Learning Curve, The Great War
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Transcript: Source5
Extract from a report by General Sir William Birdwood at ANZAC Cove, May 1915
(Catalogue ref: PRO 30/57/61)

Ever since landing on the 25th, we have not had a moment's respite from fighting. Day and night we have been attacked, and yesterday 250 shrapnel burst over one corner of this camp in ten minutes. All have, however, I hope now fully realised the necessity of digging by which alone they can hope to escape heavy casualties, and it is rather nice to see what old soldiers a great many of the men have become during the week, and how little respect they now show to the enemy's shrapnel. The waste of ammunition at first was terrible, as was perhaps very natural in an army practically composed of young soldiers. The whole of the hill on which we are living is covered with dense scrub about four feet high, and it is certainly rather trying to men's nerves to have an enemy all round them hidden in this stuff, and never knowing when and in what strength the attack may be made. By constantly going round the trenches and talking to them all, I hope we have now been able to induce them to hold their fire until the attack actually approaches them, and then to pour in rapid fire and use the bayonet. Whenever this has been done, the Turks have been completely routed, and I think we have accounted for a great number of them.

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