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The Official History offered an uncompromising description of the conditions which the combatant forces were forced A 60pdr gun being moved forward with difficulty by men and horses near the village of Bazentin-le-Petit, Octoberto endure: "By the middle of October conditions on and behind the battle-front were so bad as to make mere existence a severe trial of body and spirit...The ground was so deep in mud that to move one 18-pounder [gun] 10 or 12 horses were often needed...The infantry, sometimes wet to the skin and almost exhausted before zero hour, were often condemned to struggle painfully forward through the mud under heavy fire against objectives vaguely defined and difficult of recognition." 'Military Operations. France and Belgium, 1916', Vol II, compiled by Captain Wilfrid Miles, 1938, pp.457-458.

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