Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/86

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Fifty Million Shots to Win a Line of Trenches

Nearly nine million pounds of artillery projectiles were hurled at the Germans in a single engagement

���French Official Photos.

Thousands upon thousands of cases of shells are unloaded at the artillery depots of the various armies, after which they are transported in smaller lots to distributing stations

��IN the early days of the war, when the Germans were turning out 250,000 shells a day, the British were producing 2,500 in high explosives and 13,000 in shrapnel. Before the war, Germany held an average stock of 3,000 shells for each gun, while France had 700. When the war began, France estimated a daily expendi- ture of 13,500 shells, but before a year had elapsed, she was firing 100,000 a day.

According to an official re- port of the French Army Headquarters, the French artillery north of Arras fired 300,000 shots within 24 hours, the total weight of which would be 8,901,000 pounds. During the great French of- fensive of September, 191 5, in the Champagne, the French fired at the rate of 900,000 shots an hour — a total of 50,- 000,000 shots in three days on a twenty-five-mile front.

The cost of ammunition, considered in the light of its wastefulness, is appalling. A year ago, Canada had con- tributed $350,000,000 worth of shells. The United States had exported ammunition, explo- rows along

��sives and firearms worth a half-billion. It is needless to state that the last year has been the most productive of all, not only in the United States and Canada, but in European countries as well. Figures of shell production run into unthinkable billions. For this the tremendous capacity of the guns used is largely responsible.

���are housed in rough portable shacks arranged in narrow-gage tracks which lead to the fighting front


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