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LATE PROFESSOR OF MILITARY ART AND HISTORY IN THE STAFF COLLEGE;
HENRY REEVE, Esq. D.C.L.
CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE INSTITUTE OF FRANCE,
THE FOUR ESSAYS which are collected and republished in this volume were written and published in the Edinburgh Review between the years 1864 and 1867. Europe in those years was still at peace, interrupted only by the short but decisive contest of Prussia against Austria and some of the minor German States in Bohemia, Hanover, and on the Maine. But it was an armed peace, indicating the approach of the great war which has just broken out; and during the whole of this period military preparations were carried on upon an scale, and changes of unprecedented importance were effected in the levies, the organisation, and the armaments of the leading States of the Continent. The obligation of military service was enlarged by law to such an extent that it has become possible to bring within a short time the whole male population of a country under arms, and to collect at a short notice armies of extraordinary magnitude in the field. The resources of science, and the appliances of art were introduced in military operations. Rail