It is a war of explosions, from bombs thrown by hand within ten yards of the enemy to shells thrown as far as twenty miles and to mines laid under the enemy's trenches; a war of guns, from seventeen-inch down to three-inch and machine-guns; a war of machinery, with man still the pre-eminent machine. Guns mark the limit of the danger zone.
A thrifty victory Seventeen-inch guns asleep A procession of guns that gorged the roads French rules of the road Absence of system conceals an excellent system Spoils of war The Colonial Corps The "chocolates" "Boches" Dramatic victors The German line in front of the French attack Galloping soixante-quinzes.
"Pritchard blushed plum color to the short hairs of his seventeen-inch neck. "''Undreds, said Pyecroft. 'So've I. How many of 'em can you remember in your own mind, settin' aside the first an' per'aps the last and one more? "'Few, wonderful few, now I tax myself, said Sergeant Pritchard, relievedly. "'An' how many times might you 'ave been at Aukland? "'One two, he began.
One morning about daylight I was wakened in my narrow cell by a lot of earth tumbling down on my face. I fancied a shell had fallen on my parapet, and after clearing the dirt out of my eyes and ears I lay awake listening to the seventeen-inch Austrian batteries which were shelling some place very heavily. The guns were apparently in a position not far from Pilken.
She was now riding to a single anchor of two thousand weight, with one hundred fathoms of a seventeen-inch hemp cable. The sea rolled heavily, and broke in upon the deck fore and aft; the lower yards were got down; the topsail-yards pointed to the wind; and as the tide had now turned, the ship rode without any strain on her cable, because it tended broad on the beam.
Fourteen-inch shells, seventeen-inch shells, and thousands of smaller missiles, ploughed through and rained over the line, and many a ponderous fellow found its way to the deep dug-outs and shelters which had long ago been prepared for such an eventuality.
Those immense fellows of caliber from twelve to seventeen-inch, mounted on railway trucks, were lions asleep under their covers on the sidings which had been built for them. Their tracks would have to be carried farther forward before they roared at the Germans again.
Not a smile from him or the subaltern all the time. They were the kind you would like to have along in a tight corner, whether you had to fight with knives, fists, or seventeen-inch howitzers. The sergeant took us into the storehouse where he kept his supply of bombs. "What if a German shell should strike your storehouse?" I asked. "Then, sir, I expect that most of the bombs would be exploded.
On the afternoon of the 28th, while the Germans were trying to destroy the Canadian batteries with heavy seventeen-inch shells, a German aeroplane came along flying low to check up the big gun practise. We were getting very tired of these German visitors so I ordered my battalion to fire on the flyer, using one thousand elevation and leading the birdman about five times his own length.
As for the Germans, checked as they had been in their rush on France by a foe whom they had regarded as too puny to count as a factor in the war, they sacrificed themselves by hundreds and thousands to win breathing space behind standing walls until their great seventeen-inch siege guns could be brought from Essen and mounted by the force of engineers who came for that purpose direct from the Krupp works.