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During the Somme fighting most units lost direction at some time or other. This was a consequence of the near impossibility of recognising objectives disfigured or even obliterated by shellfire and obscured by smoke or weather conditions. The irregular orientation of start lines for attacks and the determination of the enemy to hang to his positions even when overrun further complicated navigation.

It was often the disconcerting experience of attackers that they came under fire from all directions making decisions about subsequent 'forward' movements both precarious and exceedingly difficult.

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