WO 208/2989: German Army equipment 1939-1945: Mines, Mine Detectors & Demolition Equipment

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by dbf, Jan 28, 2012.

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    TNA Catalogue Reference: WO 208/2989

    Courtesy of [member='Drew5233']

    Extract from FOREWORD [attached]:

    The issue of this publication, two years after the end of the the war in Europe, is designed to put on record essential information on the armament of the German Land Forces during the war. It includes some of the more interesting equipments which were developed, but which, due to the conclusion of hostilities, or to production difficulties, did not come into general service.

    The publication is primarily a photographic record, supported by a brief specification, and in some instances a short description. The material has been drawn from the large collection of matter compiled by the Technical Intelligence Services during and subsequent to the war. Much of it has appeared in the various Technical Intelligence Summaries and Bulletins issued by the War Office, and by G.H.Qs overseas, supplemented by photographs and details added from German sources after the collapse.

    Volume I Infantry Weapons

    Volume II Artillery
    German Army equipment 1939-1945: Artillery

    Volume III Armoured Fighting Vehicles - WO 208-2987 Illustrated Record of German Army Vehicles. 1939-1945 Vol.III AFVs

    Volume IV Vehicles (other than A.F.Vs) - German Army equipment 1939-1945: Vehicles other than Armoured Fighting Vehicles

    Volume V Mines, Detectors, and Demolition Equipment - this thread

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
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    Section/Type/Year of first Production

    Section 1 - Tellermine 29 (T. Mi. 29) - 1929
    Section 2 - Tellermine 35 (T. Mi. 35) - 1935
    Section 3 - Tellermine 35 (Steel) (T. Mi. 35 STAHL) - 1935
    Section 4 - Tellermine 42 (T. Mi. 42) - 1942
    Section 5 - Tellermine 43 (Mushroom Head) (T. Mi. 43 PILZ) - 1943
    Section 6 - L.Pz. Mine - N.K.
    Section 7 - S. Mine 35 (S. Mi. 35) - 1935
    Section 8 - S. Mine 44 (S. Mi. 44) - 1944
    Section 9 - Panzerstab Mine 43 (Pz. Stab Mi. 43) - 1943
    Section 10 - S. Mine Hollow Charge (H.S. Mi. 4672) - 1944
    Section 11 - Anchor Mine Model 3 (ASM - 39) - 1941
    Section 12 - Time Delay Railway Mine - 1941
    Section 13 - Drifting Mine (Type G.L.) (K. Tr Mi. 41) 1941
    Section 14 - Icemine 42 (Eismine 42) - 1942
    Section 15 - Wooden Box Mine V.B. (V.B. Mi. 1) - 1942
    Section 16 - Wooden Box Mine 42 (HOLZMINE 42) - 1942
    Section 17 - Riegelmine 43 (R. Mi. 43) - 1943
    Section 18 - Riegelmine 8 Kg - 1944
    Section 19 - Stockmine 43 (STO. Mi. 43) - 1943
    Section 20 - Schumine 42 (SCHU. Mi. 42) - 1942
    Section 21 - Quick Laying A Tk Mine (Panzersnellminen Types A & B ) - 1944
    Section 22 - Wooden Block A Pers. Mines (100 Gm. Types A & B ) - 1944
    Section 23 - Glasmine 43 (GL. Mi. 43) - 1943
    Section 24 - Bakelite Ointment Box Mine - (SCHÜTZENDOSENMINE) - 1944
    Section 25 - Topfmine (TO. Mi. A4531) - 1944
    Section 26 - Potmine (A. 200) - 1944
    Section 27 - Potmine (S. 150) - 1944
    Section 28 - Potmine (A. 202) - 1944
    Section 29 - Light Metallic A. Tk. Mine - N.K.
    Section 30 - Magnetic Acoustic A. Tk. Mine - 1944
    Section 31 - Naval Magnetic Mines used as A. Tk. Mines - 1944
    Section 32 - A. Tk. and A. Pers. Clay Mine - 1944

    Section/Type/Year of first Production

    Section 1 - Safety Fuze Igniter 29 (ZDSCHN. ANZ 29) - 1929
    Section 2 - Safety Fuze Igniter 39 (ZDSCHN. ANZ 39) - 1939
    Section 3 - Pull and Pressure Igniter (Z. D. Z. 29) - 1929
    Section 4 - Pull Igniter (Z. Z. 35) - 1935
    Section 5 - Pull and Tension Wire Igniters (Zu. Z. Z. 35 - 1935)
    Section 6 - Pull and Pressure Igniter (Z. Z. 42) - 1942
    Section 7 - S. Mine Igniter (S. Mi. Z. 35) - 1935
    Section 8 - S. Mine Electric Igniter (E. S. Mi. Z. 40) - 1940
    Section 9 - S. Mine Igniter (S. Mi. Z. 44) - 1944
    Section 10 - Pressure Igniter (D. Z. 35) - 1935
    Section 11 - Tellermine Igniter 35 (T. Mi. Z. 35) - 1935
    Section 12 - Tellermine Igniter 42 (T. Mi. Z. 42) - 1942
    Section 13 - Tellermine Igniter 43 (T. Mi. Z. 43) - 1943
    Section 14 - Five Minute Clockwork Delay (Zt. Zf. Sp. Bu. 37) - 1937
    Section 15 - Delay Igniter for Egg Hand Grenade (B. Z. E. 39) - 1939
    Section 16 - Egg Hand Grenade Igniter (B. Z. E. 40) - 1940
    Section 17 - Chemical Delay Igniter (C. M. Z. 41) - 1941
    Section 18 - Clockwork Delay Igniter (J. Feder 504)- 1942
    Section 19 - Ice Mine Igniter (F. I. Es. Mi. Z. 42) - 1942
    Section 20 - Tilt Igniter (Kippzuender 43) - 1943
    Section 21 - Snap Igniter (Kn. Z. 43) - 1943
    Section 22 - Buck Chemical Crush Igniters (D. Z. S. F. 5) - 1944
    Section 23 - Topfmine (To. Mi. Z. SF. 1) - 1944
    Section 24 - Lever Pressure Igniter (Hebelzuender SM 4) (SCHUKO) - 1944
    Section 25 - Buck Lever Igniter (Hebelzuender Buck) - 1944
    Section 26 - Anti-Lifting Igniter (E. Z. 44 or E. Z. S. M. 2.) - 1944
    Section 27 - Anti-Lifting Device (E. Z. S.F.3) - 1944
    Section 28 - Frequency Induction Igniter (S. M. 12) - 1944

    CHAPTER 3 - Mine Detectors
    Section 1 - Introduction
    Section 2 - MS 39 Mine Detector Rod
    Section 3 - "Neptun"
    Section 4 - VRG Type 1940 or Aachen
    Section 5 - Berlin 40 Type B
    Section 6 - Templehof 41
    Section 7 - Wien
    Section 8 - Frankfurt
    Section 9 - "Pram"
    Section 10 - Stuttgart
    Section 11 - Lowedal

    CHAPTER 4 - Demolition Equipment
    Section/Type/Year of first Production

    Section 1 - Field Exploders (GLUEHZUENDAPPARAT) - 1926-1940
    Section 2 - Service Detonator No. 8 (SPRENGKAPSEL Nr. 8) - N.K.
    Section 3 - Service Detonator Electric No. 28 (GLUEHZUENDER Nr. 28) - N.K.
    Section 4 - Safety Fuze Igniter Set (SPRENGKAPSELZUENDER Nr. 28) - N.K.
    Section 5 - 100 Gm. Borehole Cartridge (BOHRPATRONE 28) - N.K.
    Section 6 - 200 Gm. Demolition Charge (SPRENGKOERPER 28) - N.K.
    Section 7 - 1 Kg. Demolition Charge (SPRENGBUECHSE 24) - N.K.
    Section 8 - 3 Kg. Demolition Charge (GEBALTELADUNG 3 Kg.) - N.K.
    Section 9 - 10 Kg. Composite Demolition Charge (GEBALTELADUNG 10 Kg.) - N.K.
    Section 10 - Demolition Cartridge Type Z (SPRENGPATRONE Z) - N.K.
    Section 11 - 300 and 400 Gm. Hollow Demolition Charges - N.K.
    Section 12 - Hollow Demolition Charge 12.5 Kg. - N.K.
    Section 13 - Holow Demolition Charge 15 Kg. - N.K.
    Section 14 - Hollow Demolition Charge 50 Kg. - N.K.
    Section 15 - Anti-Tank Magnetic Hollow Charge 3 Kg. - N.K.
    Section 16 - Magnetic Hollow Charge 3.6 Kg. and 4 Kg. (P.H.M.3) - N.K.
    Section 17 - Hollow Ring Charge (HOHLRINGLADUNG 1.2 Kg. 3.2. Kg.) - N.K.
    Section 18 - Bangalore Torpedo 3 Kg. (ROHRLADUNG STAHL 3 Kg.) - N.K.
    Section 19 - Blast Drive Rod D.K. (DONNERKEIL) - N.K.
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    Black and white (E 15172)
    [​IMG]Catalogue number: E 15172
    Subject period Second World War
    Alternative Names: object category: Black and white
    Creator: No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit
    Flack (Sgt)
    South African engineers clear a German minefield in the Western Desert.

    Catalogue number: E 7602
    Subject period Second World War
    Alternative Names: object category: Black and white
    Creator: No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit
    Clements (Sgt)
    South African sappers making German Teller mines safe, 12 January 1942

    Catalogue number: NA 5130
    Subject period Second World War
    Alternative Names: object category: Black and white
    Creator: No 2 Army Film & Photographic Unit
    Whicker (Lt)
    The Drive for Messina 10 July - 17 August 1943: A huge dump of German Teller mines captured by the Americans near Roccopalunba during their drive on Palermo.

    Catalogue number: B 6015
    Subject period Second World War
    Alternative Names: object category: Black and white
    Creator: No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit
    Laing (Sgt)
    Lance Corporal Lodge of 278 Field Company, Royal Engineers, holding a German hollow charge anti-tank magnetic mine during Operation 'Epsom', 26 June 1944.

    Catalogue number: B 6499
    Subject period Second World War
    Alternative Names: object category: Black and white
    Creator: No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit
    Christie (Sgt)
    A sapper of No. 1 Dog Platoon, 277th Field Park Company, Royal Engineers, with his dog 'Nigger', Bayeux, 5 July 1944. The dogs were used to hunt for mines, especially the all-wooden 'Shoe Mine' which was otherwise undetectable.

    Catalogue number: B 8302
    Subject period Second World War
    Alternative Names: object category: Black and white
    Creator: No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit
    Malindine E G (Capt)
    Troops use a mine detector along the side of a road during the offensive south of Caumont, 31 July 1944. A dead German lies in the foreground.


    Norway after liberation 1945
    Catalogue number: BU 9757
    Subject period 1945 - 1975
    Alternative Names: object category: Black and white
    Creator: No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit
    Jones A H (Sergeant)
    A German prisoner engaged in clearing a minefield near Stavanger fixes a fuse to a Teller mine. These mines were too dangerous to move and so were blown up where they were located.

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    This mine was the first of the Tellermine series and although largely superseded before the war by the Tellermine 35 it was encountered in small numbers in the Western Desert as late as 1942.

    The most noteworthy feature of the mine was that it could only be actuated by pressure above the igniters, the small size of which rendered it very insensitive to blast.

    The zinc case of this mine was in two parts. The top slip into the base and was secured by eight tabs passing through slots in the base, bent over and soft soldered. The base was dished for strengthening with six rectangular troughs. The top was slightly domed and contained three adaptors sweated into shallow recesses. These adaptors were fitted with sockets to take the igniters. Three additional sockets were provided for fitting anti-lifting igniters. One of these was in the centre of the base and the remaining two were in the sides of the casing diametrically opposite each other and four inches to the right of the centre of each carrying handle.

    The two carrying handles were steel and were held to the casing within loops of brass strips. They were shaped to fit close to the casing when folded.

    The explosive filling of the mine was cast T.N.T. and the igniter used with it was the ZDZ 29.

    The mine was prepared for laying by inserting the required number of igniters, which might vary from one to six. The firing pressure of the main igniter varied from 99 - 267 lbs depending on the setting. When in use as a pull igniter the operation depended on the withdrawal of one retaining pin from the spring loaded striker.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
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    The second of the Tellermine series this mine was, until 1943, the standard anti-tank mine in use. It was encountered in FRANCE in 1939-40 and in very large numbers throughout the North African campaigns. In spite of the introduction of newer mines, the Tellermine 35 continued to make its appearance until the last days of the war.

    Perhaps the chief advantage over the 29 model was that pressure on any part of the cover would fire the mine although this entailed a considerable increase in blast sensitivity.

    In retrospect both mine and igniter appear to have been too elaborate, since an equivalent efficiency was obtained from subsequent less complicated designs.

    The pressed steel case of the T.Mi.35 was circular with a flat base and slightly convex cover and was provided with a carrying handle on the side. The cover or pressure plate of the mine, which was of aluminium alloy, was held against the flange of a skirt, also of aluminium alloy, by a strong spring. The skirt was secured by screws to the case and a rubber gaiter held by the skirt and fixed to the cover ensured the watertightness of the mine. The main igniter was the T.Mi.35 which screwed into a hole in the centre of the cover with a rubber washer sealing the joint. In the centre of the main body was a well for the detonating assembly which consisted of the detonator and its retaining collar and positioning the base of the main igniter rested on a rubber washer on the collar and incorrect positioning rendered the mine either too sensitive or too sluggish.

    Two additional igniter sockets were provided for fitting anti-handling devices, one in the side opposite the handle and the other in the base between the handle and the centre of the mine.

    The main filling of the mine was cast T.N.T. and there was a primer of pressed T.N.T. round each of the igniter sockets.

    A maker's code number and the date of manufacture was stencilled or stamped on the cover and the subsidiary igniter sockets were covered with paper labels on which was printed "T.Mi.35" and details of the year of manufacture and filling.

    The mine was nominally laid under about four inches of soil, measured from the cover. As the mine was delivered with the igniter and detonator in place, all that remained to be done when the mine was laid in the ground was to turn the screw on the top of the igniter from "Sicher" to "Scharf" and then to withdraw the safety bolt with the wire provided. The mines when buried were to be laid a distance of 4 metres (13 ft.) apart or when laid on the top of the ground 8 metres (26 ft.) apart.

    A special tool was provided for adjusting the positioning collar before issuing the mine. After the detonator and its retaining collar had been inserted and the collar screwed up with a special key, the positioning collar was put in and screwed in a short distance. The special tool was then screwed into the hole in the cover, having first had the igniter washer put on it. The tool consisted of a housing with a key sliding through the centre. This key was engaged in the collar which was then screwed up until a mark on the key coincided with a mark on the housing. The collar was then positioned correctly and secured by screwing up a grub screw until it came against the detonator collar.

    Pressure anywhere on the lid sufficient to overcome the main spring and shear the shear pin in the igniter would fire the mine. As the mine was very nearly airtight this pressure varied considerably; thus a sustained load of 300 lbs was sufficient to fire the mine, while with a sharply applied pressure, the load required was in the order of 650 lbs. The official German figures were given as approximately 400 lbs at the centre and approximately 200 lbs at the edge of the mine.

    A special device for producing a rapid obstacle across roads was often effectively used. This was a pressure bar consisting of a narrow bar fitted at either end with a circular junction piece in two semi-circular halves which could be used to connect a number of bars together. Two or more Tellermines were placed in line at intervals of 1.5 metres (approx. 5 ft.) and the pressure bars laid across them and connected in such a way that the main igniter of each mine projected through the circular hole in the centre of the two semi-circular plates of the junction pieces. The whole assembly then formed a rigid 'stick' of five or six mines which could be picketed at one end and swung across the road by means of a rope attached to the other end. Sockets were provided at intervals along the sides of the bars for attachment of camouflage covering which could be inserted prior to laying if the obstacle was to be used in a hurry. As an example of the time required to lay this type of obstacle seven Tellermines plus six bars could be assembled by five men in three minutes.

    The mine was supplied in special steel cases each holding two mines which were packed igniter to igniter.
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    The third of the Tellermine series, this mine was a modification of the Tellermine 35, introducing certain simplifications which increased the east of manufacture and effected a certain saving of materials. It was first encountered in LIBYA in early 1943 but was never so widely used as either the Tellermine 35 or 42. The flutings on the lid were at first thought to be for the better retention of sand on the top of the mine but almost certainly they were to increase the strength of the lid.

    The pressed steel body of the mine was similar to that of the Tellermine 35 with the exception of the detonator and igniter well which was a simple socket for the reception of the igniter and detonator. The pressed steel cover had twelve flutings and a flat ring spot-welded underneath to increase its strength. A plug, which acted as a pressure cap, screwed into the centre of the cover. The cover was held against a steel skirt, fixed to the body of the mine by punches, by a spring, while a rubber collar between the cover and the mine body protected the operating mechanism from moisture and dust.

    Two subsidiary igniter sockets and a carrying handle were provided in the same positions as in the Tellermine 35.

    The mien was filled with cast T.N.T. while round each igniter socket was a penthrite pellet as a primer.

    The main igniter employed with this mine was the T.Mi.Z.42 although the T.Mi.Z.35 could also be used.

    The mines were laid just under the surface with a depth of note [sic] more than two inches of earth on the cover and at a distance of at least six and a half feet (2 metres) apart. If the mine was laid on the surface for any reason this distance had to be increased to thirteen feet.

    Before laying, the screw plug was taken out and the well in the mine tested with a wooden gauge which was the same size as the T.Mi.42 Igniter with detonator attached. If the plug could be screwed in fully with the gauge in, the mine was fit for use; the igniter was then inserted, the plug screwed in, and the mine was ready for laying.

    When laid, a pressure varying from 500 lbs at the edge to 650 lbs at the centre, will fire the mine.

    The Tellermine 35 Steel was either carried in pairs in a special sheet metal case or singly in a wooden crate. The mines were never carried with the igniters inserted, these were always packed separately.
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    This was the most widely used of the Tellermine from 1943 onwards. The chief difference from the previous mine was in the reduced size of the cover or pressure plate. This reduction ensured that at least two thirds of the charge would be under the track or wheel when the mine fired. It also increased the blast proof qualities of the mine, rendering it less sensitive to levee charge clearance methods. It was first encountered on both fronts in NORTH AFRICA in early 1943 and from then on was encountered in increasing numbers until it was probably the most frequently encountered of the Tellermines. By the end of the war it was to have been the only one still in production.

    The pressed steel explosive container of the mine had a well in the middle of the upper surface, in the centre of which was a socket for the igniter. Over this well and retained against a flange round the edges of the well by a coil spring was a fluted cover of pressure plate. This cover, like that of the Tellermine 35 (Stahl), had a plug screwed into its centre which acted as s pressure cap. There was a rubber gaiter similar to that of the Tellermine 35 (Stahl) between cover and mine body. A carrying handle on the side of the mine was provided, and two subsidiary igniter sockets, one beside the handle of the other in the base between the centre and outside opposite the first.

    The mine was filled with cast T.N.T. or Amatol while round each igniter socket was a primer of P.E.T.N./Wax.

    The main igniter was the T.Mi.Z.42 and the T.Mi.Z.43 could also be used.

    The mine was laid under about two inches of soil and at least 2m (6 ft. 6 inches) apart. If laid on the surface of the ground the distance had to be increased to 4m (13 ft.). The mine was always armed after laying, the arming being carried out as follows: The pressure cap was unscrewed, a metal or wooden model of the igniter inserted and the cap screwed on again. If the cap screwed up fully, the igniter socket was clear and the model could be removed and replaced by the igniter. Thus the possibility that some obstruction in the socket would cause the pressure cap to bear on the igniter and so fire it was obviated.

    When laid and armed, a pressure of 340 kg (750 lbs) on the cover caused the igniter to fire and detonate the mine.

    The mine was either packed in the same metal case as the Tellermine 35 (Stahl) holding two mines, or in a wooden crate holding one mine.
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    This mine was the last of the Tellermine series to be encountered during the war. It made its first appearance at approximately the same time as the T.Mi.35 (Stahl) and was used in all campaigns though never in such quantities as the T.Mi.35 or T.Mi.42. By the end of the war it had gone out of production although existing stocks were still being used.

    Two types of modifications were found in ITALY and FRANCE details of which are discussed more fully in the description of the mine. The first involved modification to the mushroom head pressure plate, whilst the second tended towards rapidity of manufacture by excluding the anti-lifting igniter sockets and simplifying the general profile of the mine.

    The body was made of pressed steel in to parts, the charge container and the base, the size and shape being approximately the same as previous models of the Tellermine.

    After filling, the base was placed in position and secured by turning over the edge of the charge container. The joint was sealed with a bituminous compound. The main igniter socket was spot-welded to the underside of the charge container, and threaded to take a screwed adaptor.

    In place of the usual cover plate a mild steel mushroom head pressure plate screwing into the ignition socket was fitted. This pressure plate consisted of two strong mild steel sheets held apart by a thin metal envelope to which they were spot-welded. The lower sheet was spot-welded to an adaptor which screwed into the igniter socket.

    In July 1944 the first modification was encountered. In this case the upper sheet instead of being spot-welded to the cover had one corrugation and was crimped to the cover. This decreased the risk of damage during transit. A further modification was later introduced with four corrugations instead of one.

    Two threaded sockets were provided for anti-lifting igniters, one in the side of the mine and the other in the base. The position of these sockets varied, and later, in July 1944, mines were found without any.

    A primer of PETN/Wax in the proportion of 89/11 surrounded each of the igniter sockets while the main filling was Amatol 50/50.

    The main igniter employed with the mine was the T.Mi.Z.42 although if the pressure head was adapted by making a dent in the centre the T.Mi.Z.43 could be used. With the plain head the weak shear wire of the T.Mi.Z43 was only sheared at the last turn of the mushroom head.

    T.Mi. Pilz 43/T.Mi.Z42 - 13A was stencilled in white on the body of the mine and a maker's code number and date of manufacture was stamped on the under surface of the mushroom head and on the charge container.

    The mine was armed by removing the mushroom head pressure plate, inserting the igniter and detonator in the igniter socket and replacing the mushroom head.

    The firing pressure quoted in the official German handbook was 320 Kgs (705 lbs).

    The T.Mi.43 Pilz was carried singly in a wooden crate. During carriage a specially constructed wooden block was placed in the igniter socket, in place of a live igniter.
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    The L.Pz. Mine was first encountered during the German occupation of CRETE. It was essentially for use by airborne troops, its lightness and the rapidity with which it could be laid making it extremely suitable for this role. Apart from CRETE the mine was never met in any great quantity, this was for two reasons. Firstly it was too expensive for general production and secondly the explosive charge was too small to ensure that a tank detonating the mine would be put out of action.

    It was of novel design and elaborate method of construction, containing five igniters. An air space between the explosive filling and the mine casing served to lessen the risk of detonation on hitting the ground after being dropped from aircraft. The mine was very insensitive to blast.

    The mine was probably intended to be used chiefly as an anti-tank weapon but could be adjusted to function as a very sensitive anti-personnel mine when bedded on a hard surface.

    The mine consisted of a pressed steel out casing in two halves, the upper half being lipped to fit tightly over the lower half. The joint was made water-proof with adhesive tape after the mine had been assembled. The explosive filling was held in a sealed sheet metal container and was secured to the top casing by three bolts. Also attached to the underside of the top casing by five screws was a flash chamber, detonator retaining collar and main detonator. Five hollow brass tubes connected the flash chamber with the percussion caps of five pressure igniters which were equally spaced radially and located by hexagonal headed nuts securing them to the upper casing. Similar hexagonal nuts with steel washers secured the lower portions of the igniters to the bottom casing. Small felt washers on the inner side of the casing made the joint waterproof.

    The pressure igniters operated on the same principle as the S.Mi.Z.35 igniter but used bolts instead of balls to hold the striker as in the Zu.ZZ.35 igniter. The spring-loaded striker was held in position by two small bolts housed in holes in the hollow portion of the plunger. Depression of this plunger against the action of the spring caused the bolts to move clear of the sleeve. The bolts then flew out, thus releasing the spring-loaded striker which fired the percussion cap in the holder.

    The safety device consisted of a milled nut, the stem of which passed through the flash chamber. The nut carried a white radial line, an arrow pointing clockwise and the word Sicher (Safe). By turning the milled head in a clockwise direction until the white line coincided with a white spot painted on the top of the mine, a small aperture between the flash chamber and the detonator was closed so preventing the passage of flashes through the tubes. Some mines were encountered in which the milled head was protected by a small cover plate secured by two bayonet catches.

    The explosive filling was pressed T.N.T.

    The mine was actuated by pressure on the top cover forcing the external sleeve of the igniter downwards against the spring. When the two retaining bolts were released the spring-loaded striker moved forward and fired a percussion cap. The flash from this cap was transmitted through the flash tubes to the main detonator.

    The mine was dropped with the igniters in position and was armed by turning the central milled screw in an anti-clockwise direction. This ensured a free passage to the main detonator for a flash coming from one of the five igniters.

    The mine could be used in an anti-personnel role by unscrewing the five hexagonal nuts on top of the cover plate and laying the mine on a hard surface. Under these circumstances the pressure required to fire the mine was merely that required to overcome the igniter springs, the actual load required depending on the point of application and the evenness of the surface on which the mine was rested. It might be as low as 10 lbs.

    The case used for dropping the L.Pz. mine consisted of a wooden lid and base joined together by four iron rods. Two of these roads were fastened rigidly to the base and hinged to the lid whilst the other two were hinged at one end to the base and at the other end were provided with wing nuts to fit over slots in the edge of the lid. The case carried five mines, both lid and base being provided with pieces of wood containing felt lined sockets for positioning the mines. Two carrying handles were provided on the lid and base.

    The "single" mine was place in the case with its central milled screw pointing outwards; the remaining four mines were then placed in position so that the milled screws of both pairs of mines pointed towards each other.

    The cases were dropped from aircraft in mobile containers. Two methods of loading were employed:-

    (i) Three cases, each containing five mines, were loaded into the container, the remaining space being occupied by ammunition, demolition stores, etc.

    (ii) Four cases were loaded into the container. In this method there was no room inside the container for the wheels and handle; hence the container ceased to be mobile.
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    The first S Mines were found in the Western Desert in late 1940. The use of this type of mine was steadily increased in places where wheel and tracks could not venture, and early in 1942 it began to be employed in large quantities in anti-tank minefields. The mines continued to be used both in extensive prepared defensive belts and in a 'nuisance' role throughout the Sicilian and Italian campaigns, and later in North-West EUROPE up to the last days of the war.

    Fields of S Mines were extremely effective and the passage of them constituted a very serious problem which was never satisfactorily solved. The lethal range of the mine was 65 feet although the danger area extended to a radius of 100 yards. The size of the shrapnel fragments was large compared with those used in the British shrapnel mine and thence the number of fragments in the mine was low. Therefore though the theoretical lethal range was high the chances of being hit by a fragment were relatively small.

    The efficiency of this mine is illustrated by the fact that, although first produced in 1935, no major modification was introduced until 1944 when the S Mine 44 made its appearance and even this new type incorporated the salient features of the earlier mine.

    The mine consisted of an outer steel casing inside which were two steel cylinders. The outer of these cylinders fitted closely to the outer casing and the space between the inner and outer cylinder was packed with about 350 steel balls. The bottom of both cylinders fitted into grooves in a circular metal base plate which was secured to the bottom of the outer casing by three screws. Contained within the inner cylinder was a central igniter tube, externally threaded at the top, and three brass detonator tubes all of which were screwed at their lower ends to the bast plate. At the bottom of the igniter tube was a small powder train leading to the main propellant charge which ejected the mine from the outer casing. This charge was contained within the base plate by a convex lead plate. At the bases of the detonator tubes were short delay trains above which were No. 8 detonators which were inserted from the top of the tubes, open end downwards. At the top of the mine was a cover plate which was fitted closely to the mine body by a metal band soldered round the top edge. Earlier types of the mine were not fitted with this band which was probably added to improve the waterproofing qualities. In the cover plate was a hole through which the central tube protruded. A lock nut screwed down the central tube held over the head of the tube. Three further holes in the cover plate above the detonator tubes were closed by screw plugs. A larger hole, also closed by a screw plug, was used for filling the explosive into the mine.

    Modifications to the mine were continually being introduced, largely with a view to effecting savings in types and quantities of material. In its main essentials however the mine remained the same.

    The filling of the mine varied but was usually poured T.N.T. or T.N.T. powder. The weight of the filling might vary by as much as 6 ozs but was usually 1 lb.

    The mine was actuated by any one of the following methods:-

    (i) Direct pressure on a push igniter screwed on to the top of the central tube.

    (ii) By tension being exerted on one or more trip wires attached to pull igniters which replaced the push igniter.

    (iii) By controlled electric firing in which case standard electric detonators were screwed into the mine instead of the igniter

    (iv) By use of the S.Mi.Z40 electric igniter.

    Functioning the igniter initiated the powder train at the base of the central tube. After a 4 1/2 second delay, burning of the ejection charge projected the mine body less the outer casing into the air. Simultaneously the powder delay trains at the bottom of the igniter tubes were initiated, and after a 1/7 second delay, sufficient to allow the contents to rise in the air, the detonators were fired and explosion of the main charge resulted. The exploding therefore took place when the contents of the mine were between 3 and 5 feet above ground, the exact height depending on the condition of the mine, the nature of the ground, the depth at which the mine was buried, and the density of the camouflage layer.

    The mine was armed by inserting one No. 8 detonator open end downwards in each of the three detonator tubes. The screw plugs were then replaced. THe transit cap was unscrewed from the central tube and replaced by a push igniter. Alternatively, a metal Y-piece could be screwed over the top of the tube and the requisite number and type of pull igniters placed in position and trip wires attached to them. Late in the war a three way adapter was introduced with a central vertical screwed recess for a push igniter and two side recesses for pull igniters.

    The igniters used with S Mines are described in Chapter 2. They included the S.Mi.Z35 (Section 37), ZZ 35 (Section 34), Zu. ZZ 35 (Section 35) and ZZ 42 (Section 36).

    The mine was laid in a hole tapered slightly at the bottom, with the top of the igniter projecting just above ground level; the surrounding earth was gently pressed down. If the ground was not firm enough to stop the outer casing being driven down by the propellant charge a board was laid beneath the mine. A special tool was provided to cut the correct shaped hole. A German handbook stated that if trip mines were used they were not to exceed 20 yards in length and were to be led down over a peg to the igniter. If the mine was lashed to a tree it was to be supported on a nail. The distance between mines was 6ft. 6 ins. and between rows of mines 13 ft.

    The firing pressure was that required to actuate the igniters, i.e., 7 to 11 lbs.

    In ITALY some S-Mines were lifted which contained a detonator instead of the 4 second delay train at the bottom of the igniter tube. The mine then detonated instantaneously before it had time to jump.

    S-Mines were carried in wooden boxes, three to a box. Accessories in the shape of igniters, adaptors and detonators were supplied in a metal container for every nine mines.
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    This mine was only encountered during the closing months of the war and never in large quantities, though it was probably intended to supersede the S.Mine 35.

    It differed in few respects from its prototype and tended more towards economy of material and improved water-proofness than to new design. The principal innovations were an attempt to regulate the height above ground level at which the mine would explode and an attempt to ensure equal distribution of fragments by a single detonator or centrally placed as opposed to three eccentrically positions detonators in the S.Mi.35.

    The general appearance of the mine was similar to that of the S.Mine 35.

    The cover plate fitted inside the outer casing, the joint being sealed with a waterproofing compound. In the cover plate there were three holes closed by screw plugs; one was for pouring in the explosive charge, one was the igniter socket beneath which was a celluloid tube containing a 4 1/2 second delay pellet and a propellant charge of fast burning gunpowder, and beneath the third hole, which was closed by a combined screw nut and wooden plug, was a No. 8 detonator, percussion cap and pull igniter. The pull igniter was fixed to the base of the mine, and consisted of a spring loaded striker the sleeve of which was held beneath the internal shoulders of the igniter case by two balls. The balls were prevented from moving inwards by a pin, the lower end of which was attached by 2 ft. 10 ins. of coiled wire to the bottom of the outer casing.

    The mine was filled with steel fragments in place of the steel balls of the S.Mine 35.

    The mine was fired by actuation of the igniter initiating the 4 1/2 second delay pellet which in turn initiated the propellant charge. Firing of the latter charge ejected the mine leaving the outer case in the ground. When the coiled wire was fully extended it pulled the pin from the igniter and enabled the retaining balls to move in. This released the striker which was forced upwards and fired the percussion cap, detonator and main charge.

    The mine was armed by inserting a No. 8 detonator open end downwards in the detonator tube. The Germans stated that the following igniters could be used with the mine - S.Mi.Z44, ZZ42, S.Mi.Z35 or it could be fired with an electric detonator. In actual fact the only mines found were fitted with the S.Mi.Z35 igniters.

    The mine was laid in the same manner as the S Mine 35. If an S.Mi.Z44 igniter was used only the wings of the igniter should show. In snow, however, the whole head of the igniter was left clear to prevent the introduction of moisture.
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    This mine was designed on the hollow charge principle, and although production was abandoned after 25,000 had been made, it undoubtedly had treat potentialities. No instance is recorded of the mine being used operationally and it is believed that petty internal jealousies were responsible for the suppression of it.

    The mine consisted of a parabolic shaped hollow charge with a zinc liner. The charge screwed on to a hollow tube which had a centrally situated partition so forming two chambers. The lower chamber acted as a socket and fitted over the rounded end of a wooden stake. A flash tube with standard threaded socket for an igniter was welded to the outside of the upper chamber. The primer and detonator assembly consisted of a Zündladung 34 which was a standard gain filled with P.E.T.N. and wax and was used in H.E. shells. The assembly was situated in the bottom of the charge and projected into the upper chamber of the hollow tube. A thin metal cover was crimped over the top of the mine.

    The main filling in the mine was 10 ozs of RDX/TNT in the proportion 50/50 and the igniter to be used was either the Knick - or Kipp - Zunder described in Sections 20, 21, chapter 2. The colour of the mine was buff and the designation was stencilled on one side of it.

    The mine was design to operate against the belly of a tank and was buried flush with the ground, the stake ensuring that it remained upright. It was actuated by the rod of the igniter being tilted so causing the igniter to be fired and a flash to pass down the flash tube. This flash fired the detonator and primer and so in turn the main charge. It was estimated that the charge would penetrate 1.6 ins of armour plate at a distance of 20 inches.

    The mines and stakes were packed and carried in wooden boxes of five.
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    This mine included the basic principles of the standard S-mine and of hollow charges and was both anti-tank and anti-personnel in effect. Similar to the S-mine it propelled the main charge out of the ground which exploded upon contact with a vehicle, or alternatively in mid-air, after a short delay, with anti-personnel effect. A hollow charge and a concrete fragmentation collar provided for these two effects. Slight variations of the mine were known to exist but in no case did these modifications affect the general purpose or design. THere is no record that the mine was ever used operationally.

    The mine-body was cylindrical with a cone shaped top and an external flash tube which was attached to one side by a union and a detachable bracket.

    An outer container was fixed to the wooden base by four screws. An inner container held the hollow charge and the concrete fragmentation collar, and at the bottom of the mine in the space between the two containers was housed the propellant charge of black power in a cellophane collar. The igniter housing contained a primer complete with cap, detonator and impact igniter, the igniter consisting merely of a weighed striker and creep spring. The housing was closed by a threaded metal cap. A spacer head fitted over the top of the mine like a cover, the junction between it and the inner container being waterproofed by a rubber gasket.

    The concrete fragmentation collar rested on the base of the inner container with its sloping inner face against the hollow charge. A space in the collar contained two primers with cap and detonator which were placed over a time delay fuze.

    A powder train was incorporated in the flash tube near the union and this was fired by a special cap assembly fitted at the head of the tube.

    The main filling was 3 1/3 lbs of RDX/TNT 50/50 and the exterior of the mine was painted a buff colour.

    The mine was actuated by the flash produced from the igniter being transmitted via the special cap assembly and powder train to the propellant charge, which propelled the inner container into the air and at the same time initiated the delay fuze. On striking a vehicle the impact igniter fired the hollow charge, the correct "stand-off" being provided by the spacer head. If no vehicle was hit by the time the delay fuze had burnt through, the primers were fired, so detonating the hollow charge which caused fragmentation of the concrete collar with resulting anti-personnel effects.

    The mine was armed by inserting an impact fuze at the base and screwing either a Knick - or Kipp - Zünder into the top of the flash tube. An alternative igniter socket was provided low down in one side of the mine, into which could be fitted any igniter or anti-lifting device with a standard screw-thread. The mine was buried flush with the ground and under these circumstances would penetrate 100mm. of armour plate.

    The mines were carried in crates of two, the wooden bases forming the end of the crate. The impact igniters were packed separated in cartons of ten.
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    This mine was developed in 1941 to meet the demand for a small H.E. mine to be used against light targets in still waters.

    The body of the mine consists of a cylinder containing 6 1/2 lbs of H.E. and carrying the electrical ignition system in its lower part. This cylinder has a buoyancy chamber around it containing a material similar to KAPOK. Three pressure switches are arranged round the top of the buoyancy chamber.

    The mine is held below the surface by a weight resting on the bottom and connected to a spring operated drum in the base of the mine and by a float at the surface of the water which locates the mines vertical position exactly. The mine is suitable for tidal waters.

    The ignition system consists of the following parts:-

    (a) Dry battery
    (b) Main safety switch
    (c ) Delay arming switch, with soluble plug (salt) coupled to
    (d) Neutralising switch, with tension wire actuating system
    (e) Warning lamp
    (f) Electrical detonator
    (g) Pressure firing switches

    Parts a to g will be understood from the drawings. As shown in Fig. 2 the soluble plug dissolves after about 20 minutes, thus releasing the release lever and permitting the delay arming switch to close.

    To neutralise the mine the tension wire, running along the exterior of the mine, has to be cut. This allows the neutralising switch to move into the closed position, at the same time opening the delay arming switch. The mine is now safe and the warning lamp lights.

    The results of German tests revealed that the float made the mine too conspicuous and it was intended to develop a completely submerged mine on the lines of the ASM-39. There is no information of any further model.
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    This mine is contained in a light wooden box measuring 9 ins by 9 ins by 4 1/4 ins deep. The lid is screwed on and a hole in it is covered by a rubber disc. Through the centre of this disc protrude the pressure head and the booby trap plunger which operate the mine. The mine contains 8 1/2 lbs of T.N.T. in blocks. Within the mine, about the middle of one side, is housed the battery. This consists of an ordinary torch battery of three cells giving a maximum voltage of 4.8 volts. Screwed to the wooden cover, over the battery, is a thin insulating disc on which are fixed the two switch mechanisms. The main detonator is screwed into the rear of the clock time-delay mechanism and the whole unit is inserted in the mine through a hole in the side of the box. This hole is covered by a sliding plate. The time delay is operated by a small clock which has a graduated disc marked from 1 to 21 days delay. At the end of the "set" period, the clock closes the circuit and the mine can then be fired if the pressure head is depressed.

    The secondary detonator is inserted through a hole in the lid of the box. The detonator screws into the end of a holder with contact strips. This holder contains the firing bridge.

    The circuit which includes the secondary detonator is quite independent of the circuit described above and contains no time delay. The operating switch is the central plunger, which, when allowed to rise, completes the circuit. This same circuit is also completed if a metallic pin is pushed in the safety-pin hole just below the pressure head.

    In the side and the base of the box are holes which could be used to take additional igniters of the trip-wire type. The sockets in the side of the box are intended to be used for testing the circuit after the mine has been laid.

    When the mine is laid, the booby-trap plunger is placed in the depressed position against the underside of a railway sleeper. The safety-pin is withdrawn and the detonator inserted. The positions of the detonator near one corner of the box facilitates this operation. After the clock has been set, the time delay mechanism, with detonator, is inserted and the hole closed by the sliding disc.

    In lifting the mine it is recommended that the delay mechanism should be removed first, then any booby traps, thirdly the secondary detonator if it is exposed. It should be noted that the following rules must be obeyed:-

    (a) ON NO ACCOUNT allow the central plunger to rise while the detonators are still in the mine.

    (b) ON NO ACCOUNT insert a metallic pin (an electrical conductor) in the safety pin hole.

    (c) Do not exert pressure on the pressure head whilst the main detonator is still in the mine.
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    This mine, which was designed to damage low level river bridges, was first encountered in RUSSIA and later in ITALY and North-West EUROPE.

    The first German drifting mine was of wood and was essentially an improvisation. The Type GL mine was constructed from steel and was of complex design. Antennae were attached to the mine body by a steel rod and when these came in contact with an object such as a floating bridge, the rod was deflected, so completing an electric circuit within the main body and firing the mine. The mine was also fitted with a self-destroying clockwork device which operated after a set period if no obstacle was encountered.

    The body was oval in shape and constructed from steel in two halves which were welded together. A steel drum acting as a stand was welded to the base of the mine. This drum had four slots at the top though which water could pass and circulate round the mine. Two handles were provided for carrying the mine.

    The mine had a buoyancy chamber, an explosive chamber and four buoyancy adjusting compartments. The latter contained a number of steel balls and were closed by screw plugs. Running vertically through the mine were two hollow steel tubes. One was offset and contained the exploder assembly, the other was centrally placed and contained the arming assembly. Fixed in the top of the central tube was a bakelite collar with a brass contact ring embedded in it from which led an insulated wire fixed at its far end to a spring-loaded contact pin held in a bakelite holder at the top of the exploder pocket.

    The telescopic rod consisted of five sections enclosed (in the unarmed position) within a brass arming tube in turn fitted inside the central tube. The lower ends of the sections were retained by a soluble paste. Four of the sections were hollow spring-loaded brass tubes but the fifth and top section was of solid steel and carried four curved antennae. A wooden stabilising float was provided, and when the mine was armed and the telescopic rod fully extended the float was free to rise or fall on the top section. Four slots in the top of the float protected the wire antennae when the rod was in the armed position.

    The brass arming tube made a loose fit inside the central steel tube and its upper end was only restricted in lateral movement by a rubber gasket. The gasket fitted over the brass tube and was gripped at its circumference by the steel tube. The upper end of the arming tube carried a bakelite ring which, in the unarmed position, lay opposite the contact ring in the steel tube. The assembly in the top of the arming tube was completed by a brass retaining collar which retained the last section of the telescopic rod. At the lower end of the tube a second rubber gasket was held in a similar fashion to the one at the upper end. A strong steel spring fitted above the gasket and was held down by a steep cap which made a lip fit under a ledge welded to the inside of the central steel tube. Below the rubber gasket a base assembly plug screwed into the central tube. This contained essentially two perforated steel tubes which guided the lower ends of the telescopic rod and a holder in which there was a soluble plug. A safety pin passed right through this base assembly.

    The exploder assembly was contained in the second vertical tube. It consisted of a clock, a battery in a bakelite tube, an aluminium quick-match holder with the detonator in a bakelite adaptor and two primer charges. The assembly was held in position by a spring-loaded buffer and plug.

    (i) The clock was similar in size and appearance to the clocks used in Rheinmetallfuze 17, which were employed in aircraft bombs. Insulation plates at top and bottom of the clock carried brass contacts which were connected by an insulated wire passing through the body. The action of the clock was to short the top contact to earth through the body after a pre-selected delay. The delay was given by a spring loaded lever which had a detent which moved slowly round the surface of the setting disc until it finally engaged in a slot in the disc. The clock could be set to give a delay of up to six days.

    (ii) The battery consisted of two dry cells giving approximately 3 volts, and was held in a bakelite tube.

    (iii) The quick-match consisted of a short strip of pressed cardboard with tinfoil on either side and the match composition at one end. The stick was held between two brass plates. One was insulated from the aluminium holder, and had a contact pin on the outside, whilst the other was earthed through the holder by a brass contact strip. The holder was screwed into the top of a bakelite adapter which carried the detonator.

    (iv) The detonator case was made of brass and fitted into the primer charges, which were of pre-cast penthrite and weighed approximately 100 grams. The main explosive filling was poured T.N.T. and weighed approximately 25 1/2 lbs.

    When used operationally the safety pin was removed from the base of the mine before launching. After about 20 minutes immersion, the soluble plug and paste were completely dissolved and the arming tube settled down under the influence of the spring (below he lower rubber gasket). The telescopic rod then rose to its full height and the mine was fully armed.

    When the rod was fully deflected by a bridge or other obstruction, the arming tube touched the contact ring (below the upper rubber gasket) and completed the firing circuit. If the mine was not previously detonated it was fired when the clock had run its pre-selected time.

    The Germans also designed another drifting mine known as the type GLP for use in rivers and lakes. In essentials it was similar to the GL mine although differing considerably in details, and like the earlier mine was provided with a self destroying device in addition to the conventional contact operation mechanism. It has not been described in detail as neither the time designation nor the extent of use of the mine is known.
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    This mine was designed for use in RUSSIA to blow gaps in ice-bound rivers or lakes so forming a water obstacle. As the water was liable to re-freeze rapidly, the mine was designed so that it could be left in the water under the ice, and only detonated on the approach of the enemy.

    Presumably the Germans held considerable surplus stocks of the Eismine after their withdrawal from RUSSIA for it reappeared in North-West EUROPE in October 1944[.B], used as an improvised anti-personnel and anti-tank mine. The small amount of metal employed made it difficult to detect with a standard mine detector.

    The mine consisted of a thick glass bottle resembling a quart milk bottle, and contained approximately 4 lbs of Gelatine-Donarit, a brick-red explosive of the dynamite type. The igniter assembly fitted in the neck of the bottle and varied according to the type of igniter used. If a Fl.Es.Mi.Z igniter was used it fitted into a wooden plug and was enclosed by a metal screw cap. If a ZZ 42 igniter or electric detonator was used, it screwed into a similar metal screw cap which was well-shaped in the centre and fitted with a standard German thread.

    Eismines used in their genuine role were suspended through holes in the ice 6 feet below the surface by means of wire and wooden cross pieces, and were normally spaced about 16 feet apart. Detonation was initiated electrically through the Angangs Eismine (Initiating Icemine), and the detonation wave was carried through the water to the nearest Eismine, where the impact of the wave fired the igniter and so the mine. The same process was followed for the next mine and for as many other mines as there might be. In ice of 1 ft. thickness a breach of 30 - 60 ft. width was created by a row of Eismines. In ice over 2 ft. thick two mines were used in each hole.

    A "normal" mine was armed by fitting a detonator over the flash tube of the FI.Es.Mi.Z igniter. With a small wooden rod an indent was made in the explosion large enough to take the detonator, though in later types of the mine this was not necessary as the mines had a penthrite topping with a ready made recess. The igniter and detonator were then slipped into the wooden plug and the mine sealed by screwing on a metal cap fitted internally with a rubber washer. Waterproofing was completed by slipping a rubber cap over the neck of the bottle.

    The "initiating" mine contained no wooden plug. An indent in the explosive filling was made as before, but a different type of metal cap with a central well was screwed over the top of the mine. An electrical detonator (Gluhzünder 28) was fitted into this well, and all external joints were then thoroughly waterproofed with a wax compound. The leads from the electric detonator were connected to the main firing circuit.

    On the laying site a hole was made in the ice and the mine was lowered into the water by the suspension wire, the free end being wound round a wooden suspension bar which lay flat across the ice above the hole. Two initiating mines were used per row, one at a third of the length and the other at two thirds. As these mines had no percussion igniter a "normal" type mine was tied to each with insulating tape so that the detonating wave would not be interrupted. Instead of being fired electrically, safety fuse could be used.

    When used as an improvised mine an S.Mi. Z 35 igniter or a ZZ 42 igniter was inserted in the neck of the bottle and the mine was fired by pressure. Mines were also found completely encased in concrete to give a shrapnel effect on detonation.

    15 Eismines were carried in a wooden box complete with all accessories. One such box weighed 132 lbs.
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    This mine was first encountered in ITALY in December, 1943. The German designation V.B. Mi. 1 (Vorbereite Behelfsmine 1) (Prepared Improvised Mine No. 1) indicated that this mine, although encountered in the field later than the Holzmine 42, and in very much fewer numbers, was in fact the prototype.

    It was very similar to the Holzmine 42 and differed only in the following respects.

    (a) There were no dividing partitions.

    (b) The wooden blocks on either side of the igniter rest extended for the full length of the end compartment.

    (c ) The internal width of the end compartment was reduced by 1/3, so increasing the space for the main charge.

    (d) The lid of the mine was screwed down with four screws.

    (e) The pegs on either side of the pressure block hole in the lid were replaced by wooden blocks nailed through the lid.

    (f) Two wooden pallets nailed to the underside of the lid covered the explosive in the main charge compartment.

    The main filling consisted of 24 (12 on each side) 100 gm. charges. Three 200 gm. charges behind the Z Z 42 igniter formed the primer charge.

    A label was fixed to the outside of the mine giving its designation, and details of the explosive filling and igniter assembly.

    The operation and general use of the mine were as for the Holzmine 42.
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    The Holzmine 42 was encountered in SICILY and later in ITALY and North Western EUROPE, and was interesting as being the first mine used operationally by the Germans which would not cause any reaction in a standard mine detector. The main body of the mine was wooden, but it included in its construction more than thirty-five metal components in the shape of nails, screws and clips, and as a result was detectable with difficulty by the Mk. 4 mine detector at a distance of 6 0 8 inches.

    The mine may have originally been an improvisation, but its simplicity of design and construction, which meant that it was capable of production by semi-skilled labour, led to its ultimate standardisation. Captured documents, however, indicated that the Germans were dissatisfied with the poor waterproofness of the mine which led to corrosion and premature firing of the igniter with resulting accidents.

    The mine was contained in a wood box sub-divided internally into four compartments. The main explosive filling was contained in two side compartments whilst between them was a central compartment containing the primer charge; the fourth compartment held the operating mechanism. The partitions forming these compartments were removable.

    The central compartment contained a bottom packing piece and two small wooden blocks. One of these blocks was nailed to the bottom package piece, and the other to the back of the box. Their function was to keep the primer charges firmly in place.

    The end compartment contained a shearing flange secured to the outside wall by two wooden dowels. The flange was provided with a central slot which allowed the end of the igniter striker to pass when arming. The igniter rest was situated opposite this central slot and at the head of the priming compartment. It consisted of a small piece of wood with a U-shaped piece cut out at the top and was screwed to the base from the underside. Two wooden blocks were nailed to the base on each side of the igniter rest to carry the pressure block when the mine was not armed.

    The lid was secured to the mine at back and front by metal hooks, and was located by two wooden dowels. At one end was a rectangular hole for the pressure block, and at the other a stacking piece. Two wooden blocks on the underside of the lid prevented the two wooden feet on the underside of the pressure block from moving towards the centre of the box. When the mine was armed these feet rested on the shear flange, and in this position the head of the pressure block projected about 2 inches above the lid. During transit the pressure block was reversed so that the feet rested on blocks at either side of the igniter rest. In this position the pressure block only protruded about 3/4 inch.

    The two main explosive charges are Amatol 50/50 or alternatively 24 200 gram charges covered with a bituminous mixture to exclude water. The primer charges were situated in the central compartment, and normally consisted of three 200 gram charges.

    The igniter used with this mine was the ZZ 42. In the event of an anti-lifting device being used a ZZ 35 igniter was screwed into one of the 200 gram charges from the underside of the central compartment. In this case the charge carrying the ZZ 42 igniter remained and a second charge was laid with the hole downwards. The length of the latter prevented a third charge from being inserted. A hole for the ZZ 35 igniter was drilled through the bottom packing piece and the base of the box.

    The main identification was a vertical red band painted down the centre of one end of the box and continued onto the lid. One side of the pressure block was also painted red and when in the armed position formed a continuation of the line from the lid. In addition a label was fixed to the mine giving details of the make of mine, and of the explosive filling of the main charge and the primer charge.

    The mine was actuated by a weight on the pressure block shearing the dowels securing the shear flange to the outer wall and forcing the flange down onto the igniter pin. The pin was knocked out so freeing the spring-loaded striker.

    The mine was usually laid with the top of the pressure block level with the ground, in which case the minimum spacing between mines was 6 ft. If the mine was laid on the surface the spacing had to be increased to 13 ft. The official German handbook stated that once laid the mine should not be lifted.

    The mine was laid with the red strip facing the defending troops, so that the explosive charge lay more directly under the oncoming load.

    The pressure required to operate this mine was 200 lbs.

    On occasions three or four mines were found buried deep enough for the upper surface of the topmost mine to lie 3 and 4 ft. below ground level. A wooden picket or branch was placed vertically above with its lower end resting on the mine lid and its top flush with the ground. It thus formed an extended pressure plate which, when under load, would set off the mine in the normal way. Detection under these conditions was extremely difficult if not impossible.
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    This mine was first encountered in North West EUROPE shortly after D-Day, and proved to be a most effective Anti-Tank mine.

    The rectangular design was a direct development from the Italian B2 and V3 mines. In comparison with the Tellermines 35 and 42 the maximum effective width of the pressure plate of the Riegelmine was 2 1/2 times and 5 times greater respectively. The consequent saving in both the number of mines required to form an effective mine belt and in the number of vehicles required to transport the mines was very considerable (four times).

    The primary disadvantage of the mine was that it was provided with two ZZ 42 igniter already screwed into the charge container which made it dangerous both to transport and to lay.

    The mine consisted of a rectangular encase charge supported when armed on two soft iron shear wires within a tray. It was covered by a lid which rested on the charge and acted as a pressure plate. The tray, lid and H.E. container were all made from sheet steel. A mild steel carrying handle was loosely riveted to the lid at one end.

    The charge container was provided with five standard igniter sockets, one on top, two on one side, and one at each end of the charge. Holes in the box corresponded to the igniter sockets on the top and in the side. The end sockets were deeply recessed for standard ZZ 42 igniters and could not be seen when the charge was in place as the tray and lid had no corresponding holes. In the tray opposite each end socket was a slot over whose shoulders fitted the stirrups of the ZZ 42 igniters. The shoulders were covered by swivel clips.

    The shear wires were threaded through slots in the lid and holes in the side of the tray, the ends being brought round and twisted together above the lid. At the point where the shear wires passed through, the tray was reinforced by strips of metal welded to the inside. The shearing of the wire took place between the bottom edge of the hole in this strip and the bottom edge of a shear batten welded to the underside of the charge container.

    In the unarmed conditions a safety bar, located between each shear wire and the end of the tray, was threaded through holes in the tray and engaged in channels welded to the underside of the charge container. The weight of the charge container was thus taken on the safety bars and not on the shear wires. When the safety bar was withdrawn the inner faces of the holes in the tray were closed by spring loading shutters sliding upwards. The pair of shutters at each end of the tray was fixed to a spring loaded angle strip. Beneath each angle strip and in the bottom of the tray was a small hole. By inserting a suitable tool e.g. a large rail, through this hole and pressing upwards on the angle bar the shutters could be depressed and the safety bar replaced.

    The lid of the mine had slots to enable it to be positioned with the safety bars in place.

    The main filling of the mine was Amatol 50/50 and round each of the five igniter sockets were PETN/Wax pellets.

    The igniters used in the ends of the charge container were invariably ZZ 42. The three supplementary sockets were threaded for standard igniters, which could be electric if required.

    The important marking on this mine was a painted red line round the tray showing the correct position for the lid when the mine was armed. In addition the makers mark and year of manufacture was stamped on the lid and tray, whilst stencilled on the lid was the designation of the mine. The explosive content was stencilled on the top of the charge container.

    The mine was fired either:-

    (i) By setting off standard igniters (anti-personnel) fixed to the top or side of the mine or

    (ii) By pressure on the lid sufficient to shear wires (anti-tank). The encased charge was forced down and the stirrup on the safety pin of the ZZ 42 igniter was engaged by the shoulders of the slot cut in the tray, so forcing the pin out and firing the igniter.

    The mine was armed as follows:-
    The shutters were opened and the safety bars inserted. The swivel clips were opened and the HE container, which was received with the ZZ 42 igniters already in position, placed on top of the safety bars, with the stirrups of the igniters above the shoulders of the slots in the end of the tray. The swivel clips were then closed, the lid replaced and the shear wires threaded through the slots on the side of the lid. Up to three supplementary igniters were inserted if required or alternatively electric detonators. The mine was then laid in a flat hole and the safety bars withdrawn. Distance between mines was 6 feet.

    The firing pressure given in the official German handbook was from 200 - 400 Kg. (440 - 880 lbs.).

    A dangerous anti-handling device was introduced on occasions by inserting one ZZ 42 igniter with the stirrup reversed so that the igniter was set off by attempting to lift the HE charge container out of the tray.

    The mines were carried singly in a wooden crate with a carrying handle. Unlike other mines they were supplied with two ZZ 42 igniters in position.

    A German order forbade the stacking of mines which had been removed from their packing crate; mines still in their packing were only to be stacked if absolutely necessary, in which case the crate was first to be examined carefully for damage and the mines were then to be stacked with their safety bolts vertical.

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