Extent of the Means of Defence

We have shown ... how the defence has a natural advantage in the employment of those things, which -- irrespective of the absolute strength and qualities of the combatant force -- influence the tactical as well as the strategic result, namely, the advantage of ground, sudden attack, attack from several directions (converging form of attack), the assistance of the theatre of war, support of the people, and the utilising great moral forces. We think it useful now to cast again a glance over the extent of the means which are at command of the defensive in particular.
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1 Landwehr [militia]

This force has been used in modern times to combat the enemy on foreign soil; ... there always lies in the idea of a Landwehr the notion of a very extensive more or less voluntary co-operation of the whole mass of the people in support of the war, with all their physical powers, as well as with their feelings, and a ready sacrifice of all they possess. The more its organisation deviates from this, so much the more the force thus created will become a standing army under another name, and the more it will have the advantages of such a force; but it will also lose in proportion the advantages which belong properly to a patriotic levy, viz. those of being a force, the limits of which are undefined, and capable of being easily increased by appealing to the feelings and patriotism of the people. In these things lies the essence of a militia; in its organisation, latitude must be allowed for this co-operation of the whole people; if we seek to obtain something extraordinary from a militia, we are only following a shadow.
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2 Fortresses

The assistance afforded by fortresses to the offensive does not extend beyond what is given by those close upon the frontiers, and is only feeble in influence; the assistance which the defensive can derive from this reaches further into the heart of the country, and therefore more of them can be brought into use.
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3 The people

Although the influence of a single inhabitant of the theatre of war on the course of the war in most cases is not more perceptible than the co-operation of a drop of water in a whole river, still even in cases where there is no such thing as a general rising of the people, the total influence of the inhabitants of a country in war is anything but imperceptible. Everything goes on easier in our own country, provided it is not opposed by the general feeling of the population. All contributions, great and small, are only yielded to the enemy under the compulsion of direct force; that operation must be undertaken by the troops, and cost the employment of many men as well as great exertions. The defensive receives all he wants, if not always voluntarily, as in cases of enthusiastic devotion, still through the long-used channels of submission to the state on the part of the citizens, which has become second nature, and which besides that, is enforced by the terrors of the law, with which the army has nothing to do. But the spontaneous co-operation of the people, proceeding from true attachment, is in all cases most important.
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5 Allies

Finally, we may further reckon allies as the last support of the defensive. Naturally we do not mean ordinary allies, which the assailant may likewise have; we speak of those essentially interested in maintaining the integrity of the country. If for instance we look at the various states composing Europe at the present time, we find (without speaking of a systematically regulated balance of power and interests, as that does not exist, and therefore is often with justice disputed) that the great and small states and interests of nations are interwoven with each other in a most diversified and changeable manner, each of these points of intersection forming a binding knot.
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In this manner the whole relations of all states to each other serve rather to preserve the stability of the whole than to produce changes, that is to say, this tendency to stability exists in general.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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