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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/819

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Popular Science Monthly

��Vol. 90 No. 6

��239 Fourth Avenue, New York City

June, 1917



��Laying Telegraph Cables Under Fire

How the British lay communication tele- graphs in the field and in the trenches

By Captain A. P. Corcoran, late of the British Army

Readers of the Popular Science monthly are by this time familiar with the name of Captain Corcoran. He has lately returned from the front where he saw the service that he here describes. He is the author of the article "Wireless in the Trenches" that appeared in last month's issue of the POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY. — Editor.

��WITHOUT communication, of course, war could not be waged. For a while the electric flash lamp was used. It took the form of a small, four- volt bulb, placed in the barrel of a rifle. The rifle was sighted directly at the re- ceiver, who was the only person in a posi- tion to see it. But this method of communi- cation was too slow. Now the wireless, the telephone and telegraphing buzzer are used. From General Headquarters up to Bri- gade Headquarters, the method of connect- ing up these instruments is by air-line. But from Brigade Headquarters up to Battalion Headquarters and all along the line of the trenches, cable has to be used. A cable detachment consists of ten men, eight horses (four riders and four draft) and a wagon, the leader and the near wagon

��horse having drivers mounted. The wagon carries a number of poles for bridging crossings, and four drums of cable, each con- taining five miles of No. 14 insulated copper wire. The inside end of each drum is con- nected with the wagon and contact is made with a telephone on the box seat.

Suppose the cable is to be laid between points A and B. The loose end is paid out and man No. 8 (Nos. 9 and 10 being mounted on the draft horses) connects it with a telephone and remains at point A while the wagon moves off at a trot.

Man No. i now rides on ahead, to pick out the most suitable course to travel. Man No. 2 works the telephone on the wagon, constantly keeping in touch with point A. Man No. 3 sits in the wagon, easing the cable off the drum Nos. 4 and

���A telephone corps of the Fourth Division of Royal Engineers (British) picking up a mes- sage through a wagon telephone equipment

��A switchboard in a crude dug-out with makeshift appliances, which rivals the most modern New- York-to-Chicago line in efficiency


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