Who the first thought up a barbed wire, still it isn't known. According to one version, it was made by French, on another - any American boy. However the first patent for "prickle" was taken by the smith Michael Kelly (Michael Kelly) - in 1868 presented the invention. All history of mankind - improvement of fences!
The heroes of ancient adventure novels crossing novel open spaces of Africa, weren't afraid to meet face to face a furious lion or the whole tribe of natives - but only in the afternoon. At night travelers and hunters of treasures were afraid to fall a victim of sudden attack therefore surrounded the of camp with branches of a prickly bush. Way of protection simple, but very effective and, probably, same ancient, as well as mankind. Behind a bristle of sharp branches and prickles animals hid in prehistoric times, but only the person guessed not to live in blackthorn thickets, and to surround with its branches the parking or to close them an entrance to a cave.
Conditionally the barriers, being applied the person today, it is possible to divide into three categories. In - the first, a green hedge - a dogrose, a blackthorn, pink bushes and other similar plants planted rather densely. Through such fence by efficiency doesn't concede to a barbed wire, and looks much less furiously.
In - the second, it is man-made barriers - ditches, embankments, heaps of stones, and also barriers from the cut-off branches, bushes or the whole trees. The last in Russia were called mark and were known in the X century.
Zaseka whom built in the woods, represented cut down at the height about a meter and dumped by krone towards probable attack of the opponent trees. To complicate analysis mark, trees brought down a cross - crosswise, is frequent in two - three rows. Behind the first such line mark often did the second and even by a third. Task mark was to stop advance of the enemy - in old times, as a rule, it there were horse groups of nomads, but also to pedestrian soldiers was difficult to make the way through this man-made windbreak.To do pass, the whole day, and sometimes was required more.
In the XV century mark started uniting in enormous "zasechny lines", lasting on tens and hundreds kilometers along borders of Russia. They reached from fortress for the fortress and where the wood came to an end, built earth shaft with palings and driven in slopes (krone forward) trees. Length of "Big Zasechny line", lasting from Kozelsk to Ryazan, in the XVI century made about 600 km, and the general extent of Russians "the zasechnykh of lines" reached 4 000 km.
Small mark as tactical strengthenings were under construction by preparation for the Borodino battle, and during defense of Moscow in 1941 for only some weeks 1500 km of the forest blockages which have blocked to the German army a way to the capital were created.
Various artificial obstacles the most ancient of which is the paling belong to the third group. Its name speaks for itself are the poles driven by a row or logs, usually with the pointed top. The paling could represent simply a fence from logs, to a bowl of all was for this purpose used the rounded log, sometimes bound by branches or connected by ropes, and sometimes the pointed stakes stuck to the earth "in bulk", having inclined in the direction to the opponent - on a slope of a defensive shaft or simply on the battlefield.
Modern palings are fences from the metal pointed rods, usually forged decorative, but, nevertheless, very dangerous to those who to decide to get through them. Even more unapproachable are fences with ranks of the high steel edges which have been often bent outside - without ladder they are almost insuperable.
Creation of slingshots - the stakes connected between pointed since both ends was the following step. To receive idea of the simplest design of a slingshot, it is enough to remember anti-tank "hedgehogs" of times of the Great Patriotic War. It also is the slingshot only welded from pieces a rail. Besides "hedgehogs", there is a slingshot classical, consisting of two and more than couples of crossed stakes connected between by a long horizontal crossbeam.
As well as the driven stakes, slingshots were an effective remedy for a stop of the enemy cavalry rushing on infantry orders. But they had two more advantages. First of all, slingshots could be rearranged and transferred in assembled form.Therefore it was possible to change quickly their location - if it was required, and still them used as obstacles of passes. The approached - a slingshot removed, the passed.
Besides, the slingshot didn't need to be driven - so it easily established even on the stony soil or paved streets. Well and the most important, slingshots were an obstacle not only for a cavalry, but also for infantry of the opponent. Efficiency of slingshots was especially shown in the XV-XIX centuries when the infantry went to attack by a strict system - and it was braked and broke at slingshots. At times coming it was necessary to take with itself group of the sappers armed with axes - to cut obstacles. But while супостат groaned, pottering with the slingshots, defending fired at it, causing a loss.
Today far and quite harmless descendants of slingshots are used almost in the peace purposes are various barriers and the figurative protections used for a protection or division of territories on parkings, on entrances of stadiums and concert halls, checkpoints. And still figurative barriers are exposed during mass street actions - that the crowd didn't rush there where doesn't follow.
However emergence on fields of battles of machine guns, and then and armored machinery, didn't dismiss also "fighting" slingshots. Wooden or metal, they on - former remain a formidable barrier to the opponent, especially since them entangled a barbed wire.
The world behind "prickle"
Contrary to hearings, inventors of a barbed wire weren't going to use it against people. As a matter of fact, its emergence turned out to be consequence of shortage of timber in prairies of the Great Plains.
After Civil war in the USA uncountable immigrants went to the western lands. In a short space of time there were thousands and thousands farms, many of which specialized on cattle breeding. As a result there was a great demand for materials for a construction of shelters and fences on borders of sites. But the tree in prairies was deficiency, and iron ore, on the contrary, it appeared much. The American engineering genius started exercising the wit in designs from a metal wire.
Fences left cheaper and simpler. However cows didn't understand that columns with a wire are a fence, tried to pass through them - and got confused. Then there was an idea to interweave into a wire fence prickly branches - in them in the prairie of a shortcoming wasn't. But business it was very laborious. Therefore the wire with ready metal thorns was let out.
Who the first thought up a barbed wire, still it isn't known. According to one version, it was made by French, on another - any American boy. However the first patent for "prickle" was taken by the smith Michael Kelly (Michael Kelly) - in 1868 presented the invention. By 1874 six patents for a barbed wire, to 1900 - му - some hundreds were registered! It would seem, what can more simply? ! But each patent is an original form of thorns and a way of their fastening to a wire.
Figured asterisks, "swallows", wire thorns, edges - the imagination of inventors was irrepressible. In order that animals weren't wounded, created thorns "sparing" which were pricked, but didn't tear skin. Some types of thorns demanded fixing, and then instead of one bearing wire used two twisted. All this was made manually, by means of improvised tools. So, the school teacher from Illinois Joseph Glidden twisted a wire by means of a coffee grinder. But already in 1870-x years the American factories started making it. By the end of the XIX century the general is long fences from a barbed wire only in the USA reached 80 000 km!
However in the invention right there became interested military and those who was going to tire out "speaking cattle" for a barbed wire. In 1881 "prickle" began to enclose reservations of Indians - nicknamed it with "a rope of a devil", it entangled fences of prisons. The most mass application for a barbed wire was found by British during English - Boer war. Thousands of kilometers entangled it South Africa, protecting from guerrillas the railroads, dismembering the country on certain areas. British burned farms of drills, and from drove in protected with a barbed wire the first in the history concentration camp for civilians. Since that moment "prickle" became a symbol of tyranny, enslavement and bondage.
The barbed wire proved as even more effective as field obstacles. Thorns on it any more weren't "sparing": they stuck jags and tore a flesh, or cut it small edges. Before ranks of a barbed wire there was powerless even new tactics of the German army with which they entered World War I: prompt throw of running soldiers to positions of the opponent - that classical attack of the XX century. Germans not for long ran: attacking chains stopped, and them mowed from a machine gun.Wire entanglements ranks were established at 8-10 quickly and lasted on kilometers and even more to accelerate and facilitate this process, military invented "Bruno's spiral" - barbed wire especially laid in bays which then stretched in a few minutes. And where, apparently, there was a free space, constructed smart networks - extensions from a barbed wire - through which was difficult to run, without having hooked and without having fallen.
War turned in long, position. To make pass in a multirow wire entanglement it was required to let out hundred fifty shells of field "three-inch plank" or to send special group of sappers. The blood-stained corpse which has hung on a barbed wire became a symbol of wars of the last century.
Way out found in creation of special cars for pass through ranks of wire entanglements. At first for this role the armored car was tried - but it got stuck in funnels and trenches. And then its majesty the tank in the battlefield left. However, on emergence of terrible cars the adequate answer in the form of modernization of already existing systems of an obstacle was given: on fronts of the following wars there were palings of ferroconcrete posts and bristled-up steel "hedgehogs".
Now the classical barbed wire practically isn't made any more - it was forced out by a special metal tape on which the method of stamping cuts out thorns or fine edges (at us it call "Egoz"). It was it is thought up by Germans in the years of World War I - and the economy as such tape is cheaper in production and which - in what more effectively than a barbed wire became the reason too. Well, and the most modern options - the metal tape reinforced for durability by a wire from carbonaceous steel. The sections weaved from it mesh "a prickly fence" (product "Acacia"), with "Egoza's" spiral to top and below, are one of the most absolute obstacles of a similar class.
Don't get - will kill!
However, wire entanglements have one common fault - in the presence of the tool and time they always can be cut. And happened that attacking soldiers or running prisoners climbed through "prickle", despite of got wounds.
And once someone to mind was come by idea to pass electric current through a wire entanglement. The name of the inventor remained to unknown, but the first fighting use of an electric obstacle happened during defense Port - Artur.On November 26, 1904 during night storm Japanese came across on a strange look a fence from columns with the tense copper wire. Attempt to overcome it was deplorable - hundred fifty Japanese soldiers were killed with current, the others, in a panic tarried, mowed bullets.
However, such type of electric obstacles was in the war used infrequently. Insulators unmasked them, depriving of effect of suddenness, and to close electric lines, and that to put out of action, it was quite simple. Therefore them then applied only to a protection of rear objects: warehouses, military enterprises and, certainly, prisons and concentration camps. Photos of unfortunate prisoners of Auschwitz standing behind an electric fence, for certain remember everything.
Such robot - the machine gunner serves as natural addition to any obstacle: he sees and day and night, "is able" to distinguish the person from other moving objects and shoots without miss. Illustration: SamsungTechwin
During World War I other methods of electric war were developed. Wires threw out by means of mortars or grenade launchers, or laid underground before the line of obstacles - and then suddenly included a knife switch. The crude earth and wet clothes of the creeping opponent were good conductors of electricity.
Something similar was used at defense of Leningrad in 1941. On one of sectors of the front about the help of metric probes - electrodes and the cables brought to them I was the obstacle about a kilometer long is created. When nazis advanced to the attack, was tension (from the high-voltage line) is given and the whole battalion of the opponent remained forever to lie on the earth. Some days the group of electricians defended this site while the opponent didn't guess to plow up it artillery.
For today electric obstacles are used only for scaring away of violators (on them deadly current is passed not), and here in New Zealand electric fences for cattle are very popular with farmers. But it is uneconomical to keep a fence under the constant tension therefore the different way is used now: current joins automatically when motion sensors react to approach to a fence of large object.
By the way, modern systems of tracking allow to suspend on fences and to put at the right time in action anything: sprays of tear gas or electrowire aerosol, stun grenade or even machine gun.