Military History with pete and Gary

No.26

Sometimes the dullest looking book can be a real eye-opener. So it was with My Sapper Venture by Lieutenant-Colonel Victor Eberle. In March 1916, as a lieutenant with No.2 Field Company, South Midlands Royal Engineers, he was ordered to carry out experiments with Bangalore Torpedoes. “This name denoted a weapon of which I had not heard previously, nor had I seen it in our textbooks. The commander explained that it denoted a device, such as a tube, carrying a length of explosive, which could be pushed into a belt of wire entanglements to blow a gap, enabling the attacking infantry to pass through it. The OC remarked: ‘A job for you, I think!’”

German barbed wire defences had developed into a belt several thick. In the days prior to the tank, the only method of dealing with wire was longhandled cutters or artillery, both of which were often inadequate.

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