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Tatar Peril may be dismissed porary disorganisation of the infor at least a couple of gener- vading force, which gave breathations. It is not, however, the ing-time to the invaded for repurpose of this article to specu- organisation, concentration, and late on the effect of political the arrangement of alliances to movements in Russia, and in resist a common danger. Morediscussing our theme we shall over, if the invading hordes assume the continued existence occupied rich countries, there of a Russian Empire suffici- was an almost inevitable tendently powerful to control the ency to demoralisation, induced forces of Central and Northern by the unwonted ease and Asia, guided by statesmen pleasures of life; whilst, if whose policy is to fulfil what they found themselves in poor they are pleased to call Russia's territories, the provisioning of “historical destiny." Before a large force became an almost the Japanese war this control insurmountable difficulty, and had been fairly established, and the incentive of profitable lootwithout the war it must inevit- ing being absent, discontent ably have become stronger. and disintegration followed.
The Tatar Peril is no new The sudden and unexpected thing in the history of Europe. withdrawal of the main body Whenever a numerous semi- of Tchengis Khan's Kalmucks barbarous race, controlled by from the southern Volga is a the single will of an energetic historical puzzle for which no and capable despot, is the near authentic explanation will ever neighbour of a more civilised be forthcoming ; but the soland less numerous people living ution of the mystery of the under less despotic rule, the unexpected retreat may quite latter are in constant danger. probably lie in the fact that, Europe was in real danger through ignorance of geofrom the hordes obeying the graphy and topography, the single will of such leaders as Kalmucks crossed the Volga Tamerlane, Tchengis Khan, and too far to the south, and struck Suleiman, as in our own times what is now known as the Natal was in danger from the Kalmuck desert, where neither Zulus under Cetewayo. But it provisions nor loot could be must be remembered that the found. Had they crossed in absence of scientific organisa- the neighbourhood of Tsaritsin, tion and of adequate transport a few hundred miles farther rendered the advance of Tatars, north, they would have been Kalmucks, and Turks so slow, within easy reach of the Don, that in the face of even feeble and descending through the resistance comparatively lim- fertile basin of that river to ited territories only could be the Sea of Azov, they might overrun and permanently oc- have settled in the rich procupied during the lifetime of vinces of Southern Russia, and a single leader; and when the the subsequent course of hisleader died, oriental habits usu- tory would have been entirely ally produced at least a tem- changed.
The consideration of the con- in the minimum transport reditions prevailing at the time quired by a force of Arabs seems fully to account for the raiding hundreds of miles from fact that the incursions of the their base, whilst a gigantic wild hordes from Central Asia, organisation was necessary for alarming as they were, invari- a British advance on Khartoum. ably came to a standstill at a Another most important factor certain point, even though no in favour of the less advanced crushing disaster befell their races is their total or com. forces. Their farther advance parative indifference to death. stopped as from a given mo- Maoris, Zulus, and Dervish ment, but their retreat was as fanatics constantly courted slow as, or even slower than, death in their furious onhad been their advance, and to- slaughts; but whatever may day hundreds of thousands of be the courage of European Tatars and Kalmucks remain troops, it cannot be expected in European Russia, whilst that they should in large Turks are still on the shores masses be absolutely indifferent of the Adriatic. The greater to the preservation of their and more permanent success lives. To admit this is not of the Turkish invasion was to disparage the courage of undoubtedly due to their pos- civilised soldiers, for it is evisessing an organisation more dent that the man whose civiliclosely resembling that of sation has taught him to value modern armies than anything life displays a much higher known to the Tatars or Kal- courage in risking it than is mucks.
in the The conditions now affecting savage or fanatic who attacks the possibility of successful in him with an absolute indiffervasion and permanent conquest ence to possible fatal conseand settlement are, however, quences. Nevertheless, the fact very different from those which remains that the man who is restricted the progress of the not only ready but even desires hordes from Central Asia in to die, enjoys a great advantage bygone days. The continually over the opponent who, though increasing importance of the willing to risk his life for his scientific organisation of armies, cause, instinctively desires to and the possibility of determined preserve it if possible.
We resistance which the power of shall endeavour to estimate the modern firearms gives to influence of these considerations inferior numbers skilfully on the question of the reality handled in judiciously selected of the Tatar Peril. positions, confer enormous ad- The Japanese are far superior vantages on the defence, partic- to the Russians in the science ularly against an enemy inferior of war, including preparatory in training. On the other hand, organisation, but in the qualithe important advantage of ties of readiness to sacrifice mobility lies with
with the less their lives, physical endurance, civilised peoples, as exemplified and capacity for fighting on
poor and simple rations, there public opinion, frequently illhas been little to choose informed, is a most important between the two armies; and and often a decisive influence great as have been the successes in State affairs. of the Japanese, they have not Among the advantages which been obtained without gigantic we have noted that Russia will efforts and an appalling loss of enjoy in a conflict with civilised life. Even if we admit the Europe, we would specially doubtful assumption that in emphasise that of the numerical organisation and conduct the superiority of her armed forces. armies of Western Europe would It is said that the Tsar can prove as superior to the Rus- to-day command the services of sians as are the Japanese, the six million soldiers; and whatRussians in a conflict with the ever may be the lack of organiWest would certainly have on sation and training of a considtheir side the advantages of erable proportion of this force, indifference to life, of endurance, the actual figure is probably and of mobility, as far as the not exaggerated. Such a force last is affected by the question is overwhelming as compared of provisioning forces in the with that which could be put field. Moreover, as regards or- in the field by any European 1 ganisation, training, and con- Power, but it by no duct, it must be remembered represents the total resources that the Russians have greatly of Russia in a prolonged war, advanced since the days of the and still less does it represent Russo - Turkish war, and the the total which a few more relative superiority of their years of undisturbed dominawestern neighbours is steadily tion in her Asiatic territories decreasing Further, serious would place at her disposal. account must be taken of the In Russia proper, the popunumerical superiority of Russia's lation from which soldiers can armed forces, and of the cir- be drawn is very greatly cumstances which are likely to superior in numbers to that increase that superiority in the of any European State; and it later stages of a prolonged war. must not be forgotten that the Finally, it must be remembered withdrawal of a large proporthat if the autocracy be main- tion of the male population tained, even in a modified form, from their ordinary pursuits preparation for war and the would be a much less serious initiation of hostilities must matter for the economy of be decided by a single will, Russia than if a similar defree from the hesitations and mand were made on the popudivision of counsel which almost lation of a more advanced couninvariably hamper the action try. Further, when once the of statesmen and generals in Asiatic peoples who have come constitutional countries where under Russian rule during the
1 We cannot consider the Russians otherwise than as Asiatics, with a veneer of civilisation among the very limited educated class.
last quarter of a century have modern warfare, and disposing become the fully submissive of modern firearms, equipment, servants of the Tsar (and up railways, telegraphs, &c. The to the date of Russian reverses European Power does not exist in the Far East progress in which could successfully underthis direction was rapid), an take to invade Russia and addition of a couple of mill- penetrate sufficiently far into ions of men might be made to the country to enforce its own the armed forces of the Russian terms of peace. Climate, an Empire. It must be borne in inhospitable country, and the mind that, as exemplified by generally backward condition the Russo - Japanese war, the of economic development would casualties in modern warfare all tell against the invader; speedily reach a total which whilst, on the other hand, the gives a hitherto unknown im- advance of the Russo-Asiatic portance to numbers. A hordes, if not arrested on the numerically inferior army may frontier, would in a comparasummarily defeat a force double tively short time disorganise its number, if the latter be in- and demoralise any civilised ferior in warlike capacity; but if State in Europe. The more the loss suffered by the victors highly civilised a State, the should be even only one-third more necessarily complicated of that of the vanquished, and is its social and economic theformer were unablepromptly organisation, and
and the to replace their losses, whilst easily can it be demoralised their foes could continually by such a shock as the sucreplenish their ranks by draw- cessful invasion of its territory ing on almost inexhaustible by a hostile army. reserves, it is evident that
We may now turn to the final supremacy must rest consideration of the reality of with the big battalions. a Yellow Peril. In our opin
The danger is that if the ion there is real Yellow Russian Empire preserves its Peril in the danger to the integrity and a strong Govern- economic interests of the older ment, Europe may be overrun industrial countries from the by a vast host of Russians coming competition of China v accompanied by hordes of and Japan in industry and marauders from Central and commerce.
Trade with the Northern Asia, all serving East is, and has long been, under the Tsar's standard, and a very important element in rendered far more dangerous the prosperity of the nations than their predecessors in of Western Europe; and the previous inroads by the fact importance of the profits to that whilst the mass would be gained has of late years have all the advantages of roused the greed of both the savage, the general conduct Russia and Germany, leading of their advance would be to the occupation of Shantung guided by a staff of superior by Germany, and of Port officers versed in the art of Arthur and Manchuria by
Russia incidents which in As regards the other manutheir turn provoked the Russo- facturing countries of Europe Japanese war, with all its far- and the United States, the reaching but still undefined situation is very different. All consequences. As regards Rus- are to-day in a position to comsian commercial aspirations in pete more or less advantagethe Far East, it would seem ously with both China and that, unless supported by con-' Japan, on equal terms, for the quest and by the establishment supply of a large proportion of of a special customs tariff in the daily increasing wants of the Russian interests in the coun- teeming populations of those tries to be exploited, they are countries; but all are aware of unrealisable, and active aggres- the fact that their present advansion is, therefore, a necessary tage may prove to be relatively accompaniment to any endeav- short-lived. China and Japan our to forward them. It is comprise vast and fertile terrionly by a highly protected tories, with very extensive seatariff that Russia can exclude boards; and in these countries European manufactures from an enormous population, proher own internal markets, in bably exceeding that of the close proximity to her indus- whole of Europe, has for centrial centres : it is therefore turies practised extreme thrift, impossible for her to compete accompanied by untiring induswith Europe on equal terms try. The intense character of in distant foreign markets, this thrift and industry can where geographical position perhaps best be illustrated by offers no exceptional advantage citing examples from personal to Russian goods in the matter observation. In the Nagasaki of cost of carriage; and in the bazaar, some twenty years ago, Far East the advantage in we saw three lads engaged in this respect lies rather with making coarse needles by hand, the manufacturers of Western and evidently successfully comEurope, whose industrial centres peting with the European are close to their sea-boards. machine - made article. The Russia has nothing further to wire from which the needles lose by additional industrial were made indeed imcompetition under natural con- ported from Europe, and the ditions, and therefore she has operations of the workers were nothing new to fear from the confined to cutting into regular economic development of the lengths(with an accuracy which yellow races. From the econ no European eye and hand omic point of view, her only could rival), piercing the eyeanxiety has been lest their holes, sharpening, and polishgeneral development should ing. As far as we could learn, render them alive to their own the hours of work must have interests, and sufficiently strong been at least sixteen per diem; to maintain their independence and we had proof that there in matters of customs tariffs was halt for the midand regulations.
day meal, since it was con