All modern mines have fuses, detonators, booster and principal charges, and a case; but they come in a variety of types. Bounding fragmentation mines, such as the German S‐Mine (1935), sprang up to 2 yards above the ground before they exploded, effectively spewing metal to a radius of some 150 feet, though injuries were possible up to several thousand feet. The M‐2 was the first U.S. mine of this type (1942). The M‐3 fixed, or nondirectional fragmentation mine (1943) was an early example of a weapon that effectively spewed metal fragments to a distance of 30 feet, though some shards might travel for several hundred more. The Claymore mine, developed by the American Norman A. MacLeod in the early 1950s, was a directional fragmentation mine, utilizing several pounds of explosive to disseminate hundreds of irregularly shaped steel cubes. Lighter types were utilized by infantrymen in the Vietnam War.
Blast mines achieve results through their bursting effect. Some of these are very lightweight, can be fabricated in the field, and have increasingly been made of plastic, glass, wood, and other nonmetallic substances, with nonmetallic fuses, rendering them virtually impossible to detect. The wide area antipersonnel mine (WAAPM) was a flanged metal sphere with tripwires spread by springs. Scatterable blast‐kill, tripwire‐activated mines, dispensed from magazines or drums on truck trailers, have seen much use since the 1970s. By 1996, there were some 2500 different types of AP mine and fuse combinations worldwide.
Detection of mines by hand or by hand‐held detectors is still the most effective method, but it is labor‐intensive. Vehicular clearing methods have entailed the use of flails, plows, and lightweight rollers. Breaching of minefields can also be done by electronic means, or by the use of explosives. By the late 1980s, more than 90 percent of casualties due to AP mines worldwide were civilians. And by 1995, approximately 110 million AP mines had been deployed around the world. In 1992, the U.S. Congress enacted a moratorium on the sale of AP mines, and the United Nations and other nations have since done the same. In 1997, the United States refused to sign a multinational treaty banning the use of antipersonnel land mines because the U.S. Army uses such devices to protect American troops on the Korean peninsula.
[See also Mines, Land.]
The Arms Project of Human Rights and Physicians for Human Rights , Landmines: A Deadly Legacy, 1993.
Eric Prokosch , The Technology of Killing, 1995.
Keir B. Sterling
"Antipersonnel Weapons." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 14, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/antipersonnel-weapons
"Antipersonnel Weapons." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved August 14, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/antipersonnel-weapons
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