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To this corps belong the very important duties of the supervision of the manufacture of naval ordnance, the armanent and defense of seacoast fortifications, the direction of ordnance work in the dockyards, and the colonial artillery service.
4. Marine Infantry.
5. Naval armorers.
6. Senegal sharpshooters.
7. Senegal Spahis.
8. Corps of Cipahis.
9. Corps of discipline (penal corps).
10. Corps of discipline (colonial penal corps).
11. Wardens of colonial prisons.
12. Colonial militia.*
V.—WARRANT OFFICERS, PETTY OFFICERS, AND SEAMEN.
MASTERS. The word master (maître) is a generic term, used to designate those persons of different grades who exercise direct authority, under the commissioned officers, over the crew at sea, and over workmen at shore stations. At sea, masters form a military corps called the maistrance de la flotte. In the dockyards and at shore stations, masters are charged with the direct supervision of public work of all kinds. The latter are quite distinct from the sea-going masters, and are known collectively as the maistrance des arsenaux.
The maistrance des arsenaux is composed of 262 persons, of the following grades:
1. Principal masters (maîtres principaux), first and second classes.
2. Maîtres entretenus, first, second, and third classes.
The lowest grade is recruited from the contre-maîtres and from the sea-going masters. Below the masters come the men employed in the dock-yard works, composing a body of artificers (ouvriers). These are also arranged in grades, and measures are taken to keep them permanently in the service. The grades are
Day-laborers, of four classes.
Promotion takes place in these grades, at least from that of apprentices, who may be appointed between fourteen and seventeen years of age. At seventeen or eighteen they may pass for artificers upon giving
*Fuller information in regard to the corps of officers in the French Navy may be obtained from a series of articles entitled "La Marine Militaire de la France," by M. J. Delarbre, auditor-general of the French Navy, in the Revue Maritime et Coloniale,
proof of sufficient aptitude. Pay is partly fixed for each grade, and partly graduated according to the merits of the workmen. At fifty years of age, and after twenty-five years of service, artificers are entitled to a pension.
The maistrance de la flotte, or sea-going masters, (also known as officiers mariniers) is composed of three grades, viz:
These are the warrant-officers of the Navy. They are divided into eight classes, according to the special branch of a seaman's occupation that they profess. The three grades run through all these classes. The classes or specialties are as follows:
Below the three grades mentioned, which form the maistrance,* come the persons composing the crews of ships, known under the general name of équipages de la flotte. They are graded as follows:
Quartermasters (of the various specialties). These are the petty
Seamen, first, second, and third classes.
To these should be added, to complete the list, the special ratings of topmen (gabiers) and small-arm men (marins fusiliers).
It will be noticed that one of the eight specialties named above, is that of machinists, whose principal duty, as might be supposed from the name, is that of directing the engines at sea. This branch includes, like the others, the grades of first master, master, second master, and quartermaster. Ranking with the quartermaster machinist are the machinist pupils (élèves mécaniciens), chosen from the lower grades of their corps, from graduates of technical schools (écoles d'arts et métiers), and also from artisans (smiths, boilermakers, &c.) in civil life. Below them are firemen (ouvriers chauffeurs) of three classes corresponding to the three classes of seamen. All the above belong to the équipages de la flotte, the class including all sea-going persons in the Navy who do not hold a commission.
The maistrance also includes sergeant-majors, quartermaster-sergeants, and cap tains and sergeants of arms.
The corps of commissioned officers in charge of fleet engine service has been already alluded to. To distinguish them from the warrantofficers of the same branch they are designated in this report as mechanicians, while the others are spoken of as machinists, although the same word mécanicien is used in the French Navy to apply to both classes. They must, however, be considered in connection, as the mechanicians are appointed directly from the highest grade of machinists. The whole number of grades of commissioned officers, warrant officers, petty officers, and men, attached to this branch of the naval service, is as follows:
Mechanicians in chief.
Principal mechanicians, first class.
Principal mechanicians, second class.
Warrant-officers (officiers mariniers, maistrance):
First master machinists.
Second master machinists.
Petty-officers and men: Quartermaster-machinists.
Firemen artificers (ouvriers chauffeurs), first, second, and third class. Firemen (chauffeurs) and agents inférieurs, assimilated to the third or lowest class of ordinary seamen.
The following establishments are included in the general system of education of officers of the French Navy.
1. POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL.-Although the Polytechnic School is designed for the preliminary training of candidates for all the scientific branches of the public service, or at least for all branches in which scientific knowledge is required, and has no direct connection with the Ministry of Marine, it cannot be omitted in any complete description of naval education in France. It furnishes a certain number of midshipmen (about four a year) to the line of the Navy, and of assistant commissaries to the pay corps; and from it are derived two-thirds of the officers of the Marine Artillery, and all the pupils of the corps of engineers (génie maritime) and of hydrographers. In most of these cases its function is distinctly that of a preparatory school, and the general instruction given by it in science and mathematics is supplemented by special and professional training in the schools of the selected corps.
2. NAVAL SCHOOL.-Two schools for the Navy were founded in 1810, at Brest, and at Toulon. In 1816 they were united in one, which was placed at Angoulême. In 1827 the Naval School was removed to Brest, where it has since remained. The school has no buildings on shore; like the English cadets' school, it is placed on board an old ship of the line, the Borda, anchored in the roads of Brest. The Borda is commanded by a captain, and is under the immediate supervision of the Préfet of the second maritime arrondissement. It has a staff composed of a commander, 12 professors, and 8 lieutenants.
The examination for admission to the Naval School is competitive. The number of candidates admitted is about 45 a year, and the course lasts two years. At its close, and upon passing the required examinations, the students, who have up to this time been called simply pupils Fères), become cadets (aspirants de Qième classe). They are then embarked in the practice-ship, which is, to all intents, a separate establishment. Here they are joined by the four aspirants who have been graduated in the same year from the Polytechnic School, and who pursue the studies of the practice cruise with the graduates of the Borda. 3. TRAINING SCHOOL FOR LINE OFFICERS (École d'application des espirants de marine).-The training school into which the graduates of the Borda pass is on board the practice-ship Flore. The course lasts early a year, and consists in the study and practice of the professional
£ ENGINEERS' TRAINING SCHOOL (École d'application du génie maritime).-The school of application for engineers or constructors is a very
ancient establishment, having been founded at Paris in 1765. It was removed in 1801 (An X) to Brest, and later to Lorient, re-established in 1854 at Paris, and finally established at Cherbourg in 1872. It is a school of ship and engine design and construction, and it corresponds in a general way to the advanced classes for constructors and designing engineers in the Royal Naval College at Greenwich. Its pupils number about four a year, and come to Cherbourg after graduation at the Polytechnic School. The course lasts two years, and at its close graduates are appointed assistant engineers of the third class.
5. MEDICAL SCHOOLS.-The medical schools are three in number, at Brest, Rochefort, and Toulon. The course of study is two years; and the students, after passing the examinations at the close, become assistant surgeons or assistant pharmacists.
6. TORPEDO SCHOOL (Ecole des défenses sous-marines).-The torpedo school was established at Boyardville, in the island of Oléron, in 1869, and reorganized in 1876. It is under the command of a captain, and under the general supervision of the Préfet Maritime of Rochefort. Instruction is given by officers detailed as professors, and also by warrant and petty officers. A small vessel, the Messager, is attached to the school.
7. MACHINISTS' SCHOOL (Ecole théorique et pratique des mécaniciens).Formerly there were two schools for machinists, one at Brest and the other at Toulon. Originally founded in 1860, and reorganized in 1862, these schools were united early in the present year in a single estab lishment at Toulon, with a greatly-improved course and organization. The object of the school is the training of the warrant and petty officers of this branch for higher grades, and the selection by a competitive examination of those who are worthy of promotion. Although no commissioned officers attend the courses of the school, it must nevertheless be considered a part of the general system of education of officers; partly because the principal mechanicians are derived directly from the first master machinists who have passed through the school, and partly because those who, in the French Navy, are classed as part of the Maistrance, in the English or American service would hold a commission.
8. GUNNERY SCHOOL (Ecole d'application de cannonage).-This school, similar in purpose to the Excellent in the English Navy, is situated at Toulon, on board the Souverain, a screw steamer of the first class, mounting 25 guns. The brig Janus is attached as an "annexe" to the Souverain. The Arrogante, the floating battery which sunk not long ago off the Iles d'Hyères, was also a part of the establishment. The school is intended for the education of both junior officers and men in practical gunnery. The former are both instructors and students, and they numbered, in 1878, 22 lieutenants, 15 ensigns, and 16 midshipmen.
9. ARTILLERY SCHOOL (Ecole d'artillerie).-The artillery school is at Lorient, and is exclusively for the training of officers of the Marine Artillery.