An officer returning from the Sicilian operations reports that extensive use
was made of pill boxes designed to resemble such ordinary road-side structures
as houses and filling stations. These were usually found at road bends, where two
fire lanes could be covered, and contained machine guns and antitank weapons. It
was a most successful camouflage.
The triangular yellow pennant bearing a black skull and cross bones hanging
from a light steel support stuck in the ground, was described in Tactical and
Technical Trends No. 24, page 11 as a gas contamination warning. In Sicily its
appearance was associated with the presence of booby traps.
South of Mateur in Tunisia, the same officer reported the presence of
rough cast-aluminum mines resembling tellermines. It is hoped that an accurate
description of these mines will shortly be available, as they appear to be made in
the field of salvaged materials, and may be met with in Europe.
In a German battalion-strength hill defense position that put up a
particularly stiff resistance, the machine guns and antitank weapons were sited with their
muzzles barely clear of the ground along the crest. Behind the crest were deep
dug-outs and trench positions to which the garrison retired during bombardment.
German powder is practically smokeless, but does flash at night. The
88-mm guns give no smoke, and on one occasion, held up a tank attack all day, till,
at dusk light tanks were sent out to draw fire, and the guns were located by their
He remarked upon the successful use of a 110-foot span steel Bailey bridge
triple truss, single story, which during the Sicilian operations, had to be emplaced
over a deep gorge at a hairpin turn. In spite of the turn, the bridge was placed by
means of a counterweighted end.