Encyclopedia - Whizz Bangs

German artillery in the moment of death Although the term was used widely by Allied (most often British and Commonwealth) servicemen to describe any form of German field artillery shells, the 'whizz bang' was originally attributed to the noise made by shells from German 77mm field guns.  In all cases however the name was derived from the fact that shells fired from light or field artillery travelled faster than the speed of sound.

Thus soldiers heard the typical "whizz" noise of a travelling shell before the "bang" issued by the gun itself.  Whizz bangs consequently much feared since the net result was that defending infantrymen were given virtually no warning of incoming high-velocity artillery fire as they were from enemy howitzers.

Photograph courtesy of Photos of the Great War website.

A "listening post" was an advanced post, usually in no-man's land, where soldiers tried to find out information about the enemy.

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