Military Entrenching Tools / E-tools
An entrenching tool or E-tool is a collapsible spade used by military forces for a variety of military purposes.
Modern entrenching tools are usually collapsible and made using steel, aluminum, or other light metals.
In more modern times the siege tactics of the Napoleonic Wars used spades andpickaxes as entrenching tools to dig trenches towards the walls of the fortificationsbeing besieged, to allow men and munitions to get close enough to fire cannons at the walls to open a breach. Being too long and heavy to be transported by individual soldiers, entrenching shovels and spades were normally carried in the supply carts (logistics train) of a military column; only pioneer or engineer troops typically carried spades or shovels as part of their individual equipment.
During World War I, the entrenching spade was also pressed into service as a weapon. In the close confines of a trench, rifles and fixed bayonets were often too long for effective use, and entrenching tools were often used as auxiliary arms for close-quarter fighting.
After World War I, entrenching tools were again redesigned to be more compact and lighter in weight. Folding designs became increasingly popular, usually incorporating a fixed handle with a folding shovel head, and sometimes encompassing a pick into the design. Like all individual entrenching tools, they were designed to be easily carried as part of an infantry
soldier's standard pack equipment.
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