Engineer Bulletin July 1998

The Origins of Military Mines: Part I

By Major William C. Schneck

Innovations in mine warfare have come from a variety of sources throughout history, and it is often engineers on the ground who gain the critical insights required for the next leap forward. Mine and countermine technologies and techniques have evolved over the past 3,000 years and continue to evolve in the typical measure/countermeasure/counter-countermeasure cycle seen for other weapons. Part I of this article traces that evolution from the first underground mines through the antipersonnel mines and boobytraps used during World War II.

Early Mining

Commercial underground mining first began in the Bronze Age when surface deposits of minerals and gems were exhausted, forcing miners to follow ore veins deeper into the earth by digging vertical shafts and horizontal drifts. The earliest identified underground mines, dating from 7000 B.C., were copper mines in Anatolia, now part of Turkey. Egyptians began to mine copper and turquoise in Sinai around 3400 B.C. The following Iron Age began among the Hittites, who mined iron ore between 1900 and 1400 B.C. They used this revolutionary material to make superior weapons that greatly facilitated the conquest of their neighbors.

Early in the Bronze Age, walled cities began to appear in the Middle East to protect against raiders and other attackers. Jericho, on the west bank of the Jordan River, just north of the Dead Sea, is the oldest known walled city (dating from approximately 8000 B.C.). The walls at Jericho were about 7 meters high and 4 meters thick and were surrounded by a moat 9 meters wide and 3 meters deep.1 Later, protective walls developed into huge affairs. Under Nebuchadrezzar II (around 600 B.C.) the walls at Babylon increased to a thickness of about 26 meters.2

Early military mining techniques were developed in response to these walled cities and probably were devised by impressed civilian miners at the behest of conquerors. Before military mining, attackers' options were limited to blockading a city (starving them out), scaling the walls, breaching the walls with a battering ram (which began in Egypt about 2000 B.C.), or by stratagem (such as the Trojan Horse). Although the stone-throwing engine of war was first developed by the Phoenicians, the catapult was one of the first effective missile engines. It was developed for battering down town walls during the reign of Phillip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great.3 In the third century B.C., the great military engineer Archimedes built a missile engine that could hurl a 173-pound stone about 200 meters. Engineers took their name from these "ingenious" devices.4 Mechanical stone-throwing engines remained in action as late as the Siege of Rhodes in 14805 and Cortez' conquest of Mexico (around 1520). In fact, improvised grenade-throwing catapults were used in close combat situations during both world wars.

Early Military Mines

The Assyrian Army organized the first known "corps of engineers" during the time of Ashurnasirpal II (about 850 B.C.). These elite specialists operated siege and bridge trains and provided mobility support for chariots. They were the first soldiers equipped with advanced iron pioneer tools and are credited with the first known use of offensive mine warfare. This occurred about 880 B.C. when engineer soldiers drove tunnels (mines) under or through walls and fortifications6 to gain access to fortified areas or to create a breach large enough for a full-scale attack. These engineers excavated a chamber under the wall and braced the ceiling with timber supports. The supports were then burned, causing the chamber and the structure above it to collapse. Attacking soldiers then assaulted through the breach.

Among the many successful mines throughout history are those used by Alexander the Great and his engineer Diades at the sieges of Halicarnassus (334 B.C.) and Gaza (332 B.C.)7 and Julius Caesar and his engineer Mamurra during the siege of Marseilles in 49 B.C.8 Although effective mining and other combat engineering skills were critical to the military successes of both of these great captains, the skills frequently are neglected by historians.

Early Obstacles

An early example of a reinforcing obstacle intended for use on a battlefield, as opposed to during a siege, occurred around 330 B.C. during the time of Alexander the Great. The Greeks were aware of a new invention called caltrops, which could be scattered in front of their battle lines to disrupt the terrifying attacks of the massive Persian war elephants.9 Caltrops are devices with four metal points arranged so that when three are on the ground, the fourth projects upward as a hazard to animal hooves or tires. Caltrops were used as recently as the Korean Conflict, when the U.S. Air Force dropped them on Chinese convoys to puncture tires. The U.S. also dropped them on the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War.

During the siege of Alesia in 52 B.C., Julius Caesar's engineers directed the emplacement of a complex obstacle 100 meters deep. It was a combination of towers, palisades, ditches, abatis, and caltrops to slow the attacking Gauls, so that Roman missile engines could more effectively engage them. These obstacles gave Caesar time to successfully deploy reserve forces to threatened areas along his 13-mile perimeter.10 Another early obstacle is the abatis, emplaced by English longbow men to protect against mounted French knights at the Battles of Crecy (1346) and Agincourt (1415).11

Black Powder

Although the origin of black powder is uncertain, it probably was developed by Chinese alchemists seeking an "elixir of immortality" during the T'ang Dynasty around 850 A.D. It was used against the invading Mongols of Ghenghis Khan in 1209.12 Black powder apparently remained an oddity, for although it terrified those unfamiliar with it, the Chinese did not successfully integrate it into an effective weapon. It apparently impressed the Mongols, who carried black powder with them during their reign of conquest and introduced it to Europeans at the disastrous Battles of Liegnitz and Sajo River in April 1241.13 The advent of black powder in Europe marked the beginning of modern artillery, when it was fired from mechanical missile engines used by military engineers of Medieval Europe. In fact, the term gunner may be a variant of "gynour," a form of engineer.14 Serpentine powder, the earliest form of black powder, was a dust that burned slowly and gave low bore pressure. A method of "corning" powder into larger grains to increase performance was developed about 1450.15

Explosive Mines

The ability to manufacture and detonate black powder occurred in Europe in the 14th century and resulted in the next major improvements in military mining.

Tunnel Mines

The surprise and effectiveness of tunnel mines was significantly increased by exploding large charges of black powder at the end of galleries driven under fortifications. The first recorded use of such a mine in Europe was in 1403, during a war between Pisa and Florence, when the Florentines exploded a charge in a forgotten passage in the walls surrounding Pisa.16 One of the individuals involved with these early explosive mines was a military engineer named Leonardo Da Vinci, who was working for Ludovico, the Duke of Sforza, around 1500.17 However, for a long time black powder was a scarce and expensive commodity,18 so the less spectacular method of burning out the timber supports beneath the walls continued for some time.19 The slow evolution of the cannon eventually forced the high castle walls of the Middle Ages to be replaced by low-walled bastioned fortresses, finally making this method of mining completely obsolete.

In his work on siege warfare (published in 1740), Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban (French Marshal, 1630-1707) codified principles of military mining that remained valid well into the 19th century.20 Vauban, in what could be considered the first scientifically based demolitions manual, described a method of charge calculation and placement based on characteristics of the target fortress and the desired effect. He defined these mines by the depth and size of the charge:

According to Vauban's tables, explosive charges for mining could range up to 12,200 kilograms. The purpose of mines was not only to cause destruction but also--with the rocks and soil ejected--to form an earthen ramp that assault troops could use to gain immediate access to the breach. Because the demolition often came as a surprise to defending forces, it frequently caused panic and confusion among them.

Tunnel mines were very time consuming to employ. Typically about 18 miners and 36 unskilled workmen were employed in three 8-hour shifts to construct an assault mine. Military mining during a siege could last 30 days or more, and specialists were required for the job. During the Middle Ages, coal miners were hired. Formal mining units were not formed until standing armies were raised by the absolute monarchs of the 17th century--1673 in France, 1683 in Austria, 1742 in Prussia, and 1772 in Britain (the Company of Soldier Artificers). Their work demanded courage and special caution--lack of oxygen and possible flooding were hazards.

Against the bastioned fortresses of Vauban's time, mining normally began as soon as sappers (military specialists in attack and defense of fortifications) completed the last parallel in front of the glacis of a fortress or fortified town. Then besieging miners dug galleries about 1.25 meters high and 1 meter wide and lined them with wood. Once they reached the site selected for the explosion, they dug the blast hole perpendicular to the previous direction of the gallery. Then they filled the mine chamber with the amount of black powder determined by the siege engineer.

To ignite the mine, they fed an ignition "sausage" out of the mine chamber. This sausage was a tube made of linen and filled with granulated black powder that led back to the point of ignition (minenherd). The ignition sausage, a predecessor of the modern time fuze, was normally laid in a 6-centimeter-wide wooden duct and covered with a board to protect it from moisture or other damage. The gallery was finally tamped with sod or earth, over a length of 6 to 10 meters. At the appointed time, the miner ignited the powder in the ignition sausage with an ignition sponge and then retreated quickly before the sponge burned to the powder.

Immediately after the explosion, the besiegers could assault the fortress or extend their sap trenches into the crater and reinforce them with gabions. If necessary, additional mines were used to destroy the palisades of the covered passage and the supporting walls of the counterscarp or scarp, thus facilitating entry into the fortress.

While working in tunnels, miners looked for listening tunnels and countermines of the defender. Attackers tried to deceive the defender's listening posts by constructing phony "noise" galleries, where they intentionally produced a lot of noise. 21

Military engineers incorporated the latest technologies from civilian mining as they became available, including more efficient explosives: nitrocellulose in 1845 (Christian Schoenbein, Germany), dynamite in 1866 (Alfred Nobel, Sweden), picric acid in 1871, and TNT in 1902 (C. Hausermann, Germany).22 Other improvements included electric (galvanic) ignition (1850s)23 and forced-air ven-tilation systems. During World War I, both sides employed new mechanical tunnel-boring machines developed for commercial coal mining, as well as traditional techniques.24

Tunnel mining has continued sporadically into the modern era and was used by Napoleon at Acre (1799), the Crimean War (Sevastopol),25 General Grant's men in the American Civil War (Vicksburg26 and Petersburg27), the Russo-Japanese War (Port Arthur28), World War I (Western Front29 and the Isonzo Front30), World War II (Russian Front31), and the French-Indochina War (Dien Bien Phu32). Most recently, the Peruvians used tunnel mines to liberate hostages held in the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima. The North Koreans may use them in the future--some of their tunnels have been discovered under the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and more are suspected.


Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, stated that "Fougasses formed into a T-like mine, in order to blow up the same place three times, can be added to the entrenchments. Their use is admirable; nothing fortifies a position so strongly nor does more to ward off attackers."34 These fougasses were simple black powder devices first developed for defending permanent fortifications. They were intended to detonate in the face of an enemy assault. A black powder charge was placed in a chamber excavated in the face of a fortification (firing horizontally) or in front of it (firing vertically). The chamber was then packed with a quantity of fragments, normally rocks or scrap iron and called a stone fougasse, or filled with explosive artillery shells and called a shell fougasse. If properly emplaced, a horizontally fired fougasse functioned as a crude claymore mine, while the shell fougasse could function like a bounding antipersonnel (AP) mine or a simple fragmenting mine. Fougasses were command-detonated by manually igniting a powder train from a protected position at the appropriate time. Fougasses had several defects: they were vulnerable to the elements--even moderate dampness rendered them inoperative--and were difficult to detonate at the optimum time. However, in the right circumstances, fougasses caused heavy casualties, as occurred during the sieges of Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, and Santander in the Duke of Wellington's Peninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars.

Fougasses were employed by one of George Washington's engineers, Francois de Fleury (of de Fleury Medal fame), in October 1777 against the Hessians at Fort Mercer, New Jersey, on the east bank of the Delaware River.35 During the War of 1812, an American ammunition chest accidentally exploded during a British attack on Fort Erie, Canada. This caused the attack to collapse, and the fear of additional fougasses prevented further British attacks.36 (The only engineer unit in the American Army during this war--the Company of Sappers, Miners and Bombardiers--fought in this battle). During the Mexican-American War of 1845, the Mexicans attempted to employ fougasses on the approaches to Chapultepec.37 Stone fougasses are still employed occasionally by irregular forces, such as the Viet Cong, Central American guerillas,38 and Bosnians,39 who lack access to modern land mines.

Self-Contained Mines

Military engineers in China employed the first self-contained explosive AP mines against Kublai Khan's Mongol invaders in 1277. Manufactured in many shapes and sizes, these mines could be command-detonated or activated with either a pressure device (probably based on a match) or a pull-firing device (a forerunner of the flintlock mechanism).40 However, they were seldom used and were largely forgotten by the time Western explorers arrived in the Orient.

Introduction of the European flintlock in 1547 led to the first target-activated AP mine in the West. This fladdermine, developed by Samuel Zimmermann of Augsburg in 1573, consisted of one or more pounds of black powder buried at a shallow depth in the glacis of a fortress. It was actuated by stepping on it or by tripping a wire along the ground that released a flintlock igniter to fire the main charge. Like the fougasse, these devices were highly vulnerable to dampness and required frequent maintenance. They were used mainly around fixed fortifications.41 Fladdermines were used against Frederick the Great during the Siege of Schweidnitz in 1758 and by the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1871.42

Although the Chinese first introduced explosive shells (as opposed to solid shot) in about 1221, they were unreliable and were used mainly with mortars. Reintroduction of explosive shells in the West in the 1700s, combined with the invention of the percussion cap by Reverend Alexander Forsythe of Scotland in 1814,43 made possible the next important step in the development of reliable mines by greatly improving their resistance to moisture. Confederate soldiers under General Gabriel Raines improvised the first of this type of AP mine from artillery shells at Redoubt No. 4 near Yorktown, Virginia, during the campaign of 1862.44 After several casualties, these were cleared by two companies from the 50th New York Volunteer Engineer Regiment.45 By the end of the Civil War, the Confederates had emplaced thousands of land torpedoes around Richmond, Charleston, Mobile, Savannah, and Wilmington, which produced hundreds of casualties (see table). Robert E. Lee, John Mosby, and J.E.B. Stuart all advocated the use of AP mines.

Land torpedoes were also used against Sherman in Mississippi, by General Raines on roads into Augusta, and by General Wheeler on the roads into Savannah and Pocotaglio. A coal torpedo (a type of boobytrap with an irregular sheet-iron case filled with black powder and painted black) was used to destroy General Butler's headquarters steamer Greyhound, and coal torpedoes were implicated in the sinkings of the Chenango and the Sultana. Union troops of I Company, 3rd U.S. Colored Troops, also used torpedoes near Savannah. Five of the torpedoes designed by General Raines were found near Mobile, Alabama, in 1960.

The British employed mines during the Boer War in 1901 to protect railroads and deny fording sites to the enemy.46 In the Siege of Port Arthur during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904, the Japanese tried to breach Russian mines with volunteer suicide squads that were to force a passage by sacrificing their own bodies. Upon approaching the minefield, the volunteers found that heavy rains had exposed many of the mines.47

Between the Civil War and World War I, powerful military explosives were introduced that significantly increased the mines' lethality. Black powder shells of the Civil War period burst into only two to five fragments, while those of the Franco-Prussian War burst into 20 to 30 fragments. By World War I, a 3-inch high-explosive shell produced about 1,000 high-velocity fragments.48

The German tretmine (step-on mine), the next high-explosive mine to appear, went into limited production before World War I. Lieutenant Ernst Junger of the 73rd Hanoverian Fusilier Regiment described German improvised mines this way: "These hotheads are forever puzzling out the possible ways of ... making the ground in front of the trench murderous with explosive machines. Perhaps they cut a narrow passage through the wire in front of their posts in order to entice an enemy patrol, by this bait of an easy way through, straight up to their rifles."49

The United States also had a fairly advanced concept of landmine warfare, as stated in Engineer Field Manual, Parts I-VII, in 1918.50 However, all the World War I combatants relied heavily on artillery and machine guns and seldom used AP mines. It was not until the Second World War that AP mines reached full maturity, and they have been an important facet of almost every conflict since.

Fragmenting AP Mines

Even though modern, self-contained fragmenting AP mines have been employed in the West in relatively small numbers since the American Civil War, they did not appear in significant numbers until World War II. At that time, three types of fragmenting AP mines emerged: bounding mines, the predecessors of the M16 "Bouncing Betty"; directional mines, the predecessors to the M18 Claymore; and simple fragmenting mines, like the Soviet POMZ-2 stake mine.

Bounding AP Mines. An 1859 U.S. military engineering manual by General Halleck includes the design for an improvised command-detonated bounding AP mine called a shell fougasse.51 However, modern manufactured examples of this type did not make their combat debut until early in World War II, when French patrols on the Siegfried Line began to take unexplained casualties. These casualties were attributed to a device the French dubbed "the silent soldier," the famous German "S" mine introduced during the 1930s.52 These mines were commonly called "Bouncing Bettys."

Directional AP Mines. These mines descended from an early directional type of stone fougasse used in Europe. Under the guidance of physicists Franz Rudolf Tomanek and Hubertn Schardin, the Germans developed a directional AP mine, called a trench mine, late in World War II. The French fielded a directional AP mine in 1947, but it was the Americans who refined it in response to the human-wave attacks of Chinese Communist forces during the Korean Conflict in the early 1950s. The new mine was developed and placed in production in 1953, too late to see combat in Korea. Called the M18 Claymore after a famous type of Scottish broadsword, it first saw combat in Vietnam in 1961.53

Simple Fragmenting AP Mines. Stake-mounted, fragmenting AP mines were introduced in the Russo-Finnish War of 1939, when badly outnumbered Finns improvised them from grenades. When the Finns fought the Russians to a standstill along the Mannerheim Line in November 1939, this setback forced the Russians to conduct the first mounted breach of a mined, complex obstacle. In preparation for a deliberate breach, the Russians improvised roller tanks and flamethrower tanks and conducted extensive rehearsals.54 The stake mine that emerged from World War II is still used today without significant changes to its design.55 The best-known example is the Soviet-made POMZ-2 mine.

Blast AP Mines

Blast AP mines descended from the vertical fougasse and large underground mines that were dug under fortified positions and then detonated. It is unclear which mine is the first modern "toe-popper" blast AP mine, but the Soviet-made PMK-4056 and the British-made "Ointment Box"57 mine are good candidates.

Chemical Mines

The British-developed Livens Projector was first em-ployed in 1917 and is arguably the first chemical mine.58 The Germans also developed and employed what the Allies dubbed the "Yperite Mine" in 1918. It used a delayed action demolition charge containing mustard agent ("Yperite") to deny bunkers that were being abandoned during a withdrawal.59 The first modern chemical mine, the Spruh-buchse 37 (Bounding Gas Mine 37), was developed and produced by Germany during World War II and normally had a mustard-agent fill. It was never used in combat.60 Except for the introduction of nerve-agent fills, the design of chemical mines has not changed significantly since the Second World War.

Flame Mines

"Liquid Fire" and "Greek Fire" have existed since classical times. However, the first reported flame mine was improvised by Confederate soldiers near Charleston in 1864, possibly from shells containing Greek Fire, which the Union fired into the city and that failed to function.61 During World War II, the Russians used a trip-wire-activated static flamethrower at the Battle of Kursk.62 These devices were quickly copied by the Germans and used in the Atlantic Wall.63 The British also employed improvised flame mines during the First Battle of El Alamein in 1942.64 The United States developed the first modern flame mine, the XM-55, for use in Vietnam. It was a pressure- or trip-wire-activated bounding mine.65 There are no indications that it was ever used in combat. Improvised flame mines, sometimes called flame fougasse, are still occasionally used in combat.


The first explosive boobytraps were employed by the Chinese against the Mongols in 1277.66 They first appeared in the West during the Seminole War of 1840.67 During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers employed a variety of these devices--including pull-firing devices, timer-rundown fuzes, and coal or wood "torpedoes" that detonated when burned in a boiler. Boobytraps reached full maturity during World War II, when reliable German mechanical anti-handling devices were introduced, and have been used in almost every conflict since.


During the 20th century, the antipersonnel mine evolved into a highly effective weapon and combat multiplier. It proved to have great utility for protecting out-numbered American soldiers against dismounted attacks, as shown in Anzio and Korea. The innovations that made this mine possible came from a variety of sources, including the ingenuity of combat engineers.

Part II of this article begins with antivehicle mines, first used around 120 B.C., and continues through countermines, sea mines, and antiaircraft mines being used or developed today.


1Ancient Inventions, by Peter James and Nick Thorpe, Ballantine Books, New York, page 200.

2A History of Fortification, From 3000 BC to AD 1700, by Sidney Toy, Heineman, London, 1966, page 2.

3The Generalship of Alexander the Great, by J.F.C. Fuller, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, N. J., 1960, page 45.

4Origins, A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, by Eric Partridge, the Macmillan Company, New York, 1966, page 251.

5OP CIT, A History of Fortification, From 3000 BC to AD 1700, page 256.

6The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands, Volume 1, by Yigael Yadin, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, page 317. Note however, that the earliest mention of engineer soldiers is attributed to the Hittites as early as 1600 BC. Also, the early Hittite capital Boghazkoy had predug tunnels to allow for defensive sorties against any prospective besiegers. See The Hittites, by O. R. Gurney, Penquin Books.

7OP CIT, The Generalship of Alexander the Great, pages 200-218.

8War Commentaries of Caesar, by Julius Caesar, translated by Rex Warner, The New American Library, 1960, pages 259-266.

9Warfare in Antiquity, The History of the Art of War, Volume 1, By Hans Delbruck, translates by Walter Renfroe, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1990 edition, page 212. See also "Weaponry," by Robert W. Reid, Military History Magazine, August 1998, page 20.

10OP CIT, War Commentaries of Caesar, page 173.

11The Face of Battle, by John Keegan, Penquin Books, 1976, pages 90-91.

12The Genius of China, by Robert Temple, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1986, page 224.

13"Mongol Invasion of Europe," by Erik Hildinger, Military History Magazine, June 1997, page 44.

14OP CIT, Origins, A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, page 271.

15The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of the World's Firearms, by Ian V. Hogg, A & W Publishers, New York, page 8.

16Mine/Countermine Operations at the Company Level, FM 20-32, Department of Doctrine and Training Development, US Army Engineer School, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, 30 September 1976, page 133.

17Engineers of the Renaissance, by Bertrand Gille, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, page 124-125.

18A History of Artillery, by Ian V. Hogg, Hamlyn, New York, pages 23-24. The entire English inventory was only 84 pounds of powder in 1370.

19As portrayed during the siege of Harfleur (1415) in Shakespeare's play "Henry V."

20A Manual of Siegecraft and Fortification, Sebatien de Vauban, translated by George Rothrock, The University of Michigan Press, 1968.

21"Siege," by Gert Bode, International Military and Defense Encyclopedia, Volume 5, Brassey's Inc., Washington, D.C., 1993, page 2421.

22 Military Explosives, TM 9-1300-214, Department of the Army, September 1984, pages 2-4 to 2-8.

23Although Count Volta invented his "voltic pile" battery in 1800, it's potential utility was only slowly recognized.

24War Underground, The Tunnellers of the Great War, by Alexander Barrie, Tom Donovan, London, England, pages 196-206.

25An Elementary Course of Military Engineering. Part I. Comprising Field Fortification, Military Mining, and Siege Operations, By D. H. Mahan, Wiley & Son, New York, New York, 1867, pages 172-177.

26"Engineer Operations During the Vicksburg Campaign," by Robert Puckett, AD-A255-141, Ft Leavenworth, KS, 1992, pages 124-132.

27The Siege of Petersburg, by Joseph P. Cullen, Eastern Acorn Press, 1970, pages 17-23. The mine exploded by Federal troops under the Confederate earthwork at Elliot's Salient at Petersburg, Virginia, on 30 July 1864 was 510 feet long, charged with 8,000 pounds of powder and produced a crater 9 meters (30ft) deep, 18 meters (60ft) wide, and 52 meters (170ft) long. The subsequent Federal assault, however, was unable to exploit the temporary advantage gained by the explosion and the surprise. A work force reaching over 400 men at times completed the mine in slightly over a month.

28The History of Fortification, by Ian Hogg, St. Martin's Press, New York, pages 185-189.

29OP CIT, War Underground, The Tunnellers of the Great War, pages 243-261. On 7 June 1917 British engineers fired nineteen mines with 430 tons of Ammonal at a depth of 40 meters at Wytschaete Salient south of Ypres, destroying three German battalions.

30On 13 March 1918, Austrian engineers blew up part of Mount Pasubio, which was occupied by the Italians, using 50,000 kilograms (55tons) of explosives killing 485 men.

31Small Unit Actions During the German Campaign in Russia, CMH Pub 104-22, Center of Military History, Washington, D.C., Facsimile edition 1988, pages 165-168). The "Blitzkrieg" oriented German Army of WWII maintained special "Minier Pioniere" units throughout the war (Pioniere, Entwicklung einer Deutschen Waffengattung, by Dietrich Petter, Wehr und Wissen Verlagsgesellschaft MBH, Darmstadt, Germany, 1963, page 245). The British and Canadians are retained this type of unit during WWII.

32Hell in a Very Small Place, by Bernard Fall, J.B. Lippincott Company, 1966, pages 384-386.

33Not to be confused with the improvised flame mine that US Army engineers occasionally employ and call a "fougasse."

34Frederick the Great, On the Art of War, by Frederick II, edited and translated by Jay Luvaas, copyright 1966, The Free Press, New York, page 288.

35Engineers of Independence, A Documentary History of the Army Engineers in the American Revolution, 1775-1783, by Paul K. Walker, Historical Division, Office of the Chief of Engineers, Washington, D.C., page 158-159

36Campaigns of the War of 1812-15 Against Great Britain, Sketched and Critised; with Brief Biographies of the American Engineers, by MG George Cullum, James Miller, New York, 1879, pages 237-250.

37The War with Mexico, by Donald Chidsey, Crown Publishers, New York, pages 161-163.

38Ayudas de Instruccion Contra Minas, Trampas Y Artefactos Explosivos, Guatemalan Corps of Engineers, undated, page 60.

39Engineer, Contingency Handbook (former Yugoslavia), US Army Engineer School, Ft Leonard Wood, Missouri, July 1993, page 1-32.

40OP CIT, The Genius of China, page 235-237.

41"Mine Warfare, Land," by Ulrich Kreuzfeld, International Military and Defence Encyclopedia, Volume 4, Brassey's Inc., Washington, D. C., 1993, pages 1756-1757.

42 OP CIT, Pioniere, Entwicklung einer Deutschen Waffengattung, pages 36 and 118.

43The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 19th Century Firearms, by Major F. Myatt, Cresent Books, New York, page 18.

44Lee's Lieutenant's, Volume 1, Douglas Southall Freeman, 1942, pages 268-269. See also Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume III, January to June 1877, Broadfoot Publishing Company, 1990 edition, pages 38-39. The shells used were ordinary 8- or 10-inch mortar or columbiad shells.

45Bridge Building in Wartime, Colonel Wesley Brainerd's Memoir of the 50th New York Volunteer Engineers, edited by Ed Malles, University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1997, page 65.

46"The Royal Engineers Journal," December 1, 1903, page 267.

47The Short Victorious War, The Russo-Japanese Conflict, 1904-5, by David Walder, Harper & Row, New York, page 102.

48The Evolution of Weapons and Warfare, by T. N. Dupuy, Bobbs-Merrill Company, Indianapolis, 1980, page 213.

49The Storm of Steel, From the Diary of a German Storm-troop Officer on the Western Front, by Ernst Junger, Howard Fertig, New York, 1993 edition, page 43.

50Engineer Field Manual, Parts I-VII, Professional Papers of the Corps of Engineers, US Army, No.29, Fifth Edition (corrected to December 31, 1917), Government Printing Office, Washington, 1918, page 422.

51Elements of Military Art and Science; or, Course of Instruction in Strategy, Fortification, Tactics of Battle &c, by H. Wager Halleck, D. Appleton & Company, New York, New York, 1859, page 363. Note however, that this type probably predates this work and in fact, it may be shell fougasses that were emplaced by the Mexicans at Chapultepec, but the available descriptions are not clear.

52Engineers in Battle, by Paul W. Thompson, Military Service Publishing Company, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1942, pages 64-71, translation of an article in Vierteljahreshefte fur Pioniere, 3rd Quarter, 1940.

53Claymore Mines, Their History and Development, by Larry Grupp, Paladin Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1993.

54The Winter War, The Russo-Finnish Conflict, 1939-40, by Eloise Engle and Lauri Paananen, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York.

55Eastern Europe, World War II, Landmine and Countermine Warfare, Engineer Agency for Resources Inventories, Washington, D.C., August 1973, page 155.

56Soviet Mine Warfare Equipment, TM 5-223A, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., August 1951, page 129.

57British, French and Italian Mine Warfare Equipment, TM 5-223D, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., May 1952, page 61.

58Chemical Warfare in World War I: The American Experience, 1917-1918, by Charles Heller, Leavenworth Papers No. 10, Combat Studies Institute, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas, September 1984, page 20-21.

59"Report on an Yperite Mine," Report No. Z-741, by A. Kling, Municipal Chemical Laboratory, Paris, France, 3 December 1918, DTIC # AD499336.

60German Mine Warfare Equipment, TM 5-223C, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C., March 1952, page 146.

61Infernal Machines, The Story of Confederate Submarine and Mine Warfare, by Milton F. Perry, Louisiana State University Press, 1965, page 166.

62The History of the Panzerkorps Grossdeutschland, Volume 2, by Helmuth Spaeter, J. J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Winnipeg, Canada, 1995 edition, page 121.

63OP CIT, Eastern Europe, World War II, Landmine and Countermine Warfare, pages 387-399. For an example of their use in the Atlantic Wall, see "Defenses of the Normandy Peninsula," by Sherwood Smith, The Military Engineer, Vol. XXXVII, No. 2, page 50.

64Report from the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 21st Panzer Division, dated 26 July 1942, Captured German Records, National Archives, T-313, Roll 431, Frame 8723884.

65Vietnam, 1964-1969, Landmine and Countermine Warfare, Engineer Agency for Resources Inventories, Washington, D.C., June 1972, page 47.

66OP CIT, Ancient Inventions, page 207.

67Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume X, January to December 1882, Broadfoot Publishing Company, 1990, pages 257-260.

Major Schneck, a professional engineer, is the Assistant Division Engineer, 29th Light Infantry Division (Virginia Army National Guard), and a senior project engineer in the Countermine Division, Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. A veteran of both the Gulf War and Somalia, he has published numerous papers on mine warfare. Major Schneck is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College and holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Catholic University.