[transcribed text] Our troops are attacking the enemy trenches. The first rank is just "going over the top," while below others are waiting to follow as soon as the steps are clear. Shells are falling all along the line, the smoke from one which has just exploded being clearly seen in the near foreground. Once "over the top" these men dash forward behind a barrage (bar'aj) fire from our cannon in the rear. The barrage fire is a broad belt of bursting shells which sweeps over the ground just in front of the advancing troops like a hailstorm, driving the enemy into his dugout and preventing him from firing upon them. Sometimes, in the ardor of battle, men dash through their own barrage and are killed by their own shells. Sometimes the enemy lays down a counter-barrage, through which troops can advance only with great loss.
The trenches are built in sections, each at an angle to the other, in order to localize the effect of a bursting shell. If they were built in a straight line shells falling into the trench would sweep it from end to end when exploded, whereas constructed in the way they are the fragments are dangerous only in the section in which the shell bursts.
Our men wear steel helmets about one-eighth an inch thick as protection from shrapnel. And as a further protection from injury from this source a heavy wire screen is projected over the rear half of the trench, which is lined with a retaining wall of rough stakes wherever the soil is loose and sandy.