Wiring a ditch

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    A soldier wearing his uniform, a tin helmet and a few bits of equipment is standing in the middle of a criss-cross of barbed wire. He is holding a huge spiral of it up in front of him and is winding it off the stick it is wrapped around. He is standing in a ditch with a field on the other side of the fencing and a lush, huge bush behind him. He is quite intent on his work.

    Barbed wire was relatively cheap and easy to manufacture and required very little training to use. As a result it was an effective weapon to use either to slow up running soldier or spoil a decent area which would then take time to clear up.

    [Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. "Wiring a ditch". Every possible means of hanging up the Germans is used.']

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