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Although Townshend declared that his intent to engage in an active defense of Kut, the reality was completely different. Instead of launching any raids or sorties, Townshend dug his troops in around the town of Kut, and across the river at the village the soldier's nicknamed "Woolpress", and awaited rescue. At the first sign that the pontoon bridge, the primary link between Kut and Woolpress, was threatened by the Ottoman siege lines, Townshend ordered it destroyed. This left Townshend with only a few small launches and the gunboat Sumana to ferry men and supplies across the river.

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 タウンゼンドは、クットを、積極的に防御するつもりだと宣言していたけれども、実際は全く違っていた。  攻撃とか出撃を仕掛けるかわりにタウンゼンドは自分の部下をクットの町の周辺や、川向こうの、兵士たちが「ウールプレス」と綽名で呼んだ村に塹壕を掘って待機させ、救援を待った。  クットとウールプレスを結ぶ主な連絡路であるポントゥーン橋が、オットーマン包囲線によって危険に曝されると言う最初の兆しがると、タウンゼンドはその破壊を命じた。  このため、川を渡って人や物を運ぶ手段として、タウンゼンドに残されたのは、小さな艀二三艘と砲艦スマナだけであった。

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