China By Demetrius Charles Boulger































































 -  It is true that,
touching this point, there is a wide difference of opinion. Prjevalski
said, apropos of the Tonquin - Page 700
China By Demetrius Charles Boulger - Page 700 of 704 - First - Home

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It Is True That, Touching This Point, There Is A Wide Difference Of Opinion.

Prjevalski said, apropos of the Tonquin campaign:

"She [China] lacks the proper material; she lacks the life-giving spirit. Let Europeans supply the Chinese with any number of arms that they please: let them exert themselves ever so energetically to train Chinese soldiers: let them even supply leaders: the Chinese Army will, nevertheless, even under the most favorable conditions, never be more than an artificially created, mechanically united, unstable organism. Subject it but once to the serious test of war, speedy dissolution will overtake such an army, which could never hope for victory over a foe animated with any real spirit." On the other hand, high testimony has been borne by other travelers and military critics to the excellent quality of China's raw material for military purposes. Wingrove Cooke, the "Times" correspondent with the allied forces in 1857-58, who is generally accounted one of the best critics of Chinese men and affairs; Count d'Escayrac de Lauture, one of the Pekin prisoners in 1859-60; Chinese Gordon and Lord Wolseley, have all spoken highly of the courage and endurance of the Chinese soldier. The following summary of his capabilities was given by one who had had experience with Gordon's "Ever-Victorious Army": "The old notion is pretty well got rid of that they are at all a cowardly people, when properly paid and efficiently led; while the regularity and order of their habits, which dispose them to peace in ordinary times, give place to a daring bordering on recklessness in times of war.

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