Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/814

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798

��Popular Science Monthly

��ing, it is he who sends the warning to the men behind to put their gas helmets on.

If the aeronaut can be called the eyes of the army, the wireless man is its ears. Naturally their work is made to dovetail. When one sees, the other hears and also reports.

One of the main duties of an aviator, as you probably know, is to reconnoiter for the army, and to report on the accuracy of the artillery fire and on the location of the enemy batteries.

But he does not have to descend to re- port his discoveries. For he, too, is equipped with a wireless set — a Wilson set is the one usually carried — with which he transmits his information to the man below.

This man is stowed away always in a dug-out, at a little distance from the bat- tery. It is in accordance with the infor- mation he receives and transmits that the artillery fire is directed.

Every branch of the army, as you see, has its own particular station, and its own particular duties to discharge.

Back at Army Headquarters where

��the large station

��Marconi

��is situated, the work of the wireless mainly consists in intercepting communications from the enemy and taking aircraft reports. But though each of these stations works separately, they are all in close touch at all times For instance, every bat- talion carries two trench sets, each having two

��operators. They are in the front line with the infantry. Back with the reserve, about one hundred yards behind, are two more sets and two more operators. Back still further is a larger set at Brigade Head- quarters. At Divisional Headquarters is a 3^ K. W. set, and at Army Headquarters is a i3^ K. W.

An attack is made. The battalion oper- ators go over slightly in the rear of the infantry. They communicate with the station in reserve, who in turn pass it on to Brigade Headquarters, who pass it along to Divisional Headquarters, who report it to Army Headquarters.

A few have asked why this method of communication is adopted, and have sug- gested that it would be more effective if one large set were established close behind the line, to replace all these individual trench sets. Communication, they say, would then be direct with General Head- quarters, and much time might be saved. That was tried. I remember the occasion distinctly.

The station was erected, the apparatus installed. This consisted of a motor lorry set, i^/^ K. W., 120-foot steel mast, an umbrella aerial, with a complement of three operators. It stood for just two hours. Then over came one of those huge 5.9 shells, and the lorry set, the steel mast, the um- brella aerial and the three operators were all shot sky-high. I presume

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��Back at Army Headquarters, where the large Marconi station is situated, the work of the wireless consists mainly in intercepting communications from the enemy and taking aircraft reports

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