SABOTAGE, is the obstruction of an industrial or other process, with the intention of slowing it or bringing it to a halt. The term is most often applied to the destruction of equipment, although it may be extended to cover any act of obstruction, such as refusal to work or interference with the work of others.
Sabotage has a long history in industrial labor strife. During the early years of the industrial Revolution, the weavers of England, seeing their livelihood tlıreatened by the rapid spread of the factory system, often sabotaged the newly introduced poweroperated machinery.
Sabotage has also been widely used as a clandestine political weapon in wartime, particularly in factories engaged in the produetion of goods essential to the condııct of war. During both world wars tlıe intelligence service of the belligerent powers tried to place agents in the work forces of eneıııy manufacturing plants for the express purpose of industrial sabotage, thus creating a majör problem for tlıe agencies of counter intelligence.
The word “sabotage” derives from the French saboter, an expression meaning “to elatter one’s wooden shoes” (sabots), or to work clumsily. Centuries after the term was coined, France gave the world one of its most spectacular exanıples of sabotage on a national scale. During the German occupation of that country in World War II, the French underground, or Maquis, accomplished prodigies of destruction and disruption. They hampered the movement of German troops by dynamiting trains, bridges, and roads, slowed operations in factories by various acts, kidnapped or murdered key personnel, and generally reduced the usefulness of France to tlıe Germans as a military base and as a supplier of goods.