Page:The War and the Future (Masefield, 1918).djvu/40

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The War and the Future

old fortified line. It was done with the greatest technical skill. If you went along it, you would notice here and there some little irregularity or strangeness, and then you would look about, till you could see what devilish purpose that little strangeness served. And there was always one. The little irregularity gave some little advantage, which might make all the difference in a battle. The little thing in war alters the destinies of nations. A grain of sand in the body of Napoleon altered the campaign of 1812. I know of one great and tragical battle in this war which was lost mainly through a sprained ankle.

Our old lines faced these great fortresses at a distance of about 200 yards. Our lines are nothing like the enemy lines. There were no deep dugouts. The wire was comparatively slight. The trenches were inferior. It looked as though the work of amateurs was pitted against the work of professionals. Yet the amateurs held the professionals.

When Lord Kitchener went to Gallipoli, he visited Anzac. At that time, life in Gallipoli was becoming anxious, because some 17-inch Skoda guns had been brought down by the Turks and were shelling the position. Our