Organization by Function?
Faced with a massive Chilean invasion in 1880, Peru organized an “Army of the Reserve” for the defense of Lima. This force consisted of 10,000 men, divided into ten “divisions.” Perhaps as a means of encouraging volunteers to step forward, each of the divisions was to be composed of men from the same occupation.
|The Army of the Reserve|
|1st|| Court Officers & Policemen|
|2nd|| Public School Teachers|
|3rd|| Economists & Bankers|
|4th|| Construction Workers|
|5th|| Government Employees|
|8th|| Retail Merchants|
|9th|| Decorators, Barbers, & Hair Dressers|
|10th|| Railroad and Public Works Employeers|
In the event, of course, this improvisation availed the Peruvians little, for they had badly managed the war from the start. As a result, the “Army of the Reserve” went down to defeat with the other elements of the Peruvian Army that attempted to defend Lima in January of 1881. As for its performance in battle, as historian Bruce W. Farcau observed in The Ten Cents War, “We will not digress into idle speculation about the relative performance of some of these unique military formations.”
Divvying up the Loot: Prize in the Royal Navy in World War I
The practice of paying prize money to the officers and men who helped capture or destroy enemy ships has its roots deep in the history of the sea. Originally a way to systematize the division of loot, by the twentieth century the custom was largely dead. Indeed, in the twentieth century only the Royal Navy continued to pay prize, doing so in both world wars.
At the end of the First World War the Royal Navy allocated £14 million, a sum that would today easily be equal to nearly $850 million. Unlike awards in previous wars, which went only to the officers and men who actually participated in capturing or destroying enemy vessels, the Royal Navy decided to award prize across the board, to all personnel in the serivce, as a way of rewarding the enormous number of sailors who performed important duties that were not likely to put them in situations where they might be able to earn prize, such as destroyermen performing convoy duty.
|Typical Awards, 1919|
In the hoary tradition of prize, the money was divided according to rank, on a decidedly class conscious scale. Intermediate ranks of course received proportionally appropriate shares.
As for World War II, well, that’s another story.