Screw Picket

  • World War I
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The ingenious device known as The ''Screw Picket'', was an invention designed by The French (and adopted by The British and later American Armies). As we have discussed with Wire Obstacle Systems (used as anti-personnel methods on the battle fields of World War I), the most common form of installment was with common wooden poles or posts. Much like their use on a Farm, wooden poles were force driven into the ground, with barbed wire strung between. The wiring was fastened by nail, which kept trespassers out (or animal stock in) of land. The same theory applied to Wire Obstacles on a battlefield. Advancing or charging Soldiers would have to stop and either cut or otherwise remove such obstacles (often being shot down by watchful snipers and machine gunners).


A common issue with wooden posts and the subsequent hammering of wire strands to them, caused noise. As such ''Wire Parties'' (or men chosen to erect such obstacles), often were unable to complete their task. Often, such work was done at night. Also, wooden posts did not hold up well to prolonged exposure (at best) – or concentrated machine gun fire. Another common problem seen, was that repeated concentration of Artillery fire (in the attempts to ''blow up'' said obstacles), while effective – also created the obstacle of shell craters. These had to be moved through by advancing Forces which could be ''bunched'' up and counter attacked (machine gunners).


The advent of a methods known as The ''Screw Picket'' removed much of this problem. The Pickets were long metal slender poles which were curled at intervals and featured a circular opening at the top. Rather that the need to hammer them into the earth, a soldier could simple ''twist'' them into the ground. Next, soldiers only needed to place or threat the wire through the curls. The final top circle provided rigidity and stability to the set-up.


The Screw Picket also (while not firearms proof), were also not as easy to destroy as were wooden posts. Many Screw Posts survived The War and were often reused by local Farmers. The design would be improved upon and maintained by many Armies through World War II.