Disadvantages Of Barbed Wire In WW1

The National War Museum sent this piece of barbed wire to our class, which was discovered on a fighting site in Belgium. It was taken by a classmate and is authentic. Here are some Disadvantages Of Barbed Wire In WW1.

Barbed Wire History

Modern barbed wire was devised in 1874 by Joseph Glidden and is “Made of two strands of interwoven wire joined at regular intervals by fixed barbs of twisted metal points” (Barbed Wire War – How One Farmer’s Innovation Changed The Battlefield).

What Are The Disadvantages Of Barbed Wire In WW1

“In [WWII], barbed wire was employed to route attacking enemy forces into planned kill zones, which were protected by machine guns or artillery target positions,” said Wyatt Evans, a history professor at Drew University in Madison, N.J. Barbed wire played an essential purpose in WWI since soldiers couldn’t see it until they were under fire (World War I Centenary: Barbed Wire).

Even though barbed wire was cheap and straightforward to make, it was incredibly durable and would stand up to bombardment. Barbed wire had a significant disadvantage in that it made those installing the fence an easy target.

Barbed wire prevented opposing troops from quickly pursuing ‘over the trench’ attacks, and both sides had it as a viable choice for protection or imprisonment (Bennion, J.). Tanks could readily roll over the barbed wire was a significant disadvantage (Bennion, J.).

In trench warfare, barbed wire is a highly effective battle obstacle. “By 1914, industrialized countries had mass-produced barbed wire, and its trapping capabilities made it one of the most effective low-tech weapons of WWI” (World War I Centenary: Barbed Wire).

This technique was faultless, as it ensured the protection of multiple bases and was essential in trench defence. Soldiers would be stopped in their tracks as soon as the wire entangled in their clothing or flesh. Machine gunners would be able to fire at them as a result readily.

The technology in WWI was outdated; it combined ancient tactics with new machinery, making this a defensive war. Barbed wire became a big part of modernity in WWI because it hampered enemy soldiers.

Barbed wire would appear in ever-increasing quantities on both sides of No Man’s Land when the First Battle of the Marne concluded, and the rise of static trench warfare on the western front began (Barbed Wire War – How One Farmer’s Innovation Changed The Battlefield).

What Are The Disadvantages Of Barbed Wire In WW1?

The guys who set it up may get hurt. Tanks could easily roll over it, and regular soldiers could quickly get around it.

Advantages Of Barbed Wire in WW1

It was pretty durable and would remain standing even after artillery fire, but this may be because the artillery was not very precise at the time. It effectively stopped any infantry attack; the soldiers could cut through the wire, but they would be exposed. It’s inexpensive and straightforward to make.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Tanks In WWI?

WWI had several unfavorable aspects, the most significant of which were: Tanks were unreliable: they broke down such frequently that most of them didn’t make it through the first 24 hours of combat. As time went on, the reliability improved, but it remained high throughout the war.

Tanks were slow, moving at about the same or slightly faster than a walking man (at least the large ones). The smaller species reached higher speeds over the firm and flat surfaces, such as those they may meet following a breakthrough. However, they had to cross the crater-infested battlefields with trenches, rubble, and other impediments. The operational pace was lacking.

Tanks were toxic: troops battled alongside a smoke-producing engine in an intimate environment where their armaments produced much more gases. It’s no surprise that crew performance worsened due to the weaponry and engine’s loudness and heat.

Tank crews were at risk because they lacked safety equipment. The staff was vulnerable to shocks as the tanks rumbled across the battlefield, and they were prone to be flung around, clashing with the mechanical gear and the weapons themselves. Half of the team was knocked unconscious in a famous demonstration for the British King when they drove over a purported bunker!

Tanks were not impenetrable to armor-piercing bullets or field artillery: tanks were equipped with substantial steel plates that were not coated or shaped. As a result, they depended on sheer depth to keep penetration at bay. However, penetration was not the only danger. The metal plates were subjected to “Spalding,” which caused molten metal particles to detach from the plates’ interior surface, striking and wounding the crew.

Tanks had a narrow combat range due to high fuel consumption and small fuel reservoirs, which significantly limited the combat range, not that they were anticipated to travel that far anyway: penetrating a few kilometers to the third trench system was all that was envisaged until the 1919 Campaign was planned.

They were heavy and bulky, and they had to be repaired on the spot once they were halted. They didn’t have any tank recovery vehicles at all. This implies that if and when the Germans launch a counter-offensive, they will be able to seize the tanks and put them back into service. This occurred more frequently than was publicly acknowledged at the time.

They were highly effective when and where they did not break down or become crippled owing to enemy fire or rugged terrain, especially in the lack of effective infantry anti-tank weapons. They overcame barbed wire, trenches, and most machine gun resistance, facilitating, if not causing, a breakthrough for the troops that followed.

Tanks served as ‘force multipliers,’ bringing a small number of personnel and weaponry to key battleground locations where they could do the most damage.

Tanks were intended to be shock and awe weapons, at least at first. German troops would be affected, as they were essentially powerless against them (on their own), impairing their fighting effectiveness. They lost some, but not all, of their moral impact as they gained experience.

Tanks were envisioned as future weaponry. They were the forerunners of the armored fighting vehicles of the 1930s and 1940s, thanks to their field experience and improving technology.

How Did Soldiers Get Through Barbed Wire During World War I?

The plan was for the barbed wire to be blown to bits by the artillery before the attacks. That, however, did not go as planned. Wire does not break up as it goes by due to an explosion, and it is flexible.

The soldiers carried wire cutters, but how could they do it at a short distance from enemy trenches with still alive soldiers inside? So it turned out to be a suicide expedition. Bangalore torpedoes, as previously stated, were a WW2 weapon and so were not accessible at the time.

Soldiers were racing back and forth, trying to find a hole in the wire, until they were shot. Others became embroiled in the situation and were shot as well. Barbed wire was, and continues to be, an effective defensive technique that is difficult to get through. As with so many things in WW1, there were no severe countermeasures, and barbed wire was feared for a good cause. All armies used it. Thus all soldiers were familiar with it.

Why Do Soldiers Have To Crawl Under Barbed Wire?

If you try to run through it, you’ll get cut, and your pants will rip. If your pants rip, you’ll have to spend your clothes budget on pants rather than beer, which is a tremendous disaster. Beyond that, it is debatable, but most of the time, we do not. If you’re in the middle of an assault, you can smuggle a Bangalore torpedo under the wire and blow it to bits.

You can have a guy run over the wire with a piece of wood or even cardboard (like the box that comes with all your MREs). You may also have brave Private Pyle rush up to it with the cardboard box and lay on it, ensuring that it stays in place so that everyone can run over his fat, skinny, etc., ass to get through the wire.

Crawling under the wire, as seen on TV, is usually obstacle course nonsense designed to educate you to keep your a$$ down on the ground because there will be consequences if you don’t. In training, a cut and ripped pants are preferable to a bullet hole in the real world. You also have the opportunity to get dirty and muddy. Children say, “Let’s play Army,” rather than “Let’s play Navy/Air Force.”


Hopefully, you find the Disadvantages Of Barbed Wire In WW1. Barbed wire, like land mines, channels and drastically slows infantry attacks, allowing men to stay in the kill zone for longer.

With well-established field fortifications, large amounts of pre-sighted artillery, and massive numbers of well-placed entrenched water-cooled machine guns, this extended time in the kill zone resulted in an almost unimaginable number of foot soldiers slain throughout WWI.

Frequently Asked Questions

What impact did barbed wire have during World War One?

During World War I, barbed wire changed from being primarily protective to a lethal weapon. Soldiers erected wire on the front lines to defend their trenches and create locations where the enemy could be caught and slaughtered.

Why did the soldiers have difficulty with the barbed wire?

An army’s onslaught against opposing trenches was hindered by barbed wire entanglements. Many men were killed by machine-gun fire as they tried to climb over the fence. Because shellfire was ineffectual in blowing up the barbed wire, soldiers used wire cutters to cut through the wire at night.

What were the benefits of barbed wire in World War One?

Barbed wire was perfect for trench warfare fought across large fronts. Due to the fixed number of men available to man the front lines, the wire might be employed to keep opposing forces from gaining easy access to the crucial territory.

What effect does barbed wire have on a person?

The movement against barbed wire can cause mild to severe skin injuries and underlying tissue injuries, depending on the body area and barbed wire configuration. When interacting with barbed wire, humans can avoid injuring themselves unduly if they exercise caution.

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