The Necessity of Instruction in the Art of War
1. The methods of preparing for war have changed very much in the last century.
In the eighteenth century, during peace, armies and navies were maintained on a much reduced footing and acted as police. Armies garrisoned the country and maintained order, while navies suppressed piracy, protected commerce and enforced navigation laws, but neither armies nor navies were kept ready for war.
When war was declared the belligerent powers recruited their forces with more or less deliberation and hostilities usually began on a small scale. As the armed forces ashore and afloat increased, a series of secondary operations gave them some experience of war and developed leaders, until at last in the second or third year of the war the belligerents began to exert their full combatant strength.
Except in Prussia, preparation for war in time of peace did not occupy a prominent place in the military and naval administration of the time. Governments were satisfied to train their leaders in war by the costly and bloody process of war itself.