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The concentration of artillery fire obliterated the village and the trench systems beyond, leaving a mass of unrecognisable rubble and debris. The absence of permanent landmarks rendered maps useless and added to the problems of the artillery observation officers. The intense bombardments also cut telephone and signal wires and made their repair difficult and exceedingly dangerous. When the wires were broken use was made of message pigeons and, at great personal peril, runners.

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