Wire obstacles first saw significant military use during the Boer War, and reached their pinnacle during World War I. Relatively elaborate obstacles were also used in some phases of the Korean War, and continue to be used on the Korean Demilitarized Zone, and a few other borders. However the more fluid nature of modern war means that most obstacles used today are relatively simple, temporary barriers.
Tanks can generally flatten unmined wire obstacles, although some are designed to stop vehicles, and the heavier obstacles can sometimes stop light armoured vehicles. Wire obstacles can also be breached by intense artillery shelling or Bangalore Torpedoes.