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Under the Ensign of the Rising Sun
A Story of the Russo-Japanese War

written by "Collingwood, Harry, 1851-1922"
...In a moment the whole of the ground over which the pioneers would have to pass was being swept by a crossfire of lead in which it seemed impossible that anything could live. Man after man was seen to go down, yet still his comrades pressed on, in ever-diminishing numbers, until at length a mere handful staggered up to the first line of wire entanglements, and there fell, riddled with bullets, their task unaccomplished. But not for a moment did their fate discourage those who were detailed to follow them. Like racers they dashed forward, in widely extended order, now leaping high in the air and anon crouching almost double in a vain effort to dodge that terrible inexorable hail of bullets, and again man after man went crashing to the ground while other panting, gasping, breathless men staggered and stumbled past the prostrate figures, intent upon one purpose only, to reach that line of wire and sever a few of the entanglements before yielding up their lives. And a few of them actually contrived to accomplish their purpose before they died, although the damage which they were able to do was quite incommensurate with the frightful sacrifice of life which it cost. In accordance with Oku’s plan, the main body of the stormers followed closely upon the heels of the volunteer wire-cutters. The 1st Division led the way, dashing forward and losing heavily, until they arrived within a few yards of the foremost line of Russian trenches, and here they were brought to a standstill by the wire entanglements, while the Russian rifle and machine-gun-fire played upon them pitilessly, mowing them down in heaps. In desperation some of them seized the firmly rooted posts to which the wires were attached and strove to root them up by main force, while others placed the muzzles of their rifles against the wires and, pulling the trigger, severed them in that way. Some attempted to climb over the wire, others to creep through; but where one succeeded, twenty became entangled and wer...

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