The moral effect of the thundering of one's own artillery is most extraordinary, and many of us thought that we had never heard any more welcome sound than the deep roaring and crashing that started in at our rear.
Human nerves quickly get accustomed to the most unusual conditions and circumstances and I noticed that quite a number of men actually fell asleep from sheer exhaustion in the trenches, in spite of the roaring of the cannon about us and the whizzing of shrapnel over our heads.
What impressed me particularly in Vienna was the strict order everywhere. No mob disturbances of any kind, in spite of the greatly increased liberty and relaxation of police regulations.
Suddenly, at about ten o'clock, a dull thud sounded somewhere far away from us, and simultaneously we saw a small white round cloud about half a mile ahead of us where the shrapnel had exploded. The battle had begun.
We started at once to dig our trenches, half of my platoon stepping forward abreast, the men being placed an arm's length apart. After laying their rifles down, barrels pointing to the enemy, a line was drawn behind the row of rifles and parallel to it.