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Barbed Wire

Barbed wire on fence

What is Barbed Wire for?

Barbed wire is a wire base on which spikes are wound from pieces of wire. The design of barbed wire may be different, but the functions it performs remain the same. Barbed wire is designed to create fences around livestock pens, and can also be used on fences to increase their protective properties. Barbed wire has become widespread in agriculture and in the manufacture of fences from wild animals, since properly made and installed barbed wire fencing does not allow animals to leave or enter the fenced area without causing significant injury. As a means of protecting the territory from people, barbed wire is not so effective, therefore, if used for this purpose, then in not very important areas of the fence, where it serves as a warning rather than an obstacle. Barbed wire is also widely used in the installation of Concertina spiral barriers as a tension wire - first, several strands of ordinary barbed wire are installed on the fence, and then a concertina wire made of modern barbed wire – Egoza razor wire is laid on it.

Barbed Wire Construction

The basic design of barbed wire is quite simple - wire spikes are wound onto the steel wire at certain distances, which do not allow animals or humans to easily overcome the barbed wire fence. Both one and two wires can be used as the basis of barbed wire, spikes can be made of wire of the same diameter as the base, or can be made of thin wire. The two warps can be twisted along their entire length in one direction, and in another barbed wire construction this direction changes from one group of spikes to another. The method of winding the spikes can also be different - they can be wound only on one of the two main wires, or they can cover both bases of the barbed wire. Barbed wire is made of mild steel wire, which can be galvanized to resist corrosion and prolong the life of the fence.

Barbed Wire History

Usually, the history of the appearance of barbed wire is tied to the American inventor Joseph Glidden, who at the end of the nineteenth patented several successful designs of barbed wire and set up its mass production. But even before Glidden, and in parallel with it, many inventors tried to come up with a way to make fences with minimal building materials. Hundreds, if not thousands, of barbed wire variants have been proposed, with varying degrees of effectiveness. But it was Glidden who proposed the most technologically advanced design of barbed wire and launched its production in the United States, where, in conditions of vast pastures and an almost complete absence of materials for building fences, barbed wire led to great progress in the field of animal husbandry.

The Dark Side of Barbed Wire

But, like any other thing or object, barbed wire has not the most positive area of application. Just as a kitchen knife can be used to cut bread or commit a crime, barbed wire has proven equally effective in keeping cattle in pens and people in concentration camps. This happened just a few years after the invention of barbed wire by Glidden, and a decade and a half later, barbed wire became an integral part of the theater of operations during the First World War. Barbed wire was located in dozens of rows, not allowing the enemy armies to move freely, permanent and temporary barriers were made from it - it was then that the construction of the concertina barrier, which is still used today, called the concertina wire or Bruno's spiral, appeared.

Having survived the peak of use in hostilities during the First World War, barbed wire was used less against neighboring states, and much more against its own citizens, becoming a world symbol of totalitarianism. To this end, barbed wire was used most massively by those regimes that were ready to imprison and destroy the citizens of their country only because they were not suitable for power on national or ideological grounds. The most distinguished in this regard were Nazi Germany and the communist Soviet Union, and the victims of the communists were much more than those of the Nazis. In the future, barbed wire continued to be used for various purposes, not always personal, but barbed wire itself is not to blame - those who decided to use it in this way are guilty.

Buy Barbed Wire

You can buy barbed wire from many suppliers, but first you need to decide - for what and what kind of barbed wire do you need? Perhaps you need a temporary cheap fencing - then uncoated single-strand barbed wire will do, but for a quality cattle corral you will have to buy zinc-coated double-strand barbed wire. Or maybe you don’t need ordinary barbed wire at all, but its modern replacement – razor wire or a concertina wire barrier made of it. It is better to deal with all these questions in advance in order to buy exactly the type of barbed wire that you really need.