The Hazards of the Job

minebooklet-01Although the primary role of the was to set up communication lines for the European Theater of Operations, their secondary function was to disarm landmines and other booby traps.
Training was given in England on the 11 March 1944. My father obtained a certificate of proficiency qualified to perform the duties of Bomb reconnaissance officer and instructor.

My Father grinning over an un-earthed anti-tank mine.

My Father grinning over an un-earthed anti-tank mine.

There were roughly 150 mines designed during the World War Two in the European Theater of Operations alone. The most advanced and deadly of these mines were of German origin.


Here are a few different mines used by Germany.




A Topf Tellermine 44 Anti-tank mine


This entirely non-metallic mine is 13 in. in diameter, 5 in. high and has a total weight of 20 lbs. including 12.5 lbs. of explosive. It is black in color and consists of a booster plug assembly, igniter and body made of paper, sawdust and tar.


German Anti-Tank Topfmine A


The mine operates under a pressure of about 330 lbs. which shears the pressure plate along its groove, crushes the igniter and fires the charge. This mine cannot be detected by mine detectors.

The mine was painted with a thick compound called Tarnsand. This was a mildly radioactive substance and that allowed German mine detectors to find the mines as they incorporated a simple Geiger counter into detectors.






German L. P. Z. Mine (Light Panzermine)


LPZThis Antitank mine measures about 11 inches in diameter, 2.25 inches high, weighs 9 pounds with 5 pounds of TNT and is painted dark gray. There is a centrally-located safety screw, covered by a metal cap fastened to the cover by two bayonet lugs. There are five igniters bolted inside the nine, located by the five large nuts in the cover. .









Cutaway of an S-Mine – revealing ball bearings inside

This Anti-Personnel mine is the most widely known and most deadly of all. It is about 6 in. high and 4 in. in diameter, usually fitted with the 3-pronged “S” Mine igniter 35. The mine is buried in the ground with Just the prongs of the igniter above ground.
When stepped on, the igniter sets off a booster charge which pops the mine, out of its metal case about four feet in the air where it explodes, scattering 350 steel balls in all directions, deadly up to at least 100 yards.










Entlastungzunder 44

This device consists of a thin shelled, round steel body, 5 in. in diameter and 1.73 in. high, housing a simple clockwork mechanism and 1/2 lb. charge. It is designed to be laid under mines but could also be used as a very effective anti-personnel mine for booby-trapping houses.Once this device is armed under an object it cannot be disarmed or neutralized.




BOOKLET-08Booby traps were already common as far back as World War One, and weapons technology had advanced far enough to make it very difficult to detect.

The kind of details included in the leaflet featured here warn front line G.I.s about common booby traps used in a variety of different manners.




Cautions had to be taken as the Allies advanced into Nazi occupied territory where German troops had time to set up trip wires and explosives.