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[Page 62]

they are amidst the shrub and bracken. It is often impossible to locate them by aeroplane reconnaissance. For the enemy will cart away all the earth which is usually thrown up in the form of a parapet so as to leave merely a deep, narrow drain flush with the ground and below the level of the thick shrub. Unless the position of a trench is accurately known, it is impossible to do it any material damage by shell fire and even if these drains are located, direct shell fire from the ships do them practically no harm except by a lucky chance. For a high-explosive shell of this sort must have something to burst against and if there is no parapet, these shells merely burst in front, making huge holes in the ground whilst the fragments fly right over harmlessly. All the enemy's infantry have to do is to lie low whilst the bombardment lasts and when it ceases or passes further on, which is generally the signal that our infantry is about to advance, they are ready to meet them with a deadly rifle and machine-gun fire. The maps of the Peninsula are so inaccurate and it is so difficult to fire accurately from a maving platform like a ship, that the gunners dare not fire really close ahead of our infantry for fear of hitting them. Even the tremendous shell fire which was concentrated on the trenches above the beaches on April 25th. on positions which would be seen from the foretops had but very little effect. Therefore, it is easy to understand that the effect is even less on the enemy's positions inland. These trenches can only be adequately dealt with by howitzers on shore

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