Friday September 15, 1916
To-day is the day of the big push. Our guns went at it all night till six this morning. And at 8 a.m. the first batch of German prisoners was escorted thru our camp. The cheerful news came that our local front of two battalions length (1 ½ miles) we had captured three lines of trenches and the Germ(h)uns were hiding in shell holes behind the last line. Our artillery is all standing to as they have the news from the observation balloons that there will be a counter-attack soon. The news comes that we have driven the Germans back 2000 yards, captured three lines of trenches on a 1 ½ mile front, and taken 1000 prisoners. The Germans have thus been driven from their last ridge, and are said to be hiding in shell holes behind the last line of their old trenches.
A wonderful new machine was used for the first time to-day, in the history of the world. It is a sort of armoured car, driven by a 205 H.P. engine. It is armed with two 4 inch Hotchkiss guns and eight machine guns. Then there are several holes for rifles to be fired through. The windows are prism, so that a man doesn't have to put his head before mere glass to have a look outside. This is on the principle of the periscope. The machine is like a square rather flattened out like this (sketch). There are no wheels. The treads, one continuous flexible tread on each side, are constant pulled round under and over a smooth track on each side of the machine. By the shape of the machine it is seen to be able to rock backward and forward in creeping along, and like a caterpillar it climbs down one side of a big hole and up the other, or it flops across it without bothering to reach the bottom if the hole or trench is narrow enough. When the Germans saw fifteen of these machines on our Canadian front, heading our charge it scared them so stiff that our boys walked right through them. We captured 300 prisoners and reached our objective of 1600 yards and 400 yards extra for good measure. On the next page is a rough sketch of this wonderful fighting machine.