Position:-On a hillside between two and three miles north of Port Arthur. Direction:-West. Surroundings:-Similar hills seamed with trenches; other batteries like these and heavier ones. Outlook:-These guns are firing on Russian batteries about 4,000 yards away. The special purpose of this particular figure is to stop certain of the Russian gunners from shelling Japanese soldiers who are digging a "siege parallel" on a hillside within reach of the enemy.
Russian shells often come shrieking over here in return, bursting where they strike. Those bags of dirt, walling in the gun-carriages here, form the customary protection for such a position.
Part way across the valley, directly over the breech of the second gun of this battery, you can see one of the gigantic 11-inch mortars that throw shells weighing 500 pounds apiece. It stands on a carefully leveled platform of concrete, surrounded by low earthworks. It hurls its enormous steel projectiles up over two ranges of hills, like those you see now at the west, to fall with almost incredible accuracy exactly where they will do the most frightful execution. Eighteen of the 11-inch giants over two hundred like these nearer guns work together to crush the most magnificently fortified stronghold in the Orient. (In all, 4,000 tons of shell were spent on the Russian fortifications before General Stoessel surrendered).
Villiers, in his books on Port Arthur, says of the fury of a bombardment by all these guns at once, "If all the iron foundries of the wide world were concentrated and going at full blast, it might give some idea of the ceaseless din and ear-splitting noise."