How to Install Tanglefoot Wire


Tanglefoot wire is a type of barbed wire obstacle emplaced to prevent, impede or deter dismounted movement. It is effective when concealed in tall grass or vegetation, in shallow water at high tide or when placed in "dead ground" that cannot be targeted with direct fire from defensive positions. Tanglefoot can help deny that battlefield space to the enemy, or force them to stand up to step over the wire, exposing them to machine gun fire or fragmentation.

Things You'll Need

  • Barbed wire gloves
  • Stakes
  • Sledgehammer
  • Single strand barbed wire
  • Integrate the tanglefoot into your obstacle and fire plan. For example, combine it with a triple-strand concertina wire obstacle designed to channel attackers into the tanglefoot obstacle. Register mortars and artillery onto that position, and presight M203 grenade launchers onto that position using aiming stakes. This will allow your 203 gunners to fire accurately on that position, even at night.

  • Pound stakes. Using sledgehammers, entrenching tools or other field expedient device, pound barbed wire stakes and tent stakes firmly into the ground, leaving enough space to wrap wire and string it anywhere from 4 to 12 inches above the ground. Start with the perimeter of the obstacle, and emplace stakes between 4 and 10 feet apart. Continue to emplace stakes inside the perimeter, essentially making a grid array of tent stakes. Vary the space between the stakes, so it is impossible to walk through the obstacle with a steady gait.

  • Emplace the wire. Use spools of single-strand barbed wire. Wrap the wire firmly around each stake, so it is not easily pulled up or dislodged. String the wire around the perimeter, then diagonally across the obstacle. When you have finished the diagonal wire emplacement, carefully string wire along the opposite diagonal in a rough crosshatch pattern, carefully wrapping the wire around each stake. Construct the enemy side of the obstacle first, and work your way back to the friendly side until the obstacle is complete.

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