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commander aware of the fact, and he could

make his dispositions accordingly. Aeroplane observers could also spy out the

details of the enemy's fortifications and

ascertain the location of his batteries.

Frequently photographs of the enemy's

position would be taken, so that these

could be studied by the commanding

general at his leisure. The use of aeroplanes in this manner, in fact, almost

banished the possibility of surprise in

warfare. Hitherto the most successful

general had often been he who could best

guess what the enemy was doing behind

a range of hills or mountains or who

could most skillfully move his own troops

behind such a screen. Now all that a

general had to do was to send up some

aeroplanes and ascertain what the enemy

was doing behind the hills or mountains.

Except in forests, in order to conceal the

movement of troops from the enemy,

such movements must either be made

in driblets or else in the night time.

Another important feature of the work

of aeroplanes was their use to direct the

fire of artillery. In our account of the

Japanese operations against Port Arthur

we described how, after the besiegers

captured 203 Meter Hill overlooking the

harbor, they installed a telephone there

by means of which observers gave directions to gunners miles away that enabled

the gunners to sink the remaining Russian

ships. In the present war, observation

posts on terra firma were often established

by which similar objects were accomplished. Many times in war, however,

it happens that there are no such points

of vantage. What then was more simple

than to send an aeroplane aloft to watch

the falling of the shells and to signal the

gunners directions by which, in a very

short time, they could be able to find the

exact range of their target? This method

was, in fact, quickly adopted by all the

armies in the field, and it at once rendered

artillery fire infinitely more accurate and


Such observation work was not without

its hazards. The enemy would, of course,

endeavor to keep such observers as far

distant as possible. If such an aeroplane

ventured within rifle range, it would be