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Encyclopedia > Sabotage

Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy, oppressor or employer through subversion, obstruction, disruption, and/or destruction. Look up sabotage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up saboteur in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...



Sabotage is a term of French origin oined during the railway strike of 1910, when workers destroyed the wooden shoes, or sabots, that held rails in place, thus impeding the morning commute. An alternate definition pretends the word to be older by almost a century, the times of Industrial Revolution. It is said that powered looms could be damaged by angry or disgruntled workers throwing their wooden shoes or clogs (known in French as sabots, hence the term Sabotage) into the machinery, effectively clogging the machinery. This is often referenced as one of the first inklings of the Luddite Movement. However, this etymology is highly suspect and no wooden shoe sabotage is known to have been reported from the time of the word's origin. [1] Others contend that the word comes from the slang name for people living in rural areas who wore wooden shoes after city dwellers had begun wearing leather shoes; when employers wanted strikebreakers they would import 'sabots'/rural workers to replace the strikers. Not used to machine-driven labor the 'sabots' worked poorly and slowly. The strikers would be called back to work (with demands won) and, could win demands on the job by working like their country cousins - the sabots. Thus 'sabotage'. A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. ... For the graphical adventure game, see LOOM. A Turkish woman in Konya works at a traditional loom. ... We are all looking fsorward to a great sseason in 2005. ... A sabot (French: shoe) is a device used in a firearm or cannon to fire a projectile or bullet that is smaller than the bore diameter. ... The Luddites were a social movement of English textile artisans in the early nineteenth century who protested — often by destroying textile machines — against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution, which they felt threatened their livelihood. ...

Sabotage in war

In war, the word is used to describe the activity of an individual or group not associated with the military of the parties at war (such as a foreign agent or an indigenous supporter), in particular when actions result in the destruction or damaging of a productive or vital facility, such as equipment, factories, dams, public services, storage plants or logistic routes. Prime examples of such sabotage are the events of Black Tom and the Kingsland Explosion. Unlike acts of terrorism, acts of sabotage do not always have a primary objective of inflicting casualties. Saboteurs are usually classified as enemies, and like spies may be liable to prosecution and criminal penalties instead of detention as a prisoner of war. It is common for a government in power during war or supporters of the war policy to use the term loosely against opponents of the war. Similarly, German Nationalists spoke of a stab in the back having cost them the loss of World War I. Also see [2]. For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ... Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about structures for water impoundment. ... Public services is a term usually used to mean services provided by government to its citizens, either directly (through the public sector) or by financing private provision of services. ... Look up Logistics in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Black Tom Cassidy is a fictional character, a mutant supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Terrorist redirects here. ... SPY may refer to: SPY (spiders), ticker symbol for Standard & Poors Depository Receipts SPY (magazine), a satirical monthly, trademarked all-caps SPY (Ivory Coast), airport code for San Pédro, Côte dIvoire SPY (Ship Planning Yard), a U.S. Navy acronym SPY, short for MOWAG SPY, a... Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of law that regulates governmental sanctions (such as imprisonment and/or fines) as retaliation for crimes against the social order. ... Detention generally refers to a state or government holding a person in a particular area, either for interrogation, as punishment for a wrong, or as a precautionary measure while investigating a potential threat posed by that person. ... Geneva Convention definition A prisoner of war (POW) is a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who is imprisoned by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict. ... Nationalism is an ethno- political ideology that sustains the concept of a nation- identity for an exclusive group of people. ... Magazine title from 1924, example of a propaganda illustration in support of the legend On November 11, 1918, the civilian representatives of the newly formed Weimar Republic of Germany signed an armistice with the Allies which would end World War I. The war itself had killed 1,770,000 German... “The Great War ” redirects here. ...

The cold war included a subtle form of sabotage. One well documented case is the Soviets Trans-Siberian Pipeline Incident, triggered by the Farewell Dossier. For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... The Farewell Dossier was a collection of documents containing intelligence gathered and handed over to NATO by the KGB defector Colonel Vladimir Vetrov (code-named Farewell) in 1981-1982, during the Cold War. ...

Subtle sabotage has also been employeed for other reasons, including attempting to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities.[1]

Sabotage as part of a crime

Some criminals have engaged in acts of sabotage for reasons of extortion. For example, Klaus-Peter Sabotta sabotaged German railway lines in the late 1990s in an attempt to extort DM10 million from the German railway operator Deutsche Bahn. He is now serving a sentence of life imprisonment. For other uses, see Crime (disambiguation). ... Extortion is a criminal offense, which occurs when a person either obtains money, property or services from another through coercion or intimidation or threatens one with physical harm unless they are paid money or property. ... Klaus-Peter Sabotta was an extortionist who sabotaged German railways in 1998, only six months after the Eschede disaster. ... This is the top-level page of WikiProject trains Rail tracks Rail transport refers to the land transport of passengers and goods along railways or railroads. ... The Deutsche Mark (DM, DEM) was the official currency of West and, from 1990, unified Germany. ... Germanys main train operator, the Deutsche Bahn AG (German Railway Corporation, also known as DB or DBAG) provides passenger and freight service via federally owned tracks. ... Life imprisonment is a sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime, nominally for the entire remaining life of the prisoner, but in fact for a period which varies between jurisdictions: many countries have a maximum possible period of time (usually 50 years) a prisoner may be incarcerated, or require the...

Workplace sabotage

When disgruntled workers damage or destroy equipment or interfere with the smooth running of a workplace, it is called workplace sabotage. This can be as part of an organized group activity, or the action of one or a few workers in response to personal grievances. Luddites and Radical labor unions such as the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) have advocated sabotage as a means of self-defense and direct action against unfair working conditions. The Luddites were a group of English workers in the early 1800s who protested – often by destroying machines – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution that they felt threatened their jobs. ... A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a legal entity consisting of employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers for one employer, or all the workers... The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. At its peak in 1923 the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. ... The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is a union of wage workers which was formed in Chicago in 1905 as a response to disappointment by militant unionists with the conservative American Federation of Labor (AFL). ... For the Canadian urban guerrilla group Direct Action, see Squamish Five. ...

The IWW was shaped in part by the industrial unionism philosophy of Big Bill Haywood, and in 1910 Haywood was exposed to sabotage while touring Europe: Industrial unionism is a labor union organizing method through which all workers in the same industry are organized into the same union — regardless of skill or trade — thus giving workers in one industry, or in all industries, more leverage in bargaining and in strike situations. ... William Dudley Big Bill Haywood (February 4, 1869–May 18, 1928) was a prominent figure in American radical unionism as a leader in the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) and later as a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). ...

The experience that had the most lasting impact on Haywood was witnessing a general strike on the French railroads. Tired of waiting for parliament to act on their demands, railroad workers walked off their jobs all across the country. The French government responded by drafting the strikers into the army and then ordering them back to work. Undaunted, the workers carried their strike to the job. Suddenly, they could not seem to do anything right. Perishables sat for weeks, sidetracked and forgotten. Freight bound for Paris was misdirected to Lyon or Marseille instead.

Ralph Chaplin created the image of a black cat in a fighting stance, the IWW's symbol of sabotage.
Ralph Chaplin created the image of a black cat in a fighting stance, the IWW's symbol of sabotage.
This tactic — the French called it "sabotage" — won the strikers their demands and impressed Bill Haywood.[2]

For the IWW, sabotage came to mean any withdrawal of efficiency — including the slowdown, the strike, or creative bungling of job assignments.[3] Image File history File links Sabcat2. ... Image File history File links Sabcat2. ... Ralph Chaplin (1887—1961) became a labor activist, when at the age of seven, he saw a worker shot dead during the Pullman strike in Chicago, Illinois. ... For other uses, see Black cat (disambiguation). ... The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies) is an international union currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. At its peak in 1923 the organization claimed some 100,000 members in good standing, and could marshal the support of perhaps 300,000 workers. ...

Sabotage in defense of the environment

Certain groups turn to destruction of property in order to immediately stop environmental destruction or to make visible arguments against forms of modern technology considered as detrimental to the earth and its inhabitants. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies use the term eco-terrorist when applied to damage of property. Proponents argue that since property can not feel terror, damage to property is more accurately described as sabotage. Opponents, by contrast, point out that property owners and operators can indeed feel terror. The image of the monkeywrench thrown into the moving parts of a machine to stop it from working was popularized by Edward Abbey in the novel The Monkeywrench Gang and has been adopted by eco-activists to describe destruction of earth damaging machinery. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a federal criminal investigative, intelligence agency, and the primary investigative arm of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). ... The term eco-terrorism is a neologism which has been used to describe acts of violence (as in violence against property), sabotage and/or property damage which are ostensibly motivated by concern for the natural environment. ... Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 - March 14, 1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues and criticism of public land policies. ... The Monkey Wrench Gang is a novel written by American author Edward Abbey (1927-1989), published in 1975. ...

Political sabotage

The term political sabotage is sometimes used to define the acts of one political camp to disrupt, harass or damage the reputation of a political opponent, usually during an electoral campaign.

Product sabotage

Main article: Product sabotage

In marketing and retail, product sabotage is a practice used to encourage the customer to purchase a more profitable product or service as opposed to cheaper alternatives. ...


  1. ^ Sheila MacVicar; Ashley Velie with Amy Guttman. "U.S. Working To Sabotage Iran Nuke Program", CBS News, 2007-May-23. Retrieved on 2007-05-23. 
  2. ^ Roughneck, The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood, Peter Carlson, 1983, page 152.
  3. ^ Roughneck, The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood, Peter Carlson, 1983, pages 196-197.

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 143rd day of the year (144th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


  • Emile Pouget, Le sabotage; notes et postface de Grégoire Chamayou et Mathieu Triclot, 1913; Mille et une nuit, 2004; English translation, Sabotage, paperback, 112 pp., University Press of the Pacific, 2001, ISBN 0-89875-459-3.

See also

Cichociemni in England in 1943 Cichociemni (Polish for Silentdark) were a secret unit of the Polish Army in exile created to maintain contact with occupied Poland during World War II. // Initially the name was informal and used only by the soldiers who volunteered to be dropped over Poland. ... Major General Sir Colin Gubbins (1896-1976) was the prime mover of the SOE (Special Operations Executive) in the Second World War. ... For the Canadian urban guerrilla group Direct Action, see Squamish Five. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ... For other uses, see Fifth Column (disambiguation). ... Guerrilla redirects here. ... Kedyw (acronym for Kierownictwo Dywersji, Polish Directorate of Sabotage and Diversion; probably also a play on the Turkish khedive, which translates into Polish as kedyw): a Polish World War II Armia Krajowa organization that specialized in active and passive sabotage, propaganda and armed action against German forces and collaborators. ... Monkeywrenching is economic warfare by sabotage, often by illegal means, used to slow down or halt an undesired government-sanctioned activity. ... The Vemork hydroelectric plant, site of ammonia production with a militarily important byproduct, heavy water. ... Look up partisan in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Special Operations Executive (SOE), sometimes referred to as the Baker Street Irregulars after Sherlock Holmess fictional group of spies, was a World War II organization initiated by Winston Churchill and Hugh Dalton in July 1940 as a mechanism for conducting warfare by means other than direct military engagement. ... Terrorist redirects here. ... Thomas Joseph Mooney (December 8, 1882 - March 6, 1942) was a U.S. labor leader. ...

External links, resources, and references

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964) was born in Concord, New Hampshire on 7 August, 1890. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Sabotage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (287 words)
Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening an enemy through subversion, obstruction, disruption, and/or destruction.
Radical trade unions, such as the IWW, have advocated sabotage as a means of self-defence and direct action against unfair working conditions.
"Sabotages" are practical joke websites, in which the user is subjected to a scene or series of scenes, to lull the viewer into a false sense of security, only to have a scary or disturbing picture and/or screaming sound effect pop up, thus "sabotaging" them.
  More results at FactBites »



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