With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 212 pages of information about With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia.
directly it was dark, might be allowed to return to Svagena to shunt the injured gun to the rear train.  About 7 P.M., while preparing to return for this purpose, a few sharp rifle-cracks were heard near the centre of the line.  These reports grew rapidly in volume, and now became mixed up with the bass “pop-pop” of machine guns.  The rolling sound of conflict spread from the centre along the whole right front.  Till now it had been exclusively a small-arm fight.  At this point the Bolshevik artillery began to chime in, followed by the Japanese and Czech batteries.  The lovely Siberian summer night became one huge booming, flashing inferno, terrible but intensely attractive.  The silent tree-clad mountains to right and left vibrated with the music of battle, while shell and shrapnel screeched like frightened ghouls over the valley below, where white and yellow men were proving that there is no colour bar to bravery.  This din lasted about two hours, and then died away almost as rapidly as it began.

Our trains which had remained to take a hand in the business if necessary steamed slowly back to Svagena, and I turned into my wagon for the night.  After the usual battle with the mosquitoes, I fell asleep, but it seemed as though I had only slept a few minutes, when a banging at the door announced a visitor, who turned out to be a Staff captain from the Japanese Headquarters with an urgent message for the Commander of the Reserves at Svagena, who with great ceremony handed me the following order of the day: 

“To colonel Ward,
  Officer Commanding Reserves. 
    Operation Order by
lieut.-General S. Oie,
  Commanding 12th Division,
    Svagena.

August 23, 1918.

“1.  All enemy attacks were driven back to-day.  We gained two machine guns and five captives.

“2.  The Allied troops will attack the enemy, inflicting upon them an annihilating disaster, to-morrow, August 24.

“3.  The Japanese troops will attack the enemy, starting the present line, at 3 o’clock, the 24th, morning.

“4.  The reserve British, French, Kalmakoff’s forces, and a few Japanese companies will be under the command of Japanese.  Colonel Inagaki will arrive at the north-western side of Dukoveskoie at 2 o’clock to-morrow morning.

“(Signed) S. OIE,
  Lieut.-General,
    Commanding 12th Division.”

CHAPTER IV

THE BATTLE OF DUKOVESKOIE AND KRAEVESK

I Looked at my watch, and called the Japanese officer’s attention to the fact that the time was 1.45 A.M., and that Dukoveskoie was four miles distant.  Although he could speak perfect English, he held out his hand and with a profound bow pretended not to understand the point of my observation.  It was in point of time simply impossible to arouse the British, Czech, Cossack and Japanese detachments and march four

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With the "Die-Hards" in Siberia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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