In the second place, the larger batteries, against whom the allied fleet is contending, are very skillfully hidden.
I have had an interesting talk with a gentleman who has just arrived from Tenedos, where, from the height of Mount Ilios, he witnessed the bombardment. He tells me:
“The sight was most magnificent. At first the fleet was ranged in a semi-circle some miles out to sea from the entrance to the strait. It afforded an inspiring spectacle as the ships came along and took up position, and the picture became most awe-inspiring when the guns began to boom.
“The bombardment at first was slow, shells from the various ships screaming through the air at the rate of about one every two minutes. Their practice was excellent, and with strong glasses I could see huge masses of earth and stonework thrown high up into the air. The din, even at the distance, was terrific, and when the largest ship, with the biggest guns in the world, joined in the martial chorus, the air was rent with ear-splitting noise.
“The Turkish batteries, however, were not to be drawn, and, seeing this, the British Admiral sent one British ship and one French ship close inshore toward the Sedd-el-Bahr forts.
“It was a pretty sight to see the two battleships swing rapidly away toward the northern cape, spitting fire and smoke as they rode. They obscured the pure atmosphere with clouds of smoke from their funnels and guns; yet through it all I could see they were getting home with the shots they fired.
“As they went in they sped right under the guns of the shore batteries, which could no longer resist the temptation to see what they could do. Puffs of white smoke dotted the landscape on the far shore, and dull booms echoed over the placid water. Around the ships fountains of water sprang up into the air. The enemy had been drawn, but his marksmanship was obviously very bad. I think I am right in saying that not a single shot directed against the ships came within a hundred yards of either.”
The French Battlefront
Account of First Extended View of the Intrenchments Defending France
[By a Special Correspondent of THE NEW YORK TIMES.]
Paris, March 7.—I have just been permitted a sight of the French Army—the first accorded to any correspondent in so comprehensive a measure since the outbreak of the war. Under the escort of an officer of General Joffre’s staff, I was allowed along a great section of the fighting line, into the trenches under fire, and also received scientific detailed information regarding this least known of European forces.