You are beside the Russian railway between Dalny and Port Arthur, about four miles northeast of the town. These enormous steel mortars resting on wooden rollers have just been lifted be a derrick off flat-cars on the railway track behind you. From this point they are to be hauled by gangs of soldiers-three hundred tugging at once on stout cables (see No. 7591), and so moved nearly six miles farther. These monster howitzers were made over in Japan for coast defence; the soldiers call them the "Osaka babies." Their use in the bombardment of the Russian forts and war-ships is regarded as one of the most remarkable feats in all military history. After being hauled into place they were mounted on foundations of solid concrete eight feet deep and fed with shells weighing 500 lbs. apiece. The shells were heavily charged with Shimose powder, a new contact explosive of terrific power invented by a Japanese. By the almost phenomenal accuracy of their fire (there were twenty of these that came to the help of the two or three hundred smaller guns), they succeeded in wrecking every one of the Russian battleships hidden in the harbor and in so battering the Russian forts that General Stoessel could by no possibility hold out against them. The most extraordinary fact about the whole thing is that these guns fired from down behind a screen of two ranges of hills, hidden entirely from the desperate Russians, the battery officers getting instructions as to direction and range of fire by telephone from distant observers on Takushan and 203 Metre Hill! (See No. 7587 for gun-loading; 7559-7560 for the firing, a shell actually visible in its flight). From Notes of Travel, No. 20, copyright, 1905, by Underwood & Underwood.
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Great guns ready to move into place in Japanese lines-Port Arthur.