a large Sunday school—let alone grown-up men in the world as it actually is. A pathetic commentary on their attitude is furnished by the fact that the fifteen years that have elapsed since the first Hague Conference have seen an immense increase of war, culminating in the present war, waged by armies, and with bloodshed, on a scale far vaster than ever before in the history of mankind.
All these facts furnish no excuse whatever for our failing to work zealously for peace, but they absolutely require us to understand that it is noxious to work for a peace not based on righteousness, and useless to work for a peace based on righteousness unless we put force back of righteousness. At present this means that adequate preparedness against war offers to our nation its sole guarantee against wrong and aggression.
Emerson has said that in the long run the most uncomfortable truth is a safer traveling companion than the most agreeable falsehood. The advocates of peace will accomplish nothing except mischief until they are willing to look facts squarely in the face. One of these facts is that universal military service, wherever tried, has on the whole been a benefit and not a harm to the people of the nation, so long as the demand upon the average man's life has not been for too long a time. The Swiss people have beyond all question benefited by their system of limited but universal preparation for military service. The same thing is true of Australia, Chile, and Argentina. It would be well for the United States from every standpoint immediately to provide such universal military training.
It is indispensable to remember that in the cases of both Germany and Japan their extraordinary success has been due directly to that kind of efficiency in war which springs only from the highest efficiency in preparedness for war. Until educated people who sincerely desire peace face this fact with all of its implications, unpleasant and pleasant, they will not be able to better present international conditions. In order to secure this betterment, conditions must be created which will enable civilized nations to achieve such efficiency without being thereby rendered dangerous to their neighbors and to civilization as a whole. Americans particularly, and, to a degree only slightly less, Englishmen and Frenchmen, need to remember this fact, for while the ultra-pacificists, the peace-at-any-price men, have appeared sporadically everywhere, they have of recent years been most numerous and noxious in the United States, in Great Britain, and in France.
Inasmuch as in our country, where Heaven knows we have evils enough with which to grapple, none of these evils is in even the smallest degree due to militarism—inasmuch as to inveigh against militarism in the United States is about as useful as to inveigh against eating horse flesh in honor of Odin—this seems curious. But it is true. American college presidents, professors, and publicists with much pretension—some of it founded on fact—to intelligence, have praised works like those of Mr. Block, who "proved" that war was impossible, and like those of Mr. Norman Angell, who "proved" that it was an illusion to believe that it was profitable.
The greatest and most terrible wars in history have taken place since Mr. Bloch wrote. When Mr. Angell wrote, no unprejudiced man of wisdom could have failed to understand that the two most successful nations of recent times, Germany and Japan, owed their great national success to successful war. The United States owes not only its greatness but its very existence to the fact that in the Civil War the men who controlled its destinies were the fighting men. The counsels of the ultra-pacificists, the peace-at-any-price men of that day, if adopted, would have meant not only the death of the nation but an incalculable disaster to humanity. A righteous war may at any moment be essential to national welfare; and it is a lamentable fact that nations have sometimes profited greatly by war that was not righteous. Such evil profit will never be done away with until armed force is put behind righteousness.
FORCE AT ANY COST—AN EVIL
We must also remember, however, that the mischievous folly of the men whose counsels tend to inefficiency and impotence is not worse than the baseness of the men who in a spirit of mean and cringing admiration of brute force gloss over, or justify, or even deify, the exhibition of unscrupulous strength. Writings like those of Homer Lea, or Nietzsche, or even Professor Treitschke—not to speak of much of Carlyle—are as objectionable as those of Messrs. Bloch and Angell. Our people need to pay homage to the great efficiency and the intense patriotism of Germany. But they need no less fully to realize that this patriotism has at times been accompanied by callous indifference to the rights of weaker nations, and that this efficiency has at times been exercised in a way that represents a genuine setback to humanity and civilization. Germany's conduct toward Belgium can be justified only in accordance with a theory which will also justify Napoleon's conduct toward Spain and his treatment of Prussia and of all Germany during the six years succeeding Jena. I do not see how any man can fail to sympathize with Stein and Schornhorst; with Andreas Hofer, with Koerner and the Tugenbund; and if he does so sympathize, he must extend the same sympathy and admiration to King Albert and the Belgians.
Moreover, it is well for Americans to remember that what has been done to Belgium would of course be done to us just as unhesitatingly if the conditions required it. Of course the lowest depth is reached by the professional pacificists who continue to scream for peace without daring to protest against any concrete wrong committed against peace. These include all of our fellow countrymen who at the present time clamor for peace without explicitly and clearly declaring that the first condition of peace should be the righting of the wrongs of Belgium, reparation to her, and guarantee against the possible repetition of such wrongs at the expense of any well-behaved small civilized power in the future. It may be that peace will come without such reparation and guarantee, but if so, it will be as emphatically the peace of unrighteousness as was the peace made at Tilsit a hundred and seven years ago.
THE WAY TO INTERNATIONAL PEACE
When the President appoints a Day of Prayer for Peace, without emphatically making it evident that the prayer should be for the redress of the wrongs without which peace would be harmful, he forfeits all right to be treated as serving righteousness. When Mr. Bryan concludes absurd all-inclusive arbitration treaties and is loquacious to Peace Societies about the abolition of war, without daring to protest against the hideous wrongs done Belgium, he feebly serves unrighteousness. More comic manifestations, of course entirely useless but probably too fatuous to be really mischievous, are those which find expression in the circulation of peace postage-stamps with doves on them, or in taking part in peace parades—they might as well be anti-vaccination parades—or in the circulation of peace petitions to be signed by school-children, which for all their possible effect might just as well relate to the planet Mars.
International peace will only come when the nations of the world form some kind of league which provides for an international tribunal to decide on international matters, which decrees that treaties and international agreements are never to be entered into recklessly and foolishly, and when once entered into are to be observed with entire good faith, and which puts the collective force of civilization behind such treaties and agreements and court decisions and against any wrong-doing or recalcitrant nation. The all-inclusive arbitration treaties negotiated by the present administration amount to almost nothing, but are slightly mischievous because—
1. There is no provision for their enforcement, and,
2. They would be in some cases not only impossible but improper to enforce.
A treaty is a promise. It is like a promise to pay in the commercial world. Its value lies in the means provided for redeeming the promise. To make it, and not redeem it, is vicious. A United States gold certificate is valuable because gold is back of it. If there were nothing back of it, the certificate would sink to the position of fiat money, which is irredeemable, and therefore valueless; as in the case of our Revolutionary currency. The Wilson-Bryan all-inclusive arbitration treaties represent nothing whatever but international fiat money. To make them is no more honest than it is to issue fiat money. Mr. Bryan would not make a good Secretary of the Treasury; but he would do better in that position than as Secretary of State. For his type of fiat obligations is a little worse in international than in internal affairs. The all-inclusive arbitration treaties in whose free and unlimited negotiation Mr. Bryan takes such pleasure, are of less value than the thirty-cent dollars whose free and unlimited coinage he formerly advocated. Such an international league is as yet in the future; and it may be, although I sincerely hope not, in the far future. The indispensable thing for every free people to do in the present day is with efficiency to prepare against war by making itself able physically to defend its rights and by cultivating that stern and manly spirit without which no material preparation will avail.
The first and most important thing for us as a people to do in order to prepare ourselves for self-defense is to get clearly in our minds just what our policy is to be, and to insist that our public servants shall make their words and their deeds correspond. For example, the present administration was elected on the explicit promise that the Philippines should be given their independence, and it has taken action in the Philippines which can only be justified on the theory that this independence is to come in the immediate future.
I believe that we have rendered incalculable service to the Philippines, and that what we have there done has shown in the most striking manner the extreme mischief that would have followed if in 1898 and the subsequent years we had failed to do our duty in consequence of following the advice of Mr. Bryan and the pacificists or anti-imperialists of that day.
But this good has been to the Philippines themselves. The only good that has come to us as a nation has been the good that springs from knowledge that a great deed has been worthily performed. Personally, I think it is a fine and high thing for a nation to have done such a deed with such a purpose. But we can not taint it with bad faith. If we act so that the natives understand us to have made a definite promise, then we should live up to that promise. The Philippines from a military standpoint are a source of weakness to us. The present administration has promised explicitly to let them go, and by its actions has rendered it difficult to hold them against any serious foreign foe. These being the circumstances, the islands should at an early moment be given their independence without any guarantee whatever by us and without our retaining any foothold in them.
There remains to defend—the United States proper, the Panama Canal and its approaches, Alaska, and Hawaii. To defend all these is vital to our honor and interest. For such defense preparedness is essential.
The first and most essential form of preparedness should be making the navy efficient. Absolutely and relatively, our navy has never been at such a pitch of efficiency as in February, 1909, when the battle fleet returned from its voyage around the world. Unit for unit there was no other navy in the world which was at that time its equal. During the next four years we had an admirable Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Meyer—we were fortunate in having then and since good Secretaries of War in Mr. Stimson and Mr. Garrison. Owing to causes for which Mr. Meyer was in no way responsible, there was a slight relative falling off in the efficiency of the navy, and probably a slight absolute falling off during the following four years. But it remained very efficient.
Since Mr. Daniels came in, and because of the action taken by Mr. Daniels under the direction of President Wilson, there has been a most lamentable reduction in efficiency. If at this moment we went to war with a first-class navy of equal strength to our own, there would be a chance not only of defeat but of disgrace.
We have brought back from Mexico the army which could be of some use and have kept there the war-ships which can not be of any use, and which suffer terribly in efficiency from being so kept. The fleet has had no maneuvering for twenty-one months. It has had almost no gun-practise by division during that time. There is not enough powder; there are not enough torpedoes; the bottoms of the ships are foul; the under-enlistments indicate a deficiency of from ten thousand to twenty thousand men; the whole service is being handled in such manner as to impair its fitness and morale.
Congress should do its duty. It should summon before its committees the best naval experts, and provide the battle-ships, cruisers, submarines, floating mines, and aircraft that these experts declare to be necessary for the full protection of the United States.
Above all, it should bear in mind that while many of these machines of war are essentially to be used in striking from the coasts themselves, yet others must be designed to keep the enemy afar from these coasts. Mere defensive by Itself can not permanently avail. The only permanently efficient defensive arm is one which can act offensively. Our navy must be fitted for attack, for delivering smashing blows, in order effectively to defend our own shores.
But the navy alone will not suffice in time of great crisis.
Congress should at once act favorably on the admirable plan outlined in the last report of the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Wotherspoon: a report with which his predecessor as Chief of Staff, General Wood, appears to be in complete sympathy. Our army should be doubled in size. An effective reserve should be created. Every year there should be field-maneuvers on a large scale, a hundred thousand being engaged for several weeks. The artillery should be given the most scientific training. The equipment should be made perfect at every point. Rigid economy should be demanded.
Every officer and man should be kept to the highest standard of physical and moral fitness. The unfit should be ruthlessly weeded out. At least one-third of the officers in each grade should be promoted on merit without regard to seniority, and the least fit for promotion should be retired. Every unit of the regular army and reserve should be trained to the highest efficiency under war conditions.
But this is not enough. There should be at least ten times the number of rifles and the quantity of ammunition in the country that there are now. In our high schools and colleges a system of military training like that which obtains in Switzerland and Australia should be given. Furthermore, all our young men should be trained in actual field service under war conditions; preferably on the Swiss, but if not on the Swiss then on the Argentinian or Chilean model.
The Swiss model would probably be better for our people. It would necessitate only four to six months' service shortly after graduation from high school or college, and thereafter only about eight days a year. No man could buy or substitute; no man would be excepted because of his wealth; all would serve in the ranks on precisely the same terms, side by side.
Under this system the young men would be trained to shoot, to march, to take care of themselves in the open, and to learn those habits of self-reliance and law-abiding obedience which are not only essential to the efficiency of a citizen soldiery, but are no less essential to the efficient performance of civic duties in a free democracy. My own firm belief is that this system would help us in civil quite as much as in military matters. It would increase our social and industrial efficiency. It would help us to habits of order and respect for law.
This proposal does not represent anything more than carrying out the purpose of the Second Amendment to the Federal Constitution, which declares that a well-regulated militia is necessary to the security of a free nation. The Swiss army is a well-regulated militia; and therefore it is utterly different from any militia we have ever had. The system of compulsory training and universal service has worked admirably in Switzerland. It has saved the Swiss from war. It has developed their efficiency in peace.
It is idle for this nation to trust to arbitration and neutrality treaties unbacked by force. It is idle to trust to the tepid goodwill of other nations. It is idle to trust to alliances. Alliances change, Russia and Japan are now fighting side by side, although nine years ago they were fighting against one another. Twenty years ago Russia and Germany stood side by side. Fifteen years ago England was more hostile to Russia, and even to France, than she was to Germany. It is perfectly possible that after the close of this war the present allies will fall out, or that Germany and Japan will turn up in close alliance.
It is our duty to try to work for a great World League for righteous peace enforced by power; but no such League is yet in sight. At present the prime duty of the American people is to abandon the inane and mischievous principle of watchful waiting—that is, of slothful and timid refusal either to face facts or to perform duty. Let us act justly toward others; and let us also be prepared with stout heart and strong hand to defend our rights against injustice from others.
Editor's Note: —For the assistance of our readers in weighing Mr. Roosevelt's recommendations, we present herewith a brief summary of the Swiss system of military training to which he refers.
Switzerland maintains a standing army in times of peace of 1,200 men, nearly all of whom are assigned as military instructors in schools. Within three days she can mobilize 250,000 trained and thoroughly equipped soldiers. Within ten days she can raise her first line to 300,000 and still have in reserve 150,000 soldiers past the first service age and 200,000 cadets in training. This means that in time of war Switzerland can put into the field within the first two weeks an effective, well-trained and well-equipped army of nearly half a million soldiers. Switzerland spends on this military organization between six and eight millions of dollars a year.
The United States has a standing army of 90,000 men, and it cost us last year ninety-four millions of dollars. Our national defense bill in the aggregate, including the navy, our military academies, and our fortifications, totals about five hundred millions of dollars annually.
Every man in Switzerland, barring cripples and imbeciles, is trained to defend his country. He begins when he is ten years old. For the first two years, as a part of his school work, he is put through a rigid physical training, which includes setting-up exercises and scientific corrective drills. In his thirteenth year he becomes a cadet, and when he is fourteen he receives his rifle and instruction how to use it. During the next four years he has an hour of military drill every day, and two hours, of rifle practise a week. At the age of eighteen he joins a military unit in his town or canton and receives training under the direction of active and reserve officers of his community. This means about five hours a week given to military drill.
After a careful physical examination he is assigned, when he is nineteen, to a recruit school, where he serves from sixty-five to eighty-three days, depending on the arm of the service to which he is assigned. His regular army service begins when he is twenty. He then spends from six to eight weeks in intensive camp training, and is put on the élite list, or first line. For the next twelve years he is compelled to serve with the colors eleven days each year, and then he is rated in the Landsturm and is subject to only four days' annual service and inspection until he is forty years old.
When a man is put on the reserve list, a complete equipment for his branch of the service is given to him. He keeps this in his home, subject to inspection. Soldiers who in any year are not called to the colors for their days of service are required to fire a prescribed number of rounds in one of the nineteen hundred shooting clubs. The Government provides the ranges, ammunition, and judges for the contest, and to stimulate interest small prizes are offered.
There is no self-consciousness in Swiss military strength, and no boastfulness. It is accepted as a natural order of things. Every man in Switzerland knows that if war comes he and his sons must go on the firing-line.
And Switzerland has had peace for a hundred years.
© J. Fred MacDonald, 2013
If you appreciate the articles, read the e-novel informed by them —
THE HEADLONG FURY
A Novel of World War One
By J. Fred MacDonald