The word “gabion” comes from the Italian “gabbione” which means “big cage” and is a cage, cylinder, or box filled with rocks, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil for use military applications, and in civil engineering and road building too.

In a military context, stone-, earth-, sand- or even snow-filled gabions were (and still are) used to protect soldiers from enemy fire. They are a typical element of mountain trenchs on the Italian front; today’s picture shows a detail of an Austrian one, with an inner metallic grid.


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