Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/371

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Hurling Barbed Wire at the Enemy

A projectile is used from which barbed wire is uncoiled after it is shot at the onrushing troops

���When the projectile explodes, the caps containing the barbed wire shoot out like bullets in all directions distributing the wire in great tangled masses

��/%FTER a murderous ar-

r\ tillery fire has swept away the ordinary barbed wire entanglements in front of a trench, there is nothing to impede the onrush of troops except machine-gun and infantry fire, accom- panied, at certain times, by well-placed barrage fire from the rear. Under most conditions this re- sistance is sufficient to deplete the ranks of an in- vading force but the fact that the first, second and third line of trenches may be captured in a single charge is proof that gun fire alone cannot dissipate a body of troops. There have been numerous occasions in this war where troops of both sides have deliberately plunged through a heavy barrage fire to carry a line of trenches.

Accordingly, Enid S. Wales, of Detroit, Michigan, has invented a novel projectile which shoots barbed wire instead of bullets.

��barbed wire


��Four hollow caps con- tain the barbed wire coils

��His idea is to first impede the progress of an onrushing body of troops by spreading coils of barbed wire in front of them and then to attack them with infantry and machine-gun fire. The in- ventor claims that his projectile will distribute masses of barbed wire over a large area, en- meshing a whole com- pany of troops.

Briefly, the projec- tile consists of a stem which fits the barrel of a trench mortar; a central chamber con- taining the explosive charge, into which chamber the stem fits; and several hollow caps which carry the coils of barbed wire, the inner ends of which are secured to the body of the shell. When the projectile explodes, the caps containing the barbed wire shoot out like bullets, distributing the wire in tangled masses. A time fuse is pro- vided so that the distance can be gagod.


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